D800 Autofocus issues II

Started Jan 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
u007 Senior Member • Posts: 1,681
Re: While raising the same issue yet again does little

MattiD80 wrote:

Threads like these made me paranoia that my camera 'cannot' focus (d800). On a moving target in darkness i might have trouble, but then wouldn't D700 as well? In daylight and cloudy days it's pretty damn accurate. Sometimes there's a micro error, but that's probably cause i haven't finetuned. (then again i often get right pictures wich means finetuning could have made those pictures bad).

I've been shooting a lot in cloudy days lately, trying to get sharp pictures F5,6-F8 and without VR it's quite challenging my technique. Inspecting the pictures lately, i come across pictures that are very hazy. Then I tried to look for 'motion blur' signs (like tree branches that leave a trail shadow, wich is 100% confirmation it's motion blur.) I also check from front to back if anything is sharp, if so (doesnt matter how far from the true subject), it confirms wrong focus. Then there's pictures that are hazy, but when zoomed into, on still subject, there no direct 'unsharp' indications. Hard to explain. I came to the conclusion D800 often has what I call 'micro motion blur.' Not the kind of blur that my D80 pictures had. Watching a lot of internet pics, I often see this in pictures there also.

I think often 'autofocus failure' is the first though, when it's actually motion blur. To me it feels and seems that to prevent complete motion blur (from handholding, shutter release etc), one needs 2 to 3x shutter speed on D800 as D700. Basically D700 is a lazy camera in comparison, your technique can be worse. That's not to say D800 cannot make sharp images at same shutter speed. But like 'primeshooters quote' (i think?) in the other thread "I take 5 pictures and only 2 are sharp' will most likely happen with shutter speed good for D700 but on the critical barrier for d800 shutter speed. Shooting 1/20 (or lower) to 1/160 one must keep this is mind. This is the shooting range where often 'micro motion blur' occurs. Not your everyday lazy shot motion blur (obvious 'subject trails' in the picture indicating how where and how strong you moved the camera), but the whole picture will look as it's out of focus. Maybe this is still underestemated? D800 requires more discipline.

However i don't doubt left-AF issue, and people with bad AF units in general. D7000 had this issue on a lot of camera for sure, and D800 is sort of it's big brother. But so far as far as my limit wisdom can tell me my D800 is fine focussing wise perhaps only an edge behind D4 (wich obviously is better checked out, can't have a sports camera failing at nailing focus at all, it's everything or nothing in that category.)

Honestly, it seems like you are seriously over-analysing this. If you look at the D800 photo at the same size as a D800 photo, it will be the same or sharper. It can never be worse. Maybe if you examine at 100% you might see motion blur which wouldn't be visible on the D700, but that motion blur was always there if your technique was the same.

You really shouldn't have any problems getting sharp photos at f5.6-8.0 on a cloudy day. And you definitely shouldn't need to meticulously inspect every photo for sharpness.

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