D800 left focusing problem - is it going away?
/forum/topic/1154218/3

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James Markus
Registered: Jul 20, 2005
Total Posts: 4419
Country: United States

Though I purchased my D800 in June - it auto focuses brilliantly. No issues at all. Serial #301XXXXX I hope a resolution is found quickly.



ct8282
Registered: Nov 25, 2011
Total Posts: 2199
Country: United Kingdom

LizzieShepherd wrote:
ct8282 wrote:
LizzieShepherd wrote:
ct8282 wrote:
Mine has serial number 6061**.

I'm assuming then that this makes mine a much later manufacture than those start with a 3? Or is there a different serial pattern for those cameras that hit the UK?


I've got one on its way with same - 6006 start - so that may make mine older than yours though they only just got it in so who knows - but seems UK numbering is different. Hoping mine will have no problems though the majority of my work is tripod mounted and focussing manually....


I am very interested to know how you get on with you tests so please report back when you can.


Well I've had a chance to do some tests now - as always I tend to start from a position of assuming/hoping there's nothing wrong and only do tests if I'm getting repeated problems. This did seem to be the case and I've done a test along very similar lines to yours with similar results I'm afraid. I only have the 24-120 f/4 VR lens at this time but it was quite easy to see the problem at f/4! I believe the lens is marginally back focussing to start with but, that aside, the outer left point is nowhere near achieving focus. Right one is a little worse than the centre but not nearly as bad as the left. I've not tried any other points as it's too tedious but the problem is there quite clearly so the shop are going to get back to me on best way forward from here.


Sorry to hear you are having the same problem. I am still waiting for the retailer to sort my issue out. They are telling me that Nikon are actually denying the problem altogether! This is bad news but also very odd seeing that the Nikon service centre in the UK have confirmed that they are aware of the fault and can recalibrate the AF points to rectify it.

Either way, I will not rest til I have a D800 that works as I expect a 2k camera to work. Problems with the AF system is just not good enough at this level, or indeed any level of camera in my opinion.



yseany
Registered: Jun 12, 2009
Total Posts: 36
Country: United States

I just received and tested a 3046XXX D800; there was no left AF issue (the left was actually slightly better than the right) when tested with a 14-24mm f/2.8. However, the whole AF system required a -20 to get the center AF to be almost sharp (which the lens did not require on other bodies or a prior tested D800 with left AF issue). Will probably return and go for a D800E upgrade since there seems to be better responses on recent purchases.



ecidi
Registered: Apr 22, 2004
Total Posts: 2096
Country: United States

James Markus wrote:
Though I purchased my D800 in June - it auto focuses brilliantly. No issues at all. Serial #301XXXXX I hope a resolution is found quickly.


Just received my D800e from B&H that I pre-ordered March 4 and so far I have no AF problems. Serial number is 3007xxx



CGrindahl
Registered: Dec 17, 2004
Total Posts: 13100
Country: United States

mshi wrote:
CGrindahl wrote:

This is why the identified problem makes no difference to my friend. As a person who has shot for years with LF camera he DOES focus manually and now that he's shooting digital, her relies on live view. When he came back from his last two week excursion in the Sierra mountains, he said he'd taken less than a hundred photos and that six of those are potentially useful to him. I'd have been proud of any of the six but you won't find me truck camping for two weeks hiking up mountains loaded with gear to try to get the sunrise and sunset shots. He left this morning for another trip, his first with the D800. I look forward to hearing about his experience once he returns.


That reminds me of landscape shooter Michael Levin, who just edited his entire trip to Italy down to one images out of total 50 or so images.







You can view some of his work here: http://www.michaellevin.ca/gallery



Amazing stuff... very much to my liking. My friend does more classical landscape work. Here is his website...

http://georgeward.com


LizzieShepherd
Registered: Mar 24, 2007
Total Posts: 718
Country: United Kingdom

ct8282 wrote:

Sorry to hear you are having the same problem. I am still waiting for the retailer to sort my issue out. They are telling me that Nikon are actually denying the problem altogether! This is bad news but also very odd seeing that the Nikon service centre in the UK have confirmed that they are aware of the fault and can recall rate the AF points to rectify it.

