D800E AF test in "realistic" outdoor conditions

Started Jul 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
MOD TOF guy Forum Pro • Posts: 13,605
Reality check: when does the leftmost sensor lock?

Until yesterday I was waiting for my D800e. My experience with the D300 was that the non-crossed sensors were very good at focusing accurately with all sorts of targets.

And when focus is not possible, the lens hunt, instead of a random focus lock.

It seems absurb to think that the D800 would not perform as well as the D300, since Nikon has certainly improved the sensor.

So I've never believed all this stuff about targets. That's not to say that it's a bad idea to be thorough to check this kind of problem. Being careful helps coming to a sure conclusion. Just that the vast majority of targets people have used in this forum are good enough, because the sensor ain't as picky as some want you to believe.

Now that I have the real thing in my hands, and as it happens I've drawn a lucky straw (if focuses properly with all sensors), I can tell you that the D800e leftmost AF sensor performs at least as well as in the D300:

  • target with relatively low contrast

  • targets with a line only in the worse direction for a non-crossed sensor - that's right, it can acquire focus even with those - although not always: for instance a thin line with high contrast will prevent focus - and in this case the lens hunts, focus is not locked . There is a bit of hit and miss: a thick line with high contrast works, a thin line with moderate contrast works most of the time and better than one with high contrast, etc. all in the least favorable direction of the sensor.

All of these with precise focus each time focus is locked.

Thank you for posting your results. And sorry to see that your camera is affected. The good news is that Nikon is deploying the fix. Take heart: your camera will be fixed.

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