D50 Not Consistently Auto Focusing

msaluta

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My D50 will auto focus if I put it on Auto, but will not auto focus on anything else.

Seemed to happen out of nowhere. Shooting fine, then all I hear is a slight buzz indicating what sounds like a desire to focus, but nothing.

I have a Sigma 18-125mm lens.
 
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msaluta

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So...I looked up many solutions, tried all of them, and nothing worked. I then saw that some suggested perhaps an out of alignment sensor. So out of frustration for having wasted my evening, I shook it vigorously for 5 seconds......works again.
 

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Maybe lens motor is kaput ?

Or

Maybe its time to throw away this ancient, old camera and get a nice new one.
Here in Canada I bought few months ago a new Nikon D3300 for 280$ USD (body only).
 
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msaluta

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Yeah, you're likely right. Bought this to "test" whether or not I'd even enjoy photography. I do, so I believe I'll look for a newer one.
 

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Maybe its time to throw away this ancient, old camera and get a nice new one.
Why? Since it's again working properly.
Even with more recent models having better performing image sensors a D50 used properly and well can still make very nice photographs.

The D50 is somewhat unique among Nikon's DSLRs.
The D50 produces very little image noise at it's maximum ISO of 1600, which put it in a class of it's own.

The D50, sold from June 2005 until November 2006, was Nikon's first upper entry level Nikon but has Nikon's AF motor/screw-drive system in it.
The upper entry level Nikon family is the D50, D40x, D60, D5xoo.
The D50 has 2 sRGB color mode options, and the standard Adobe RGB color mode option.
1. IIIa - the default, produces nature and landscape shots with vivid colors.
2. Ia - Produces portraits with soft, natural colors.
 

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TIme for an 11-year-old camera and a MAJOR reality check.

Nikon D50 DxO Mark overall score: 55.

D5500, 84 overall.
Canon EOS M2: 72
Sony A6000:82.
Olympus PEN E-P5: 72
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8: 75
Canon EOS 10D: 57

Let's compare the D50 against the D5500.Nikon D5500 vs Nikon D50 | DxOMark
Portrait Score (Color depth)" D50 is 20.9 bits, D5500 is 24.1 bits.
Landscape or DYnamic Range, the D50 is 10.8 EV, the D5500 is 14.0 EV.
Low-Light ISO score for the D50 is 560, the D500 is 1,438.

In other words, pathetically limited dynamic range--and the 10.8 EV worth is at the LOWEST ISO value--and only gets worse, fast, as ISO goes up. Not very good on color depth either.

Yes, 11 years ago, this was acceptable image quality. But now that Sony-sensor Nikon cameras have surpassed 14-EV of dynamic range, that 10.8 rating looks positively prehistoric.

I own a Canon 20D, which is a 57-point scorer....I took it out on a one-on-one photo lesson with a student last year, and was utterly shocked at how crappy the imaging performance was in normal, weak, Oregon springtime lighting conditions...it was AWFUL image quality. I'd forgotten how bad the files are from a camera with a less-than-11 EV dynamic range, and with such weak color richness...I've grown used to raw files that can be hugely manipulated, and which can actually handle SHADOW recovery.

We get it KmH--you recently bought yourself a used Nikon D50. It has severely limiting capabilites, and one of the absolute WORST viewfinders Nikon ever allowed out of its factories. A small, God-awful viewfinder image that is just...well...it is awful. Not sure where you came up with the commentary about its "amazing" ISO 1,600 capabilities. "A class of it's (SIC) own". When? In 2005?

I still own the D50's contemporary, the Nikon D2x, tested here, with a 59 overall DxO Mark score. The image quality? Crap. Except at ISO 100, in RAW, under studio lighting conditions. I know exactly how outdated this is: almost the same spec's as what the D50 has.

Nikon D2X : Tests and Reviews | DxOMark
 
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Derrel

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I just wanted to give you some touchstones, as far as the capabilities of the D50's sensor, and body. Not trying to be dismissive, but honest and accurate and specific in terms of the numbers that REALLY count: overall dynamic range at Base ISO, color depth at base ISO, and also to give you this thought: the single, largest improvement in modern d-slr photography happened when Sony premiered the Exmor sensor architecture. Suddenly, the overall dynamic range of Nikon cameras LEAPT above the other brands. But there is an even more important issue than just the DR in stops: it is how incredibly malleable, how incredibly "adjustable" the raw files are in the event of serious under- and over-exposure.

