D800 Left AF UK repair experience

Started Feb 27, 2013 | Discussions
McKie
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D800 Left AF UK repair experience
Feb 27, 2013

I realise this post might frustrate some people.  If that's the case skip over it.

My D800 has been back to Nikon UK (Richmond) twice now for back focus issues with the far left viewfinder sensors.  It's still not sorted. The problem is most pronounced with wide angle lenses wide open but still exhibits it at 70mm which is a nightmare for portraits when I'm wanting to get an eye tack sharp.

I've been in touch with Nikon again.  This time they don't want me to send the body in but rather submit RAW images which I have done.

There is a consistent problem with the left sensors which is not exhibited by the centre or right sensors. Given this inconsistency, my experience with previous autofocus cameras, and the cost of the professional D800 body I do not accept that these focusing errors are within an acceptable level of tolerance.
How do I pursue this to an appropriate resolution - should they provide me with a replacement D800 body or arrange for a refund from the sales outlet?  The body was purchased around 10 months ago. Any lawyers with experience of retail law able to give me a steer?

Has anyone got experience of Nikon arranging a refund or a replacement body?

Much to my wife's confusion and frustration I have managed to get a used D3 body which I have much more confidence in.  I do use my photography as a source of income and I need to have confidence in the kit I'm using.

Thanks in advance for constructive comments.

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Joe Porto
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to McKie, Feb 27, 2013

McKie wrote:

I realise this post might frustrate some people. If that's the case skip over it.

My D800 has been back to Nikon UK (Richmond) twice now for back focus issues with the far left viewfinder sensors. It's still not sorted. The problem is most pronounced with wide angle lenses wide open but still exhibits it at 70mm which is a nightmare for portraits when I'm wanting to get an eye tack sharp.

I've been in touch with Nikon again. This time they don't want me to send the body in but rather submit RAW images which I have done.

There is a consistent problem with the left sensors which is not exhibited by the centre or right sensors. Given this inconsistency, my experience with previous autofocus cameras, and the cost of the professional D800 body I do not accept that these focusing errors are within an acceptable level of tolerance.
How do I pursue this to an appropriate resolution - should they provide me with a replacement D800 body or arrange for a refund from the sales outlet? The body was purchased around 10 months ago. Any lawyers with experience of retail law able to give me a steer?

Has anyone got experience of Nikon arranging a refund or a replacement body?

Much to my wife's confusion and frustration I have managed to get a used D3 body which I have much more confidence in. I do use my photography as a source of income and I need to have confidence in the kit I'm using.

Thanks in advance for constructive comments.

Not sure about the UK. In the US, a credit card company will usually have your back for at least 6 months, and some, such as AMEX are a year or more.

But the main thing is that it sounds like the particular service center you are working with may not have the capability to deal with the problem yet. Have you tried to research if any others have experience with the service center who have successfully had the problem resolved? Is there another service center that you can send it to that will honor the warranty?

You need to be pushy about it. If possible, try to show RAW files that show the issue at 70mm and f/2.8. I'm pretty sure they do their tests with a 50mm, but I think they test at f/2.8, not f/1.4.

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heptagon
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to McKie, Feb 28, 2013

Have you tried to open a case with Trading Standards to illustrate the problem?

As I'm afraid of getting turned down by words like "within Nikon's specifications", I never buy equipment from a place where I cannot return goods unconditionally under distance selling regulations.

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5tve
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to McKie, Feb 28, 2013

McKie wrote:

I realise this post might frustrate some people. If that's the case skip over it.

My D800 has been back to Nikon UK (Richmond) twice now for back focus issues with the far left viewfinder sensors. It's still not sorted. The problem is most pronounced with wide angle lenses wide open but still exhibits it at 70mm which is a nightmare for portraits when I'm wanting to get an eye tack sharp.

I've been in touch with Nikon again. This time they don't want me to send the body in but rather submit RAW images which I have done.

There is a consistent problem with the left sensors which is not exhibited by the centre or right sensors. Given this inconsistency, my experience with previous autofocus cameras, and the cost of the professional D800 body I do not accept that these focusing errors are within an acceptable level of tolerance.
How do I pursue this to an appropriate resolution - should they provide me with a replacement D800 body or arrange for a refund from the sales outlet? The body was purchased around 10 months ago. Any lawyers with experience of retail law able to give me a steer?

