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Author Topic: Nikon's 50mm 1.4G and 85 mm 1.4G front-focusing... severely  (Read 4707 times)

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« on: October 27, 2011, 16:02 »
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I got Nikkor 50 and 85 mm 1.4 lenses and the stupid things don't focus properly when wide open - focus is in the front by 2-3 inches at least! Took them to the Nikon service center with my D3X, they adjusted the AF on the camera a bit and told me there are no problem with lenses. I take it home, try again - same crap! My 24-70 mm focuses just fine open at 2.8 on the same camera body. I tried AF fine-tune, but even that is not enough to compensate for the front-focusing. You focus on person's eye and get a tip of their nose if you're lucky, but most of the time something in the front, like folds of clothes, etc...
Anyone else seen problems like that?


« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 16:47 »
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It can take a while to get accustomed to shoot wide open with lenses f/1.4 or faster. Think for example that if you're doing a closeup and you focus, then re-compose, you maybe have moved your camera slightly changing the angle of the focal plane. For a razor-thin DOF in the case of f/1.4, you'll most likely have the focus somewhere else.
One good thing to do is focus and when recomposing try not to lean camera (and consequently the focal plane) forward, try to keep it in the same plane where it was when you framed it.

The best way to check whether is something wrong or not, is to have your camera on tripod, make some test shots at f/1.4 at various distances and use the microadjustment if necessary. If the focus point is way off when you shoot from tripod, then go back to nikon and tell them if they don't fix it you'll smash their front elements to bits. ;D

« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2011, 17:04 »
0
It can take a while to get accustomed to shoot wide open with lenses f/1.4 or faster. Think for example that if you're doing a closeup and you focus, then re-compose, you maybe have moved your camera slightly changing the angle of the focal plane. For a razor-thin DOF in the case of f/1.4, you'll most likely have the focus somewhere else.
One good thing to do is focus and when recomposing try not to lean camera (and consequently the focal plane) forward, try to keep it in the same plane where it was when you framed it.

The best way to check whether is something wrong or not, is to have your camera on tripod, make some test shots at f/1.4 at various distances and use the microadjustment if necessary. If the focus point is way off when you shoot from tripod, then go back to nikon and tell them if they don't fix it you'll smash their front elements to bits. ;D

Smashing their front elements to bits was my first impulsive thought...;) And yes I tested the crap out of the lenses, on a tripod, with a ruler next to object, different lighting conditions. It all consistently shows front-focusing by 2-3 inches sometimes... It seems that the closer you are to the minimal focusing distance it gets worse. Also, if the light is even a little bit dim, it gets worse. Which is ironic because the very reason I bought 1.4 is that I want to photograph in dim-ish light, like indoors. Grrr....

« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 17:13 »
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In this case I would return the lenses if I were you. And because you're on Nikon, I think you'd be better off with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG EX. Regarding bokeh cream is only second to Canon's f/1.2L. Sharp wide open, I have quite a few images shot at f/1.4 on SS and the other websites.
There's a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 too - not exactly as great as the Canon's 85 f/1.2L, but at least as good as Nikon f/1.4 (again, bokeh quality).
Anyway, very fast primes are prone to focus shifting, but that's when stopping down. And some of them can have focus problems wide open around the minimum focusing distance

« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 17:30 »
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Yeah when I was googling the problem I've read someone else's complaints about Nikon's 50mm 1.4G - they ended up switching to Sigma one and were much happier.... I guess I should look into that. These lenses perform very nice between 5.6-16, no complaints, but then I have my 24-70 for that... Thanks for the advice!


 

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