Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems

Started May 4, 2012 | Discussions
Bruce Bracken
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Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
May 4, 2012

I have been in weeks-long discussions with Nikon Support, have provided them many examples of the AutoFocus problems, video issues, and other miscellaneous problems, all detailed and iterated by many others on this forum and elsewhere on the net.

I received the typical "dunno" responses from the first tier of support, and when the ticket was escalated, David Dentry, General Manager of Customer Relations at Nikon, stated that there are no problems with the AutoFocus nor are there any problems with the "broadcast" video quality.

So, even though other tiers of Nikon Support have told me that, without a doubt, there are problems with AutoFocus and that I should send it in, and even though there are widespread reports from numerous other Nikon D4/D800 owners with these same problems, David Dentry, General Manager of Customer Relations at Nikon, is denying these AutoFocus problems. And all other problems. Essentially, Nikon is willing to take all of our money, and give us back a steaming pile of BS.

As a working professional who has invested more than $20k in Nikon gear, I can see now that I have made a huge mistake.

"Mr Bracken,

I'm David Dentry, General Manager of Customer Relations for Nikon your issue has been escalated to me for review. I do understand that it's frustrating when a new product doesn't meet expectations. However, I've reviewed your samples and they seem to be within the standards for the D4.

In the Crop Mode the video is recorded 1:1 at a pixel level and will always give the best results. At other settings there are different types of interpolation applied to reduce the sensor pixels to the video resolution and as such sharpness or detail will be lost .

Regarding the focus issues, the viewfinder focus points, LCD Image Review focus points software displayed focus points and actual autofocus sensors may not match 100% across the different platforms. It's completely normal to see some variance, especially in test conditions. Live View focusing uses a different type of focus system and will generally produce superior focus on the exact spot requested.

Based on the samples you've provide we feel your camera to be working within specifications, but the only way to tell for sure is to have our service technicians have a look so if you'd like to send it in we'd be happy to evaluate it. Thanks you for the time.

-David

David Dentry
General Manager, Customer Relations
Nikon Inc."

I provided Nikon with a number of examples proving this AutoFocus problem. Here are but two to make the point.

Live View - target in focus.

Viewfinder - target out of focus, and object 3 inches behind target in focus.

These two images prove the problem explicitly. Nikon can shove it.

Nikon D4
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ashdot1111
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

It's bulls* t. I've just purchased a D800 (see thread: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=41416408 ) and now regretting my choice of purchasing this camera. It seems that after-service support for this 'problem' is non-existent.

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Dominique Dierick
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

You may not like my reply, but a working professional would have send in the camera as requested by the Nikon spokesman, instead of writing a rant on a forum.

Have you tried lens tuning? From these two images I wouldn't be able to conclude anything either.

D.

Based on the samples you've provide we feel your camera to be working within specifications, but the only way to tell for sure is to have our service technicians have a look so if you'd like to send it in we'd be happy to evaluate it. Thanks you for the time.

-David

David Dentry
General Manager, Customer Relations
Nikon Inc."

I provided Nikon with a number of examples proving this AutoFocus problem. Here are but two to make the point.

Live View - target in focus.

Viewfinder - target out of focus, and object 3 inches behind target in focus.

These two images prove the problem explicitly. Nikon can shove it.

-- hide signature --

My equipment: Nikon D3s, D800, EOS 450D IR modded, EOS 60Da on order (if ever Canon wants to deliver)
The ladies equipment: Panasonic LX5 and GH2 for video

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faterikcartman
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

Wow. Recently read the owner of Lens Rentals talk about problems with lenses that they know are correctable but where Nikon's response is "withing specifications". I too have a crapload of money tied up in Nikon. But once you buy that glass you're almost a prisoner.

But come on, can that guy be serious that that kind of focusing is okay? Are we talking from your center focus point? There are any number of point and shoots that do better. Is this a Live-View camera only according to Nikon?

Am I missing something here?

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delete
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

I seem to be missing something here. David wrote

"Based on the samples you've provide we feel your camera to be working within specifications, but the only way to tell for sure is to have our service technicians have a look so if you'd like to send it in we'd be happy to evaluate it. "

Why don't you just send it in then?

delete

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exposure
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

Whiltst I would be also dissappointed that you feel the camera isnt functioning as you would like. I cant see the problem with his response. He is happy to evaluate the problem if you send in your camera. What more do you want them to do?
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stany buyle
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...because there are no AF problems with D800.
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

After having used D1h-> D4, among Nikon, I consider D800 and D4 having the finest, fastest, most accurate and most reliable autofocus sytem until today.
Focusing with F8 lens/TC combinations is a revolution in AF.

