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  1. #11
    Happy to be Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: D3300 unable to focus through the viewfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by ibsmo View Post
    Just wanted to follow up on this.

    I returned the camera and only ended up getting another one a few weeks ago (it took some time to process the return for some reason), and while the image through the view finder was a little better, it still was not as sharp as past models, and it seemed to be inconsistent when focusing on objects, sometimes clear other times not so much (it also was making my eyes fuzzy), so looks like Bob Blaylock was right about the focus screen being poor.

    @Bob Blaylock

    I tried removing the focus screen on my D3000 to see how easy it'd be to replace it, and I ended up scratching the focus screen! Totally my fault, but I don't think I'll bother trying with the D3300, which I will return as well.

    I'm thinking of getting the D5200, though not sure if this might have the same issue. Does anyone have any experience with it, or does anyone have any suggestions for another model? I'm trying to keep it around the $500-ish range since I'm just a hobbyist.

    thanks
    ibsen
    Maybe you should look at your focus settings. Are you using multiple points? AFS or CFS? Is there enough light for the focus to properly work, enough contrast? A lot of factors can make focusing very difficult.
    If you want to manually focus, a third party focusing screen is a MUST, as already mentioned.

    Best of luck.


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  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Bob Blaylock's Avatar

    Re: D3300 unable to focus through the viewfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by ibsmo View Post
    I tried removing the focus screen on my D3000 to see how easy it'd be to replace it, and I ended up scratching the focus screen! Totally my fault, but I don't think I'll bother trying with the D3300, which I will return as well.


    I'm thinking of getting the D5200, though not sure if this might have the same issue. Does anyone have any experience with it, or does anyone have any suggestions for another model? I'm trying to keep it around the $500-ish range since I'm just a hobbyist.
    I'm not certain, but I think the D5200 will probably have the same issue. I do not know, at what level, Nikon starts including a usable focus screen as a standard feature, but I think it's probably well above your price point.

    My suggestion,since you've already damaged the focus screen in your D3000, is to use it now to practice removing and reinstalling the focus screen, until you get to where you can do so comfortably and confidently; then buy a an aftermarket focus screen to install in your D3300. In fact, if you intend to keep the D3000 in service, then you might want to buy an aftermarket focus screen for it, as well, since the stock one is now damaged; or, you could just put the stock screen from your D3300 in the D3000.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    aroy's Avatar

    Re: D3300 unable to focus through the viewfinder

    Quote Originally Posted by ibsmo View Post
    Just wanted to follow up on this.

    .......

    I'm thinking of getting the D5200, though not sure if this might have the same issue. Does anyone have any experience with it, or does anyone have any suggestions for another model? I'm trying to keep it around the $500-ish range since I'm just a hobbyist.
    thanks
    ibsen
    I do not think that D5xxx series will solve your problem. Better get D7200 or D750. These have better AF than the D3xxx and D5xxx series. You also have the ability to "Fine Tune" the focus of each lens, so that the AF is consistent.

    That said, I have never faced any focusing issues with my D3300. You have to be careful of the AF mode you are using. I use single point AF with Spot metering. That ensures that the AF is spot on. The exceptions are
    . Low light Low contrast situations where at times the camera refuses to lock on the focus
    . Where the focusing rectangle is larger than the area I am trying to focus, so that if I am trying to AF on a flower the body may focus on the leaves either in front or behind the flower. So you have to select an area that is larger than the focusing rectangle

    For manual focus on these bodies you have to either use the "green dot" to get the focus right or use "live view". On the higher end bodies you can install a third party screen, but that may interfere with metering.
    Here are links
    Nikon
    NIKON D800 D750 D600 D610 Df Focusing Screen Installation Instruction
    https://www.focusingscreen.com/produ...dfcae560d33ef0
    Thanks/Like Ta2Dave Thanks/liked this post
     
    D300, D3300
    105F2.8 AIS, 70-300 G, 50F1.8 AF, 16-85G ED VR, 18-55DX VRII, AFS DX 35mm F1.8
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  4. #14
    Senior Member
    JH Foto's Avatar

