D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!! Locked

Started Mar 22, 2013 | Discussions
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Arretose
Senior MemberPosts: 1,056
D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
Mar 22, 2013

I just spent 4 hours in our local camera store testing out five.....5....different brand new D800's, serial number 3064994 being the lowest as I recall. I brought my own tripod, batteries, cards, remote, variety of approved AF printed targets, cards ect. The store let me use their back room to set up my gear and test my lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 85/1.8, 35/1.4,16-35). I followed Thom Hogans article for testing AF. By the end of this experience we had about 15 bystanders taking note.

I was upfront with them, showing them the cash and letting them know I was ready to purchase if i could get a camera with no AF issue. They were very happy to make sure I was happy with my purchase. After testing each lens (listed above) on the first D800, the store manager let me use their computer with the huge 30 inch monitor to look at the results. I used crib cards to note which lens , CD/PD AF, and focal points I used for each series of images. There was no mistaking the left and right AF issue on the first camera. The store mamager wrapped up the d800 and said it was going back to Nikon as defective. The second camera was worse. At this point the store manager was getting frustrated, and I told him I ha made up my mind not to get a D800. But he insisted on finding a D800 that did not have the problem. 5 cameras later, he decided enough was enough. He had heard of the problem from last year, but that nobody had been coming in with the problem, and he had heard rumors that it had been fixed. I don't know if people have been testing carefully or just eyeballing it, but I was not alone in my interpretation of the results. It was bad, and everyone there knew it.

At this point, I am convinced that this D800 AF issue is a combination of camera defect and the high resolving power of the 36 MP sensor. It is NOT resolved, and this experience was damaging for Nikon's reputation. All of the bystanders had a negative response to the results.

My partner in crime is trying to convince me to sell out and go Canon, but I do not consider the 5dm3 much up an upgrade to the D700, considering my investment in lenses. So after going thru this a year ago and deciding to wait until now, I am content once and for all to turn my back to the D800. It's a shame that Nikon has turned into what they have become.

If you are sitting on the fence on getting a d800/e I would suggest the following:

1. Try to find a camera store that will let you test before buying.

2. The problem is not fixed. 0ne year later and I am still seeing the problem. Unacceptable, and Nikon doesn't care, I guess.

3. Don't settle! Don't send back to Nikon for a fix. Brand new means it works as advertised. This has not been my experience with the total of 10 D800's I have tested in the last year.

4. DO NOT get camera envy thinking that the D800 is so awesome that you HAVE to have it! Older generation cameras (D700, d3x) are great cameras. The hassle with Nikon's QC is not worth it.

Hope this helps you save some $$$$

Chris

Canon EOS 5D Nikon D3X Nikon D700 Nikon D800
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larrywilson
Senior MemberPosts: 3,266
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Arretose, Mar 22, 2013

Chris,

I'm not being a smart guy but I must ask.  What do they do with cameras that have been tried out, then not bought?  It seems like they are no longer new, but I beat they go back onto the shelve.  Yes I rented a d800 and didn't buy it.  Using a tripod for my normal shooting and I was not getting well focused images?  I'm like you, I have thousands of dollars of lenses and can not afford to change brands.  I did buy a d4 after trying out the d800 and I am happy with it.  I don't use the outter focus points very often, only when I am using the 51 point dynamic focus and the outter focus points may not be used if I am photographing a slower bird in flight.  I mostly use the 21 point on most moving bird subjects.  I never select an outter point when I am using only one focus bracket.

Good luck Chris with your photography.

Larry

Arretose
Senior MemberPosts: 1,056
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to larrywilson, Mar 22, 2013

I don't know what they did with the other cameras, but the first one was returned as defective.

amobi
Senior MemberPosts: 2,873
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to larrywilson, Mar 22, 2013

larrywilson wrote:

Chris,

I'm not being a smart guy but I must ask. What do they do with cameras that have been tried out, then not bought? It seems like they are no longer new, but I beat they go back onto the shelve. Yes I rented a d800 and didn't buy it. Using a tripod for my normal shooting and I was not getting well focused images? I'm like you, I have thousands of dollars of lenses and can not afford to change brands. I did buy a d4 after trying out the d800 and I am happy with it. I don't use the outter focus points very often, only when I am using the 51 point dynamic focus and the outter focus points may not be used if I am photographing a slower bird in flight. I mostly use the 21 point on most moving bird subjects. I never select an outter point when I am using only one focus bracket.

