Auto Focus issue with D7000


TPF Noob!
Feb 28, 2012
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Hello everyone,
Could you please help me figure out what is going on with the Auto Focus system on my D7000?

I took 2 sample shots to check where the camera is focusing and I don't understand the results.
These are the camera settings:
D7000 + Nikon 50mm 1.8D + 100 ISO + F1.8 + AF-S Single point & wireless remote control & camera is on a tripod. The shots were taken in a room with low light and WB set to incandescent light.

Photo Test001 was taken with AF enabled on the camera body. I used a single AF -S focus point. I focused on the tip of the red pencil. As you can see in the photo the focus is elsewhere, I believe the camera focused on the white box way to the right of the focus point I chose. I used the center focus point only.

Photo Test002 was taken right after #1, the only change was that I disabled AF in the camera body and I manually focused. Everything else remained the same as in photo001. As you can see, now the tip of the red pencil is in focus - as I shot it - and the rest is not.

Any ideas on why the camera is focusing in a different place than the single point focus which I selected? Any other thing I may be missing?
Thanks so much for your help.

Jose Alessandri


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Have you tested your lens for backfocus issues? I know a lot of D7000's have that issue. What I don't know is if backfocus is only an autofocus issue and does not pertain to manual focus. That may be the issue if so.
Using a confusing scene for a focus test isn't recommended because you can't be sure what the camera actually locked focus on. The tip of that red pencil is tiny and the wall behind it is several inches away. That means just the slightest pointing error on your part and the camera is off focusing on the wall instead of the pencil tip.

Get a focus target. Put the camera on a tripod. That way the camera cannot move and any focus error wouldn't be because you moved after the camera locked focus.

While you can buy commercial focus targets, you can download and print your own off the Internet. Here's one: Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » Jeffrey?s Autofocus Test Chart
Review pages 91 to 100 of your D7000 user's manual.
Did you use one of the 9 cross-type focus points?

In low light you may have to enable AF Assist - page 210.

The main mirror is 50% transparent - 50% of the light from the lens goes up to the viewfinder, the other 50% goes to the AF module in the bottom of the camera.
Warning... you are about to go down a slippery path... you've been warned!!

Print out this focus chart and follow the directions: Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » Jeffrey?s Autofocus Test Chart

As others have said, there are a lot of variables that could be wrong with your sample image. Using the chart and technique in that link will give you your answer.

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