Nikon D70s autofocus problems

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Ryan Piggott, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Ryan Piggott

    Ryan Piggott TPF Noob!

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    I have D70S, with a 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 VR (this exact lens Nikon DX 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 VR Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review ).
    My Aunt has the same body as me, D70s, with a Tamron 28-75 2.8 (This exact lens: Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Lens Review ). This comes into play later, trying to diagnose my problem.

    I'm having auto focusing problems. Keep in mind that my lens apparently has it's own focus motor, that is suppose to be faster and quite.
    With autofocus on (yes, the lens and the body are on AF), it autofocuses very slowly. I have to point it at the subject, hold the button half way for about 5 seconds while it finally clicks into focus (beeps). And it is very quite unlike my aunt's (which uses body's motor apparently) so it is using its own motor like it should, well most of the time. Accasionally, i will get a second of the loud focus motor, so i guess it is trying to use my camera's motor too???

    Now, my aunt has the exact same body as me, D70s, Sooo i grabbed her camera and took some shots. First of all, apparently this lens uses the body's focus motor. So therefore yes it was loud, however it snapped into focus very quickly. 100x faster than mine!
    So then i swapped lenses. Her Tamron, on my D70 body. It worked pretty well! It definately still snapped into focus still, on my body. So i guess my body's motor is good?
    My lens on her body worked well too.

    Oh, and also, my lens is VR. On my body, when in VR mode, it shakes the view finder incredibly. Works great on her D70s body. What's up with this!

    What's the problem here! Ive been told about a software update of some sort for my d70.. any info on this? My body seems to be rejecting newer stuff... so maybe it would help. I have no idea.

    Cliff notes:
    -My body, my lens = slow autofocusing, VR mode doesn't work
    -Aunt's Tamron lens on her body = all around perfection
    -Aunt's Tamron lens on my body = seems to be flawless, quick focus, etc.However it MIGHT of been slightly sluggish compared to on her body, i wish i still had it here.
    -My lens on my Aunt's body = works fine, still not as fast as the Tamron though i dont think. VR works.

    Thanks. I'm thinking i just need to get a AF lens and not a AF-S to sort of jump over this problem i can't find, or i can send my stuff in. My body's motor seems to work great and the lens' motor seems to suck but it still worked on her body so i don't get it. Software update??
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    the 18-55 VR doesn't focus fast, it never has. have you cleaned off your contacts on the mounts?

    if anything's wrong, my first guess would be the lens, and i'd look into maybe an 18-70, they're super cheap nowadays.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Scribble on all the contacts of the body and lens with a pencil. Graphite makes a good conductor and this is a very easy way to clean electrical contacts.
     
  4. Ryan Piggott

    Ryan Piggott TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Maybe I'm thinking that it should be focusing a lot faster although it is focusing fine, but it still isn't right. Like you said Sw1tchFX, i think it may be the lens. I just grabbed the camera and pointed it down the hall, and it was searching. It focused to about the complete opposite of where it should be, and panned around there. It never focused, i kept pressing the shutter release half way down to keep restarting the autofocusing, it never focused. I just set it down.

    :( Maybe it's time for a new lens? :D I lovvved the Tamron my aunt had, i want one! The low f-stop and super fast focusing was amazing. I think what i need to do is find someone else with a AF lens and i bet that would work great too. I think i need to use my body's motor and not the lens. Or it's just my lens... we won't know until i try other lenses. Actually i just need to go into Ritz and try lenses.

    Any info on this software update i heard about?
     
  5. JAFO28

    JAFO28 TPF Noob!

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    Check what firmware version you have. In my D90 it's located under the setup menu.
    Not sure about your D70s, but i'm sure it's in a similar location. After you see what version you have check Nikons website to determine if it's the most current. If not, you should be able to download it from there. Not sure if that will solve your problem but I hope it helps.
     
  6. Ryan Piggott

    Ryan Piggott TPF Noob!

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    hmm mine says
    "Current:
    A 1.00
    B 1.00"

    I'll have to check Nikon's sight..
    edit: just checked. No firmware updates available for the D70s. For the d70 there is but i guess it's different.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    What aperture are you using? That can have a big effect on AF, and is part of the reason the Tamron focus' the way it does.
     
  8. Ryan Piggott

    Ryan Piggott TPF Noob!

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    ahh didn't think about that. The Tamron might AF faster because it lets more light in right? The lowest i can go is 3.5. It's usually at about 5.6ish.
     
  9. inkybutton

    inkybutton TPF Noob!

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    Lenses are usually wide open (at f3.5 in your case) before shutter release, at which point they stop down to the chosen aperture value - so it would be doing AF using the maximum aperture. My suspicion is that the camera is defective in dealing with the built-in AF motor and VR unit. Why don't you contact Nikon? In US they have a free 24/7 helpline: (800) NIKON-UX. Apparently they are quite good at dealing with these sort of problems.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You said you pointed the lens down the hallway to test the focus. I'm not sure what your hallway is like but my immediate though is dark and feature less. You need something with contrast and with sufficient light for autofocus to work. My lens will hunt when I try and fire it down my hallway as well.

    Have a play with it outside.
     
  11. Ryan Piggott

    Ryan Piggott TPF Noob!

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    Inkybutton that sounds just right, a problem with my body dealing with built in AF lens motors and VR. I'm going to call Nikon, thanks
    Garbz, i was just pointing it out of this room at the wall in the hallway, 10 feet away. THe lights are on but it isn't very bright or contrasty. I'll have to go outside tomorrow and shoot around. I think this could be a lot of the problem, me expecting much more of the autofocus but something is still not right considering VR not working on my body..
     

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