D500 AF Question

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I recently got back from a trip where I brought my D500 and 70-300 AF-P as a compact set-up for some casual birding. While using the D500 in single point AF-S and AF-C modes during the trip, I noticed that the the focus point seemed like it was a bit just under the square as opposed to being in it. I have not noticed this on other Nikon bodies that I have previously used and was wondering if anybody else has experienced something like this. For example, if I was trying to focus on a bird loosely surrounded by some brush (with enough space so as not confuse the camera), I had to place the bird on the edge of the focus point or just below it for the camera to focus on the bird. Any thoughts?

--Ken
 
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Thom Hogan and Steve Perry have written quite a bit about this. The square is a rough indicator of where the focus points are. Steve provides a way to test out your camera for accuracy. It's not a D500 or a Nikon issue. It's a "feature" of all DSLRs (and probably mirrorless too).
 
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Thom Hogan and Steve Perry have written quite a bit about this. The square is a rough indicator of where the focus points are. Steve provides a way to test out your camera for accuracy. It's not a D500 or a Nikon issue. It's a "feature" of all DSLRs (and probably mirrorless too).
Thanks. I am surprised that I do not remember reading about this on either of their sites. It was not an issue on previous bodies (D300/D610/D750) and my Oly E-M1 seems a bit more tuned in (plus it is set up to magnify on AF+MF so I can easily confirm if necessary) as it is very easy to see what is in focus in the EVF image. It is just a bit frustrating as I use different bodies and others do not display the problem to the same extent.

Thanks,

--Ken
 
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Was thinking about this again as I was reviewing some recent images and had a follow-up question. If one is using a single point AF and the focus system is not reading as one would expect (i.e. in the center of the square), are there remedies beyond just knowing that this is a possible issue?

--Ken
 
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In a word, no. You could try one of the other AF modes but the actual af point is where it is, there is no moving it.
 
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The focus square is on the focus screen.The actual focus point is on the focus sensor on the floor of the sensor/mirror chamber. In earlier digital models and in film SLRs one could use a variety of interchangeable screens. Most were a DYI task, some needed professional help. You could check in with the folks at Kenmore or Glazers and see if they think the screen is misaligned. There used to be a series of shims that corrected installation/manufacturing "errors". It could be that the sensor could be misaligned.
 
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The focus square is on the focus screen.The actual focus point is on the focus sensor on the floor of the sensor/mirror chamber. In earlier digital models and in film SLRs one could use a variety of interchangeable screens. Most were a DYI task, some needed professional help. You could check in with the folks at Kenmore or Glazers and see if they think the screen is misaligned. There used to be a series of shims that corrected installation/manufacturing "errors". It could be that the sensor could be misaligned.
I know a number of folks at Glazers well, but I am inclined to send the camera to APS for a full checkup of the AF system and sensor. I realize that moving to a new body often has growing pains, but I have had more issues than any other Nikon body with my D500, and I would like to rule out any issues not related to technique, and this is a good place to start.

Thanks,

--Ken
 
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APS would be my choice too!
Good to hear. While the last Nikon factory repair to a used 200-500 via Glazers went well (and quickly), the camera is out of warranty and I like that you can actually talk to somebody at APS, and that their turnaround is generally fast.

--Ken
 
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Thanks. I am surprised that I do not remember reading about this on either of their sites. It was not an issue on previous bodies (D300/D610/D750) and my Oly E-M1 seems a bit more tuned in (plus it is set up to magnify on AF+MF so I can easily confirm if necessary) as it is very easy to see what is in focus in the EVF image. It is just a bit frustrating as I use different bodies and others do not display the problem to the same extent.

Thanks,

--Ken
Ken,
I have noticed the same thing on the D500 and it is a nuisance when you’re trying to be precise (when are we not!?)

I also noticed that the D750, E-M1, Z6 and Z7 focus points are located very precisely. With the last three being mirrorless, I imagine that is to be expected. With the D750, perhaps the relatively small central area of AF coverage gives us the impression that the points are more precisely placed than they are on the D500, where the points are spread over a focusing sensor that is proportionally larger when compared to its imaging sensor.
 
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Ken,
I have noticed the same thing on the D500 and it is a nuisance when you’re trying to be precise (when are we not!?)

I also noticed that the D750, E-M1, Z6 and Z7 focus points are located very precisely. With the last three being mirrorless, I imagine that is to be expected. With the D750, perhaps the relatively small central area of AF coverage gives us the impression that the points are more precisely placed than they are on the D500, where the points are spread over a focusing sensor that is proportionally larger when compared to its imaging sensor.
Since I also shoot with a D750 (formerly a D610) and an E-M1, I would have to agree. The E-M1 does have a few mishaps every now and then, but they are usually easier to catch before I shoot. The D500 has given me fits since I bought it, and if only for peace of mind I will send it off to APS. I know my technique needs improvement, but what I am seeing seems a bit beyond that, especially since I have seen what the D500 can produce. I would love a mirrorless body with the AF capture and C-AF capabilities of the D500. My biggest frustration with shooting things like BIF with the Oly is initial acquisition.

--Ken
 
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I just had two back-to-back days shooting a fairly high volume of images. One day at an airshow with the D500 and another with the Z6 at a local 5K race. For both events I used the 70-200/2.8E. Now I realize that the subject matter varies enormously, but the more I shoot the Z6, the more I prefer its AF to the D500. While the D500 acquires focus more quickly, which certainly comes in handy for fast moving subjects, the Z6 is more consistently accurate in focusing on the intended target. Unfortunately, I did not have both bodies with me at either event, so no proper side-by-side comparisons were made. Nevertheless, I can't shake the feeling that the D500 is not as good of a tool in my hands as the Z6. YMMV, and I have seen some really impressive results from the D500, but I'm working harder to get them with that body than I do with the Z6.
 
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