Nikon UK (Richmond) did indeed fix my AF

Started May 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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russbarnes
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Nikon UK (Richmond) did indeed fix my AF
May 9, 2012

OK, got my D800 back from Nikon UK Richmond today, and for those who haven't been following my camera came from Amazon.de about a month ago with the left sided AF fault. I went through the web based remote support first, supplied .NEF files for them to review and was very specific and articulate about the fault. They agreed that there looked to be a fault with the body (I supplied images from different lenses all exhibiting similar results) and they asked me to send it in. The body had s/n 60049xx suggesting it wasn't too early on in the manufactured batches.

They've taken 22 images, it was returned in perfect condition very well packed, the whole process took 10 days including delivery end to end, and I didn't pay anything for postage (they send you a pre-paid label for a Parcelforce 24 service) and the return was handled by CityLink.

First thing I checked was firmware, and it's showing A: 1.00, B: 1.00, L: 1.004 and I'm pretty sure that's what it went in with. The camera has not had a factory reset of any kind because all my settings were still in there (unless they backed them up first and restored them later).

The zero cost invoice I got (all under warranty) said 1 hour labour to "Check/adjust body focus to Nikon standard, Check, test and clean equipment". There was no evidence supplied showing any 'before and after' test images which was slightly disappointing.

Nonetheless I've taken 125 controlled test images off a tripod today at several different targets covering all of my lenses and it is clear that there is a SIGNIFICANT improvement in the left side, with a levelling of the right side performance too, now in line with EXACTLY what I expected in the first place and perhaps most importantly my own tolerance of acceptability. Lenses like my 50mm f/1.4G and Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 now exhibit identical behaviour and accuracy to my D700. My Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR is still my best performer, my god that lens is sharp.

The 'green dot' focus confirmation in the viewfinder is now very accurate with all my manual focus wide(ish) lenses namely my Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2, Nikon 24mm f/3.5 PC-E and Nikon 45mm f/2.8 PC-E. So much so in fact that with those lenses it is difficult to see any difference in focussing sharpness at all between centre, left and right at the widest apertures. The left point in particular was way off before. In comparison with any Live View images, the only way I could tell any difference was that the red Focus Box in NX2 is bigger when using Live View, otherwise there is no noticeable difference in performance now. Before it went in, Live View showed total accuracy on all points where focussing through the Viewfinder showed serious back focus on the left and to a lesser degree on the right.

My conclusion is that this AF fault that I and others have witnessed and described is ABSOLUTELY real, is in my view a significant issue and I suspect Nikon know it too. To those holding onto their cameras I would suggest going down the support path like I have now and ultimately sending the body in, because holding out for a Firmware fix looks like it might be futile to me, based on the fact that I do not believe my body has had any firmware update whatsoever.

Consider this: if you think the wait is bad now for a repair - imagine if Nikon release the first firmware update for the D800 with no fix for any AF issue? There is a possibility that hundreds if not thousands of people might suddenly start turning to these service centres for a manual fix, and then you might be into weeks and maybe even months for a repair?

 russbarnes's gear list:russbarnes's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Fujifilm X-E2 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +5 more
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