I upgraded from a D90 as soon as the D7000 was availabe and I am not sure if it is me or the camera but I am not getting results I expected from the upgrade. Some shot are good but focus does not look perfect. I hope these photos are good enough for someone with more experience can tell me if the camera is focusing correctly or not. If these shot are not right, what do I need to do. I do not want to send it in for service if it is me.
Bill I have had my D7k for 18 months and although I got reasonably sharp pics I always felt that they were not very sharp and did post sharpening to improve them to satisfactory. Went to an airshow recently and my friend with his D40 got sharper images than me even the Canon took sharper images; I was not a happy camper! I always questioned my experience and technique as this is what I continually read on this forum and was really frustrated. Finally got the zig and took my D7k in to Nikon so they could check it all out. Well, what a difference, they said that the alignment was out and they recalibrated it. Have not been out to the airfield yet but the few image I took at a local school rugby day showed a marked improvement at 200mm. Now I can't wait for the next fly day to really check it out. I wish I had taken the camera in to Nikon a year ago!
StephenV, where did you take your camera for repair? I looked for "service" and "repair" on Nikon's website and could find nothing. I went from a Cannon A610 camera to a D5100 and am quite disappointed with the pictures (yes, I know I'm not in the 5100 section, but you mentioned repair. No one there mentioned repair.). I live in Virginia.
i ran in to this i set water bottles up and found my camera back focused i sent my back to nikon and what a world of diffrence between my pic's but i bought lenses and battled with it for a year until it was out of warranty
The problem with replies are often that some of those with issues feel the camera is a flawed design while some of those without issues feel post such as this are delusional. The truth lays somewhere in between.
AF systems have a tolerably accurate not precise focus. AF systems are also variable in that if you singularly focused multiple times upon the same target you will probably come up with a slightly different distance each time, especially with wide angle lenses, or coming from either extreme (starting at near focus then starting at infinity focus).
There are multiple issues I see with Bill’s test that can throw off AF. First I will assume he is using the center focus point being the EXIF data showing AF-S and ISO 1600. The high ISO in itself is going to affect the perception of sharpness in detail. When doing focus test you should be using base ISO with a well lit high contrast unambiguous target. Also the strong backlighting is problematic in that it is causing a low contrast situation in the AF target and the target (assuming the third battery from the front) does not fill the focus point allowing the camera to pick an alternate point away from the center of the marker in the frame (remember the focus sensor extends well beyond the marker in the viewfinder).
There’s also another little known issue of focus shift, although it generally is more problematic with faster f/1.4 and 1.2 lenses, the f/1.8 is close enough that it could also suffer from it.
Then there’s copy variation. The Phase Detection AF systems are calibrated to a tolerable accuracy not a precision accuracy. That tolerable range could well mean that a lens that performs well on my D7000 might not perform so well on Bill’s. For example in this other current thread about focus issues in post 23 Neil discusses how his 17-55 Nikkor provides sharp results with a -10 AF Fine Tune. Yet my 17-55 performs flawlessly on my D7000 without fine tuning and I can provide many example images that prove it. Then again many people feel the kit 18-105 is a great consumer zoom, yet I was never happy with the results of that lens. After playing with AF Fine Tune of -13, I’m pleased with the results. In fact out of the 6 lenses I own, only two seem to need AF fine tune to achieve acceptable results. In an interest of full disclosure I acquired my camera about 1.5 years ago and it was recently repaired for the lubricant spray issue. Previously to the repair I didn’t feel I had an AF issue but do feel the camera is performing better after the repair. Also I want to note that the tear down for the repair required a recalibration of the AF system, so my Phase Detection AF should be up to specs.
So therein lays the problem with testing AF. First, the setting up needs to be meticulous in order to get anywhere near consistent results for them to be meaningful. Finding an issue doesn’t necessarily mean a defect in a D7000 nor an out of calibration issue. I’m not saying that there aren’t people with legitimate issues, just that verifying those issues with self testing and asking for verification through posts such as this is difficult at best. And I think anyone interested in self testing should be required to read these two articles which are This Lens is Soft and other Myths and Focus Fallibility: Lens Test Fallacies.
I am sending my body into Mack Camera Service where I have an extended warranty contract to be checked and cleaned. If that does not satisfy my eyes I will try Nikon Service. Thanks again to all that took the time to answer my post.
Doesn't appear to be anything at all wrong with your camera. The test set up is a bit flawed though. Lighting is very low, so I suspect shutter speed for each shot was relatively slow and some mirror slap or some other tiny movement may have detracted from perfect focus. Still, in such low light and using only a moderately good focus target, the images suffer more from low contrast and poor lighting than soft focus.
Depth of field expanded as you increased your stop. The camera may have locked focus on the tape measure slightly behind the center battery because the battery itself is not the best focus target for focus testing.
I'd set up a better lit set of targets and re-shoot the whole thing, but I think it might be a waste of time. The camera seems to be working well. You may be expecting too much out of such poor lighting.
I think a whole generation of 10-12 megapixel Nikon digital SLR bodies have spoiled some of us for the 16-24 megapixel bodies. The more megapixels in a given space (in this case an APS-C sized sensor), the more we've got to pay attention to the old rules which guided our use of film cameras and lenses. E.g., a shutter speed of at least 1/focal length (the more megapixels, the faster the shutter for any given shot IMO - so twice the recommended shutter speed is advisdable I think). We've also been conditioned by great DSLR camera bodies to expect truly great performance in exceedingly difficult lighting - a bit of a downward performance slope that we may tend to keeping pushing until we hit the point at which the camera simply can't perform very well.
I think the 'trick' is to correct our technique and our expectations. These cameras aren't quite magic boxes - not yet at any rate. Maybe the next generation.
I was complaining, privately, about my own D7000 results until I corrected my shooting technique and started paying attention to shutter speed. As if by magic, my shots sharpened up as needed almost overnight.
Thank you I have booked marked the article for future use as I have sent the camera in for a check up and cleaning. I sent it into Mack Camera Service in NJ because I had a service contract with them and it was out of Nikon warranty.
>Doesn't appear to be anything at all wrong with your camera. >The test set up is a bit flawed though. Lighting is very low, >so I suspect shutter speed for each shot was relatively slow >and some mirror slap or some other tiny movement may have >detracted from perfect focus. Still, in such low light and >using only a moderately good focus target, the images suffer >more from low contrast and poor lighting than soft focus. > >Depth of field expanded as you increased your stop. The camera >may have locked focus on the tape measure slightly behind the >center battery because the battery itself is not the best >focus target for focus testing. > >I'd set up a better lit set of targets and re-shoot the whole >thing, but I think it might be a waste of time. The camera >seems to be working well. You may be expecting too much out of >such poor lighting.
i'm sharing the same point of view: on the first picture, aperture 1.8, if you have targeted the 4th battery, 43 on the tape measure, AF seems to work quite well... And don’t forget you can fine tune the AF system if needed.
With the D7000, to get sharp pictures, I think that the first rule is to reduce motion the most as possible, because the sensor is very sensitive to motion.. Fabien.
I had a problem with having sharp focus on near objects. In a test of a ruler at 45 degrees I had back focus. This showed in some of the photos as well. After Nikon service I repeated the test. Now it was slight front focus. The images are sharp and clear. Birds photos outside my window at 200mm focal lenght are so clear you could count the feathers. So happy with the sharpness now and to think that it could have been like this from start. But did not spoil my normal wide shots.