I know, I know, there have been several threads about this lately, but I think I've identified the focus problem with my D7000 and hope I am providing convincing photos to document the issue.
I've had my D7000 for a couple months, and I haven't been happy with the sharpness of my photos since day one, but it wasn't until I invested big bucks in a 70-200 f2.8 that the issue became really obvious with the narrow DOF.
I recently shot my daughter's school concert (using a tripod, AF-S, single-point) and in all of my shots the camera is focusing on the band members BEHIND the focus target.
I had been exclusively using the viewfinder, but tonight I tried Live View and "Hallelujah" suddenly the shot is perfectly focused!
Here are two test shots. Both using Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR I at 200mm, exposure 1/60 and f2.8. My test setup is playing cards staggered at approx. 1-inch horizontal intervals at a distance of 20 feet. In both shots the focus point was on the first card, the king of clubs. Both shots were made using a tripod.
The first was shot through the viewfinder, AF-S, single-point. The second was shot with live view, AF-S, "norm", single-servo AF. The focus of the viewfinder shot appears to be about 6 inches behind the target point, whereas the focus of the live view shot is right on the money.
My understanding is that the live view uses a different focus subsystem than the viewfinder. IF that is the case it looks like my camera has a problem with the viewfinder focus system.
If anyone can point out something I'm doing wrong, fine. Otherwise I'll get by with live view until after the holidays and then send the camera back to Nikon for repair.
Also, I borrowed another 70-200 f2.8 from a friend and had the same issues, so I doubt that it is a problem with the lens.
It would help to see one of the band shots. It might be your daughter's face was not a good AF target, the band was, and AF did what it sometimes does with poor AF targets - focus where you did not expect Looking at your card shots I presume an outer AF point was used on the "king" card and the image is slightly cropped. Am I right? If yes the detail in the center of the king card is an AF target capable of "allowing the shutter to be released even when the subject is in focus" using normal AF. The quote is from page 93 of your D7000 instruction book. The detail on the king card is similar to example 6 on page 93 so poor focus was possible. The outer AF points on a D7000 are not the more efficient cross types and the 8,9, and 10 shots using normal AF are not as sharp as the king using Liveview. This indicates in your card test the problem could be the AF system allowed the shutter to be released even though none of the cards were in critical focus. Ideally you need to do some further testing to determine if your camera/lens back focuses with a first class AF target.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
The focus was on the girl cello player in the center. It did this on ALL of the shots (over 100). I can't believe everyone in front was a poor focus target!
The card shots are cropped from a larger image. The focus point on the king of clubs was the center point of the focus array.
quote: "If yes the detail in the center of the king card is an AF target capable of "allowing the shutter to be released even when the subject is in focus" using normal AF. The quote is from page 93 of your D7000 instruction book. "
You misquoted. It also says "the in-focus indicator may be displayed and the camera may sound a beep" ... The camera did not beep.
Depending on the degree of crop in the playing card shot, it is likely that the front card did not fill the complete area of the selected AF sensor. If so, the AF sensor is seeing objects at different distances, making focus unreliable. If you could post the full image, we'd be better able to judge.
If you have the camera set up to beep when focused, and it did not beep, that means it had not acquired focus when the shot was taken.
I think a bit more experimentation is called for before concluding whether your camera has a problem or not.
If you haven't seen it already, this thread might be worth checking out. It degenerated into a rather esoteric argument, but if you ignore that and concentrate on the first few posts, you'll find a good illustration of how the central AF sensor actually extends vertically and horizontally quite a distance past the viewfinder marking. In the case of your playing cards, the sensor was covering some of the other cards as well as part of the chair and cushion.
The AF system used in Live View is different, and can be more precise.
>OK, here is one of the orchestra shots: >https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/351733 More pictures also help. The girl far left seems just in front of the cello player and she is quite sharp. The young man on the right is the most unsharp, including unsharpness of the hands likely due to movement during the exposure, and seems 3-4 feet closer to the camera than the cello player. The strings on the instrument on the far right seem at about the same distance as the cello player - and are sharper. My hunch without knowing the shutter speed and aperture is a shutter speed not fast enough to stop subject movement in these 2 players. They may move more quickly than other players. >You misquoted. It also says "the in-focus indicator may be displayed and the camera may sound a beep" ... The >camera did not beep. I kept the quote short to cover the key point.. Your longer quote notes confirmation may beep. The beep does not beep if disabled in the menus. A shutter speed target of 1/250 or faster helps ensure little movement in a group of performing musicians.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
I have been reading these focus issue posts with great interest and have learned a great deal about how the camera actually focuses and some of the pitfalls that can occur from incorrect settings and user errors. Thanks to Brian, Len, and others who have identified the not so obvious subtleties of how the camera functions and the difference in actual vs. displayed size of focus points.
