Is D7000 really that bad?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jon_reisegg, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. I'm reading with astonishment a number of forums where people are complaining about the D7000, in particular the focus system seems to cause a lot of problems. I have just received mine, and must admit that the focus system is quite advanced with a number of settings where you easily can go wrong. I also see that a number of the D7000s are returned to Nikon for fixing the problem and are reported ok when they come back, which tells me that it must have been something wrong.
    My question is if all these complaints about focus issues are real or if this simply are user errors. And if they are real, how can I test mine to see if I have something to worry about?
     
  2. i have had the d7000 for about 9 months now. never really had any focus problems other than user error and a few dust spots, (wet cleaned once). i have used it with both af-s, af-d nikon lenses and tamron and sigma glass. its my third, and best nikon dslr to date. you do need to take a little more care regarding its pixel density, ( 16 mp is a lot for a small sensor). a lot of people that have problems are those that have gone all out to look for them . if you are happy with its performance in a real world situation then there is no point in shooting test charts and nit picking for the sake of it. enjoy your camera, its a classic.
     
  3. Most but not all of the complaints are from nincompoops. Don't go looking for problems, if you haven't experienced them in the real world.
     
  4. I strongly believe a lot is user error. It took me about a year or so to really grasp the various options of the AF on my D300, and certainly more time to get the "best" out of it (it's so competent that I guess I do not come close to its best). I've read many messages like the ones you describe, and I usually get the impression it's the type of buyer that think "I bought a better body, so now I should get better photos". And they leave most on auto - and don't study which setting does what. It simply does not work that way - the more advanced body ask you to invest quite a bit more time in getting the best out of them, and they tend to require more that you set your settings right. Less soft cushions to bail you out.
    It's a bit the same as some forums being full of back- or frontfocussing lenses. I tested for it once after getting the idea one of my lenses was a bit off. Turned out to be my error, and with tiny DoF, I could have known it was more likely me. But sometimes it is easier to blame the equipment, as fixing yourself has a bit more of a learning curve ;-)
    So, if I'd have a D7000 I just happily use it, and if you have problems, investigate whatever causes them and resolve that.
     
  5. I'm getting ready to buy a second D7000, because it's nice to have two identical bodies on the occasions when I shoot events. I must have missed the many forums in which people are complaining. Could you provide some links?
    As to testing methods, I only test cameras and lenses by shooting with them, but a good source of information and materials for simple formal tests of focus is provided by Bob Atkins, an administrator and contributor on photo.net who also has many helpful things in his own site. Here is his article on focus testing .
     
  6. It's usually a poorly skilled craftsman who blames his tools. At 16mp, there are lots of opportunities for unsharp shots...usually rooted in poor shooting technique, operator error, or dodgy glass.
    And if they are real, how can I test mine to see if I have something to worry about?​
    After reading the part in the manual about what kind of subject and conditions AF needs to work correctly, try some test shots from a solid rest, like a good tripod. Use AF-S single shot/single servo, not continuous AF-C, which can drift. Use a high enough shutter speed to eliminate camera/mirror vibration as a cause of unsharpness. Use a quality lens fairly wide open so DoF doesn't mask the actual focus point. Use as low an ISO as possible to eliminate high ISO NR and noise as issues. Use the center focus point. Vary the subject distance from up close to medium distance. Print the test shots (Monitors don't have nearly the resolution of a print. If you feel the temptation to zoom in with your monitor, resist it and print bigger instead). Look at the prints, ignoring the edges and anything else that wasn't near the focus point. Now try it again using manual focus with live view and up to 6.7x zoom on the LCD to help get the MF just right. Does the focus point in the prints look different? If not, you're good to go.
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    First of all, it is very typical that 3% to 5% of any consumer electronics to have some problems and may require warranty repair, including any Nikon DSLR model and the D7000 is no exception. Even for higher-end DX-format DSLRs such as the D300 and D7000, Nikon must have sold over a million units. 4% of 1M is 40K defective units. Even 1% of those 40K owners post the various forums, you'll see a lot of complaints (not just AF).
    On this forum, we have had a number of threads on D300 and D7000 problems, including various AF issues. If you only read those threads, anybody would conclude that Nikon makes very lousy DSLRs. However, my experience is quite the opposite. Every Nikon DSLR I have owned since the D2X has excellent AF capability: D2X, D300, D700, and D7000. I also had opportunity to test D300S, D3, D3S, D3X, and D800 samples; every unit I get to use is excellent.
    The Multi-CAM 3500 (on all D3, D4, D300, D700, and D800 models) and Multi-CAM 4800 (D7000) are complex AF systems that require some effort to understand. Apparently some users simply don't bother to spend the time. Back in 2007 when I first bought my D300 as soon as it was available, it took me a few weeks to learn and experiment with its various AF options, and I have been using Nikon SLRs for over 30 years and AF for like 20 years.
    Currently, the D7000 is my camera of choice for capturing hummingbirds. Their erratic flight pattern is extremely challenging to the AF system. Yet, for me, it is quite routine to get mostly sharp images with the D7000, similar with using the D300, D700, and D800. Another additional issue is that the D7000 and D800 have very dense pixels. When people pixel peep, it is easy to notice that images are not entirely sharp. Therefore, it is predictable that there would be a lot of complaints about various AF issues on the D800. If you read DPReview forums, that is exactly what you will find. I am afraid that it will be even worse for the 24MP, DX format D3200.
    The image below was captured with the D7000 at ISO 1600; that is why you need some noise. However, after I down sample, the 8.5 x 11 print looks great to me.
    00aT7a-472087584.jpg
     
  8. Operator error ---- as usual...
     
  9. Thank you Guys. You all confirm my suspicions, - and exactly DPReview is the source for my concern. That's also the reason why I posted here and not on DPReview.
     
  10. I really like that shot, Shun!
    Just in case I wasn't clear above, the reason I'm getting a second D7000 is that I like the one I have. The D7000 has been the best DSLR of those I've used: D50, D90, D300. It's possible that you were led to think it has serious problems not only by reports from incompetent shooters, as several have suggested above, but from topic lines such as, "Is the D7000 really that bad?" Posing questions in this way is something to avoid, because it suggests facts for which there is no evidence. Consider: "Is your Representative a crook?" As it happens, ours is definitely not, she's excellent, but enough questions like that can create a negative impression.
     
  11. I agree that in many cases the "problems" are user errors. The AF systems on Nikon higher end bodies have become quite sophisticated and they require some study and practice before one can hope to use them properly. When I first got my D300, the 51 point AF and the various ways to use it did take me a while to get used to; but now, it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Though I mostly use single point AF, non continuous, on the occasions I've used they system's full capability I have been quite impressed. I don't have the link, but Thom Hogan did a review of the D300 (pretty sure) wherein he went into great detail about learning to use the Mult-Cam 3500 AF system, and that helped me a lot.
     
  12. Sorry if I make negative impressions about a great camera. I love it already and was just surprised about all the negative discussions in DPReview. I have got my answer and this tread may well be deleted by the facilitator.
     
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Jon, it is not merely DPReview, on this very forum, there are a number of threads on D7000 AF problems:
    just to name a few of such threads. I also notice that some members rarely post to this forum but they never miss a thread on D7000 AF issues. While I am sure that a few D7000 cameras are indeed defective, the same exaggeration is repeated over and over.
    If you search around, you will also find similar threads on D300 problems. And as I said, on DPReview, there are already lots of threads on D800 "AF problems."
    However, my experience is that AF works great on all of those cameras. Why don't you try out your own new D7000 and see what your experience is.
     
  14. I did notice one complaint from many D7000 owners that I think is legitamate, it really is easy to rotate the dial on top unintentionally. I heard this complaint a few times before it happened to me.
    My only minor complaint of a fantastic camera.
    I was also guily of disapointment through pixel peeping when I first got the camera. But once you print at 24x36 and love the results including detail and sharpness it's easy to fall in love with this camera.
     
  15. Last year I decided to buy two D300s refurbs, I gave the D7000 a look, but I quickly passed because of the dial on top that I so often inadvertently nudged on my D70s during important event coverage. Never have to think about it with the D300s.
     
  16. I've had a D7000 for about 1 1/2 years, and these are my observations on the AF:
    AF precision/accuracy is very dependent on the lens used. Lenses with high powered AF-S motors (typically the Nikon pro grade lenses) typically very good about consistently being in good focus. The consumer AF-S lenses are often hit or miss, as are AF-D lenses. This isn't an AF tuning issue, because the miss focus isn't consistent (front/back). It's not a lens adjustment issue either, because focus is very good with my D200.
    This leads me to believe that AF software and algorithms for the D7000 limits the time the camera can take to focus before the shutter fires (even in focus priority). The way that AF is done in DSLRs is not pure closed loop control, and can have a significant close enough factor. It makes the camera feel like it has very snappy AF, with the price that some shots are out of focus.
    I'll also mention that after 6 months of using µ4/3 cameras, their consistent, reliable, precise AF (only done in live view) is a revelation. In the no free lunch category, they are a little weak in fast moving subjects.
     
  17. It's usually a poorly skilled craftsman who blames his tools.
    With a couple of exceptions, your photo.net portfolio images appear to have nearly infinite depth of field. I think few photographers would report AF issues if they mostly used f/11 or f/16. :)
    To the OP: I used the D7000 for about six months and this is my experience. The camera is capable of outstanding image quality at low ISO, on tripod, with live view manual focus and lens stopped down to close to its optimum aperture. I especially liked the results I got with it in close-up and macro photography (using 85mm PC-E and 200/4D AF Micro). However, I also wanted to use it for telephoto work to extend the range of my 70-200/2.8 II and 200/2 lenses (I used 12MP FX as my main cameras at the time and these lenses had a lot of unused resolution potential). I got generally good results in bright light with the 70-200 (sometimes excellent results) when stopped down to f/4 but when used at or near their maximum apertures, the focus was erratic and I got a low percentage of keepers. Other people may have similar or different experiences depending on their shooting style, the aesthetic they aim for, the subjects they photograph and the lighting conditions, and of course the familiarity with the characteristics of the camera can help too. There are a number of factors that can lead to less good AF results: the use of screwdriver lenses instead of AF-S, the use of far off-center AF points instead of the cross-type points in the center of the array, the use of wide apertures, hand-holding instead of having the camera on tripod, and so on. I use off-center points a lot, together with wide apertures, and know that these are contributing factors, but I cannot achieve the aesthetic that I'm seeking for in the final picture consistently in any other way. As an example, this picture was shot at 280mm, at f/3.5, on an FX camera, and it displays a composition and background blur that I like:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilkka_nissila/7296317598/sizes/o/in/photostream/
    The face is positioned quite close to the top edge, so this would be ideal for DX with its far off-center focus points, and using DX I could take off the TC which causes a degree of image quality degradation (due to flare at high contrast boundaries, for example). But in this situation if I had used the D7000 the AF would not have coped with the aperture required to get this level of background blur (f/2?) even when the lens is on tripod for stability. That was the result of my testing last summer, I recall getting as bad as 10% in-focus rate at f/2 at this same stage. This was not a focus fine tune issue - when I tested the camera and lens in "home lab" conditions I got zero average focus error. Given that I can easily pull this shot off on FX I ended up selling the D7000. I am not sure if this was such a good move but I made a promise and I couldn't take it back.
    However, the story continues; the photographer who bought my D7000 reported a couple of months later that when he took the camera to service for sensor cleaning, parts of the autofocus system (including the sub-mirror assembly and other parts) were replaced in the service (free of charge). Since it's no longer my camera, unfortunately I have no way of knowing if the changes/repair were effective in solving the issue that I had. I hope so.
    Returning to the OP's question. If your camera functions properly for the subjects and situations that you use it in, just keep using it and enjoy. If you have systematic difficulties in obtaining good focus in some situations, you can either try another camera such as a D300s, D700 (or D800, if available for testing) and see where that gets you in the same circumstances, or ask Nikon service to test your D7000.
    I think it was Bob Atkins who once said something to the effect that if you don't have a real-world problem, don't measure anything. Chances are that if you measure/test/compare something you will find something (even if it is a little thing) that you do not like. ;-) For example I once was foolish enough to do a focus test on a lens and noticed that the right most points gave a focus offset compared to the center points. I spun the camera around 180 degrees around the lens tripod collar, refocused and reshot the test images with the camera upside down. The focus offset between the two sensor points was gone. It was simply the case that I was requiring a greater precision than the AF system was built to handle ... there are mechanical components that move (the mirror system) and they are within position only within some tolerance. This can mean that there is a focus error that varies from shot to shot as the mirror jumps up and down - it is never twice in the same place with atomic scale precision ;-) You just have to accept that there is a level of precision that the system is built to handle and use it within its limitations.
     
  18. Ups, the corresponding aperture using DX and f = 200mm is approximately f/2.5, not f/2. At f/2.5 the percentage of in focus shots is certainly better than 10%, but still good results required more shots and greater effort than a similar picture with FX.
     
  19. Without regard to the long list of answers above, let's cut to the quick. Bruce had it right at the start: nincompoops, he said.
    Do companies like Nikon and Canon and the others ever make a big mistake and release a piece of s**t? Very rarely, I'd say.
    I have seen complaints about AF back to the late 1980s when it all started. I have seen plenty of evidence, both anecdotal and in the form of objective tests of these cameras, that the biggest single problem with any auto-focus system is the USER.
    AF is a wonderful thing, but it does not eliminate the responsibility of the user to learn how to use it and to use it to get the appropriate part of the image in focus. It's wonderful that it works as well as it does for so many different situations and subjects, but it is not a substitute for the human eye and brain, working together.
    It's actually necessary to either learn how to use AF or to hobble it down to a one-sensor mode that you can understand. Or just use manual focus.
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the camera, but in ourselves.
    Now, get the hell off my lawn.
     