Either way, I will not rest til I have a D800 that works as I expect a 2k camera to work. Problems with the AF system is just not good enough at this level, or indeed any level of camera in my opinion.



That's odd - I'm not getting quite the same story. My retailer has no more 800E's and say Nikon can't supply them with any more, otherwise they'd replace it. They would happily send it in for me but it's quicker if I do so myself. However, I've just been on to the Nikon Service Centre who say they are unaware of the problem but to send it in and they would look at it. Not entirely reassuring! They are adamant they've not been told about it from Nikon HQ or anywhere else... I guesss I'll just have to hope they can sort it and be thankful I've not sold my Canon gear just yet!



mshi
Registered: Dec 13, 2010
Total Posts: 3402
Country: United States

CGrindahl wrote:

Amazing stuff... very much to my liking. My friend does more classical landscape work. Here is his website...

http://georgeward.com


Seems like your friend does traditional stuff. The Canadian shooter, Michael Levin, used to be a restaurant owner/operator. Just a few years ago, he sold his restaurant and picked up a DSLR to learn composition but he went to shoot large format film. Basically he turned himself into an internationally renowned artist overnight. Initially he was identified by IKEA. and some of his early images were licensed to IKEA. Later he own a number of grand awards in some intense international competitions, such the North America's PDN Annual and Europe's PX3.



ct8282
Registered: Nov 25, 2011
Total Posts: 2199
Country: United Kingdom

LizzieShepherd wrote:
ct8282 wrote:

Sorry to hear you are having the same problem. I am still waiting for the retailer to sort my issue out. They are telling me that Nikon are actually denying the problem altogether! This is bad news but also very odd seeing that the Nikon service centre in the UK have confirmed that they are aware of the fault and can recall rate the AF points to rectify it.

Either way, I will not rest til I have a D800 that works as I expect a 2k camera to work. Problems with the AF system is just not good enough at this level, or indeed any level of camera in my opinion.



That's odd - I'm not getting quite the same story. My retailer has no more 800E's and say Nikon can't supply them with any more, otherwise they'd replace it. They would happily send it in for me but it's quicker if I do so myself. However, I've just been on to the Nikon Service Centre who say they are unaware of the problem but to send it in and they would look at it. Not entirely reassuring! They are adamant they've not been told about it from Nikon HQ or anywhere else... I guesss I'll just have to hope they can sort it and be thankful I've not sold my Canon gear just yet!


Blimey. This is very concerning. I would not be comfortable sending mine in if they old me that, as they'd prob just faff about with it and send it back saying no fault found.
This is starting to piss me off now. I'm close to returning mine for a refund and going elsewhere. The price I got was very good but they've come down a bit now so the deal isn't so great anymore. I will wait til the weekend and then just take it back.



LizzieShepherd
Registered: Mar 24, 2007
Total Posts: 718
Country: United Kingdom

ct8282 wrote:
Blimey. This is very concerning. I would not be comfortable sending mine in if they old me that, as they'd prob just faff about with it and send it back saying no fault found.
This is starting to piss me off now. I'm close to returning mine for a refund and going elsewhere. The price I got was very good but they've come down a bit now so the deal isn't so great anymore. I will wait til the weekend and then just take it back.


Yup I quite agree! Hence my dilemma. I really wasn't expecting to find problems - what with waiting 6 months and knowing many were ok... I did a bit more research earlier this evening and found evidence of a few people who had got successful results from Nikon UK, after more than one return and supposedly being given a senior technician to resolve. Ether way, not something to fill one with confidence if you know you may have to go back several times. Particularly as they've suggested turn around time of 2-4 weeks! I'm not sure what rights are regarding refunds etc - I know we don't have the same policy as in the US where it seems you can return things you've used after some time - but I'm going to find out more tomorrow. I feel bad for the shop though because it's certainly not their fault!



tpsfoto
Registered: Jan 03, 2006
Total Posts: 1695
Country: United States

I just ordered a D800 Nikon refurb... shot count 315 price USA $2635.00 shipped free. SUPER DEAL. Since I have not gotten it yet to test .... do we think Nikon fixed these before putting them up for sale as a refurb? This was from a reputable dealer not the Nikon store front.



