Phase detect autofocus: fast and frustrating

Started Jan 25, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Looleylaylow
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Phase detect autofocus: fast and frustrating
Jan 25, 2011

I'm looking for reassurance/advice from experienced DSLR users with more technical knowledge than I. I'm a Nikon shooter; my kit at the moment is a D80, two primes and two zooms. All but one of the lenses are Nikkors (the exception would be a Tamron 17-50 f2.8), though I'm seriously considering the Tokina 11-16.

I'm feeling the age of the D80. I have owned and returned two D7000s because of bad/inconsistent focusing. What I learned from my trials with the D7000, among other things, is that focusing with live view, though slow, is infallibly accurate. It opened my eyes to how much sharpness I've been missing all of these years because my lenses and body are not perfectly calibrated.

Seems that many people send their kits to Nikon to have such calibration performed. This seems amazing to me, and pricey. It also seems to rule out having a well-tuned kit that includes third party lenses, as I'm sure Nikon would not calibrate a Tamron or Tokina. Which is a shame, because Tamron and Tokina make fine lenses.

So what is one to do? Outside of switching to a micro 4/3 or some other contrast-detect based system? Is a body with micro-adjust lens fine tuning the answer? 'Cause I can say with absolute certainty that my D7000 bodies were beyond saving, despite having this feature. Zoom lenses in particular seem terribly tricky to fine tune; one can get things sharp at one focal length only to discover a problem at another focal length. So: what's the solution?

 Looleylaylow's gear list:Looleylaylow's gear list
Nikon D7000 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon 1 AW1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D +6 more
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