Cannot get d7000 to point autofocus

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Shacklebolt, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    Arrrrrgh! This thing drives me CRAZY. I've been shooting for over half a decade on numerous kinds of camera bodies (D300 mainly), but D7000 is my camera body now and I just cannot get the point autofocus on this damn thing to work! Other cameras? Fine! This? Impossible!

    Let me elaborate: I do not use AF assist. I have it set to AF-C /S or AF-S /S. I can aim at a target that is standing perfectly, perfectly STILL. Push the shutter down half way -- autofocus snaps into place. Then push the button all the way down and

    SOMEHOW IT ENDS UP OUT OF FOCUS. All of the time? No. Too much of the time? Yes!

    I do need to emphasize, I'm not talking about _ruined_ out of focus. I'm talking about the difference between _tack sharp_ and ... just missed.
    It happens constantly with this thing. To the point that I think that there just must be some D7000 setting I'm missing. Because I'm actually... pretty decent at photography. I do not have these kinds of issues with other kinds of Nikon camera bodies.

    What am I missing? Do I HAVE to use autofocus assist to get this damn thing to work right? Because, I'm sorry, but I can't, and I also need to be able to control exactly where it focuses and trust that the little red box in the viewfinder will be where the camera focuses.

    What do I do? What am I missing? Is there some D7000 autofocus technique that I fully admit I might just not be aware of?
  2. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68030


    Oct 29, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Sounds like you have it on the continuous focus method and it's still seeking out focus, just in case the subject moves.

    Everything D7000 has a page about the autofocus system for your assistance.

    Hope it's something really simple.
  3. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    Is it typically to the front or back? Maybe you just need to tweak the focus adjust.
  4. netslacker macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    I'm not sure how long you've had the D7000 but I can tell you that when I moved from a D90 to a D7000 I had to relearn the autofocus system. The two did not behave the same nor as I expected and I had some missed focus shots. It would help if you posted a few shots as examples too. Reviewing shots with exif and focus point data can go a long way to figuring out what the problem is. But right now we'd just be making guesses.

    One thing I found is that an individual focus point covers a pretty large area. Larger than you'd expect. So the point I thought it should focus on was not where the camera was choosing to focus on.
  5. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    I don't have a d7000 but this would be my first thought.

    Try another lens too. In fact, what are you using?
  6. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000


    Jun 5, 2012
    If you're in even marginally decent light with some contrast in your subject, you don't need to use autofocus assist.

    If you've just started using this D7000, I'm wondering if you picked it up used. If so, I would get it checked by Nikon. You may also need to get the lens calibrated if this is always happening with the same lens. If it's happening with more than one lens you obviously have to look to the body as the source of the problem.

    Bottom line it shouldn't be happening with a fully compatible lens.

    ~ Peter
  7. Sarmiento macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2011
    I own the D7000 and I too experienced the issue with some lenses. My problem was more evident with prime lenses.

    I researched and ended up utilizing the AF Fine Tune feature in the menu settings. It allows you to fine tune the focus to each specific lens. I'm very happy with the results.

    They sell templates to help with the adjustments. You basically tweak the settings until you find the optimal focus setting. They go from -20 to +20. Most of mine had to be adjusted in the -10 to -18 area.
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Spyder LensCal being one if you want to buy one.
  9. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    I often shoot in horrendously bad light and cannot use the autofocus assist. For the type of shooting I do (performance, often) it is considered unprofessional to do so.

    But though it would be nice if the autofocus worked even marginally consistently in truly bad light, my problem is the inconsistency in perfectly bright light -- sometimes with flash, even.

    That said, I was unaware about the AF fine tune function, and looks like that's definitely the best route to go for now. I'm going off of a video I found on YouTube that seems helpful.
  10. rx7dude macrumors regular


    Mar 29, 2011
    +1. I have a D7000 as well. Same problem. One of my lens ended up at -18.
  11. deep diver macrumors 65816

    deep diver

    Jan 17, 2008
    Solon, OH
    I have a D7000 and have not had this problem. While it might be a body problem, I would definitely look at the lenses first.
  12. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    Update: Using fine tuning worked so well that I'm very annoyed I didn't figure it out sooner. -20 for two lenses, -11 for the third.

    It's definitely the body.
  13. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    Every body and lens is going to be slightly different. If a given body is effectively +10 and a lens is -10 then they will be spot on. When you use a different body it might be -5 and now in combination with the above lens you are at -15.

    The tolerances are so little that it is easy to be off a bit.

    Oh, what did you use to calibrate the system?
  14. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    Perpendicular 10 dollar bill (has some very fine text on it) from roughly 4 feet with the 50 f/1.4, @1.4. (Similar system for 17-55 2.8 and 70-200 2.8). Tripod, and used timed shutter release anyway, just to eliminate any semblance of vibration. Graph paper to tell if I was backfocusing or not.
  15. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
  16. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    Yeah, absolutely unreal how huge of a difference this made. I feel like a freaking moron for not figuring it out sooner. Thanks for the help all.

    That said, I'm guessing it's not normal to have a camera backfocus so badly as to require the AF fine tune to be at its maximum setting for two different lenses. But whatever -- I'm happy for now.

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