Focusing and color issues


TPF Noob!
Oct 11, 2007
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I am having problems focusing. I get some "soft focus" or washed out shots with no focal point what so ever. My buddy even took my camera and tried it same set up as his. I endend up having to put my camera on more vivid today just to get good color that wasn't wahsed out and as far as focusing, it was hit or miss. Had to manual focus some shots. But if I was using my flash they were all focused. I was at a zoo using the 70-300. I ended up taking off my filter thinking it might be part of the problem. I know I have sensor dust also, could that have anything to do with it? I'm going to reset my camera settings to default and use automatic tommorow on a test then change them to what I usually use and see if that makes any kind of a difference. Can anyone add any insight on what might be the problem? I did drop my camera over a month ago, but it landed on the lens and didn't have any problems for the first two weeks, it was just last week this problem started comming up.
First to see if it is your lens, use this test on the 50mm Nikkor F/1.8 and then the 70-300 lenses:

If your 70-300 front or rear focuses and the 50mm doesn't, you found out your issue. if it focuses properly on both, it still could be the lens, but in terms of lack of light needed for the 70-300. Try increasing ambient light and test (first shot with closed drapes and slowly open for more light until you see where it starts to focus properly).

If everything points to the lens, it may need service if it really cannot work properly.

I doubt that dust on the filter would affect it, but if I knew that I had dust n my sensor, that would drive me nuts and I would address that.

Now in your post you discuss 2 issues... saturation and focus. Camera settings can affect picture saturation and vividness, a quick reference of your manual will tell you where to address those in your camera.

Also, check for focus priority. You do not want the camera to be releasing the shutter before the lens has ad time to fully focus.
At what end of the focusing range? The 70-300 is horrid at 300. It may as well be 70-200 since that's all it is really useful for. The 50mm f/1.8 is horrible at 1.8 too. And I am not saying horrible in a stuckup way, I mean easily outperformed by almost anything horrible.

Try shooting at 70mm at f/5.6, or using the 50mm at f/5.6 (the 50mm is simply superb at this aperture).

That will rule out general quality issues and start narrowing down to an actual fault.
I'm not familiar with D80 operation, but assuming that it should prevent from shutter working without any focusing point. If you camera has release priority setting, likely the setting accepts shutter release with focus confirmation. If it's such case, you should have no problem after resetting to camera's defaults.

If you have no focusing problem with flash on, likely you were trying to focus at low light conditions.

Protecting filters and dust should not affect focusing anyway. Should problems persist, consulting to customer service is the last resort. Why not if warranty has not expired?

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