Nikon D800e focus issues

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mukul_ranjan, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. I have been shooting Nikon since I first bought a DSLR 35 years ago.
    I bought the 800e about a year after it came out - hoping that Nikon would have worked out the bugs by then.
    At first I was wowed by the resolution, depth and image quality. I shoot a lot in low-light and the high ISO performance was great.
    As time went on I started to notice that there were a rather large percentage of photos that were just slightly out of focus. Because I was often shooting wide open and with low shutter speeds I initially thought it was user error. As time went on and I tested the camera in bright light and with high shutter speeds - I realized I was the proud owner of one of the dreaded cameras with focus issues. I can't even begin to tell you how many theater, dance and concert performance shoots have been compromised over the years by the use of this camera.
    As I read more about the issue it became clear that 1. Nikon was not acknowledging the problem and 2. Nikon did not have a fix for it.
    This past summer I was in Europe for one of the largest music festivals there and they happened to have a Nikon service desk at the festival that I checked my camera. They were unambiguous - yes your camera has focus issues that you will see at wide open apertures. You should contact Nikon in your country (USA).
    After I heard about the unofficial recall that they had for some lucky Nikon D800 owners, I finally sent the camera in to for repair. I figured they had found a fix for the problem. Before sending it in I called Nikon and asked the person on the phone if I could be part of their recall - they said no, that it was a complicated way in which they figured out who would qualify and since I did not receive the message I did not meet these mysterious criteria. On top of this the person refused to acknowledge the problem and kept repeating that if I have an issue I should send it in and it will be up to factory specs when they send it out.
    I had to laugh a little at that - there was a problem with Nikon's factory specs which is why I was in this situation to begin with.
    Anyway - I send it in and get an estimate for $250!! I call and remind them this is known problem in the community even though Nikon wont acknowledge it - now that they have determined my camera has this problem don't they have an ethical responsibility to fix it free of charge. No deal - they insist that they will not do the repair without payment.
    So I pay up and get the camera back. I have to say they were prompt with the turnaround time, and I got it back in a week. Unfortunately it appears nothing was done to it. The focus issue is still there. I have now tested it for about a month and the focus is still off! The D7000 and D750 that I own have better focus than this expensive camera!
    Really disappointed in Nikon's quality, service and their treatment of loyal customers.
    Has anyone successfully had this issue resolved?
     
  2. My D800E was fixed under warranty...but I tested it, and discovered the left-side AF accuracy issue, within days of acquiring the camera.
    It is sleazy of Nikon not to fix the issue now, if in fact the issue was there as a factory defect.
    Did you buy with a credit card that can extend the warranty an additional year, or is it too late?
    Return it to them, with example photos on CD/USB drive, or actual prints that demonstrate the problem. It really helps prevent them from retuning it unfixed. I used the L.A. office, and walked it in.
     
  3. Did you fine tune the focus for each lens that you use? It is normal that this needs to be done if you plan on shooting at
    f/1.4 or f/2 a lot. In low light the AF results have more variation than on bright daylight. Unfortunately I noticed that my
    D800 focus error depended not only on lens but also the distance to the subject and colour of the light. Nikon did cover
    the adjustment of the AF for free for me but it didn't fundamentally solve the problem. The D810 solved most of it but I still
    need to fine tune most fast lenses. But the distance and colour dependent effects are mostly gone in my D810 - in fact I'm
    very happy with the improvements they have done. The D750's AF system is still newer and I would expect it to give even
    better AF in low light than the D810. But the latter is quieter and that makes it a better choice for some concerts and other
    events where a loud sound could disturb the listening experience.

    I know it is a huge issue as there were so many of these cameras sold. I would just cut my losses and use what works
    instead of trying to get Nikon to improve the D800E at this point. If the D750 works well for you, use that instead. The D5
    should be coming in 2016 and probably with a new AF system that will likely propagate to the successor of the D810.
     
