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Archive 2012 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?
  
 
ausemmao
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


dgardner wrote:
does not seem to be a consensus...


Well, there won't be.

Even if the focus issue is solved, there will still be a baseline level of problems, as there are with every camera ever released. And the D800 has enough resolution to make what would have been borderline or fine bodies in the D3/700 generation become 'unacceptable' now. Add to that that many people will not be able to tell the difference between a normal body and a problematic one (witness the threads asking if the problem is there), you're not going to get an accurate picture from forum posts.

FTR, in my case a November purchased first D800 had issues, second is fine.



Nov 26, 2012 at 09:18 PM
S Dilworth
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


I ordered a D800 from Amazon Germany (presumably a shop with very high turnover) in mid-November, and still got one with the problem. Serial number 6073xxx. If Id read this thread first Id probably have ordered from a local dealer, but I was under the mistaken impression the problem had been fixed months ago. No such luck.


Dec 04, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Alan321
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


trenchmonkey wrote:
....and speaking for the many thousands of happy D800(e) campers, what focus problems


TM, are you rarely if ever use more than one AF sensor?
Do you primarily use just the middle AF sensor ?
Do you primary use smaller apertures ?

A lot of people who answer yes to any or all three questions would never see the focus problem even if their camera had it and they also knew how sharp the images could be and should be. The problem mostly showed up when using the left and centre AF sensors at the same time (AF expansion) or using one or the other in different shots (with consistently different results). I suspect you and your work as typically posted would not fall into that category (which, by the way, means kudos to you).

- Alan

[just noticed that this was my post # 9,000. Still way short of TM's post count but I'm working on it ]


Edited on Dec 04, 2012 at 02:24 PM · View previous versions



Dec 04, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Alan321
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


The focus issue was supposedly fixable a few months ago but it turns out that the fix was sometimes as bad as the problem, either not really fixing the focus inconsistency or doing so at the expense of losing AF fine tuning latitude. Then it seems that by November 2012 Nikon (USA at least) had not only recognised the problem but fixed it at the source for all new cameras and also fixed the defective/deficient repair process for the older cameras.

Thom Hogan had articles on this matter and removed his recommended rating for the D800 because he had seen too many confirmed problems both personally and via people who sent in test results for a test that carefully followed a procedure that he had documented. He now has it back up to recommended because it seems that the specific problem has been addressed successfully.

You'd still want to be careful about buying a second hand D800 or D800E.


My D800E was bought in Australia in November 2012 and was supposed to be very recent stock (primarily because most of the stock seemed to be sent to the USA rather than Australia, even though we pay for it). I have not seen the AF problem directly but just one of my lenses needs AF fine tuning of about +20. My experience with AF fine tuning is that it can vary a lot with shooting distance for the very same lens. When I get Focal for Mac working and the test targets printed I will be using it to try and get more consistent and more accurate AF fine tuning, and I'll get a better indication of how much if any variance there is between AF sensors.

- Alan



Dec 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


TM, are you rarely if ever use more than one AF sensor?
Do you primarily use just the middle AF sensor ?
Do you primary use smaller apertures ?

Hey, Alan...congrats on 9K

Here's my story:
I use any of the 21 in AF-C (the 2 add'l x-type sensors is huge over the 9)
Stopping down is ~f5.6 to a 'monkey, as I'm usually close to wide open with fast glass.
For grins over the weekend I looked at my last 100 print sales. 2 were with the far left AF point,
3 were with the far right. Shootin' stuff that moves, it looks like 95% of my work is with the 21.

Let the record show, I don't shoot test charts and never shot a brick wall in my life. EEMMV




Dec 04, 2012 at 02:39 PM
mshi
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


I heard the ultimate focus test is to put Nikon 14-24 on, and that lens will reveal the issue that other lenses can't show you.


Dec 04, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Javier Munoz
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


Alan321 wrote:
My experience with AF fine tuning is that it can vary a lot with shooting distance for the very same lens.

- Alan


I am afraid that this might be a lens related problem rather than a body one. Although I am sure other people with more expertise might give you a better input.



Dec 04, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Bruce Sawle
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


mshi wrote:
I heard the ultimate focus test is to put Nikon 14-24 on, and that lens will reveal the issue that other lenses can't show you.



