d5100 *proof* of focus issues

Started Nov 24, 2011 | Discussions
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Cruch Forum Member • Posts: 62
d5100 *proof* of focus issues

WHAT I GET SOMETIMES.. RARE BUT SOMETIMES

WHAT I ALMOST NEVER GET

WHAT I GET 99% OF THE TIME - THE FAMOUS 'NIKON SOFTNESS' IS ACTUALLY AN ISSUE OF THE IMAGE NOT BEING IN FOCUS! YOU WON'T NOTICE THIS SHOOTING OUTDOORS OR PHYSICAL ITEMS, YOU WILL NOTICE THIS ON SKIN AND SHOOTING HUMANS. LOOK FOR THE 'SOFTNESS'

AND HERE'S PROOF

Nikon D5100
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Kartika Sari Regular Member • Posts: 476
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

is this happens only with 35 1.8 or some fix lenses?

my colleague having the same problem with D7000.

we did focus correctly in the viewfinder (several times), but the results are back focused

nfpotter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,080
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

Good lord. F/1.8 for a test? Do you understand your focus system uses CONTRAST? Where is you focus point? What AF settings? Do you realize that ALL cameras have a harder time focusing in low light?

Pointless post.

David Lal Veteran Member • Posts: 8,709
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

Good Heavens! But I thought these cameras had outstanding low light performance? Are you saying that under these circumstances, at F1.8, the autofocus system should not be expected to work? If that is the case, why does not the firmware disable the autofocus and give a warning that that has occurred?

A very pertinent post.

nfpotter wrote:

Good lord. F/1.8 for a test? Do you understand your focus system uses CONTRAST? Where is you focus point? What AF settings? Do you realize that ALL cameras have a harder time focusing in low light?

Pointless post.

fus Forum Member • Posts: 72
Great post, this proves what I already knew

The 35mm 1.8 backfocuses.

Mine does it as well. I am getting the feeling that if more people knew how to look for it, it probably back focuses on most!

Cruch OP Forum Member • Posts: 62
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

My t3i and Rebel XT works fine in normal light focus when focusing on the same things.

fus Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

Cruch I just pm'd you.

A possible solution to this problem is to ship camera and lens to nikon for adjustment. I have heard of improved AF after this.

keep us posted

rondhamalam
rondhamalam Senior Member • Posts: 2,565
I Don't Have Focus Problem with D5100

Having D700, 5D2, 40D, D300, 550D and D5100,

I can say that I don't have focus problem with my D5100

In fact the sensor amazed me with it's professional quality

Peter v.d Werf Contributing Member • Posts: 688
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

Could you please type a bit louder....?;-)

Cruch wrote:

WHAT I GET SOMETIMES.. RARE BUT SOMETIMES
WHAT I ALMOST NEVER GET

WHAT I GET 99% OF THE TIME - THE FAMOUS 'NIKON SOFTNESS' IS ACTUALLY AN ISSUE OF THE IMAGE NOT BEING IN FOCUS! YOU WON'T NOTICE THIS SHOOTING OUTDOORS OR PHYSICAL ITEMS, YOU WILL NOTICE THIS ON SKIN AND SHOOTING HUMANS. LOOK FOR THE 'SOFTNESS'
AND HERE'S PROOF

Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
EXIF data ? Are they crops ?

Are these 100% crops or the full images ?

It's completely pointless posting images without EXIF data and presenting your own analysis instead.

We need to see the EXIF data. It will tell us exposure conditions, including light levels, and let us judge the data without your spin on it.

Also are these the type of images you see these problems with ? What about when shooting outdoors ?

A few points can be made :

  • You may be trying to focus to close for the lens. This is why we need to know the EXIF data and the lens used.

  • Do you understand about depth of field ? Misconceptions and lack of understanding of this are very common sources of focus problems for many users.

  • Are you shooting in low light ? EXIF data would tell us this, but you need to be aware that all autofocus systems ( all ! ) work netter with more light and have a threshold below which they start having more difficulty. This also relates to the maximum aperture of the lens at the focal length used and whether you are shooting using manual exposure or an automated mode.

  • Without knowing ISO and shutter speeds and whether we're looking at crops or full images it's very hard to say anything about what effect these are having on your final image. We also don't know if flash is being employed. Again that all important EXIF data would tell us.

  • A focus test at a wide aperture is generally not a good idea. You are at the mercy of depth of field and also at the mercy of the resolution ability of the lens wide open - which is typically lower than the best resolution stopped down, especially as you get further from the centre of the frame.

In relation to your own comments :

WHAT I GET SOMETIMES.. RARE BUT SOMETIMES

No AF system is perfect and we all get "rare but sometimes". Nothing in this universe functions at an always right on the mark level. Nothing.

