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this must be a lens by lens thing - my 24mm/f2.8 was essentially useless on the D7000, same the 50mm/f1.8 which just wasn't sharp, all across the image. On the D600, both lenses are much sharper. I read something about the "angle of the light" in another thread, which discusses how FX lenses are designed differently from DX due to the way the sensors respond to light at various angles. Seems like there's a lot going on and not all FX lenses work well on DX sensors, even if you just grab the sweet spot in the middle.
I've never heard that. Film vs digital, yes. FX vs DX, not so much. I wonder if maybe the D7000 is out of whack somehow. If you're using the AF confirm dot to focus, is the AF module towards the end of its acceptable adjustment range? If just you're using the viewfinder, is there any chance the diopter was/is off? Is the AA filter on the D7000 stronger than the one on the D600 (would the lens work better on a D7100 w/ no AA filter)?