  20. who said the D7K is bad? I have had one for eight months and think it is very good. THe operator may be bad, but not the camera...
     
  21. 99.9% of the time focusing errors are user errors. Had my D7000 for a year with no focusing problems using 4 lenses. Any OOF was my problem.
     
  22. I've used my D7000 with several AF-D and AF-S type lenses, and have had no problems with auto focusing that could be attributed to the camera's AF system rather than other factors.
    My experience is similar to that of Bruce Rubenstein explained in his post above: the D7000s autofocus system appears to limit the maximum time to focus before the shutter fires, such that some shots of difficult subjects taken with slow-to-focus AF-D lenses at their widest apertures do miss. But this doesn't happen very often, and the snappy autofocus is an advantage in most usual circumstances.
     
  23. bms

    bms

    D7000, terrible camera, all my shots have a 2 second delay until focus locks and then they are blurred..... No wait, I just realized the camera is set to 2 s self timer and Manual 1/15 at f2.8..... sound familiar?
    Jokes aside, just fine tunes the AF on my D7000, I think I had one or two lenses that needed quite an adjustment..... but other than that, no issues.
     
  24. Thanks to all responders for your positive assessments of the D7000. I've been using my D80 since I bought it years ago and, while I think it's still a great camera, I'm eagerly awaiting my D7000 from B&H, due to arrive in a few more days. Shun's statement, two times in as many forums, that it was his "DX camera of choice" gives me great confidence that I made a good decision.
     
  25. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Despite its some other shortcomings, such as a slower frame rate and slower memory write speed, I prefer the D7000 over the D300 for one reason: high ISO results. The hummingbird image happens to be a great example. Had I used the D300, ISO 1600 results would be not very acceptable. At the pixel level, the D7000 may look noisy, but after down sampling, the 8.5x11 print looks very good.
    With only 12MP, the D300 does not have nearly as much room for down sampling.
    BTW, in the US, there is now a $100 rebate on the D7000, making the final cost around $1100, same as before the Thai flood last October. So the D7000 is a very good deal now. However, it is approaching 2 years old and there are speculations that it may be updated in the next year or so.
     
  26. NOT a statement on any of the posting individuals on this topic specifically (so don't flame me), but have you noticed how many times the people that gripe about their equipment turn out to be lousy artists with a camera? They go into meticulous detail gleaned from pixel-peeping about their supposed problem and then you see their work and you think for goodness sake learn how to use photography to create competent looking pictures before you criticize the tools.
     
  27. Focus works just fine on the Nikon D7000 if you feed it enough light, and take note of the cautionary AF warnings on page 93 of the User Manual. Pay attention to the first example. It was a big issue with me. For example, shooting under the canopy of a rain forest with a 16-85mm f.3.5-5.6, where the light is dim, and everything is one shade of green or another, my focus results were not stellar, to say the least. Mount a Nikon 17-55mm f2.8 and things change miraculously for the better. The D7000 likes fast lenses and/or lots of light, but nothing is perfect.
     
  28. Wow, 3 pages of comments and almost everyone blames the user.
    For whatever its worth, I happen to agree with Illka, while the D7000 has a great AF in normal light and normal apertures (F\4 & up), at normal focal distances (100mm and below), I personally shoot extensively with the 85mm F/1.4, 70-200mm F/2.8, 300mm F/2.8 and primarily shoot those lenses wide open, and I find the D7000 to have focus issues 50-80% of the time at those settings.
    I'm basing my opinions shooting 3 D7000 bodies side by side with a D800 body. Like I said, anything at F/4 and up, the D7000 hits 90-100% of time. On the 24mm F/1.4G and the 85mm F/1.4G @ F/1.4, the D7000 has consist issues hitting focus, even when locked off on a tripod even when the subject is static, even across 3 bodies. Same issue with the 70-200mm on the long end at F/2.8 and the 300mm F/2.8 VR at F/2.8. Slapped the D800 body on and I could not get it to miss. That's not user error, that a camera's limitations.
    While I have no doubt user error, and a very small percentage of camera defects plays a lot in the D7000's reputation of having a weak AF system, in my personal experience in a controlled tested environment over 3 bodies, that the D7000 does have a weak AF with long fast glass shot wide open and low light scenarios. Doesn't mean those things can't be worked around, but after I shot with my D800 for 24hrs, I refuse to ever pick up a D7000 ever again, because for the kind of shooting I do, the D800 is the difference between getting sharp shots 90% of the time, versus getting sharp shots 10% of the time.
    As long as you plan to shoot normal glass at normal apertures or are willing to deal with a few focus misses on faster glass when you shoot it wide open, the D7000 will treat you great.
     
  29. Careful what you say, Skyler. You will soon be told by the powers that be that shooting wide open is that user error. :)
    Seriously, thanks for reporting your experience.
     
  30. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Ilkka and Skyler, the two of you frequently have uncommon experiences. :)
    My experience with the D7000 is quite different. I captured the attached sample with the D7000 and the 50mm/f1.8 AF-S wide open at f1.8 inside a restaurant, so I used ISO 1600. I lose some sharpness simply by using the 50mm f1.8 wide open and at a high 1600 ISO. The kid was playing with an iPad, and the light from the iPad lights up his face. I focused on his left eye (closer to the camera), and as far as I can tell, AF accuracy can hardly be any better.
    The Multi-CAM 4800 AF module on the D7000 has only 9 cross-type AF points, namely the 9 in the center of the frame in a 3x3 matrix. Under low light, I typically only use one of those nine for the best AF accuracy. When you use any one of the outside line type AF points, AF will tend to hunt under dim light and your accuracy suffers. The Multi-CAM 3500 on the D300/D300S and all Nikon FX-format DSLRs so far have 15 cross-type AF points. That gives you a little more room to work around, but I still find them too concentrated in the center of the frame, especially on FX bodies.
    00aTb1-472545584.jpg
     
  31. Lol, what can I say?
    Well, not to be nit picky, but your subject does happen to have a bright light in his eye (where you focused). Most of the people I focus on in low light don't exactly have a large, bright, object reflecting in their eye which no doubt aids the AF system lock focus. That being said I will admit I do not always think to use the cross focus points when shooting in low light, but then again I doubt the OP or most of the people on this forum are even aware which points are the cross type points. And I didn't give much thought when I was testing the D800 side by side with the D7000 and using the same outside focus points.
    I couldn't let a fellow "uncommon" photographer stand alone now could I? Seriously, anybody who tells you the 300mm F/2.8 or 85mm F/1.4 should be shot stopped down, isn't worth listening too. I mean whats the point of buying a $1700 85mm F/1.4 and stopping it down to F/2 when I could have just bought the $500 85mm F/1.8? or the $5500 300mm F/2.8 and stopping it down to F/4 and I could have just bought the $1400 300mm F/4? If anyone thinks shooting wide open is the user error then being a sane photographer in an insane world makes me a user error :).
     
  32. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Now, here is another example I captured two days ago; it was during a school spring performance just before the end of the academic year. I was hand holding the D7000 with the 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR II wide open at f2.8, ISO 1600, and 1/100 sec at 170mm. No doubt that VR helped a lot. Once again, the D7000's AF is right on under indoor, dim light condition inside a school auditorium with the 70-200 wide open.
    In in inset image, I blurred out the other children since other parents might not want their kids' image on a public forum, but my main subject is very sharp at the pixel-level 100% crop despite that I was hand holding 170mm at 1/100 sec.
    Pay attention to where I placed the subjects in both of these examples. The area I want to focus to is always covered by the 9 cross-type AF points in the center of the frame. Remember in my first post on this thread, I said I spent time to study how the Multi-CAM 3500 and Multi-CAM 4800 work? If you use a D7000 but don't fully understand how its AF system works and use that properly, please don't blame the camera.
    00aTdU-472577584.jpg
     
  33. You've shown 2 pictures that are in focus. Its not difficult for me to rack up several hundred photos in several hours on a shoot and get dozens of in focus shots, but I'm also getting over a hundred shots I feel the AF slightly missed or completely missed. You posting 2 pictures is like someone pointing to Nikon's D800 brochure to say how amazing the camera is. It doesn't interest me to see that you get a shot in focus, because the D7000 does do that even in low light, its the percentage of keepers I'm interested in. While you may say don't blame the camera, I say that when I use the non cross type AF points on the D800 I don't have a problem, and the way I shoot, that is frequently a necessity to shoot the non cross type AF points, not all of us shoot kids who aren't moving in laid back environments. Yes, I'm a pro, I work difficult environments and yes when that happens I need a professional camera, and that's my opinion about the D7000, its a great camera, excellent IQ, very good AF, but not professional grade. Professional grade in my opinion is when the camera is put under difficult scenarios and continues to preform consistently. While the D7000 continues to preform under difficult scenarios, from my experience it isn't consistent. For the OP this probably won't be an issue, but that first time he tries to shoot under really low light with a fast lens, he'll notice these inconsistencies. If he's patient and he takes a bunch of shots, then he'll probably get some in focus shots, but often times I only have one shot to get what I need, and for that, I need an AF system that nails it 95% of the time, and for me, that isn't the D7000.
     
  34. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Skyler, other than the D4, I have used every Nikon DSLR that uses the Multi-CAM 3500 AF module: D300, D300S, D700, D3, D3X, D3S and D800. My experience is that the D7000's AF capability is almost as good as any one of the others. Obviously having 9 vs 15 cross-type AF points makes some difference. However, IMO, having those 15 cross-type AF points on the much larger FX frame is arguably worse than having 9 on the smaller DX frame. In other words, the D300/D300S has the best of both worlds: 15 cross-type AF points covering the small DX area.
    I can't possibly show you all of my images. For the school event, I was using the D700 and D7000 side by side, and AF on the D700 is just as good. From both cameras, I have my share of unsharp images mainly due to the slow shutter speeds and motion from the children. However, AF accuracy on the D7000 (and D700) has never been an issue for me. Moreover, if you use one of those outside line-type AF points on the Multi-CAM 3500 (there are 51 - 15 = 36 of them), even on the D3 family, AF will hunt under dim light just like the D7000/Multi-CAM 4800.
    Think about this, if the D7000's AF cannot deliver as you try to describe, why would I even bother to bring it to an indoor event in the first place? I have many other DSLRs sitting at home, e.g. a D300, but it does not have the low-light capability the D7000 has. It is not my objective to capture a lot of out-of-focus images there.
     
  35. I've put 25-30k shots on a pair of D3s bodies, and about the same on a pair of D7000's shooting everything from sports, high fashion, weddings, landscape from San Francisco to New York to Florida, and based on those experiences, the D7000's AF is good, but it's not in the same league as the D3 series, not by a long shot.
     
  36. Center point AF has worked fine for 20 years, it is no great merit if the D7000 can AF using it. I think I use those cross-type points for less than 25% of my people images; the 2:3 aspect ratio is ill suited for centrally composed images. I'm not interested in giving handicap points to a camera that can't function competitively using all focus points, preferably with all Nikon AF lenses at all apertures, at all distances and in all lighting conditions where I can see the subject with my eyes. It's what a system camera is all about. Being trustworthy whatever you need to do with it.
    Since there are so many cameras on the market, and so many different styles of photography, I don't see the point in continuing this discussion. The only way for a given photographer to figure out if the D7000 is going to work for them is to to try it out at some real-world photography situations; it either does what they need or it does not. If it does, they can then proceed to try to make great images, if not then they can try something else until they find something that does works for them. It's not that difficult! In any case different photographers will always continue to prefer different tools. It's about finding the right tool for you, not convincing someone else that your tool is what they should also use, or face charges that "they're poor craftmen." There seems to be so much animosity among photographers towards each other. This is just totally unnecessary.
     
  37. "There seems to be so much animosity among photographers towards each other. This is just totally unnecessary."​
    It's a good thing I'm having such a great day, or I would be putting my foot in my mouth again.
    I just wish I could go out shooting with Shun and Ilkka. I think we would all have a nice time together.
    "The only way for a given photographer to figure out if the D7000 is going to work for them is to to try it out at some real-world photography situations; it either does what they need or it does not."​
    These days, when it's too dark for my D7000 to focus properly, that usually means it's time for me to go to bed.
     
  38. "The area I want to focus to is always covered by the 9 cross-type AF points in the center of the frame."​
    What was your AF set up, Shun? (Focus mode, etc.)
     
  39. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Center point AF has worked fine for 20 years, it is no great merit if the D7000 can AF using it. I think I use those cross-type points for less than 25% of my people images; the 2:3 aspect ratio is ill suited for centrally composed images.​
    Ilkka, I totally agree with that. That was why as soon as the D3 came out in 2007, in my early 2008 review, I pointed out that the Multi-CAM 3500's cross-type AF points are way too concentrated in the center 3 columns with 5 each (when the camera is in the landscape/horizontal orientation). For shooting portraits, the lack of reliable cross-type AF points in the top part of the frame where the subjects' eyes tends be is a limitation:
    While the 51 AF points from the Multi-CAM 3500 cover a good portion on the D300's DX frame, on the D3's FX frame, which has over twice the area, the 51 AF points only cover the center 25% of the frame. Therefore, some old-fashioned AF, lock focus, and recompose may once again be necessary. In particular, if the camera is held in the portrait (vertical) orientation, there is no cross-type AF point in the top 1/3 of the frame, where the subject typically is. It can be a problem under dim light.​
    http://www.photo.net/equipment/nikon/D3/D3-review
    In comparison, on the Canon 7D (APS-C format), 1DX and 5D Mark III, the cross-type AF points are more spreaded out across the frame. I haven't used those Canon DSLRs, but at least on paper, I prefer that AF design, and obviously that is doable. Therefore, when the D4 was announced back in January, I was disappointed that Nikon continues to use the Multi-CAM 3500, which suggests the same limitation will stay with us for at least another 3, 4 years during the D4 product cycle. And of course, that same limitation is now on the subsequent D800/D800E as well.
    In other words, the Multi-CAM 3500 (D300, D700, D800, D3, D4) and Multi-CAM 4800 (D7000) share very much the same limitations. Under dim light, you are more restricted to the center cross-type AF points. Sometimes I am forced to use a line-type AF point under dim light, on any one of those bodies, and I immediately confirm whether AF is accurate or not.
    Robert, for action photography, such as the hummingbird, I use AF-C (continuous) with 9 AF points. Sometimes I use 21 when the subject is larger. For the children that are sitting, I use AF-S (single) and stick to one cross-type AF point indoors as much as possible, regardless of whether I am using a D3, D700, D800, or D7000. The Multi-CAM 4800 is merely a slightly downsized Multi-CAM 3500. Their strength and weaknesses are otherwise very similar.
    For those who use AF/AF-D type lenses that depend on the AF motor inside the camera, the D7000 certainly has a weaker AF motor compared to the D3 and D4. I still own a few AF/AF-D lenses, but most of my lenses are AF-S nowadays.
     
