D800 service center check for the focusing points

Started Jun 24, 2012 | Discussions
meng235 New Member • Posts: 20
D800 service center check for the focusing points

I am just amateur photographer shooting occasionally. I received my long waiting wonderful (D800) from the official dealer here in Dubai since more than 2 weeks before. I checked all camera settings and everything are working perfectly. But, since 3 days I noted that the accuracy of focusing of the first left focusing point is better than the accuracy of the last right one, therefore, I went yesterday to Nikon service center to investigate this note. The technician excused the receptionist and took the following two trial shots for the right & left focusing points (DSC-0029 & 0030) just as a preliminary check:-

After magnification up to 10x he decided to make a lab test. After 30 minutes later he came back with the following lab shots:-
1. DSC-0031 for shooting with the center focusing point.

2. DSC-0032 for shooting with the left focusing point,

3. DSC-0033 for shooting with the right focusing point.

Despite the technician came out with conclusion that there are no any issues in the focusing points, but I am still a little bit inconvenient. Just want to share and here your advice.

Thank you & sorry for my English

 meng235's gear list:meng235's gear list
Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II Nikon 85mm F1.8G Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS +7 more
Nikon D800
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Neil Contributing Member • Posts: 624
A real world situation....

With my D800 I only use the centre focus point now. Currently I am shooting a local firefighters calendar and fortunately noticed the problem discussed in this forum early. The first picture setup using the rhs focus point is not sharp but is in the centre. These are some quickly produced outakes from the shoot that will not be used in selection.

Fortunately this was the first firefighter I photographed that day and noticed the problem straight away. After this all other pictures using the centre point are good. I ONLY use the center point now which is only really a hassle on a tripod. I have had the camera for about 5 or 6 weeks. 30 years pro photographer - and yes I know how to focus!

There IS a problem (I later did several tests on a sturdy Manfrotto tripod). Will I return the camera - no. Would I have bought it knowing this problem existed, probably not. I still have and successfully use my D3x as well. Best wishes to those not experiencing this issue.

 Neil's gear list:Neil's gear list
Leica APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH Leica M Typ 240 Nikon D810 Leica M-P (Typ 240) Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR +4 more
Tommot1965 Senior Member • Posts: 1,038
Re: A real world situation....

gee I wish I looked like that.. I expect I do under my insulation..great shot..and no Im not bent

 Tommot1965's gear list:Tommot1965's gear list
Olympus E-M1
OP meng235 New Member • Posts: 20
Re: A real world situation....

Thanks Neil... from the photos i uploaded in my thread, could you please determine whether my D800 is suffering focusing issue or not? ...Thank you

 meng235's gear list:meng235's gear list
Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II Nikon 85mm F1.8G Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS +7 more
kwtse Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: D800 service center check for the focusing points

I went to the Nikon Centre in Hong Kong to purchase a battery for D800. I talked to a staff about the focusing problem that is being discussed in various forum. He said that he did not know about the focusing problem and it is well known that the central point for many cameras gives more accurate focusing than other focusing points.

meng235 wrote:

I am just amateur photographer shooting occasionally. I received my long waiting wonderful (D800) from the official dealer here in Dubai since more than 2 weeks before. I checked all camera settings and everything are working perfectly. But, since 3 days I noted that the accuracy of focusing of the first left focusing point is better than the accuracy of the last right one, ...

goosel
goosel Senior Member • Posts: 1,866
Re: D800 service center check for the focusing points

looks good to me. Wish mine was that good.

OP meng235 New Member • Posts: 20
Re: D800 service center check for the focusing points

Understanding Camera Autofocus 's link ( http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-autofocus.htm ) is supporting your comment, specially the statement.... (Further, since the central AF sensor is almost always the most accurate, for off-center subjects it is often best to first use this sensor to achieve a focus lock (before recomposing the frame) .... but, what is the allowable tolerance here .. i.e, what is the limit beyond which we can say that there are a focusing issue @ the off center focusing sensors ? .. Thanks

 meng235's gear list:meng235's gear list
Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II Nikon 85mm F1.8G Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS +7 more
OP meng235 New Member • Posts: 20
Re: D800 service center check for the focusing points

Thanks Gossel, good news to me till now ... wish you all the best

 meng235's gear list:meng235's gear list
Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II Nikon 85mm F1.8G Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS +7 more
Neil Contributing Member • Posts: 624
Re: A real world situation....

