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Is this the D5100 'backfocus' problem?


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zumaneil Registered since 01st Aug 2013
Thu 01-Aug-13 05:53 PM

Hey, all!

First post here on Nikonians, and first of all I'd like to thank you for providing such a helpful resource.

I'm now the proud owner of my first DSLR; a Nikon D5100. So far I am blown away by the quality of photos that this camera is capable of, far above and beyond anything I've owned before.

I just got back from a bit of a test photo shoot at the park, with my girlfriend, and it was really the first time that I've been out in full daylight taking pictures (I'm a bit of a night-owl).

After getting home and reviewing some of the pictures, a whole series of them seemed to be out of focus -it almost appeared as though the tree behind my girlfriend was in focus and not her.

(Let me just interject that after 5 minutes in the park, and realizing that I couldn't review my pictures at all in the sunlight, I was really longing for the LCDVF 'loupe' that I had been looking up earlier in the day!)

So, in any event, I will be the first to admit that it could have been user error: I was sweating something awful (Vegas =P) and being attacked by bugs, so I wasn't exactly fully committed to the shoot. I had it in the '3d tracking' AF area mode and was locking focus on her face using the center focus point and then letting the focus points track her face (with shutter release half pressed) as I framed the picture with her face out of the center. Not sure if that was a part of the problem or not? It appeared as though the focus points were correctly following her face.

I've included 4 photos:

Two are from under under the tree where almost every single picture produced the same 'backfocus' effect, appearing as though the tree behind my girlfriend was more in focus than she was. The file named out-of-focus-tree-2.jpg appears to be quite a bit sharper than out-of-focus-tree-1.jpg, but both appear to be out of focus to me.

The other two are from 5 minutes later but are both taken one after the other, at almost the same exact settings. One appears to have my girlfriend in sharp focus, making her pop from the background; in the other she seems to be out of focus, flat and doesn't pop from the background at all.

Can I rule out camera shake and subject motion blur at 1000/s and above shutter speeds? What about 125/s? (The tree shots were at 125/s and the bench shots were 1000/s+)


Note: I didn't realize that I wasn't going to be allowed to attach pictures, then imageshack and tinypic said the photos were too large (with no file over 10mb, I thought that was strange) so I ended up having to use my own host.

Any thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Apologies for the wall of text! =P

TLDR: Do 3 out of 4 of the attached photos appear to have 'backfocus' problems to you?

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