Nikon F90x autofocus settings?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by dugrant153, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Hey all,

    So I did a few assignments with my Nikon F90x and surprisingly... a lot of shots are out of focus. I'm using a manual focus 50mm F1.4 Ai lens so I use the electronic rangefinder and rely on it quite heavily since I shoot in lower light.

    The thing is, I used it in spot AF mode (vs wide AF mode) most of the time and am wondering if this is potentially the cause of my AF woes? Or has anyone else experienced F90x's suffering from back/front focusing (even on the electronic rangefinder and manual focusing?).

    Thanks!
     
  2. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Did you perhaps lock in the AF by partially depressing the shutter release before final composition?
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    My N90s does well focussing that way.
     
  4. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    My lenses are manual focus only so don't think this would affect it? I just tried it and seems that the electronic rangefinder is independent of depressing the shutter slightly.

    Do you mean spot focusing? or wide-area?
     
  5. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Spot normally, but actually either.
     
  6. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    1. Test by tripod-mounting your camera and running some test images. Focus very, very carefully. Try other test shots with the focus intentionally shifted a little back and forward (and note which are which) and see what you get for results.

    2. Check the focusing screen above the mirror, at the bottom of the pentaprism. If the screen holder isn't properly secured, you won't attain proper focus.
     
  7. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    So after getting some film back, I realize it may not actually be the camera... but the 50mm lens. There was definitely a lot of decentering going on as I'd have the first half of the image in focus and then the other half starting to fade. Pretty nasty.

    Thanks for all the tips. I remedied this problem by buying a new 50mm lens.
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I don't understand what you mean by de-centering.

    Do you mean foreground in and background out?

    What aperture was used?

    How far from the subject were you?
     
  9. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    By decentering, I mean that the image is in focus for about 60% across the image but the rest suddenly just blurs up. In my case, the far right side (when horizontal) of the image was blurring up while the rest of the image was in focus. I thought this was just a depth of field thing but even some objects that were in the correct plane of focus were blurring up. That is, some of the objects would be in focus and suddenly the rest... well, it goes to pot.

    Great for tilty-shifty stuff, but not for what I was looking for!
     
  10. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Couple thoughts.

    1 If it is always the right side on the film, the pressure plate that holds the film may have a bad spring, or something of that nature that is keeping the film from laying flat. Given your description this seems very probable. If true this also nearly rules out viewfinder/focusing screen issues.

    2 If your subjects are close and aperture wide, your plane of focus may be measured in mm. If this is the issue in good light it will be reasonably easy to see the effect in the viewfinder. At 1.4 it isn't to tough to get a plane of focus that is say 10mm or less deep.
     
  11. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    hmm... didn't think about the pressure plate but that my be a possibility. I just did 2 test rolls with this lens on 2 separate cameras (F90x and F801s). Have to scan them but I will see what turns up later tonight.

    If it's the pressure plate, the F90x roll will have the "blurring" shots and the F801s roll will be fine.

    On the other hand, if it's just the lens, then both the F801s and F90x should be both equally having the problem.

    Anyways, I remember hearing some sounds coming from it (scratching during focus or something like that) so best if I replace it anyways... Now I can check to see if the camera is at fault as well.
     
  12. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Alright, so I am scanning both film rolls and here is my conclusion so far.

    It's the camera.

    My F801s with the 50mm takes astounding shots. It's dead on and it doesn't have that weird stuff going on. However, the shots from the F90x are showing as being out of focus, and weird shifts in depth of field (not normal. F801s shows normal depth of field range).

    So I'm keeping my lens around but looks like I will have to replace my F90x. Not sure what's up with it, but it's definitely funky.

    Attached is an image from my original roll (when I started this thread) that tipped this all off. Weird. I thought this would be a lens problem. Never knew it to be a camera problem.
     

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