My D800 after Nikon service shows great AFA diviation

Started May 20, 2013 | Questions
Gil1980
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My D800 after Nikon service shows great AFA diviation
May 20, 2013

Hi all,

I shipped my D800 to calibrate and fix it's left focus issue which was confirmed to have that know bug.

I sent the camera together with my 14-24mm and the 80-200mm f/2.8

The 14-24 was sent because I tested the camera with this lens. The 80-200 was send for a regular calibration after being at my disposal since 1996.

Yesterday I used LensAlign MKII with FocusTune to calibrate my lenses and I was amazed to see that the above lenses shows perfect AFA value of 0. There is a slight shift to +1 when shifting from 14-24 and about the same with the 80-200.

However, I have a couple of lenses that I didn't think need service since they had sharp results with the D800.

Now, after the service, the nikon 50mm f/1.8 needs over +20 AFA and the nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 needs +15 @ 70mm.

I don't want to rush into conclusions but it seems that the camera was "fixed" by biasing the AFA values internally with the lenses I've sent them.

What do you guys think?

 Gil1980's gear list:Gil1980's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR
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Nikon D800
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AZBlue
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Re: My D800 after Nikon service shows great AFA diviation
In reply to Gil1980, May 20, 2013

Gil1980 wrote:

Hi all,

I shipped my D800 to calibrate and fix it's left focus issue which was confirmed to have that know bug.

I sent the camera together with my 14-24mm and the 80-200mm f/2.8

The 14-24 was sent because I tested the camera with this lens. The 80-200 was send for a regular calibration after being at my disposal since 1996.

Yesterday I used LensAlign MKII with FocusTune to calibrate my lenses and I was amazed to see that the above lenses shows perfect AFA value of 0. There is a slight shift to +1 when shifting from 14-24 and about the same with the 80-200.

However, I have a couple of lenses that I didn't think need service since they had sharp results with the D800.

Now, after the service, the nikon 50mm f/1.8 needs over +20 AFA and the nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 needs +15 @ 70mm.

I don't want to rush into conclusions but it seems that the camera was "fixed" by biasing the AFA values internally with the lenses I've sent them.

What do you guys think?

Um, sorry to pick on you but...

When you send lenses and camera body to Nikon for calibration, they will calibrate the camera to the lenses you sent them. Of course this calibration would not apply to any other lenses. Are you expecting Nikon to do some magic calibration that would give you the same AFA for all lenses? That's just impossible because each lens is different - even samples of the same lens can vary quite a bit.

What, exactly, were you hoping to accomplish by sending your lenses in with the body? And what kind of calibration did you want with the 80-200? Did you want the camera calibrated to the lens, or did you just want the lens re-calibrated on its own to some standard?

-- hide signature --

"I've been in more laps than a napkin" - Mae West

 AZBlue's gear list:AZBlue's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS Macro HSM +1 more
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Gil1980
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Re: My D800 after Nikon service shows great AFA diviation
In reply to AZBlue, May 20, 2013

I think I wasn't clear enough.

Obviously they will calibrate the lenses to the body. No surprises there.

The real surprise is that after the body arrived from service, my other lenses who usually had anything between -5 to +5 AFA value, are now having +15 and +20. Meaning that I suspect the body fix was in such a manner that threw my other lenses way up in the AFA value.

As you know, when a lens that used to be +3 and now showing +15 all of a sudden without really using it at all, means that every lens I might mount on my D800 will show a great amount of back focus which will need to be adjusted by +15 or +20.

Also, the 50mm need way above +20 while before the body fix it was on 0 AFA!

So I'll repeat myself; I don't expect to have my lenses perfectly calibrated if they were not serviced BUT I also don't expect them to show +20 all of a sudden.

 Gil1980's gear list:Gil1980's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR
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Petruska
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NEVER send lens with a body for calibration...
In reply to Gil1980, May 21, 2013

Gil1980 wrote:

Hi all,

I shipped my D800 to calibrate and fix it's left focus issue which was confirmed to have that know bug.

I sent the camera together with my 14-24mm and the 80-200mm f/2.8

The 14-24 was sent because I tested the camera with this lens. The 80-200 was send for a regular calibration after being at my disposal since 1996.

Yesterday I used LensAlign MKII with FocusTune to calibrate my lenses and I was amazed to see that the above lenses shows perfect AFA value of 0. There is a slight shift to +1 when shifting from 14-24 and about the same with the 80-200.

However, I have a couple of lenses that I didn't think need service since they had sharp results with the D800.

Now, after the service, the nikon 50mm f/1.8 needs over +20 AFA and the nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 needs +15 @ 70mm.

I don't want to rush into conclusions but it seems that the camera was "fixed" by biasing the AFA values internally with the lenses I've sent them.

What do you guys think?

this is a long standing known fact and you just proved why!

Always send the body and lenses separately, Nikon Service just assumed that you wanted the combo calibrated together and that's the result.  Right now it looks like both the sent in body and the 2 lenses are not calibrated properly.  Try the two calibrated lenses on another D800 body to see how much they are off. Unfortuantely it looks like both the body and lenses need to go back.

Bob P.

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Teleboy
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Re: NEVER send lens with a body for calibration...
In reply to Petruska, May 21, 2013

Sent in both my D4 and D800 with two 50s, a 70-200, 24-70, and 85. Autofocus is now absolutely pristine! Yay Nikon!

Just sayin...

:).

