D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?

Started Jun 18, 2012 | Discussions
RumpelHund
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D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?
Jun 18, 2012

Hi all!

I will send my D800E back! My beloved 1.4/24, working like a charm on D700, is producing crap on the 800E only.

AF-Finetune to -15 (!) helps for all but left AF points at 40cm distance.
At 80cm distance these settings work almost good, but not on left point

At "infinity", like 3m only AF-finetune of 0 would help, these -15 produce unsharp images only.

I have to decide to return it (last two days to do so) or live with this issue. Decided I can't.
Back it goes.

Anybody with same issue? Anybody thinks me an idiot to do so?!
Please post your opinion.

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Nikon D700 Nikon D800E
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RumpelHund
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Image explanation
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 18, 2012

BTW: Upper row is AF-sensor, lower row is live-view's contrast AF. Left, mid, right.

Have not added an infinity example, but you can believe me they are crap with AF-finetune -15 and quite good at 0.

Since I usually shoot close and far quite mixed I decided it's not an option for me.
Sigh.

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bloomoose
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Re: D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 18, 2012

Why don´t you ship camera and lens to Nikon headquarters in Düsseldorf?
They will calibrate your system.
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RumpelHund
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Re: D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 19, 2012

As some people asked, lucky I found the images that decided the matter for me still on the card.

Please find below a 100% crop with the settings mentioned in this thread's beginning, optimised 800E AF-finetune with 1.4/24mm at 1.4 to have OK (not perfect) focus performance at very close (40cm) and close (80cm).

I felt like I might be able to live with this finetuning correction for the lens if it performs as OK at infinity. So tested with 3m distance for a start and did not need to go any further:

D800E and 1.4/24 obviously can deliver 36MP (see single pixle line at fish-logo on the book), but my sample did so only at contrast AF. With normal AF it was awful. So I sent it back.

Will return to Nikon 800E eventually, but really had a hard time to send first one back.

BTW: the 1.4/24 mentioned delivers perfect results on my D700. I came to be unhappy with the D800E performance from real life where I love close shots of the kids and found AF to be severly lacking (in my case, in my opinion).

Cheers
RumpelHund

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RumpelHund
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Re: D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 22, 2012

Don't feel like giving up on the topic, so went to a store that has the 800E in stock and asked if I may put on my 1.4/24mm.

Here's the result, same as on other, no fiddling with AF, just out of the box focus at 1.4 close up leftmost sensor and again from liveview's contrastAF

I am in contact with nicon service if, in case I buy such a camera, they feel like they can correct this behaviour. Awaiting their reply...

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Fastmikefree
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Re: D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 22, 2012

Exact same issue here!

The problem is very obvious with the 14-24. I got the same issue but showing less with the 85 1.8G. I can make it quiet good at 40cm but it becomes very bad at around 2 meters distance...

I also have quiet bad purple fringing, worst that I have seen for a while even on compact cameras...

Too bad for that price of hardware.

I will give a chance to Nikon service anyway as soon as feasible.

Thanks for sharing.

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Art Jacks
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Re: D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 22, 2012

Did you have the camera on a tripod ?

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em_dee_aitch
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Re: D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 22, 2012

I suggest testing the camera with a lens known for rock solid AF performance, like the 24-70/2.8G at 28mm.

The 24, 35, and 50 1.4G lenses all have their own "very special" AF characteristics (and that is a kind word choice) that makes utterly reliable performance hard to obtain with them. The fact that the 24G seemed to work fine on your D700 would not really persuade me. I have been round and round with Nikon service over the 24G, had three different copies of it, and essentially the verdict is that they know the 1.4G lenses have certain focus "behaviors" and yet they have never had a clear solution for it, even in the latest bodies.

I have seen this distance-sensitive AF Fine Tune issue on the D3s before, which is the same focus module as your D700, perhaps with some later software tune-ups. I ultimately just chose the value that seemed to work the best at avg near distances, and I regard it as useless for AF consistency at infinity, because it is. If you want to take an infinity landscape with the 24/1.4G then live view contrast focus is definitely the way to go. Luckily contrast focus is much snappier in the latest bodies than it was in the D3s era.

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RumpelHund
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Not tripod, but settled steadily on the table
In reply to Art Jacks, Jun 23, 2012

It's set flatly on the counter of the shop and I took some more shots. So I am sure there's no shake involved, if that's your concern.

So no, no tripod, but yes, not shaken.

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RumpelHund
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Thanks. Feel like I'll stiick with my D700
In reply to em_dee_aitch, Jun 23, 2012

Talked a bit to central german Nikon service and they advised me to send in camera and lens when I get it.

Seeing that my D700 is so fine I more and more feel like it might stick with me for another generation.

Let's see, not sure if I run into a perfect focussing D800 eventually all this might be history in an instant.

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RumpelHund
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Update: Going to service
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 28, 2012

Update: Using german law to send the 800E back without costs I ended up happy with my good old D700

A week later the supplier called me and whining about what a great camera the D800E is and how he cannot sell it for new now etc.
Being who I am I let him talk me into the deal

1. send it to Nikon central service with all my 1.4 optics (24,50,85) to optimise how they interact.

