How I fixed my D800e's "left focus" issue

Started Jul 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
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photogeek
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How I fixed my D800e's "left focus" issue
Jul 9, 2012

So the other day I broke down and taped some targets to the wall to test out my D800e. Lo and behold, left AF point was extremely bad with my 35mm f/1.4G. After briefly contemplating sending it back to where I bought it from, I decided to try out my lowly 35mm f/2. It was much better in terms of sharpness, although of course microcontrast was sorely lacking wide open.

So I decided to play with fine tuning, similarly to what some other folks here have done.

I'm (somewhat) happy to report that by the time I set fine tuning to -20, the issue is by and large gone, and sharpness is good enough wide open to outresolve the sensor and cause moire. Moreover, it's pretty even between focus points. It's still no Summilux ASPH, not by any stretch, but at one third the cost I could live with the results I get from the Nikkor.

The crappy part, of course, is that I can't really fine tune the AF for this lens any further, and it is still a tad sharper in live view, so I guess I'm going to send it to Nikon for adjustment so that I could get the brutally sharp results I get in LV, but with ye olde phase detect AF.

Moral of the story: your D800's left AF issue is likely curable with fine tuning, at least until Nikon figures out WTF is going on and deploys a permanent fix.

The whole situation, however, disappoints me immensely. I expect better than this from Nikon. They've never disappointed me before. At a minimum, I expect that when I use a state of the art Nikon lens on a state of the art Nikon body, I get state of the art focusing precision, with no fine tuning of any sort.

Nikon D800 Nikon D800E
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