Refurbished D800 with AF issues: Exchange or send in for repair?

Started Jan 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Fayard Regular Member • Posts: 127
Re: Refurbished D800 with AF issues: Exchange or send in for repair?

I ordered a refurbished D800 from adorama a week ago or so. The body was in good condition, with just a few scratches that were covered with a paint pen. It had less than a thousand shutter clicks. The screen didn't have any green tint issues.

But the auto focus has some major issues, that no level of AF tuning can help. I can keep rolling the dice and try exchanging it until I get one that was actually repaired.

Or I can just take my chances with the 90 day warranty and return it to Nikon and hope for the best. My primary body only had slight auto focus problems, that were never seen in my typical shooting. This one however, has far more severe ones in comparison.

Ran Focal three seperate times, in different lighting and got pretty much identical results every time.

The lens used was the Nikon 28mm F1.8G at 1.8.

What would you guys do? Exchange or repair?

I have tested a lot of D800, and my experience is that:

- If you want it to be fine with fast primes wihout fine tuning, you are going to go through a lot of them. I have tested 5 so far, and my experience is that is something you can't get.
- Fine tune for the center, the left and the right. You'll get 3 different numbers, then pick something in the middle. Try that and see if you are happy. I have done that with my fast primes and there is a different of 10 AF fine tune units in between the different points. With an AF Fine Tune set in the middle, there is no way to make out the difference in between phase detect and contrast detect autofocus, even at 100%. The target is just at different positions inside the "depth of field".

I do develop softwares and I know how they can be misleading. The fact that is gives very different values for the center point and the point just below that is worrysome to me. I can't imagine which miscalibration of the body could do that.
If you want to be serious about Fine Tune, buy a LensAlign tool or build it yourself. I wouldn't trust this kind of software, even if they can work pretty well when used correctly.

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