WHAT I ALMOST NEVER GET

Well you've got one. The question is what differentiates the one you have from the ones you don't. That's why we need that all important EXIF data.

WHAT I GET 99% OF THE TIME

Is that an accurate statement ? It sounds like a generic plucked from the air number.

Frankly if there's a systematic error in the user control or expectation then you'd get a high error rate just as easily as you would with a hardware issue. Again EXIF data is needed.

  • THE FAMOUS 'NIKON SOFTNESS'

Which I've never heard of in years of using cameras ( and not just Nikons ).

IS ACTUALLY AN ISSUE OF THE IMAGE NOT BEING IN FOCUS!

You are connecting your effect ( out of focus images ) with a cause ( mysterious Nikon softness ) without having a connecting path.

The fact that the "cause" is, bluntly, a fiction your frustration has invented for you is something you need to be aware of. The one sure way to never solve the problem is to allow your annoyance to cloud objective evaluation. You must get past your frustration and help us to help you.

YOU WON'T NOTICE THIS SHOOTING OUTDOORS OR PHYSICAL ITEMS, YOU WILL NOTICE THIS ON SKIN AND SHOOTING HUMANS. LOOK FOR THE 'SOFTNESS'

I shoot all of these things and I don;t notice any of these "issues". That's the point. We need to identify what is causing your experience, which is negative.

-- hide signature --

StephenG

Rens
Rens Senior Member • Posts: 1,519
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

Looks like the regularly discussed back focus you can get with any camera/lens combination. Which is why both Nikon and Canon provide adjustment.

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Rens

There are optimists and there are realists

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Cruch OP Forum Member • Posts: 62
Re: EXIF data ? Are they crops ?

sjgcit wrote:

Are these 100% crops or the full images ?

Yes of course. Do you think I'm stupid?

We need to see the EXIF data. It will tell us exposure conditions, including light > levels, and let us judge the data without your spin on it.

Do you think I don't know what I'm doing and I'm here for fun?

You want the EXIF data so you can try to poke holes in all this and be a fan boy. Since people here are such fan boys that don't seem to understand camera's, I had to over simply the images and point with colorful little red arrows.

Also are these the type of images you see these problems with ? What about > when shooting outdoors ?

That's irrelevant to the documented proof.

  • You may be trying to focus to close for the lens. This is why we need to know > the EXIF data and the lens used.

It doesn't matter where you focus close or far it doesn't focus. If you are outside at f16 taking pictures of bridges or fields you won't notice it.

  • Do you understand about depth of field

Do you understand what a fan boy in denial is?

  • Are you shooting in low light ?

I'm shooting indoors at f 3.2 at ISO 100 in P mode at 1/200 with pop up flash for fill. Subject can be a person, batteries, a FOCUS CHART, anything.

Nothing that my Canon's can't handle. Just average, simple indoor shooting of people.

Deleted1929 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,050
Who would help when you make such a response ?

You don't seem to want to find the problem.

You're determined to rant, rather than help people help you by giving them the information they ask for.

Maybe someone else has the patience to try and help you. I don;t. Welcome to my ignore list.

Do you think I'm stupid?

No comment.

-- hide signature --

StephenG

heinerpattaya Regular Member • Posts: 178
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

Hi Crunch,

Your 3 samples are exactly what I experience.

Without a comparison hardly anybody would notice that the ears are in focus, not the eyes.

It is a bit "overstressed" normaly the effects are more subtile.

I only noticed the problem when I went back to my Lumixes and suddenly noticed that they are sharper than my Nikon, esp. with faces.

If I shoot a sceneryI jhardly don't notice it, but again the Lumixes have a clearness and colors reminding me to film.

BTW I am too stupid to load up images to theis web page, so if s.o.wants a proof please tell me how to do it, sorry that I have problems with new technologie.

BR
Heiner

Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 20,274
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

Hey Cruch, I know it can be frusstrating hang in there.

To really help, don't Post process the pic in any way. Just shoot JPEG and Upload here without out cropping. Just upload the JPEGs just as they come from the camera and then go here http://www.dpreview.com/members/settings/profile

And under the "Privacy and Safety" tab check "Allow" under "allow download of original" That way we can download to ViewNX2 and checked the camera settings you used. That assumes you uploaded pics/files as they came from the camera vs any change in Photoshop or the like. We should then be able to give you much better information and get to the problem with that dang lens camera combo.

Cruch wrote:

WHAT I GET SOMETIMES.. RARE BUT SOMETIMES

WHAT I GET 99% OF THE TIME - THE FAMOUS 'NIKON SOFTNESS' IS ACTUALLY AN ISSUE OF THE IMAGE NOT BEING IN FOCUS! YOU WON'T NOTICE THIS SHOOTING OUTDOORS OR PHYSICAL ITEMS, YOU WILL NOTICE THIS ON SKIN AND SHOOTING HUMANS. LOOK FOR THE 'SOFTNESS'

I wonder if the AF-Area mode is at play as you mention skin.