http://www.nikonuser.info/fotoforum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1507&sid=d51046a2433eebee71cca1ae8175545b#p4129

My answer doesn't mean that there aren't any D800 units on the market which can have an issue requiring a service or repair. I had 2 D7000s which had a severe backfocusing problem, but after service in Nikon repair, they were focusing absolutely perfect.
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faterikcartman
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to delete, May 4, 2012

delete wrote:

I seem to be missing something here. David wrote

"Based on the samples you've provide we feel your camera to be working within specifications, but the only way to tell for sure is to have our service technicians have a look so if you'd like to send it in we'd be happy to evaluate it. "

Why don't you just send it in then?

delete

I'm sure he will. But since the D800 release I think I've read dozens of accounts where people did just that. And, except for one instance, the camera came back exactly the same or worse. And one even had further damage. I think, to me anyway, the OP's post goes a long way in explaining why.

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Bruce Bracken
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Dominique Dierick, May 4, 2012

Dominique, on the contrary - your response is fine, and typical.

The problem is this: Nikon denies the problem. Nikon doesn't have a fix for the problem.

So, both you and Nikon suggest I send my camera in so they can fiddle with some settings and send it back and pretend like it's all fixed?

Well, you read the forums as much as I do. You know that many people have, in fact, sent their camera in, and when they get it back, it is still not in satisfactory shape. Further, they are out all the money they spent on the initial shipping and insurance, plus repeated shipping and insurance rates.

In the end, I have not read about a single person who spent money on sending their camera in who received it back with 100% satisfactory results.

So, Dominique, why would you suggest I send my camera in when no one else who has done so has had their camera fixed?

That makes no sense.

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Dominique Dierick
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Just how many problems are there anyway
In reply to stany buyle, May 4, 2012

Since we are nearly 1.5 month after release, according to production numbers, there could be 45.000 D800's already on the market. A respectable 1% manufacturing dropouts with bad calibration would mean 450 camera's with an issue. Are there so many with bad AF? Who will tell...

stany buyle wrote:

After having used D1h-> D4, among Nikon, I consider D800 and D4 having the finest, fastest, most accurate and most reliable autofocus sytem until today.
Focusing with F8 lens/TC combinations is a revolution in AF.

http://www.nikonuser.info/fotoforum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=1507&sid=d51046a2433eebee71cca1ae8175545b#p4129

My answer doesn't mean that there aren't any D800 units on the market which can have an issue requiring a service or repair. I had 2 D7000s which had a severe backfocusing problem, but after service in Nikon repair, they were focusing absolutely perfect.
--
Kindest regards.
Stany Buyle
http://www.nikonuser.info

I like better one good picture in a day than 10 bad ones in a second..

-- hide signature --

My equipment: Nikon D3s, D800, EOS 450D IR modded, EOS 60Da on order (if ever Canon wants to deliver)
The ladies equipment: Panasonic LX5 and GH2 for video

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Fastmikefree
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to delete, May 4, 2012

Hi Delete

When I totally agree with you as a general statement, I should recognize that Nikon should take a better care of their customers when launching a product that obviously has an issue in regards to all the people reporting about the same problem on different forums.

Even in the last batch of cameras received by the shops, we are seing complaints, which means to me that Nikon is still sending 'defective' (too big word I know) products on purpose just to face the demand.

I think if they were selling cars they will already be in court...

Just my 2 cent, please don't take it wrong!

Phil

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Dominique Dierick
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

Just not true... There are at least 3 people reporting here that their problems are fixed up to the lens tolerances.

Not all repair centers may have the right software tool already it seems. Phone them and ask before sending it in. And never hand over a camera to a reception desk or shop keeper before having verified the repair notes they write on the paper. 'AF problem, calibrate' is just not good enough if that is what they wrote on it. The technicians will never look at the different AF points with such a message. He will try to calibrate center only using a reference lens. And you will get an unrepaired camera back.

Bruce Bracken wrote:

Dominique, on the contrary - your response is fine, and typical.

The problem is this: Nikon denies the problem. Nikon doesn't have a fix for the problem.

So, both you and Nikon suggest I send my camera in so they can fiddle with some settings and send it back and pretend like it's all fixed?

Well, you read the forums as much as I do. You know that many people have, in fact, sent their camera in, and when they get it back, it is still not in satisfactory shape. Further, they are out all the money they spent on the initial shipping and insurance, plus repeated shipping and insurance rates.

In the end, I have not read about a single person who spent money on sending their camera in who received it back with 100% satisfactory results.

So, Dominique, why would you suggest I send my camera in when no one else who has done so has had their camera fixed?

