Nikon 18-200mm VR lens focus problem

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by James P. Clark, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. I experienced a focusing problem with my AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm lens coupled with a Nikon D200 camera and I'd like to poll others on this issue. I was taking landscape photos into a canyon and noticed that the camera was unable to focus accurately within the focal range of approximately 70 to 135mm. However, keeping the same view in the viewfinder, zooming lower than 70mm and higher than 135mm worked fine. Additionally, the camera's focus indicator dot was lit up in the viewfinder when the view was clearly NOT in focus. The AF-area mode selector switch on the camera back was set to single-area AF. The focus-mode selector on the front of the camera was set to single-servo autofocus. I cannot reproduce the problem focusing on something close-up and with high contrast. Anyone else experience this problem?

    --
    Please remove all UPPERCASE letters in the reply email address!
     
    James P. Clark, Oct 6, 2006
    #1
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  2. James P. Clark

    Rudy Benner Guest

    "James P. Clark" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    I experienced a focusing problem with my AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm
    lens coupled with a Nikon D200 camera and I'd like to poll others on this
    issue. I was taking landscape photos into a canyon and noticed that the
    camera was unable to focus accurately within the focal range of
    approximately 70 to 135mm. However, keeping the same view in the viewfinder,
    zooming lower than 70mm and higher than 135mm worked fine. Additionally, the
    camera's focus indicator dot was lit up in the viewfinder when the view was
    clearly NOT in focus. The AF-area mode selector switch on the camera back
    was set to single-area AF. The focus-mode selector on the front of the
    camera was set to single-servo autofocus. I cannot reproduce the problem
    focusing on something close-up and with high contrast. Anyone else
    experience this problem?

    --
    Please remove all UPPERCASE letters in the reply email address!

    -----------------

    Please do not post in HTML.

    There are 5 focus zones, which one was active? The active one will be
    highlighted in the viewfinder.
     
    Rudy Benner, Oct 6, 2006
    #2
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  3. Of the 11 focus areas to select from, the active highlighted one in the
    center was the area I was looking to be in focus but was not.

    "Rudy Benner" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "James P. Clark" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > I experienced a focusing problem with my AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm
    > lens coupled with a Nikon D200 camera and I'd like to poll others on this
    > issue. I was taking landscape photos into a canyon and noticed that the
    > camera was unable to focus accurately within the focal range of
    > approximately 70 to 135mm. However, keeping the same view in the
    > viewfinder,
    > zooming lower than 70mm and higher than 135mm worked fine. Additionally,
    > the
    > camera's focus indicator dot was lit up in the viewfinder when the view
    > was
    > clearly NOT in focus. The AF-area mode selector switch on the camera back
    > was set to single-area AF. The focus-mode selector on the front of the
    > camera was set to single-servo autofocus. I cannot reproduce the problem
    > focusing on something close-up and with high contrast. Anyone else
    > experience this problem?
    >
    > --
    > Please remove all UPPERCASE letters in the reply email address!
    >
    > -----------------
    >
    > Please do not post in HTML.
    >
    > There are 5 focus zones, which one was active? The active one will be
    > highlighted in the viewfinder.
    >
    >
    >
     
    James P. Clark, Oct 6, 2006
    #3
  4. James P. Clark

    cjcampbell Guest

    James P. Clark wrote:
    > I experienced a focusing problem with my AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm lens coupled with a Nikon D200 camera and I'd like to poll others on this issue. I was taking landscape photos into a canyon and noticed that the camera was unable to focus accurately within the focal range of approximately 70 to 135mm. However, keeping the same view in the viewfinder, zooming lower than 70mm and higher than 135mm worked fine. Additionally, the camera's focus indicator dot was lit up in the viewfinder when the view was clearly NOT in focus. The AF-area mode selector switch on the camera back was set to single-area AF. The focus-mode selector on the front of the camera was set to single-servo autofocus. I cannot reproduce the problem focusing on something close-up and with high contrast. Anyone else experience this problem?



    I have not seen anything like it. Sounds bad.
     
    cjcampbell, Oct 6, 2006
    #4
  5. On Thu, 5 Oct 2006 20:50:02 -0400, in rec.photo.digital "James P. Clark"
    <> wrote:

    >Of the 11 focus areas to select from, the active highlighted one in the
    >center was the area I was looking to be in focus but was not.


