Why is Focus Always Off With D500?

Started Apr 10, 2017 | Discussions thread
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davisdeaton Regular Member • Posts: 255
Why is Focus Always Off With D500?

I've had the D500 for a almost half a year now, and have little complaints for it so far!

However, when shooting action shots, I still can't get the sharp shots that I was hoping for, and expecting, when I bought the camera.

Don't get me wrong, my keeper rate has increased dramatically since upgrading from the Nikon D5200, but I see so many other's boasting about how quick and sharp their autofocus is with their D500, and I'm just not seeing it.

Autofocus always seems just a little bit off when shooting moving subjects, no matter the lens I use.  To demonstrate, I just had a quick "photoshoot" with my dog and got a few examples that pretty well represent the photos I've been getting out of my D500.

Here's one I took with the D500 and the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 lens, one of the sharpest I own, and typically very fast with autofocus.

Straight off the camera. (converted from RAW to jpeg in Lightroom)

Up front, the picture looks decent.  But a closer look shows that the focussing is definitely off, or at least, not where I want it to be.

Here's a closer look.

Cropped version of same photo

I've switched between most all of my lenses, using a variety of different autofocus modes.

For this, I was using continuous tracking with 72 points.

As you can see, my dog's nose is not in focus, while the back side of her body is.  My focus point was where I wanted it to be, but it just couldn't keep up with the speed at which my dog was moving.  (and she really isn't that fast! )

I get the same results whenever my 'subject' is moving towards me, no matter how close or how far away they may be.

So my question is, am I setting too high of standards for my camera?  Or is there a specific setting, focusing mode I should be using to get a higher chance at getting my pictures in sharper focus?

When shooting continuously, typically just 1 or 2 out of 15 turn out in focus, which is a percentage that I really think could be better.

Here's one more example -

Any help or suggestions that you have would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,


 davisdeaton's gear list:davisdeaton's gear list
Nikon D1X Nikon D5200 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED +3 more
Nikon D500 Nikon D5200
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