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D300 Firmware Improved AF???

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Joe Marques, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. I'm pretty sure my AF has improved post FW 1.03. I've noticed less hunting in low light with my Sigma glass. I've also had a few episodes where the AF froze a bit when I purposely manually focused at infinity on a near shot (where it should have "zoomed" the AF to the near focus point). Now it just doesn't do that at all. I'm also fairly sure it tracks more accurately.

    Here's my Sigma 120-300 2.8. This is a lens where I dialed in +5 to get it sharper. Now I removed the AF fine tune and it's sharper than ever. I really think Nikon slipped in some AF improvements.

    These shots are on a monopod, high ISO yet they look better than some older shots on a TRIPOD. Crops are inset on each photo. Crops have ZERO sharpening and no noise reduction. Reduced images have minor sharpening:



    This one is most impressive bc I had so much trouble with the AF test "paper" chart (with the "focus here" line being blurry on all my tests with a TRIPOD). Look at how sharp the crop is at ISO 3200 with a MONOPOD and barely enough shutter for such close focus - 1/160:

    Here's the 50-150 2.8 II. This lens had slight problems at the close focus limit (very minor but there) and now it's just rock solid (meaning I can't make it miss focus).

    This is fairly close to the near focus limit - razor sharp - and not a shred of sharpening or NR on the crop:

    While it's entirely possible this is all in my head, I just don't believe it. Something has changed with the D300 AF. Anyone else experience this?
  2. jgrove


    Apr 13, 2005
    I think it would seem logical that the AF in both the D3 and D300 have been improved in this firmware update. Even tough Nikon have only stated that the D3 firmware has had this update.
  3. PeterRH

    PeterRH Guest

    If it is physically possible for an AF firmware improvement to also affect the AF fine-tune on front/back-focusing lenses on a particular body (is it? seems odd) that's going to annoy rather than help a lot of users.
  4. papah


    May 5, 2007
    My D300 friends have seen no change after the update.
  5. Perhaps the lens wasn't front/back focusing? My +5 adjustment didn't create tack sharp images vs. a setting of zero so I don't think BF/FF was the original true problem. Not sure but it's a theory.
  6. Mani


    Jan 14, 2006
    Toronto - Canada
    I Do see improvement as Joe mentioned Seems Camera hunting less in Dark areas
  7. I hope to do some testing this afternoon.
  8. rampal


    May 4, 2008
    @Newbury, UK
    I haven't seen any improvement. Just made some test with the 24-70 and I still need to dial some AF fine tune to get the sharpness I expect to have at f/2.8.

  9. That was my question. Will this "upgrade" zero out my AF-Fine Tune settings?
  10. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Firmware updates have been known to restore some settings to their default values. I updated my D300 a few days ago, but haven't had a chance to run thru the menus to see what, if anything, defaulted. It's possible that the upgrade returned your AF fine tune settings to zero, easy enough to check thru the menu. It's always a good idea to record your settings, either in events like this or if you send it in for service.
  11. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    When I read the first post referring to a 1.03 firmware upgrade for the D300 I was surprised that there was one. So I went onto Nikon's site and couldn't find it listed in their upgrades.

    My D300 came with the 1.02 (A) upgrade. If the 1.03 upgrade is significant can you tell me how to find it?
  12. sfoxjohn


    May 1, 2005
    Marlton, NJ
    Please ignore previous post. I found

    the reference on another thread.
  13. from what i read the only thing it address' is a rare low battery indication. I'm guessing that anything else you see is a result of switching to defaults or wishful thinking.
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