That makes no sense.

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My equipment: Nikon D3s, D800, EOS 450D IR modded, EOS 60Da on order (if ever Canon wants to deliver)
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Bruce Bracken
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No D4/D800 sent to Nikon for this problem has been returned satisfactory
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

No D4/D800 sent to Nikon for this problem has been returned satisfactory.

From all of the responses I have read from individuals who have sent their D4/D800's in for this repair, I have not read a single instance, and seen the before/after results, that show that Nikon did anything to completely fix this problem.

"Why not just send it in?"

Because it costs money to send it in and insure it. And when Nikon doesn't fix it, it costs even more money to repeatedly send it in and insure it.

Not to mention the fact that sending my 40-day old camera in forces me to register the warranty, which will kill the resale value.

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Bruce Bracken
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Dominique Dierick, May 4, 2012

Dominique Dierick wrote:

Just not true... There are at least 3 people reporting here that their problems are fixed up to the lens tolerances.

Link to them.

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reginalddwight
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

I can understand your frustration. I don't own a D4, but have the D800 with similar mis-focus issues with outer AF points using PDAF on certain lenses. Until folks who send their cameras to the Nikon Service Center in Melville, NY get the AF focus resolved with a definitive solution, I am continuing to use workarounds for now. I have read of a few success stories, but also many stories of send-ins to Nikon with no permanent fix.

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Bruce Bracken
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to reginalddwight, May 4, 2012

reginalddwight wrote:

I can understand your frustration. I don't own a D4, but have the D800 with similar mis-focus issues with outer AF points using PDAF on certain lenses. Until folks who send their cameras to the Nikon Service Center in Melville, NY get the AF focus resolved with a definitive solution, I am continuing to use workarounds for now. I have read of a few success stories, but also many stories of send-ins to Nikon with no permanent fix.

Please feel free to link to the success stories.

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Dominique Dierick
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

Search
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My equipment: Nikon D3s, D800, EOS 450D IR modded, EOS 60Da on order (if ever Canon wants to deliver)
The ladies equipment: Panasonic LX5 and GH2 for video

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Bruce Bracken
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Dominique Dierick, May 4, 2012

Dominique Dierick wrote:

Search

No. You said you had specific examples. Link to them. Otherwise your claims will be disregarded.

We have all posted proof of this problem. You claim people have gotten it fixed? Great. Prove it. Otherwise your statement is as full of BS as Nikon's.

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Ilkka Nissilä
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

The manager's response seems polite and to the point. He's saying that (phase-detect) autofocus is not perfect and there is variability in the results and this is normal. I find that to find reasonable values for fine tune I have to do at least five test shots per fine tune setting and then plot them in a graph to determine the approximate crossing point with zero error. This works out nicely. Individual shots can still be slightly out of focus - that's the nature of the technology.

The manager offers that Nikon can have a look at your camera so he's not really denying the possibility that there's something wrong with your unit. I think this is quite reasonable.

The AF results of the phase-detect systems in DSLR from Nikon, Canon, Sony etc. all have variability in the results; Nikon to my knowledge has the smallest errors as a system. I recall a recent a study that was published online regarding this matter and the results were Nikon > Canon > Sony. I can't find it now but it was quite recent (last year or the one before?).

Here's what I would do. I would do this repeat-five times test that I mentioned with your target and vary the focus fine tune in steps of 5 to see if the error is systematic. Every other time displace the focus manually first to the front, and every other time to the back of the target so that the starting point doesn't affect the results significantly (I guess you should do six repetitions and not five so that it's even). I would then plot the errors and see if you have to adjust the camera. Then compare with another unit using the multi-cam 3500 system and see if the residual error (after fine tune) is greater with your D4. If it is then you may have cause for complaint. But based on any individual focus result you cannot say that there is something defective with your camera.

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reginalddwight
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Re: Nikon Denies All AutoFocus Problems
In reply to Bruce Bracken, May 4, 2012

Bruce Bracken wrote:

reginalddwight wrote:

I can understand your frustration. I don't own a D4, but have the D800 with similar mis-focus issues with outer AF points using PDAF on certain lenses. Until folks who send their cameras to the Nikon Service Center in Melville, NY get the AF focus resolved with a definitive solution, I am continuing to use workarounds for now. I have read of a few success stories, but also many stories of send-ins to Nikon with no permanent fix.

Please feel free to link to the success stories.

Here is at least one I can remember reading. JMacedo posted his results after taking his D800 twice to a local Nikon Service Center in Thailand. There is another member from Sweden (?) who seemed to have the AF focus resolved as well.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=41384338

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