Yes, yes, I'm embarrassed to admit that I, too, have doubts about my D7000's focusing. And yes, I have thoroughly read the instruction manual (as well as having owned many other Nikon DSLRs).
So here's my question to add to the many others: Is it possible for one lens that focuses accurately on my other Nikons to not focus properly on the D7000? Specifically, my 16-85mm F/4-5.6 VR is unpredictable (sometimes the focused image is soft or slightly blurred) on the D7000, whereas it was always tact sharp on my D60 and D90. Additionally, all other lenses seem to focus properly on the D7000, but only the 16-85mm is sometimes sharp, sometimes not. And no, this is an operator-error/knucklehead issue.
Jumping ahead and assuming the D7000 and 16-85mm don't play nice together, can I correct the problem through the AF Fine-Tune function? I've read here that it's impossible to fine- tune a zoom because of it's multiple focal lengths. True?
First, I would clean the lens contacts again. Then, I would try fine tunning the lens on the D7000. Doing this accurately is supposed to be extremely hard. But, I would just take a series of + and - settings pictures from a TriPod with a remote of the same subject with the same f-stop, ISO, speed, etc. and pick the one I like. You might want to do this with both the extreme focal lengths or only the one you use most.
>First, I would clean the lens contacts again. >Then, I would try fine tunning the lens on the D7000. >Doing this accurately is supposed to be extremely hard. >But, I would just take a series of + and - settings pictures > from a TriPod with a remote of the same subject >with the same f-stop, ISO, speed, etc. and pick the one I >like. >You might want to do this with both the extreme focal lengths >or only the one you use most.
Thanks, but it's my understanding is that fine-tuning for one focal length will miscalibrate all the other lengths on a zoom. Conversely, it would seem nearly impossible to try to get every length between 16-85mm dead-on.
Assuming the problem isn't dirty contacts, I still question how one lens can be off on one specific camera.
>I found with my 16-85vr on the D7000 the VR was sometimes >slow to stabilize, leading to some out of focus shots. The >solution was obviously to wait until the image came to rest in >the viewrfinder. > >IMO if the lens produces sharp images at all then there is no >point in fine tuning, which in my experience is only useful >for long fast primes. > >I suggest you do some "brick wall" testing, VR on >and off, see if you can pinpoint the conditions causing the >problem. >
I think you may be on to something. While the blurry photos don't appear to be motion related, I haven't pixel-peeked to verify. I will try both "brick walling" as well as testing things at high shutter speeds to see if there is variation.
I couldn't get my D7000 to play nicely and consistently with my 16-85 lens, regardless of AF fine tuning. What looked good at 16mm hyperfocal distance (landscapes) was off at 35mm and quite horrible at 85mm. The best compromise I could find was fine tune the lens for 85mm focal length to a 2m subject distance and then focus "an armlength" in front of anything that was supposed to be in focus at all the shorter focal lengths.
After having to throw away some of my favourite landscape scenes from a recent vacation due to whatever focus issues the lens had, I was frustrated enough to diss the combo altogether.
Two days ago I traded my D90 in for the D7000 and kept my 16-85mm Nikon lense. I loved the feel of the D7000 camera and the fast focusing but all my photos came out so soft looking, I tried different focusing options but no luck. I don't think it was so much as a focusing problem with the D7000 it was like the photos were so much softer looking and that was with Raw or Jpeg. I finally took back the camera yesterday and got my much loved and trusted D90 back, photos are certainly much crisper again. I would love to buy the D7000 but until I find out why or what makes the photos so soft I will stick to my trusted old D90
>>What AF settings are you using? >> >>Also what types of shots are coming out blurry. Some >targets >>are nortorious for fooling AF systems. Any chance of >posting >>an example with EXIF info. >> >>Jason > > >Thanks for the inquiry Jason, but I know what I'm doing in >these areas.
I wouldn't quickly discount the possibility (remote though it may be) that a correctable error is happening. I am sure photographers with decades of experience still make occasional inadvertent errors.
Ultimately this doesn't sound like an issue with your camera, all other lenses focus fine, and your focus issue is not consistent, it occurs from time to time. If a lens or camera body is front or back focusing it would do so all the time, not occasionally.
Even if this was a prime lens, I am not sure how you would use AF fine tune to correct a focus issue that only happens from time to time.
>I wouldn't quickly discount the possibility (remote though it >may be) that a correctable error is happening. I am sure >photographers with decades of experience still make occasional >inadvertent errors.
Good point - I certainly do
>Even if this was a prime lens, I am not sure how you would use >AF fine tune to correct a focus issue that only happens from >time to time.