Has anyone got experience of Nikon arranging a refund or a replacement body?

Much to my wife's confusion and frustration I have managed to get a used D3 body which I have much more confidence in. I do use my photography as a source of income and I need to have confidence in the kit I'm using.

Thanks in advance for constructive comments.

Thanks for posting I have the same problem I'm hoping to hear something positive about Richmond before sending my camera in to be fixed.

Its disgusting that you can send a camera in to Nikon to be fixed & they return it with the same problem, the technicians must know they failed.

I have  seen several posts mainly from owners in the USA sending their camera in for a third time & finally getting it fixed.

I would send it in for a third time & notify them that you expect it to be repaired or exchanged for a new working camera or a full refund. If you receive the camera back still faulty you will go to small claims court to seek a full refund.

Do make sure you are testing properly first http://www.bythom.com/D800autofocus.htm

http://legalcomplaints.org.uk/the-small-claims-court-explained/

Another option is http://www.civilmediation.justice.gov.uk/

How long ago was the last  failed attempt by Nikon ?

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McKie
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to 5tve, Mar 1, 2013

5tve wrote:

McKie wrote:

I realise this post might frustrate some people. If that's the case skip over it.

My D800 has been back to Nikon UK (Richmond) twice now for back focus issues with the far left viewfinder sensors. It's still not sorted. The problem is most pronounced with wide angle lenses wide open but still exhibits it at 70mm which is a nightmare for portraits when I'm wanting to get an eye tack sharp.

I've been in touch with Nikon again. This time they don't want me to send the body in but rather submit RAW images which I have done.

There is a consistent problem with the left sensors which is not exhibited by the centre or right sensors. Given this inconsistency, my experience with previous autofocus cameras, and the cost of the professional D800 body I do not accept that these focusing errors are within an acceptable level of tolerance.
How do I pursue this to an appropriate resolution - should they provide me with a replacement D800 body or arrange for a refund from the sales outlet? The body was purchased around 10 months ago. Any lawyers with experience of retail law able to give me a steer?

Has anyone got experience of Nikon arranging a refund or a replacement body?

Much to my wife's confusion and frustration I have managed to get a used D3 body which I have much more confidence in. I do use my photography as a source of income and I need to have confidence in the kit I'm using.

Thanks in advance for constructive comments.

Thanks for posting I have the same problem I'm hoping to hear something positive about Richmond before sending my camera in to be fixed.

Its disgusting that you can send a camera in to Nikon to be fixed & they return it with the same problem, the technicians must know they failed.

I have seen several posts mainly from owners in the USA sending their camera in for a third time & finally getting it fixed.

I would send it in for a third time & notify them that you expect it to be repaired or exchanged for a new working camera or a full refund. If you receive the camera back still faulty you will go to small claims court to seek a full refund.

Do make sure you are testing properly first http://www.bythom.com/D800autofocus.htm

http://legalcomplaints.org.uk/the-small-claims-court-explained/

Another option is http://www.civilmediation.justice.gov.uk/

How long ago was the last failed attempt by Nikon ?

thanks heptagon & 5tve for your comments/suggestions.  Nikon have got sample images to look at and I'm awaiting their response on these.  They've already come back to me and said their only responsibility is repair under warranty and that for any replacement/refund I must go through the original retailer.  I'll see what the response is on the images and may give them a 3rd opportunity to fix but make clear at that stage to retailer and Nikon that if it is not resolved I will pursue options for replace or refund.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to McKie, Mar 1, 2013

McKie wrote:

The problem is most pronounced with wide angle lenses wide open (snipped) This time they don't want me to send the body in but rather submit RAW images which I have done

Your autofocus issues seem to be with subjects the D800 instructions and the instructions with the 14-24 and 16-35 reasonably explain can result in poor focus accuracy, and where the Nikon suggested solution is to consider using manual focus.

When taking portraits with the camera in portrait position with outer line detectors on a subjects eye, autofocus is less efficient than with a central cross type sensor. This results in an increased chance of poor focus accuracy.

Threads on this forum about DC lens focus issues (pre D800) indicate line autofocus works well with false eyelashes in hard lighting, and often fails with fine pencil eyebrow detail in soft lighting - which is in line with Nikon's guidance on when autofocus accuracy may not be good

As Nikon has seen your camera twice and appear reticent to have it in the workshop again it seems reasonable to assume they (as distinct from yourself) could not find a fault.

