Hi. I am a new Nikon owner and have recently traded up to a D600 from my old SONY A700. I am a hobbyist and am learning as I go. Purchased a D600 and a 70MM-200 2.8 VRII and a 50mm 1.8.
Bought a lens cal chart and tested my lenses over a couple of days and my 70-200MM requires a -9 micro focus adjust and my 50mm requires a -5 adjust. A bit of fringing on my 50mm and not nearly as sharp as the zoom. Should it be similarly sharp?
Is this in spec or should I try another body (and try and do better). IT seemed to me with a $5K purchase, the tolerances should be tighter.
Want some real world advice. I'm still within the return / exchange window.
I have had two D600 bodies (thankfully no spotting issues - had electrical glitch in 1st body) and both were fine tuned to all of my lenses with lens align at Fort Worth Camera.
Each body had substantially different adjustments required. First one needed NO adjustment on 24-85mm VR kit lens; but second needed -8 - just as an example.
Other posts indicate sometimes a second lens adjustment test in different light is a help when the adjustment fails to yield sharp photos.
I am certain you can find in a search LOTS of info on the shooting discipline required by the D600 (& D800 & D7000 etc) and this my aid you in being sure that your 50mm is or is not focusing with this body correctly.
The D600 IMO is an excellent body, and your 50mm 1.8 is well regarded by many folks whose judgement I trust.
Hi. Thanks fir the detailed response. Sounds like my D600 body is within spec. So, you recommend not swapping it out.
The 50mm is soft when testing in a tripod during the lens align test. I used the timer to snap. Yes. It's a 10th of the price of my VRII but should I e PE t it to look a fair bit softer? And yes, I'm working on my technique.
The 50mm will not be as sharp at 1.8 as the zoom at 2.8. But the 50 sharpens up quickly when stopping down a little to be very very good. There 2 different 1.8 50s. The older D version had a lot of fringing wide open but was very good by f2.8.. The newer G version is better at all apertures Stan St Petersburg Russia
Having read a LOT of posts on the subject, talked with the Nikon shop tech who does this work, and personal experience, I would say: "Yes, those figures are within normal tolerance".
You did not ask, but I would encourage you to take it outside (or inside but outside your home) and try lots of different lighting and shooting solutions; use it handheld, on the tripod, on a beanbag, leaned up against a pillar, whatever, and experiment with what works for you. IOW - develop your own feel and knowledge base. Advice is useful, and on this forum generally polite and patient, but experience is the best teacher. Enjoy the D600! It will be a new experience, and occasionally "wow" you with its qualities.
If the focus tuning corrected the back focusing (assuming your testing was valid), then why would you want to return a camera that is now focusing correctly with your lenses? Sounds like the focus tuning feature worked as it should. No?
My dealer was happy to give me a new D600, so I took it and tested it with my same lenses. The second D600 was worse!! My lenses were up to -11 and -16. I wondered if my next lens might be off the charts.
Bottom line, I returned it for my original D600 and will stay put! I assumed a new Nikon would be more tightly QC'd with autofocus.
None the less, I'm still very pleased.
Thanks for all the advice. No need to try a third.
>You didn't answer my question. Did the first camera focus >satisfactorily *after* you made the focus tuning adjustments? Yes. I'm happy to get closer to zero so that I have more tolerance with other less ideal lenses I may add down the road.
AF Fine Tune is precarious at best for prime lenses. Add in a zoom, it gets much more complicated unless you typically shoot at nearly the same distances and zoom levels. The following are all rhetorical questions and food for thought.
How do you know your testing and findings were correct?
Do your settings change at different distances or when the color temperature and brightness of the light changes?
You have only one setting for a lens. How does your one setting affect focus at the rest of the zoom range and distance settings? Did it change your focus at infinity anyplace within the range?
For me and a zoom, I'd test at probably at five different zoom settings at three focus distances, three times. That's 45 separate test. And if the results were not consistent, I'd have do much of it or all of it all over.
Then with consistent results I'd have to figure how I could best use the single setting I have.
So for me - I go and get some experience with the gear. If I start to see or feel something is not right then I try and locate the trouble area. Then I'll test. I don't look for solutions before I have a problem.
Oh and your 50mm f/1.8 - it is soft at 1.8 and doesn't really sharpen up till f/2.8. Take the same photos of a subject about 2 feet away at 1.8, 2.0, 2.8 and 4.0, and with a background more than six feet away. I think you'll be amazed at the difference.
I was testing mine d600 with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AF D Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 AF D Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 AF D Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 AF All lens need AF Fine Tune in amount from -14 to -20. Nikon repair center said that these lens are 'old' and they are not able to recalibrate it so I have to send camera body. Will let you know when it comes back.