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 takingÂ 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.
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Oh No!!! I can totally feel your pain! What a frustrating thing to happen right before you leave. I sure hope you’re able to do some speedy shipping and get a replacement pretty quickly. :'(
Not good! I was reading on and on with baited (sp?) breath for the happy ending but there wasn’t one! Now I feel your pain! Sending camera luck your way through the internet cables ….. :)
OH geez! That sucks..
I was just fussing to Zeb earlier today that I love the pictures my camera can do outside.. but inside it royally sucks.. now its not a fancy camera by any means.. a fairly simple point and shoot style that should automatically take ok pictures..but it really sucks… and doens’t… outside its great.. but I want one that works great all the time and wish I could justify spending money on a fancy one just for me to play with..
Thank you, I need all the good vibes you can send, cause after talking to the service department I ended up sending the faulty camera back for a refund and buying another one straight away. Now I am waiting with pit in my stomach until I get the money for the first back on my credit card.
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Kris, this is a usual problem with point and shoots – they are not great in low light.
Hey you poor thing, sending luck your way ;-)
What a pain !
I really hope the replacement camera gives you more joy. I too am sending all the happy camera vibes that I can muster your way.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Thank you, thank you.
Nina, we are due for a chat, my friend…
Sorry to hear about your D300S autofocus problems. Unfortunately, I have the same problem with my new D300S out of the box in October 2009.
I would love to hear what you have done and the final result of your story. My story is as follows:
I purchased my D300S from Amazon Com on October 28, 2009 with a 50mm portrait lens as the new 18 – 200 mm zoon lens was not yet available.
Right out of the box I was having auto focus problems and made negative comments on Amazon’s focus group. All the “experts” basically told me I was crazy as the D300S was the best professional camera available.
Finally I got the 18 – 200 mm zoom and still not able to take focused photos using any of the many auto focus settings.
I did try the focus offset feature that is one of the camera’s “hidden” features. I set the offset differently for each lens and the problem improved slightly.
Now, I can sometimes take a reasonable photo in daylight with a bright sunny type sky.
But in the studio. I can’t use autofocus at all – nothing is in good focus. I can use manual focus and take some very nice in studio shots.
The other camera settings and functions are excellent as is the color of the photo. I get excellent results that require basically no post processing other than cropping.
I do believe ther is a fundamental FLAW with the autofocus of the D300S.
My friend was in the studio some months ago with his D90 and it took perfect in focus shots of the same subjects I had to manual focus on.
I have spent countless hour reading the manuals, making adjustments and trying different settings. I can sometimes get a decent photo outside. Here are some examples.
I continue to look for answers.
This is a lot of money for a manual focus “black box”
Sorry to hear you had the same issues as me. It was really frustrating indeed.
I ended up exchanging the camera for a new body and now at least my Nikon lenses work good, but my Tokina and Sigma both need to be “fine focus” adjusted in camera. And they still dont work perfectly, as they did with my D200.
Unfortunately, being on such a short time frame before my trip, I have no other option but to just work with what I have now. Maybe I will see a Nikon service center somewhere and see if they can do something about this.
Nikon’s service department were useless – they just said that they cant do anything about my third party lenses and the “problem is not theirs” basically. If you are having issues with your Nikon lenses, contact them and they should do something about it.
Its a lot of money for a body that doesnt seem to work as good as my old D200 :( Now, I just have to deal with it as best as I can.
I have the same problem with my brand new d300s which I purchased four days ago…
I spend lot of time try to find the point of the target for make adjustment in the fine tuning but that was impossible because sometimes was focusing ok and another time (more often) was focusing front focus. Bloody hell!! Yesterday I send that to the store and they will send it to nikon for checking.. If that problem will not solved finally I’ll leave that passion and I’ll start playing guitar :D Because nowadays newest cameras are worst than older in just main solution like autofocus…
For testing I was using 50mm f1.8 and 24-70mm f2.8
Bloody Hell is about what my response has been to this. I am still struggling with it, and such a basic thing like focusing should not even be an issue at all. My D200 never had even a hint of all the problems I have been having focusing the D300s.
I hope you can figure it out and fix it. Nikon were of no help to me.
Thank you for this information. I have been going crazy wondering why some images are sharp and then some are not. I have sent in my lenses to get checked out not thinking it was my new D300s. Not happy about this whole focusing issue with the money spent but at least I have a way to resolve it.