D3100 - AF problem

Started Oct 3, 2010 | Discussions thread
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sd40
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D3100 - AF problem
Oct 3, 2010

I put the 10-24mm on the D3100 and the 18-105mm on the D5000 yesterday and took some comparison shots in the out of doors. This is the second day of using the D3100.

D3100 settings were the same as the D5000. Neutral PC with slight boost to sharpening and saturation. In my experience on the D5000, the two lenses render color the same and have similar sharpness in their overlapping range.

Colors are very much alike, with D3100 having a little more red.

The big surprise is that 11 out of 44 D3100 shots were seriously out of focus. This is not front-focus or back-focus, variations in depth of field or anything else subtle; it is as if AF just did not work. Upon closer inspection of all 44 shots, focus was all over the place, despite the fact that the little red LED’s lit up and the beep beeped in all cases. Per the reference manual, this camera is supposed to be focus priority anyway. I also found a couple of instances of blurred shots with the 18-105 on the D3100, which would tend to indicate that it's not the 10-24 lens, which I have been using all along. I want to test it some more but something isn't right.

UPDATE: I mounted the following Nikkor lenses on the D5000 and D3100: 10-24mm, 18-55 II, and 18-105 VR. I took ten test shots of the same subject per lens, per camera (thirty total for each camera). All shots using the wide angle lens were at 10mm. All shots using the other two lenses were at 18mm. All of the D5000 were reasonably sharp. D3100: About half of the 10-24mm shots were seriously blurred. Shots taken using the other two lenses were less seriously blurred but there were still significant variations.

Preliminarily-- At its best , the D3100 seems to be about 14/12ths as sharp as the D5000. The limitations of handheld shots could come into play here, though, i.e. if the improvement is greater it might be visible only with a tripod.

A couple of D3100 shots:

Gallery:

http://geneseecountry.smugmug.com/Landscapes/Still-Ramblin/13456155_rQ7Lv#1032049006_9bcYR

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