2. If happy afterwards: deal done, I keep the 800E. If focus issues remain: back it goes, money returns.

I just shipped the 7kg of glass and electronics (included the 4.0/300 for matching them all) and look forward to what miracles the service will make come true.

Will update you as news arise.

Joining a NikonSchool at Bregenz' sea show mid-July and urged service to have things back until then. Let's see.

At least one cannot say they feel like they cannot do it...

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: Sorry but
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 28, 2012

Sorry but - none of your subjects seem suitable for checking AF accuracy.
See your D800 instruction book as to why.

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GMack
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Re: Update: Going to service
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 28, 2012

RumpelHund wrote:

.....A week later the supplier called me and whining about what a great camera the D800E is and how he cannot sell it for new now etc.

Pretty much how my retail dealers here deal with cameras - or anything - that come back. They get sold again 'unfixed' as open boxes, checked fine by staff (ha!), new (ha!), refurbs (ha again!), or whatever they can get away with. When I worked at one, no way would they send it back to the company to fix as it cost him/them money and he'd have to pay for it as accounts come due and nothing to sell. He'd peddle it again and quickly, and usually all of us lowly ones in sales would run from that one so he or the manager would peddle it off. He'd rather peddle it and let the customer pay to get it fixed at their expense should they ever discover the issue. Some do. Some don't.

No doubt some bad bodies have shown up on here a time or two again. A lot of boxes are no longer sealed. One shop I know can and does repackage much as new with blister-wrap and the whole thing. They did it just last week after they opened the package to examine it and see it in front of us, then ran off into the back and it appeared again as a new sealed box in plastic like it had never been opened. Some of the major chains have a really nice repackaging center and can fool the public quite well.

Hopefully, the tech that gets yours does the right thing and finds the issue and addresses it. One tech (owner?) I recently talked to at an independent authorized shop was aware of the left/right issues when I mentioned about me picking mine up that day. I never thought to ask how he knew about it if it came from a customer or Nikon themselves. If it came from Nikon it could be telling they know of it and it is filtering to their independent service centers.

Mack

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ukat123
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Re: D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 28, 2012

Why are people so obsessed with this left AF point. I bet 99.9% of people only use the central point, which is close to perfection

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RumpelHund
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Looked, but...
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Jun 28, 2012

It's not that I got the camera and went to testing to find an issue. I used it as I did with my D700 and found that the images where not OK with the D800E. Focus was not on eyelashes but rather close to ears. Unexpected. Not nice.

That's all.

Don't think that's too much to expect, is it?

Tried it with some kind of test setup that I could think of and this gave it some kind of support as shown.

It's contrasty and even, so I don't see your point, maybe you can detail?

THanks!

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x0mlevi
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Re: Looked, but...
In reply to RumpelHund, Jun 28, 2012

I've been having problems at 1.4 with my new D800, but I was hoping its just because I've only had the camera a few days and hadn't figured it out yet. I was using a 50mm 1.4 that is razor sharp generally, but for some reason, anything below f2 was producing slight blurring...

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em_dee_aitch
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Re: D800E and 1.4/24: AF-Finetune is too rough?
In reply to ukat123, Jun 29, 2012

ukat123 wrote:

Why are people so obsessed with this left AF point. I bet 99.9% of people only use the central point, which is close to perfection

I bet 99.9% of people who buy any of these 51-point cameras and don't use at least half the points are to some extent buying over their depth, wasting money, and underutilizing the equipment to their detriment (such as throwing lots of compositions out of focus by using the compromised "focus and recompose" method).

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em_dee_aitch
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Re: Looked, but...
In reply to x0mlevi, Jun 29, 2012

x0mlevi wrote:

I've been having problems at 1.4 with my new D800, but I was hoping its just because I've only had the camera a few days and hadn't figured it out yet. I was using a 50mm 1.4 that is razor sharp generally, but for some reason, anything below f2 was producing slight blurring...

Two thoughts on this... First, at 36 MP of magnification, the 50mm is simply not going to look very sharp wide open--too many unchecked aberrations. Stopping down to f/2 increases overall lens performance immensely on that lens. Secondly, that is a lens (like many fast aperture lenses) that as part of its deign exhibits some focus shift as the aperture stops down, and the Nikon AF system does not compensate for that known shift factor, even though they easily could. It is lazy software design or maybe a patent issue, I don't know which. This forces the user to AF fine tune to the aperture they most prefer. Perhaps your current fine tune setting (even if it is zero or off) is biasing your lens toward f/2 or f/2.8. For the record, Canon does not compensate for focus shift either. The only phase detect system I'm aware of that does this correction is Hasselblad. If we're lucky maybe Nikon/Canon will follow suit someday.

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RumpelHund
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Thanks for this info!
In reply to em_dee_aitch, Jun 29, 2012

Thanks for this information, very interesting!

Using the 1.4/24 a lot it felt not like having any focus issue at all. Either it's better controlled there or the D700 did your compensation wizardry and the D800 just lacked the profiles to do so?

I am keen on seeing what yesterday's lens profile update will do in this regard...

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