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Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?
  
 
MRomine
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


I have no way to substantiate this theory but I have come to believe that for whatever reason camera bodies (talking about DSLR. I haven't shot enough with a ML body to come to notice a similar issue with them) at some point begin to loose AF accuracy. I have four D750 and none of them seem to be nailing focus like they did when they were brand new. When they were new they just never seemed to miss. Now they miss far too often. All the while, using the the same lenses. I have experienced this with other models too in both the Canon and Nikon camps. I can not prove it nor I have been able to document it. I only see what I see in PM and LR.

I know Tony recently made a similar comment in his review about his new D850. Anyone else ever notice this and have you had any success in tackling the problem and figuring it out?



Sep 28, 2017 at 03:26 PM
ZachOly
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


Nope, at least not on any Canon body I've owned (5D2, 5D3, 5D4), even after 150k+ clicks.

If anything they get better because I'm more in-tune with their straights and weaknesses.



Sep 28, 2017 at 03:31 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


Absolutely...I thought this was universally true, but I guess not. I have experienced it with every body I have used in a pro setting. (5D, 5D2, 5D3, and 750) The least affected of the ones I have used was the original 5D.


Edit: Even more than just decline in AF, the main thing for me is the general "sluggishness" the bodies get. My 5D3's have it bad....granted, they are both pushing (and possibly past) 300k frames. My 750 have mainly gotten sluggish in how quickly they write files to the card...I cannot use the bodies anymore without them hitting the buffer constantly.

Edited on Sep 28, 2017 at 03:58 PM · View previous versions



Sep 28, 2017 at 03:51 PM
JacobsLadder
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


MRomine wrote:
I have no way to substantiate this theory but I have come to believe that for whatever reason camera bodies (talking about DSLR. I haven't shot enough with a ML body to come to notice a similar issue with them) at some point begin to loose AF accuracy. I have four D750 and none of them seem to be nailing focus like they did when they were brand new. When they were new they just never seemed to miss. Now they miss far too often. All the while, using the the same lenses. I have experienced this with other models
...Show more

In my own experience, no.



Sep 28, 2017 at 03:52 PM
tonyhart
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


In my experience yes. My personal theory, on my 5D3 bodies, is that as dust/crap accumulates in the body this interferes with the AF acquisition. I clean my sensors before each job, but I only clean my mirror/viewfinder occasionally. I may be wrong, but I find that cleaning the mirror/viewfinder of a dirty camera can improve AF significantly.

Edited on Sep 28, 2017 at 04:27 PM · View previous versions



Sep 28, 2017 at 04:16 PM
MRomine
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


tonyhart wrote:
I clean my sensors before each job, but I only clean my mirror/viewfinder occasionally. I may be wrong, but I find that cleaning the mirror/viewfinder of a dirty camera can improve AF significantly.


What are you using to clean the mirror? So is AF acquired off of the mirror on a dSLR?



Sep 28, 2017 at 04:25 PM
tonyhart
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


MRomine wrote:
What are you using to clean the mirror? So is AF acquired off of the mirror on a dSLR?


I'm just using a soft brush... very delicately, and a puffer. I believe the AF sensor is in the bottom of the camera, underneath the mirror (when in the resting position) but I am no engineer so I could be entirely mistaken.



Sep 28, 2017 at 04:48 PM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


generally I would say no.
I have a 1DsII that has fabulous af given the age.

This is not a simple answer.... no sure if shooting sun flares have an affect on the af sensor over time.
Plus obstruction of the optical path between lens to af sensor.



Sep 28, 2017 at 04:49 PM
LeeSimms
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


Not in my experience — have owned multiples of 20D, 30D, 40D, 60D, 70D, 7D, 7D2, 5D3, 5D4 and never had a sense they 'wear out'. I do think Tony Hart's assessment is spot on, though. Some upkeep is required.


Sep 28, 2017 at 05:00 PM
amonline
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


Absolutely. I've had several do it over the decades. Of course, I don't leap to buy every single new product released, so I keep gear a relative amount of time.


Sep 28, 2017 at 05:15 PM
 

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MRomine
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


tonyhart wrote:
I'm just using a soft brush... very delicately, and a puffer.


That alone is making a difference? No wet solution?

tonyhart wrote:
I believe the AF sensor is in the bottom of the camera, underneath the mirror (when in the resting position) but I am no engineer so I could be entirely mistaken.