Good luck Chris with your photography.

Larry

I wish outer focus point is the only issue. Sometimes the center is out of whack.

Red G8R
Senior MemberPosts: 1,631Gear list
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Arretose, Mar 22, 2013

Arretose wrote:

I don't know what they did with the other cameras, but the first one was returned as defective.

So now they have 5 used cameras. Way to go.

-- hide signature --

Peter
Ontario, Canada

 Red G8R's gear list:Red G8R's gear list
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Arretose
Senior MemberPosts: 1,056
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Red G8R, Mar 22, 2013

Arretose wrote:

I don't know what they did with the other cameras, but the first one was returned as defective.

So now they have 5 used cameras. Way to go.

-- hide signature --

Peter
Ontario, Canada

5 defective cameras...that won't be sold to the next person.

Arretose
Senior MemberPosts: 1,056
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Red G8R, Mar 22, 2013

Arretose wrote:

I don't know what they did with the other cameras, but the first one was returned as defective.

So now they have 5 used cameras. Way to go.

-- hide signature --

Peter
Ontario, Canada

And by the look of your smugmug portfolio, I would think that something as technical as testing or using a d800 is rather beyond your point and shoot technique to photography, pediatrician or not!

Tommot1965
Contributing MemberPosts: 887
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Arretose, Mar 22, 2013

Arretose wrote:

I just spent 4 hours in our local camera store testing out five.....5....different brand new D800's, serial number 3064994 being the lowest as I recall. I brought my own tripod, batteries, cards, remote, variety of approved AF printed targets, cards ect. The store let me use their back room to set up my gear and test my lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 85/1.8, 35/1.4,16-35). I followed Thom Hogans article for testing AF. By the end of this experience we had about 15 bystanders taking note.

I was upfront with them, showing them the cash and letting them know I was ready to purchase if i could get a camera with no AF issue. They were very happy to make sure I was happy with my purchase. After testing each lens (listed above) on the first D800, the store manager let me use their computer with the huge 30 inch monitor to look at the results. I used crib cards to note which lens , CD/PD AF, and focal points I used for each series of images. There was no mistaking the left and right AF issue on the first camera. The store mamager wrapped up the d800 and said it was going back to Nikon as defective. The second camera was worse. At this point the store manager was getting frustrated, and I told him I ha made up my mind not to get a D800. But he insisted on finding a D800 that did not have the problem. 5 cameras later, he decided enough was enough. He had heard of the problem from last year, but that nobody had been coming in with the problem, and he had heard rumors that it had been fixed. I don't know if people have been testing carefully or just eyeballing it, but I was not alone in my interpretation of the results. It was bad, and everyone there knew it.

At this point, I am convinced that this D800 AF issue is a combination of camera defect and the high resolving power of the 36 MP sensor. It is NOT resolved, and this experience was damaging for Nikon's reputation. All of the bystanders had a negative response to the results.

My partner in crime is trying to convince me to sell out and go Canon, but I do not consider the 5dm3 much up an upgrade to the D700, considering my investment in lenses. So after going thru this a year ago and deciding to wait until now, I am content once and for all to turn my back to the D800. It's a shame that Nikon has turned into what they have become.

If you are sitting on the fence on getting a d800/e I would suggest the following:

1. Try to find a camera store that will let you test before buying.

2. The problem is not fixed. 0ne year later and I am still seeing the problem. Unacceptable, and Nikon doesn't care, I guess.

3. Don't settle! Don't send back to Nikon for a fix. Brand new means it works as advertised. This has not been my experience with the total of 10 D800's I have tested in the last year.

4. DO NOT get camera envy thinking that the D800 is so awesome that you HAVE to have it! Older generation cameras (D700, d3x) are great cameras. The hassle with Nikon's QC is not worth it.