I have noticed images (of people) mainly that did not seem to be focused sharply. I have always used the viewfinder, not live view. Upon reading these posts, I went back and reviewed many of these images in View NX2 and can see how the areas around the displayed focus point could have caused the unexpected focusing. I have not been using live view with face priority for these shots and it seems this may improve my results.
I took some test shots and posted them to my gallery that while not conclusive or scientific, they seem to indicate improper focus using the viewfinder with fine tuning off. All these images were shot at F9 with flash, some live view, some fine tune off, and some with fine tuning set to (-15 to -20) The shots with (-15 to -20)have the in focus area much closer to the intended point, rather than behind it. There is some variation which appears to bear out Brian's explanation of sensor size being larger than display point. The description in each file shows AF tuning or live view. The focus area was the round power button on the laptop.
Admittedly, all this was done at close distance, and may be different at other distances in real world shooting. This has been very enlightening and I will see if the fine tuning and use of live view for portrait shots actually improves the real world sharpness of my images.
Thanks for everyone's input and willingness to share their knowledge. I am loving my D7000 and the experts on this forum!
Rick, I'm sorry that you had some shots that did not turn out the way you wanted. I've been back and forth on the whole "good" target AF fine tune issue. Bottom line is that you should get an image that appears as sharp with live view as it does using standard AF focus when using similar sized focus detection areas with both methods. Looking at some of your shots it appears there is a large difference in what you intend to focus on and what appears to be sharp in the images.
I would first attempt to find out if the discrepancy is within the range of adjustment that fine tuning affords. If it is, just dial in a suitable adjustment. If it requires more tuning than the +/- 20 gives you, the camera should be evaluated by a repair center.
I would try to use real world targets at normal shooting distances and avoid making tests at the close focus distances (unless that's where you shoot with that lens.) I have found that the adjustment needed at close distances does not always work well at more distant focus planes.
Make sure you take multiple test shots and you are getting repeatable results. I think many people don't understand the difference between accuracy and precision and when you have limited data it is difficult to determine if the results are due to the overall accuracy of the system or the precision (how repeatable are the results.) It would be great to have both high accuracy and high precision in the AF and live view systems but in my experience the live view is more precise than the AF system but both can yield the same accuracy.
What do I do, I have found that a small AF fine tuning (about -5 on several lenses) gives me improved results compared to turning AF fine tuning off. Hope this helps...
OK, since no one likes my indoor test rig. Here are 6 shots I took of my daughter this afternoon. All using a tripod, all with the single (center) focus point on her face. When you zoom in to 100% her face is not in focus. This is what is driving me crazy. Shouldn't I be able to expect the camera to focus on a face?
Maybe I missed it, not sure if this was mentioned, but when you are using your tripod you are turning the VR on the lens OFF, right? If not, we have seen the combination of tripod and VR induce blur in photos.
If I just look at the crops with no context I see why you are disappointed, however you are shooting wide open, zoomed in at a slow shutter speed. I'm not saying this is the cause but it's hardly a definitive test, even on a tripod with VR off as the EXIF indicates.
Does live view give better results?
Have you attempted any fine tuning? At F/2.8 you may not have missed by very much and as a result would not need as large of a correction as some of the images without the context may have indicated.
Are you willing to try AF fine tune or do you expect that every lens will be calibrated perfectly and that the only problem is in the camera body?
With your outdoor test setup it's difficult to judge the direction of the focus error. It would have been helpful to see a vertical shot where you could identify the location of the focal plane (similar to what the slanted test charts offer.)
I don't mean to harp on about this (we do get some here who tend to dismiss pretty much everything as a poor AF target...) but I do think you need to consider the size and shape of the actual AF sensors. As illustrated in the other thread I linked to above, the centre AF sensor is both wider and taller than the viewfinder marking. By measurement of the image, the subject's face does not fill the whole area of the AF sensor. This can mean that AF is less accurate than with a larger target area.
One other thought - the images posted don't look as bad to me as you think them to be, especially with a bit of sharpening in PS Elements.
Anyway, my earlier point remains - we don't really know if your camera has a problem or not. It would be good to test with a parallel target that, to be safe, fills the whole area occupied by the central 9 AF points and see how that goes.
Oh, come on guys! The focus point is well within her face (see attached screen capture). I don't think I am asking too much from the camera to take an in focus shot of a person at a distance of 50 feet in broad daylight. And since when is 1/125 too slow for a stationary subject, especially when carefully shot from a tripod?
Oh, come on Rick, is it too much to ask that you try something different in order for us to help you? Did you try live view? Did you try a small AF adjustment? I'm not surprised that you will get the same results if you don't change any of the significant parameters.
I didn't say that the shutter speed was causing the problem but that low of a shutter speed is not a definitive test that will eliminate blur as a possible source of the focus problem you are having. The camera is on a tripod but did you say how you are triggering the shutter, remote, mirror lock up, or you could be using your finger to activate it?
