I think my d800 has the AF issues too....i think

Started May 1, 2012 | Discussions
ocean7
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Re:jonstatt test
In reply to D800, May 2, 2012

D800 wrote:

ocean7,

Thanks for sharing.

How did you make Nikon admit that you camera has an issue with left AF? Did they ask you to submit sample images?

They never admitted that. I simply filled out the warranty form from their website with the problem description and sent my camera in. It came back 2 weeks later with a letter listing two items they have done (repaired something in the mirror box and AF calibrated). So they must have found something wrong. I did not call them or talk to them, neither before I sent it in, nor after their failed repair. I know others have called them and submitted images, but it's just not worth the trouble to me. I gave them the chance to repair it, it failed, so I sent it back to the dealer (with the same detailed problem description).

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resident
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Re:jonstatt test
In reply to ocean7, May 2, 2012

If i can i think i will take the replacement

I was hoping here in Oz we might be ok with the focus problem since we didnt get a lot early on. But it seems to be everywhere.

Another poster LanceB posted some images on a tst he did and the images looked fine
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&message=41303976

Just wait and see on their reply...i'm wondering if the problem is in the E version as well

 resident's gear list:resident's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
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ashdot1111
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Re:jonstatt test
In reply to resident, May 2, 2012

My D800 is currently in at Anderson's Camera Repair in Brisbane. He said it was backfocusing and are going to calibrate the camera's autofocus. He was very excited as this was the first time he has held a D800 and are awaiting software from Nikon to calibrate it.

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resident
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Re:jonstatt test
In reply to ashdot1111, May 2, 2012

ashdot1111 wrote:

My D800 is currently in at Anderson's Camera Repair in Brisbane. He said it was backfocusing and are going to calibrate the camera's autofocus. He was very excited as this was the first time he has held a D800 and are awaiting software from Nikon to calibrate it.

While i ordered from camerapro in brisbane i'm actually in Victoria

I already spoke to Camera clinic down here but the lady didnt know what i was on about she suggested to write down what was wrong with it and send it in.

I think i will let camera pro handle it as hopefully the y can explain better what needs to be done to the technicians...May i ask how long they said it would take...would be very interested to see how yours turns out as more than likely mine will end up at the same place.
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 resident's gear list:resident's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
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ashdot1111
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Re:jonstatt test
In reply to resident, May 2, 2012

Hopefully by Friday.

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Nikon D90 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +1 more
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andrew_london
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Re: I think my d800 has the AF issues too....i think
In reply to resident, May 2, 2012

My D800 has exactly the same issue. It is now with Nikon Germany and they said that they will get a software to calibrate each AF point at the end of this week. A week earlier they said that they need to wait for Nikon headquarters to advise how to fix it and maybe the software is the key. The technician admitted that they've had complaints about this problem but he ruled out a general production fault (what else should he have said). I will report back as soon as the camera has arrived and really hope that they will be able to calibrate it.

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jonstatt
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Another test request for others please
In reply to andrew_london, May 2, 2012

I have a request.

This is not concerning the leftmost AF point, but AF in general based on the "colour temperature" of the lighting in the room at the time.

This is best executed by those of you that have a LensAlign or Spyder Lenscal.

Only use the centre AF point for this test.

First go to natural daylight. Pick a lens like a 50mm F1.4. And shoot the target. Ensure with fine tune if needed, that the focal point at "0" is exactly the centre of the DOF.

Now to go to a room with tungsten light. Shoot the same target. Has the DOF now moved? In my case it shifts forwards , front focusing.

I have found that incandescent light seems to cause the DOF to shift. I never noticed that on my D700 previously.

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jonstatt
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Look again at LanceB's pictures
In reply to resident, May 2, 2012

resident wrote:

If i can i think i will take the replacement

I was hoping here in Oz we might be ok with the focus problem since we didnt get a lot early on. But it seems to be everywhere.

Another poster LanceB posted some images on a tst he did and the images looked fine
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&message=41303976

Just wait and see on their reply...i'm wondering if the problem is in the E version as well

With pictures like the dog, it is really hard to tell how accurate the focus is because it is not that critical for that shot. You were taking pictures of a 2D plane. Even 1cm behind or infront would be noticeable at the distances you shot. But if you look at the close-up of the dog's eye, would it matter if the focus point was towards the back of the eye or the front. Look closely at the left eye (from our perspective) of the dog and the leftmost focus point, the focus is towards the back of the eye (hair is sharpest towards the left of the eye) which is furthest back. Now look at the rightmost focus point (hair is sharpest towards the right of the eye) which is at the front. And that is F3.2...imagine if he had used F1.4. It might have been the accuracy of his choice of focus target, the alignment of focus box to actual subject, or the tendency to backfocus on the left side. You cannot tell and for those shots, it doesn't matter!

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Julian Vrieslander
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Re: Another test request for others please
In reply to jonstatt, May 2, 2012

Are you shooting both tests at the same aperture? The 50/1.4 shows focus shift. If a shot is made at an aperture less than wide open, the focus changes when the lens stops down (after measuring focus at max aperture). To remove this variable and eliminate the shifts, shoot all the focus tests at 1.4.

