Thu 01-Nov-12 12:57 AM | edited Thu 01-Nov-12 05:00 PM by Rassie
I've been following this thread with interest from the beginning, and I think I'm now in a position to air my opinion fwiw.
I used to shoot with a D90 until recently. I have the Nikkor DX 18-200 mm VR11 and Sigma 150-500 mm lenses. Both these lenses performed satisfactorily on my D90. I was recently asked to do a wedding for a friend's daughter so I rented a D7000 with Nikkor 24-70 mm and Nikkor 70-200 mm lenses. I put the 70-200 lens on my D90 and gave it to my son to shoot some wedding pics. I shot most of the wedding with the 24-70 lens on the D7000. Comparing the pictures afterwards, it was clear that the D90/70-200 mm combination pictures were significantly sharper that the D7000/24-70 mm combination. At the time I attributed it to the fact that there was no VR on the 24-70 lens and that I perhaps didn't hold the camera still enough. The pictures could be sharpened up well enough in post, but I expected better sharpness out of the camera. Both these lenses are renowned for their sharpness.
I subsequently bought a new D7000 about a month ago and started using my own lenses on it. I immediately noticed my pictures were softer than I used to get with the same lenses on the D90. Then I saw the stories on back-focusing on the D7000 in Nikonians. I printed a focus chart and started experimenting with both lenses. Shooting both perpendicular to the chart and at a 45 deg. angle while adjusting the autofocus fine tuning, I could just not get the camera to provide sharply focused pictures. I also noticed that live view focus was perfect. Focusing on the same subject, the live view focus outperformed the autofocus in sharpness every time.
I then took the camera and 18-200 mm lens to Nikon (there's a Nikon repair facility not far from my home). They kept the camera/lens combination for about two weeks, and then gave them back. Nikon commented that they adjusted the autofocus on the camera and they also replaced the swm motor in the lens, both under warranty.
I went back to the focus chart again, expecting the camera/lens combination to now perform better but to my disappointment the results were still not good enough. So I went through the same excercise again, fiddling with autofocus fine tuning with both lenses. The end result is I now have two lenses that focus well enough. The 18-200 mm lens is set to default to -17 in the autofocus fine tuning and the 150-500 is set to -15. Bottom line, if Nikon didn't make the adjustments they did, neither of my lenses would provide good enough autofocus even at -20.
Speaking for myself, my brand new D700 straight from the factory was faulty to the point where the autofocus fine tuning could not compensate. I can't speak for others who complain about back focus on new D7000 cameras, but mine was clearly faulty. And I am very disappointed. I expected Nikon's repair facility to get the autofocus better than what they achieved. I think it's unacceptable that I should still have to fine tune the autofocus after they supposedly repaired it, especially on the 18-200 mm lens.