  40. Last night Shun I happened to be in Alley, my exposure was F/1.4 (24mm), 1/40th, ISO 3200, and that was probably half to a full stop under exposed. Now I've done extensive shooting at these light levels with the D7000, and I would say my focus accuracy even with the AF assist light is less than 10%, the D7000 has always had a difficult time focusing on my camera at F/1.4, even in broad daylight. So I decide to to put the D800 to the test, first I shoot with AF assist beam and cross center time point, nails focus every time, so then I turn AF assist beam off, and use center point, still jail focus and finally I use outside AF without AF assist beam and it still nails focus 90% of the time. With no disrespect Shun but you could sooner convince me that men and women really have no psychological differences or a stock "for two" car has more horse power than a Ferrari Enzo than the D7000's AF system is on par with the D3/D4 family, there are no based for your claims and any pro who's used both bodies extensively knows that. Based on my experiences I find your conclusions to be so wrong I wonder if your D7000 isn't in the 1% of cameras that works much better than its supposed too. Sure the D7000's AF is pretty good, especially for a sub $1500 camera, but it just isn't in the same class as the D3 and especially the D4 family. While you make claims that they all struggle in low light you are full of baloney because I can shoot in at least a stop darker with my D800 than I can the D3 series and probably 2 stops lower than the D7000.
     
  41. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    there are no based for your claims and any pro who's used both bodies extensively knows that​
    Skyler, your make claims based on your experience and I make my claims based on mine. If your experience and therefore opinions differ from mine, so be it. However, you don't speak for other pros.
    As of two days ago, you said that you had the D800 for about 48 hours, so it may be 96 hours now? I would suggest that you use the D800 for a few more weeks to learn a little more about that camera first.
    And if your D7000 indeed has AF problems at f1.4 under broad daylight, something is definitely wrong. As I mentioned in my 85mm/f1.8 AF-S review, the test sample lens required -9 AF fine tune on my D7000. To verify that my camera was fine, I checked a bunch of lenses on it, including my 50mm/f1.4 AF-S @ 1.4 to make sure that the depth of field does not mask the problem. Later on I bought my own 85mm/f1.8 AF-S. My copy plus the 50mm/f1.4 AF-S and 50mm/f1.8 AF-S all have very accurate AF wide open on my D7000. I have already shown one sample image earlier: http://www.photo.net/equipment/nikon/lenses/85mm-f1.8-g-af-s/review/
     
  42. Now I've done extensive shooting at these light levels with the D7000, and I would say my focus accuracy even with the AF assist light is less than 10%, the D7000 has always had a difficult time focusing on my camera at F/1.4, even in broad daylight.​
    Skyler,
    You should send your D7000 to Nikon for an evaluation. Something is not right.
     
  43. Skyler, your make claims based on your experience and I make my claims based on mine.​
    I'm not making claims, I'm looking at the tech specs Shun, the D4\D800 series AF are rated at a full stop brighter than the D3 series and the D7000. To say the D7000 is in the same league as the D4\D800 is like saying the 300mm F/4 is in the same league for low light shooting as the 300mm F/2.8.
    However, you don't speak for other pros.​
    Fair enough, I don't speak for other pros, but I sure get frustrated with amateurs who act like they are pros.
    As of two days ago, you said that you had the D800 for about 48 hours, so it may be 96 hours now? I would suggest that you use the D800 for a few more weeks to learn a little more about that camera first.​

    I've already been on 2 different professional shoots in Idaho and Tennessee and I haven't had the camera a week yet. While you have a real job and find a little time to shoot with your DSLRs, I shoot with DSLRs and find a little time to sleep, and maybe eat. And what are you suggesting? That the more I learn about the D800 that the AF will get worse? I've already done enough tests between the D800 and the D7000 to know that the D7000 has a far inferior AF, so unless as time goes on my D800 gets worse I don't really see what more time will do.
    And if your D7000 indeed has AF problems at f1.4 under broad daylight, something is definitely wrong.​
    That problem occurs on 3 different D7000 bodies, 1 of which the AF was checked by Nikon, one of which was brand new and one of which was damaged and returned to brand new condition. Its not the lens because I've used it on a D3s and now my D800 and no problems. Yes I've checked the back focus, not a problem, and even if it was the focus will be very erratic, it will nail it a couple of times, miss the subject and hit behind a couple of times and miss and hit in front a couple of times. This is the 24mm F/1.4G, and I've been extremely impressed with its focus accuracy on the D800, just not the D7000.
     
  44. I'm a little late to this post but I do shoot with 2-D7000s, a D300, a D700, and finally a D800, all with different lenses. When I got my D7000's both had focus problems and one had an exposure problem. Instead of sending them back, I took them to Nikon Torrance and had them repaired. The one with the exposure problem took several weeks because parts had to be shipped from overseas. Both D7000s work perfect now. I've been using one of them for closeups with the 200-400 VR F4 and focus is spot on. I use the other one with the Sigma 8-16 or 17-70 OS F2.8-4. These are just fantastic combinations with great auto focus. Now to be fair, my D800 with 200-400 will capture butterflies flapping their wings in flight but that's why I bought the D800. Finally, when shooting flying birds, I have actually had better success with the D7000s than my D300 and am currently contemplating sending my D300 for a checkup because this is not suppose to be the case. I have read in other posts the same problem with D300s.
     
  45. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I'm not making claims, I'm looking at the tech specs Shun, the D4\D800 series AF are rated at a full stop brighter than the D3 series and the D7000. To say the D7000 is in the same league as the D4\D800 is like saying the 300mm F/4 is in the same league for low light shooting as the 300mm F/2.8.​
    Skyler, first of all, nobody has ever said on this thread that the D7000's AF "is in the same league" as the D4/D800. All I have been saying all along is that the difference is not very big.
    If Nikon's spec says the D800 can AF at one stop darker, but when my indoor shooting condition does not reach that level of darkness, both the D800 and D7000 would do fine.
    And Michael Dougherty's comment also confirms my experience:
    Finally, when shooting flying birds, I have actually had better success with the D7000s than my D300 and am currently contemplating sending my D300 for a checkup because this is not suppose to be the case. I have read in other posts the same problem with D300s.​
    Since the difference is small, it is not surprising that the D7000 may occasionally do better. It does not necessarily imply that something is wrong wiht that D300.
    In my trip to the Galapagos Islands last year, my D7000 was my main camera for that wildlife trip. The D300 was the backup camera and I used the D700 for the occasional landscape photography. There was no D800 back then. I captured a lot of birds in flight on that trip and the D7000 worked just fine. I posted my Lightroom camera/lens statistics to this thread a couple of months back: http://www.photo.net/travel-photography-forum/00aGpD
     
  46. Shun I don't think I'll ever understand where you are coming from. Someday I would like to sit down in person and show you the difference between my D7000 and D800 and be able to test out your D7000 so for once we could actually compare apples to apples and not have all this here's a photo there's a photo here's my conclusions there's your conclusions stuff.
    To the OP, I think its real, the D7000 can produce inconsistent and inaccurate AF, but mostly with certain lenses or under certain conditions, I also feel the AF is much more sensitive; it can easily be damaged or knocked out of alignment. I'm pretty hard on my cameras, and I just don't think the D7000's AF is up to par, rugged wise or consistency under a variety of situations, but that's for how I shoot.

    That all being said, if you don't see a problem then there isn't one. My advice would be to take good care of the camera and don't knock it around too much, and if you do have troubles don't send it into Nikon, send it to the place Michael talked about, sounds like they serve you better than Nikon.
     
  47. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I took them to Nikon Torrance and had them repaired.​
    I believe the place Michael talks about is the Nikon Los Angeles office on Apollo Street in El Segundo, just a few blocks from the LAX Airport. I have been there a few times, usually a couple of hours before I board a flight leaving Los Angeles.
    Their office used to be in Torrance but they moved to the current El Segundo address seven years back. It happens that I was sending a defective SB-800 flash back to them for warranty repair. I had no idea that they were moving and sent to the old Torrence address. FedEx generated an "address exception" and charged me $10 to forward it to the new address: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00CuyP
     
  48. Oops. My mistake. It's Nikon El Segundo. I been a Nikon user for 40+ years and continue to call the repair facility by the wrong name.
     
  49. Is D7000 really that bad?
    The image below was shot with my D7000 mounted with a Nikon 70-300mm f4-5.6 VR at 300mm, which is the soft end of this slow lens. The aperture was wide open, f5.6. The Alala, (Hawaiian crow), was in a big cage fronted with Plexiglas, (dirty, I might add). The day was overcast and raining. Focus was on the bird's head which has almost no contrast. Still the majority of my images were in focus from this session. So, under some of the worst possible conditions, the D7000 AF came through.
    No, the D7000 really isn't that bad.
    00aUOi-473323584.jpg
     
  50. Lol, Robert, you haven't been reading my posts very well. The D7000 works fantastic with long lenses stopped down or already slow. While your 300mm maybe wide open at F/5.6, that's pretty slow, and depth of field is manageable. Focus doesn't have to be so precise. My 300mm is an F/2.8, and 90% of the time, I'm shooting at F/2.8. The depth of field is so paper thin at F/2.8 it is much, much easier for focus to miss, and I find it to often be the case with my D7000 & Long, fast glass combinations. Obviously this is not the case with all users, as this forum clearly demonstrates, but I for one feel my D7000 and long, fast glass combinations (especially the 300mm F/2.8, 85mm F/1.4G & even really the 24mm F/1.4G) are living proof that the D7000's AF is not up to professional par, and definitely a big step down from the D3\D4 series cameras. Not that the D7000 refuses to focus with the lenses, or that's its close, but I'm a stickler for 100% sharpness and not every other shot, 9 out of 10 shots. The D7000 just doesn't do that for me. With the 300mm F/2.8, I usually get every other, maybe every 3rd shot in focus, this is unacceptable from my point of view. I do not feel my technique is to blame, since using the same technique I get accurate focus 9 out of 10, if not 10 out of 10 times with my D800 and D3s. I do acknowledge that there is a very a good chance there is something wrong with my body, but its been this way since day one, its been repaired more than once and I just don't feel this is acceptable. Of course I'm very hard on my equipment, and I need a pro body, and now I finally have one that shoots good video (if it had not been for the D7000's amazing video mode, I never would have bought one in the first place).
     
  51. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Obviously this is not the case with all users, as this forum clearly demonstrates,​
    Skyler, you are exactly right about that.
    It happens that I brought my D7000 and 300mm/f2.8 AF-S to a children's gynmastics class yesterday. I only brought one camera body and one lens, plus a monopod to support the 300mm/f2.8. Space is limited there and I knew that I would be restricted to shoot from a distance. That was why I didn't bother with any FX body as I wanted the DX crop, and any lens that is longer wouldn't be practical in that environment.
    According to LightRoom statistics, there are 238 images and 219 of them were captured wide open at f2.8. I got no more than a few frames with AF errors. But of course, I used a cross-type AF point pretty much all the time.
     
  52. Shun, I get it. Your D7000 works just fine. I'm so glad yours has no issues.
    However, it doesn't change the fact that my D7000 couldn't get that percentage of in focus shots from a tripod using cross type points to a well lit focus chart at F/8. If you get a good one, like you have, then great. If you get a bad one or it goes bad, its a real pain in the neck. I'm not saying its bad, I'm saying its inconsistent, and I don't mean my D7000 being inconsistent, I'm talking about the percentage of D7000's that have genuine focus issues from the factory or become that way from usage, and I say this because I have encountered many a D7000 that has the same AF issues mine does. Actually now that I think back when I got my D7000 over a year ago, I actually feel it was much more accurate back then. I feel like the longer I've owned it the worse its gotten. I actually had this D7000 repaired over 6 months ago for dust issues, I was shooting in sand dunes, and they completely replaced the entire AF system while they were at it. It got a little better but I never really felt it was good. While I imagine you'll point out that there is something wrong with my body, I say if a camera doesn't last 6 months before you've got to start having things repaired, that's not a good system, even if it works flawless for 6 months before breaking down.
    Every time you post you specifically mention you shoot with the cross type points. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but cross type points should be more of an issue if one is shooting in difficult situations, not something that one should have to pay attention too every time one pulls the camera to his\her eye. After all if that's the case then I do think the D7000 has a weak AF, if you should be using less than 25% of the AF points. I shot well over 10,000 shots on several D3s cameras and never had an issue using non cross type AF points, matter of fact I used those a lot more than the cross type, and I have no issues using the D800's non cross type AF points either.
     
