Help! Focusing issues, but not back-focusing or method =(

Started Dec 15, 2013 | Discussions
ad1083 New Member • Posts: 3
Help! Focusing issues, but not back-focusing or method =(

Hey everyone! Long time reader but first time poster -- I usually find my answers before I have to post my own question

I've been trying ruthlessly this week to figure out how to fix my current issue, but to no avail, so I'm hoping you all may be able to help out. Sometime last week my camera started focusing on things behind my focal point. (it's not back-focusing, though, I'll get to that). I normally shoot with single point area in AF-A or AF-C. All of my research pointed to back-focusing, but I did the battery focus test (5 batteries aligned at a 45 degree angle, camera on tripod, natural light & single center point focus only, remote trigger to avoid camera shake) and the test was spot on for focus. Yet, every photo I take with autofocus is "back-focusing".

Yes, I handhold, and yes, a good deal of time in less than stellar lighting conditions, but neither of these have affected my shots before, so they shouldn't now. In fact, I've shot flawlessly many times in the same exact lighting conditions, as I take a good deal of shots downstairs in my finished basement right now.

I've even taken tests in bright natural light with a tripod, same thing. I've been taking most of my test shots with the center focus point for accuracy (but have also tried others and all points are affected).

If I shoot at 3.5 with a 35mm lens at 7 feet away from the subject, the eyes will be clear only if I focus on something 1 1/2 feet in front. Also, when I pop it into live mode, the focus is spot on every time, even with a 1.8 dof from 3 feet away on a 35mm (understandably because of the different focusing methods, just adding for diagnostics). I should also note, it's with all lenses, so I'm assuming it's a camera issue or maybe something needs cleaning? It can't be technique, I was doing well before under these conditions and have tested in nat light with tripod, etc, so what on earth could the issue be?

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help, this is severely frustrating and really worrying me.

Nikonicon Contributing Member • Posts: 675
Re: Help! Focusing issues, but not back-focusing or method =(


I have rightly or wrongly believed that we didn't have the option of choosing a single focus point using the AFA,also have doubts about AF-C being in exact focus when taking my finger off the AF-on button.Now only use single focus point for anything stationary.

Interested to find Nikon service advise me recently that my camera was back focussing,not the lens,what caused that?when did that happen ,that's anybodies guess,I saw my camera working fine before that service.

Good luck with finding your ''solve''.



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Kerry Pierce
MOD Kerry Pierce Forum Pro • Posts: 19,757
Re: Help! Focusing issues, but not back-focusing or method =(

hmmm, well, you've got quite a lot of stuff going on there. Normally, I'd say not to use AF-A, unless you know that your target is the only thing that the camera's AF system will grab for focus. Even AF-C can be problematic, if your active point can't find a good focus target.

But, in your case, it sounds like it could simply be some dust or hair or something that is covering part of the AF sensors, so they might need to be cleaned. You can search for info on the net on how to do that, or you can take it to a service center. If the latter, they should be able to make sure that the camera's AF system is working properly.


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