Is it possible to calibrate a Nikon D7000 body at home so it doesn't back focus anymore? I did several tests compared to my brothers' identical equipment (body+lens) and concluded it is the body which needs calibration and not the lens.

P.S. I'm on the latest firmware available if that makes any difference.

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    The step size for the 'default' fine tuning is 2.5 times larger than for the lens specific fine tuning, so it basically gives you a range of +/- 50. You have to remember to set fine tuning to zero if you borrow a lens though, and of course have a fine tuning value for all your other lenses. – Orbit Jan 9 '18 at 17:37

Yes, you can, as long as the given range (-20 to 20) is enough to give you good results.

AF Fine tune values are simple to understand. If your camera exhibits back focus (i.e. focus is farther away than you want it to be), you apply a negative value and vice versa - if it exhibits front focus, you apply a positive value.

You can find the AF Fine Tune screen in Menu -> Setup. It's described on page 246 of the user manual.

You can first try an experimental approach - for example if the camera is back focusing, try applying a value of -5 and shoot for a while like this. If it's still back focusing, apply a value of -10 and so on.

There is also more precise methods that take a little bit of extra time and usually require a good tripod or at least a steady surface to place the camera on. One such method is informally called "DotTune" and is described in this video.

If you find that you're hitting either end of the tuning range (e.g. you're at -20 and the body/lens combo still gives you back focus), then you probably need to send the body for service. If the body is still under warranty (I doubt it), it's free, otherwise they'll charge a small amount of money.

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  • Thanks for the answer, I have my AF at -20 and still back focuses slightly. I was wondering what the "in service" process is, and if I could do it at home (basically, wondering if it is a software tuning that they do, or some hardware adjustments). P.S. If I use LiveView instead of ViewFinder, I get perfect focus. – Daniel Hursan Jan 8 '18 at 8:59
  • I had a D7000 a while ago and it had a similar problem - with an AF-S DX 35 f/1.8 G it had to be at -20 and focus was still sometimes off. I sent it in for service while it was still in warranty and they fixed it for free (they only charged me for the sensor cleaning I requested along with the repair). – K. Minkov Jan 8 '18 at 10:04
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    After that AF Fine Tune had to be between 0 and -5. I'm not exactly sure what they do. It's like they moved the whole range in one direction (like the new 0 is where the old -20 was) and from what I know it's the body that's calibrated (and not the lens itself unlike some third-party manufacturers like Sigma which have user accessible tools for calibrating the lens itself). I don't know what interface and software they use in the service centre. I found a piece of software that supposedly does that, but it looks very sketchy and I wouldn't try it. – K. Minkov Jan 8 '18 at 10:11
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    As for Live View, it inherently has perfect focus because the mirror is raised and focus is measured on the image sensor itself using contrast detection, which is what works around the shortcomings of phase detection AF (which is used in the viewfinder). – K. Minkov Jan 8 '18 at 10:13

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