D800E Will Not Focus Reliably

Started Jun 28, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Jeff2013 Senior Member • Posts: 1,622
D800E Will Not Focus Reliably

I made a similar post several months back, but I still have my problem and I am at wits-end.

My D800E has never focused reliably. This is not noticeable when shooting at f8, but when shooting fast lenses at f1.4/f2, I can rarely get reliable sharp focus. I have spent hours calibrating my many lenses to my Spyder LensCal (focusing on flat surface), but the calibration varies, from shot to shot. In contrast, when I shoot my mirrorless cameras on the same target, the focus is dead-on every shot, since mirrorless cameras essentially shoot Live View.

I sent the D800E to Nikon to have it repaired. They essentially “tuned” the camera and said the focusing was good. To my dismay, there was no noticeable difference when I got it back. When at photography events and shoots, I have talked to other D800 owners that seem to have similar difficulties. One fellow said that his 85mm f1.4 is unusable at wide apertures (as is mine). Is this problem similar to the D600 oil spot issue? It took a Class-Action lawsuit before Nikon admitted to the problem and provided remedies. Was this focusing issue the primary motivation for Nikon to release the D810 that incorporates the D4S focusing system?

I have made a huge investment in my Nikon system, so wholly jumping ship to another manufacturer is not very practical; however, something has got to change. If I acquire the new D810, what are my chances of solving this problem? Are there any technically aware individuals out there that can provide some guidance? At this point, I couldn’t be more frustrated.

 Jeff2013's gear list:Jeff2013's gear list
Canon EOS 5DS R Sony Alpha 7R II Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM +11 more
Nikon D4S Nikon D600 Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Nikon D810
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