D800 Autofocus issues II

Started Jan 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
olyflyer Forum Pro • Posts: 25,962
Re: While raising the same issue yet again does little

Photo Pete wrote:

turbsy wrote:

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.

Why would someone prove there camera is working? In most normal cases when someone complains this much they want to show the issue With samples.

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.

Lower resolution?

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

Threads like this help no one but the troll who started it.

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)

This is 100% true. Nikon has taken a huge hit as of late on these forums and they deserve every bit of it. From the D800 left AF, The D600 oil spots and lets not forget the Nikon service policy of blaming everything on impact damage. Things need to change in the policy setting at Nikon.

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

There is no difference in credibility in this sort of thread between the poster stating AF faults exist but who fails to post samples and the poster stating AF faults don't exist without posting samples.

But surely, you must have seen a huge number of well focused images by now, so posting a "test" image which is well focused would prove nothing.

Critisizing someone for not posting samples which demonstrate their argument is pure hypocrisy if you don't post samples to illustrate your own point of view.

Once again, if a person is complaining he/she must provide the base of his/her complains, otherwise it is called trolling. A person NOT complaining can prove nothing.

What they are really saying is: "I'm a good photographer and telling the truth but you're not and have to prove what you're saying".

Of course the complainer must show the problem otherwise he/she can't be taken seriously. What do you think Nikon does if you are complaining about your camera? They take a few test shots, check parameters and conclude if there is something to fix (i.e. to complain about) or not. I complained about my AF to them, the first thing they asked was some test images to show that there is a possible problem. After I took the images the way THEY wanted, i.e. the way it is described on their web, plus some more discussion, they accepted that there was something wrong and asked me to send in the camera and the flash. You see, it is ALWAYS up to the complainer to prove his/her case. If he/she can't prove anything AND Nikon can't find any problems then there is no case.

Critisizing someone for not using suitable focus targets or testing discipline is pure hypocrisy if you aren't prepared to demonstrate what target and testing procedure you would use instead.

How to test AF is clear. The hypocrisy is to bluntly refuse to do as Nikon defined, the hypocrisy is to refuse to read and follow the manual, the hypocrisy is to whine and nag and troll without any evidence.


Yes, trolling and whining is childish. What is mature and adult thing to do is that if you have problems, you solve them or let somebody take care of it.

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