My next D7000

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by tim_eastman, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. My three month old D7000 went to Nikon to have a focus issue dealt with, and unfortunately came back with the problem not fixed. My local camera shop will swap the D7000 for another new one and hopefully it will focus properly, and my faith in Nikon will be restored. I am crossing my fingers that I got a bad copy. I sold my D300 and have been impressed by the image quality of the D7000, but I am prepared to go back to a D300 if the D7000 cannot fulfill one basic requirement.
    I would be interested in hearing from other D7000 owners who have had focusing problems. FWIW, I compared the D7000 and a D300 using the same 18-200 and same settings, both on a tripod and there is no question the D7000 fails to focus properly. D7000 top, D300 bottom
  2. Did you try one lens only? It can also be the combination of your 18-200 and the D7000 that has a front- or backfocus problem. In which case the combination needs to be calibrated. Either way, before saying it is the body for sure, try with more than one lens.
  3. You upgraded from semi-pro camera to a consumer grade camera, at least as the auto-focus is concerned. You did give in to popular hype that the newer is always better. Now you face the consequnces. Get a better lens, to start with, then see what else you need to do ?
  4. This is a terrible test subject, but here is your D7000 shot downsampled to match the D300 and sharpened for web. BTW, do you use VR on your tripod? Also, the 18-200 is a very good lens, but not the sharpest--to be expected, given its wide range. For real-world pictures, it's fine!
  5. I can't see a problem.
  6. This is an absolutely terrible test subject.
    Frank, the AF speed and accuracy is a heck of a lot better than you make it out to be.
    The D7000 has several advantages over the D300. And the D300 has several advantages over the D7000. Whether it is an upgrade or downgrade depends on which features you need/use.
  7. I would say that you DOWN graded from D300 to D7000...... I am sure the pictures from a D7000 are great but I am also sure that you can get the same results from a D300..
  8. Actually René, I believe the common understanding from those that have used both is that the IQ is improved under a variety of different shooting conditions with the D7000 over the D300.
  9. "Frank, the AF speed and accuracy is a heck of a lot better than you make it out to be." - I am not making out of anything, just refer to the auto-focus abilities to the 2 cameras, and opinions already expressed.
    While D300S has top of the Nikon brand focusing engine, with 51 focusing points, and 15 cross type points, the D7000 has much limited focusinmg speed engine with 39 focusing points and only 9 of cross type. Is it enough ? - perhaps, but there is no contest here.
  10. bms


    I had the first 18-200 and a major focusing issue (don't remember if front or back) on a D80 at the time. Other lenses were fine. Lens went back to Nikon.... not the camera. My dad still has the camera and it works fine with a 18-135.
    I now have a D7000 - I had to fine tune the autofocus on my lenses a bit, but not much. Did you try that? I don't recall that the D80 had that option. Maybe someone can explain how one lens front or back focuses but others don't.... but it is a fact that fine tuning sometimes is necessary.
    As for the D7000 vs D300 issue - I had both, never side by side. I much prefer the IQ of the D7000, but there is no contest in terms of built quality.....
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I currently have both the D300 and D7000. In these days I no longer use the D300 very often. The D7000 is now my primary DX body.
  12. I'm with Shun on this one. I have D300, D700 and D7000 some older D bodies. The D7000 is now my primary Dx shooting body with the D700 as my Fx.
    Haven't had any issues with the AF on it.
  13. I am no pro photographer. I have however made shotting Nokon DX cameras my main hobby for the last six or so years. I too was not pleased with my D-7000 focusing when I first started using it. I read about how using fast lens (f2.8 and faster) helped. I to found that to be the case, however I maybe just staring into my flash strobes to much but I have noticed that increasing the ISO, say in the 400 to 800 range, seems to help also. I don't understand why it would have the effect but the soft images seem to be more edgy at these ISOs.
  14. Right now neither Tim, or anyone else, has any idea if his D7000 has a focus problem until he shoots a target that the camera can properly focus on. A proper AF target is on page A65 of the following Nikon Service manual:
  15. Maybe someone can explain how one lens front or back focuses but others don't.... but it is a fact that fine tuning sometimes is necessary.
    The answer is manufacturing quality control issues, in my opinion.​
  16. Robert, the answer is not manufactering control ISSUES, but accepted manufactering differences. To have all bodies and all lenses mate 100%, production precision would have to go up a step, and that runs into the part business where "solving 20% of the issues cost 80% of the money" - so, large companies accept the deviations in order to keep costs under control.
    One can say that Nikon (and Canon, Pentax, Sony, ....) are to blame here, but in the end, most of us are also not willing to pay that much more for the lenses - so it's a trade off. At least with in-body calibration options, you can resolve the common cases yourself, which already saves a lot of time and effort.
  17. What are you focusing on? If it's the rope at the front did you make sure there was a focus point on that?
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Thom Hogan has addredded the "quality control" issue about the D7000 a few times. I tend to agree with him that it is mostly photographer errors. You can read Hogan's own words here:
    "But the real issue here is that we've got a lot of people buying into very sophisticated equipment--and the D7000 is extremely sophisticated--and expecting magic "just set to auto and shoot" results."​
    My D7000 is my 6th Nikon DSLR and I have tested at least 6 more DSLR samples from Nikon, from the D3000, D5000 to D3S and D3X. So far I haven't come across even one with AF issues. So either I am extremely lucky or Nikon's quality control is pretty decent.