Marshall Alsup
Registered: Apr 08, 2007
Total Posts: 79
Country: United States

Well, I decided to risk it. I ordered a D800 from Amazon today. Should be here tomorrow. I'm leaving for the weekend so I probably wont get much of a chance to test it out, unless I can do it tomorrow night, and that depends on work. Either way, I'll post the SN range and my initial thoughts about the focusing. Wish me luck



ct8282
Registered: Nov 25, 2011
Total Posts: 2199
Country: United Kingdom

LizzieShepherd wrote:
ct8282 wrote:
Blimey. This is very concerning. I would not be comfortable sending mine in if they old me that, as they'd prob just faff about with it and send it back saying no fault found.
This is starting to piss me off now. I'm close to returning mine for a refund and going elsewhere. The price I got was very good but they've come down a bit now so the deal isn't so great anymore. I will wait til the weekend and then just take it back.


Yup I quite agree! Hence my dilemma. I really wasn't expecting to find problems - what with waiting 6 months and knowing many were ok... I did a bit more research earlier this evening and found evidence of a few people who had got successful results from Nikon UK, after more than one return and supposedly being given a senior technician to resolve. Ether way, not something to fill one with confidence if you know you may have to go back several times. Particularly as they've suggested turn around time of 2-4 weeks! I'm not sure what rights are regarding refunds etc - I know we don't have the same policy as in the US where it seems you can return things you've used after some time - but I'm going to find out more tomorrow. I feel bad for the shop though because it's certainly not their fault!


As far as I know you have 30 days to legally return an item for a full refund if it is faulty. After this time the store don't have to issue you a refund but instead can send the item off for repair under warranty. Don't feel bad for the store though. At the end of the day you are the customer and you have the right to be provided with goods that work correctly out of the box. You wouldn't buy a new toaster and be happy if you found it only toasted 1 side of the bread would you? You'd take it right back and expect a replacement. No difference here as far as I can see. The camera is not focussing correctly on one side, which in my mind is quite a major defect for a device which is fundamentally based around its ability to focus on the item you are trying to photograph.
If you haven't already I would call the store and explain the problem to them. Say that you wish to swap the unit and that you haven't done any shooting with the camera other than to test the AF points. Explain that you will test the replacement camera in the same way and that if you experience the same problem you will be back again looking for a swap once more or a full refund. You could even offer to test the replacement camera in store. I did this as I didn't want the store staff to think I was making it up. I had 4 people including the manager witness the fault first hand.

Anyway, good luck and let me know how you get on.



tpsfoto
Registered: Jan 03, 2006
Total Posts: 1695
Country: United States

UPDATE the refurb from Hunts ....came in perfect
They said 315 actuations & it turned out to be 19
$2635.00
the AF was perfect all around.



ct8282
Registered: Nov 25, 2011
Total Posts: 2199
Country: United Kingdom

Rub it in why don't you! Lol. Good for you mate. I'm slowly losing my temper now. Full refund will be requested imminently.



LizzieShepherd
Registered: Mar 24, 2007
Total Posts: 718
Country: United Kingdom

ct8282 wrote:
Rub it in why don't you! Lol. Good for you mate. I'm slowly losing my temper now. Full refund will be requested imminently.

Unfortunately my retailer is based too far away for me to go in and they have no idea when they are going to be able to get another 800E in any case - so I've sent it in to Nikon. They said it would have had to go there to be checked before they could have issued a refund - I don't know if this is legally correct or not but I'm sure they will sort me out in the end, one way or another. Not a great welcome back to Nikon though - particularly given the postal service they provide is only 48 hour. I get the feeling CPS may look after you rather better than NPS!



