Nikon D7000 Autofocus Problem

Two months ago, I had ordered the Nikon D7000 shortly after it was announced. After a long wait, it finally arrived today, but only for a short visit. I was upgrading from a Nikon D50, so I was already familiar with Nikon DSLRs. The D7000 felt comfortable in my hands, much like the soon-to-be-retired Nikon D50. I had considered moving to FX and picking up a D700 instead, but I just couldn’t get past the increased weight.

Anyways, after I browsed through the manual to configure the camera and started shooting, I discovered a problem. Even though the camera and lens were set to auto-focus, the camera would switch to manual focus on its own. I tried the D7000 with several other lenses and still came across the same issue. Sometimes it occurred while shooting. Other times after I played back my most recent shots. If I really wanted to shoot manually, I would have opted for a Leica. 😉 So, I’m feeling like a beta tester right now. I was really liking the D7000 up to that point. So, the camera goes back to Nikon for service. I doubt if I will be getting back the D7000 in time for Thanksgiving. The D50 is happy. It’ll be getting a few more weeks of attention and use now.

39 comments… add one
  • St Ban Nov 16, 2010 Link

    Gosh man, I’m not alone… I have the same problem, but I really need it so I can’t send it to Nikon… Crap !

  • Amanda Nov 18, 2010 Link

    I’m having focusing problems with my Nikon D7000 as well. Sometimes it back focuses, sometimes it doesn’t focus at all and sometimes the focus is just fine. It’s very bad with moving subjects, not so bad with still life. Also, when I’m playing back photos I hear the lens ‘move’, make noise as if it’s focusing for no real reason. It’s freaking me out. I’m returning it tomorrow. I’m hoping there will be another on that I can test out before I buy to see if it’s having the same issues.

  • meerkat Nov 19, 2010 Link

    A Nikon firmware update may address such issue, if it is not due to ill-contact reason.

    Since this camera supports old lense, If the your lens happen to to be the one with aperture ring, perhaps you can set the aperture on the lens instead of setting to the smallest aperture and letting camera dial-in to do the work.

    I saw claims such use reduces the chance of non-responsive focusing on this camera.

    Also, if your camera is in AF-C mode (instead of AF-S), it is in shutter priority mode, the camera will fire no matter the camera think focus is achieved. In such case not in focus is human error.

  • lauzobe Nov 20, 2010 Link

    Same issues here guys. I notice that focus is on and off. It seems to do fine when shooting toward light too. But when it comes to shooting in regular house light, it misses focus 4 out of 5 times I would say. I’m still trying different shooting conditions, so that I can have some troobleshooting exemples when I call Nikon next week. I too love the thing and wont give it up, but am sadden that I might have to part with it for a few weeks back at it’s birth place.

  • dee Nov 21, 2010 Link

    AHHHHHH this is so frustrating, I seriously want to cry right now~~.

    First it was the bad pixels problem, but I got over that considering how it’s sold out everywhere and how much I need it for the many upcoming events. But now the AUTOFOCUS DOES NOT WORKKKKK and when it does, the stupid focus hunches back and forth twice before it snapped the picture.

    WHY NIKON WHY!!! I’m so stressed out seriously. At this point, if I return this one, i’ll most likely end up with the other problematic one that other people returned. Sigh……

    Help me pro people on the internet, please guide me on how to set it right. My very first DSLR. 🙁

  • David Lambroughton Nov 21, 2010 Link

    Just got my Nikon D7000 and I can’t get it to autofocus at all. Any ideas out there?

  • Ken Chan Nov 22, 2010 Link

    @dee I think your choices are either to send the camera back and hopefully the next one won’t have the same problem or to get it fixed. I opted to send it back to Nikon. They’ve classed the work as “Moderate Repair: Major Parts Replaced.” So, the problem isn’t imaginary or a matter of changing around some settings. Hopefully, whatever they are doing fixes the problem.

  • Amanda Nov 28, 2010 Link

    David – you might have already figured out the problem but it seems like lots of D7000’s have been doing that. Mine did it the first time and I took the lens off and re-set it and it stopped. When I was looking at the top of the camera, where the display is, it didn’t show any focus mode (AF-A, AF-C or AF-S). It just wasn’t set correctly. I re-set it and it worked fine. But, I just got my second D7000 a week ago and I’m having the same focus problems (soft focus, back focus). I borrowed a friend’s D90 and I’m going to play with it today to make sure it’s not me and it’s for sure the camera. I’ll probably mess around with the autofocus fine tune thingy in the 7000 as well to see if that helps. It seemed a bit better at -10 with a stationary subject last night, but we’ll see. Gut feel tells me this one is going back too. Then I have to decide if I should wait for Nikon to fix their problems with the 7000, go for the 90, or pony up another few hundred bucks and go for the 300s. Good luck with your camera!

