D800 service center check for the focusing points

Started Jun 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
AZBlue
AZBlue Senior Member • Posts: 1,752
Re: D800 service center check for the focusing points

I have shot plenty of moving subjects, including surfers at long focal lengths (300+mm), and not had to rely on anything but the center focus point or a more general "center area" focus. This was also before the days of VR lenses, yet my photos were as sharp as a knife. Again, as I said before, people routinely photographed action shots before multi-point AF and electronic subject tracking - how on earth did we function?

The more I read these forums, the more I am convinced that a lot of people around here simply can't shoot without every single modern electronic feature of their camera working at 100% peak efficiency. Some people need that extra help due to lack of skill. Or, it could just be an excuse not to get out into the field to actually take photos of something other than a test pattern. There is a certain mentality of person who would rather sit at home shooting test patterns and citing "focus issues" as an excuse not to go out into the field and take sharp photos. Notice that I'm not singling anyone out, so there is no need for anyone to be offended by this remark unless you are one of the people I describe. One of my best friends has been taking acting classes for years, has never auditioned for any real production, yet calls himself an "actor". I suspect a similar situation is going on here with all of these "photographers" who have "focus issues". In fact, I believe one "photographer's" focus issues here have been miraculously solved by Nikon's latest firmware release... except that Nikon did nothing to change focusing behavior in any of their D800 firmware releases. So who are we to take seriously?

I might get flack for this, but if you can't shoot a tack sharp subject (whether moving or not) without needing to use multi-point AF, you lack the proper technique, skill, knowledge and understanding of your own camera. This is a separate issue entirely from whether folks actually have defective cameras. I am simply saying to those people who are singularly focused on their left/right AF points - you don't even need them! You can still go out and take a cover photo for National Geographic using only one out of your 51 AF points.

D800 wrote:

In last 8 years, you probably have been shooting pretty much all stationary subjects, based on your silly comments.

Have you ever shot a moving subject that by the time you recompose, the subject has move to a different distance/location?

I guess you never know or want to know there is such focus mode called AF-C with 9/21/51/3d that people use to shoot moving targets.

AZBlue wrote:

I love how all of a sudden nobody can take a photograph without using a left or right AF point. Regardless of whether these reports are legitimate issues or results of poor testing, how on earth did photographers take pictures before there were left/right AF sensors?

I laugh out loud when I hear [obviously] amateur owners of the D800 say that the left/right AF sensors are absolutely essential because you don't always focus on something in the center of the frame. I guess my "focus and recompose" technique that I have been using since my N90 days must be a flawed technique even though it has resulted in my images being tack sharp for the last 8 years. I can just imagine some of these poor "photographers" thinking to themselves, gee I wish I could take this picture, but there is no AF point over the spot where I want to focus! Damn you Nikon for ruining my career! OMG the humanity...

If Nikon has an issue, it needs to be addressed. If the D800 only had center focus and none of the multi-point AF stuff, would the same people not buy the D800? Was the multi-point AF feature THE defining feature that tipped the scales in favor of your D800 purchase, in other words, you wouldn't have purchased it otherwise? The reason I ask this rhetorical question is because you hear people complaining about the fact that they paid for 51 focus points and expect all 51 focus points to work properly. Personally, the only AF point I care about is the one at the center. I find it far easier to use the center AF point, then recompose, than to use the thumb wheel on the back of the camera to manually move my AF point. The latter seems unintuitive to me, but that's probably because the only cameras I used prior to my D800 only had a center AF point.

While some people have been legitimately affected, let's not pretend that you can't take perfectly good, tack-sharp photos using just the center AF point. IMO if this single issue is stopping you from taking photos, there is something else wrong with your technique if you require left/right AF points all the time. Maybe I'm too old school LOL
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"I've been in more laps than a napkin" - Mae West

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