Yes, I'm getting frustrated. I've tried to post images to show everything people are requesting to see, and they keep coming up with yet more stuff!
Yes I tried live view - did you read my first post? It is tack sharp with live view.
I have played with the AF fine tune, but didn't want to bring it up here and detract from the basic issue. AF fine tune at it's max value improves things slightly, but doesn't get things sharp.
I was carefully squeezing the shutter by hand.
In response to Brian's request for 9-points on a parallel target, here are both viewfinder and live view images in my gallery (both shot from tripod using timer). I shot several of these pairs and all are the same. If I'm misinterpreting your request Brian, suggest a target and I'll try and shoot it outside tomorrow.
Thanks for the additional information. The goal is not to make you frustrated or to imply that there is not an issue but rather to eliminate the possible sources of error and to potentially identify the problem you are having. You should not be satisfied with AF images that are not as sharp as the live view ones. But technique is the culprit in so many reported problems it's worth eliminating that possibility.
Adjusting the AF tuning is not a side issue but an intrinsic part of identifying the problem. If you said that a max AF adjustment still does not give sharp issues it would seem that the camera is somehow at fault since you had similar results with a different lens of the same type. If that is the case, I'm not sure how we could help you any further.
>>Yes, I'm getting frustrated. > >Understandable. I wouldn't be happy with the top image >either. It's shot at 1/60 on a 200mm lens and the one below >is 1/80th. > >Not a deal breaker, but you can see vertical motion blur on >the ship railings in the top image (it looks like ghosting). >
I was all set to disagree with your observation regarding vertical blur. However, taking a closer look, I think there may be some evidence of that. Vertical motion will blur horizontal lines more than vertical lines. Looking at the horizontal rigging just below the four flags, I see that line as being considerably more blurred than the mostly vertical line to its right, or, for that matter, the two lines with the flags. All those lines are about equally sharp on the live view image.
That being said, there is not enough vertical blur to account for the total degree of softness in the blurred image. Would you agree with that?
> >That being said, there is not enough vertical blur to account >for the total degree of softness in the blurred image. Would >you agree with that?
I honestly don't know. But, it's easy to use the same target, and rig up a situation where the shutter speed would be high enough to preclude variables outside of AF issues.
Testing basic focus accuracy is as easy as going out to a STOP sign in daylight with an ISO of 1600, standing 10 feet away and filling the frame... Even hand-held it's easy in this kind of scenario to see if the lens is hitting proper focus.
What sometimes seems to be happening is tests that are really problematic at the outset, and leave too much open to chance.
OK, I reshot with a little more light. I was only able to get the shutter speed up to 1/125 and I didn't want to run the ISO up too high. However, I bought the wireless remote and shot using that in the mirror lock up mode (1st click mirror up, 2nd click shutter). That should have eliminated pretty much any chance of camera vibration.
OK, can't read the EXIF data, but apart from anything set incorrectly, if this is consistent behavior, unless someone comes up with a real good explanation as to why this is happening, I'd call Nikon tech support (I've found them to be great, albeit two years ago).
If the camera can be returned to/replaced by the vendor, I'd try that. If going back to Nikon, send these two images on a disc with it, describing the problem.
You may very well have a problem camera but I would still try, as a couple people have suggested, to take a photo, even hand held in high ambient lighting so that your shutter speed is at least 1/1000 of a good contrasty target that more than fills the AF sensor. Also take it with AF-S set to focus priority thus ensuring the shot will not fire unless focus is locked.
If you can't get a reasonably sharp photo in those circumstances, I wouldn't drive myself crazy testing any further - I would just call Nikon tech support. If you do get a sharp photo then you know the camera can focus properly and you can re-examine what may have gone wrong in the testing. For instance, the original photo results which were taken on a tripod but with the shutter depressed with your finger could absolutely be due to vibration.
Here is an interesting video showing the vibration induced by the various way in which you can take a photo with viewfinder focus:
Well, while I can't speak for everyone else, I have certainly learned a lot in this thread. Thanks all for your contributions and by the way, my D7000 is right on tack sharp (at least testing with my 85mm f/1.4).
Well, I've read this entire thread front to back, and now I will reply - I bought my D7000 in October 2011 - it came with the most current firmware already installed. Mine is tack sharp and works well with a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di-II LD, the Nikkor 18-200mm VR, the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX, the Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye, and the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 and the Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8.
As was requested in your other thread, what were your AF settings? It's not sufficient to say that your settings were "the same" for both shots, because Live View uses a completely different mechanism for which most of the camera's AF settings don't apply.
The viewfinder pics were shot in AF-C and the live view pics were shot in the live view focus AF-F (seems to be the default value). So I agree they weren't using the same focus system, but I would hope that the AF-C using the viewfinder would give better results than that. Just as a note, I tried the same pics with my 70-300 lens and while I see a slight difference it isn't nearly as noticeable as the 50mm lens. thanks rob
You should shoot that again with the box square to the camera. The right edge of the viewfinder shot actually looks like it is in focus.
