Continuation of my Nikon D4 assymetrical AF saga Part III

Started Jun 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
chlamchowder Senior Member • Posts: 2,083
Re: My interpretation

D600 is less than 1/3 the price of D4 (less than 1/4 if you bought it on Christmas special), an Af problem is thus a lot harder to swallow with D4 than it is with D600.

While that's true, any DSLR purchase is a very significant purchase. I don't think anyone buys a DSLR without a great deal of thinking and research. And I don't think anyone will be happy with any defect, especially with autofocus (SLRs have had autofocus more than 20 years ago...we'd expect it to be refined by now).

Also D600 is more of a general purpose camera, whereas D4 is a more specialised action camera. If you could settle for unsuable left side AF you probably did not need a D4 in the first place.

Actually, IMO it might be more excusable on a D4 when shooting action.

I shoot a lot of action using my D600, and find that I rarely use the outer points on either side of the AF array. I'm almost always using the center point, on 9 point or 21 point dynamic. The points affected by the left focusing problem aren't even active. (well, if even 21 point dynamic off the center point is affected by the issue, it's pretty ridiculously severe).

I find that selecting outer points doesn't really work for most action scenarios, unless you know exactly how the subject is going to behave (i.e., won't change direction) and have your composition thought out beforehand. It just takes too long to move the point around manually, and if the action starts going the other way, your composition is going to be pretty bad with a focus point on the wrong side selected.

There are modes that use all of the points, like 3D tracking, 39 (51 on the D4) point dynamic, and auto area, but I usually don't use those for action (or much at all). There's just too much of a chance that the camera will pick the wrong thing up with so much AF area active.

But in general purpose photography (meaning everything except fast action), where there is time to move the focus point around, I definitely wouldn't tolerate having bad left focus points.

As for selling... It would be pretty hard to sell a D4 with AF defect. People will ask why you are selling, you either commit fraud by lying or discount very heavily by being honest - who would pay more than 3000 USD for an AF-defective D4 over a brand new D800? Either case would be very stressful.

So, I would not say OP is of persistent character, rather, I think his struggle is out of necessity and anger. I would be too.

D600 has it's own set of focusing issues and varying lighting conditions... but so far i've not seen a single D600 with a left or right side focusing problem. Infact D600 focuses better than the D800/D4 in good light (sunlight). D600 is sort of like a Canon, precise but condition dependent.

Yes, I've heard of that, although I haven't paid too much attention to that on my D600 (hasn't really caused me any issues). I remember doing a semi-controlled test under different light sources, and seeing that dim incandescent light seemed to very consistently throw off accuracy.

I don't quite get the comment about Canon, though. Isn't the performance of any AF system condition-dependent?

Btw, Japan does not agree that the D4 and D800 "problems" are related, every rep i've met insist that it's apple and oranges to bring the D800 issue into the situation as a comparison.

Probably because they're different bodies and therefore assembled on different production lines? They could see it as a QC issue with certain production runs, where AF alignment wasn't good, but of course those production runs would only involve one model (the D800).

Sure, i'm angry, but I want to get this point to as many as possible, that's why I started these series of controversial threads on dpreview.

I honestly don't think I can name a single camera that has no bugs or QC issues from launch to end of production. Ok...well maybe some low end compact cameras, but that's probably because their owners got them really cheap and therefore don't care or are willing to overlook problems.

 chlamchowder's gear list:chlamchowder's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Nikon D600 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +8 more
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