  4. Mukul, at what aperture(s) do you notice the focus error? If it's at apertures away from maximum then it could be due to lens focus-shift on stopping down. This phenomenon affects many wide-aperture lenses and can be readily seen with the 85mm f/1.4 G Nikkor in the Photozone.de test here: http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/606-nikkorafs8514ff?start=1
    If you scroll down to the "Bokeh Fringing" section and mouseover the various apertures, you can clearly see that the plane of best focus creeps backwards as the lens is stopped down.
    There's also the issue of residual spherical aberration that most wide-aperture lenses suffer from. This can prevent AF being accurately set by the camera. It also prevents good visual focus being seen by the eye, because effectively there isn't just one plane of best focus but a spread of focus.
    That's not to say that your D800E doesn't have a focus issue; just that there may be lens issues to take into consideration. If the camera is performing fine with, say an f/2.8 prime wide open, then perhaps re-assessing your wide-aperture lenses might be in order. It might be worth running some comparison tests between viewfinder AF and Live View focussing. There may also be a slight displacement between the AF area shown in the viewfinder and the actual subject area read by the AF sensor.
    FWIW, my experience has been that Nikon's AF is variable in accuracy between shots anyway. It can certainly vary between the ends of a zoom range, and that some subjects are more difficult for AF to latch onto than others. I also know that most of my (MF) f/1.4 lenses give their best focus when the camera says they're slightly front-focused according the electronic rangefinder. Now that I know this I can simply set the focus to where the ER just starts to flicker from a closer focus.
     
  5. Ilkka Nissilla wrote: "Nikon did cover the adjustment of the AF for free for me but it didn't fundamentally solve the problem. The D810 solved most of it but I still need to fine tune most fast lenses. But the distance and colour dependent effects are mostly gone in my D810 - in fact I'm very happy with the improvements[​IMG] they have done."
    This is pretty sad. I can understand that you may be very "happy" with the improvements "they have done" despite the fact that it is not as it should have been to begin with. However, most will not be and should not be contented with Nikon's shoddy attitude to about this. For most, even professionals, pocket change does not buy this camera. To say that "the D810 solved most of it" is also unacceptable for most. At this price point, there should not be any technical issues at all. A sad after-taste to the continuing Nikon-Canon saga...and many know where this seems to be going.
     
  6. Keith B: Thanks for your comments and sorry you had to go through this. It's too late now for either the Nikon or Credit Card warranty to apply. I'm on the east coast and mailed it into the NY/NJ office.
     
  7. Rodeo Joe: I've tried multiple lenses and conversely tried the lenses on other bodies - the problem is not with the lens it's the 800e.The lenses, including the Nikon 2.8 series are tack sharp on the other bodies.
    As I said in my question - it's most apparent wide open when the focal plane is narrow and focusing is critical.
     
  8. in other words Mukul, this is as they say, quite unacceptable. i do hope somebody from Nikon is reading and taking note of this discussion and will do the right thing.
     
  9. Ilkka Nissila: Yes there are fixes - such as trying to fine tune each lens - I've tried this, just so you know, and it does not fix the problem - you can also not shoot wide open, but this is a shoddy product and as zlight B says Nikon's attitude towards this has been unprofessional. Do they have a fix for the problem or not? If not - why charge me $250 for doing nothing? If they have a better focusing system in the 810 have they finally figured it what the problem was - why can they not fix it in the 800?
    Other die hard Nikon enthusiasts have been making this Point, for example "Nikon Quality Assurance Gone Bad" by Photographylife, Thom Hogan Declares D800 "Not Recommended" etc. Nikon needs to wake up and take responsibility by fixing the camera that many of us spent huge amounts of money on. For many whose lively hood depends on this - reliability is critical and Nikon used to be known for it.
     
  10. I have a Nikon d800e and a d810. All of my lenses are top of the line nikons. I had "focus" issues with both bodies on
    most lenses. I finally used lens align to do AF fine tuning. Once done correctly, the majority of the focus issues went away.
    With any large high res sensor, you must do AF fine tuning to get good even results and you must rethink every step in
    your shooting techniques and change anything that could contribute to non sharp images.

    Joe
     
  11. Joseph. I recently bought a D7200 and kit 18-140mm lens. Straight out of the box the focus was unacceptable at the short end of the zoom and needed a large "Fine Tune" adjustment. This threw the long end of the zoom out, and I had to set a compromise tuning that didn't give exact focus at all. Then the D7200 body developed a shutter fault and was eventually replaced.
    The replacement body showed hardly any need for AF fine-tuning with the same lens. The conclusion I draw from this is that Nikon need to revise their AF module factory adjustment procedures - as well as generally pull their socks up on QC. AF should not need fiddling with on an individual lens basis by the customer. It should just darn-well work! It's a simple servo system, not rocket science, and if the AF sensor is placed in the same virtual plane as the image-sensor there should be absolutely no issue.
     