    Possible thought. Not enough contrast in this region for the AF to
    function? Remember the 18-200 is not a constant aperture lens and the
    aperture possible opened when you zoomed out allowing more light and better
    contrast for the AF to work.
    --
    Ed Ruf ()
    http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index.html
     
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Oct 6, 2006
    #5
  6. James P. Clark

    tomm42 Guest

    On Oct 5, 7:22 pm, "James P. Clark" <>
    wrote:
    > I experienced a focusing problem with my AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm lens coupled with a Nikon D200 camera and I'd like to poll others on this issue. I was taking landscape photos into a canyon and noticed that the camera was unable to focus accurately within the focal range of approximately 70 to 135mm. However, keeping the same view in the viewfinder, zooming lower than 70mm and higher than 135mm worked fine. Additionally, the camera's focus indicator dot was lit up in the viewfinder when the view was clearly NOT in focus. The AF-area mode selector switch on the camera back was set to single-area AF. The focus-mode selector on the front of the camera was set to single-servo autofocus. I cannot reproduce the problem focusing on something close-up and with high contrast. Anyone else experience this problem?
    >


    There have been reports that the new firmware upgrade has 18-200 lenses
    working better. Focusing hunting less on other lenses. This is
    undocumented by Nikon, though. Could be wishful thinking, but on one
    group a post said that a repair tech at Nikon confirmed this.

    Tom
     
    tomm42, Oct 6, 2006
    #6
  7. James P. Clark

    Bill Funk Guest

    On Fri, 06 Oct 2006 04:49:32 -0400, "Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN
    SIG!)" <> wrote:

    >On Thu, 5 Oct 2006 20:50:02 -0400, in rec.photo.digital "James P. Clark"
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>Of the 11 focus areas to select from, the active highlighted one in the
    >>center was the area I was looking to be in focus but was not.

    >
    >Possible thought. Not enough contrast in this region for the AF to
    >function? Remember the 18-200 is not a constant aperture lens and the
    >aperture possible opened when you zoomed out allowing more light and better
    >contrast for the AF to work.


    I don't have any Nikon gear, but...
    Doesn't the aperture effectively close down (not open up) as the lens
    is zoomed out?
    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
     
    Bill Funk, Oct 6, 2006
    #7
  8. James P. Clark

    Ed Ruf Guest

    On Fri, 06 Oct 2006 08:16:25 -0700, in rec.photo.digital Bill Funk
    <> wrote:

    >On Fri, 06 Oct 2006 04:49:32 -0400, "Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN
    >SIG!)" <> wrote:
    >
    >>On Thu, 5 Oct 2006 20:50:02 -0400, in rec.photo.digital "James P. Clark"
    >><> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Of the 11 focus areas to select from, the active highlighted one in the
    >>>center was the area I was looking to be in focus but was not.

    >>
    >>Possible thought. Not enough contrast in this region for the AF to
    >>function? Remember the 18-200 is not a constant aperture lens and the
    >>aperture possible opened when you zoomed out allowing more light and better
    >>contrast for the AF to work.

    >
    >I don't have any Nikon gear, but...
    >Doesn't the aperture effectively close down (not open up) as the lens
    >is zoomed out?


    First, let's make sure we mean the same thing. Zooming out to me is
    going to shorter f.l. For non-constant aperture lenses, the shorter
    f.l. have a larger aperture. Specifically this 18-200 is f/3.5-5.6.
    So is f/5.6 at 200mm going more open to f/3.5 at 18mm.
    -
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    http://EdwardGRuf.com
     
    Ed Ruf, Oct 6, 2006
    #8
  9. James P. Clark

    Bill Funk Guest

    On Fri, 06 Oct 2006 11:25:00 -0400, Ed Ruf <>
    wrote:

    >On Fri, 06 Oct 2006 08:16:25 -0700, in rec.photo.digital Bill Funk
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>On Fri, 06 Oct 2006 04:49:32 -0400, "Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN
    >>SIG!)" <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>On Thu, 5 Oct 2006 20:50:02 -0400, in rec.photo.digital "James P. Clark"
    >>><> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>Of the 11 focus areas to select from, the active highlighted one in the
    >>>>center was the area I was looking to be in focus but was not.
    >>>
    >>>Possible thought. Not enough contrast in this region for the AF to
    >>>function? Remember the 18-200 is not a constant aperture lens and the
    >>>aperture possible opened when you zoomed out allowing more light and better
    >>>contrast for the AF to work.

