Nikon D800E Left Focus Addendum

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dogbait
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Nikon D800E Left Focus Addendum
5 months ago

Just thought I'd update on my Nikon D800E left focus saga.

Back in 2013 I sent my D800E in for the left focus issue to Nikon UK.

Nikon returned it sans body cap, the memory card door flapping open in the box with their memory card still in it and a note saying 'No focus issues found'. The technician's memory card contained a single test image of their focus rig taken with my camera to corroborate. Hardly thorough.

Naturally I was ticked off. I had to send the D800 along with a CD of accompanying 'proof' images before they would even look at it.

The camera autofocus was unpredictable following this 'repair'. With daylight lighting nailing focus 50% of the time and tungsten lighting giving focus all over the place. Since it wasn't my main body I shelved it until a month ago when I realized my warranty would be running out soon.

I contacted the retailer this time (Gray's) who advised me to send it to Fixation UK instead. Thankfully Nikon UK covered Fixation's bill as a warranty repair and I have to say the camera has been flawless since.

I've had great service from Fixation in the past (they restored a smashed 24-70 to mint condition), but for them to resolve something in one try which Nikon UK couldn't do with two is pretty impressive. So for anyone still struggling with this problem I'd recommend letting Fixation have a look. It's been a month in since they adjusted it and I'm finding that my D800E nails focus in all types of lighting conditions now.

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LesGarten
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Re: Nikon D800E Left Focus Addendum
In reply to dogbait, 5 months ago

I am looking to get a D800.  But these stories like this scare the hell out of me.

I've been buying Nikons since the early 70's.  I've never had any issues and felt the company was solid as a rock.   Then the 600 and 800 stuff has got me saying WTF?

There were probably problems with my other gear as well, we just didn't have the Internet to tell us about it for the most part.

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coronawithlime
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Re: Nikon D800E Left Focus Addendum
In reply to LesGarten, 5 months ago

LesGarten wrote:

There were probably problems with my other gear as well, we just didn't have the Internet to tell us about it for the most part.

This strikes me as a fair assessment of an issue facing many of us.  Add to that the resolution increases which seem to make flaws more obvious and we're finding things which we might have overlooked previously.

Which is not to say the problems are not real, I sent one D800 in myself for left focus issues and it appears to have been resolved satisfactorily.

The point I would like to make to the OP however, is that I think the odds of getting a D800 with various maladies is decreasing significantly.  Reports of problems seem to be appearing with regularity and indeed the D800e I got from B & H two months ago seems to have none at all.  Or maybe we're just using better targets and better test procedures.  

My personal take is that it's probably as good as it's going to get on the D800 front and you should go ahead with your purchase.  On the other hand, one of my old sergeants once said "Beware of advice from the man who himself has nothing at risk."

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Simon Garrett
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Re: Nikon D800E Left Focus Addendum
In reply to dogbait, 5 months ago

I've certainly had issues with Nikon UK service in the past.  I sent a D300 body back to have focus checked (it turned out to be the lens, not the camera) and asked for them to clean the sensor, as it had marks from new.  It came back very considerably dirtier then when I sent it to them. Also they have failed to fix lens problems several times, and on one occasion the lens came back with a new fault, and they at first refused to repair it, saying I must have damaged it myself after they returned it to me.

I'd have to be pretty sure that a fault existed before sending a camera to Nikon UK service.  Perhaps that's what they want.

I think I'll follow your lead, and use Fixation in future.

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digital ed
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My recent experience with left focus point auto focus
In reply to coronawithlime, 5 months ago

coronawithlime wrote:

This strikes me as a fair assessment of an issue facing many of us. Add to that the resolution increases which seem to make flaws more obvious and we're finding things which we might have overlooked previously.

Which is not to say the problems are not real, I sent one D800 in myself for left focus issues and it appears to have been resolved satisfactorily.

The point I would like to make to the OP however, is that I think the odds of getting a D800 with various maladies is decreasing significantly. Reports of problems seem to be appearing with regularity and indeed the D800e I got from B & H two months ago seems to have none at all. Or maybe we're just using better targets and better test procedures.

My personal take is that it's probably as good as it's going to get on the D800 front and you should go ahead with your purchase. On the other hand, one of my old sergeants once said "Beware of advice from the man who himself has nothing at risk."

Recently sent my D800 in for evaluation for an entirely different problem. Did mention in my communication with Nikon that since it was new it had the left focus problem to a minor degree.

I sent the camera to the Nikon Los Angeles service center. It was returned to me in excellent condition, with adjustment of auto focus operation and general checking and cleaning. After careful checking on targets and real subjects the left focus sensor problem is no longer there. No mention of any specific work done to the left sensor only the adjustment of auto focus operation.

Certainly Nikon now knows how to align the auto focus properly in the D800.

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