I that is always what I thought too and that it somehow acquires AF off of or through the mirror. If that is the case then that would explain why cleaning the mirror surface would make a return toward the original AF results.



Sep 28, 2017 at 05:49 PM
InSanE
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


Had a camera loose af accuracy after firmware update, Pentax.
So I dont update anything if not necessary.
No af problems with two d610 after 3 years and 400k clicks but I dont swap lenses in the field, so no dust and little wear on the mounts.



Sep 28, 2017 at 06:43 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


It is more likely a problem with the lens. With super telephoto lenses I will check the autofocus and fine tune it when arriving at my destination. If I was having a problem with a 24-70mm lens I would fine tune it as well.

In the 2005 time frame the Canon lenses would go out of adjustment and photographers like Jeff Ascough would send all their cameras and lenses in for an annual checkup and adjustment.



Sep 28, 2017 at 09:10 PM
leethecam
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


Canon service told me that the Micro Focus adjustment needs to be checked periodically due to wear and tear on the lens mount.


Sep 28, 2017 at 09:33 PM
DmitriM
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


Yes, and lens mount is one of the main reasons. 5d3 - one of the worst designed cameras with the poorest quality control of all Canon's previous dslrs, there are more issues with the mount as it's not as tight as other dslrs. There's slight movement in all directions and 1/3mm can really screw up focus if you are shooting with say 1.2/1.4f lenses.

cameras+lenses also behave differently in different weather conditions as well due to contraction and expansion. I've shot in really cold temperatures and really hot humid conditions and all cameras( and ESPECIALLY the crappy 5d3) do not shoot well in all of them.

And since we are speaking about the worst made DSLRs of all times - Canon 5DIII, I have to mention that a lot of external parts were replaced, fell off, glued back, changed and exchanged(under warranty and after) since I got them. No other Canon dslr cameras as back as 2003 were made that bad!



Sep 28, 2017 at 09:54 PM
MRomine
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


elkhornsun wrote:
It is more likely a problem with the lens. With super telephoto lenses I will check the autofocus and fine tune it when arriving at my destination. If I was having a problem with a 24-70mm lens I would fine tune it as well.

In the 2005 time frame the Canon lenses would go out of adjustment and photographers like Jeff Ascough would send all their cameras and lenses in for an annual checkup and adjustment.


This is occurring with all lenses on four different bodies so this is more than micro adjustments.



Sep 28, 2017 at 11:17 PM
glort
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?



I have certainly found AF accuracy declines. That said, I believe I keep my camera's a lot longer than most only replacing when they are becoming well worn rather than every time a new model comes out.

I don't blame the lenses per se becaue it happens with all of them and they work fine on the new body.

One of the main reasons I got new cams just before Christmas last year was because of this very issue. No, I didn't have them serviced, just took it as a sign they were getting long in the tooth and it was time for an update before they failed on me.



Sep 29, 2017 at 12:01 AM
BlueBomberTurbo
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?




I that is always what I thought too and that it somehow acquires AF off of or through the mirror. If that is the case then that would explain why cleaning the mirror surface would make a return toward the original AF results.


There are actually 2 mirrors in play: the large one you see inside the lens mount (which is partially translucent) that reflects light into the OVF, and a smaller one behind it that reflects the light passing through to the AF module. Both can attract dust/dirt/debris, along with the AF module's optics and OVF's focusing screen. If the dust lands in an unlucky spot, it most likely will influence AF accuracy.



Sep 29, 2017 at 03:24 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


Maybe...
But it could be from banging things around, lens mounts wearing, etc.
Our D3s cameras (which we beat the shit out of as well as subject to extreme temps and temp changes) have been fine for years now.
I am religious about checking focus on them and I have not had to recalibrate any of the 3 we use for a few years now.



Sep 29, 2017 at 02:05 PM
flash
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Do You Believe That Camera Bodies Loose AF Accuracy w/Age?


Crap on either of the mirrors. Stress on the lens mount. Stress on either of the mirror mechanisms. Sticky hinges on either of the mirrors. Wear and tear on the zoom cam in a lens.......

Any thing that moves can wear or move out of alignment can cause changes to AF behaviour.

Gordon



Sep 29, 2017 at 07:45 PM
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