  • Gus Nov 28, 2010 Link

    I purchased my D7000 around the 3rd week of October. I noticed the focusing problem out of the box. I contacted tech support who instructed me to reset the user settings to factor default which didn’t help. I continue to experience the auto focusing problem though my photo buddies tell me I should be in manual mode anyway. I had found earlier that re-seating the lens solves the problem. I notice at times when I power the camera up during first use of the day that I have stuck focus square in the lens. The same spot during that time and that I need to re-seat the lens. Once re-seated all is fine for that shooting.

  • Ken Chan Dec 1, 2010 Link

    The D7000 is on its way back from Nikon. Hopefully, their repair fixed the autofocus problem.

    Turnaround time was two weeks., including a lost 1/2 week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Not that bad. The description was “Service Repair Rank B2,” which is a somewhat cryptic response. I think the B2 in the description correlates to the B2 under category which equates “Moderate Repair: Major Parts Replaced.”

    Nikon Service & Support has a website that lets you check on the status of the repair, but the information is not entirely up-to-date. As of yesterday, the order status was stuck on “Estimate Accepted.” Today, it skipped the “In Shop” step and moved directly to “Shipped.” I hope the camera actually spent some time in the shop and they didn’t just ship it back to me in the same condition.

  • Ken Chan Dec 3, 2010 Link

    Interesting. The box from Nikon arrived today. A lot heavier than I expected. So, I proceeded to open the box and discovered a new D7000 inside. Not the one I had sent, but a new D7000 with a complete set of accessories and a new serial number. To bad it’s supposed to rain all weekend. Need to test out the replacement. If the problem was resolvable via a firmware update or by re-seating the lens, I’m sure they wouldn’t have sent me an entirely new camera.

  • Julie Dec 9, 2010 Link

    I sold my D300 with the attempt to get the new D7000. After reading all this I think I made a BIG mistake for sure.

    Did Nikon put out a BAD camera?

    What’s the difference between the D7000 and if I went instead with a D300s???

    Thanks all,
    Julie

  • Ken Chan Dec 9, 2010 Link

    @Julie. I think some Nikons D7000s are experiencing the autofocus defect, but this problem is not affecting all units. The replacement I received from Nikon is working perfectly.

  • yurahen Dec 22, 2010 Link

    @Julie
    I have both cameras (well, D300). D7000 is better in my opinion than D300s, especially considering how much cheaper it is. You also have manual video exposure. Seems Nikon is working out some kinks, if you have issues get it fixed but you will be happy with the image quality. Great camera for the money.

  • Murat Jan 3, 2011 Link

    Same problem…
    Look at the 5th photo at this page.
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond7000/page5.asp

    “….and this little fella is a mechanical AF drive coupling, which means that unlike lower-end Nikon DSLRs, the D7000 can achieve AF with ‘screw drive’ AF-D and AF lenses that don’t have their own in-built motors (not just AF-S and AF-I).”

    I think this “screw drive” makes this problem… Because when you switch between AF and M modes on the body, this “screw drive” goes up and goes down…

    This problem occurs after attaching a lens. I think when we do this, this “screw drive” can’t go up. And D7000 thinks that, it’s in M mode…

    What do you think???

  • canon2nikon Jan 4, 2011 Link

    Hello All, i am having the same focusing problem, i used Spot-Single mode AF(just one dot from the LCD display) to shoot……. sigh…… 8 out of 10 of my pictures are soft focus on the subject (even at small F number)

    another thing i discovered tonight, this D7000 won’t save RAW and JPEG at once, I set (RAW slot 1 – JPEG slot 2) but it turned out both slots are giving me same JPEG files (same file size and extension)…… sigh……

  • AZND7000 Jan 11, 2011 Link

    I am having the autofocus problem with my D7000 including this one. I seldom use the Nikon DX 70-300mm ED VR lens. While taking pictures it seems like the sensor has shifted right after taking the picture. Also I have noticed that the focus is out in some of the pictures even though its on AF. Did anyone came across this issue. I have until end of this month to return it…. Plz suggest should I return the camera or send it to Nikon for a repair… One more thing when you are on a video mode the sensor has some dead pixles on 9 out of 10 cameras I have tested at bestbuy. To check this cover your lens with the lens cap (black surface) and turn your camera to video mode and check if you see what I am talking about.