  12. As I mentioned on a separate thread, Nikon did fix my D800's focus issue.
    Along with this complaint, they also cleaned the sensor and replaced some components with new parts. All free. I would recommend discussing the problem with Nikon again.
    By the way, I have never meddled with Nikon's factory setting on any camera or lens (e.g., "fine-tuning" this and that) - worried I would mess it up - from nothing to something. I have used Nikon since the film days, through a succession of cameras and lenses. May be I am just lucky, my Nikon equipment have worked well. If there was a problem (e.g. the recent 200-500 focus problem), it was always fixed to satisfaction.
     
  13. Rodeo Joe: Thanks for sharing that - Couldn't agree more. Nikon needs to understand that most people are not interested in applying band-aid solutions to shoddy products after shelling out lots of money.
     
  14. Mary Doo: That's encouraging to hear - I will speak with them again. Good to know the problem can be fixed. Surprised they did it for free. Was your camera under warranty?
     
  15. That's encouraging to hear - I will speak with them again. Good to know the problem can be fixed. Surprised they did it for free. Was your camera under warranty?​
    It must have been under warranty - though I don't recall attaching a purchase receipt. That was in May of this year. Then in July, I received a "Free Maintenance Service Initiative" identifying my D800 as being eligible. Good luck with yours. Hope you get free service as well. Feel free to cite my example if they say no.
     
  16. AF should not need fiddling with on an individual lens basis by the customer. It should just darn-well work! It's a simple servo system, not rocket science, and if the AF sensor is placed in the same virtual plane as the image-sensor there should be absolutely no issue.​
    It seems quite a number of you folks mess with Nikon's factory setting. I never had - never saw the need to, would rather not. May be I am just lucky.
     
  17. Thanks Mary Doo. That "Free Maintenance Service Initiative" was the unofficial recall according to many. I asked about that before I sent it in and was told it was already sent out to those who should have it and that if I did not - then I was not eligible for it. Sort of a circular argument.
     
  18. That "Free Maintenance Service Initiative" was the unofficial recall according to many. I asked about that before I sent it in and was told it was already sent out to those who should have it and that if I did not - then I was not eligible for it. Sort of a circular argument.​
    Sorry about that. However, my D800 was fixed (for free) before I received the "Free Maintenance Service Initiative". Was your camera under warranty? As I mentioned before, I did not attach the warranty.
     
  19. Autofocus fine tune is a user setting, not a "factory" setting (when service adjust the AF they turn AF fine tune off and adjust it using settings not visible to the user). My experience is that generally FT is commonly needed with fast lenses (f/1.4, f/2) but with lenses with smaller maximum apertures it becomes progressively less critical to do it. Most lenses f/4 and slower seem to focus fine without focus fine tuning (I guess the optical paths to the main sensor and the AF sensor are more similar). With the 200/2 II I would be happy if they provided 0.5 increments for fine tuning. With recent camera bodies and lenses the optimal fine tune setting has been close to zero for many lenses, but with cameras and lenses made in different periods there can be greater need to make adjustments, and I've had to use basically the whole range at one time or another. My first 200/2 needed -17 on my D3 and basically the focus error was in meters, not centimeters when photographing figure skating... so it was very obvious. The newer 200/2 Mk II is +1 on my D810 but if I use the TC-14E III on that lens I need a fine tune setting of +8. After applying the fine tuning the lens focuses very accurately with the TC. With that kind of shallow depth of field the results would be unusable without focus fine tuning. When photographing approaching subjects with a very large aperture lens I even adjust the fine tune setting separately for the approach scenario (it can require 1 or 2 points more negative value of fine tune) to optimize it for the situation, and then return it to the value that I use for subjects that are relatively static. However, that's just me, I don't necessarily recommend this as it can be easy to forget to reset the value.
    The reason I'm fine with replacing the D800 with the D810 is because it has a lot of improvements which go beyond the AF fixes, such as quietness, electronic first curtain shutter, better viewfinder clarity etc. I had expected problems in the D800 simply because I didn't think the D3 and D700 focused sufficiently accurately for 12MP images, so achieving 36 MP with high per pixel level sharpness at wide apertures would likely be beyond Nikon's reach in such a short period of development. However in the 2012 D810 things are better and I'm fairly happy with wide aperture focus performance, though it requires sometimes a helping hand of an understanding user. :) If it hadn't been for the earthquake, tsunami and flooding in 2011, I suspect there would have been fewer problems in cameras such as the D600 and D800(E) made during this period (2011-2) but those natural disasters did happen and the QC issues are not what surprised me, but rather that Nikon survived at all. However, there is no excuse for giving bad customer service on another continent far away from any natural disasters. I guess I've been very lucky with regards to that.
     
