Nikon Z 5 AF-C issues in ANY light

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TMAB2003 New Member • Posts: 19
Nikon Z 5 AF-C issues in ANY light

I have noticed a bunch of different threads that talk about focusing issues on the Z5.

I have a Nikon D90, a D7000 and now a Z5 with me. The first two focuses just fine in both AF-S and AF-C.

The Z 5 focuses just fine in AF-S for me. Please note that I am on FW version 1.10, which seems to be the latest on Nikon's website as of today.

On the Z 5, I have tried the Z DX 16-50 and a 35 1.8G w/ FTZ adapter. With any of these lenses, I experience pretty unusable AF-C performance (sometimes even in very bright conditions).

With either of my D90 or D7000, in similar lighting, and in AF-C, the focus will usually lock on stationary subjects within a second or two at most. When pointing to a new target, the focus changes again within a second or two.

With the Z5, in the same light conditions with AF-S, the focus works perfectly. Focus will change from subject to subject flawlessly when I trigger the AF-ON or half press the shutter. The focus locks with a nice beep and a green box.

However, the story is different in AF-C. Now I know that the box never turns green in AF-C. But the focus hunting even with stationary objects is incredibly bad. If I shoot continuously with AF-C, more than half the shots are just out of focus. It's not like the camera cannot focus under these same conditions in AF-S (which is why I think it's a major firmware/hardware problem on SOME Z 5 units - since a lot of people don't seem to experience any such issue?). The focus does shift from object to object at different depths, but there is always this rapid pulsing around the perfect focus which causes the mode to be unusable. 
The only workaround I have found is to use AF-S all the time.

For me, the settings for low-light AF, metering modes or Focus Area modes have not made any difference. It has really come down to AF-S vs AF-C.

I have a replacement Z 5 coming in from my retailer, and I hope the new unit does not experience the same problem. If it does, I am not sure what I am going to do with the Z 16-50 lens I picked up! If you are in the Ottawa area in Canada, maybe I can sell it to ya

 TMAB2003's gear list:TMAB2003's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon Z5 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +3 more
Nikon D7000 Nikon D90
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