That said, I don't know the distance, I'm guessing 15 feet, so an online DOF calculator says your DOF should be around 2 feet, enough to cover the whole box. And, live view did manage to get the entire box in focus.
Checking your EXIF info you are not using the same settings for these photos. Your viewfinder photo is taken at 1/250 vs 1/125 for your live view photo and your viewfinder photo is taken with a -17 fine tune setting.
The fine tuning could more than account for the difference in focus, the shutter speed explains why they are not exposed the same.
As somebody who went through this same frustration - only to determine that it was inadequate technique on my part - I think you should send the camera to Nikon. Everybody appears to be splitting hairs here (although I don't know how you can test focus on a potentially moving subject, like your daughter, without going to at least 1/500 to eliminate even the possibility of motion blur).
That said, you have to have complete confidence that the camera can focus. You obviously don't. I've seen enough of a discrepancy here between Live View and Viewfinder that I'd have doubt too. Doubt erases fun.
Send it to Nikon and ask them to check it out. I know it's a PITA, but if, after my playing card focus test, I'd have still had doubts, that camera would have been in the box the next day. Life is too short. And, I REALLY wanted to believe the camera was OK. Hopefully, you have another body you can shoot while it's in the shop.
While my episode turned out to be a false alarm, there are a lot of sincere Nikonians here that won't admit that there are an abnormal number of D7000's with focus issues. I don't have hard "proof", so don't ask for it, but I trust the anecdotal information that seems to support that ascertion. And, you won't be happy if you have doubt.
"While my episode turned out to be a false alarm, there are a lot of sincere Nikonians here that won't admit that there are an abnormal number of D7000's with focus issues. I don't have hard "proof", so don't ask for it, but I trust the anecdotal information that seems to support that ascertion. And, you won't be happy if you have doubt."
Granted I have been too busy at work to frequent these boards for the last 6 months or so, but prior to that the overwhelming number of people claiming focus problems with the d7000 turned out to be using inadequate technique. Bad technique does not equal a focus issue related to a d7000 abnormality, it focuses as intended - to get sharp photos with proper technique. Sure, as with all camera bodies, you are going to have some that are calibrated outside proper tolerance and some outright duds. To say the number of d7k's with this issue is abnormally high is hyperbole. There isn't even anecdotal evidence to support this. These types of complaints can be produced in numbers for any Nikon camera (or Canon or Sony for that matter). Some people are just convinced there is something wrong with their camera. Most of them turn out to be wrong, a few are right.
Anyway, who wants to lose their camera for 6 weeks and pay shipping costs for a problem that might not be there. It's worth a few hours of testing and taking the advice of some of the senior photographers here to see if that type of drastic step is required. Last thing you want to do is lose your camera for that long, pay money and have Nikon send it back to you advising that it works fine.
Sat 17-Dec-11 03:45 AM | edited Sat 17-Dec-11 03:46 AM by torwood
I repeat my previous, and quoted above, ascertion. If you google "D7000 back-focus problem" you'll get far more hits than if you substitute any other Nikon camera. I know that doesn't prove anything. I'm not saying that the camera is poorly designed. It obviously "focuses as intended", if your sample is not faulty. It just appears to me, from the many complaints, that there are more faulty samples than is typical for a Nikon DSLR.
Why is that possibility so hard for some to accept? There are cars produced everyday that have more "problems" than other cars by that same manufacturer - even among typically "reliable" brands. Just talk to anyone who's bought a Camry with a sticky gas pedal.
It doesn't mean the camera is bad. It just means that perhaps more of these have focus issues than is typical.
Also, if you send the camera back and Nikon says it's OK, you might be out a few bucks, but at least you'll know someone more qualified than you (or frankly, any of us) has tested it and proved it works. What's that worth to you, since sending it back for a refund or exchange is probably not an option?
>I repeat my previous, and quoted above, ascertion. If you >google "D7000 back-focus problem" you'll get far more hits >than if you substitute any other Nikon camera. I know that >doesn't prove anything.
Your right that it doesn't prove anything - but it isn't true anyway
In case anyone does think it's relevant, here are the actual results of googling for "Dxxx back focus problem"...
Sat 17-Dec-11 11:31 AM | edited Sat 17-Dec-11 11:50 AM by J_Harris
Interesting statistics, but how can it be statistically relevant when the camera models you quote have varying life spans since their intoduction?
I do agree the D7000 back/front focus issue is probably exaggerated, most likely due to "Internet hysteria" and lack of knowledge of the new more demanding focus design. Some users may actually have the issue, but if it is as common as it appears to be here Nikon would surely have issued a recall by now for fear of negative future sales and a damaged reputation.
> >Brian, > >Interesting statistics, but how can it be statistically >relevant when the camera models you quote have varying life >spans since their intoduction?
