I can't seem to get photos with good focus or without noise. Is it the fault of the Nikon D80?I have read that cameras only two or three years old have much better light sensors and that that is what I need for high quality shots.

My lens is Nikkor 18-135 which came with the camera. http://www.mickyalberta.com/micky-alberta/crete/ this pic from Crete looks okay normal size but at 100% has multicolor grain. These of castle and prairie field the same; I can even see grain in the prairie at normal size. http://www.viewbug.com/member/micky47 I'm interested in stock but my pix get rejected on focus and noise issues. My ISO is at 100.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What lens are you using? That has as much or more to do with focusing than the camera body does. In what kind of light are you shooting? What camera settings are you using? How are you stabilizing the camera when shooting? All of theses things have an effect on the final result. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 19, 2016 at 22:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Could you include links to a couple of example photos? This would help very much to answer your question. As it stands now there really isn't enough information to determine what the problem with your particular photos is. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 19, 2016 at 22:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ My D80 does fine. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20, 2016 at 4:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this a recent change from previous photos you shot with the D80, or have you always been unsatisfied with the results you achieved? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 11, 2016 at 12:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Merged your answer. D. Jurcau had commented that: ""but at 100% has multicolor grain". This is quite normal for ISO 1600 which you used to take that picture. Closing the aperture to just f/8 instead of f/20 and increasing the exposure to 1/400 from 1/800 would have allowed you to use the native ISO 100." \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Apr 11, 2016 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


Are focus and noise problems I see with my Nikon D80 simply because newer cameras are better?

No. We're talking about a camera that's 10 years old, so you can certainly expect better performance from a newer model, but the D80 is capable of focusing just fine and noise shouldn't be a problem if you're shooting at a reasonably low ISO.

Compare your results to the [sample images at DPReview]. If your images are worse with respect to either focus or noise you may be doing something wrong or need to adjust your camera or have it serviced.

I can't seem to get photos with good focus or without noise.

Those are two distinct issues, so lets take them one at a time:

focus: Your camera should be able to achieve sharp focus on something, even if it's not the thing that you intend. Test this by using a focusing target like the ones from DSLRKIT, or just take a photo where there are a number of objects at gradually increasing distances. For example, you could take a photo of a picket fence at an angle, so that each picket is a little farther away.

Shoot your test shots with the lens at it's widest aperture and also at a medium aperture like f/8. The wide aperture shots will make it easier to see where the best focus is, since you'll have the smallest depth of field, but lenses typically perform best around f/8, so you'll get the sharpest image at that setting. Also, be sure to keep the exposure short -- maybe 1/500s or 1/1000s to eliminate any chance of motion blur.

If there's no area of sharp focus, then there's a problem. Try again with a different lens to eliminate the lens as the source of the problem. If there is an area of sharp focus but it's not where you expected it to be, then you need to adjust the camera for front or back focus.

noise: Sensors have improved over the past decade, so noise will be a bigger problem on the D80 than on something much newer, but you should still be able to get a pretty clean image if you're taking shots with plenty of light at a low ISO setting. Posting a few examples of images that you're concerned about, including the camera settings for each shot, will help people here give you a better idea of whether there's a real problem. Try shooting outdoors in full daylight at low ISO -- 100 or 200.


D80 is quite an advanced camera. It is quite possible to get very good photos with it at least in good lighting.

The focusing problem may happen because of AF sensor miscalibration (either in camera or caused by objective). You can check whether this is the case by trying to focus on stationary object without moving DSLR. If there is some repeatable focus miss (forward or backward) this is the case.


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