  20. I have D800e and I found its AF performance inaccurate. My keeper rate is down. I sent it to Nikon Service to take a look at it. They were kind enough to lend me D800 for vacation. So I used D800 during vacation I was very HAPPY with it. AF performance was fine as expected. It seldom hunt. It performed well under low light condition.
    So I came back from vacation and get my camera back. The technician said "We checked everything. Nothing wrong with it. It is just the way it is"
    So I had it for almost 3 years. Since then, The focus were 50-50. Under low light condition, my success rate is down to 30-70. On moving subject, I dont expect anything anymore.
    I use this camera for one thing and one thing only: commercial. On tripod, and with LIVE VIEW Focusing.
    Else (wedding, children, casual, family, vacation, journalistic, event, etc.), i use my reliable Canon 5Dmk3.
     
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have purchased numerous Nikon AF SLR bodies since the N8008 in 1989 and also tested a bunch of different DSLR test samples from Nikon USA. I have never experienced AF problems on any one of them out of the box, including an early D800 test sample. Back in 2012, Nikon started shipping the D800E about a month after the D800. By the time I determined that the D800E had no significant issues with moire, I ordered one in mid April 2012. By that time various D800 left AF issues had already surfaced on the internet. Due to extreme shortage, I had two wait a full two months to received my D800E. During those two months, there was lots and lots of discussion on the left AF issue such that when I got my D800E in mid June, I immediately tested its AF to no end, and I found no problems whatsoever.
    Back in 2012, based on estimates from Bjron Rorslett and Thom Hogan, around 20% of the D800/D800E had this left AF issue. In other words, 4 out of 5 were fine, so it is not all that surprising that the one D800 and one D800E I have used have no problems. Incidentally, the wide-spread (~20%) problem is related to the left AF points, not a general AF problem.
    Out of the 20+ new Nikon SLR I have used over the years, only two of them had problems right out of the box. Interestingly, both happened in 2014. The first D810 test sample I got from Nikon had electronic problems and generated a lot of corrupted image files, but the replacement D810 was totally fine. My own D750 had a defective GPS connection that I only discovered a few months later. Nikon fixed that under warranty. Both of them seem to be isolated issues.
    AF fine tune is now a necessary feature due to the dense pixels. Camera bodies and lenses don't stay perfect over time. My D800E accidentally fell from a chair onto a hardwood floor last year. Initially I thought that was not a big deal, but now the D800E requires -20 AF fine tune; I am going to send that to Nikon for adjustment. My 200-400mm/f4 AF-S VR was fine for several years, but after many trips, its AF is now a bit off and needs some fine tune to get the best results.
    With 36MP and higher FX and 24MP DX, AF precision is now very critical. I am sure there are some defective Nikon DSLRs out there, in addition to the well reported D800 left AF problems. For your own sake, when you buy a new camera or a new lens, test it thoroughly and if there are indeed issues, exchange it for a good sample. It only takes an hour or two to check a lot of things out, and plenty of stores give you 2 weeks to a month for exchange. If you instead send it to Nikon for repair, you take the risk of getting into a debate on whether it is "within specs" and there are a lot of gray areas for AF accuracy, including user errors.
    In the OP's case, after Nikon USA fixed a problem for a fee, they provide a 6-month warranty on that fix. If you are not happy with the repair, definitely get back to them. However, it is best to deal with any manufacturing defects ASAP and get the item replaced. Once the exchange period is over, you will be in a disadvantage position if you own a defective product.
     
  22. It's a shame that nikon has a history of releasing new camera's with issues like the d200/d800/d800e/d750 just to name a few. I recently
    upgraded and bought a used d800 with low shutter count for a great price. I knew about the left focus issue and test the best I knew how
    and lucky it doesn't appear to be effected. I was looking at a d750 but after that recall I said no. Especially the cost when you buy them
    new. I'd keep bugging them
     
  23. My plan to replace my aging D700 has been put on hold. Thanks to everyone for the warning.
     
  24. John Stockdale: I'd wait it out a little. Photographylife has exchanged the Nikon D800 for a Panasonic GH4. Check out their article "Goodbye D800, Hello GH4!" Supposedly Panasonic is going to release an upgrade for the camera in Spring of 2016.
     