  53. The thing that makes zero sense to me is the idea that Nikon wouldn't know how to fix an auto focus issue, with any of their cameras, especially after a year of people whining about it. I've had my D7000 almost two years now, shooting a fair amount, and its still focusing just fine. Skyler, if there actually is an issue with your camera, send it back to Nikon with your evidence, and ask them to fix it properly. On the other hand, I hope you're not expecting a twelve hundred dollar camera to focus as well as a five thousand dollar one.
     
  54. Oh NO! You've done it now! Prepare to have the flood gates of criticism rain down on upon you as the powers that be remind you that all cameras have an equal AF system, including $1200 & $5200 ones, its really all in the user's ability to use them, not the camera's ability focus.
    I don't think they are the same Bruce, and that's my whole point, I think the D7000 has middle of the road AF, its ok, but not pro level, not anywhere near the D4 series and definitely a big step down from the D3 series. Sadly these opinions will practically get you burned at the stake for heresy on this forum.
    I don't know have time to fiddle around with Nikon sending in back in three or four times getting it fixed. Now that I've got the D800 I've never picking up a D7000 again.
     
  55. Skyler, if your D7000 isn't achieving near perfect focus under good lighting conditions the same as, or nearly the same as any other Nikon you have then something isn't right. I would expect the D3s to do better under more trying conditions. I can tell you're angry at your D7000, but its only a camera, and cant fix itself. How much effort does it take to send your D7000 back to Melville, have it fixed, and then at least have a light weight alternative for when you want to travel light?
     
  56. "I do acknowledge that there is a very a good chance there is something wrong with my body, but its been this way since day one, its been repaired more than once and I just don't feel this is acceptable. Of course I'm very hard on my equipment, and I need a pro body….."​
    Skyler, didn't a car run over your D7000? And, didn't Nikon say it was too far gone to fix but you found some repair shop to fix it for $300, anyway? What's up with that?
     
  57. Yes, here it is. Back on Jan 31, 2012; 12:44 p.m., you said:
    Hello,
    So I have a Nikon D7000. It was in a Nikon soft camera case (large one) and a car backed over it. The camera itself is still in pretty good condition, but one side has clearly been "compressed". Even from the worst angle if I took a quickly glance I wouldn't even notice it was broken. The damage was sustained directly over the battery compartment, and the camera will not power on, although its like new, in excellent condition (non-damaged areas). So I sent it into Nikon Inc, and they gave me a quote, $200 to repair it. I approved it, they charged my card. I received it back this morning very excited that it would be repaired, sadly, when I opened it up, I discovered the camera in the condition I sent it along with a note from Nikon saying the camera was "Unrepairable" and that I had not been billed. I was kind of shocked to discover Nikon could not repair their own camera. I was wondering if anyone else had this experience and if there is a place that would repair it. Like I said the camera is like new, in excellent condition (its was less than 3 weeks old when it got damaged, less than 500 shutter count), even if it cost me $600 to get it repaired, it would be much better than having to replace it.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advanced!
    Skyler​
     
  58. Skyler, if you paid with a credit card (I use Costco AmX) and the camera was only 3 weeks old, one of the benefits is the credit card company 90 day buyer protection program. AmX Insurance Co will give you your money back to purchase another D7000. You may want to check the fine print of your credit card company and , if available, take advantage of this little known benefit. Don't leave home without it.
     
  59. You've got to be kidding me! You're the guy that ran over you're camera with a car, and you have the nerve to lead us all on this delusional magical mystery tour for the last couple of pages? Lol, man-o-man Skyler, do you need a wheelbarrow to carry those prestigious stones of yours around.
     
  60. This is why you never get your D7000 wet or feed it strange media after midnight. Suddenly gremlins everywhere.
     
  61. Bruce and Robert, if you actually read Skyler's posts you will see that he has used several D7000's and I believe only one of them was run over by a car so I'm sure his comments are not based on a damaged camera. My D7000 certainly wasn't handled roughly, and I feel his analysis closely mirror my experiences (as well as others). A lot of people seem to be on the defensive and I think it's because of the title which greatly exaggerates the matter and attracts attention.
     
  62. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I feel his analysis closely mirror my experiences (as well as others).​
    Ilkka, of course. Both of you insist on using mostly the outside line-type AF points under dim light in situations where the depth of field is thin, e.g. 200mm/f2 or 300mm/f2.8 wide open or f1.4 lenses wide open. If I used the D7000 that way, I too would have a lot of AF issues myself. I could have tried a hundred D7000 or D3, D4, D700, D800 and they would all have the same problem. The lack of cross-type AF points outside of the center of the frame is a very fundamental limitation in the design of Nikon's Multi-CAM 3500 and 4800.
    By its nature, line-type AF points are only sensitive to contrast in one direction. Under dim light, they don't work as well due to the lack on contrast. Regardless of whether those line-type AF points are on a D3, D4, D800, D7000, or a Canon DSLR, the limitation is still there. While Canon manages to put more cross-type AF points towards the edge of the frame on the 7D, 1Dx, and 5D3, unfortunately, Nikon hasn't done so.
    The difference is that at least you Ilkka are aware of that limitation, as you wrote on Jun 05, 2012; 10:58 a.m.:
    There are a number of factors that can lead to less good AF results: the use of screwdriver lenses instead of AF-S, the use of far off-center AF points instead of the cross-type points in the center of the array, the use of wide apertures, hand-holding instead of having the camera on tripod, and so on. I use off-center points a lot, together with wide apertures, and know that these are contributing factors​
    As photographers, we need to understand the limitations of our tools and work around those limitations. For example, I usually print 8.5x11; Nikon DSLR's 2:3 aspect ratio is too wide anyway. Therefore, I place the face closer to the center of the frame to take advantage of the cross-type AF points and then in post-processing, crop the end with too much room for my final composition. I do that with Nikon FX and DX bodies alike, not merely the D7000.
    If people are still reading this thread :), the following site has a good description about the basics of cross-type vs. line-type AF points: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-autofocus.htm
    That web site works much better with Firefox than with Internet Explorer.
    00aUko-473655584.jpg
     
  63. Ilkka, of course. Both of you insist on using mostly the outside line-type AF points under dim light in situations where the depth of field is thin, e.g. 200mm/f2 or 300mm/f2.8 wide open or f1.4 lenses wide open.​
    Yes Shun, this is correct, because this is how I shoot my other cameras and they AF just fine. That's why I feel the D7000's AF is a big step down, because when I shoot it the same way I do my other cameras, I don't get the same results.
    From your posts it sounds like you pretty much only shoot the D7000's and other camera's Cross type AF points. Perhaps if you spent more time shooting the outside points you would discover the behavior that Ilkka and myself have been discussing the big difference between the D7000 and the D3\D4 series.
    To answer everyone else, my opinions on the D7000's AF is based on a D7000 that I purchased brand new, that was never run over, repaired by Nikon once (which according to their repair sheet completely replaced the AF system). I put over 25,000 photos on that camera in around a year, while that isn't terribly much I feel that is enough to draw conclusions.
    The post you see about a run over D7000 was me picking up a backup body cheap by getting it for next to nothing (from the couple that had run over it) and repairing it. However I've put less than a 100 shots on it because by the time I got it back it was apparent my D800 was right around the corner and I was going to sell it anyways so I boxed it up.
     
  64. Robert, did you not see my response? That was a D7000 I bought from a lady because she ran over it and it was an investment. I've taken less than a 100 photos with that camera, basically I bought it and resold it. My experience with the D7000 is based on a D7000 that I bought brand spanking new from Amazon, over a year and a half ago and I have myself put 25,000 photos on it, about six months after purchasing it I shot in the desert and experience serious sand issues, so I sent it to be cleaned from that and Nikon repaired the AF on the their own, I didn't see much of a difference.
    I buy and sell many cameras, at least you could pay me the courtesy of asking if my experiences were based on the camera that had been run over or not.
     
  65. Okay, I have nothing more to add, anyway.
     
  66. I've had a d7000 with autofocus issues that had been sent back to Nikon twice for repair of the autofocus system. Still, I'm not 100% satisfied with it.
    An earlier poster in this thread said something that I had been beginning to suspect, which was that lenses with internal focus motors work really well, and AF-D lenses give lesser results, and that some of this is directly related to the time it takes to acquire focus. My prior camera (which I still own - a d90) would refuse to let the shutter open until the subject was really in focus. The D7000 seems to give a best guess and let the shot go through. When using the camera in challenging focus situations with relatively static subjects, I would get better results from the d90 in terms of focus than the d7000, since the d90 would give me better feedback. In situations with fast moving subjects and challenging focus situations, the d90 would get lesser results since it just would not acquire the target at all, and the shutter would not release.
    I only have on pro lens - 105 f2.8 VR - and I get outstanding results with that lens consistently in a variety of lighting conditions.
     
  67. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    My prior camera (which I still own - a d90) would refuse to let the shutter open until the subject was really in focus. The D7000 seems to give a best guess and let the shot go through. When using the camera in challenging focus situations with relatively static subjects, I would get better results from the d90 in terms of focus than the d7000, since the d90 would give me better feedback.​
    Michael, on pretty much all Nikon DSLRs, there are two Custom Settings to control whether the camera should capture an image only when it thinks it is in focus or just capture an image regardless. Those are the Release Priority vs. Focus Priority settings in Custom Settings a1 and a2 on the D7000, for AF-C (continuous) and AF-S (single) respectively.
    If you prefer your D7000 not to capture an image unless it is in focus, select Focus Priority. However, the shutter will not respond if your subject is not in focus.
    The AF motor inside the D7000 is clearly not as strong as those on the D2, D3, and D4. Therefore, if you use AF lenses that depend on the in-body motor, you will see differences in terms of AF speed.
     
  68. Michael, on pretty much all Nikon DSLRs, there are two Custom Settings to control whether the camera should capture an image only when it thinks it is in focus or just capture an image regardless. Those are the Release Priority vs. Focus Priority settings in Custom Settings a1 and a2 on the D7000, for AF-C (continuous) and AF-S (single) respectively.​
    I experienced the same thing as Michael, even on status shots with subjects that weren't moving. My D7000 will often "lock" focus when really focus is very far off. I put into focus priority mode and it doesn't solve the problem.
     
  69. Shun -
    The camera is in focus priority mode.
    To be clear, we are not talking about being a "a lot out of focus" - but being an inch or two off with a shallow DOF can make a big difference.
    Is the camera that bad? I'm still keeping mine, but I do a lot more work with it to understand how the AF engine behaves than I did with my d90 or d50 - but that could also just be an effect of both higher expectations as I get better at this.
     
  70. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Michael, if your D7000 is already in focus priority mode, and your focus is off by an inch or two, you may need AF fine tune.
    Check out my review of the Nikon 85mm/f1.8 AF-S. I used two of those lenses and one of them requires -9 AF fine tune on my D7000, although that particular lens works fine with all of my other Nikon bodies. The other sample has no AF issue on my D7000.
     
  71. You know Shun, I think you should try listening. We aren't asking for your help, and most of us are already aware of the basic settings you are talking about. We are reporting our findings, our experiences. There is this thing called a conversation, means it goes back and forth. You are like a preacher, preaching from the Nikon manual on a pulpit. You could be much better mediator if you listened, because you would probably come back with a response like "Gosh guys, I didn't know that people were having these kinds of issues with the D7000" rather than "My Nikon works flawlessly, therefore every other Nikon works flawlessly so you must not know how to work your camera" attitude. Not that you can't be like "and you have tried thus and thus and thus right?" but multiple people on this forum have had the exact same experiences, like sending it multiple times, issues with long fast glass, issues with AF locking but not really being in focus, perhaps its time you admit there are genuine issues, and be thankful your camera doesn't suffer from them rather than rubbing our noses in the fact that you got lucky and your camera works very well.
     
  72. "There is this thing called a conversation, means it goes back and forth."​
    Logically, that would include politely tolerating opinions that differ from your own and anecdotal experiences that counter your own anecdotal experiences.
     
  73. I have a correction programmed in for that lens. It's important to understand that this is not a consistently off problem on the lens - it's simply the behavior of the autofocus system in difficult focusing conditions.
    Is my copy different from most of the others? I don't know. Is the behavior of the autofocus system generally a bad thing? I don't know that either. All I know is that it's different than my copy of the d90.
     
  74. I do politely tolerate Shun's opinion, I'm asking him to politely tolerate our experiences, rather than giving us ways to fix our experiences. As Michael pointed out, he's already programmed the settings Shun suggested, and as my experience confirms, its a behavior with our bodies, but Shun refuses to acknowledge that. The way he talks one would think that to him all DSLRs were created perfect, its the users behind them that are flawed, to me, both DSLRs and their users are flawed and I take it on a case by case bases and in the case of the D7000 I often do find users to blame, I also often find the camera itself to blame when the user is doing everything he should, and I find it varies from body to body, in the case of Shun's camera, it works quite well, in the case of mine and Michael S's and Ilkka's cameras, less so, Michael D's pair of D7000's didn't work so well until he got them repaired. Obviously this camera has a wide range of preforming as it should. So to go back to the original poster's question, if your D7000 works well then thank your lucky stars, if not, then there are real issues that plague it, that is not the user's fault.
     
  75. "I do politely tolerate Shun's opinion, I'm asking him to politely tolerate our experiences, rather than giving us ways to fix our experiences."​
    Shun has politely tolerated your experiences. It sounds as if you'd prefer we just passively listen to complaints rather than offer opinions or experiences that differ from your own.
    Sometimes it's difficult to tell whether folks are interested in resolving problems or just venting frustrations.
    I suppose both are valid but this is a discussion forum and we'll have to expect differing opinions, anecdotes and experiences that counter our own and unsolicited suggestions for resolving problems.
     