While that is true - far more people frequent camera forums then was the case when say the d700 was released. The increase in posts on the 'front end' complaining of focus problems (most of which turn out to be technique related) is not surprising at all.
What we know is that complaints about focus problem are common for all DSLR models, and equally common, they don't turn out to be the camera in the vast majority of cases.
It is no coincidence IMO that Canon, who jumped into the megapixel race both feet, receives more complaints than Nikon about "focus problems". The d7k increase in megapixels definitely confused a lot of people here who had flaws in their technique revealed and didn't understand the relative increase in viewing size.
>It is no coincidence IMO that Canon, who jumped into the >megapixel race both feet, receives more complaints than Nikon >about "focus problems".
I've no idea of the relative sales figures of the Canons mentioned, but it could also be that Canon camera owners are less experienced than Nikon owners
The other factor which makes google results less than useful (except in a comparative way) is that an article or web post stating that "camera x does not have a back focus problem" would still be picked up by the search string I used!
Here's an idea that's maybe unworkable, and even ill-advised, but I'll give it a shot.
So many times, perceived issues in a given camera/lens could be easily examined by an experienced user to determine validity. Years ago, when I was teaching tennis to pay for grad school, every so often a person would approach saying, "Something's wrong with my racket!" And yeah, sometimes they were right, but most times, in different hands, they realized a little more practice was the real concern.
With its HUGE membership, perhaps Nikonians could consider offering a database of people willing to help/assist folks with problems that seem apparent, and yet may not be there at all.
Perhaps vendors should aggressively add this tier of service (when I sold cameras in the very early 80's we did).
It's just that we seem to have equipment of dramatically increasing capability, engendering quick and sometimes almost hysterical threads posted about things like "the sidefocus problem that's been talked about a lot" and "the cyan cast issue that's rampant".
Yes, this is an internet age phenomenon. But a little direct tutelage would make photography a whole lot more fun than jerry-rigging focus charts.
Wow. THis is pretty indicative. My D80 never was an issue or maybe I didn't recognize that it might be there but I never recall seeing it. I wonder, does the D80 forum thread ever show any thing of the number of "issues" that this forum shows??
As the person who did the Googling in the post you're replying to, I'd say that the only thing those figures indicate is that there are an awful lot more complaints on the web than actual faulty cameras.
>I wonder, does the D80 forum thread ever >show any thing of the number of "issues" that this >forum shows??
Yes, it sure did. Possibly more so...
It started as the D70 Forum when that camera was launched, and soon attracted complaints about underexposure and a couple of other things. None of these actually proved to be actual faults. It was the same when the Forum was expanded on the launch of the D80, except now the complaints turned to overexposure, and that was repeated when the D90 came along.
Every new camera will attract complaints, few of which ever turn out to be real problems.
So, my takeaway is that because of the pixel density, the D7000 is much more unforgiving in misfocussing due to technique than is even the professional cameras, the D3 or D700 etc that have a lower DX-equivalent pixel density, ie-10-12 Mpixel. And that there may not be any more "real" camera related focussing issues than other high pixel equivalent bodies. WHat about the 24 Mpixel bodies (Sony??). THey must have some REAL issues??
>Checking your EXIF info you are not using the same settings >for these photos. Your viewfinder photo is taken at 1/250 vs >1/125 for your live view photo and your viewfinder photo is >taken with a -17 fine tune setting. > >The fine tuning could more than account for the difference in >focus, the shutter speed explains why they are not exposed the >same. > >Jason
OH Geez, missed that! That would explain the top image's Front Focus.
Obviously, everything needs to be set to ZERO before attempting tests.
OK, first I want to thank everyone who responded to this thread. Some of you aren't convinced that my camera has a problem, but in any case you've helped me refine my test shots so I can send some good ones in with the camera for repair.
Here are the last shots I'm going to post here.
These were shot with AF-S, focus-release, single focus point, on a tripod, using the wireless remote and a fast enough shutter speed that camera motion should be out of the equation.
Here are some closeups of each. The crop is not centered on the focus point (which is up on the text on the side of the wagon) because I wanted to draw your attention to the lower right. On the viewfinder focused shot, the box is out of focus, but the dead grass behind the box is in focus. So the camera is focusing at least 6 inches behind the focus point.
>OK, first I want to thank everyone who responded to this >thread. Some of you aren't convinced that my camera has a >problem, but in any case you've helped me refine my test shots >so I can send some good ones in with the camera for repair.
I think you have an issue, as I stated... From this perspective on these shots, and assuming everything is zeroed out in your AF settings, it's not much, but it's discernable. And no one wants to purchase great gear and get not so great results.
The D7000 is easily one of the best cameras ever made. But yours apparently isn't.
I assume you can't make a return/exchange. So shoot through the holidays at f/8 and then send it back to Nikon.
Just thought I'd post a "final" update to this thread.