    Thanks

  • Canon2Nikon Jan 14, 2011 Link

    Hi All,

    Exchanged for a new D7000 at Henry’s today, again, used the settings (single focus and AF-S). This time everything seems ok, I can’t say it’s perfect cuz I think I should take more shots to prove. By the way, this time I tested with a pro lens (17-55mm F2.8).

    “AZND7000” – I tested my new D7000 with your method for dead pixels, luckily mine is fine ( don’t see any bright spot).

  • mozo Jan 17, 2011 Link

    Oh! guys, I’m hesitating right now to buy it or not. I want it so bad but when I read your posts..I got disappointed. Ok, did Nikon released an updated firmware for it? Did all these problems you mentioned get away?

    Thanks a lot.

  • LuckyBeePhotography Jan 29, 2011 Link

    Has anyone purchased the D7000 recently that did not experience any autofocus issues? Or anyone that fixed their original problems regarding the autofocus? We’re thinking about using the video feature as an added service for weddings. The online video samples look good so far and in low lighting…

  • Jeff Feb 7, 2011 Link

    So I’v had my D7000 for a couple months now and everything was fine til I went to take some pictures and the autofocus wouldn’t work……..I have the MB-D11……so I tried the shutter button on that and “it worked”!!!!!…..I tried reseting the camera by taking out the batteries but it still does the same thing……shutter button will not autofocus with the camera body, but works fine with the MB-D11……..any suggestions?!?

  • Jeff Feb 7, 2011 Link

    “Its Working”………I tried a few things…..mostly read other peoples frustrations with the same issue. Lens on, lens off flipped switches and checked and re-checked settings…..nothing worked. So I decided to clean the lens/camera body contact point with a q-tip that I had rolled over an alcohol wipe…….well it worked!…….

  • Ricardo Feb 14, 2011 Link

    I have the same type of issue with auto-focus when using the LCD screen. It swings through the point of focus several times before taking a blurry photo. I reset everything back to the original factory settings as well as re-attaching the lens… The believe the issue is in the camera vs. Settings or operator error because the issue goes away if I disable the LCD view. Once the LCD is off the camera operates like a champ.

  • abifred Feb 16, 2011 Link

    For the auto focus issue on Nikon D7000 please read this link :
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d7000/af-settings.htm

  • Nicolas Mar 20, 2011 Link

    Just bought the camera…
    First start the autofocus was not working for 5 minutes. I thought that it was my inexperience.
    10 hours and 300 pictures laters, it get stuck again… I started touching anything, and thought it was my battery low… So I charged and same result and finally I thought it was my lens, and after unmounting /remounting it worked.
    Day 2, it is not working for 1 hour now. Very strange because on Live View mode it works, but with the ViewFinder it won’t… It might be a soft problem….
    I have to send it back even thought from what I have seen this camera is amazing…

  • Otto Rascon Mar 20, 2011 Link

    Hi there everyone. I just purchased my second D7000 yesterday (March 19th) and I’m experiencing the same back focus issue (sigh). I returned the first one to Amazon as it was also back focusing. I contacted Nikon USA today – (800) NIKON-UX – and they had me reset the camera. This seemed to fix the issue with my Tokina 12-24mm lens, but my Nikon 50mm 1.4 is still not focusing properly. I even went into AF fine tune and played with several settings to no avail – VERY FRUSTRATING. I just downloaded a focus chart and will test my lenses in a more scientific manner, but I feel that I shouldn’t have to do this. My D700 is amazing and has never had focus problems. I have set up my focus to AF-S / single point, the same as my D700.Thanks for reading my rant. Nikon, please fix this this D7000 problem!

  • JRA Mar 22, 2011 Link

    Purchased my D7000 March 8th, received it March 11th. Have shot with it over the past 2 weeks (about 900 pics) only to be able to use about 75 of the pictures. DEFINITE AF issues. Want to have it replaced but Adorama (nor anyone else) has it in stock- so I think I am stuck sending it back to be repaired. REPAIR A 2 WEEK OLD CAMERA? Not happy.