  25. Manuel Garcia: Good luck - the D800 is a good camera - it's just disappointing that Nikon is handling it in this unprofessional way. Thanks for the encouragement.
     
  26. I have no idea what this D800 bash is about. Lots of people are enjoying the D800. Sure there are some problems with some cameras, but evidently not universal.
     
  27. Photographylife has exchanged the Nikon D800 for a Panasonic GH4. Check out their article "Goodbye D800, Hello GH4!"​
    Mukul, this has nothing to do with the D800 being a bad camera and Nikon a bad company. It's a DSLR vs Micro 4/3 issue. The author says this after mentioning the decision to switch to mirrorless: " ...First, let me say upfront that the Nikon D800 is a wonderful camera and is capable of some spectacular images! ...". I empathize with your problem with Nikon. But not everyone has a problem with them.
    John Stockdale: "My plan to replace my aging D700 has been put on hold. Thanks to everyone for the warning."​
    The D800/D810 is a fine camera. Hwvr, if you wish to switch to mirrorless, that's a different story. Lots of pros and cons between the two.
     
  28. My cameras (D700 and D800E) worked fine with all my lenses, until I bought a 200mm f2. With that lens I had to set the focus adjustment to -20 on both my cameras. I would have set it to -21 or -22 if that had been possible. I sent the lens together with my D700 to Nikon service and got the reply that my D700 was outside specifications and a repair quotation on 600€. Needless to say I declined the offer since the resale value of the camera was less than that. I figured that my D800E required the same treatment, since it had the same problem. I'd like to point out that both my cameras worked flawlessly with all my other lenses, including the 85:1.4G. Of course I had calibrated them all and set individual focus adjustments with both cameras.
    Finally I gave up and sold both cameras, without any bad conscience, since the buyers weren't the kind of guys who would use expensive lenses with wide apertures.
    I replaced the cameras with a D810 that was almost spot on, and hardly required any focus adjustment with any of my lenses. My impression is that Nikon has learned and taken adequate measures to ensure the quality.
    the lesson I learned is that I will always test any new camera thoroughly in order to detect any focus issues immediately, while it is still under warranty.
     
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I replaced the cameras with a D810 that was almost spot on, and hardly required any focus adjustment with any of my lenses. My impression is that Nikon has learned and taken adequate measures to ensure the quality.​
    Or because you are now dealing with a brand new camera where everything is tightly within specs.
    Don't mean to sound discouraging, but after a few years of wear and tear and some bumps, things can deteriorate a bit. At least that is my experience. For professional photographers who use their gears heavily, it is necessary to send their gear in for periodic maintenance.
     
  30. I dropped my D800 once and it got out of alignment by a bit. AF was backfocusing a bit after that incident. It was repaired
    but the different fine tune settings for each lens remained an issue. With the D810 my fine tune settings are close to zero
    mean (1.6) and the standard deviation between lenses is 4 whereas with the D800 it was originally -8+-8 (mean+-SD) and
    after repair +2+-8. I recently bought a D750 for a backup and it seems to work well with identical fine tune settings as my
    D810. Although N is very small my observations have led me to think that Nikon has been able to reduce variability. My
    guess is that they have developed more sophisticated assembly and calibration procedures which reduce errors and the
    differences in fine tune settings between products. Of course much more data would be needed to validate this in the
    general case but I'm happy with what I've got and no longer consider AF accuracy a major issue except in low light where
    there is more variability in shot to shot results. It still requires user awareness of the limitations of the distance
    measurement accuracy and ability to apply appropriate corrections but compared to my D800 there has been big
    improvement. I look at AF as a continuously evolving technology rather than make unrealistic expectation of perfection
    and be unhappy as a result. Most of my images are of people and events and they rarely make full use of the camera's
    resolution. Thus an image that is ever so slightly out of focus at the 36MP detail level can be perfectly fine when printed to
    the final display size. A lot of people seem to have forgotten that. For static subjects the LV can be used to achieve
    perfect focus for printing large.