I sent my D7000 in to the Nikon Service Center in NY after Christmas to have them check out and recalibrate the AF system. I got it back 2 weeks later and as far as I am concerned the focus is fixed. Whereas before I was lucky to get 10% of my photos in acceptable focus, now I'd say I get 98% in focus.
Shot my daughter's indoor soccer (futsal) game last night with the 70-200 f2.8. A challenging test for the AF system with fast action in low light. Out of 103 shots I only had to toss 5 for being out of focus and a couple of those were clearly my fault!
Great news I'm glad you were able to zero in on the problem. You should never accept AF images as poor as what you were experiencing when the camera is capable of so much more. Nice work with the action shots!
Rick, After sending mine in to NY for Oil on the sensor, mine is much better with AF than ever before. As well as taking care of the oil spitting motor, they also adjusted my AF and the AF secondary mirror.
The unfortunate thing is I dealt with poor focus for many months because most folks on this forum insisted that it was operator error...not so, and we have the proof.
I'm really glad that you sent your camera in and see a drastic improvement. I will be sending mine in as well for the same issue. Did you send the lens as well? Did you ask them to do anything else besides recalibrate the AF system and did you send the pictures in the box with the camera? Good luck with your camera. Rob
i just sent my camera in and they said there is an problem with my, but they want to charge me after i spent over 5 grand in glass just to get clear shoot now there will be a discussion with them i played the game with rear focus pictures long enough.
i just received my camera back from nikon today they said replaced mirror operation spring , replace lens release button, replace pin, adjust auto focus operation, adjusted mirror angle, cln ccd, firmware upgrade general check and clean 168.77 now i have to test and see if it makes a difference. my pictures were good but they were not perfect so we will see.
>Just thought I'd post a "final" update to this >thread. > >I sent my D7000 in to the Nikon Service Center in NY after >Christmas to have them check out and recalibrate the AF >system. I got it back 2 weeks later and as far as I am >concerned the focus is fixed.
Holy moly! I've read enough, and suffered enough with focus problems (I started my own thread almost a year ago). My warranty runs out next Friday. I'm sending my D7000 in this week.
Just a thought on all the back flips suggested to get a sharply focused image with this camera: I don't care how sophisticated the camera is; it shouldn't be rocket science to get a photograph in focus using a reputedly state of the art auto focus system.
I'm running a 18-200 VRI and perceived that I had the same problem, albeit only when object were close and at 200mm. Some of the moderators suggested that for this lens, its futile to use the AF FT because the DOF would take care of the misfocus even WO (Wide Open). I'm still convinced that I took sufficient care to avoid all the pitfalls alluded to in this thread and had much better sharpness at the 200mm end on close objects (8feet away) at a fine tuning setting of -20. It had inconclusive test results at the long end for distance objects. It probably is the camera but I'm reluctant to take it in for adjustment and they say it's ON SPEC, when I can tune and get good results.
If your testing worked for you, that's perfectly fine.
The reason you won't normally have good luck with focus fine tuning on the 18-200 is the fine tuning is for a single focal length. And the focal length is a factor in determining how far away the focus target should be from the camera.
The recommended minimum distance for focus testing is 25x the focal length. That provides a depth of field of approximately 5 inches - a little over 2 inches each way.
Using the 18-200, you have to choose how far away your target is. Using the formula above, at 18mm the target would be 18 inches from the camera, while at 100mm it would be 8.2 feet and at 200mm it would be 16.4 feet. If you used a target 8 feet away for the 18mm test, you have a depth of field of more than 30 feet - so everything will look in focus. If you use the 8 foot target for the 200mm end, your depth of field is just one inch and you would be hard pressed to see any difference from small fine tuning adjustments. Even if you pick 100mm as the approximate midpoint focal length and an 8 foot target, that does not mean focus will be perfectly sharp at either extreme.
I'm going to try to send you another set of sample images. OK, in PSE I tried to reduce the file size to 350 pixels width which leaves an image of 295 kB. Then I saved as a 100% jpeg. So when I upload to Nikonians, it says the width exceeds 1200 pixels. What gives?? You already said the file size was too small, so how do I do this. Was the system fixed yet either?
Sat 04-Feb-12 01:18 AM | edited Sat 04-Feb-12 03:04 PM by Aviationbuff
As the owner of two D300's and a D80, all with excellent focusing, I too struggled with way too many out of focus images from my D7000. For 6 months, I convinced myself that I had not learned the nuances of shooting with the new body and larger MP sensor.
Regardless of the af mode used, or shutter/aperture combination, less than 30% of the shots were in focus. My much loved Nikon 80-200 f2.8 and 80-400VR were the worst offenders, and yet those lenses provide great results on the other bodies. Interestingly, shots taken with D7000 Live View were consistently in focus and sharp.
