D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS
I would like to ask if is it possible to calibrate (micro abjust body and lens) the d7000 and nikkor af-s dx nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, because there is back-front focus problem issue.
The d7000 is brand new but the lens is 2 years old.
If yes how can adjust the focus?
#1. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 0ericbowles Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Mon 13-Dec-10 01:35 AM
Yes - you can calibrate your D7000 to account for small amounts of front or back focus. But you really don't want to for a 16-85. It's rare for a zoom lens that is functioning properly to need a focus adjustment. If needed, you have to adjust for focus at a single focal length which will hurt you at other focal lengths.
More likely it is a matter of correctly setting up the camera or working on technique. Focus adjustment is typically for prime lenses so I would use caution before even considering such an adjustment on your 16-85.
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#2. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 1Mon 13-Dec-10 03:18 AM
I would like to disagree with Eric on two accounts.
1. Zooms can and do need adjustment sometimes - there are just some considerations to take into account first.
2. No caution is needed as if you make an adjustment that you don't like, just undo it.
With that said, I'll go a little deeper.
I teach workshops using the LensAlign system from RawWorkflow and here is my opinions.
First, micro adjust (MA) can and in some cases needs to be set for zooms. A classic example is the Nikon 80-200mm which is notorious for back focusing at the 200mm end and setting MA for this lens is a must.
However, some things to remember - MA only comes into play when the DoF is very shallow. With your lens that is going to be difficult to get very shallow DoF - but for example if you were 5ft from your subject at the 85mm point at f/5.6 you'll have a 3in DoF. This is a rare shot in most cases, but a possible one and MA could give you desired results here.
But this is a rare set of conditions, I'm not sure what you are shooting that you think you need adjustment?
If you are going to micro adjust this lens, do it at the 85mm mark because this is the most affected point with the shallowest DoF and the wider focal lengths are just not going to have the DoF that MA will affect, so you'll be fine through the whole range.
I hope this helps?
#3. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 2Mon 13-Dec-10 07:39 AM
Thank you both for your help.
I am planning tomorow to upload the photos for you to see the problem, and if is it possible to give me some advise.
#4. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 3
#5. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 1
I agree with Eric, plus with the 16-85 you have 2 other issues:
"Calibration" programs like LensAlign are designed to calibrate DOF on a 1:1 basis, that is 50% of your DOF in front and 50% in back.
1. At wide angles (16mm) the DOF, especially at closer focus difference is supposed to be about 40% front, 60% back.
2. As magnification decreases (your subject gets further away) DOF is supposed to be closer to a 1:2 ratio, that is 1/3rd in the front and 2/3rds in the back.
Other than this, it is VERY difficult to "calibrate" a zoom lens for the reason Eric states, what works at one focal length won't work at the others. If your lens is habitually back or front focusing, send it to Nikon to be fixed.
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#7. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 5Mon 13-Dec-10 12:57 PM
We're in danger of straying away from the original question, but just to clarify the way Depth of Field is aligned with the focus distance...
As magnification increases (and subject distance decreases), the distribution of the DoF approaches 1:1 - 50% in front of the focal point and 50% behind. At a focus distance equal to 1/3 of the hyperfocal distance for the lens and aperture, the distribution is about 1:2 - 33% in front and 67% behind. At distances beyond that the distribution becomes more unequal; when focused at the hyperfocal distance the far point of the DoF reaches infinity.
Anyone who may want to take this further might want to play around with various values in this online DoF calculator.
#8. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 7Mon 13-Dec-10 01:26 PM
Technically agreed, but lets not forget that as we widen the focal distance the actual amount of DoF depends very quickly. MA is only going to compensate for about 1/2in or so at some of the shallowest points - if that. Also take a single step backwards and you'll effectively double the about of in focus area - so any movement is also goign to affect it.
In all my years of teaching workshops - both for still and video - I can't remember the last person I meet that knew what "hyperfocal distance" was, much less one who deliberately composed a photo using it?
It's my guess that most of this guys shots are just like the rest of us - he sees what he wants, composes his frame and shoots. The key is knowing that when he puts a focus point on a specific part of the subject that, that exact part is going to be in focus - no matter how shallow the DoF; and if he needs more in focus - just stop down.
I encourage my students to use a DoF calculator and learn the "amount" that will be in focus and allow for 1/3 in front and 2/3 in back - and don't try to understand "hyperfocal distance" until they have master this simple technique.
The MA settings is ONLY for setting the zero point of that focus point.
#6. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 0
When I returned my first D7000 for focus issues, they had none in the store. When I got the call that they had my replacement in, the Nikon rep was in the store when I went to pick it up. I talked to him about the focus issue. I told him about trying to use the fine tune with no success on my 70-30mm VR and my 80-200mm IF ED f2.8. He told me that the fine tune function is designed for prime lenses and also told me he was unaware ( kind of sheepishly ) of any focus issues with the D7k. I set my 70-300 to tack sharp at 300mm and could not take a photo at 70mm. I have yet to open the new D7k. I have had it for 10 days now and am not really ready for another week or two of frustration. I have read all the posts about " technique " and the such. I am on my 5th Nikon body in 6 years and am still not convinced that I am doing something wrong. I THINK I know enough to know that if I have the camera set up right and am shooting on a monopod with good light and fast shutter speeds, I should be able to get a sharp picture. If I try 3 or 4 different lenses with the same result, I think it is the camera, not my technique.
