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Old May 28, 2004, 11:13 PM   #1
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I've notice a disturbing "back focus" problem with my D70 -- the point of sharpest focus seems to be an inch or two behind the center point of the image. Take a look at this shot; the centerpoint of the image, where I aimed the center of focus, was the larger flower right in the center of the image. This was shot with the 18-70mm kit lens. Perhaps those of you with more experience out there can provide some helpful comments.

I expect I need to send the camera body back to Nikon for calibration. Do I need to send just the body, or do I need to send them the lens, too? Any comments? The quality control in terms of calibration for a camera of this cost and complexity is certainly disappointing.
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Old May 30, 2004, 8:37 PM   #2
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It's hard to tell from the small size of your attached photo but if you say you are having back focus, you will need to send it in to Nikon for recalibration. Turn around time is around 2-3 weeks.

Before you send it in, make sure you really do have BF. Use a tripod on a non-windy day, set center focus, AF-S mode, shoot wide open, use self-timer. The idea is to eliminate all possible camera/subject movement.

Only the body is needed to be recalibrated but I would send in the kit lens too just in case. It's free to have them look it over anyway.

Another alternative is to exchange itfrom the place where you bought it. The newer cameras coming from Nikon don't have back focus. My first one had BF and I returned it to the retailer for an exchange, the new one does not have BF. Serial number jumped 12,500(!) between the two cameras.
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Old May 30, 2004, 9:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I had actually taken a few other shots, indoors, at a constant angle, to check out the back-focus, and it confirmed my concerns-- at a distance of 2-3 feet, the back-focus is approximately an inch or two. Yesterday, I shipped both the camera and the kit lens to Melville for them to recalibrate, pointing out that there is some back-focus. Hopefully, they'll take care of it.
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Old May 31, 2004, 7:55 AM   #4
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Good luck on that. I'm sure Melville will take care of you. The one time I had to use them for my Coolpix 950 (switch repair under warranty) I got great service and they clean the entire camera before returning. It looked brand new! Turn around time was 1 week but I live in the NYC area so that saved on the shipping time.

All the reports I've read on the net indicated that it's a very fixable thing. If you remember, post your experience when you get it back.
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Old May 31, 2004, 8:27 AM   #5
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huh? this is back focus porblem? new to me...looks like DOF proplem to me...try smaller aperture setting, use A mode, slow synchro, put the camera on tripod, shoot, then post that picture, will decide if you need to send the camera in or not...



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Old May 31, 2004, 11:53 AM   #6
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MK, thanks for the hopeful post. Tuanokc, this is most decidedly a focus problem, not a DOF issue -- the DOF was exactly what I wanted it to be, emphasizing the central flower(s) and blurring the foliage behind. The problem was that the point that should have been in sharpest focus, the most central flower, was not -- the point of sharpest focus was obviously an inch or so behind it.

My finding was confirmed by other shots I took, including test shots using newsprint at an angle, where the stuff right behind my point of focus was sharp and the point I focussed at was slightly less so, and the stuff in front was out of focus. Admittedly, not a scientific marvel, but it's all about how images look -- and, bottom line,the stuff I aim to focus on should come out in focus.
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