I've got a D80 about 7 years old. It went to Nikon last year for a repair to the built-in flash. At that time I also sent my 55-200 AF-S DX ED lenses for repairs to the autofocus which had stopped working entirely. I got the camera back and the 55-200 works well, but then my 18-55 DX 3.5-5.6G ED started taking badly out of focus pictures. The focus indicator light in the camera said it was in focus, after viewing the pics on the computer, they clearly are not. I've wanted to upgrade lenses anyway, so I just purchased a refurbished 17-55 DX f2.8G ED from B&H and am playing with it to make sure it all works well before the 90 day warranty period. I'm excited about the wide aperature to help me take photos of my kids where we are frequently inside in lower light conditions. I've taken a few shots at f2.8 so far and am not impressed at all. Maybe I just have higher expectations for a $1000 lens or a poor underatnding of depth of field / focus distance. #1 I took some pics this morning in daylight at f2.8 / shutter speed 1000 / focal length about 28 mm with the camera to object distance about 10 feet. The camera tells me it is in focus but after viewing it certainly is not. Nothing in the pic is even remotely in focus. #2 At 17mm / f2.8 the camera won't even focus sometimes. Does the subject have to be within 10 feet for the camera to even recognize it at those settings. I could go on and on with my misunderstandings and concerns at this point but I'll stop here to see if I get any response. I'm a visual person, so links to to images and/or diagrams to help me get my head around the wide angle/wide aperature end of this would be very helpful. Thanks.
If you intended to post images they didn't come through.
Have you looked to evaluate if it is consistently focusing before or behind your focus point? It is possible that the 50-200 you sent in had issues in focus, and they adjusted the D80 to compensate, throwing off other lenses. unlikely, since Nikon should know better, but possible.
I would recommend spending some time ensuring you have eliminated other causes. Put it on a tripod, keep the shutter speed up, try a few different focus targets, see whether it's missing focus, or is the whole image blurred (i.e. bad optics as opposed to focused on the wrong thing).
thanks. I've been meaning to try a few tests for back/front focus with my old 18-55, so I'll try that with the new lens too. I am staring to think Nikon miscalibrated the camera when they had it and the problems lie therein.
I'm thinking it sounds like the camera may be out of "whack" again (or was not fixed, but I would guess that is not the case... but maybe, one never knows). I have used both of the lenses you're noting and found them both great lenses (the 18-55 was excellent for an inexpensive "kit" lens). The 17-55 was on my camera about 85% of the time as it was just superb and more along the lines of a professional lens (especially for portraits!).
With both lenses, "mis-performing" on your body, I'd bet it's the body. Have you checked the 55-200 to see if those images are also out of focus?