    The D7000's AF system turns out to be quite good. Do people really believe that somehow 39 AF point is not enough but 51 is magically far better? What I mainly miss are the 6 more cross-type AF points, 15 on the D300/D300S vs. 9 on the D7000. But given the D7000 other improvements, I am happy to accept its AF.

    The real weaknesses for the D7000 are the slow memory write speed on SD cards. If you shoot a lot of sports, that is a problem. And I can see some people prefer more dedicates control buttons, which requires a larger DSLR body.
  19. Shun -
    You missed one possibility with your post - that you are experienced and know what you are doing with the equipment.
    You know what to except, what is doable, and what is not doable.
    You don't ask the camera to do the impossible and then gripe when it can't do it or does it poorly.
    The only limit I have hit with the D7000 is the write speed - particularly on RAW when I'm shooting portraits or weddings.
  20. Actually, the point of this post was not whether I know how to use my camera, or whether I know how to focus correctly! The point was to see if any other D7000 owners had returned defective copies and had been satisfied with the replacement body. There is no shortage of people who have bought this camera who have returned it because of focusing issues. Focus fine tune might work well with fixed length lenses, but I doubt it can correct for an 18-200 lens. I have used Nikons for 30 years with no problems. What worries me is that my previous experiences were because of rigid QC, and that I might need to count on luck now. Perhaps we are seeing the creeping impact of American QC standards that has been such a disaster for Japanese auto manufacturers. I hope not for Nikon's sake.
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    There is no shortage of people who have bought this camera who have returned it because of focusing issues.​
    There is also no shortage of people who have problems with the D300's AF. I have only used one D7000, mine, and I have used two D300 and one D300S. None of the four has any AF problems. Neither do the D700, D3 (two copies), D3S, and D3X I have used has any AF problems.
    That is why I think there is no shortage of people who simply do not understand how the D7000's AF is supposed to work and that is why they have "issues."
  22. Shun:
    It does not get much simpler than AF-S & using the center focus point. There is no confusion about what I am focusing on. The D300 was not confused. Your impressive array of cameras underscores what I am getting at; lower QC will lead to it being a matter of luck if we get good bodies. Like you, others have good copies of the D7000. I do not. It is interesting that your reply "...there is no shortage of people who simply do not understand how the D7000's AF is supposed to work..." is also the line the Nikon guy at my LCS used. There is also the possibility that among experienced photographers that there are bad copies. Nikon may want to rethink its strategy of possibly alienating experienced customers with such a blanket reply.
  23. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Tim, you don't need to be defensive. If you are sure that your D7000 is defective, try a different one. As Thom Hogan points out, I am sure a few percentage of D7000 are defective, which is normal in the industry. However, based on my personal experience after shooting Nikon for 3+ decades and the many DSLRs I have used, Nikon QC is very good. Therefore, I have no doubt that a majority of those so called "AF issues" are merely user errors.
    Think about this: the D7000 is assembled in Thailand, where labor cost is low. However, most D7000 bodies are sold in Europe, North America, and Japan, where labor cost is high. Why would Nikon be so stupid to keep quality low so that they'll have to perform a lot of warranty repairs in areas where labor cost is high? Any company that is so stupid is going to lose a lot of money and won't survive.
  24. It does not get much simpler than AF-S & using the center focus point. There is no confusion about what I am focusing on.​