    >>
    >>I don't have any Nikon gear, but...
    >>Doesn't the aperture effectively close down (not open up) as the lens
    >>is zoomed out?

    >
    >First, let's make sure we mean the same thing. Zooming out to me is
    >going to shorter f.l. For non-constant aperture lenses, the shorter
    >f.l. have a larger aperture. Specifically this 18-200 is f/3.5-5.6.
    >So is f/5.6 at 200mm going more open to f/3.5 at 18mm.


    Ah, I think of zooming out as going to a longer FL.
    Perhaps I'm backwards on this.
    >-
    >Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    >http://EdwardGRuf.com

    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
     
    Bill Funk, Oct 6, 2006
    #9
  10. James P. Clark

    Joan Guest

    I think you are, Bill. I think of going in for a closer look which
    translates to camera speak as zoom in to a longer focal length.

    --
    Joan
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/joan-in-manly

    "Bill Funk" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    :
    : Ah, I think of zooming out as going to a longer FL.
    : Perhaps I'm backwards on this.
    : --
    : Bill Funk
    : replace "g" with "a"
     
    Joan, Oct 6, 2006
    #10
  11. From the lens manual: "Zooming the lens from 18mm to 200mm decreases the
    maximum aperature 1-1/3 of an f/stop." which is why it's labeled as a
    f/3.5~5.6 lens. Given this, I would have expected the focus problem to exist
    past 135mm as well because the lens aperature closes down approaching 200mm.
    My problem existed in the ~70-135mm range, zooming lower that 70mm AND
    higher than 135mm worked fine. This is why I think that it's a flaw in the
    lens or camera/lens combination hardware/software. I posted this to the
    Nikon tech support forum as well. I'll post the reply here if and when I get
    a response.

    "Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Thu, 5 Oct 2006 20:50:02 -0400, in rec.photo.digital "James P. Clark"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>Of the 11 focus areas to select from, the active highlighted one in the
    >>center was the area I was looking to be in focus but was not.

    >
    > Possible thought. Not enough contrast in this region for the AF to
    > function? Remember the 18-200 is not a constant aperture lens and the
    > aperture possible opened when you zoomed out allowing more light and
    > better
    > contrast for the AF to work.
    > --
    > Ed Ruf ()
    > http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index.html
     
    James P. Clark, Oct 7, 2006
    #11
  12. From the lens manual: "Zooming the lens from 18mm to 200mm decreases the
    maximum aperature 1-1/3 of an f/stop." which is why it's labeled as a
    f/3.5~5.6 lens. Given this, I would have expected the focus problem to exist
    past 135mm as well because the lens aperature closes down approaching 200mm.
    My problem existed in the ~70-135mm range, zooming lower that 70mm AND
    higher than 135mm worked fine. This is why I think that it's a flaw in the
    lens or camera/lens combination hardware/software. I posted this to the
    Nikon tech support forum as well. I'll post the reply here if and when I get
    a response.

    "Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Thu, 5 Oct 2006 20:50:02 -0400, in rec.photo.digital "James P. Clark"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>Of the 11 focus areas to select from, the active highlighted one in the
    >>center was the area I was looking to be in focus but was not.

    >
    > Possible thought. Not enough contrast in this region for the AF to
    > function? Remember the 18-200 is not a constant aperture lens and the
    > aperture possible opened when you zoomed out allowing more light and
    > better
    > contrast for the AF to work.
    > --
    > Ed Ruf ()
    > http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index.html
     
    James P. Clark, Oct 7, 2006
    #12
  13. James P. Clark

    Bill Funk Guest

    On Sat, 7 Oct 2006 08:05:05 +1000, "Joan" <2> wrote:

    >I think you are, Bill. I think of going in for a closer look which
    >translates to camera speak as zoom in to a longer focal length.