    Apart from that one impact to my D800 I haven't seen AF errors drift over time in the same camera. I do treat my
    equipment with care but occasionally something unplanned can happen.
     
  31. I must say that my D800 has shown reasonably good AF behaviour, and I never bothered with AF fine tune. Nor on my D700 before that.
    However the first sample of D7200 I received was, on reflection, pretty appalling. As I said previously, I just couldn't get satisfactory AF across the zoom range of the 18-140mm lens it was supplied with. So obviously Nikon's QC hasn't improved that much of late.
    Prompted by this thread I've just been running through my lenses today and checking out their AF performance with my second sample of D7200. AF needs a fine-tune on all lenses to some degree, with a minimum of -3 and a maximum of -7 (mathematically speaking not the correct way round I know!). It now looks like I need to set an across-the-board default fine-tune of -3, which I'd say is acceptable, with a consequent readjustment of individual lens corrections. Good job I have time on my hands due to my leg injury.
    I was probably "lucky" that the first D7200 developed a shutter fault and was replaced. Otherwise its flakey AF would have driven me crazy.
    Shun, I'd be interested to know if you buy from a supplier that knows your high-profile association with this forum. And that whether the equipment you're supplied with might be "cherry picked" as a consequence?
    FWIW, my past dealings with Nikon UK have been very disappointing. Their standard response seems to be to delay returning equipment or contacting the customer for as long as possible; presumably in the hope that you'd rather have a slightly faulty piece of kit rather than none at all.
     
  32. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Shun, I'd be interested to know if you buy from a supplier that knows your high-profile association with this forum. And that whether the equipment you're supplied with might be "cherry picked" as a consequence?​
    Rodeo Joe, I don't buy from just one particular supplier. For example, I bought my D300, D7000, D800E, D7100, and D7200 from my local camera store in northern California. They just pick something off the shelf. I bought my D700 at a one-day seminar by Nikon-sponsored photographer Frans Lanting, supplied by a different local dealer at the seminar. Of course I have ordered from Adorama, Amazon, and B&H. Therefore, all of those should be just random samples.

    In total, I have bought 9 Nikon DSLRs from various dealers since 2002, in addition to many test samples directly from Nikon. I have never experienced any AF issue out of the box. As far as I am concerned, that is a pretty good track record.
    However, the one D810 that produces a lot of corrupted image files out of the box was a test sample directly from Nikon. Clearly they didn't test that camera before shipping to me. On top of that, two out of two refurbished Nikon lenses I have bought from B&H and Adorama, respectively, were both still defective. Therefore, for refurbished, I have a 100% failure rate so far (with only two samples). (At that time a friend also bought a refurb 70-300 AF-S VR from B&H. His sample wasn't even functional out of the box.)
    This morning I went back to check the D800E that fell from a chair onto the floor. It looks like it now requires -10 AF fine tune. I'll check a few more lenses on it. Maybe I can live with -10 fine tune and save some money on repair cost.
    I expect the D5 will come with a brand new, more sophisticated AF module early in 2016. I fully expect various minor issues with a new design. Unless you have some sense of advantage, I would not buy a D5 in the first three months. Of course, most likely the D5 will be out of the price range for a lot of us anyway.
     
  33. I have some weird AF fine tune behaviour to report. As I mentioned earlier I'm setting up my lenses on a D7200. I realised they nearly all needed some negative adjustment and put -3 into the "default" menu option. Thinking that I'd now have to subtract -3 from all the lens settings I went back to the kit 18-140 lens to re-adjust; only to find it now needed a positive correction!
    So I took the default setting off again and went back to the -3 setting on the lens. All appeared well with "bang on" focus being acheived. Then I switched off AF fine tune altogether. What did I find? - No difference whatsoever! The kit lens still focussed in the same plane and was pretty much perfect. What the **** is going on? Is the fine-tune setting held in the lens and not the camera. Is AF fine-tune some sort of hoax? WHAT!?
    P.S. Thanks for that info Shun. Looks like you've just been very lucky with your Nikon purchases then.
     