#9. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 6Mon 13-Dec-10 10:32 PM
Here is the ling with 4 photos with the 16-85 vr.
DSC_0335 is a shot at 16mm Zoom at f3.5,
shutter speed 1/60sec, with flash, and vr on. No use of tripod.
The camera was set at AF-S, single point - central position, normal area (not face priority or wide area) and Jpeg optimum quality-large files. (Same happens with nef files).
The focus point was at the Red mark at the center of the photo (i put it there in photoshop). That area remains blur, but at the photo, the camera has focus at far left area (sharp area). Its look like i focus at the right eye of a person and that eye remains blur but the area between left eye and left ear become sharp.
The other 2 photos 0336 and 0337 are shots at 16mm with f/9 and 11.
The focus at the chart is in the middle of thick line under the central 2 arrows.
The same happens with my 18-55 vr (kit lens) at 18mm zoom range, f3.5. At 35mm and at 55mm the focus is ok.
Same problem with manual focus using the live view.
Its my first dslr and i dont have any expirianse. Also i dont know how to get the exif files and how can i upload them.
I am thinking to take my camera and 2 lenses to service.
Thank you for your help
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
#10. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 9
#11. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 9Mon 13-Dec-10 10:47 PM
If all is as you state, and the is no reason to think otherwise, there is truly an issue.
Looking at the images, there does seem to be quite a bit of back focus, ok, actually it looks like a lot... More than I think the micro-adjust can fix.
And if your seeing the same thing on mre than one lens, then I would say there is defiantly an issue with your body - enough that I might have my local Nikon Rep look at it...
Is it possible to get a link to one of the RAW files?
#12. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 9Tue 14-Dec-10 07:11 AM
>Same problem with manual focus using the live view.
That is interesting.
The "normal" and Live View focus systems in the D7000 (like other Nikon DSLR's) are quite separate. It's odd that the same problem seems to occur using both.
I think we need to start a process of elimination to get any further with this, so...
Try to use a tripod and find a flat target that can be arranged parallel to the camera's sensor. The angled target (as used in your 4th image) will never give a reliable result. Focus on the target, take one image, move the tripod forward a short distance, DON'T RE-FOCUS, take another shot, move the tripod back a little beyond where it started, and repeat. If the first shot is not the sharpest, you have a problem.
#13. "RE: Are you sure about front and back focus?" | In response to Reply # 9Len Shepherd Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003Tue 14-Dec-10 07:45 AM
>Here is the ling with 4 photos with the 16-85 vr.
Lets start with the fourth photo first - the well known web garbage site of which Canon rightly say
Chuck Westfall “I recommend using a flat, detailed target parallel to the focal plane. After reading through the PDF linked from your message, it appears that the author has missed a major point, i.e., any individual focusing point in a digital SLR is much longer than the simple line he is using on his chart. The nature of the AF sensors used by EOS digital SLR’s as well as those from other manufacturers is that they perform most reliably when the entire length of the focusing area sees readable detail. This condition is not satisfied by a thin line on a piece of paper. It's OK to include an angled chart in a test photo. In fact, Canon Factory Service Centers always do this. But the test target is always separate from the angled chart, and parallel to the camera's focal plane”.
Lets look at your other 3 photos.
The central subject appears to be a fine detail reflective subject which can fool AF into focusing at the wrong distance.
Sorry - I cannot quote the D7000 instruction book pages that explain this - but the information is on Nikon's web site at
Based on what you have posted as you have used only test targets capable of fooling AF into focusing at the wrong distance no firm conclusions are possible. The most likely cause of the front and back focus results is less than ideal for testing AF targets, not the lens.
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.
#14. "RE: Are you sure about front and back focus?" | In response to Reply # 13Tue 14-Dec-10 09:11 AM
>Sorry - I cannot quote the D7000 instruction book pages that
The section on "Getting Good Results with Autofocus" is on page 93 of the D7000 manual.
#16. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 0
If you are relatively new to DSLR's, my suggestion would be to stop looking for an equipment issue and work on the technique issues that prevent sharp images. The D7000 is a good camera but settings have room to be tweaked.
Your testing and test conditions are more likely to identify testing errors than equipment errors, so you should either take the gear in for service and a good check, or trust that it is not the camera and work on settings, post processing, and technique. Each of those is a separate topic area worthy of it's own thread.
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#17. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 16Tue 14-Dec-10 03:47 PM
Thank you all, you are so helpfull.
According to settings, in order to make the test i change the AF, to AF-S single point, to the center of the viewfinder. I get instantly sold dot and clear view, but after the shot the focus is away. I know that the light is not good, so i try the flash. The camera placement was about 1meter away from target.
So after all, i sent my camera and the 2 lenses to servise, in order to check them all.
When i have any news i will inform you. Also i will buy a tripode, and try to be better.
#18. "RE: D7000 AND NIKON 16-85 VR BACK-FRONT FOCUS" | In response to Reply # 17Sat 18-Dec-10 07:00 PM
I have just receve my camera and lences from Nikon service.
They calibrate the camera and the lences and now all are ok.
What a relif
Thank you for your advice.