    Yeah, a brain fart, I guess. :-(
    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
     
    Bill Funk, Oct 7, 2006
    #13
  14. This is the response I got from Nikon Tech Support-

    "Please send the camera and lens to service for evaluation."

    :^(

    "James P. Clark" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > From the lens manual: "Zooming the lens from 18mm to 200mm decreases the
    > maximum aperature 1-1/3 of an f/stop." which is why it's labeled as a
    > f/3.5~5.6 lens. Given this, I would have expected the focus problem to
    > exist
    > past 135mm as well because the lens aperature closes down approaching
    > 200mm.
    > My problem existed in the ~70-135mm range, zooming lower that 70mm AND
    > higher than 135mm worked fine. This is why I think that it's a flaw in the
    > lens or camera/lens combination hardware/software. I posted this to the
    > Nikon tech support forum as well. I'll post the reply here if and when I
    > get
    > a response.
    >
    > "Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)" <> wrote in
    > message
    > news:p...
    >> On Thu, 5 Oct 2006 20:50:02 -0400, in rec.photo.digital "James P. Clark"
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Of the 11 focus areas to select from, the active highlighted one in the
    >>>center was the area I was looking to be in focus but was not.

    >>
    >> Possible thought. Not enough contrast in this region for the AF to
    >> function? Remember the 18-200 is not a constant aperture lens and the
    >> aperture possible opened when you zoomed out allowing more light and
    >> better
    >> contrast for the AF to work.
    >> --
    >> Ed Ruf ()
    >> http://edwardgruf.com/Digital_Photography/General/index.html

    >
    >
    >
     
    James P. Clark, Oct 9, 2006
    #14
  15. In article <>,
    "James P. Clark" <> wrote:

    > This is the response I got from Nikon Tech Support-
    >
    > "Please send the camera and lens to service for evaluation."


    Hope you are still within the warranty period.

    --
    There are two ways to spell Ockham/Occam. Britannica prefers the former.
     
    Ockham's Razor, Oct 9, 2006
    #15
  16. I just upgraded the firmware in my D200 to version 2.0. I still have the
    focusing problem/focus hunting within the said focal length range.

    "Ockham's Razor" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <>,
    > "James P. Clark" <> wrote:
    >
    >> This is the response I got from Nikon Tech Support-
    >>
    >> "Please send the camera and lens to service for evaluation."

    >
    > Hope you are still within the warranty period.
    >
    > --
    > There are two ways to spell Ockham/Occam. Britannica prefers the former.
     
    James P. Clark, Oct 11, 2006
    #16
  17. James P. Clark

    Ed Ruf Guest

    On Wed, 11 Oct 2006 11:33:18 -0400, in rec.photo.digital "James P.
    Clark" <> wrote:

    >I just upgraded the firmware in my D200 to version 2.0. I still have the
    >focusing problem/focus hunting within the said focal length range.


    Sounds like a possible problem with the lens. But I don't remember if
    you've said you cleaned the contacts on the camera body and the lens
    itself or tried twisting the lens in the mount when this is an issue
    to see if it's possibly bad communications between the lens and body.
    -
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    http://EdwardGRuf.com
     
    Ed Ruf, Oct 11, 2006
    #17
  18. James P. Clark

    JimmyG Guest

    I have the same setup and have had no such similar focusing problems. Maybe time for a checkup!

    Good luck & I sure hope you have a USA lens & body!
    "James P. Clark" <> wrote in message news:...
    I experienced a focusing problem with my AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm lens coupled with a Nikon D200 camera and I'd like to poll others on this issue. I was taking landscape photos into a canyon and noticed that the camera was unable to focus accurately within the focal range of approximately 70 to 135mm. However, keeping the same view in the viewfinder, zooming lower than 70mm and higher than 135mm worked fine. Additionally, the camera's focus indicator dot was lit up in the viewfinder when the view was clearly NOT in focus. The AF-area mode selector switch on the camera back was set to single-area AF. The focus-mode selector on the front of the camera was set to single-servo autofocus. I cannot reproduce the problem focusing on something close-up and with high contrast. Anyone else experience this problem?

    --
    Please remove all UPPERCASE letters in the reply email address!
     
    JimmyG, Sep 24, 2007
    #18
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