  76. Shun has politely tolerated your experiences.​
    I beg to differ. I feel like continually suggesting that we try this and that and never ever acknowledging that our bodies may indeed be to blame, Shun is discrediting our experiences as nothing more than people who don't know how to use a camera. This isn't tolerating and this isn't polite, and it certainly does a disservice to those who are thinking of buying a D7000 and assume its AF system will be perfect because the only possible thing that could go wrong with it is the way they use it.
    I'm not here to vent my frustrations and I'm not here to solve a problem (unless Nikon's designers are on here and I can make a few suggestions how to lay out the D7100), I'm here to warn people interested in buying a D7000 that there are issues to be aware of and check for these issues, especially if you buy used and I don't take too kindly to those who suggest my warnings and warnings from others who experience the same problems are simply the ravings of crazy people who don't know how to use their cameras.
    Does being one of only a few sane posters on an insane forum make you crazy Lex? If so, then I'm guilty as charged.
     
  77. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    You know Shun, I think you should try listening. We aren't asking for your help, and most of us are already aware of the basic settings you are talking about.​
    Skyler, may I remind you once again that you only speak for yourself?
    Yes, I bought my D7000 from my local store as soon as it came out in November, 2010. A year later I recommended it to a close friend. Both cameras work perfectly within the D7000's design limitations. In particular, AF works great and is just slightly inferior to the D3 and D300 that I am familiar with.
    Therefore, there is no reason that any other D7000 cannot work as well. If not, it is either a user error or a camera error, or perhaps both. In the case if Michael S., I was merely trying to eliminate any obvious user error. If those are not the issues, he may need to send his D7000 back again (perhaps with his lenses), just as Michael Dougherty did. After repair, Michael D's two D7000 both work great, so should anybody else's.
    Skyler, do you recall that you wrote the following on June 7, on this very thread?
    That being said I will admit I do not always think to use the cross focus points when shooting in low light, but then again I doubt the OP or most of the people on this forum are even aware which points are the cross type points.​
    When photographers are not even aware which AF point is cross type, it is not surprising that they run into AF issues. It is my objective to help everybody know their camera better and eliminate those user errors.
    If Michael S. does not want my comments, he is free to let me know. Skyler, that is not something you need to be concerned about. My only objective is to help everybody get the most out of their D7000 as well as any other piece of equipment.
    BTW, Skyler, I seem to recall that one of your D7000 was hit by a car, another was dropped from a fairly high height, and the third had some damage from sand and dust. Perhaps you are very rough on your cameras so that your experience is not typical?
     
  78. Wow, this post has legs. A couple final comments. Certain combinations of bodies and lenses simply work better together (but this could ba a whole other post). I have had numerous bodies and lenses repaired at Nikon El Segundo (previously Torrance) over the years. First, be very nice to the lady at the service desk and she can be very helpful. Complaining won't get you anywhere. Second, make sure you have sample photos of the problem. I even bring photos taken with other Nikon bodies to further demonstrate the problem with the body in question. This stratgy seems to work very well.
     
  79. Shun -
    I appreciate your efforts to cover the basics - it's where one should look first most of the time.
    Since it's been back to Nikon twice, I don't hold out a lot of hope that sending it back a third time is going to get me any better results.
    I've come to the conclusion that probably the only way I'll ever reach peace on my copy of the d7000 is to rent another d7000 and see whether or not I get the same behavior from both copies. Alternatively, I am thinking about trying out a 70/200 VRII to see if I get better results on a lens with an internal focus motor.
    It may be that my expectations are too high - I'll have to see.
     
  80. Skyler seems to invest an awful lot of energy into a thread about a camera he doesn't even use any more. Strange no?
     
  81. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Michael S., unfortunately, renting DSLRs are somehow every expensive. You seem to be near a major city on the East Cost. Maybe you can borrow a D7000 to compare. Try friends or camera clubs.
    Sometimes AF problems are indeed hard to track down. As Thom Hogan points out, it is best to send both body and lens to Nikon for adjustment. A lot of us have D7000 with very good AF results; there is no reason yours is not as good. Over the last year and half, I have posted a lot of image samples from the D7000. E.g. on this thread with a 70-200mm VR II wide open under dim light: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00ZHut
    If Nikon can't fix it after 2, 3 trys (including checking out your lens(es), hopefully your D7000 is still under warranty; I would request them to replace it altogether.
     
  82. Shun -
    Of course when I sent it in to Nikon for repair the lenses went with it :)
    I think some of the problem in discussing this topic is that it has so much to do with shooting conditions. For example, in the low light photo of Rafal Nadal you posted indicating the focus is just fine, I'd estimate that you are between 50 and 100 feet away from the subject. At that distance, the depth of field is anywhere from 4 to 8 feet. I recently shot a high school graduation under similar conditions - low light, long distance to subject and had no focus issues in a single frame (over 200 frames). Why? Because the DOF is so large, that it will mask all but the most out of focus errors.
    It's also important to understand that the existence of photos that are in focus from other d7000 cameras doesn't mean even those cameras that produced those photos would work for me. As a portrait photographer, I have *very* specific requirements, and that is tied into my workflow. When I am shooting a subject, I'm trying to capture something special. When the shoot is done, before I actually look at the images, I need to know one of two things - either I have the shot I want, or I don't. The shoot ends for one of two reasons - either have the shot, or I've determined that the subject isn't going to give up the shot I need within the time constraints of the shoot (in which case it's a busted shoot).
    In terms of my workflow, I basically expect that if I take 100 pictures, 100 pictures are print quality. The subjects are not moving (materially at least) and the lighting conditions are generally static. All I need to do is put the focus point on a high contrast area, hold the camera steady and squeeze.
    The more "randomness" there is in the process, the more I need to push the length of the session to ensure that there will be enough print quality images in the bunch.
    The other thing about portrait photographers is that we tend to shoot backlit subjects. Facing the subject into the sun creates unpleasing facial expressions. While often we mitigate the contrast issues that can confuse AF systems with the use of reflectors, there are times when this doesn't work out. It would be nice if under those conditions I could get 100% in-focus shots.
    So, usually my first question to any d7000 owner is "Tell me about what you shoot and how you shoot it?".
    And that's my question to you :)
    Regards,
    Michael
     
  83. My D7000 is now in for service for the 5th time. Nikon's Customer service specialist took 2 hours to show me how well this camera worked while picking it up after the 4th service. He was unable to get it to work to his satisfaction using my lenses they have serviced as well. The customer specialist asked to keep the camera and lens again to get this problem fixed. Bellow is my experience prior to picking my camera up on its 4th time into service.
    My experience with Nikon. I have owned my D7000 since last summer.

    Back focus is a real issue for many of us with Nikon D7000. Mine has been back for service 3 times already and is back there again. I drive the 2 hours from my home in Peterborough Ontario, Canada to Nikon service in Mississauga Ontario. The first time after conversations on the phone I sent it in because it was back focusing on all my lenses. I picked it up from service and took it home and tested it. There was no change. I talked to service on the phone again. They asked me to do more tests including AF-Fine tune, adjust sharpening to 6 instead of default 3 and with all my lenses. I did this and was unable to get it to focus accurately. It was still back focusing. Nikon Service asked me to bring it in again with sample photos and one of the lenses. I did this and picked it up when they called. Again I took it home and tested it again. It was still back focusing with all the lenses. After much discussion and many more tests as suggested by them including samples sent in by me for them to review. Nikon service asked me to bring in 3 of my lenses and the camera for service. This is the 3rd time for this issue. I took all of this equipment in and met a Customer Relations Specialist whom would personally oversee this. One week later I received a call to say all was ready to pick up. At the counter I was told all were work properly, adjustments were made to all and I should be pleased with the results. I take the equipment home and test it. I am now completely discouraged. The best photo was back-focusing by more than 2 inches. I took the best samples and emailed them to the Specialist that was helping me. He could not believe this was still happening. I was asked to do many more tests and send the samples in. I did and the Specialist believes there is a problem with the camera and I need to bring it in again. It is now at service again, this is the 4th time for the same issue. While dropping it off I had a long conversation to try and understand this. I was promised this problem would be solved this time.
    Do try and understand that the area that is back focused is extremely clear(sharp).
    The specialist did show me a D800 and how well it focused and suggested that perhaps this is what I and looking for. He may be right as to the camera being what I want to go with the lenses I have.
    To add to this sinking feeling I have invested over 8 thousand dollars in senses for this camera that are sitting idle. Without a camera what are they worth.
    Here's to hoping it all works out.

    Additional problems
    1. I had a card reading error with all 6 memory cards I used with this camera. A firmware upgrade and this does not happen anymore.
    2. 4 times the top screen has flashed with "err", this happened awhile after the firmware update. The only way I was able to get back to using the camera was to remove the battery and put it back in, turn it on, error starts flashing, now press the shutter half way.
    3. After the third service while going around town to take shots in various locations, Buildings, Traffic, People, Trees and so on. I noticed the photos were coming out in a pattern. Normal, light, bark. I checked to see if Bracketing was turned on and it was set to "0F"(Zero-F). I called Nikon to help with this. Reset the camera with the 2 green buttons and 2 other places in the menu. This cleared up what was happening, no explanation, it just worked.
    4. The late afternoon before taking the camera in again another thing happened. Running around town again take photos of all kinds of things. When loading things in the car I put the camera on the passenger seat then finished packing the rest of the gear and noticed the camera on and went to turn it off, but it was already turned off. I paused for a few seconds, then turned the switch to the on position then off again and it turned off. Don't know what to make of this.

    Nikon is aware of all of this.
     
  84. Alan, sorry to hear about your experience. I would at this point simply request Nikon or the store you bought it from for a full refund, or a refund which can be used in partial payment for another camera (a D800 perhaps). If a defective unit cannot be repaired it should be the manufacturer's (or importer's) responsibility to replace it with a correctly functioning unit (as per warranty) or provide a compensation in the form of a refund. Of course they will not refund the cost of your lenses, so you are probably best off getting a D800 (if that is satisfactory for you) rather than going for another brand.
    It is probably best to move on rather than continue what must be a very stressful experience.
     
  85. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Michael S., I too tend to capture portrait type images with the D7000 and the 85mm/f1.8, 50mm/f1.8, or 50mm/f1.4, all AF-S. Those are from much closer distances with the lens wide open or close to wide open. The image of the boy with a toothpick in his mouth above is an example.
    I actually get a fairly large number of unsharp images in those settings because I try use only existing light, and I want to limit the D7000 to ISO 1600. As a result, even at f1.8, my shutter speeds tend to be 1/50 sec to 1/100 sec indoors. And frequently there is camera shake and/or motion blur. Afterall, my subjects are mostly children. However, when there is more light so that I can use 1/200 sec or when I use a flash, there is never any AF or sharpness issue. (For me, usually it is not difficult to tell the difference between unsharpness due to motion and due to focusing.) Perhaps my solution should be using ISO 3200 or even 6400 and accept more noise.
    For example, I captured this image with the D7000 and the 50mm/f1.8 AF-S wide open, but the restaurant we were in had large windows so that I had plenty of light even indoors. The faster shutter speed helped a lot.
    Michael S., maybe you can post some sample images to show us what your problems are. I am here to learn.
    Alan, as I suggested on another thread you posted, your D7000 seems to have many problems and it is time for Nikon to replace it. It will save both you and them time and trouble.
    But don't expect switching to a D800 would always solve AF issues. If you read DPReview forums, there are already a lot of complaints, especially concerning the left AF points. E.g.:
    All of those threads are very long and some of them include complaints on the D4's AF as well.
    Of course, naturally, I don't have any AF problem with the one D800 I have used for two months. :)
    00aVGT-474273584.jpg
     
  86. So you've had direct experience with 1 body and heard about another? I've personally shot 5 different D7000 bodies, & have spoken directly with 2 friends who reported AF issues. Yes two of those bodies were my own (and yes those two were heavily abused), but three of those bodies were purchased brand new by friends who barely ever used them. To some degree I experienced AF issues with 4 of the bodies, the fifth body I only shot video so I cannot comment on its AF performance.
    Perhaps if you had more experience with more D7000 bodies you would be in a better position to give an opinion on their average AF performance.
    I'm not worried about the D4\D800 reports, after all those people probably just need to set some settings and use the cross type sensors and everything will be Aok :)
    Switching the D800 solved AF issues for me. None the less, there will be D800 bodies that have issues, but I would hope with a professional grade camera like the D800 that those be considerably farther and fewer between than the D7000's.
    Again its great your camera works. We've established that how many times now? I would love to see you get your hands on one of these cameras that doesn't work, and then when you come post about it I can try out your role and suggest a bunch of settings for you to try :).
    You tell me not to speak for everyone, and yet I get the distinct impression you are speaking for every D7000 out there by saying yours works. Food for thought.
     
  87. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    So you've had direct experience with 1 body and heard about another?​
    Actually I have direct experience with two D7000 and have heard about many that work perfectly fine. In fact, you too have read about many that work fine and some don't; just re-read this very thread again.
    Again its great your camera works. We've established that how many times now? I would love to see you get your hands on one of these cameras that doesn't work, and then when you come post about it I can try out your role and suggest a bunch of settings for you to try :).​
    Anybody is more than welcome to ship me their D7000 for evaluation. Contact me via e-mail and I'll provide a shipping address. However, I am not interested in any D7000 that has suffered impact damage: either hit by cars or dropped from high places, especially after Nikon repair service has reported that they are unable to repair it back to satisfactory condition. Even D3 and D4 probably won't work well after such impact damage.
    You tell me not to speak for everyone, and yet I get the distinct impression you are speaking for every D7000 out there by saying yours works. Food for thought.​
    Sorry, your impression is dead wrong.
     
