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| p.1 #1 · fast prime focus shift under tungsten light? |
I'm a longtime Canon user who picked up some Nikon in the past year, looking for better full-frame focusing than the 5D2 provides. For much of my low-light music performance work, I've come to prefer the D700 - although I still remain most comfortable with the Canon controls, just from so much more time using them.
Recently I bought the 85/1.4G for the added light-gathering ability. Shallow DOF portraiture is not my main concern: I just wanted a couple of stops more light than the f/2.8 zooms can give. The lens and cameras seem to work fine in natural light. It was a different story when I tried them at a local jazz club, where the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200/2.8 lenses have done great. So last night I spent some time trying out photos around my kitchen, under tungsten light, at the distances (mfd to about 15 feet) where I'm most likely to use the 85mm. The light was actually a couple of stops brighter than what I often encounter in performance venues, on the order of 1/800th, f/1.4, iso 800. Much to my dismay, I had to set the AF fine-tune on both my D700's to +18 or +20 to get accurate focus. I pulled out the Canon 85/1.8 and 5D2. They focused just fine, without any micro-adjust necessary.
This morning I tried some of the same shots, with natural light in the room. The D700/85G combo focused well without the need for moving the AF fine-tune off zero (at least fairly close anyway - I won't pretend this is a controlled test on a tripod.) I used only the centerpoint, in single-shot mode, no focus-recompose.
There are other threads on the web discussing this issue; I guess I'm not alone. This is a disappointment, as the f/2.8 zooms do not exhibit this sort of strange behavior under artificial light.
How do you deal with such a radical shift in focusing accuracy from daylight to tungsten? I can't imagine having to remember to engage the AF fine-tune when I walk indoors, and then to switch it off again when I go outside again. Is there a firmware fix? Can Nikon service either the lens or camera to eliminate the problem? I'm confident working with the 85G in daylight - but that's not what I need it for!
Is this a known issue with the 24/1.4G and 35/1.4G as well?