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Old Aug 3, 2009, 1:37 AM   #1
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Default Is anyone else having a D90 Autofocus problem?

My new (2-days) Nikon D90 fails to autofocus about 2/3's of the time. Once autofocus fails, the camera won't even try to refocus when I half-press the shutter button again, unless I drastically change the direction in which the camera is pointing.

I tried three different lenses, all of which work perfectly on my D40x, and got the same failure situation with all three.

When the camera does focus successfully, the photos are stunning and the camera is a joy to use.

My cousin also has a D90, so we swapped lenses between the two cameras. Her camera always autofocused very quickly and always successfully, with her lens and mine. My camera usually failed with her lens as well as with mine, and when it succeeded, it often took a lot longer to find focus than her camera took.

Nikon Support says it's probably defective and I should exchange it (which I'm in the process of doing).

My question is whether anyone else has had a similar problem? Is this just an unusual defective unit, or is this a common problem with D90's?
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Old Aug 3, 2009, 5:07 AM   #2
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Sounds like you have a bad unit. I haven't heard of any other instances of this issue.
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Old Aug 3, 2009, 7:09 AM   #3
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Are you sure you're not doing something like using an outside focus point in low light indoors?

I'd try resetting your Custom Functions back to factory defaults (you'll find a Reset Custom Functions menu option) to make sure you didn't change something related to AF settings that's causing an issue.
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Old Aug 3, 2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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Thank you for those observations and suggestions. When swapping lenses with my cousin's D90, we were outdoors at 6PM on a sunny summer day, targeting the same things with both cameras. Comparisons between my D40x and D90 were made both indoors and outdoors.

The D90's Autofocus worked a bit better with all settings put back to "default", but still failed almost half the time, and tended to focus on peripheral objects when it succeeded. I've usually keep the D40x's autofocus set at "single-point", to make sure it doesn't select something closer than my intended subject, and had set the D90 the same way. In those comparisons, the D40x always focused properly, and the D90 failed and gave up most of the time. (I tried three different single-points; made no difference.) When the D90 was set to "autofocus", it was more successful in finding focus, but almost never selected the focus points I wanted.
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 6:34 PM   #5
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Default Replacement D90 works fine

Amazon replaced the defective D90 and the new one works very well: focus instantly on the targets the other one could not (as well as on everything else), and no hot/warm/dead pixels on the sensor.

When the first one did focus, the images were excellent, far better than from my D40x (which is an excellent camera also). The "active D-lighting" seems to be the reason for the big improvement: the photographer certainly hasn't gotten any better.
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 8:47 PM   #6
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Great. Sounds like you got good service from Amazon.
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