Forgive me if this is old news. If the effect you are seeing is not due to aperture differences, I'm interested in learning more about what is causing it. But right now, I don't have a camera to test. I returned my D800 to the dealer this evening.

jonstatt wrote:

I have a request.

This is not concerning the leftmost AF point, but AF in general based on the "colour temperature" of the lighting in the room at the time.

This is best executed by those of you that have a LensAlign or Spyder Lenscal.

Only use the centre AF point for this test.

First go to natural daylight. Pick a lens like a 50mm F1.4. And shoot the target. Ensure with fine tune if needed, that the focal point at "0" is exactly the centre of the DOF.

Now to go to a room with tungsten light. Shoot the same target. Has the DOF now moved? In my case it shifts forwards , front focusing.

I have found that incandescent light seems to cause the DOF to shift. I never noticed that on my D700 previously.

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jonstatt
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Re: Another test request for others please
In reply to Julian Vrieslander, May 2, 2012

Julian Vrieslander wrote:

Are you shooting both tests at the same aperture? The 50/1.4 shows focus shift. If a shot is made at an aperture less than wide open, the focus changes when the lens stops down (after measuring focus at max aperture). To remove this variable and eliminate the shifts, shoot all the focus tests at 1.4.

Hi Julian. Yes this is all at F/1.4 and same subject distance (chart about 1.5 metres away). The only thing that is changing is the room lighting.

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RBarbera
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Re: Another test request for others please
In reply to jonstatt, May 2, 2012

Anybody else think that this effect could be caused by chromatic aberration on the AF micro lenses?. With a warmer light, the image the AF lenses forms will be in other plane that with a cooler light source for a subject at the same distance. I think that this'll account for a focus shift that depend on the color temperature.
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jonstatt
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Re: I think my d800 has the AF issues too....i think
In reply to andrew_london, May 2, 2012

andrew_london wrote:

My D800 has exactly the same issue. It is now with Nikon Germany and they said that they will get a software to calibrate each AF point at the end of this week. A week earlier they said that they need to wait for Nikon headquarters to advise how to fix it and maybe the software is the key. The technician admitted that they've had complaints about this problem but he ruled out a general production fault (what else should he have said). I will report back as soon as the camera has arrived and really hope that they will be able to calibrate it.

Sounds like you got more information there than I have seen elsehwere. I know another poster referred to calibrating each focus point, but I think we assumed this was already a feature that Nikon always had.

However, what I was able to find out from a camera service guy (and this is not verified), is that at the factory that some models of camera have no factory calibration , relying totally on manufacturing tolerances, and for those that do, only the centre point is calibrated. The tolerances in manufacturing of the focus sensor array assume that all focal points are in alignment with each other and parallel to the plane and don't need individual tuning. In some cases people have noticed front-focusing of the right side, and back-focusing of the left, indicating alignment error. In other cases, like mine, both sides back-focus but the left is worse, indicating a distortion in the focus unit itself (if it is indeed a hardware issue).

Either way, aligning individual points is very time consuming and will certainly cost a lot of time and effort for returned cameras.

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resident
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Re: I think my d800 has the AF issues too....i think
In reply to andrew_london, May 2, 2012

andrew_london wrote:

My D800 has exactly the same issue. It is now with Nikon Germany and they said that they will get a software to calibrate each AF point at the end of this week. A week earlier they said that they need to wait for Nikon headquarters to advise how to fix it and maybe the software is the key. The technician admitted that they've had complaints about this problem but he ruled out a general production fault (what else should he have said). I will report back as soon as the camera has arrived and really hope that they will be able to calibrate it.

Hope the results are good for you.

A few people are saying similar things that it's a software. Hopefully it can be resolved for all soon
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 resident's gear list:resident's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
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jonstatt
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Process that may help others find compromise for now
In reply to resident, May 2, 2012

This advice may be useful to others. While we are waiting for Nikon to have a proper, reliable fix. After 2500 shots messing around (thank goodness the shutter is good for 200,000 shots!), I have dialled in my lenses as best I can.

I believe my camera has a tendency to backfocus slightly in general because all lenses that were dialled in were negative numbers if anything.

I have got all my lenses usable with even the outermost points work in all but extreme circumstances as follows

105DC F2 - No problems at any points. No fine tuning needed (this lens normally front focuses)

105VR F2.8 - No problems at any points. A fine tuning of -5

80-400VR - No problems at any points. No fine tuning needed

28-70 F2.8 - No problems at any points. No fine tuning needed

14-24 F2.8 - No problems at any points up to about 20 feet. Leftmost points okay up to 40 feet at 24mm but slightly soft at 14mm. A fine tuning of -16

50 F1.4G - No problems at any focus points up to 10 feet. Leftmost points okay at longer distances at F2.8 and beyond but slightly soft at F1.4

So how did I achieve this? Here is the process

1) Using something like Lens Align or Spyder Lenscal, optimise the centre AF point such that it is exactly in the middle of the DOF. Use the widest aperture for this, and a distance of about 25x focal length. Compare against liveview version to ensure identical. This gives you, your frame of reference starting point fine tuning.

