Very recent D800E batch with AF appearing to be fixed/within tolerance?

Started Nov 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Very recent D800E batch with AF appearing to be fixed/within tolerance?
In reply to YseanY, Dec 2, 2012

I've had three D800E's (now owned by Nikon, or some unfortunate refurb purchaser).

The first one had terrible left/right asymmetry.

The second and third behaved like yours. (I tested with a LensAlign, so our testing methods are different, but I think we're seeing the same thing.)

IIRC, the left/right points were back focusing vs. the center point. (Or, put another way, the center point was front focusing.) I could micro-adjust the camera so the left/right points were accurate, or so the center point was accurate, but not both. When I say "accurate" here, I mean "sort of accurate"--I had to use all 20 points of micro-adjust, which makes you wonder how 21 or 22 points would have looked.

My guess, based on my three pathetic data points, is that the D800's AF system has fundamental design problems (in addition to manufacturing problems). I think they've been reusing the same AF technology for a long time, and that the flaws that were easy to ignore at 12 MP are intolerable now that we're at 36 MP.

Even the poster-boy for D800-AF-problems-are-solvable, Ming Thein, says "Something still doesn’t feel right with the autofocus system":

http://blog.mingthein.com/?s=d800

If you want to keep the camera, I'd suggest micro-adjusting for the center point, and using Live View whenever possible.

Personally, I just ran out of the energy required to tangle with the D800E and Nikon Service.

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