D800 Report from Nikon Canada

Started Mar 23, 2013 | Discussions
rdrebit
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D800 Report from Nikon Canada
Mar 23, 2013

Trying to figure out what this means. Received my D800 back, the second time from Nikon Canada and this was included with no other information except that they "adjusted focus mechanism", on a separate page. The first time, they replaced the bayonet mount and performed a focus adjustment. With the first trip the camera/lens combinations have gone for negative to positive fine tune requirements at the upper end of the + range or just beyond it. This second visit seems to not have produced any better a result (according to Focal)

Any ideas what this is?

Nikon D800
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rdrebit
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to rdrebit, Mar 23, 2013

Would just add that it was sent in because of left af issues.

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YohmanYoh
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to rdrebit, Mar 23, 2013

To make long story short: I guess, your camera is fine, but I would take a deeper look at the lenses.

I will tell you my service story afterwards, I hope this is helpful for you and others. If you get the chance to talk to a tech guy: Aks him if they have the right "new" testing equipment for the D800 and if they have done the primary and secondary mirror alignment check, too. This is mostly done at the first part of the adjustment course. The camera is fixed on a mount. A laser lights into the body and will be reflected on the mirrors. Finally the laser beam comes out of the body and points on a scale the current alignment value.

I had the opportunity to follow the Nikon guy through the whole testing parts for the lenses and the D800. Your screenshot gives the result of the the automatic calibration run against a horizontal and vertical striped target which is placed approx 1.2 meters in front of the camera. The camera is mounted on a fixed a extra calibrated 50mm Nikon lens. With that combination, the software tests out each of the AF-points and learns the camera the proper correction value to each field. The good range is up to +/- 70, so your results are very good for the camera (itself).

I asked the Nikon tech if it possible to get exact 0 to each value, but that seems to be impossible due to normal variations on each run and how the focus system works on every separate focusing. The focus has still some tolerances and every run will produce some minor changes in the values.

I personally was OK with that and got no pleasant pictures either. So we tested the lenses once more and more deeply. It comes out that my 24-70 2.8 is ok at the range from 50 to 70mm but it backfocuses much worse when it goes down to 24mm. The outer focus points were way out of focus while the center point was only bit behind. It seemed, that the the left side is a bit more worse, than the right one. On 24mm the focus is several meters behind the object. With that in mind, we calibrated the lenses on a special D200. It depends on the lens, but luckily the 24-70 has three adjustment points: At 24, 50 and 70mm. So, we fine tuned the lens at all 3 focal lengths. This gives an even behaviour through all focal lengths.

The real advantage is the wide angle part of the lenses. Trough the process the guy took a picture of a tilted fine checkerboard card with a vertical target in the middle. A special Nikon software then shows the point of maximum sharpness und a tolerance width. When measuring at wide angle the checkerboard becomes to small (more like a fuzzy gray card). Because of that it is hard to impossible for a proper judgement of the software and the human part, too. I guess, this is the weak point in the whole process.

If your Nikon employee is nice to you, he will take the time and take many pictures, compare them and do some additional fine tuning in the lens itself. If you can only have the standard procedure, the process and tolerances will give an proper adjustment on the 5 year old 10mp-camera - but not on todays resolution cameras. But that is only my personal opinion. In fact, with the standard procedure you will get an "ok"-adjustment, but there is still room to improve that.

After I was happy in the labs, I finally had to make an additional lens fine tuning in the camera, i.e. the 24-70 still at -9. Surprisingly, now the outer focus points are visually same as sharp as the center one.

A final word: After that, I made run through my pictures made with the "old" D700 and the 24-70 that performed so badly on the D800. Frankly, I had to say that the focus was nearly as bad as on the D800 - but less visible or noticeable because of the lower resolution. The D800 is such a high performer that every weak part becomes a significant and noticeable factor - particularly when checking with FoCal and 100% pixel views. Hopefully the Nikon will update its tests with lesser tolerances to respect the current cameras and lens combinations.

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coronawithlime
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to rdrebit, Mar 23, 2013

Wonder if any of this has filtered down to Nikon USA yet?  Sounds like Nikon Canada may also know more about the art of customer service  

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Kaj E
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to rdrebit, Mar 23, 2013

The image probably indicates Nikon did a software adjustment to all your focus points.