AND HERE'S PROOF

For the 35mm the focus target needs to be at 1750mm (69 inches) and large enough that the AF sensor (almost twice as large as the box in the viewfinder) does not overlap in any way. A large flat target perpendicular to the camera with a ruler next to it works well.

My guess is that a small adjustment by Nikon, to the lens only, will be needed but can't be sure till we nail down the focus mode and testing methodology. (that assumes it's this one lens). BTW, CFL lighting can play real havoc with this kind of test...be sure to keep the shutter speed up around 200 and a real steady tripod or table. f1.8 is fine. Af-Area mode single and AF-S with a de-focus between shots. Use the timer too. Don't get frustrated..most really just want your pics to come out as sharp as theirs. Have you compared a live view shot of same? Good Luck.

garyhgaryh Contributing Member • Posts: 551
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

I always thought my pictures was a little soft, but chose it ignore it. My wife looked through some of my pictures and plainly stated my pictures are not sharp.

After reading all these post about the d5100 not being sharp, I think there is an AF issue with this camera.

In fact last night I tried some focusing test and every picture did not seem as sharp as it could be.

I've had the camera for over a month and am thinking about returning it. Will amazon take returns. I want to get a d7000 or a Pentax k-5.

Gary

Cruch wrote:

WHAT I GET SOMETIMES.. RARE BUT SOMETIMES

WHAT I ALMOST NEVER GET

WHAT I GET 99% OF THE TIME - THE FAMOUS 'NIKON SOFTNESS' IS ACTUALLY AN ISSUE OF THE IMAGE NOT BEING IN FOCUS! YOU WON'T NOTICE THIS SHOOTING OUTDOORS OR PHYSICAL ITEMS, YOU WILL NOTICE THIS ON SKIN AND SHOOTING HUMANS. LOOK FOR THE 'SOFTNESS'

AND HERE'S PROOF

garyhgaryh Contributing Member • Posts: 551
Re: Who would help when you make such a response ?

I'm going to have to say the OP is not stupid.

I wanted to get a Pentax K5 but got the d5100 instead. I always noticed a bit of softness with my d5100 pics but figured it was just my lens and I need to spend $$$ on a good lens. Blamed myself for it and noticed everyone that had issues with af/focusing, people on this forum would blame the op.

The problem is real guys. I'm sure not all copies are bad, but we need a fix ... Not sure if a firmware fix will solve it, but if this is not resolved I'm going to sell my camera and all the lenses I just bought and get either a canon or Pentax.

Does the d7000 have backfocus issues?
Gary

sjgcit wrote:
You don't seem to want to find the problem.

You're determined to rant, rather than help people help you by giving them the information they ask for.

Maybe someone else has the patience to try and help you. I don;t. Welcome to my ignore list.

Do you think I'm stupid?

No comment.

-- hide signature --

StephenG

gregp701 Contributing Member • Posts: 639
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

I normally don't add to technical discussions as I don't feel qualified to give advice but in this case I do have some experience.

I own 7 lenses that I use with my D7000. All focus perfectly except for the 35 1.8. I think it's a combination of the fast aperture and the relatively cheap build that makes this lens unreliable at critical focus wide open.

In my case (D7k user) I was able to micro adjust -10 and now get acceptable (although not completely reliable) results at 1.8. Stopped down a bit and it get's even better.

Unfortunately, and if I'm not mistaken, the 5100 does not have a micro adjust feature so you have limited options at getting the lens to perform flawlessly wide open. Either send the lens and camera to Nikon, or exchange lenses until you find one that matches up to your camera body perfectly.

Like Mako said though, more information is needed to exactly nail down where the issue is coming from.

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Frida Regular Member • Posts: 259
I can help.

Your D5100 is backfocusing with that lens. I know this because I just went through the same thing with my D3100 and the 50/1.8. There are two effective solutions. One is to send the camera to Nikon or to a repair shop to fix it. The other is to fix it yourself. Here is how:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1034&thread=36806304&page=1

The basic procedure is to use a hex key to tweak the AF in the mirror box. I just did it last night. It's relatively quick; just go slowly.

Jack Hogan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,250
Re: d5100 *proof* of focus issues

Mako2011 wrote:

To really help, don't Post process the pic in any way. Just shoot JPEG and Upload here without out cropping.

Better yet, let's see the NEFs. Best to eliminate all possible sources of human error before parting with the camera for a few days for a tune up. Of course the process does require the OP to be able to answer questions without taking things personally and respond positively to constructive criticism...

The Live View question is particularly relevant.

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