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Archive 2012 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not respond...
  
 
djb663
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


I have experienced an issue with the D4 when attempting focus on low contrast subjects. The issue is not that it won't obtain focus, the issue is that after briefly searching, the autofocus system "stops trying" and becomes unresponsive for a few seconds (3, to as many as 10). This happens so far only in AF-S mode and predominantly when shooting something downward. It almost seems like a processor issue.

Has anyone else experienced this? By the way, it happens with both the 24-70 2.8, and the 70-200 2.8 attached and under identical conditions, the D700 has absolutely no problem obtaining focus, even on the low contrast objects. Thanks for any input. Nikon has responded to my email that they need a few days to "look into it". That was a month and two emails ago.




Jun 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM
gugs
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


A firmware update has been made available. Did you update ? It looks like one of the original firmware issues.

Guy



Jun 23, 2012 at 04:25 PM
djb663
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


Yes, I have installed the firmware update. That seems to have decreased the frequency of occurance, but has not eliminated it. Thank you for responding.


Jun 23, 2012 at 06:06 PM
sjms
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


are you using the appropriate metering pattern available to do the job? they make these patterns available to reduce such occurances and allow closer pinpointing on your chosen subject depending on the situation.
manual: pgs 53, 100, 101



Jun 25, 2012 at 02:34 PM
david debalko
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


I have the issue of when using the camera vertically the camera will sometimes not focus,(the vertical focus is turned on). Sometimes turning the camera off and back on again gets it to focus. It sounds similar to the problem above, I do have the firmware update.
Dave



Jun 25, 2012 at 02:46 PM
sjms
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


Autofocus
Store points by orientation
on



Jun 26, 2012 at 02:29 PM
david debalko
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


sjms, store points by orientation was off. Was that my problem? I can't thank you enough if that's the problem.


Jun 26, 2012 at 06:15 PM
sjms
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


you're going to have to tell me in the end. there seems to be some user end issues out there that need resolving on an individual basis. i hope it is for you. this is not a D3s. it is more customizable and more then most think in usability. remember the manual is only 449 pages of exciting prose.


Jun 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM
djb663
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


sjms, i'll give you an example. i was in the garden in the late afternoon. i had a 24-70 2.8 mounted and when i pointed down to take a shot of of hydrangea leaves, the camera flashed both of the focusing arrows, but would not lock or search for focus any longer. there was plenty of light, and there was an edge available to obtain focus. when turning away from the hydrangea leaves to focus on something much more high contrast, the focus did not respond to my finger on the shutter release button.

similarly, with the same setup, indoors pointing down at the floor at the spot where two tiles meet (thus, there is a 3/8 grout space that contrasts greatly with the textured tile), the camera became unresponsive. even when i moved to shift the focus point to my shoes (which are obviously 3 dimensional) and have white laces on black sneakers, the camera remained unresponsive.

if i change from af-s single point to af-c, this does not happen. however, i prefer to choose my focus point and i also prefer to recompose.

finally, i actually mounted my 70-200 2.8 on the camera, and climbed a step ladder to be able to point downward beyond the minimum focus distance and the same phenomena occurs.

as stated in the original post, same lenses, same conditions, and the d700 and d300 have absolutely no problem quickly obtaining focus. it has been well over a month, and nikon tech support has yet to respond after asking me to give them a "few days" to look into it.

it is the same type of lag you might experience on occasion if your computer keyboard hesitates while typing. sorry, but that's the best analogy i could come up with.

any insight is appreciated.



Jun 27, 2012 at 03:43 PM
sjms
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


do you have it set to use helper af points?

AF area mode: p53, 100



Jun 28, 2012 at 02:23 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



djb663
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


Well, there's finally some closure for me on this issue. After no hearing back from Nikon support, I contacted the store and asked for their assistance with Nikon. The manager was awesome and the camera is in the mail back to them and they are replacing it with a brand new one and returning mine to Nikon. I lose out on the free card and reader, but gain piece of mind.

I strongly suggest anyone try things with this camera that they don't normally do so you can find any bugs during the exchange period. Who wants to send a brand new $6000 camera for warrantly repair?

Edited on Jun 29, 2012 at 02:49 PM · View previous versions



Jun 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM
sjms
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


positioned what lever to lock the focus point? reference the manual please.

and if you had an issue with your original body why should you lose the card and reader?

you called support and not emailed them right? it is an 800 number.



Jun 29, 2012 at 10:41 AM
djb663
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


I lose the card and the reader because the new one that the store is sending me doesn't have a card and reader. They don't ship with them anymore. My camera shipped with them and the box is identified as such. So, Nikon won't credit the store unless everything (including blank unfilled out warranty card) is included.

As far as tech support, when I called I got someone that basically said to press the two buttons (iso and wb) to reset the camera. They could offer no other suggestion. So, I emailed support, got a ticket number and response saying they needed time to investigate. They did not respond further to any other emails.

Regarding the lock, brain cramp, sorry.



Jun 29, 2012 at 02:58 PM
sjms
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


you should not have had to give up the card and reader for a fault on their part. you purchased it at the time when it was included. that $180 loss on your part.