If your camera has a fault you are entitled to a refund or exchange from the retailer in the UK, not from Nikon.

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Leonard Shepherd
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5tve
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Mar 2, 2013

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

McKie wrote:

The problem is most pronounced with wide angle lenses wide open (snipped) This time they don't want me to send the body in but rather submit RAW images which I have done

Your autofocus issues seem to be with subjects the D800 instructions and the instructions with the 14-24 and 16-35 reasonably explain can result in poor focus accuracy, and where the Nikon suggested solution is to consider using manual focus.

When taking portraits with the camera in portrait position with outer line detectors on a subjects eye, autofocus is less efficient than with a central cross type sensor. This results in an increased chance of poor focus accuracy.

Threads on this forum about DC lens focus issues (pre D800) indicate line autofocus works well with false eyelashes in hard lighting, and often fails with fine pencil eyebrow detail in soft lighting - which is in line with Nikon's guidance on when autofocus accuracy may not be good

As Nikon has seen your camera twice and appear reticent to have it in the workshop again it seems reasonable to assume they (as distinct from yourself) could not find a fault.

If your camera has a fault you are entitled to a refund or exchange from the retailer in the UK, not from Nikon.

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Leonard Shepherd
Many problems turn out to be a lack of intimate knowledge of complex modern camera equipment.

Those of us who have bought cameras from the Jacobs & Jessops retail chains who have declared bankruptcy & are no longer trading no longer have that option.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to 5tve, Mar 2, 2013

5tve wrote:

Those of us who have bought cameras from the Jacobs & Jessops retail chains who have declared bankruptcy & are no longer trading no longer have that option.

Nikon are not responsible for either company going bankrupt but do have a link on the home page to help Jessop's customers http://www.europe-nikon.com/en_GB/

The Nikon warranty is a separate agreement to repair manufacturing faults, including a second year in the UK if you registered online. On a technicality this is legally a manufacturers inducement to buy and is not part of the OP's contract with the retailer.

I get the impression Nikon UK do not think this D800 has a fault. It might be worthwhile sending the camera to another authorised Nikon repairer for a second opinion.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Peter M J
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Mar 2, 2013

In the UK you are covered by the Sale of Goods Act . This is part of your legal rights and is independent of any warranty from a maunfacturer. Under this act you have at least 2 years cover from orignial manufacturing faults and this is under your contract with the original vendor.

My family recently had aTV ( aged 2 years to the day ) repaired free of charge by a large UK retailer who sent out an independant engineer who agreed the TV was faulty.

If your vendor is unwilling to give you satisfaction tell him you are seeking advice from Trading Standards and if still unwilling do it.

Good luck

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Aborigene
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to McKie, Mar 2, 2013

Have you tried fixation?

http://www.fixationuk.com/Fixation/Fixation%20-%20Home/Fixation%20-%20Home.html

They are official Nikon reseller and they do a great job. I have taken my camera there several times, received good service and had some parts exchanged to fix the mirror mechanism (d7000). They seem way more professional then Nikon Richmond. They like to keep their customers.

Give it a try, if doesn't fix it, you have the right to get your camera exchanged according to consumer rights. They might not like it, but read your rights and use good argumentation.

Thanks

Vini

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5tve
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Mar 2, 2013

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

5tve wrote:

Those of us who have bought cameras from the Jacobs & Jessops retail chains who have declared bankruptcy & are no longer trading no longer have that option.

Nikon are not responsible for either company going bankrupt but do have a link on the home page to help Jessop's customers http://www.europe-nikon.com/en_GB/

The Nikon warranty is a separate agreement to repair manufacturing faults, including a second year in the UK if you registered online. On a technicality this is legally a manufacturers inducement to buy and is not part of the OP's contract with the retailer.

I get the impression Nikon UK do not think this D800 has a fault. It might be worthwhile sending the camera to another authorised Nikon repairer for a second opinion.

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Leonard Shepherd
Many problems turn out to be a lack of intimate knowledge of complex modern camera equipment.

It may be partly a lens problem the Reikan FoCal blog  has a tool where you select a camera & lens & see a chart that tells you the sample size & the distribution relative to fine tune value in a small bar chart bottom right.  Ideally it should be a nice bell curve centered over the 0 AF fine tune.

