D800 Autofocus issues II

Started Jan 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
turbsy Contributing Member • Posts: 909
Re: While raising the same issue yet again does little

Photo Pete wrote:

Photo Pete wrote:


You miss my point. I have never seen a target which has passed the Leonard test. Not to demonstrate a fault or to demonstrate correct focus. Failing to acknowledge repeatable focus errors due to every attempted target in 162 posts being 'unreliable' is nonsense when no one has used or posted results which show focus consistently works on a reliable target. According to Leonard there has never been a reliable target!

I don't want to discuss Leonard. He can answer for himself. What I am saying is that I have not seen any evidence of issues and by "issue" I mean a problem which exists in EVERY nikon D800/D800e/D4 except the one connected to external flash AF assist light. That is the ONLY issue related to AF which is very easy to proof and is consistent. I do not deny the possibility that there are cameras out there which have problems, but I refuse to believe that every one of them has the same problem because I certainly know that mine does not have anything else than the flash related one.

I will play along with your car analogy. In the UK we need to take our car to a garage every year to have it tested for safety (MOT test). Many, many cars fail the test as the owners are not aware of problems that exist with their vehicles. They do not check or inspect their vehicles in sufficient detail to know the problem exists.

That's different and is the same in most European countries, at least in Sweden and France where I have lived and owned a car. That test is a safety test, they don't check that the car is actually working according to the specs, they check safety related stuff only, so your analogy is not right.

There are also manufacturer recalls for faults identified by a few drivers, faults which other drivers may be unaware of.

Sure, like Nikon recalled the battery last year, or the year before. Canon done similar "recall" also with the G10 for example.

I hate analogies as they are always tenuous, but the above would seem to be the opposite of what you appear to be using the car analogy to say.

No, not in my world, but to get back on track, how do you want to proof that my camera is working in situations I claim it is working fine? Anyway, I still state that such thing is NOT possible to proof and starting endless threads with "My D800 AF works just fine" would be pointless.

Personally my D800 will focus well in good light with all focus points but is much more erratic in low light than my D3S ever was, exhibiting micro hunting when in AF-c and also much less tolerance to less than perfect focus targets. I have tried a couple of other D800 bodies which acted exactly the same. I need the resolution the camera offers for my architectural clients and can live with the problem. I will, however, comment that the problem exists when a thread such as this arises.

I do agree that starting multiple threads to discuss the same problem is somewhat excessive. If I could not live with the issue I would return the camera to Nikon. If Nikon did not fix the issue I would change brands.


Talking of returning cameras to Nikon, have you any feedback on the AF Assist issue with speedlights? That certainly does seem to be something that Nikon should be able to correct and I'm with you on your approach to Nikon to try and resolve it (having raised a query also).

No, my camera is at Nikon Sweden right now. I hope they will fix it and mainly, what I hope most is that the fix won't mess up my AF for normal use. I don't often use the flash, so for me the normal use is more important and I have zero AF issues. Even in low light the AF is working just fine, even at f/1.4, and have no "left AF problems". So I hope that remains the same. Anyway, I specifically asked Nikon if they want any lens sent in as well, but the answer was no, just the camera and the SB900, so they seem to know something and that sound promising. You can be sure I'll get back about it when I get my camera back, but I promise you, I won't start endless threads over and over, regardless what. If they mess the normal AF up I will send it back, but honestly, I trust them and don't expect they will do any harm.


Well, proving a camera focuses accurately should be exactly the same process as proving it doesn't! Take a photo using good technique of a good target and check if it is in focus.

However I am also sure most of the problems that exist are due to sample variation. That is almost certainly part of the reason why the D4 has not suffered the same sort of AF problem backlash. The D4 / D3s are full blooded pro cameras which I believe are subject to greater levels of manufacturing quality control (the extra cost is there for a reason!) There is probably also a slight improvement in pro camera performance due to improved processing power.

If nothing else, threads like this help remind people that sample variation is more likely with semi-pro or consumer grade cameras.

What is more worrying for Nikon is the perception that they may not fix an issue when a camera is returned to them, or that they may mess simething else up. That is a real lack of consumer confidence that they need to address (by not repeating recent denials such as the D600 / D610 fiasco)

I hope you get a good result with your AF assist issue. It seems like something that could be handled with a firmware update.
Have Fun
Photo Pete

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Olympus XZ-1 Nikon D50 Nikon D300 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +11 more
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