D70 backfocus

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by heiko, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. heiko

    heiko

    May 15, 2005
    Israel
    Hello everyone,

    It looks like many are upgrading to a D200, but for those of us who keep the D70, I like to share fixing the backfocus problem I had with my camera.

    For some time I suspected that my D70 had a backfocus problem. Pictures just wouldn't turn out sharp, which is particularly annoying with portraits: nose, eyes and mouth are out of focus, but from the ears on backwards the subject is very much in focus. At the beginning I attributed it to my special talent (or lack of it). But the day came that I couldn't ignore it anymore. So I printed two focus test charts and set up the camera on a tripod for a more scientific approach. I shot pictures at maximum aperture, and tried several lenses including my MF 50mm f1.4 which I focused using the green "in focus" dot in the viewfinder (I focused both from the near end and the far end, to exclude the influence this may have). The result - all pictures turned out with a backfocus of 1 - 2 inch, enough to ruin the picture.

    After a glass of wine (or two) I built up enough courage to give it a try. I anyway had to clean the sensor (about high time after 1 1/2 years of shooting), so I might as well fix the damn thing. So I pulled out the toolbox and found the 2mm hex wrench.

    I followed the instructions on this web page:

    http://www.leongoodman.com/d70focus.html

    After several adjustments (trial and error) and corrections the D70 is focusing now where it should focus. I only had to adjust the rear screw to get it right.

    In addition to testing the focus itself, I also checked the focus bracket allignment - all is fine now.

    I never thought it was that easy. However - DON'T do it if you're not confident you'll get it right, or if you are NOT prepared to take the risk of damaging your camera in the process.

    My thanks go to Leon Goodman and Sergei Khizhiy for the excellent instructions.

    Since I didn't have a backfocus issue when I got the camera, I believe that with time and enough shutter actuations the AF allignment may not be on spot anymore. However, that's pure speculation. If you have had a similar experience, let me know here. I'm curious on how and why it got misalligned.
     
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