  88. Alan, if I were in your shoes, I would feel your pain.
    I do have a few questions.
    - It seems like you were demonstrating the back focus problem with samples. Why not shoot in their presence, demonstrate what you meant by back focus, and get them to acknowledge that there is indeed an equipment problem? If you and Nikon cannot agree upon the existence of the problem to begin with, how can they "correct" it?
    - If you and Nikon were able to agree upon the back focus problem prior to they servicing it, then have them shoot and demonstrate in your presence that the problem has been fixed. Otherwise, why pick it up?
    Perhaps logistically what I suggest is not possible. But that's what it will take to get to the bottom of your problem.
     
  89. Just thought I would throw in the fact that I have a D7000 as does a close friend of mine. I shoot with a 17-55 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 VRII and he shoots with a Tokina 12-24 2.8 and a Nikon 70-300. Neither of us have any autofocus issues that are not of our own doing. The cameras work perfectly and the vast majority of the images are tack sharp.
     
  90. Robert K Thank you for your input
    This last Wednesday I did exactly what you are talking about. Nikon's Customer Relations Specialist spent 2 hours with me including taking photos. He got a poorer results than I did. He tried his best to figure things out and when all was said and done the specialist wanted me to leave the camera and lens to be looked at again. This is the 5th time. Just to be clear, we both tried another body and had no problems. This included swapping lenses between bodies.
    Nikon and I both believe this D7000 has a problem, there for it has a problem.
    I do believe the "ERR" flashing messages that have happened may be part of this issue. If the computerized system has problems, this may explain the other issues.
    Nikon will eventually get to the bottom of this and remedy it. Till then, a cool head is needed.
     
  91. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Alan, your D7000 has a lot more problem than just AF. As I suggested on another thread you had posted to: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00XnSk, it is time to put some pressure on Nikon Canada to replace your D7000 with a new one.
    If it were me, I would start asking them to replace the camera after the 3rd repair. You are up to the 5th time; you are patient, but this process is merely wasting your time as well as Nikon Canada's. Get another D7000 and start capturing good images. Leave the bad one with Nikon Canada so that it is no longer your problem.
     
  92. It's surely a very long thread :). Just to give another opinion as well, before a year ago I bought a new D7000. Since then I had no trouble with the AF system that I could not adjust it. And yes the vast majority of my photos are "net" and sharp. It's also true that I realized that better glass is essential to meet the needs of a D7000 body. Also true that sometimes and depending on the lens, AF is not that fast, like with my 50mm f/1.4 G. But so is with my D300s body. Yes there's difference between my D300s AF system and D7000 but to be honest not the so big one that many would like to present (from my personal experience and not being a PRO making money out of photography with heavy and rough treatment to bodies/lenses).
    Excluding the times I shoot action or my dog going up and down and in circles at the beach :) and for which I choose my D300s, all other times my D7000 is delivering perfect, fast and accurate focus (and with some lens ridiculously fast).
    I happened to be member in a Greek photography site as well. I remember that months ago we had a couple of person complaining about their D7000 cameras. Two of them reported focus problems. We told them to address themselves to Nikon Greece. One of them admittedly accepted the fact that it was due to his technique. The other one said to us that Nikon replaced his camera after repairing one time due to sensor problems mainly.
    I am sure there are some bad copies of the D7000 out there. But being all (or most of them) with a defective AF system I don't think so...otherwise I am a very lucky guy as with a lot of my friend in the Greek forum who I spoke with and have a flawless D7000 in their hands.
    Take a good care of yourselves! Panayotis
     
  93. Nikon will eventually get to the bottom of this and remedy it. Till then, a cool head is needed.​
    Please let us know the results of the 5th repair. Did you ask Nikon's Customer Relations Specialist whether he has come across similar problems on other D7000 bodies or other models? [In fact, it would be nice to hear from B&H or Adorama reps who post here, but I won't hold my breath.]
    In all fairness, Nikon has treated you very well, and has bend over backwards to resolve your problem. You should consider yourself lucky to be able to meet them face to face to demonstrate the problem, repeatedly. Not many Nikon customers can have that luxury.
     
  94. After shooting all last night with the D800 in very low light, my average settings were F/1.4, 1/40 ISO 1600 for the 24mm, F/1.4, 1/80 ISO 3200 for the 85mm, (and those settings were a half to a full stop under exposed) I realized why I think the D7000's AF is so inferior. Because I would have issues locking focus with the D800, it was pretty darn low light, but if I used non-cross type sensors and it refused to lock, I could simply switch to the cross type sensors for better performance, or I might have to figure out a way to get my subject in more light, but never once, all night, did the AF lock when the image was not in focus. This the D7000 does frequently, and Shun, this includes yours, because if it wasn't the case, then you wouldn't have a problem using the non cross type sensors, it simply wouldn't focus instead of getting out of focus shots. This is the reason the D7000 is a really that bad, because its lies to you, especially when using non cross type sensors, it tells you its in focus when its really not (obviously not all the time, but in extreme situations). The D800 and from my experience with the D3 series, they do not do this, if its not in focus, the camera hunts, it won't lock focus until it really can focus a sharp image. For most people this won't be a deal breaker, matter of fact unless you are in low light using non cross type sensors or in really low light using any sensors, or as have some of us have expereinced with long fast glass, this issues rarely rears its ugly head. But I would say 75% of my work is done in low, or really low light, meaning that I'm in an environment where this is a serious issue, hense the reason I no longer shoot with a D7000. My goal is very much like Shun's, its to help people get the most out of their D7000, and yes that means knowing good technique and how to use your camera, it also means knowing know its weaknesses and its limitaitons. And a limitation of the D7000 is in certain situations it will lie to you and tell you its in focus when its really not. Even on Shun's perfectly functioning camera, his non cross type points lie to him too, hense the reason he doesn't use them, and since I haven't seen any really low light shots, I suspect his cross types would lie as well as soon as the situation got dark enough. If you are shooting in ultra low light you are better off with a difference AF system that will hunt and lock perfect focus rather than lock a shot that isn't in focus
     
  95. Good news 5. My D7000 appears to be working the way it should. The issues I was facing was not just the camera, it included the lenses. This time the camera's auto focus operation was adjusted again. Nikon did find a problem with the lens and adjusted the focus system as well as the auto focus operation. This was the 70-300mm AFS VR lens(second trip in for service). Lenses I have taken in previously include 35mm f1.8 ASF DX and 300mm f2.8 AFS VR.
    How is one to explain my luck or lack of it. Today I am happier than I was, but what has happened should not have. At this point I believe Nikon got to the bottom of this and stood behind its product. Yes, this is an opinion.
    After hearing so many times, the D7000 focus issues are almost all users inability to understand and use the focus system. I took a long time using, testing, asking questions, purchased Thom Hogan's manual on this camera(yes, I read the entire book). Months went by with discouraging results.
    Now will I be able to rekindle the excitement I had when I first purchased this camera and lenses almost a year ago? Well I hope so. Perhaps a slower start.
     
  96. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Alan, I am glad that Nikon Canada finally fixes your D7000, but five repair attempts is too many IMO. In that case, I wouldn't exactly say Nikon treated your well, although they clearly tried hard to fix your problems.
    There are always three components in the AF equation:
    1. AF Lens
    2. AF camera body
    3. photographer
    If there are AF issues, people should probably ship both body and lens(es) to Nikon for evaluation, perhaps not the first time around but if the AF issue is not fixed the first time, certainly by the second repair attempt. That was what I suggested to Michael S. above, but apparently he had already done that.
    After three unsuccessful repairs, I would start looking into the replacement option. In particular, Alan's D7000 seems to have other problems not related to AF. Hopefully all of that is now behind him.
    Alan, good luck and thanks for keeping us posted.
     
  97. Good news indeed, Alan.
    Did Nikon tell you exactly what they did with your D7000? Did they tell you how often they have come across similar problems with the D7000?
     
  98. Shun, Thanks for your input. You are right about 1,2 and 3. Number one and two need to pull their weight, because number three(me) is frustrated. Sending all items in question to Nikon is the right move.
    Robert, Nikon would only say they adjusted the focus on all 5 service trips. No mention of other D7000 with similar problems.
    Nikon never did any checking with regards to the "ERR" error messages. this happened 4 times requiring removal of the battery to resolve the problem. When I asked, I was told "it is working now and that will not happen again. None of the paper work shows it being addressed. I left telling customer service I was concerned with this.
    I have noew checked the camera out with 3 different lenses, 2 are focusing on what they are pointed at and are showing a very clear image(300m AF-S 2.8 VR and 50mm AF 1.8). The 70-300mm VR(twice in for service) is not showing clarity at any f-stop from 70 to 300mm. There is a a distinct separation of the red colour directly upwards from all other colours, starting in the centre. It is worse wide open and is still readily visible up to f16. I sent samples into Nikon and here is their reply.
    "Thank you for your e-mail. In regards to your question, I have reviewed the photos once again, and there seems to be no issue whatsoever with the photos. I believe you have exceeded the D7000 capabilities and need to move on to Full frame shooting if you want different outcomes of photos."
    Deep breath.
    Things are better than they were. I have had an unusual number of things to deal with.
    I will be checking my other lenses over the next few days.
     
  99. I've been shooting Nikon for 40+ years. I'm a dyed in the wool film guy, and my new D7000 is my first attempt to take DSLRs seriously. I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread. I wish that I had seen it before I purchased my brand new D7000 just a little over a month ago.
    Right out of the box my D7000 is having the same AF problems that are typical of the problems discussed in this thread. Unfortunately I didn't return it to the merchant during the 30-day exchange period, because I drank the Kool-Aid and believed that the AF problems could only have been caused by my lack of familiarity wth the camera's complex focusing system, and that they were attributable to user error, in spite of my 40+ years of experience with Nikon SLR. It's taken me a little over a month to determine conclusively that there are several hardware/software problems with the camera, and that I'm not having problems because I'm some nincompoop who doesn't know how to use a camera.
    I am having many problems with defects in the camera. I'll only address the most egregious focusing problems here:
    A. Back-Focusing. When using any AF mode, the sharpest point of focus always lies behind the desired focal plane in the photograph, no matter what lenses I might use. This problem is not caused by improper AF mode selection. I experience the problem using single-dot AF-S mode. The sharpest point of focus always lies behind the desired point of focus whenever the autofocus / digital rangefinder system is used to determine focus. Manual focus while ignoring the digital rangefinder provides sharper results. This suggests autofocus / digital rangefinder calibration error.
    B. Poor Sharpness at Large Apertures. I'm using fast prime glass with maximum apertures in the range of 1.4 to 2.8 covering 20 to 300 mm. Sharpness always suffers unless the lens is stopped down with enough DoF to mask the problem.
    Of course, A and B are just symptoms of the same underlying problem.
    The in-camera AF calibration/offset menu is somewhat helpful in addressing the focal plane problem, but it only works for autofocus lenses. That is to say, I can't get the in-camera AF offset system to adequately re-calibrate the digital rangefinder to provide adequate focus resolution with a 50mm f/1.4 AI-S test lens. (It is my understanding that Nikon service uses a 50mm f/1.4 lens for focus calibration because of it's narrow DoF.) The AF calibration settings only appear to be active with CPU-based lenses. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that.
    When taking a portrait with a 50mm f/1.4, I'll use a tripod and a seated subject, manually focusing on the subject's pupils, using the digital rangefinder to confirm proper focus with the “green dot.” The result is invariably a portrait where the eyes are out of focus, but the ears are sharp; ie: the camera is focusing behind the desired focal plane. Manual focusing by eye, while ignoring the digital rangefinder, eliminates this problem. Clearly, the problem is not one of softness in the lens at maximum aperture, it's one of digital rangefinder focus inaccuracy; the digital rangefinder is producing faulty results.
    I have tested the focus error in the digital rangefinder by performing manual “focus bracketing,” in which I take a series of photographs while subtly changing the plane of focus, thereby varying the end-point defined by the digital rangefinder. The result is that optimal focus is obtained not when the green dot is illuminated, but when the lens is focused slightly “ahead of the subject” such that the green dot is turning off just as the left triangle is turning on.
    Stopping down to f/2.8 or f/4.0 masks these problems. At those smaller apertures there's enough DoF to effectively conceal the problem so that nobody would ever notice it.
    In performing web based research about this problem, the consensus of opinion seems to favor blaming problems such as these on "nincompoops" and "user error." I have to admit that I'm surprised by the knee-jerk response that so many people offer on the internet fora. Why are these focusing problems are always dismissed as being attributable to user error? Is everyone trying to avoid facing the truth, that there is a problem with the design of their camera?
    It is clear that there is a range of focusing accuracy in the D7000 that Nikon considers “good enough,” especially if you're dealing with slow apertures that can effectively conceal any miscalibration of the digital rangefinder, and the accuracy of the autofocusing system that relies upon it. The vast majority of users aren't subjected to the problems that a few people are reporting because of differences in their techniques. I think it's wrong to say that the minority of the people who are complaining about AF problems are wrong, that they are experiencing user error , or that they are “nincompoops,” just because they are in the minority of D7000 users. Not everyone applies the same degree of critical eye or scientific method to addressing these issues.
    Like others in this thread, I've also had my share of problems obtaining adequate focus tracking with the D7000 on moving objects. I just can't get a series of sharp photos of a dog trotting straight at me, @ 1/1000 & f/5.6 with a 180mm AF-D Nikkor lens, using single block focus in AF-C mode and a tripod. Conventional wisdom says that that my failure has to be related to user error, and not related to the camera. If there is user error in my choice of settings, I can't determine what it is, so I'll set this problem aside and focus on the results of static testing of the AF rangefinder.
    Objective testing has proven that my brand-new D7000 has an autofocus rangefinder calibration that is “adequate” for use in many non-critical applications, especially when shooting a stagnant target with a stopped-down lens. But it is clearly inadequate when critical focus needs to be obtained with fast optics that have a shallow DoF. The sad truth is that the “acceptable range” for the AF sensor calibration seems to be deeper than the DoF provided by a fast lens. In other words, some lenses are sharper than the limits of camera's AF system, as calibrated off of the assembly line. The result is that the camera produces just the results that you would expect under these circumstances: soft IQ at large apertures.
    The natural response will be to suggest that I have a bad specimen, and that I need to send my D7000 back to Nikon for warranty repair. What's odd is that everyone who performs similar critical tests seems to obtain similar results. These results are always dismissed as "you won't find a problem unless you go looking for one," which sounds like another way of telling people to accept marginal results from their camera. If critical static focusing is desired of a D7000, it seems that you have to send the camera back to Nikon to receive individualized attention to properly calibrate the AF sensor. This suggests that on the production line, AF sensor calibration is only “roughed-in” so that it is good enough to satisfy most users, and that the manufacturer isn't spending the time to fine-tune every unit in production, because most users don't shoot at f/1.4 and will never demand this level of attention to detail in sensor calibration. So corners are cut to save money, and only the squeaky wheels get greased when people return their cameras for problems. It's simple economics.
    Part of the reason that I bought my D7000 was because my brother gave such high praise to his D7000. His daughter gave similar praise to her D7000. After reporting my experience to them, both my brother and my niece, who had previously been totally satisfied with their D7000, have begun to recognize the same problems that I have described. When I pointed out my observations, they conceded that they had been having AF problems on poorly lit subjects in low-light situations, and problems with low sharpness in low DoF situations. They accepted these problems because they had always been conditioned to accept the explanation that poor IQ in these conditions was the result of “user error.” Evidently, it seems that everyone's totally happy with this camera until they start to demand that it produce critical results, and only then do users notice it's existing deficiencies. This seems to define the D7000 as a mid-range camera.
    In the big scheme of things, I'm quite disappointed that my D7000 cannot provide critical focus accuracy at f/1.4, and that I should have to return a brand-new unit to the factory service department for sensor re-calibration. Quite simply, the fact that my camera passed the quality control checks on the Nikon production line means that the Nikon QC checks aren't all that good, and that Nikon is passing cameras that have AF problems.
     