Two weeks ago, I performed a methodical series of test shots. Live view AF was highly accurate, viewfinder AF often focused a good bit in front of the subject. No amount of AF fine tuning would fix the problem. I finally sent the D7000 to Nikon for testing & repair. I received the repaired body back in 10 days (excellent turn around) and it is now living up to the accolades that others have offered. It focuses fast, on target and both the viewfinder and live view results are excellent and consistent. I wish I had sent it in earlier. I now find the D7000 AF performance matches its very high image quality.
Sometimes it really is a focus problem. If in doubt, send it in.
So improvement for sure, but need to send my 35mm F1.8G to see if they can re-calibrate the lens...
In short, my D7K seems to focus better. I didn't have major build up on my sensor after ~6600 shots, only a couple of bigger spots that were cleaned. I delivered camera to Nikon personally and received it back in the mail 1 week (7 days) later... Good turn around for me. Hope this helps further readers to just send in their D7000's if any focus concerns are felt, mine was under warranty still so didn't cost me anything either....
Continuing with this thread, would someone concur that 8725 and 8726 are not the same clarity and that the AFft set at 00 is clearer and that this is all I can expect with D7000. I think I should see better, ever if the iso were lower, I see that same type of sharpness. I hope I uploaded the images correctly.
Mine is going to the shop tomorrow for a sensor clean and AF adjustment. Today I got tack sharp pics with several lens... all cranked down to minus 20, and this just isn't right. Warranty expired two months ago, and expected turn around time is six weeks. My P7100 will be handling all the action for some time, now.
http://egozarolho.blogspot.com 1. Good content, good aesthetics and good tecnique. On that order. 2. Light is more important than glass and pixels. 3. In the digital photography process, software is as important as gear.
I guess I'm going to have to practice uploading. Do I send the XMP as a text file and I resized the jpg to 300kB or 1200 X 1200 pixels and that is what size I came up with. I assume that the gallery size restrictions are applicable to this forum postings. What other things shouldd I do or is there a reference in Nikonians that I can look at for guidance?
Your approach is fine but you can shrink the images a little further. I use 900 pixels on the long side and a quality setting that ends up with 100-150kb files. EXIF is embedded in the file with most programs.
There is some sort of a bug with the Nikonians uploader that affected your posted images. I've had the same issue as you and posted it for the technical team to review and correct.
Mon 06-Feb-12 12:34 AM | edited Mon 06-Feb-12 12:38 AM by mikesrc
Ok I was not going to get in on this, but my poor old refurb is in perfect focus with all of the lens I own. In my gallery there are a number of photos I've taken with the D7K. If you run over there look at the match books shots with a 16-35 F4 and my daughter in law with a 50mm 1.4. Look good to me. On the match book I was shooting at the A on CAFE
I wanted to send in some Jpegs. All I can see how to do this is to use PSE and resize to the dimensions you suggest. My Raw to jpg file size is about 10MB. So in order to get the file to 300kB I have to set the long edge to 375px. I'll try one here and see what happens.
I tried this and I see it still doesn't seem to be working. I get booted out of this page from the download page.
I've read and reread this thread and I do have some shots with the offset at 00 and some are OK and some are not. So, do these focus problems not occur with the Professional DX or FX bodies?? I don't go onto that forum since I don't have those bodies. I think I'm going to shoot some vertical, large objects in LV and VF with AF-S and and 9 points as see what happens and may based on these results, I may take it into Nikon with the lens since all is still under warranty and have them check it out professionally and alleviate my frustrations. Although 2 weeks without "my baby" will be difficult.
>I've read and reread this thread and I do have some shots >with the offset at 00 and some are OK and some are not.
In that case, AF Fine Tune will not help. The feature is designed to counteract consistent mis-focus for the camera with a given lens (or lenses). If you're getting correct focus some of the time with AF Fine Tune turned off, then you'll get incorrect focus some of the time with it turned on.
>So, do these focus problems not occur with the Professional >DX or FX bodies??
We've seen complaints about mis-focus with pretty much every Nikon DSLR, and they have been more prevalent since AF Fine Tune was introduced - which suggests to me that people are more inclined to look for potential problems. Much (but not all) of the time the problem being complained about is not a camera/lens fault and so AF Fine Tune isn't necessary.
It's been my experience in a number of things that if you give people the ability to "fine tune" something, many folks will do just that. Often to the detriment of what they think they are trying to sort in the first place. I know I'm guilty and in the case of the D7000, I just ended up turning Auto Fine Tuning off and removing the temptation after trying to get just that bit more sharpness. I'm finding that the more I use the camera, it my technique that needs "fine tuning" despite over 30 years of Nikon experience.
