Nikon on left AF problem: "We're working on it.."

Started Aug 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Julian Vrieslander
Contributing MemberPosts: 974Gear list
Nikon on left AF problem: "We're working on it.."
Aug 23, 2012

I have had two unsuccessful repair attempts on my D800E. Today I called Nikon service and asked to speak with a supervisor or product specialist. The front line rep put me on hold, claiming that she would try to find a supervisor. When she returned, she gave me the following information. She said that Nikon is aware of a problem with the left side AF sensors, and that they are investigating it. She told me to hold onto my camera for now, and that they would call me back when they have more information.

This exchange could be interpreted in a couple of ways. Taking an optimistic view, it is the first time that I have heard anyone at Nikon admit to a specific problem with the left side AF sensors. In all my previous contacts with them, they acknowledged that my test shots showed focus errors. But the service invoices only described the repair work as a [generic] AF adjustment, and the results only affected the global AF calibration, probably equivalent to changing the internal zero point of the AF Fine Tune scale. This did not fix the large discrepancies between the central and left side AF sensors. I have a more detailed explanation, and sample images, here:

On this phone call, the rep immediately, and without prompting, described my issue as a "left AF" problem. So maybe the complaints from users are finally being acknowledged, they are briefing the reps on it, and the engineers are trying to develop an appropriate repair procedure.

The pessimistic view is that Nikon is overwhelmed with repair requests, and just trying to discourage more units from landing at their door. Will they just blow us off, hoping for the complaints to quiet down (and waiting for warranties to expire)? I'm still holding out hopes that they will eventually step up and provide a fix.

 Julian Vrieslander's gear list:Julian Vrieslander's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR +3 more
Nikon D800E
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