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D7100: AF focuses on background a lot?


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doppler_fto

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doppler_fto Registered since 23rd Mar 2013
Fri 03-May-13 07:19 AM

Howdy, y'all

It's been 1.5 months and 5,000 frames with the D7100, and I've consistently found that it has a tendency to focus on the background when the AF area isn't filled by a foreground subject.

First and foremost, I'm curious if other folks are noticing/have noticed this.

Shooting style


I spend a lot of time covering events with two bodies, in a candid, journalistic style. Before the D7100s, I used a pair of D300 bodies for 5 years (~130k frmaes). In that time, I never noticed the D300 picking up the background with the same aggressiveness that the D7100 does.

AF style


I shoot exclusively with AF-ON triggering, in release priority and in AF-C mode. I strongly prefer single-area AF, because it lets me pick what the camera will focus on in complex scenes. On the D300, I've generally used AF-11 for speed in switching AF points, unless I had the camera on a tripod, at which point I would manually switch to AF-51 to reduce focus-and-recompose.

With the D7100, I started with single-area AF-11, at which point I noticed the focus-on-background issue. I tried switching to AF-51 for a few weeks (thinking that reducing the focus area size might increase its targeting precision). It didn't help noticeably. At this point, I'm starting to get very frustrated, because shots that _should_ be gimmes are ending up focused on the background

Things that I've tried


As mentioned, I've tried using AF-11 and AF-51 with no apparent difference. I've tried 9-point dynamic-area AF, and got frustrated at not being able to predict what the camera would focus on. As a result, I didn't use it long enough to determine if it helped noticeably. The next time I find this issue happening, I'll probably give it another go.

Things that aren't the problem


The camera isn't back-focusing, it is focusing accurately on the background in some situations. Please don't tell me to check AF micro-adjust.

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