Jun 29, 2012 at 03:03 PM
mill4570
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


I hope you are not disappointed with the new one. I tried a quick test of mine to see if I could reproduce your problem. I found several targets that the focus would not lock on to in AF-S. The targets were in low light but the AF should have got it. The AF would try for a second or two, then the two arrows would blink in the view finder and it would stop trying to focus. I then switched the AF to AF-C with only the same single point selected. The camera behavior was the same, no difference. If I selected AF-C with nine point assist, the camera would lock focus every time instantly. No problems. Also, if I installed a SB900 (focus assist) the single point alone with no additional points selected locked on in both AF-S and AF-C without issue. I'm not sure if this is what you are describing, and I do not have my D3 or D3s to compare.

Please keep us posted on the how the new camera operates,
Richard K.



Jun 29, 2012 at 03:52 PM
djb663
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


A couple of follow up questions for you Richard. First, when it stopped trying to focus, did the camera "freeze". When mine stopped trying to focus, even if I moved my finger away from the shutter button, turned the camera to something else (such as very well lit contrasty object) the camera was still unresponsive. It decided when it would "wake". Also, out of curiosity yesterday, when I replicated this situation and used my thumb to depress the vertical shutter release, the camera obtained focus. I have read from both D3S owners and a D2H owner that they had similar issues when their cameras were new and it turned out to be a faulty shutter release mechanism. I would suggest you try the thumb on the vertical shutter release to see if yours behaves the same as mine did.

The other question I have is when did you get your D4? Although I got mine on May 19, it came with the XQD card and reader. I am hoping that the ones that are shipping now that don't come with the XQD card and reader are somehow being subjected to closer scrutiny of these known issues that everyone but Nikon seems to know about. I can dream.

Just to be clear, I am not unhappy with Nikon. After getting over the initial shock and dismay of learning that I appeared to have received a "Friday afternoon camera", I am glad that I am getting a new one instead of a serviced one. I still have my D300 and D700, and I had the D70 and D200 before them and they all performed flawlessly without hiccups. I will, however, wait a few more months before I buy the D800.



Jun 29, 2012 at 05:48 PM
mill4570
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


I received my D4 three weeks ago from Roberts. It had the reader and XQD card inside. Not sure what this means, but Roberts is top shelf, I don't believe they would send me previously returned merchandise. It may have been one they just held on to incase there was a return.

I use the AF-On button to focus. If I select AF-S and single point, push the AF-On button, and the camera can not obtain focus, I can release the AF-On, hit it again on the same target and it will restart the AF. It does not "freeze".

If the problem was the shutter release, you could try the AF-On button, but the camera has gone back.

The point I was trying to make was on my camera, if the single point will not achieve focus in AF-S, the same single point will not achieve focus in AF-C. If I add assist points in AF-C the camera will focus. If I use the focus assist beam from a SB900, the same target will focus with the AF-S single point. I thought in your OP that the camera would focus in AF-C and not AF-S. I was curious if it may have had assist points on.

Good luck with the new camera and keep us posted on its behavior,
Richard K.



Jun 29, 2012 at 08:00 PM
mill4570
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


djb,

Do you remember your custom setting a4?

Richard K.



Jun 29, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Fstr.
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


I certainly hope your new camera is trouble free. Got mine from Roberts about a month and a half ago, had one instance where it would not focus on a red dress, strange. I never had any problems with my D3, Nikon certainly needs to tighten up the ship..


Jun 30, 2012 at 01:19 AM
djb663
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · D4 autofocus getting "confused" and not responding...


Richard, I had it set to shutter and af-on and i had the vertical af-on set to same as and i had a9 set to "same as af-on button". I understood what you were getting at regarding the sb900 and the assist. I think the biggest difference between mine and yours seems that mine would freeze altogether at times when it couldn't find focus and yours just stops trying. My freeze would be quite extensive.

For instance, at my mother's 80th birthday, the camera froze when i was trying to focus on her face as she blew out the candles. By the time it unfroze, candles were out and off the cake, and lights were turned back on. Memory lost forever. I wasn't about to ask for the "moment" to be recreated. Actually, now that I think of it, I had an sb800 mounted on the camera bouncing off the ceiling at the time of that freeze.

Regarding trying the AF-on button, if I depressed the horizontal one before the "freeze", that would focus. However, if I wasn't quick enough to realize the camera was going to freeze, the af-on button would not get the camera out of the freeze.

Finally, yes, the assist points were on. The problem I have with the assist points is that when you're not photographing faces (facial recognition), and you are photographing something small like a flower or a leaf, murphy's law has an assist point that doesn't contain your subject as the active focus point more often than not. That is why I prefer single point.

I'm sure Roberts is top notch, I was just wondering if as the assembly line is burned in, if the workers are more experienced and more problems have been reported so for instance the shutter release assembly area of the production is looked at more carefully. Just like we are reading less about the left focus problems on the D800, maybe they have found the problem with the assembly of the D4.

Thank you for your responses. I sent the camera cross-country by overnight express mail. They will receive it tomorrow, and hopefully ship one back to me in time for a wedding that I'm shooting on July 8. I will definitely keep you posted.




Jun 30, 2012 at 01:33 AM
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