    Re: D3300 unable to focus through the viewfinder

    Hello and welcome..........................................
    The only good camera is the one you have with you when opportunity provides the inspiration

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Danno's Avatar

    Re: D3300 unable to focus through the viewfinder

    @ibsmo, I had a similar problem with my D3200. I bout a magnifying eyepiece for it. It helped. Since buying the D7200 I realize that what @Bob Blaylock is saying is the probably the real cause, but at the time I figured it was my eyes and they needed a bit of help. It worked. I do not need anything like this on my D7200


    https://www.amazon.com/Nikon-25339-D...nder+for+D3200
    Dan
    Kentucky

    "The natural man must know in order to believe; The spiritual man must believe in order to know. " ~ Aiden Wilson Tozer ~ "The Dwelling Place of God"

    Nikon D7200 w/Grip, Nikon D700 w/Grip, AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, Nikkor 50mm/1.8G, Sigma 18-250 Macro, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC, Tamron 28-75, Tamron 70-200 F/2.8
    Yongnuo Speedlight YN568EX, Vanguard ALTA Pro 264AB Tripod, Vanguard
    SBH-100 ball head Beike Gimbal Head, ARCA Swiss B1 ball head



  6. #16
    Senior Member

    Re: D3300 unable to focus through the viewfinder

    Thanks for the information everyone!

    @Marcel

    I do a lot of manual focusing, so that's where the issue arises. I've never been too keen on the AF since it's not as consistent as I would like it, and have ended up with some out of focus pics even though the AF locked on (probably just the contrast throwing it off), so I just ended up leaning towards manual all the time now to avoid that.

    @Danno

    I'm gonna doing some traveling for possibly several months this year, and losing the eyepiece at some point is my real concern, so not sure if I want to go that route, but thanks for the recommendation.


    @Bob Blaylock

    I ended up working on the D3000 a little more and was able to remove the focus screen easily. The scratches aren't really a big deal, they just sort of look like eye floaters, and as you say, I can replace the focus screen if need be.

    @aroy

    Right now I'm mulling over whether or not I want to replace the focus screen on the D3300 or look into maybe moving up to the D7100 (I can get a refurb for $595, and the D7200 is def too pricey), since you mentioned the D5XXX series may likely have that problem. I'm pretty much leaning towards getting the 7100 after having looked at the comparisons between the two.


    @ JH Foto

    thanks JH!
    Thanks/Like Danno Thanks/liked this post
     

  7. #17
    Happy to be Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: D3300 unable to focus through the viewfinder

    If you can clearly see the lines in the viewfinder, then you probably don't need extra eye piece. But the focusing screen has to go if you want to consistently focus using manual focusing. Now there is not only the install that has to be done, but also the calibration. You have to put your camera on a tripod, focus using the screen and then focus using magnification in Live View and compare the shots. The problem arises when the new focusing screen is not the exact same thickness as the original one. Usually the new screen will come with shims that have to be inserted above the focusing screen until the manual focus matches the Live View focus.

    A little time and patience is all it takes, and it really works.
    Thanks/Like Bob Blaylock Thanks/liked this post
     
    No Light = no Life.
    Please visit my Gallery and my Flickr Gallery

  8. #18
    Senior Member

    Re: D3300 unable to focus through the viewfinder

    So, ended up keeping the D3300. Main reason is, since I'm going traveling next month, I want something super light and small, otherwise I'd go with the 7100. I've ordered a replacement focus screen and I'll switch it out when it gets here. Thanks @Bob Blaylock for all the info.

    Also, I used the D3300 over the July 4th weekend to see how much of an issue it'll be, and it's pretty good in bright daylight, but otherwise, it can be a little hard to focus when the light isn't great, though the replacement focus screen should fix that. Regardless, got some great pics in.

    Anyhow, just wanted to thank everyone again for their input!
    Thanks/Like Danno Thanks/liked this post
     





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