Interesting I just rented this lens last weekend for a real estate shoot. I owned this lens with my D3x but had not tried it on the d800. I still had in the back of my head the left focus issue that was fixed by Nikon. So I decided to try the 14-24 at 14 to see how it performed. Lets just say at f2.8 it put my 28 and 24 prime lenses corners to shame. It is undeniably the sweetest ultra wide lens I have used. And a true test to how well he D800 performs.



Dec 04, 2012 at 05:53 PM
 

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mshi
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


Bruce Sawle wrote:
Interesting I just rented this lens last weekend for a real estate shoot. I owned this lens with my D3x but had not tried it on the d800. I still had in the back of my head the left focus issue that was fixed by Nikon. So I decided to try the 14-24 at 14 to see how it performed. Lets just say at f2.8 it put my 28 and 24 prime lenses corners to shame. It is undeniably the sweetest ultra wide lens I have used. And a true test to how well he D800 performs.


Make sure you compare what you get using the viewfinder with using Live View.



Dec 04, 2012 at 06:03 PM
yseany
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


I received a D800E earlier in November with a serial of 3009XXX. It seems like the problem is within tolerance/fixed. The below are my test results (both taken about 6ft away at 24mm f/2.8).

14-24mm

24-70mm

Also, what I found odd was that if I used a star chart, it always threw off the left AF but the right one would still be much more in focus.



Dec 04, 2012 at 08:14 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


Make sure you compare what you get using the viewfinder with using Live View.
Curious, do you know any PJ's etc. who shoot with "live view" If you're a landscape shooter,
hell...ya don't even need AF, just sayin'. Perhaps all this "testing" is the REAL problem here.



Dec 04, 2012 at 08:43 PM
mshi
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


trenchmonkey wrote:
Curious, do you know any PJ's etc. who shoot with "live view" If you're a landscape shooter,
hell...ya don't even need AF, just sayin'. Perhaps all this "testing" is the REAL problem here.


what i mentioned was not about shooting techniques either PJ or otherwise; it's all about finding out whether or not the famous AF issue is on the body. of course, you don't have to find out if you don't even using AF at all.



Dec 04, 2012 at 08:52 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


the "Re-Quote" button is your friend


Dec 04, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Bruce Sawle
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


mshi wrote:
Make sure you compare what you get using the viewfinder with using Live View.



No need for live view. I've done enough test to be able to identify the issue. This shot was a portrait of my son from 10 feet away. The softness/ back focus I saw with my 24 and 28 was not there even when those lenses were stopped down.



Dec 04, 2012 at 11:05 PM
xtralight
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


No problem here, left and right is the same. And I never use them anyway, just the 15 cross-type in the middle.

And I use Nikon 35mm F1.4G, 24mm F1.4G and 85mm F1.4G by the way.

Those side AF points are not as reliable as the 15 cross-type in the middle, so I do not use them.

Edited on Dec 06, 2012 at 03:24 AM · View previous versions



Dec 05, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Evangelos
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Is the D800 focus problem solved?


Here's my short and tormented experience with a D800E.

I made the decision to get rid of my Canon equipement and go the Nikon route. I picked up a refurb D800E (I should have known better) and found that the outer points on both sides were backfocusing compared to the center points. All I had for testing were a 35 f2D and an 85 1.8D. However, I found that with a -10 AF fine tune, everything was perfect. It seems the center point, while seeming sharp enough, was actually within the deeper dof enjoyed by the center of the lens, and also benefited from the AF fine tune.

I thought everything was fine. I went to a local camera shop with the intentions of picking up a 50 1.4, which is a lens I always like to have. First I tried a Sigma....it needed -20 for the center point and it was still backfocusing. Next I tried another Sigma...same thing. Finally, I tried a Nikkor....same thing. Well, the shop had a demo D800E. Boom....center point, no AF fine tune, perfect focus with center point. My heart sank, I realized I had a lemon. Returned my refurb D800E.

A few days later I went to the same camera shop, and checked out the same demo D800E. The center point was indeed fine. But, just to make sure, I checked the outer left points....severe backfocus with a 50 1.4, I checked the outer right focus points...severe backfocusing.

It seems that really fast glass (1.4) brings out the problem with D800's. I've read somewhere, I believe it was at Thom Hogan's site, that you won't see the problem with 2.8 zooms. Perhaps this is why many people don't see the problem with their D800's, they don't use fast glass.

Regardless, I'll be waiting another month or so and try to sniff out a high serial # D800E and take my chances. If it's the same deal....back to Canon.

Evan



Dec 05, 2012 at 06:22 AM
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