Aside from focal what is your focus like on real photos? Still front focus?

If so it  may be your lenses. Did you send anyone of them to Nikon together with the camera?

With focus issues I think it is a good idea to send a lens (under warranty, easy with the USA 5 year warranty) in with the camera. Then you and Nikon have a clear reference point.

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rhlpetrus
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to YohmanYoh, Mar 23, 2013

YohmanYoh wrote:


A final word: After that, I made run through my pictures made with the "old" D700 and the 24-70 that performed so badly on the D800. Frankly, I had to say that the focus was nearly as bad as on the D800 - but less visible or noticeable because of the lower resolution. The D800 is such a high performer that every weak part becomes a significant and noticeable factor - particularly when checking with FoCal and 100% pixel views. Hopefully the Nikon will update its tests with lesser tolerances to respect the current cameras and lens combinations.

This is likely one thing people missed all the time. The system was never really consistently accurate across the frame, but the lower resolution just hid the effects for almost everybody. Variation was always there. It seems Canon has improved the camera-lens communication regarding AF, with latetest models and lenses. Nikon has some work to do and update the system in order to make it closer to what's required for these higher res cameras. The D7100 now has an even denser sensor, 54MP equiv if FF size.

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 rhlpetrus's gear list:rhlpetrus's gear list
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rdrebit
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to Kaj E, Mar 23, 2013

I agree back to Nikon with a lens is the next step. Out in the field I do need +15 to +20 correction (but at least thats consistent across left, centre and right) . Or I can just shoot from f4.

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rdrebit
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to YohmanYoh, Mar 23, 2013

Thank you for that explanation. Unfortunately I am 3.5 hours by plane from NIkon Canada-it would be great to deal with this in person.

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sandy b
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How does that chart work?
In reply to rdrebit, Mar 23, 2013

I don't have the camera, or no much about the issue except what i have read, but aren't those chart numbers pretty good? They don't look wildly skewed, and the max is a minus 9 on the right side

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entlassen
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to YohmanYoh, Mar 23, 2013

Wow, I'm amazed they let you into the lab, let alone allowed you to watch the whole test.  At Nikon Los Angeles, it's just 1 dude at the front desk who has no technical expertise whatsoever.  You hand the camera to him and then you pretty much have to leave, b/c there is no way that guy is gonna let you in the back and have a tech lead you through your tests.

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Testing123
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to entlassen, Mar 24, 2013

entlassen wrote:

Wow, I'm amazed they let you into the lab, let alone allowed you to watch the whole test. At Nikon Los Angeles, it's just 1 dude at the front desk who has no technical expertise whatsoever. You hand the camera to him and then you pretty much have to leave, b/c there is no way that guy is gonna let you in the back and have a tech lead you through your tests.

I was there last week. There were two guys working the counter with a young lady coming and going (from the back area) and a manager made an appearance as requested by a customer while I was there also.

Now, when I visited El Segundo a couple of years ago (D7000 issues), all I saw was one young lady.

YohmanYoh's info is quite interesting indeed. I too wish Nikon L.A. allowed the same access. I guess the best I can hope for is that the tech that has worked on my D800 has been as thorough as the one YohmanYoh spoke about.

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Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +1 more
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entlassen
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Re: D800 Report from Nikon Canada
In reply to Testing123, Mar 24, 2013

Testing123 wrote:

entlassen wrote:

Wow, I'm amazed they let you into the lab, let alone allowed you to watch the whole test. At Nikon Los Angeles, it's just 1 dude at the front desk who has no technical expertise whatsoever. You hand the camera to him and then you pretty much have to leave, b/c there is no way that guy is gonna let you in the back and have a tech lead you through your tests.

I was there last week. There were two guys working the counter with a young lady coming and going (from the back area) and a manager made an appearance as requested by a customer while I was there also.

Now, when I visited El Segundo a couple of years ago (D7000 issues), all I saw was one young lady.

YohmanYoh's info is quite interesting indeed. I too wish Nikon L.A. allowed the same access. I guess the best I can hope for is that the tech that has worked on my D800 has been as thorough as the one YohmanYoh spoke about.

Unfortunately there is at least 1 tech at Nikon LA that is incompetent.  I wrote about my ongoing experience @ http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3398944

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