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D 70 autofocus problem

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Bohdan, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. I've been having autofocus problems with my D 70 for quite some time now..Acually I notice last spring when I got my camera back from Nikon for servicing ( cosmetic and sensor cleaning only ) Doesn't matter which lens I use but when I focus using AF mode the focus spot in the viewfinder, and the beep to tell me the camera is in focus happens but the image is most defiinately not in focus...So to compensate I've been using manual focus fairly exclusively. ( Don't want to be seperated from my camera ).. But I think it's time to send it in to Nikon Canada.
    Anyone else having similar problems?
    Is there something obvious that I've overlooked?

  2. Bohdan,

    I have a D70s and focus seems dead-on however, I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day who owns with the one first D70 to come out. He had to send it in to get a little circuit board repaired (cannot remember initial problem) but, after he got it back he says focus always seems to be off now. I wonder if, after they replace this circuit board that somehow it affects auto-focus and perhaps is not calibrated correctly. I know, this does not help you at all but, I am just wondering if both of you are experiencing the same issue. I suppose, if you do discover what the isssue is you will let us know about it. I believe my friend with the similar problem is just going to send it back to Nikon again.

  3. Thanks Mark...I'm sending it in tomorrow...will let everyone know if and when they find out what the problem is.

  4. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Hi Bohdan,

    There was/is some rumour about backfocus on early D70 models. Here is a website that describes how to test and fix it:


    I wouldn't want to do that on my own, but this mirror allignment could indicate that perhaps something went wrong when servicing the camera at Nikon earlier in spring (you said that it started then).
  5. Yes - I would like to know what the problem/fix was. Keep us posted.

    I know if my D70s ever gets a similar problem I will not mess with the mirror. I know I would just make matters worse and then I will still have to send it in.
  6. Bohdan,
    It has happened to me also to experiment bad autofocusing with my D70. But I would not invoke a badly adjusted camera. The AF module in the D70 is the multi-cam 900, the same as in the F80, the F70, F75 and F65. It works at its best under good light and good contrast. With dark filters, or under flat low light, it will probably hunt for a while before locking. Even when you get a locked focus, it may not be on what you think or wish it would. For that reason, manual focusing may be useful at times.
    My problem is I also suffer from bad eyesight, and focusing through the small and darkish viewfinder of the D70 is a quite a challenge, especially with a lens that may not open at more that 5.6. So I tend to mumble and hope to be a lottery winner to fix things in another life.
    But you tell me if you get anything better from Nikon Service. I may follow the same route too.
  7. Will do...Haven't gotten it back yet...read somewhere that it isn't uncommon for the focus sensor to get dirty...so maybe all it needs is a good cleaning.

  8. Got my d70 back yesterday from Nikon Canada...little over 2 weeks...Cleaned the CCD; cleaned and adjusted the focus sensor...not it works like a charm...So I wonder how the focus sensor got so dirty that it interfered with the focusing ability of the camera? Have cleaned the CCD myself using the copperhill method...with no difficulties.

  9. I just wonder after a little time if you have evidenced a major difference in autofusing with your D70 after the cleaning ? I'm asking after missing numerous shots last Sunday in a park where deers are almost tamed. The problem was not to get close to the animals, but to master the lens/focus combination. The lens is a Sigma 70-200 HSM. It's pretty sharp when in focus. I think I will rent a D2Hs for a day and test it with a better focusing engine.
  10. Hi Christian..

    Actually I've seen a dramatic improvemen in the autofocus since getting the camera body back from Nikon...With the 70-200 vr and the 17-55 its very fast and spot on !

  11. Thanks for the info Bohdan. I think I'll take it in this week, before selling it ! (I'm on a list for the D200 - just couldn't resist).
  12. pcjr


    Sep 19, 2005
    My autofocus problems were intermittent until yesterday when the autofocus stopped working completely. I thought it was the 70-200VR lens, perhaps bad contacts because this was the only lens that I ever had on when the problem happened. Removing the lens and putting it back on would usually re-enable the autofocus. However, it stopped working last night and this morning I tried the kit lens and got the same results. I tried a hard-reset.

    It is kind of challenging for me to operate both the zoom and the manual focus at the same time shooting soccer with my 70-200VR+1.7TC.

    I will be sending mine in for servicing real soon now.
  13. Doughn

    Doughn Guest

    scary ,, i hope this auto focus thing wont happen to me.. pray
  14. pcjr


    Sep 19, 2005
    Hopefully the D70s's don't have this problem!

    I shipped mine in, first time ever without my camera. Hopefully they will let me know its status within a few of days.
  15. I have the D2X and like you, I have to send mine in too for a check on the sharpness. I thought it was me but I really believe it is the camera. The first time I shot the camera it was nice and sharp but in order to get a decent sharp image, I have to set it high sharpening. BTW...I send mine to Nikon Canada too because I bought mine in Canada.
  16. pcjr


    Sep 19, 2005
    Autofocus still broken

    I got my D70 back from Nikon Service and it didn't take long for my autofocus to stop working again. By this I mean that there is no attempt at all to focus, it doesn't even try. Manual focus works fine, but it is tough to shoot a soccer player running towards me while adjusting the zoom and focus on my 70-200VR.

    To make matters worse, this problem is intermittent. I spent a few hours shooting volleyball last Sunday with my 50mm f/1.4D and never had a problem. Wednesday morning, I took a couple shots of an owl near the parking lot where I work with my 70-200VR+1.7TC, autofocus engaged and worked fine. That afternoon, it didn't work at all at the soccer game.

    A few hours later I put the 70-200VR+1.7TC back on, retested, and it was still broken. I removed the TC and retested and it was working again. I put the TC back on and it continued to work. Time to improve my manual focus skills.

    Nikon Service sent me a return shipping label. Unfortuneately, if I ship it back now will won't be able to get any more photos of my daughter's high school soccer team, the season ends in a couple of weeks.
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