D810 with Nikkor fast (f/1.4) primes (24, 35 & 85mm)

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MisterHairy
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D810 with Nikkor fast (f/1.4) primes (24, 35 & 85mm)
3 months ago

Hello all. I and a number of other experienced photographers have been plagued with AF issues when pairing the three f/1.4 high end primes with our D800(E) cameras. The issue being a gross unrepeatability of the AF system where even with good AF targets, the camera will focus unreliably with these three lenses, scattering results in front of and (perhaps more commonly) behind the intended point with complete abandon. Not everyone seems to suffer from this, but those that do will know what I am talking about.

It is interesting that I do not see any such issues with the f/1.8 primes and have the 28, 35 and 85 f/1.8 lenses, all of which focus much more reliably on both of our D800Es.

Also interesting is the fact that all three f/1.4 primes focus very well indeed on our D700s.

Our D800Es are both equally affected by this. They are both "early" units from the first shipments into the UK but I have been able to repeat the behaviour on two recent D800s. I am a member of NPS and Nikon have evaluated the cameras and found them to be within specification, which did not surprise me one jot.

Eventually, I gave up on using the f/1.4 lenses and replaced them with either manual focus lenses or the cheap f/1.8 options for when AF is essential. I did rather like the results from the f/1.4 lenses though so my question (finally!) is this:

Does anyone who has a new D810 camera use it with the f/1.4 primes and if so, how is the AF? Not just wide open, but throughout the aperture range (up to f/8, say). How does the ambient light influence this; is it good in daylight but poor in artificial or low light or good in both? How about backlit situations? I am not much interested in speed of focus (these lenses are not exactly lightning fast anyway) as reliable and repeatable accuracy so that they can be used for event photography where the light is not always great and can change significantly from hour to hour.

Thanks for reading this far and thank you in advance for any information which you can share with me.

 MisterHairy's gear list:MisterHairy's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon Df Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED +15 more
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Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Nikon D810
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