  100. Bob, it's been my experience that all the DX cameras are pretty terrible for manual focus use and have some give in the focus confirm dot. D80, D90, D7000, D300 even. I don't know why it's like that, but I've never been able to get really good focus with manual lenses without going to live view and zooming. The same camera will nail focus in AF then show a focus dot in MF when it's actually way off.
    Now the D700, that does a heck of a job - I can focus an f/1.2 lens using the dot and arrows.
     
  101. "...it's been my experience that all the DX cameras are pretty terrible for manual focus use..."​
    Try the D2H or D2X. Manual focusing with my D2H is entirely comparable to manual focusing with my F3HP with E grid focus screen. Both offer equally bright and crisp views for manual focusing. Neither offers a manual focusing aid - split-image or microprism - which some photographers may need depending on their vision, subject matter and lighting.
    The lower magnification of the high eyepoint, 100% finders may not suit some folks. I suspect that's more of a factor with Nikon's pro-level DX dSLRs than most other complaints.
    I will confirm that the D2H green focus confirmation dot is only an approximation. I don't use it anyway because it's out of the line of sight. But in 7 years with the D2H I've never had any problems with ordinary manual focusing, even though my vision has deteriorated enough over the past few years that I need non-prescription reading glasses for the computer or reading. My distance vision is still fine, and I don't need glasses for photography.
    Regarding the D7000 AF issue, no idea, never tried it. The last new Nikon dSLR I tried was the D90 which offered excellent AF.
     
  102. I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread. I wish that I had seen it before I purchased my brand new D7000 just a little over a month ago.​

    Bob, thanks for your well written post. Aside from this thread, there are many more here and elsewhere about the D7000 AF. Reports like yours had kept me from purchasing one. I won't be able to use a body that cannot reliably and consistently focus accurately.
     
  103. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Robert K, as far as I can tell, you never miss any D7000 AF problem discussion, but if you look around, on DPReview there are endless discussions on D800 AF problems since that camera was shipped in late March. On this forum a few people have claimed to run into D800 AF isuses but it is not nearly as crazy as on DPReview.
    On any popular camera, even 4, 5% of owners report problems, you will see "a lot of" discussions. According to Nikon, they are manufacturing 30K D800 a month, so there are probably 200K D800 cameras out there. If 5% of those 200K is defective, that is 10K defective units, and if 1% of those 10K owners complain, that would be 100 complaints. The D7000 has been around for far longer than the D800 and is much cheaper. Therefore, Nikon has sold a lot more of them (my estimate is well over one million D7000 sold by now, probably more like 1.5M) and you can do the math yourself.
    If you have any concerns about D7000 or D800 AF issues, I wouldn't hesitate to get one (from a store that lets you exchange a defective camera) and then immediately test its AF capabilities. It should take no more than an hour to discover any real AF issues, thus giving you plenty of time to return any truely defective camera, and of course Nikon gives you a one-year warranty beyond that.
    For those who are new to DSLRs, the D7000 and D800 have very dense pixels so that they are far more demanding on lenses than film (the D3200 is even worse). If you manual focus, I would put the camera on a tripod and use live view to focus manually, where you can magnify a small portion of the image to tune the focus, manually; the camera's AF system is not even involved. If you still can't get sharp images, most likely your lenses are not good enough for modern digital any more.
    Otherwise, from now on to the foreseeable future, I am sure that for every new Nikon DSLR they introduce, there will be a lot of complaints, on AF and other issues. If you keep worrying about it, you will never buy another camera. You can try Canon, but you'll find lots and lots of complaints about Canon as well. There are a lot of trolls around on forums.
     
  104. Robert K, as far as I can tell, you never miss any D7000 AF problem discussion ...​
    Shun Cheung, neither have you.
    There are a lot of trolls around on forums.​
    There are as many cheerleaders as trolls. Readers are responsible to tell who is who.
     
  105. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Robert, you are missing my point. I routinely participate on all sorts of topics on this forum, but as far as I can tell, while you almost never miss a D7000 AF discussion, you rarely post to this forum on any other topic.
    There are of course defective Nikon DSLRs, but it is not like if you happen to get one of them, you are stuck. Any AF issues it not difficult to identify so that you can get an exchange promptly from your dealer; it is not a problem that would take weeks or months to develop (as some electronic problems would). In case you miss that window to exchange, be it 7 days or 30 days, Nikon warranties their cameras for a year (or longer in some countries, e.g. 2 years in Canada). I just don't see what the risk is. You can see how much trouble Nikon Canada went through to fix Alan McLaren's D7000 and eventually identified the lens problem.
    In the mean time, I have recommended the D7000 to many people, from close friends to strangers who merely send e-mail to me for advice. As far as I can tell everybody is happy with it. If for whatever reason you don't want the D7000, you can wait for the next model. I assume Canon and Nikon will announce a few DSLRs before Photokina, but regardless of what they announce, I have no doubt that there will be lot of "horror stories" about them on web forums. That is simply the nature of the internet. If those "horror stories" are all you want to believe in, you will never buy another camera, or fly in another airplane, take another trip ....
    I have seven Nikon DSLRs, all of different models. I will be on a trip to remote Washington State to photograph nature. For that trip I am taking exactly two DSLRs: a D7000 and a D800E, both models have lots and lots of AF complaints, but somehow they serve me very well.
     
  106. I live with someone who has recently become visually impaired. She doesn't see as well as I do. The situation poses some rather unique challenges for both of us. For example, when I see something happening in the environment that could pose a threat to her, I warn her about it. Invariably, her vision is not adequate to perceive the problem, so an argument ensues in which she insists that I am wrong because she fails to perceive the threat. The reality of the situation is that an environmental threat actually exists, and that one person recognizes a factual problem that another person fails to recognize; when one person informs the other, the person being informed resists accepting the information because it conflicts with their experienced sensory perception. In my case, she hasn't yet learned to yield to someone who can see the big picture better than she can. She holds onto the premise that if she does not perceive something then it can not exist. This amounts to an embarrassing failure in logic. There's no point in arguing with her. She doesn't perceive the threat. She resists new information that conflicts with her experience. It's hard to modify her behavior because she's lived all of her life trusting her sesnory perception.
    I see the same thing happening here. One group of people is reporting real life problems that they experience with their cameras, while another group of people who don't recognize these problems insist on arguing that the other group's perception is wrong. The result is a conversation that goes nowhere, but involves 10 pages of head bumping between the most adamantly positioned on both sides.
    It would be more productive to admit that problems really exist. It's pointless to argue that they don't. Doing so amounts to arguing from a position of ignorance:
    "I have not experienced the problem, therefore no problem exists."
     
  107. It is good to see there is a little bit of difference in opinions and yes I have mine. With my D7000 my expectations were high. I had problems and worked a long time on my own to see if experience(7 months) could help me overcome them. I did get better results but I believed there was more to it than experience. I was frustrated with my results. I contacted Nikon(the history of that is in this thread) and took my camera in for service. Still not happy, I continued with the help of Nikon service until my problems could be worked out(5 trips). My camera and 3 lenses needed adjustments. Nikon service spent time with me shooting photographs at their service centre before taking things away.
    It would have been nice if I never needed service. But if you need service Nikon will help. My example of working through a problem is not the norm. My problem involved equipment and me and both needed help. The D7000 capabilities are still ahead of mine. To help with this I send the odd photo to Nikon for there input.
    Now I use the word clarity instead of focus. Lighting and its understanding to get a clear looking photo is much more critical with the D7000 that the D90(these are my 2 cameras) in my experience. Some of my photos look unfocused yet it is the lighting that causes this. This is my experience after service.
    I'm starting to ramble on a bit here. I here a lot of "you need to learn how to use the camera". This may be true in some cases(probably is). Pointing out what needs to be learned and where to find it will go a long way. Thom Hogan has a saying at the top of his page on Discipline "No, I'm not into S&M, though sometimes achieving best shot discipline seems like it."
    It you think you have a problem call Nikon. Take the time to do what needs to be done. Learning how to do something well, is not easy and you will get frustrated. If you can stay with it, in the end you will understand.


    One cent two
     
  108. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I see the same thing happening here. One group of people is reporting real life problems that they experience with their cameras, while another group of people who don't recognize these problems insist on arguing that the other group's perception is wrong. The result is a conversation that goes nowhere, but involves 10 pages of head bumping between the most adamantly positioned on both sides.
    It would be more productive to admit that problems really exist. It's pointless to argue that they don't. Doing so amounts to arguing from a position of ignorance:​
    Bob, I am afraid that is not at all the case here, since we are not all looking at the same D7000 camera.
    Again, for consumer electronics, a 3% to 5% defective rate is considered normal. For something like the D7000 which Nikon must have sold perhaps 1.5 million units, there is no doubt that several 10's of thousands defective ones are out there at some point. In fact, I have never heard of any camera model that does not have defective units.
    However, I find it rather silly that some people only focus on the defective reports. For each defective one found, who knows how many 10's of good ones are also sold? I bought my D7000 as soon as it was available in November 2010 so that it is among the earliest ones, and it is as perfect as it can be given the D7000's design limits, e.g. a shallow memory buffer that frequently annoies me. If one happens to receive a defecitve one, I would get it exchanged quickly and if you miss that window, make sure that Nikon fixes it under warranty. If Nikon cannot fix it after 2, 3 tries, pressure them to exchange for a new one. I see no reason why anybody is using a new D7000 that not as perfect as mine.
     
  109. "Again, for consumer electronics, a 3% to 5% defective rate is considered normal. >
    My job is in Statistical Process Control at a major American manufacturing corporation.
    As an expert on quality control in the manufacturing industry, I'm going to have to disagree with you regarding the quoted rate of defects that is considered acceptable in manufacturing consumer electronics A defect rate of 3% to 5% may be considered to be acceptable to a ghost/contract manufacturer that is knocking out a quick run of disposable-quality garbage electronics in an overseas manufacturing plant, where the manufacturer's objective is to produce the lowest quality merchandise that he can put-off onto a customer who doesn't bother to keep quality-control staff on-site to monitor the manufacturing process, but those quality standards that you referenced can only be considered an epic failure for any brand-name manufacturer in the 21st Century. A failure rate of 3% to 5% is so high that the cost of servicing and repairing defective equipment becomes burdensome and ruins profitability. Modern manufacturing methods strive to produce near-100% defect-free rates so that the unnecessary expense associated with the repair and replacement of defective merchandise can be avoided.
    A failure rate of 3% to 5% is a pathetically high failure rate for a "precision instrument" such as a camera that costs over US$1,100.00. In the era of mechanized manufacturing and Statistical Process Control, Six-Sigma manufacturing provides defect-free rates of 99.99966%. That is the accepted standard, not 95% to 97%.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Sigma
    Personally, I think there's a huge difference in the expectations of reliability when comparing something like an $1100 Nikon camera and a $20 disposable Chinese-made generic brand DVD player that you'd buy at a discount store. Defect-free rates of 95% to 97% are not at all representative of today's quality standards in precision manufacturing. They are indicative of sloppy, careless manufacturing standards, where quick profit is the main objective and quality control is a secondary concern. To claim that a D7000 should have a defect rate of 3% to 5% amounts to setting the bar to an unacceptably low standard. If I had known that such a high defect rate should be considered normal, then I wouldn't have considered buying a D7000. If a defect rate of 3% to 5% is considered normal for this camera, then the answer to the original poster's question is an unqualified yes -- the D7000 really is that bad.
    I honestly hope that you're not speaking for Nikon when you say that a reject rate of 3% to 5% should be considered normal. That kind of statistic represents quality control that is just awful. Unfortunately, such an abysmally low level of quality control seems to be typical for much of the low-end garbage that is being imported into the USA today.
     