RCicala
Registered: Jan 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2930
Country: United States

Not a big series, but it might be worthwhile. We've tested 40 of our D800 and D800Es and found 3 with the left AF problem. As I've read elsewhere, all the ones we found with problems were in SN (3 or 8)000xxxxxx or (3 or 8)001xxx.

Nothing official, but at least a fairly large group of early release cameras all tested the same way. I will say when it was there, it was obvious. I never found myself making a 'maybe - maybe not' call.

The good news is 37 of 40 seemed fine - but I would add this was largely US bodies, from what I've read there seems to be some regional variation.



ct8282
Registered: Nov 25, 2011
Total Posts: 2199
Country: United Kingdom

Well the 3 I tested from the same retailer were all obviously duff. They are now getting a 4th unit which is from a 'new' batch so we'll see what happens.



wongsim
Registered: Jun 21, 2012
Total Posts: 2
Country: Indonesia

I hope Nikon can quickly short this problem. I really want to have one, but I dont want to send my brand new D800 to service centre straight away...



Marshall Alsup
Registered: Apr 08, 2007
Total Posts: 79
Country: United States

Marshall Alsup wrote:
Well, I decided to risk it. I ordered a D800 from Amazon today. Should be here tomorrow. I'm leaving for the weekend so I probably wont get much of a chance to test it out, unless I can do it tomorrow night, and that depends on work. Either way, I'll post the SN range and my initial thoughts about the focusing. Wish me luck


Alright, I'm back from the weekend and have had time to test my new D800. Wow, I think I'm screwed. I REALLY hope you guys tell me I tested wrong somehow. I followed Thom's instructions.

I hung a couple targets as described by him. I focused using the right most point, the center point, and then the left most point (setting the lens to infinity between each so it would have to obtain focus). I then tested one on the left side starting from close focus instead of infinity to see if it was different (it was even worse).

FYI My camera was ordered from Amazon last Wednesday Oct, 10. It is serial number: 3047xxx


Here are links to the photos on my flickr:

1. This was taken with the right most focus point:
regular size
100% view

2. This was taken with the central focus point:
regular size
100% view

3. This was taken from the left most focus point starting from infinity. It doesn't seem that bad, but its noticeably worse than the other two:
regular size
100% view

4. This was taken from the left most focus point starting from close focus. It is terrible.
regular size
100% view



JimmyChoo
Registered: Apr 22, 2004
Total Posts: 312
Country: Singapore

Marshall Alsup wrote:
Marshall Alsup wrote:
Well, I decided to risk it. I ordered a D800 from Amazon today. Should be here tomorrow. I'm leaving for the weekend so I probably wont get much of a chance to test it out, unless I can do it tomorrow night, and that depends on work. Either way, I'll post the SN range and my initial thoughts about the focusing. Wish me luck


Alright, I'm back from the weekend and have had time to test my new D800. Wow, I think I'm screwed. I REALLY hope you guys tell me I tested wrong somehow. I followed Thom's instructions.

I hung a couple targets as described by him. I focused using the right most point, the center point, and then the left most point (setting the lens to infinity between each so it would have to obtain focus). I then tested one on the left side starting from close focus instead of infinity to see if it was different (it was even worse).

FYI My camera was ordered from Amazon last Wednesday Oct, 10. It is serial number: 3047xxx



Here are links to the photos on my flickr:

1. This was taken with the right most focus point:
regular size
100% view

2. This was taken with the central focus point:
regular size
100% view

3. This was taken from the left most focus point starting from infinity. It doesn't seem that bad, but its noticeably worse than the other two:
regular size
100% view

4. This was taken from the left most focus point starting from close focus. It is terrible.
regular size
100% view


From what I can see, all 4 images look almost the same. If you mixed them up I wouldn't be able to tell which is which.

If you tested correctly using a wide angle lens, then you're OK



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