View Full Version : Should I switch over from Nikon to Canon - back focus problems

Hello all This is my post here after a gap of 2 years when I joined this forum. (More involved in Nikon forums). Hope I am not asking a dumb question. I have Nikon gear (humble gear) Nikon D5100 & Nikon D7000. As for lenses, the kit lens 18-55 Nikon DX VR, 55-200 Nikon DX VR, 35mm F/1.8 Nikon DX prime, and a latest Tokina 11-16 DX II F/2.8 wide zoom for Nikon DX cameras. Why I started thinking of switching over from Nikon to Canon : The D7000 camera has always had this back focusing problem. First I thought that the 35mm Nikon prime lens did not match the D7000 - I did AF Fine tuning and I had to take it to a value of -16 (minus 16) and the problem got solved. I was first using this D7000 with this 35mm prime only (I did not buy it along with the 18-105 which it shipped with as kit lens as I already had a 18-55 kit lens along with my D5100 - after which I bought D7000 body only) At the same time I bought Nikon DX VR 55-200 also. I never removed the 18-55 from the D5100 as I did some architectural photography of my projects also( I am an architect & interior designer by profession) and the tilt and swing monitor display was convenient with the D5100. When I started using the 55-200 lens with D7000, to my shock, I found out that I had the back focusing problem with this lens also. Again I AF fine tuned it and again it had to be the same value -16. Only then I mounted the 18-55 kit lens also and again to my grief I found the back focusing problem with this lens also - and the AF Fine tuning went to the same -16 value. Recently I bought this Tokina Pro DX II 11-16mm F/2.8 lens - again it was the same problem and again it had to be AF Fine tuned to -16 value. So my D7000 had to have this -16 AF Fine tune for all the lenses. Whereas all these lenses worked superbly well with my D5100. I started a mini research on this by Google searching and I found out that this Nikon D7000 was quite famous for this problem ! And so were many Nikon cameras. One of my son's friends who had a lot of pro Nikon gear sold away everything one fine day and switched over to Canon. His reason was that during the recent years the Nikon quality control had gone really bad and only because of that this back/front focus problems existed in so many Nikon/lens combinations. He too suffered this problem with 2 of his Cameras and one was a full frame camera - and all his lenses were full frame lenses - I do not know which models he had. During my Google search, I found quite a few people had switched over from Nikon to Canon - because of this very issue back/front focus issues. And this back focus issue of D7000 had continued with the D7100 also - wonder why Nikon did not care. Looks like the problems are less with their latest D7200.

I actually had a D7000 once upon a time, and I switched brands for the exact same reason. By the time the shutter died I was so fed up with the focusing issues (back focus, and inaccurate focusing led to only about 50% keeper rate at best), that I ended up ditching everything and switching to Canon and a 7D. I only had a Nikon 28-70mm 2.8 and 35mm 1.8 so switching wasn't really that big a deal to me as there wasn't much to sell/take a loss on. As for the Canon, the AF to this day (and I've used a lot of bodies since then) was the best and most accurate I've ever used and the standard to which I hold all new bodies. BUT, Canon isn't without fault...I've used a couple so-so bodies...and the 70D I most recently had was so bad (literally worse than the D7000 in many ways, most notably the fact that only 1/4 of my shots at most were in focus, and only in direct sunlight) that I sold everything and switched back to Nikon after only 6 months. The point is, both systems have their ups and downs, and both systems have made crap bodies. For Nikon the D7000 was one of the buggiest, worst bodies I've ever used. For Canon, you'd be better off with an older model than the equivalent 70D. Just be sure to rent or borrow for a week or so before you make the investment into switching systems. Without going into detail there are some things that one system does better than the other, and vice versa...and those might play a big factor on whether or not a switch would work for you in the long run depending on your style of shooting, subject, etc.

My findings are the exact opposite in that every Canon body I owned seemed to need adjustment of either plus or minus with the lens before I was happy with critical focus. I've only owned the Nikon D800 since switching over from Canon but I have yet to need to calibrate the lens to body on any of my current Nikon lens. I tend to shoot wide open whenever the opportunity presents itself so I would notice a back/front focusing problem almost immediately when reviewing the pics on my monitor.

I have had 4 Canon bodies and many lenses. All have been right on, with the exception of an 85F1.8 that I had to send back to Amazon for a replacement. The replacement was fine. I have yet to need to microadjust a lens.

Thank you all for the quick replies. It seems I have asked a difficult question - or a question without a fool proof answer. Now may I please ask you for some other advice. Since I am getting good results (even at the widest apertures) with the D7000 after AF Finetuning, with all the lenses mentioned above, is the value of minus 16 too bad ? Will this have any other hidden deficiencies? So far, with my normal shooting and with the kind of subjects i shoot most , it is quite satisfactory. Because the minus 16 value is quite high, does it mean that it is going to further deteriorate ? Thanks in advance