  110. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I honestly hope that you're not speaking for Nikon when you say that a reject rate of 3% to 5% should be considered normal. That kind of statistic represents quality control that is just awful.​
    Bob, I only speak for myself. Like most members here, I am merely a Nikon camera user, although I have been one for quite a while and am quite happy about Nikon products.
    Sorry to be blunt, and again I only speak for myself, but if you indeed think a consumer DSLR such as the D7000 or even a professional DSLR such as the D4 were some sort of "precision instrument" and should have a six-sigma defect rate, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
     
  111. I have to agree with Bob I went through 2 D7000's before giving up
    It's nothing to do with limits of phase detection, user settings, camera set-up. Both showed heavy back focus out of the box both bought this month. Nikon's D7000 problems are far from over. AF inconsistent..inaccurate and even AF fine tune can't solve the problems.
     
  112. I recommended testing without lens filter. If filter is bad or fake, it's affect focus a lot.
     
  113. No filters over 10 lenses tested including some pro level glass. All showed strong back focus. Nikon have serious issues here and they are still not resolved. I've entry DSLR's from years ago that smoke the D7k for AF and badly at that.
    How can 2 years later this model still have problems? I've no confidence in Nikon left after this. I can appreciate the frustration of some users with this problem.
     
  114. I have before really bad back focus issue, when using hoya filters, but without filters, focus is perfect. Hoya filters change long distance focus about -9 micro settings (af fine tune settings). And filter focus problem is also old D90. D90 focus also perfect ,when not using filter at all. I hate filters. It's marketing *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#*.
     
  115. Just stay away from the cheap ones. I don't know about what they might or might not be doing to focus but they certainly add flare. I stick with B+W multicoated ones.
     
  116. Not sure how we got onto filters. Quick reply yes it does appear to be "that bad" maybe I'm more fussy than most but I could never have fun shooting with a D7k constantly worried if the shot is in focus.
    In many ways a superb camera, but not for AF
     
  117. I have had my experience with the D7000 for some time now. After many times in for service including lenses with it. I believe it is not perfect. Things have improved since service, but not as good as I would have liked. I was having problems using single point AF on small items with the VR turned on. In continuous, the focus would constantly adjust itself, never quite getting proper focus. After contacting Nikon, I was told it was the VR causing this and to turn the VR off. This did solve this focusing issue. Because of this I now leave VR off. When photographing birds in flight, the VR inter-fears with the AF staying on target. Everyone's experiences will be a little different. The only filter I use on occasion is nikon's own Circular Polarizing Filter. Focusing properly is not as easy as it should be. Manual focus accuracy with this camera is not much better. looking for the green dot to appear while focusing means taking your eye off the subject. When the item is in proper focus, the images are incredible. Learning to use this camera to get what I want has taken its toll. It works because I am working within its limitations. 10% excellent - 30% good - 20% poor - this would be my average. I shoot a large volume of images in-order to pick one with good focus. I have now spent over 500 hours using this camera. When I have an issue I call Nikon. When the photographs come out perfect, they are amazing. Proper focus and holding the camera still do make a huge difference. I was hoping VR would help me with camera movement but it has yet to benefit me.
    My two cents
     
  118. Check metadata/exif/subject distance and see if the figures given (in meters) make sense for the image.
     
  119. Thanks Henrik, Good Thinking. Could you elaborate on this a little.
     
  120. More than a year later since my last post.... I am still having focus issues with my D7000. The lens I use does not seem to matter, hand held or tripod with remote. The focus is inconsistent from shot to shot even on a stationary item shooting with tripod and remote. If I manual focus with live view I can get good focus.
    I have had this in to Nikon service 5 times and my problem persists. All my lenses have gone in for service as well, often together.
    Warranty is now over for me and this camera. I have sold my 300mm f2.8 VRII as it never focussed properly. I sold it for 2000 less tan I paid, very sad. Yes it was in for service too.
    I have spent a lot of money on Nikon products and tried to work with them. I feel my time has been waisted. I know others have had a better experience than I. The only lens that has worked well with this D7000 is my Tokina 11-16mm f2.8.
    I am thinking I have spent enough time trying.
    Thank you all for your help.
    Sincerely,
    Alan
     
  121. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Alan, sorry to know that your bad experience continues. However, I think Ilkka made a good suggestion, directly to you, almost two years ago (see above):
    Ilkka Nissila [​IMG], Jun 14, 2012; 08:44 a.m.
    Alan, sorry to hear about your experience. I would at this point simply request Nikon or the store you bought it from for a full refund, or a refund which can be used in partial payment for another camera (a D800 perhaps). If a defective unit cannot be repaired it should be the manufacturer's (or importer's) responsibility to replace it with a correctly functioning unit (as per warranty) or provide a compensation in the form of a refund. Of course they will not refund the cost of your lenses, so you are probably best off getting a D800 (if that is satisfactory for you) rather than going for another brand.​
    If Nikon cannot repair the D7000 and 300mm/f2.8 AF-S VR after many attempts, you should request a new one or get a refund. I am sure that there are so called "lemons" among Nikon products. It is unnecessary to sell it privately and take a major loss.
    In particular, the D7000 has now been replaced by the D7100, which has Nikon's top-of-the-line AF system. I have used two of them and its AF is wonderful.
     
  122. Ikka Nissila, thanks you.
    The 300mm has been sold.
    Nikon also suggested for me to buy the D800 as a way of getting the photos I was after.
    When I presented multiple images taken with the D7000 and the 35mm f1.8 dx on a tripod of a group of people in a single line facing the camera. Face detection picked up all the faces, At this point I stepped away and used a remote and took multiple shots. It was a sunny day, I was set on "A" on the dial with ISO set to 100 at f8.0. after reviewing the images, the area that looked the clearest in these photos was the trees in the background, about 6 yards behind the people. The digital file showed the focus points on their faces and the background was clear, very odd.
    After showing them this, they checked the camera with this lens and found nothing wrong. I asked the customer service person, then how does this happen? The answer was, I was not there and have no idea what happened.
    Repeated issues like this and when I asked for a replacement I was told, their is nothing wrong with my product.
    Randomly focus stops working altogether and I need to turn the camera off and on which fixes it for a while. Each day I am out this happens at least once. This did not happen while in for service at Nikon. Included with this the camera does not always turn off with the switch. Once I found it on with the switch in the off position after a road trip.
    Basically Nikon does not believe there is a problem yet suggested I buy another product (D800) to be happy. I did all these returns in person.
    Others have been treated far better.
    I am disappointed in Nikon's treatment of this situation.
     
  123. I had the same response from Nikon, there AF was within factor spec and working properly. But in the field it was showing unpredictable and inconsistent focus. One shot fine, one shot out (way out back focus)
    After multiple trips to service, I decided that I did not wish to use Nikon equipment (I can't afford such a high number of missed focus shots for work) I suggest you find another manufacturer and see if they suit your needs better.
    I know it's a pain selling off lenses and other items, but I personally feel you have little option left bar trying to get a refund off the seller. You could argue the goods are not of acceptable quality, the other alternative is to hammer Nikon on facebook (and hit them across many regions) until you get a satisfactory conclusion. It will work trust me
     
  124. Shun Cheung, thank you for your input. Glad to hear you are having a good experience with Nikon. I too would have liked that.
    I have tried to get a replacement. Nikon does not give refunds. But there line is that there is nothing wrong even with all I have shown and explained.
    Yes, I am very unhappy about loosing on my investment (300mm). The other option is to talk to counsel or walk away.
    If you had this experience, would you buy another camera from them?
    Thanks again for your input.
     
  125. Shun Cheung has mostly tried to blame settings or the photographer, I can vouch that I had a total of 5 bodies that all displayed focus problems.
    It's not the settings, nor the photographer there are problems with many D7000's with AF, I've older bodies from other makers that hammer the D7000 for AF performance, even cheaper budget models will run rings around a D7000 for AF
    As for Nikon just look at the D600 fiasco to make your own mind up
     
  126. Barry F, thank you for this insight.
     
  127. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    If you had this experience, would you buy another camera from them?​
    Why not? You have bad experience with exactly one D7000 that costs $1200 new, much cheaper now. Why dump your 300mm/f2.8 for a $2000 loss before testing it on additional bodies? If the new body also shows problems, you can always return it promptly for a full refund. It would have cost you some valuable time, of course, but essentially no more money.
    I have been using Nikon cameras since 1977 and since I test them for photo.net in these days, I have gone through 2, 3 dozen of them so far. I know I am sounding old now, but in some 34 years, I have yet to run into one Nikon body that is defective from the beginning.
    However, so far I have terrible experience with refurbished Nikon lenses that I have perhaps repeated too many times on this forum: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00c0Fc
    In two occasions I ran into subtle focusing issues on two refurbished zooms. Those lenses were not sharp on their long end; in the case of the 80-400, it was unsharp only at 400mm, f5.6. In both cases it took me about a week or two to conclude that the lenses were defective. I wasted a lot of time testing those lenses and I lost out of two great deals (as those refurbished lenses were a lot cheaper than new), so it was very frustrating for me as well, but I returned them promptly and got full refunds both times. And if the deal is good, I might give refurbished lenses another try. Plenty of people have reported good experiences with their refurbished lenses.
    Sorry if those suggestions are too late for some, but hopefully others will check their new purchase, new or pre-owned products, thoroughly within the refund period.
    P.S. Without the opportunity to check any specific piece of equipment, I am not going to pass judgment on any specific case. I have no doubt that some new Nikon cameras and lenses are defective. I am sorry if some of you run into them.
     
  128. Shun Cheung, a very strong response to say the least, yet I am glad you have had a good experience.
    I purchased my Nikon products directly from Nikon Canada.
    I did ask for them to be replaced and they refused.
    I did check the 300mm f2.8 with their customer support person outside their location with the D7000 of mine and their D800. This lens had an issue with both. They said because their service department said it was operating within spec, they will not replace it, even though there was proof to the contrary in actual use by myself and the customer service person on both cameras.
    All other issues were dealt with in pretty much the same manner.
    This has continued to the point that the warranty is now over for the D7000 and I must pay for to be fixed now. This would not be a problem if I could trust Nikon the fix it.
    My real wish is that Nikon would help me.
    Thank you for your input.
    Alan
     
  129. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Alan, if you are not satisfied with Nikon Canada's repair service, I would suggest that you escalate the issue. For example, it doesn't take that much time to write a letter to the president of Nikon Canada and if that still doesn't work, to Nikon Japan. Since your D7000 went to repair 5 times during warranty, I would demand a replacement even though it is outside of the warranty period.
    If you come here to blow off some steam, that is fine and very understandable. You may get a few sympathy responses telling everybody how bad Nikon is. That may make you feel better, but it is not going to fix your equipment at all.
    Alan McLaren , Dec 21, 2012; 08:04 a.m.
    Thanks Henrik, Good Thinking. Could you elaborate on this a little.
    Alan McLaren , Mar 23, 2014; 01:19 p.m.​
    Think about it, between your two consecutive posts in December 2012 and March 2014, a year and three months has gone by and nobody else has posted here. I recall that Nikon USA had a sale of D7000 around last Christmas for $700. Therefore, they must have sold a lot of D7000 in 2013. If a lot of D7000 indeed have various problems, we should have seen a lot of complaints, on this thread or other new threads. At least I am not aware of any unusual amount of such complaints.
    Again, assuming that it is all Nikon's fault, if your purpose for posting here is to blow off some steam, I am sorry I am not very helpful at all. If you would like to get your issues resolved, it is too late for the 300mm/f2.8, but there is still a chance for the others.
    You can switch to Canon, which makes great cameras, but a few years ago the 1D Mark III had lots and lots of AF issues; I have seen threads much longer than this one (or even the one for the Nikon Df here with 800+ posts). I was just talking to a friend the other day. His 1D Mark III went back to Canon for multiple repairs for that very issue. Even though it is someone else's fault, sometimes you need to help yourself to get the issues resolved.
     
  130. Most users won't notice problems as they are not experienced photographers, plenty of D5100's and D3200's with back focus that will never get noticed
    You should not have to jump through hoops to get this sorted out, I would honestly abandon Nikon they have IMO too many QC problems, their service sucks cannot fix simple AF issues properly. All makers have problems, but we know for a fact Nikon have had more than most, D600 disaster, D800 AF issues..the D7000 is widely complained about for AF issues you don't have to look very far at all
    It's a nice body with somewhat iffy metering (in matrix which isn't the major problem) and lousy AF performance. I kid you now the bodies I had varied from early to late production models and not one of them could hit a barn door accurately and consistently
    Stop the headache and dump any brand that doesn't put it's customers first
     
  131. Thank you Shun Cheung and Barry F
    I have taken the good out of what has been posted and will leave it at that.
    I did write Nikon Japan twice last year and have not received a reply as of today.
    I have contacted Nikon Canada after they dropped me a note on Facbook in reply to my posting on their page. They will try and work a plan out for me and let me know in a day or two. Patience.
    Causing a raucous is not my intersession. Although I am not a happy camper. Time for Peace.
     
  132. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Alan, I hope something good can work out for you. If I may make one more suggestion, I would get a name in Nikon Canada to be the point of contact for your future correspondences; it is best to have a manager. Therefore, if you don't hear from them after a few more days, you have something to get in touch with.
    Please keep us posted on any progress.
    Good luck.
     
  133. Jon:
    I have had mine for about two years and the autofocus has been flawless. Overall, this is a great camera and I went up to the d7100 for a bit better low light performance and the higher resolution at 24 mix.
    -O
     
  134. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

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