  • nikolasdassis Apr 28, 2011 Link

    Hi guys. Listen to me it is very important, I am also a owner of a D7000 and it also has a problem with focusing. I did many mant tests and came to the conclusion that this model has indeed a problem on focusing.
    After lots and lots of tests where I had it in auto focus and then I manually focused found a much more easyest way to test if your camera has a problem.
    First of all you must NOT be in live mode, have your camera on a tripod, put a 18mm lense on, give it a single point to focus and try the point that you gave her to focus to have almost or smaller size than the focus point in the viewfinder, if you do that you are absolutely ready to test your camera. Press to focus button till the middle and check the ring of your lense as ir rotates to get the distance from the subject, when it is finished with the wrong focusing (here the bib) without shooting anything press again and again and again the focus button, you will see the every time the distance in the lense changes!
    So its a random play if you catch it to focus!!! This is outrageous!!!
    I also have a D300 and of course there is not such a problem!! It finds the focus point and stays there forever!!!
    Ok listen to me we must all send a message to NIKON to show them how dissapointed we are, I have already send.
    If we send many people they will be forced to fix the problem or change our cameras. I don’t want a camera for which a payd 1200$ not to be as I want it to be!
    Here is the mail I send to NIKON

    “Hi there, I am a very old costumer of yours and I have always used nikon products.
    I have desided after my D50, my D90 and my D300 to upgrade to D7000 since in the papers it is a much more better camera.
    My question is the following, I have this camera about a month now and I am very dissapointed!
    It is impossible for the camera to focus right! This is a very serious problem wich I believe it is not a firmware problem but it is a hardware problem.
    I am concidering of sending my camera to the service but I really need it and from what I read in the internet and in forums the problem can not be fixed!
    It is outrages for you costumers and for a product that we payd 1200$ not to focus.
    So the question is, are going to do something about it?
    In the internet there are plenty of forums that talk about your broken product!”

    If many of as send them they will be forced to fix the problem one way or another!!!!

  • C J May 8, 2011 Link

    The D 7000 has a very bad backfocus problem. I used this camera on an assignment yesterday and it backfocused on everything but the subjects or groups. I had the Camera on Spot auto focus and it still backfocused. I did tests later on against my old D- 70 and my D-70 photos were dead on??? How can Nikon sell a Camera with such a Major Defect????

  • Max May 25, 2011 Link

    problem was explained, simply adjust the secondary mirror.

  • F1Racer Jun 21, 2011 Link

    I was also getting this autofocus issue with my D7000 and after a bit of Googling I came across this……. I wonder if this helps anyone out because I think it answered it for me.

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=37088425

  • F1Racer Jun 21, 2011 Link

    Sorry, this would be a more accurate link… http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=37087120

  • Ken Chan Jun 21, 2011 Link

    Had a big scare. On a recent trip, the autofocus quit working all of a sudden. The second time that I removed the lens and reseated it, the autofocus kicked back on. Weird since I was only carrying one lens with me. I wasn’t switching lenses constantly or something. Not sure what happened with the connection between the camera body and lens.

  • studio J photography Jul 9, 2011 Link

    **CanontoNikon—-do you have your image quality set to jpeg+raw? if this is set only to jpeg then your cards will save this way even if you have the cards set to save raw on 1 and jpeg on the 2nd. you will find this in your shooting menu-image quality-then set raw+jpeg fine

  • pin wong Sep 17, 2011 Link

    Dear all, i bought my D7000 few weeks ago. I had the “unable to auto focus problem” & i found a solution for it! Big thanks to ‘Murat’!
    I would say this is not a malfunction, but i guess, this is a big “technical design error / problem.
    Here is my kind of situation; it cannot auto focus when i changing lenses between 50mm 1.8 & 18-270mm, but it is fine sometimes. From what i notice is, you must seat / mount your lenses until you hear a big “click” sound. Sometimes you need to ‘reverse’ a little to let the lenses mount nicely to hear the click sound, it will work as normal : )
    Hope this maybe helpful for some of the Nikon D7000 user!

  • pentimento Oct 19, 2011 Link

    Thanks Pin Wong,
    That solved my autofocus problem!

  • pradeep Dec 11, 2011 Link

    Guys , [AF problem solved today]
    After buying my D7000 last month , i never had a auto focus problem UNTIL i removed the lens[18-105] and put it back. since then auto-focus just would not work . went through the manual again and again, tried all option patiently but no luck and it was frustrating. googled a lot to see that many have the same problem. I got it fixed after going through comments on this forum — >
    ***THANKS PING WONG & MURAT – this solved my AF problem***

  • pradeep Dec 11, 2011 Link

    ” you must seat / mount your lenses until you hear a big “click” sound. Sometimes you need to ‘reverse’ a little to let the lenses mount nicely to hear the click sound, it will work as normal : ) ” –>
    thanks to ‘PIN WONG’ / MURAT.

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