Nikon D3200 Focusing issues

Started 10 months ago | Questions thread
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Nikon D3200 Focusing issues
10 months ago

I bought a Nikon D3200 + 18-55 mm VR II a couple of days ago and I have big troubles getting the camera to focus properly. Since it's my first time using a DSLR, it's almost unthinkable to blame the camera. But I've tried pretty much every possible method of focusing and I still am not able to get a satisfactory focus for most of my photographs.

After some googling, I noticed that some other people have some troubles with the D3200's focusing as well. I don't have a tripod (or a printer), so I can't really try out the conventional focus test. So in lieu of that method, I took a picture of a phone book with an SD cardboard package. I focused it on the middle of that cardboard.

Focused on the middle of the ripped SD cardboard package

At this point, I'm still assuming it is all my own fault and I still have to learn how to focus properly. However, I'm not quite sure how to achieve that, since I feel I've done most of the focus tips and tricks I have found on the internet.

Almost all of my images turn out soft or blatantly out of focus. I get the least blurry results with an AF-S single point spot metering setting.

How can I improve my focus? Am I screwing up the aperture? Shutter speed? Do I shake like a drug addict when I take photos? Is it perhaps a problem with the camera? Some of the photos are decently focused. Does that mean I can rule out that it's a problem with the camera?

Focused on the center frame log

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Nikon D3200
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