New lens not focussing or camera (D7000) font/back focussing? (help :-|)

Started Jul 30, 2013 | Questions thread
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EyesHigh New Member • Posts: 16
New lens not focussing or camera (D7000) font/back focussing? (help :-|)

Hi there,

Following on from an older thread about lens options and prime lenses for the D7000, I recently bought a brand-new Nikon 35mm 1.8G lens.

After taking some initial shots I tried to figure out what the best aperture was for corner-to-corner sharpness, and found f. 11 and f. 14 gave the best results. I will be shooting landscapes with this lens and will not necessarily have an isolated subject, but rather need focus across the entire image. I found f1.8 great for lowlight (I can see, at this aperture, where the lens gets its reputation from!) and offered fantastic centre-only sharpness. Overall, the image quality of the lens looks good.

But I have found a problem and need some advice on it, as I’m not sure if the lens is not working as it should or if my D7000 is focussing incorrectly due to the new lens (I believe these cameras are notorious for back and front focussing).

The problem is that when I focus on a subject and shoot at a higher aperture for sharpness (around f.11), the centre subject is still not crisp. So, the example.., I initially shoot through the view finder and use the camera and lens’ autofocus to focus at about a 1 metre distance on my small SLR sized camera bag using a single fixed point at the centre of the image. I ensure the ISO compensates for the high aperture and a relatively quick shutter speed is possible. After taking the shot I zoom nearly all the way into the image in playback mode to check detail sharpness where I’ve focussed, and the bag is in focus but what I am looking for is the weave or texture of the polyester bag covering (the very fine details) – this is still blurry.

However, I then keep the same settings (aperture, ISO, and shutter speed) and switch live view mode where I use the zoom key and manual focus until I can see each weave of the polyester and get a much sharper image.

Does this sound like a problem with the camera front or back focussing and if so how can I test and change this, or is it a problem with the lens?

I know this sharpness example may sound a little extreme, but I would love reliable crisp sharpness.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

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