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Teleboy
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Re: NEVER send lens with a body for calibration...
In reply to Teleboy, May 21, 2013

Sent in both my D4 and D800 with two 50s, a 70-200, 24-70, and 85. Autofocus is now absolutely pristine! Yay Nikon!

Just sayin...

:).

Oh: and hey replaced the zoom grips on my older lenses, replaced internal parts that were wearing, completely fixed my 70-200's atrocious VR and generally kicked ass.

Happy camper!

T.

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Lance B
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Re: My D800 after Nikon service shows great AFA diviation
In reply to Gil1980, May 21, 2013

Gil1980 wrote:

Hi all,

I shipped my D800 to calibrate and fix it's left focus issue which was confirmed to have that know bug.

I sent the camera together with my 14-24mm and the 80-200mm f/2.8

The 14-24 was sent because I tested the camera with this lens. The 80-200 was send for a regular calibration after being at my disposal since 1996.

Yesterday I used LensAlign MKII with FocusTune to calibrate my lenses and I was amazed to see that the above lenses shows perfect AFA value of 0. There is a slight shift to +1 when shifting from 14-24 and about the same with the 80-200.

However, I have a couple of lenses that I didn't think need service since they had sharp results with the D800.

Now, after the service, the nikon 50mm f/1.8 needs over +20 AFA and the nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 needs +15 @ 70mm.

I don't want to rush into conclusions but it seems that the camera was "fixed" by biasing the AFA values internally with the lenses I've sent them.

What do you guys think?

As I replied on the "other forum", keep sending it back to Nikon until they get it right. If they can't get it right, they will hopefully offer you another new camera.

 Lance B's gear list:Lance B's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +13 more
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Per Baekgaard
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Re: My D800 after Nikon service shows great AFA diviation
In reply to AZBlue, May 21, 2013

AZBlue wrote:

Gil1980 wrote:

Hi all,

I shipped my D800 to calibrate and fix it's left focus issue which was confirmed to have that know bug.

I sent the camera together with my 14-24mm and the 80-200mm f/2.8 [...]

Um, sorry to pick on you but...

When you send lenses and camera body to Nikon for calibration, they will calibrate the camera to the lenses you sent them. Of course this calibration would not apply to any other lenses.

Actually, I thought that the standard procedure was to calibrate to a "golden standard" lens that all Nikon repair shops are supposed to have? Earlier, I believe they used a "golden" 50mm f/1.4 at f/2.8 for the calibration -- a lens which had been calibrated earlier to a known standard by Nikon (Japan?). Others have reported this too (e.g. http://photographylife.com/nikon-dslr-autofocus-problems post 82).

Once they have calibrated the body, they can tweak the lenses to the body.

Some (or most?) of this happens by updating camera and lens parameter tables that are stored in either the camera or in the lens, inaccessible to normal users.

I may be completely wrong, of course! A lot of this is based on "knowledge" and experiences I've read, and/or picked up when talking to a "random" Nikon repair guys in one particular shop.

I guess someone with a copy of the service manual should be able to tell us what the standard procedures should be at the repair shop

 Per Baekgaard's gear list:Per Baekgaard's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR +15 more
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boccheggio5
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Re: My D800 after Nikon service shows great AFA diviation
In reply to Gil1980, May 21, 2013

By the way, did they fix the left AF problem?

Cheers.

Stef.

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Petruska
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Re: NEVER send lens with a body for calibration...
In reply to Teleboy, May 21, 2013

Teleboy wrote:

Sent in both my D4 and D800 with two 50s, a 70-200, 24-70, and 85. Autofocus is now absolutely pristine! Yay Nikon!

Just sayin...

:).

You were lucky!

The lenses should never be matched to a particular body as obvious in the OP.

A good Nikon tech calibrates everything separately to a golden standard.

I have 4 Nikon bodies and 16 Nikon lenses and with all lenses AF Fintune is +/- 5 on any body at the most.  I have sent in a few lenses for calibration and one body, but never together.

Bob P.

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snellius
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Re: My D800 after Nikon service shows great AFA diviation
In reply to Gil1980, May 21, 2013

Gil1980 wrote:

...that every lens I might mount on my D800 will show a great amount of back focus which will need to be adjusted by +15 or +20.

What do you mean with back focus? If you meant, like most members here except me and a few others, that the focus is behind the subject, then you should not apply +15 but -15.

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Teleboy
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Re: NEVER send lens with a body for calibration...
In reply to Petruska, May 22, 2013

Petruska wrote:

Teleboy wrote:

Sent in both my D4 and D800 with two 50s, a 70-200, 24-70, and 85. Autofocus is now absolutely pristine! Yay Nikon!

Just sayin...

:).

You were lucky!

The lenses should never be matched to a particular body as obvious in the OP.

A good Nikon tech calibrates everything separately to a golden standard.

I have 4 Nikon bodies and 16 Nikon lenses and with all lenses AF Fintune is +/- 5 on any body at the most.  I have sent in a few lenses for calibration and one body, but never together.

Bob P.

Yeah. Although, judging by the descriptions on these repair reports, I'm not convinced they actually adjusted lenses "to the camera." I think they simply checked each item (including the cameras) for errors and adjusted the software/tables etc. related to focus. The service order did specifically ask them to calibrate "w/D800, D4" though.

I guess I'll see what really happened when I next use a borrowed lens...

For now, I'm rather giddy. Whatever they did, worked.

Do you think it's really possible that they drastically modified each lens (i.e. way beyond + or - 20) to fit it to one or both cameras?

A.

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