  34. As far as I know the default setting is used for those lenses for which the user hasn't set a lens-specific correction in the menu. I've never used the default setting myself. I've read reports that the units in the default setting are different from the lens-specific fine tune adjustments (10 points in default scale may equal 15 in the lens specific scale or something along those lines). I would personally ignore the default setting and determine optimal fine tune for each lens in your applications.
    3 points is quite a small correction for a small aperture lens. The shot-to-shot variability in focus is probably greater than that. For fast primes 3 points can start to be a significant error which needs to be corrected if the lens is to be used wide open. Fine tuning is not a hoax but the units of fine tuning are smaller than the variation in focus results from shot to shot. You basically shift the mean of the focus error by applying the correction, but any individual shot can still turn out different from the mean, either back or front focused. If you get equal number of slightly front and back focused results then this is the ideal even though the ultimate ideal would be that each shot is in perfect focus.
     
  35. RJ, yes there is a correction parameter in the lens too. Otherwise the Dandelion af-fine tune would not work.
     
  36. Thanks Ilkka, Kari. Those AF fine-tune settings are driving me crazy, and that's without Nikon playing tricks with their numbering system.
    Perhaps if Nikon actually explained exactly how the fine-tune system worked it might help. That's if they know themselves! Or is Nikon completely staffed by marketing 404s these days?
     
  37. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    This morning, I went back to check my D800E that fell two feet from a chair to the floor. With -10 Default AF fine tune, it looks like several of my lenses work just fine. A couple of lenses will need individual AF fine tune.
    I don't think I am particularly lucky with new Nikon DSLR bodies, or for that matter particularly unlucky with refurbished Nikon lenses. Most members here have no problems with their refurblished products, and I am still willing to give them a try when the savings is substantial. Every time I return a refurbished lens, B&H loses on round-trip shipping cost and pays me a full refund. If there are a lot of returns, B&H and Adorma would be losing money like crazy, and I am sure they would stop selling Nikon refurbished products in no time. Those camera stores in New York are not stupid.
    However, regardless of whether you buy new, refurbished, or used, it is critical to test your purchased thoroughly. It should take no more than a few hours over a couple of days. If there are any issues, get the item exchanged immediately so that you won't be the proud owner of a defective product. Once the return period is over, getting a proper repair can be tricky, as demonstrated by those refurbished lenses I received and they were still defective.
     
  38. Shun Cheung Your statement that "it is critical to test your purchased thoroughly" reinforces what I was saying - what the heck happened to Nikon Quality Control??
     
  39. Well I spoke to Nikon and sent in some images. They agreed there was a focusing problem and are going to take another shot at repairing it. Let's see what happens.
     
  40. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Shun Cheung Your statement that "it is critical to test your purchased thoroughly" reinforces what I was saying - what the heck happened to Nikon Quality Control??​

    No, my statement does not at all reinforce what you are saying. It is just good practice to check anything you buy, especially something as complex as a DSLR, so that you won't be stuck with a defective product. Over the years, I have purchased a new Sony TV that is dead out of the box, a high-end Nakamichi CD player that has a slightly defective CD drawer, a Lexar CF card that fails completely ....

    Such good practice is not specific to Nikon products.

    After 38 years as a user, my personal experience is that Nikon's quality control has always been pretty good, but definitely no flawless. For example, back in 1996, a lot of new F5 bodies has the "false battery low" issue. A friend of mine bought two and both required several repairs; one of them required so many repairs that Nikon eventually replaced it with a new one. The major difference between 1995 and 2015 is that there were not nearly as many web forums and blogs such that information didn't spread as quickly. In particular, sadly, in these days a lot of blogs resort to making sensational comments to attract web traffic.

    Modern DSLRs are complex machines that some problems from early samples are expected. Likewise Canon has their share of problems. Way back in the mid 1980's, a friend suggested that one should never buy a car in the first model year after a major redesign as they can be prone to defects. If you are after flawless products, that same philosophy is still true today as it was 30 years ago. Let other pioneers discover those problems.

    Good luck your D800 repair. As I said, Nikon USA warranties their repair for 6 months. Before my D800E accidentally fell onto the floor, its AF was very good. The other D800 test sample also had excellent AF. There is no reason that yours is not as good as those.
     
  41. Mary Doo: "I have no idea what this D800 bash is about."
    It seriously does not appear to be a D800 bash at all. Maybe it is, but to me it appears to be a discussion about some critical focusing issues by some who are having such issues. As well, a discussion on how best a corporation ought to respond to issues that no doubt are sometimes unavoidable but surely not unfixable. And if the latter, some corporate responsibility as was the case with D600...
     

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