Although I do not have 30 years of Nikon experience, I have continued to work on my technique with the D7000 since July of last year, and I have seen steady improvement in my ability to properly capture the image I am envisioning. My process has become more organized and I don't forget or botch important settings nearly as often these days. I have been extremely happy with my D7000 and am amazed at the landscape images it can capture. But, I have not been very successful at getting sharp images of people or objects in relatively close proximity. Having followed this post for quite a while, I too believed that my technique could be the issue and so I worked on it. I finally opened an incident with Nikon support and sent them some sample images from both of my lenses. They inspected them and have asked me to send the camera in for service. I am a bit reluctant to send my baby off for service, as she has become near and dear to my heart over the last 6 months and has captured some awesome images in some incredible places. I hope that it comes back and is able to deliver the magic up close that it has so far at infinity.
Wed 08-Feb-12 02:27 AM | edited Wed 08-Feb-12 02:29 AM by Mercuryvoid
I am a new owner of D7000 with 500+ shots in the counter. A couple weeks ago, I tried this method where you put your camera on a tripod facing your lcd monitor with some moire picture on it. The settings were AF-S with center point selected. First, turn the liveview and autofocus it to the monitor. Next, switch to viewfinder and again, autofocus. The creator of this method said if there's no movement on the focus ring, that means the focus in liveview and viewfinder is exactly the same and there's no case of backfocus. I have the link to the method somewhere in my laptop, I'll try to find it and post it here later.
I went to the link and read the article with interest. So despite my earlier comments on this subject, I set Auto Fine Tune back on and went thru the procedure with each of my 6 lenses until I had no difference in focus ring movement between Liveview and AF. I have to say that there was a bit of improvement with some of my lenses although none needed more than -6 and most were in the -2 to -4 range. In comparison to the angled scale method, this is actually pretty simple and probably worth the time just to see where each lens stands. Of course, it still does nought for the biggest culprit that I have and that is poor technique, as much as I hate to admit that.
After spending a year trying to improve my technique (which seemed to be the concensus on why people are having focus issues with the D7000) something i never had with my D80. I took my D7000 into the repair center explaining that i was having a back focus issue with both my lenses. The repair guy seemed to have heard this issue many times because he did not ask me any other questions. I am luck because i work in Mississauga Ontario and this is were the Canada head office is. So no shipping charges, i just dropped it off. Well 3 days later i get a call saying my camera was ready for pick-up. I thought oh must have been nothing wrong and they just cleaned it. But no the invoice said they had to recalibarte the auto focus system. So all you folks out there that are complaining about focus issues and your camera is under warranty it may be advisable to send in your camera for repair and take the hit on the shipping on the off chance it may need adjustment
I'm in exactly, I think, the same boat as you in that my trusty D80 which I had since its introduction as new till I got the D7000 in NOvember, 2011, never seemed to have focus issues. I live a couple of hours from Aerowood Dr. the Head Office of Nikon and have had them do quite a bit of warrenty work on my 18-200mmVR I recently before I purchased the D7000. I did some comparative focus work, and unless I pixel peep to a certain extent, the focus "seemed" to be "almost" the same whether or not the AF FT was at 00 or -20. Howw much off and how consistenly was it off using what lens? I still haven't given up on taking it in for "checking". So it might be advisable, as you suggest, to just "take it in for a checkup", if your in proximity to the service centre. Comments from the vernable and learned moderators is respectfully sought, as always.
Tue 14-Feb-12 09:17 PM | edited Wed 15-Feb-12 12:31 AM by dm1dave
As you are still having problems, I agree that it would be a good idea to have the camera looked at by Nikon.
It has been demonstrated, here in the forums, that there have been some cameras that needed to be adjusted or have parts replaced to fix focus problems. We have quite a few people who also have had problems that were solved by improving their technique and/or finding the focus settings that worked best for them.
To say that most D7000 focus issues are "user error" is inaccurate but it is just as inaccurate to say that most of these issues are due to an inherent camera defect. The issues of AF performance are complicated and can never be summarized with such broad statements.
When troubleshooting a problem, like poor focus, it is usually best to look for the simplest or most obvious solutions first. This leads us to ask about the user's experience, technique and testing procedures (good focus testing is much harder than most people think) first in order to eliminate the possibility of user error and/or unrealistic user expectations. This can be frustrating for the user as it takes considerable time and effort to get past this level of troubleshooting.
Anyone who is having persistent problems with their gear, focus related or not, and are unable to get the help they need on-line absolutely should send their camera to Nikon for service. There is always a possibility of a true camera fault and only Nikon can diagnose and repair some of these problems. There is only so much troubleshooting we can do on-line without being able to hold the camera ourselves.
Note: Unless you have a backup body it may be a good idea to wait a while to send it in as it seems that a few people are being put on "parts hold." Hopefully the factory in Thailand will get back to full capacity soon so that cameras and parts will be readily available.
So all you folks out there >that are complaining about focus issues and your camera is >under warranty it may be advisable to send in your camera for >repair and take the hit on the shipping on the off chance it >may need adjustment
Just as a curiosity. Some company WILL charge diagnostic time and shipping back fees l to the customers in an event there was nothing wrong with the equipment sent for a warranty repair. What is the Nikon's policy in such cases?