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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

D3 AF Module out of alignment

If you own a Nikon D3 camera and you are experiencing autofocus problems, you might be dealing with a module out-of-alignment issue. This is a common problem that affects many Nikon D3 users and can cause your photos to be blurry or out of focus. In this blog post, I will explain what causes this problem, how to diagnose it, and how to fix it.


The autofocus module is a small device that sits behind the mirror in your camera and helps the lens to focus on the subject. It works by measuring the contrast and distance of the scene and sending signals to the lens motor. However, sometimes the module can get misaligned due to various reasons, such as dropping the camera, bumping it against something, or exposing it to extreme temperatures. When this happens, the module can send incorrect signals to the lens, resulting in inaccurate focusing.


To check if your auto-focus module is out of alignment, you can perform a simple test. You will need a tripod, a ruler, and a flat surface with some text on it. First, set up your camera on the tripod and point it at the flat surface. Make sure the surface is parallel to the camera sensor and at a distance of about 50 cm. Then, set your camera to manual mode and adjust the aperture to the smallest value (f/22 or higher). Next, set your lens to manual focus and turn the focus ring until the text on the surface is sharp in the viewfinder. Finally, switch your lens to autofocus and half-press the shutter button. If your auto-focus module is working properly, the lens should not move at all. If it does move, it means your module is out of alignment and needs to be fixed.


There are two ways to fix your autofocus module: you can either send your camera to Nikon for repair or you can try to adjust it yourself. The first option is more reliable and safer, but it can also be more expensive and time-consuming. The second option is cheaper and faster, but it can also be risky and void your warranty. If you decide to adjust the module yourself, you will need a screwdriver, a magnifying glass, and a lot of patience. You will also need to access the service menu of your camera by following these steps:


- Turn off your camera and remove the battery.

- Press and hold the AF-ON and ISO buttons simultaneously.

- While holding these buttons, insert the battery and turn on the camera.

- Release the buttons and press them again quickly.

- You should see a menu with various options on your LCD screen.


To adjust the autofocus module, you need to select the option that says AF fine tune. This option allows you to change the position of the module by entering a value between -20 and +20. The higher the value, the more forward the module moves. The lower the value, the more backward the module moves. You need to find the value that makes your auto-focus accurate by trial and error. To do this, you need to repeat the test I described earlier with different values until you find one that does not make your lens move when you half-press the shutter button. Once you find this value, press OK to save it and exit the menu.


Congratulations! You have successfully fixed your autofocus module out of alignment issue. Now you can enjoy taking sharp photos with your Nikon D3 camera again.

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