Hope this helps you save some $$$$

Chris

i wish I lived up the road from you..as I believe my camera has no outer point AF issues..and Id love you to try it....my D700 didn't perform as well at the fringes using a AFD 60 micro .

could you post the image results of you're  tests ?

sandy b
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,193Gear list
Five out of five
In reply to Arretose, Mar 23, 2013

Thats horrible. Seriously, I understand these things must be complicated to make, but can't they catch them in final inspection? If inspectors at the plant I work at let that kind of quality out the door they would be fired, no question asked. So either Nikon is not inspecting them, or they are turning a blind eye. And I can't believe after all this time, they are not inspecting them. Which means...

They must check some better than others, can you imagine them selling them to NASA, who has a history of buying nikon.

In a different direction, I don't remember people checking cameras like this in the past, is it possible that the D800 is not an isolated case?

 sandy b's gear list:sandy b's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P330 Nikon D7000 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II +3 more
maljo@inreach.com
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,612
D800 is awesome
In reply to Arretose, Mar 23, 2013

I bought a second one.  Love them.  70,000 images so far.

Have a nice day,

maljo

D800


D800

Shuttaperiso
Regular MemberPosts: 108
Re: D800 is awesome
In reply to maljo@inreach.com, Mar 23, 2013

Loved mine.  Except I put a steak on the grill, asked the D800 to flip it after 4 min.  D800 didn't do it and I returned it.  Terrible camera.

-- hide signature --

“ Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." – Henri Cartier-Bresson

RichyjV
Regular MemberPosts: 349
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Arretose, Mar 23, 2013

Hmm when the % of total d800s with this problem (especially more recently) seems anecdotally very low, (for example in Thoms most recent articles a high % say its the best camera they have ever used) it is interesting to read your own experience of 10/10 that you have tested being apparentlyfaulty. Logic says:

1 you are incredibly unlucky or

2 masses of people have not noticed the problem or

3 your testing is not up to scratch

the odds are towards 3 but it could just be 1.. Anyway given this its a heck of a strong (or should that be weak) conclusion on still a tiny sample

lanefAU
Senior MemberPosts: 3,877
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Arretose, Mar 23, 2013

Arretose wrote:

3. Don't settle! Don't send back to Nikon for a fix. Brand new means it works as advertised. This has not been my experience with the total of 10 D800's I have tested in the last year.

4. DO NOT get camera envy thinking that the D800 is so awesome that you HAVE to have it! Older generation cameras (D700, d3x) are great cameras. The hassle with Nikon's QC is not worth it.

Wow, I am gobsmacked that cameras with focus issues are being released as we speak. I bought mine last June, I sent it back to Nikon AU a few weeks ago and it came back last week properly fixed.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/51021938

So it is a big sigh of relief for me.

Devendra
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,572Gear list
thank god i stopped following thoms advice
In reply to Arretose, Mar 23, 2013

Arretose wrote:

I just spent 4 hours in our local camera store testing out five.....5....different brand new D800's, serial number 3064994 being the lowest as I recall. I brought my own tripod, batteries, cards, remote, variety of approved AF printed targets, cards ect. The store let me use their back room to set up my gear and test my lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 85/1.8, 35/1.4,16-35). I followed Thom Hogans article for testing AF. By the end of this experience we had about 15 bystanders taking note.

I am glad i do not follow thom anymore. i apply my own common sense and techniques.

by the way you did not mention that you tried other camera's.

mental flaw at multiple levels :/

PS: My post was not sponsored by Canon nor by Nikon

 Devendra's gear list:Devendra's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon 1 J1 Nikon D800E Sony Alpha NEX-3N
Tbirdas
Forum MemberPosts: 52
Re: D800 is awesome
In reply to Shuttaperiso, Mar 23, 2013

Was that on the left side of the grill?

Brian Caslis
Senior MemberPosts: 2,844Gear list
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Arretose, Mar 23, 2013

I'd love to go the camera store you did. No camera store in my state would allow something like that. Where was this again?

 Brian Caslis's gear list:Brian Caslis's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +4 more
Biological_Viewfinder
Senior MemberPosts: 1,194
Couple points to be made.
In reply to Arretose, Mar 23, 2013

Number 1: Whenever you conduct a test, you must have an analogue that represents a standard. Any camera, including your own, would have worked. So your test is flawed from the start.

