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Archive 2012 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?
  
 
mattcounts
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


Hi all,
I'm new to Nikon as I am currently in the process of switching over from a canon 5D mark II. I just picked up a D800 and a 14-24mm lens and took some test shots only to be really surprised by the lack of sharpness at 2.8 especially when focusing on farther away subjects such as landscapes.
here's a picture i took using autofocus:







here is a 100% of the center:







and here is the left side:








It seems to focus on subjects a lot better when they are close up but even then the clarity of images is drastically different than stopped down.

Is this normal for wide open or is there something wrong with the lens and or camera?



Sep 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM
mpwolfson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


Try taking identical shots, one with auto focus, the next using live view. It looks to me like your camera/lens combination just needs fine tuning of the auto focus. Using live view to take the shot should get you a well focused picture. If it doesn't, you may have a real problem. But I bet the trouble you are having is caused by the need to fine tune the lens to the camera.


Sep 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Sean Mills
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


Why would you want to shoot this scene at 2.8?


Sep 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM
mattcounts
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


Thanks for the response mpwolfson. I'll try to do a comparison tomorrow once it's bright out again. I'm hoping you're right!


Sep 17, 2012 at 12:55 AM
mattcounts
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


Sean: I normally wouldn't shoot this scene at 2.8 but I'm just testing the lens to make sure there isn't anything wrong with the focusing or possibly lens elements. The focus issue is also present when the subject is closer but it's less noticeable.


Sep 17, 2012 at 12:58 AM
MikeW
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


no exif data but i'd assume you had a decent shutter speed. the top of that 2nd building looks terrible, even for 2.8. Is it like this with other lenses or this lens on other bodies?


Sep 17, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


I almost think there's something wrong with the lens - that doesn't look just out of focus to me, it looks like a fogged and / or misaligned piece of glass or something. I'd double-check with live view first of course.


Sep 17, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Sean Mills
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


mattcounts wrote:
Sean: I normally wouldn't shoot this scene at 2.8 but I'm just testing the lens to make sure there isn't anything wrong with the focusing or possibly lens elements. The focus issue is also present when the subject is closer but it's less noticeable.


OK, just curious, because 2.8, at or near infinity, will definitely not be the lens at it's best. Though what you have here is beyond the scope of this lens on it's worst day.

I have had this lens a couple times before, and indeed this is the opposite of what you should expect. Try like people say AF adjusts, but honestly, if it's from a local shop or an easy to return e-tailer, I would just turn around and take it back.

It is the ultimate UWA, when you get a normal copy, you'll be blown away.



Sep 17, 2012 at 01:39 AM
snapsy
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


The first step is to get the lens focusing properly, then you can evaluate whether it has sharpness issues at f/2.8. I've found that focusing the 14-24mm on the D800 is extremely challenging, much more so than on the 12MP bodies I used my copy on prior to the D800. This is mostly due to the higher demands of 36MP, esp at the extreme corners/edges, but also due to a combination of focus shift on the lens between f/2.8 -> f/4.0+ plus the D800's LV implementation where the lens is always stopped down to the dialed-in aperture. Making matters more difficult is that when the 14-24mm is misfocused it produces all kinds of strange focus fields across the frame. It took me 300 actuations on my D800 to perfect focusing on the lens, and that was just at 14mm @ infinity!

I have a long thread about all of this here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=42026957. I'll save you from having to read it and give you a quick summary on getting your combo focusing well:

* For phase-detect AF (through the viewfinder), a perfect AF tune value is essential. I tuned my lens at infinity because I almost always shoot at the lens's hyperfocal distance. I had to do a full-matrix of AF-tune values (in +/-5 stop increments) across all the aperture values to find an optimal set of values that work at both f/2.8 and then everything else.
* For contrast-defect AF (Live View), the process was complex but luckily you can achieve good focusing without having to reproduce all my leg work: If you intend to shoot at f/2.8, make sure you're focusing at f/2.8 (aperture set to f/2.8 in LV). If you inted to shoot at any other aperture, focus *only* at f/4.0, then change to desired aperture to take your photo (if it's different than f/4.0). This advice is necessary to work around the focus shift on this lens, which is most prominent at f/2.8 -> f/4.0.



Sep 17, 2012 at 02:05 AM
dimitris77
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


To be honest this looks like a tilt and shift lens while tilted. I think there is something wrong with your lens.


Sep 17, 2012 at 02:22 AM
 

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snapsy
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


dimitris77 wrote:
To be honest this looks like a tilt and shift lens while tilted. I think there is something wrong with your lens.


It seems that way but when my copy is focused properly it's sharp from edge-to-edge.



Sep 17, 2012 at 02:28 AM
mattcounts
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


Thanks everyone for all the replies. So I tried some live view manual focusing and here's what I came up with.
these were at 24mm but its similar at 14mm as well
this was close up at 2.8 with the camera steady resting on the table:






with 100% crop that looks pretty good to me:






but when i moved the camera just to the other side of the table the center focus point of the frame looks almost like it has fringing or something
full image:






100% crop









Sep 17, 2012 at 03:14 AM
MikeW
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


tripod possible? have you tried af fine tuning at all?

Did you buy it 2nd hand?



Sep 17, 2012 at 03:52 AM
LMT1972
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


Stick it on a tripod > 1/6 even resting on a table might have some movement.

Cheers
Leigh



Sep 17, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


It's still (too) soft for me. With this combo you should get better results, tack sharp even at 100%
You should create a better controllable environment. Tripod, cable release, mirror lock-up, etc. The ambient light doesn't help either.



Sep 17, 2012 at 08:09 AM
georgeparis
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


I have the same camera and lens combination.
At first, i was also disappointed with blurriness of my shots even at short distance from the subject. But after AF fine tuning, i got great results.



Sep 17, 2012 at 09:10 AM
sandycrane
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


If this is the best the lens can do there is a problem. The 14-24 is an extremely sharp lens if focused properly.


Sep 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


Results look horrible. At f2.8 and even at 100% the bottle should be sharp.


Sep 17, 2012 at 02:43 PM
parsons
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


good grief penfold!

even focusing on my 1dsmk2 gives better results, and shooting at 2.8 at infinity is not a problem with regards clarity and sharpness.








Sep 17, 2012 at 06:07 PM
dimitris77
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 14-24mm f/2.8 or D800 focus issue?


I think its a lens issue. Sorry to bring bad news but it seems like something is misaligned on it. Can you return it?


Sep 17, 2012 at 07:10 PM
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