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Thanks to Dom Bower (Dom's Twitter, Dom's YouTube) for being a guest in this video!  Here's a question from a reader about his D7000 and autofocus.  It seems the AF system isn't working correctly in his camera, so Dom and I go over a few things to test before sending it in for service.  Have you ever had problems with AF in your camera before?  What was the resolution?

Hi Greg,

I have recently been having some Auto-Focus problems, well, I've only recently noticed! It's amazing how the more you shoot, the more you get into Photography, the more you pay attention to the smallest details...

However, back to the topic! lol... I remembered you did a video on Auto-Focusing, and that how you should utilise all your focus points etc, and then there was a minor debate about the focus points within the comments section whereby a viewer was stating that the higher end D3, D3S etc... have more Cross-Type Focus points than the lower end models.

I found recently that my D7000 has been Back-Focusing. Can be quite frustrating as I compose the shot, select the focus point, half-press the shutter, it seems to lock-in, I shoot, then check on the Screen at the back, looks ok... then I zoom in all the way and I see the subject is soft and the back is in sharp focus... incredibly frustrating...

Upon my research, I have found various information.

-I was told it could be the lens needing recalibrating, which means I have to send back to Sigma etc. 

-The camera itself needs calibrating, and that I can do some Fine Tuning within my camera.

-Or put simply that my camera doesn't have as many Cross-Type Focus Points and therefore is not as accurate on --some areas.

However, my question to you is, my various lenses back-focus at different focal lengths, and focal distances.

For instance, I used my 50mm f/1.4 on a subject roughly 3 metres away (I know it's not the ideal lens for a Portrait, however it's all I can afford at the moment), and then I found the subject incredibly soft. However, same lens but for a head shot at a distance of half a meter, incredibly sharp.

Similarly, my Sigma at 17mm, it struggled to focus in correctly. I Zoomed into around 24mm and it seemed sharp

To you, does this sound like a Fine Tuning fix or sending lenses back for re-calibration?

It's incredibly frustrating having differnt focusing at different focal/lengths and distances. I would've assumed it would be sharp throughout.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Also, it is an another idea for a video to do some AF-Fine Tuning. Could be a follow up to your Auto-Focus video.

Many thanks.


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0 # Sudheer 2011-12-15 16:25
I had the exact same problem. The lens used to back focus when the subject was around 6-7ft and when shooting at focal length 17-30mm. I sent the camera for service and they fixed it.
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0 # Sudheer 2011-12-15 16:27
Forgot to mention, I have the same camera D7000
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0 # Olaf Kleemeyer 2011-12-15 17:50
I own a D700 and every time I thougt, one of my lenses would be defocused, it was my fault in the end. I had one real issue with a Sigma 24mm 1.8, but I changed it to a Nikkor 24mm 2.8 and everything went fine. My suggestion is to put the camera on a tripod and do some test-shots. In my experience, in 99 percent it´s not the lens or the camera. Maybe it´s different with the D7000, which I never used.
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0 # VicePhoto 2011-12-15 18:11
That 8th time I hear about the issue on d7000 with 70-200 2.8 VR II
I had this Camera for two weeks and indeed all pictures i shot with my 70-200 were out of focus.
There is micro ajustment in d7000
But even if you set it to -20 its not enogh...
I returned the camera to the store.
If you have the same problem, let the Nikon ppl deal with that....
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0 # Terry Bailey 2011-12-15 20:01
Sadly, I have the same D7000 focus issue here. Mine seems to be intermittent which only adds to the frustration. I recently read where some people have boiled part of the issue down to a mirror/vibratio n issue, as well as the back-focus problems.

I'm sick about it, and sending it in to Nikon SOON. - Here's hoping they can fix it!!
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0 # Sinisa 2011-12-16 04:09
Same thing here, same camera d7000.
I sent mine to Nikon service, waiting for results.
More and more peoples report same issue with this camera ,
" Auto-focus problem". Hm....
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0 # Sinisa 2011-12-16 04:16
And yes, I use single-focus point in 99% of situations, and yes I use Nikon glass.
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0 # Leo Hoang 2011-12-16 05:17
Hi all! This was my email Greg and Dom was responding too... outcome of my scenarion, in the shortest way possible!

I AF-Tuned 2 of my lenses to -6 50mm f/1.4, and -7 for Sigma 17-50 f/2.8. I haven't checked my 3rd lens yet as I rarely turn to it, and whenever I have in the past, never noticed.

But as both lenses needed calibrating to roughly the same compensation level, I feel my camera has an issue. If they were at -2 I wouldn't have worried so much. But I feel -7 is quite a big jump.

I'll send it off in 2012 once Xmas is over and hopefully it's permanently sorted.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook if you can! I'll keep you updated.
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0 # Sav 2011-12-16 05:32
Hey all,

I think it's worth pointing out that all cameras/lenses are built within tolerances - very tight tolerances yes, however there is inevitably a small amount of variation during manufacture. If you match a body and lens which are both at the "extreme" end of acceptable tolerances, it's possible that your focus can be off, hence the need for MA. I don't use a D7000 so can't speak about the specific issues here.

Another practice that can result on mis-focused shots is the use of focus-and-recom pose - this will almost always result in the focus point being behind or infront of the subject. At longer focal lengths/smaller apertures this is less of an issue, but can make a big difference shooting with fast primes.

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0 # Espen 2011-12-16 13:45
I also have the D7000. I have calibrated my 35mm 1.8 to -15 and my 50mm 1.4 to -16. I have a few other lenses I intend to calibrate as well, but I have a feeling they will come out at around -15 too. Looks like an issue with the body.
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0 # Reuben Yau 2011-12-20 12:07
I'm having similar issues with an 18mo old D90 and a 50mm f/1.4G that's only 3 months old. Sometimes it will focus fine, then other times I hear the AF motor lock on, press the shutter and the resulting image is in focus about 3 to 4 inches behind spot where I aimed.

It feels like it's the lens because I will half press the shutter button 3 or 4 times and the AF will adjust itself most times, but not every time.
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0 # Aaron Berls 2011-12-20 12:07
Topic: Website creation geared toward photographers looking to start a business on the internet. From domain registration, web hosting companies that are free to reasonable, pitfalls related to web hosting companies, recommended web design programs, to eCommerce, marketing photos on line, etc with the beginner in mind.

Love the website.
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0 # fiod 2011-12-23 11:23
D7000 has a manufacturing defect manifested by the FF, BF, and oil spots on the matrix. I know a man who replaced D7000 5 times and still the same problem.
This problem occurs on F 1.4 - 2.8 glass. On the rest problem is smaller.
Nikon has changed the mechanism for lifting the mirror in the D7000. If you have this model I suggest is quickly return it or sell it, firmware update not help, because the defect is in construction.
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0 # Sinisa 2011-12-24 10:39
They sent me camera from service, but auto focus issue is still there.
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0 # fiod 2011-12-27 20:59
Sell D7000 and buy D90 or D300s is a proven body. D7000 has a manufacturing defect with autofocus.
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0 # Sinisa 2011-12-28 03:44
They replaced a camera body,I think that this one is ok.
But if problem persist, I will do that. Thanks
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0 # ImageX 2012-01-08 04:32
I purchased a factory reconditioned D7000 and have had zero issues with it. I'm thinking Nikon had a whole stock of these to move due the AF issues upon release. Mine only had 2000 shots on it.
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