Update on D800 AF issues

Started Apr 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
Graeme Davidson
Graeme Davidson Regular Member • Posts: 106
Re: The Good and the (really) Bad - AF, LCD, and P mode and question

I find the 50mm F1.4G has bad AF issues on the D800 too; it back focused by over an inch consistently when shooting a focus target within 1 meter of the camera. The axial CA was dreadful too on out of focus areas. On my D3X this lens auto focuses dead on, with no fine tuning required. Interestingly, and most disconcertingly, it also back focuses badly on the D4. I find the latter unsettling as it implies something may be amiss with the new AF system shared in the D800/D4 but time will tell.

However, I had a completely different experience with the older Nikon 50mm 1.8D. It is incredibly sharp right into the corners and auto focuses extremely quickly, albeit needing a small AF tune to make it match critical live view focusing. I'm astonished how well the cheapest lens I have ever bought performs on the D800. Perhaps I have a good sample but if you have the older 1.8D it's worth a try. Shame it's not got a 9 blade aperture for better bokeh.

I have also tried the 14-24 and find it was back focusing slightly too. Thankfully my focus points performed equally well from left to right but I feel the D800 is showing up the limits of my copy in the corners.

Both my 24-70mm F2.8 lenses focus accurately with PDAF but below 60mm they are not critically sharp in the corners, with notable CA creeping in. I see this to a lesser extent on the D3X but the extra resolution of the D800 highlights lens issues all the more. I am unsure if my 24-70 lenses are both out of alignment, or if corner to corner critical sharpness can be expected from these lenses. At 50mm the Nikon 1.8D appears to have notably better corners than my 24-70s. I'll perhaps need to send one back to Nikon for evaluation.

There's no doubt about it; the D800 can really make you think twice about your current lens lineup!

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