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Nikon 24mm f/1.4G focus accuracy issues

I’ve now had a second reader note a focus problem with the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G, a problem I first noted in my review.

I am planning to look into this and provide an analysis of my findings on the D3x and D3s.

Anrej Korenc reports the following:

First let me say I'm a big fan of you as a photography gear reviewer and your DAP content, a truly worthwhile read.

I'm an NPS member and got the 24/1.4G Nikkor (S/N 20028xx) for a week to try it out. I won't write about the good stuff, because we seem to agree on most accounts, so let me just write a few words on AF with this lens.

I used it on my D3 body and noticed it's erratic AF in the first minutes I started shooting with it; sometimes it was off just a bit, sometimes a few centimeters, sometimes even half the distance from the camera to the subject. But always in front of it, it always front-focused and the "AF fine tune" settings didn't help in any way. If I'd take five shots of the same subject, rarely two were focused at the same spot. Most of the focusing was done using the center AF sensor in AF-S mode.
The bottom line is, I got only about 20-30% keepers - It's AF performance was just totally off, never seen anything like it.

So I decided to try it on another D3 body. Guess what - same story! And on the third D3, then on the 4th ... and one D300 and one D90 which one of the colleagues brought with his D3 - same story. It's performance was not equally bad on all bodies, but it was unacceptable on all of them.

A day before I returned it I tried it on the remaining 3 of the Current Nikon's FX line; D700, D3x and D3s. What I found out, is very interesting. While I got about 70-80% (or at least twice as much as with D3) keepers with D700 and D3x, the lens focused practically 100% dead-on with the D3s - it was a dream-like experience, very impressive. In short - the younger the camera, the better this Nikkor behaved in AF terms.

Keep up the good work!


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