2) Now, take a picture using the leftmost AF point. Then follow this with an identical picture using Liveview

3) Keep adjusting the fine tuning (higher negative number) until you get the leftmost AF point to be the same as the liveview version

4) Go back to the centre focus point and see if it still within DOF or now softer. If softer, adjust fine tuning back until you find the point that just brings you back into DOF.

This will be the optimum position. For my camera at least, as you can see, I can get close to correct for all but the two most challenging lenses in my collection and even then, would rarely hit the problems in actual shooting. This is because I think outside focus points are rarely used on the 14-24 for most shooters...I can't think of a good reason. And for the 50mm at longer distances you would probably be closing that aperture down beyond F1.4, or if not, would be near the centre for the subject.

Note, I had to get hold of a second copy of the 50mm lens to get to this point. The first sample was problematic on this camera no matter what I did, resulting in soft leftmost images even at F4 and beyond. On the D700 I didn't have this challenge so its not a bad lens as such.

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ashdot1111
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Re: I think my d800 has the AF issues too....i think
In reply to resident, May 2, 2012

My camera repairer is awaiting software to calibrate left/centre/right.

 ashdot1111's gear list:ashdot1111's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +1 more
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resident
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Re: Process that may help others find compromise for now
In reply to jonstatt, May 2, 2012

jonstatt wrote:

This advice may be useful to others. While we are waiting for Nikon to have a proper, reliable fix. After 2500 shots messing around (thank goodness the shutter is good for 200,000 shots!), I have dialled in my lenses as best I can.

I believe my camera has a tendency to backfocus slightly in general because all lenses that were dialled in were negative numbers if anything.

I have got all my lenses usable with even the outermost points work in all but extreme circumstances as follows

105DC F2 - No problems at any points. No fine tuning needed (this lens normally front focuses)

105VR F2.8 - No problems at any points. A fine tuning of -5

80-400VR - No problems at any points. No fine tuning needed

28-70 F2.8 - No problems at any points. No fine tuning needed

14-24 F2.8 - No problems at any points up to about 20 feet. Leftmost points okay up to 40 feet at 24mm but slightly soft at 14mm. A fine tuning of -16

50 F1.4G - No problems at any focus points up to 10 feet. Leftmost points okay at longer distances at F2.8 and beyond but slightly soft at F1.4

So how did I achieve this? Here is the process

1) Using something like Lens Align or Spyder Lenscal, optimise the centre AF point such that it is exactly in the middle of the DOF. Use the widest aperture for this, and a distance of about 25x focal length. Compare against liveview version to ensure identical. This gives you, your frame of reference starting point fine tuning.

2) Now, take a picture using the leftmost AF point. Then follow this with an identical picture using Liveview

3) Keep adjusting the fine tuning (higher negative number) until you get the leftmost AF point to be the same as the liveview version

4) Go back to the centre focus point and see if it still within DOF or now softer. If softer, adjust fine tuning back until you find the point that just brings you back into DOF.

This will be the optimum position. For my camera at least, as you can see, I can get close to correct for all but the two most challenging lenses in my collection and even then, would rarely hit the problems in actual shooting. This is because I think outside focus points are rarely used on the 14-24 for most shooters...I can't think of a good reason. And for the 50mm at longer distances you would probably be closing that aperture down beyond F1.4, or if not, would be near the centre for the subject.

Note, I had to get hold of a second copy of the 50mm lens to get to this point. The first sample was problematic on this camera no matter what I did, resulting in soft leftmost images even at F4 and beyond. On the D700 I didn't have this challenge so its not a bad lens as such.

Thanks for all your help and the detailed explanation.
I might grab one of these lens align things and give it a go.

In the past i've just used the gear and they have worked but with the d800 they just weren't right and thats from taking photos of what i normally shoot and doing what i've always done.

I can understand that the extra resolution has an effect but not to the extent that i was seeing.

Hopefully Nikon finds a proper solution soon...maybe the software to recalibrate is what it is as a few people are saying that's what service centres are saying
thanks again

Maybe
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 resident's gear list:resident's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
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jonstatt
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Small correction
In reply to jonstatt, May 2, 2012

My previous note failed to give the AF Fine tune for the 50mm lens which is -8

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Scot_P
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Re: Process that may help others find compromise for now
In reply to resident, May 2, 2012

Can someone explain what software the service center techs are waiting for from Nikon to calibrate L-C-R focus that is specific for the D800? Where is it loaded, how is it used? Am I misunderstanding what is being said?

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jonstatt
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Re: Process that may help others find compromise for now
In reply to Scot_P, May 2, 2012

We don't know exactly but we believe it is software used in their service centres to assist with recalibrating the focus points on our cameras. It probably has 3 focal point settings that get used, and the values for the other sensors are interpolated. This is not software that you or I can use, and is not software that gets loaded onto the camera. It is a tool to allow them to effectively recalibrate our cameras.

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ukat123
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Re:jonstatt test
In reply to D800, May 2, 2012

I do not think it is a hardware issue. If you use DX lenses such as the 16-85DX or the 17-55DX, the AF works perfectly.

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