    Tim. You are showing us a tiny view of a LOUSY, repeat, LOUSY test target, which when downsampled MATCHES your D300 shot. Shoot a REAL test target under proper conditions with both of your cameras. On a tripod, VR off. Downsample the D7000 shot to the same size as the D300, the way I did. Then compare. Or much better yet, go out and TAKE PICTURES. Of real subjects. Process then appropriately and look at the results.
  25. Tim, remains also the question: did you try with more than one lens?
    The fact that the lens is OK on a D300 does not imply it must be OK on a D7000; nor is the 18-200 is the sharpest knife in the drawer and the high resolution D7000 is more unforgiving showing that at 100% view than a D300. At least try more than one lens before assuming it must be the body.
  26. The reason why that is a LOUSY, repeat, LOUSY test target is because it is very low contrast. If you are trying to determine if the AF is accurate, the AF has to be presented with a target it has no problem focusing on. Why, in this instance, the 300 had less problems focusing on the target than the 7000 has nothing to do with the accuracy of the AF system.
    It might also be useful to read Focus Fallibility: Lens Test Fallacies,
  27. I'm not a believer in the "frequent bad copy" theory. I have used many autofocus Nikkors and cameras and never ran into a "bad copy" that didn't function correctly. I have had two lenses which required autofocus fine tune on my D700 and D3, but that's about it. I have tested my D7000 extensively in practical applications as well as carrying out a few controlled tests of the AF. If you have a clear subject with high contrast detail and where there is no confounding detail right behind or in front of the main subject (as you have in your test image; the background is very close to the main subject which can cause the AF system to be confused) the D7000 should focus accurately; mine certainly does in controlled conditions.
    However, in real-world shooting I have been prolific in producing out of focus images with the D7000 so I can understand your pain and desire to get better AF from it. The 18-200 is not an optimal lens to use on a D7000 - try to get a hold of some f/2.8 Nikkor zooms such as the 17-55 and 70-200. I have found practical AF results to be a lot better with e.g. the 70-200II than zooms that end at f/5.6 maximum aperture at the long end (e.g. 70-300 VR). You're not going to discover the true capabilities of the D7000 with that 18-200.
    Complaining to Nikon is not going to do much. Nikon knows very well that the D7000 AF system is not as good as that in the higher-end models. You already had your D7000 checked by Nikon and they found no fault with it. I don't expect your new copy to be any different. If you want high-performance autofocus you have to pay for it. Nikon makes a lot of money from their more limited DSLRs but they have to provide significant incentives for demanding customers to pay for the much more expensive cameras such as the D3X. So they leave out something that would be desirable - such as the Multi-CAM 3500 from the D7000. (No, I'm not suggesting that you buy the D3X. Be patient. Nikon will eventually combine the D7000 sensor with high-performance AF).
    By the way Bruce: real-world subjects often have low detail contrast, and confusing backgrounds, so in a way the test is not completely bad. It's not good for testing whether the D7000 is functioning correctly (as other D7000's would) though - I agree on that. But nevertheless a good AF system will function well in such a test also.
  28. No, it's really a bad target because if the subject is out of focus there's no way of telling why. Tests/experiments are only useful if there is one variable. If it can be established that AF accuracy is acceptable using a proper target, then one can move on to lower contrast subjects. Problems with low contrast targets can be due to design limitations of the AF system which can't be corrected by adjustment, whereas accuracy can be. Can't fix a problem unless you know what it is.

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