The 14-24mm lens seems the worst performer followed by the 24-70mm.

Perhaps sending the camera in with the lens would be the best option.

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5tve
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to Aborigene, Mar 2, 2013

Aborigene wrote:

Have you tried fixation?

http://www.fixationuk.com/Fixation/Fixation%20-%20Home/Fixation%20-%20Home.html

They are official Nikon reseller and they do a great job. I have taken my camera there several times, received good service and had some parts exchanged to fix the mirror mechanism (d7000). They seem way more professional then Nikon Richmond. They like to keep their customers.

Give it a try, if doesn't fix it, you have the right to get your camera exchanged according to consumer rights. They might not like it, but read your rights and use good argumentation.

Thanks

Vini

Thanks for reminding me I've heard good reports about them in the past , one Nikon approved service centre to avoid based on past experience is Lehman's in Stoke.

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McKie
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to 5tve, Mar 7, 2013

Hi all,

Thanks for your useful comments on my ongoing problem they're most helpful.  I arranged today that Nikon take a further look at the camera.  I've supplied them with a comprehensive set of NEF files showing live view and viewfinder focus on the left, centre and right AF points. All images taken on a tripod against a flat wall with charts containing a variety of lines to focus on.  I have also demonstrated the problem on two separate lenses i.e. it isn't down to a lens flaw.  The live view AF on left, right and centre works fine.  The viewfinder AF on centre and right work fine but all shots with the left viewfinder AF sensor were out of focus.  Here's an example of the same shot taken with the live view sensor and then the viewfinder AF left most sensor.  They were converted to jpeg on a 100% view.

Live view left sensor 14mm at f2.8

Viewfinder far left AF sensor 14mm at f2.8

Paul

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McKie
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to McKie, Mar 7, 2013

by the way I meant to say that Fixation is not yet authorised to do warranty work on the D800.

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primeshooter
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to McKie, Mar 7, 2013

McKie wrote:

I realise this post might frustrate some people. If that's the case skip over it.

My D800 has been back to Nikon UK (Richmond) twice now for back focus issues with the far left viewfinder sensors. It's still not sorted. The problem is most pronounced with wide angle lenses wide open but still exhibits it at 70mm which is a nightmare for portraits when I'm wanting to get an eye tack sharp.

I've been in touch with Nikon again. This time they don't want me to send the body in but rather submit RAW images which I have done.

There is a consistent problem with the left sensors which is not exhibited by the centre or right sensors. Given this inconsistency, my experience with previous autofocus cameras, and the cost of the professional D800 body I do not accept that these focusing errors are within an acceptable level of tolerance.
How do I pursue this to an appropriate resolution - should they provide me with a replacement D800 body or arrange for a refund from the sales outlet? The body was purchased around 10 months ago. Any lawyers with experience of retail law able to give me a steer?

Has anyone got experience of Nikon arranging a refund or a replacement body?

Much to my wife's confusion and frustration I have managed to get a used D3 body which I have much more confidence in. I do use my photography as a source of income and I need to have confidence in the kit I'm using.

Thanks in advance for constructive comments.

Same sort of boat here with Nikon surrey. Just general poor AF etc. They have tried to fix it and failed, keep saying it's within spec etc but it's terrible and inconsistent. Have requested another body but they said to me the only way this is possible is through the original seller and they will not furnish me with a new copy. They are pursuing a claim with Amazon now via email, have just asked for my proof of purchase which I have sent them. I'll let you know.

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McKie
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to primeshooter, Mar 7, 2013

primeshooter wrote:

McKie wrote:

I realise this post might frustrate some people. If that's the case skip over it.

My D800 has been back to Nikon UK (Richmond) twice now for back focus issues with the far left viewfinder sensors. It's still not sorted. The problem is most pronounced with wide angle lenses wide open but still exhibits it at 70mm which is a nightmare for portraits when I'm wanting to get an eye tack sharp.

I've been in touch with Nikon again. This time they don't want me to send the body in but rather submit RAW images which I have done.

