Nikkor 50mm 1.4D Focusing Problem

notjustamomanotjustamoma Posts: 7Member
edited November 2013 in Nikon Lenses
This may seem strange, but I have 2 lense, a Nikkor 50mm D 1.4 & a Nikkor 18-200mm 3.5 VRII; I cannot seem to get my photos as focused with the 50mm as much as with the 18-200 (even on a tripod); any suggesstions would be welcome.


  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Will it focus in live view?
  • notjustamomanotjustamoma Posts: 7Member
    I'm sure it probably will, but I never use live view; do you think that would make any difference?
  • notjustamomanotjustamoma Posts: 7Member
    The lense itself (50mm) will actually look focused through the viewfinder, but then the photo looks blurry (a little) on the computer.
  • JakesGTJakesGT Posts: 38Member
    Is your diopter correctly set?
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Live view is a data point to see if somehow the lens itself is malfunctioning. Does the camera achieve focus lock? The lens may need a focus fine tune adjustment (front or back focusing). Pictures would help mightily.
  • notjustamomanotjustamoma Posts: 7Member
    My dearest Ironheart, I think I am in love with you. I feel so stupid. I used my liveview for the 1st time and realized (after using the 18-200 zoom for years) that I was either standing too close or too far away with the 50mm and it was not getting a sharp enough focus. I do use focus lock, but I wasn't getting in the right position for a "sharp" photo. It was a still a little blurry, although it looked clear in the viewfinder. Thank you so much. I did try to send a picture by clicking on the "image icon", but couldn't figure it out. Thanks. Also thank you JakesGT and yes I did check the diopter.
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 468Member
    edited November 2013
    Please correct me if I am wrong ....

    I am in the belief that the AF systems in our DSLRs are not as accurate or let's say "perfect" as we all think. There seems to be always an issue with back focus/front focus - sometimes it does catch it dead right, sometimes it just does not.

    Most lenses were designed/produced in film times ( or early digital times )when we were not able to see minor focusing faults. Or maybe we blamed ourselves for missing the focus. Same story with the beginning of the digital age ...We were unable to detect those slight shifts when resolutions were low enough to hide them.

    Now that we have hit 24Mp on APS-c/36 Mp on FF, it is easier to notice AF faults - not only front or back focus but also inconsistencies.

    Trying to say - AF systems in my opinion are not perfect/100% flawless systems. Maybe this is as good as it gets. When you think of what a miracle the DSLR is doing sensing focus distances/differences of cms on finished images ( which correspond to fractions of a mm if not microns on the sensor ). Let's not forget, slightest decrease in the aperture opening - maybe as low as 1/3 a stop will cover all those miniscule focusing issues.

    This is my opinion based on experience using a D300 ( I do have a D5000 & D3200 which I have never tested for back/front focus as they are only used for family shots/travels )

    I really would like to know if there are any others that have "ruler-tested" their DSLRs/lenses and reached the same conclusion ( no, fine tuning does not help ) Or is it only me again :x
    Post edited by Paperman on
  • Fred_BFred_B Posts: 24Member
    Some lenses are better at focusing accurately every time. Others not so much. Some have different focus issues depending on distance. Normally I have to pixel peep to find issues.

    As for the 50mm 1.4D, mine is a little soft at 1.4 but is ok at F1.6. I can notice that it is soft on a normal sized print.
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