D800 and AF - what I think

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
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Shotcents
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D800 and AF - what I think
7 months ago

This is my view based on having TWO D800 bodies (2nd one returned) and handling 11 or 12 D800 bodies since.

1) By and large the D800 AF is VERY good when using center point AF. Initially it was worse than my D700, often back focusing on eyes and static objects, especially in mixed lighting. The firmware update corrected that issue.

2) Without exception every D800 I've seen exhibits some degree of left AF point focus error, but ONLY on some lenses. Wide and fast glass is more prone to show the issue. My camera clearly shows it at 24mm on the 24-85vr kit lens. Several people have handed me their D800 bodies believing they did not have the issue. But they were wrong.

3) This has nothing to do with focus targets. The results are repeatable and constant for ALL subjects at ALL times.

4) Nikon's ability to repair this issue has been hit or miss. 4 of my friends have sent their cameras in. 2 were repaired imperfectly (but improved). 2 were made worse.

Summary:

When actually shooting with the various AF modes of the D800 the focus is very reliable overall. I would RARELY if ever click over to the left AF point at the extreme edge to acquire focus because I know that the left sensor is less capable anyway. I'm usually better off using the strongest AF points at the center. 
So this whole AF issue is, for many, blown WAY out of proportion. Naturally I'd prefer if my D800 is perfect. But few products this complex are. The D800 is, even with it's relatively few warts, an amazing miracle of a tool.

Along with my Df, the D800 is a stunning technological achievement that is often taken for granted by armchair techno-geeks and armchair spec hunters. It's few flaws are HUGELY out-distanced by it's incredible capabilities.

And that's that.

Cheers,

Robert

 Shotcents's gear list:Shotcents's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D800 Nikon D5200 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Nikon Df
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