Number 2: Can you please tell me when and how often you will be using the Left AF? What are you doing that you're using this area of AF? I haven't used it once. For all I know my camera's AF is twice as bad as the worst you saw on your "test". But, it's the *LEFT* AF, not the whole thing. And I can't remember the last time I ever used the right or left AF for anything. I mean, *IF* you have a valid reason for using the left AF then that's awesome, otherwise why does it even matter????? I know it's not right to have a camera that does not function as it should, but at least this malfunctioning isn't impacting the entire use of the camera. It's minor at the very most.

.

AN OFFICIAL DPR USER-GUIDE FOR TESTING:

It would be nice if we could find a way to develop a user test-guide. Because I would like to test stuff: heck, everyone here at one time or another has probably thought about it. However many people make all kinds of mistakes with testing such as not having an analogue, or shooting outside in ever-changing partly cloudy lighting, or not using manual-mode so that aperture and shutter speed are locked down. There should be a guide about how to make a user-review. What's important to the community, what's too much? And perhaps in today's society of twitter and facebook and all that, we might also need to ask 'what's too short' of a review? It just seems that if there was a guide to help with these things, then someone who spent 4 hours plus drivetime wouldn't have forgotten something basic or at least they would have the authority of following an official process. He even says that he followed Thom Hogan's guide, but after how much smack that man has been talking against Nikon recently I just no longer put any value to it, even though I haven't nor will I ever read the guide Thom Hogan put forth after he said the D800 was "not recommended"???? Really?????!!!! Seriously????!!?

Anyway, there should be a guide so that people who are as dedicated to finding answers as Arretose don't end up wasting their time by forgetting something easily overlooked. I don't blame him for forgetting it, because I'm sure I would've left my UV filter on or something basic like that which could alter results for people who don't use filters or don't use my brand of filters. And besides, everyone makes mistakes and it's not like this is his job or something. I think it's our fault as photographers for not asking DPR to make a user-guide for testing that would be the industry-standard for us forum-users. At least everyone would be on the same page anyway, and that's worth something in itself.

Event_shooter
Senior MemberPosts: 1,001
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Arretose, Mar 23, 2013

Arretose wrote:

4. DO NOT get camera envy thinking that the D800 is so awesome that you HAVE to have it! Older generation cameras (D700, d3x) are great cameras. The hassle with Nikon's QC is not worth it.

Hope this helps you save some $$$$

Chris

I could NOT disagree with you more on #4. The D800 is HEADS AND TAILS better than anything Nikon has ever produced even the D4.

I'm not going to take teh time here and explain how 36MP is better than 12 mp, 18 mp, etc.

Why do people who don't OWN a D800 - keep giving advice on purchasing a D800 and the D800 quality.

Now lets talk about this HUGE hassle of QC. If you have a bad copy you put it in a box send it to Nikon and they fix it. A minor inconvenience perhaps, but hassle - I think not.

Are people having issues sure, but if you read any other camera manufacturer thread they all have issues. They haven't make a camera yet without issues.

beast625
Forum MemberPosts: 66Gear list
Re: D800 AF Issue is NOT resolved. Buyer beware!!!!!
In reply to Arretose, Mar 23, 2013

Just took receipt of my new D800E purchased from Amazon sight unseen (as I have my last 5 Nikons).  I'll be shooting some rugby shots tomorrow and a family event Sunday, and I anticipate enjoying the heck out of this rig.  Should i discover an AF issue, I'll deal with it appropriately but, I can guarantee you that in the meantime I can find a reasonable workaround.  And maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones!

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Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS Fujifilm X100S Nikon D50 Nikon D80 Nikon D800E +16 more
Shuttaperiso
Regular MemberPosts: 108
Re: D800 is awesome
In reply to Tbirdas, Mar 23, 2013

Tbirdas wrote:

Was that on the left side of the grill?

No.  The left side of my grill doesn't work as well as the other sides.  Totally useless garbage I had to send my grill back also.

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“ Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." – Henri Cartier-Bresson

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