The bottom line is this: I recall the very first day I bought a newer Nikon camera, after having been in that 10.8-EV dynamic range or lower range with the Nikon D2x and the Canon 5D. I accidentally over-exposed some frames, thinking I was in AUTO mode, but had left the camera in M mode. I had totally white-out on some waterfall shots...I took the Lightroom Exposure slider, and did highlight recovery. PURE blank screen came back to usable!

Same thing with being able to "lift" shadows. this is the one, single thing that Canon users still cannot do. They can not under-expose in-camera to protect their highlights, or to get a faster shutter speed, and then, simply "Lift" the shadows and brighten the image up with an almost noise-free shadow and lower mid-tone result. Canon was left in the DUST on image quality in that 18-MP generation. Look for a Nikon D3200 or higher.

The real advancement in imaging is the relatively new Nikon cameras' ability to exposure to the right, and recover a bad exposure; the ability to expose far,far to the left (under-exposing), either accidentally, or on purpose-and then being able to move a couple sliders in software, and make a great image; this is the ONE, single thing that non-Nikon, non-Pentax,non-Sony users really do not seem to understand fully. The post-shot exposure corrections that the newer Sony-made sensors offer will be absolutely incredible to any D50 owner.

How good is the EOS T5 (keep in mind this was almost two years ago, when it was new)?

Canon Rebel T5/EOS 1200D fails to impress

Buy yourself a $349 Nikon at BestBuy or Walmart. or by a used Nikon d-slr for $100 to $200 from KEH.com
 
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msaluta

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Wow, interesting that the D3200 is rated better and cheaper than the T5.
 
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msaluta

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Looks like for a $400, I could do the Nikon D5200.

After looking around I think I'm going to do a package deal on Ebay.
 
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Dave442

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The D50 is fine for what you used it for, seeing if you like photography and learning the basics. Hopefully in another 10 years we will be able to look back at todays cameras and be able to see very noticeable improvements.
 

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msaluta said:
Looks like for a $400, I could do the Nikon D5200.

After looking around I think I'm going to do a package deal on Ebay.

Yeah...the added $50 over a T5 would make a D5200 a better deal. You know, this past week, I've spent the evenings going through multiple hard drives and looking at the photos I've taken over the past 15+ years with digital cameras. Image quality has risen markedly since 2005. I looked at pics shot with Nikon D1,D1h,D2x,D40,D70,Fuji S1,S2, Canon 20D with Sigma 18-125 DC, Canon 5D, Nikon D3x...

There was a ***marked*** upsurge in image quality once Nikon went to the Sony-made sensors. It's a BIG difference. The real issue is the quality of the images that the camera makes when the sensor has a near 14-stop dynamic range, and incredibly LOW shadow noise. It's now possible to use AUTO ISO at ranges that used to be impossible to use. There has been a huuuuuge improvement in how the camera can capture wide scene brightness ranges, and still give a usable image--and this is something that the Sony sensors have brought, and something the "other brand" sensors have not really made much improvement in.

Be prepared to be shocked by what a modern 24-megapixel sensor in a small Nikon can capture. I know over the past week, I had some really eye-opening moments. Things that were shot in available light, or lower light, were the most improved. Studio flash shots, where the scene dynamic range was kept low did not show as much improvement as "regular" or "real-world" shots showed, but much higher resolving power, much higher acutance was obvious.
 
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msaluta

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Was just told by my friend who definitely knows more than I do, that for my purposes and my budget, perhaps trying an Olympus OM-D E-M5 might be worth a shot.
 

robbins.photo

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T5 looks to be much better. Canon appears to be on the forefront of tech. Thoughts?

I have to admit, I'm curious where you get this impression. Nothing against canon mind you, but as far as APS-C cameras are concerned I happen to think you get a lot more for your money with Nikon. Better dynamic range, higher MP sensors, better high iso to noise ratios, etc.

I'd suggest you look for a Nikon D5200, you should be able to get one easily in that price range with a kit lens. If you prefer new, D3300 or D5300 would be good options as well.
 

robbins.photo

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Was just told by my friend who definitely knows more than I do, that for my purposes and my budget, perhaps trying an Olympus OM-D E-M5 might be worth a shot.

A lot depends on what you shoot of course, if your shooting in good lighting or where you can control the lighting and not doing much telephoto or action photography then this would probably work fine.
 

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