Nikon D300s front focus issues or the rod that stuck in my happy wheels

My new camera arrived on Monday and I had barely played with it. Something just wasnt right. I was not getting the images that I was supposed to be and could not figure out what is going on. I assumed I just needed some time to get used to it, even though its not that much different from my old camera – the D200.

Then yesterday I was taking  random pictures and noticed something, the camera was front focusing. What that means is that if I focus on your eyes and take the picture, it will be your lovely pointy nose that will actually be in focus with the sparkle in your eye in a lovely blur.

To make sure I took some more test photos.

Like here, I was focusing on the furthest slat of the frame of the chair and the actual sharp point is about four slats closer to me.

Nothing seems wrong with this shot:

…until you know that I was actually focusing on the leaf at the back.

Its quite an unpleasant feeling, sitting there with your new camera in your hands, knowing that its not working right. A slightly sinking sensation.

I walk sulky in the house and head over to the Internet to look for some information and hopefully solution, and best option of all, an easy solution.

I find that the camera has a setting in the menus with which you can adjust the focus point.

AF fine tune

I find it and start adjusting and shooting to see if things can improve. After a few minutes to and fro, I have a lens and camera which seem to be able to focus.

At a little car:

At a branch:

At the N of Canada:

I relax a bit and just figure that I will have to keep this in mind from now on.

Some shots a bit later make me wonder whether things are ok, like this one

Seems good at this size, but if you pay attention, its his fingers that are in real focus, not his eyes/face.

Then in the evening I brought the camera out again to make sure that things are good and, crapola majorlita, the front focus is back! A few frantic worried shots later, I confirm the issue is back with full force and requires me to crank up the af fine tune all the way to the max to get a properly focused image and collapse on the floor and kick like a mad toddler.

(focusing on the C of Children renders a shot that is actually aimed at the L)

Then I spend the rest of my night sorting stuff out with returns and shipping and whatnots, because I cannot risk leaving with a non-working camera in 3 weeks.

There were more useful things I could have done with my night, but alas, luck was on holiday.

And here I am again, without a new camera, crying crocodile tears on the floor. Yikes.