There is a consistent problem with the left sensors which is not exhibited by the centre or right sensors. Given this inconsistency, my experience with previous autofocus cameras, and the cost of the professional D800 body I do not accept that these focusing errors are within an acceptable level of tolerance.
How do I pursue this to an appropriate resolution - should they provide me with a replacement D800 body or arrange for a refund from the sales outlet? The body was purchased around 10 months ago. Any lawyers with experience of retail law able to give me a steer?

Has anyone got experience of Nikon arranging a refund or a replacement body?

Much to my wife's confusion and frustration I have managed to get a used D3 body which I have much more confidence in. I do use my photography as a source of income and I need to have confidence in the kit I'm using.

Thanks in advance for constructive comments.

Same sort of boat here with Nikon surrey. Just general poor AF etc. They have tried to fix it and failed, keep saying it's within spec etc but it's terrible and inconsistent. Have requested another body but they said to me the only way this is possible is through the original seller and they will not furnish me with a new copy. They are pursuing a claim with Amazon now via email, have just asked for my proof of purchase which I have sent them. I'll let you know.

Please do keep me posted.  I too have requested new body or a refund.  I can understand the need to go via the original retailer but if Nikon helps with that process then it's a positive thing.  Mine came from Dixons but I haven't been in touch with them yet.  I keep giving Nikon the opportunity to sort it but I just think I've got a 'bad egg.'  There are a lot of positive posts about the d800 so clearly there are some good ones out there!  I'll keep you posted.

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NikPhotography
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Re: D800 Left AF UK repair experience
In reply to McKie, Mar 7, 2013

I'm not in the UK but have gone through 4 LAF defective D800E bodies in a row so far.  When I received the second one and found it defective, I thought about sending it to Nikon Service instead of asking the retailer for a replacement, but before doing so came to this forum and read horrible experiences others have had, then decided to ask for a replacement.  I've been happily using Nikon digital for more than 15 years now, but the service treatment they seem to be offering in many cases on D800 issue is unacceptable.

Obviously, do test correctly, but don't fall into trap of those suggesting that if Nikon Service found no fault then there's no fault, it's your lens, or you haven't read a page in the manual. These were my test results from one of the four bodies ( D800E test )

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Steven-T
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Refund/Replacement/Refurbished . . .
In reply to McKie, Mar 7, 2013

This is my experience with Canon (5D1, 5D2), twice.

While it is true that refund/replacement have to go through the retailer where the good was purchased, if a manufacturer, under warranty period, (repeatedly) cannot fix a problem, they (commonly) are willing to provide the owner with a separate refurbished unit. Of course, if the manufacturer declares that the product behavior is within specification, and "function as design", they will claim no responsibility.  If problem persists, and you are willing, maybe you can ask for a refurbished unit (and hopefully the same will not repeat)?

Just my 2cents.

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: A question
In reply to McKie, Mar 8, 2013

Live view left sensor 14mm at f2.8

A question - why do you think Nikon caution using a symmetrical pattern autofocus target can cause focus issues using phase detect autofocus (D800 page 100) - and rely on this type of target to test phase detect AF?

Liveview uses a different autofocus system which works well with some types of subject where phase detect may be inaccurate, and vice versa

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Leonard Shepherd
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McKie
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Re: A question
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, Mar 8, 2013

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

Live view left sensor 14mm at f2.8

A question - why do you think Nikon caution using a symmetrical pattern autofocus target can cause focus issues using phase detect autofocus (D800 page 100) - and rely on this type of target to test phase detect AF?

Liveview uses a different autofocus system which works well with some types of subject where phase detect may be inaccurate, and vice versa

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Leonard Shepherd
Many problems turn out to be a lack of intimate knowledge of complex modern camera equipment.

Hi Leonard,

I didn't post the pictures but if I had you would have seen that the viewfinder's right AF sensor was as accurate as the live view in my tests.  I got sharp photos of the test charts using the viewfinder's centre and right AF sensors.  To me that shows there is something up with the left AF - the right can handle it but the left can't - why would that be?  Is there any obvious reason (apart from the fact that the camera's sensor has a problem) why it should work on the right and not on the left with exactly the same chart?  It seems to me that you are missing the obvious and looking for something that's not there.

Also, have a look at the thread on real life shots with the problem AF - I've posted some real life examples.  So for me, it doesn't work in real life and it doesn't work on charts.  There's a problem which I've never had with any other Nikon autofocus system.  I've been sold a duff and it cost me £2400 and I want it sorted.

Paul

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