Article – D7000, camera weakness with fast pro-lenses?

After some inital issues, I’ve enjoyed using the D7000 as a kind of sidekick camera. Small, compact and líghtweight, the D7000 is able to produce decent images, sometimes even superb images.

I was interested how the D7000 would perform with Nikon’s recently introduced fast pro-lenses – the AFS 24mm/1.4G, the AFS 35mm/1.4G and the AFS 85mm/1.4G. Those lenses entered the market in the last 12 months and should have been on the drawing board while Nikon designed the D7000. One could be intrigued to believe that a combination of Nikon latest generation DX-format camera would create outstanding images with the most recent crop of fast pro-lenses. Not to forget, we are talking about prime lenses, not zooms – so it should be even better.

This was my believe as well – and I was wrong. Severely wrong.

It is not my point to conclude from a single camera behaviour that the design of the camera is unsuited for this combination, but it is annoying and disturbing what this c(my) ombination was able to produce. Back in November, when I used the AFS 17-55mm/2.8 on the D7000 with an aperture of  f2.8, a kind of blur in 100% view was visible. I did not use fast pro lenses in my initial assessement – but I did recently.

I’ll connect with Nikon support and would like to get their response first and eventually I need to send the camera and lenss in for repair or adjustments. We will see.

For those who are interested, some images. If it would be on one or only a couple of images, I’d be looking for an operator error first, but not a single positive exception in approx 100 images is somehow troublesome.

~Andy

 

AF-S 85mm/1.4G, image resized only
alt

 

100% crop, @ f5.6
alt

100% crop, @ f1.4
alt

 

AF-S 35mm/1.4G, image only resized
alt

100% crop, @ f8
alt

100% crop, @ f1.4
alt

 

AF-S 24mm/1.4G, image only resized
alt

100% crop, @ f5.6
alt

100% crop, @ f1.4
alt

 

Update:

As many people indicated to me that this is the result from a front/backfocus issue, I’d like to add some more images with the Spyder LensCal

For those who are not familiar with the device – here is the seller’s website and an image below

 

All images are taken with the same lens – an AFS 85mm/1.4G.

 

D3x @f1.4

D7000 @ f1.4

 

For comparison – 2 images with f5.6

D3X @f5.6

 

D7000 @f5.6

 

To me, it does not look like the AF system has a front/backfocus issue,. It is rather the generic softness of the D7000 image, which points to a potentially  different cause. I’ve sent a message to Nikon support with some NEF images and will wait for their assessemnt and comments.

Andy

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10 Responses to Article – D7000, camera weakness with fast pro-lenses?

  1. Adam Bavier says:

    Is the area you cropped where the focus point was?

    F1.4 is a slim depth of field, so was wondering if the foreground or background of the cropped areas don’t show this blur? For instance is the white fence, or the cars oddly blurred? The camera might be misfocussing around infinity.

    Can you get it right with manual focus?

  2. Roddy McWha says:

    Hi Andy, great blog!
    I have to wonder about your shots with the noct 1.2. They were sharp, but manually focused. So the sensor seems able to resolve the low apertures-do you think it is a problem with the autofocus module?
    Roddy

    • nikonandye says:

      Thank you Roddy!
      I give my blog a try.
      With regards to the sharpness of the Noct lens – these photos have been taken at relatively short distance, not comparable tothe 150ft+ distances the AFS photos were shot. But it is a good point, may be I give the Noct also a long distance daylight shot @ f1.2 – just to treat my curiosity 🙂

      ~Andy

  3. Luiz Kamnitzer says:

    You are not the only one with this problem. It´s not a D7000 problem.
    Look at Lloyd Chambers´s blog for a very intensive test with this lens at http://www.diglloyd.com/diglloyd/2010-12-blog.html

    Regards
    Luiz Kamnitzer

  4. Jim Harris says:

    Some of this unsharpness I would expect from the lens aberrations of these lenses wide open. But your comparison between the D3s and D7000 show a definite difference. Have you tried the various sharpening levels in the D7000? I’ve been using between 6 to 8, near the sharp end, and that has helped my resolution (although it has increased noise, even at ISO 100).
    Good luck,
    Gunzorro

    • nikonandye says:

      Jim,
      thank you for your comment.

      You are correct, some of the unsharpness came from dejusted lenses. In the meantime I’ve gut my gear back from Nikon Support and it works now perfectly. The D7000 is now better than the D300/D300s , which was not the case before this exercise. With regards to your sharpness recommendation. I did not use any sharpening on OOC JPEGs – never use them except for thumbnail previewing. Much of the D7000 softness “image” on the web comes from 2 factors. 1) 90% caused by the software driven image pipeline and 2) the lower sharpness perceiption casued by lower noise level vs. D300 and D90. Some of their “sharpness” is driven by noise in the indivdual color channels.

      rgds,
      Andy

  5. Ronald says:

    Has Nikon properly adjusted your D7000 after your experience with pro lenses?

    • nikonandye says:

      I didn’t have time to update my blog for while. The answer is yes. But it was not a D7000 only issue. All lenses had to be adjusted and the pro bodies as well. The advantage of sending in all components at the same time was that all combinations are now working properly. I am happy again 🙂

      ~Andy

  6. Keates says:

    Sorry, please could you tell me where you sent it so I can do the same as I am having the same issues .

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