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I was considering buying a Nikon D7000 but I have found that (as of 2011) many reviewers were reporting back focusing issues. I would like to verify if these issues are real, and if they are still relevant (in late-2012).

If they are present in a given camera and they are affecting image quality, is it possible to work around them (at least by having them fixed by Nikon service) or are you stuck with the issue "without hope"?

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3 Answers 3

No, cameras do not exhibit back-focusing issues. Lenses do not either.

What exhibits back focusing issues is a particular camera and lens combination. This can happen with any camera that uses Phase-Detect Autofocus which includes all current DSLRs and some SLDs, notably those from Canon, Nikon and most from Sony.

High-end cameras like the D7000 have ways to compensate from this called AF Fine-Tuning or AF Adjustment. You simply calibrate each combination of camera and lens.

For other cameras you can send your camera and lenses to a service center and they will calibrate everything together for you.

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Note, too, that some lenses (particularly older ones) exhibit a significant amount of focus shift when stopping down from wide-open. DoF usually covers the difference in real terms, but pixel peepers with "back focus" on their minds might decide that it's the camera's fault when their f/8 close-up shots, focused at f/1.8 or f/2.8, are not focused on exactly the same spot. –  user2719 Sep 18 '12 at 15:12
    
Focus shift indeed happens with some lenses, which makes calibration a lot more difficult. –  Blame Dutchie Oct 1 '13 at 21:17

Of course I can only speak for the camera I own, and not for the entire produced batch, but yes I had some really nasty back focusing.

Taking the time to go into AF fine tuning however, I was able to get things working properly. Can be a tedious job with some lenses, but the camera provides the tools to do it, so wth:-)

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I had the same experience, back-focus was present, but it was within AF fine tuning range, so I was able to fix it myself. –  lopisan Oct 1 '13 at 11:45

Yes a big number of d7000 exhibit bad back-focus issues even past -20 settings on af micro adjustment on body and that is true till 2013 when I purchased a brand new d7000. I have 5 lenses and all of them is back focusing on d7000 only at -20 regaining sharpness but 2 of then need more maybe -22/24...my only choice is to send my 1 week old body to nikon and hopping that they will calibrate correctly auto focus.

I don't understand why so many if not all nikon d7000 bodies have that miscalibration...even after 3 years of users reporting that. :(

My advice, check the camera when purchase...and switch them until one is right...I don't have that option when buy mine because the store has no stock, rather requesting one item from source when they have order. Don't let that very occurring d7000 back focusing be the deal breaker because the 7000 is good (i really feel the lost of rotating screen of d5100) and the problem of back focusing is for sure a simple problem to resolve in service...or better switching bodies in store but take account of that occurrence and u will not be sorry. I hope that this problem to be the single that will experience with this body and not stumble upon other very frequent one ...the drops of oil on sensor :)

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Do you have any references showing that it's particularly bad with this camera model? –  mattdm Jan 12 '13 at 19:23
    
@sorin: Please register your account, and reuse it each time you log in, rather than creating a new one each time. It will save me a lot of hassle merging your accounts. Additionally, you can always edit your own answers so long as you use the same account, and will not have to post new ones each time you log in. –  jrista Jan 14 '13 at 17:36

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