Hard to say Alex from the samples you posted. It depends on lens, aperture etc as to how they obtained your result. What I did to test mine was place a box with fine print on my breakfast bar and took shots without moving the camera at 24 50 & 70mm (on my 24-70mm f2.8). Used a very sturdy Manfrotto tripod, cable release and aperture priority at f2.8 & f5.6. This simple testing method was conclusive. The right focus point was out. The left one considerably out of focus even at f5.6. I am a Nikon user and will continue to be, however denying there is a problem is pointless and could cost good pictures. The D800 camera takes great photographs if the centre focus point is used though, sharpness is evidenced in that last picture I posted which was hand held. It should be very easy to test for yourself and gauge the results Alex Try not to worry too much about focus points, always use the centre one and you will take great pics.

meng235 wrote:

Thanks Neil... from the photos i uploaded in my thread, could you please determine whether my D800 is suffering focusing issue or not? ...Thank you

 Neil's gear list:Neil's gear list
Leica APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH Leica M Typ 240 Nikon D810 Leica M-P (Typ 240) Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR +4 more
Fastmikefree Regular Member • Posts: 434
Re: A real world situation....

Hi Neil

Did you have to fine tune the camera for your lens(es)? I had to do it but the Nikon manual is saying that this should be avoided. Without it, even my center point was not in focus...

85 1.8g by -5
105 2.8 micro by +1
14-24 by -18 (but still not very sharp despite the reputation of that lens...)

Many thanks in advance

Phil

OP meng235 New Member • Posts: 20
Re: A real world situation....

Thanks Neil sooo much, i will try to follow your testing procedure, continue shooting with center focus point & recompose.... as well as following up any feed back from Nikon regarding this issue...All the best

 meng235's gear list:meng235's gear list
Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II Nikon 85mm F1.8G Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS +7 more
Neil Contributing Member • Posts: 624
Re: A real world situation....

Hello Phil,

I haven't altered my settings from normal. I am reluctant to do so because I am used to using the centre point to focus. It just means moving the the camera to recompose. No big deal really. I find focus accuracy on the left and right points for functions (handshakes), wedding groups etc where autofocus can spoil a pic because it focuses between and behind the subjects otherwise. I won't use the L&R points on my D800.

At first I disbelieved posts here, but now I am glad I read them and was careful. If your centre focus point is off then I would definitely return the camera and aim for replacement. I am not qualified to judge why this is happening and probably not as technically savvy as many on the forum but from what I can gather by reading the posts here the problem is common but varies between cameras. I really only finally decided to post because a number of people are denying the problem. I have faith in Nikon and believe that eventually they will do something about it. Try them.

Fastmikefree wrote:

Hi Neil

Did you have to fine tune the camera for your lens(es)? I had to do it but the Nikon manual is saying that this should be avoided. Without it, even my center point was not in focus...

85 1.8g by -5
105 2.8 micro by +1
14-24 by -18 (but still not very sharp despite the reputation of that lens...)

Many thanks in advance

Phil

 Neil's gear list:Neil's gear list
Leica APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH Leica M Typ 240 Nikon D810 Leica M-P (Typ 240) Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR +4 more
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
You might be obsessing

It looks pretty good to me. If you had THE problem you would not need to ask this crowd if the test looks okay. You would know. Get out of here and take some photos. Enjoy your new camera.
--
Roy

tashley Veteran Member • Posts: 4,189
Re: You might be obsessing

I agree. I would be close to delighted with that performance!

BackInTheGame wrote:

It looks pretty good to me. If you had THE problem you would not need to ask this crowd if the test looks okay. You would know. Get out of here and take some photos. Enjoy your new camera.
--
Roy

-- hide signature --
OP meng235 New Member • Posts: 20
Re: You might be obsessing

BackInTheGame wrote:

It looks pretty good to me. If you had THE problem you would not need to ask this crowd if the test looks okay. You would know. Get out of here and take some photos. Enjoy your new camera.
--
Roy

Thanks BackInTheGame... hehehehehe......yes i am a little bit obsessing since i clinched my wife's approval to pay such a lot of money in this wonderful gear ... thanks again, excuse me... i have to go take some photos & enjoy my camera ... see u

 meng235's gear list:meng235's gear list
Nikon D800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Voigtlander 58mm F1.4 Nokton SL II Nikon 85mm F1.8G Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS +7 more
syberman7 Senior Member • Posts: 1,074
Re: D800 service center check for the focusing points

meng235 wrote:

Understanding Camera Autofocus 's link ( http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-autofocus.htm ) is supporting your comment, specially the statement.... (Further, since the central AF sensor is almost always the most accurate, for off-center subjects it is often best to first use this sensor to achieve a focus lock (before recomposing the frame) .... but, what is the allowable tolerance here .. i.e, what is the limit beyond which we can say that there are a focusing issue @ the off center focusing sensors ? .. Thanks

So why are there 51 of them? Is this a joke? If the only accurate AF point is the centre one, and that's the only way I can get true 36 MP resolution, Nikon maybe should have thought a bit more carefully about this camera release.

 syberman7's gear list:syberman7's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 +7 more
showmak Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: A real world situation....

Are those firefighters or bodybuilders? BTW, nice pics...

 showmak's gear list:showmak's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D4S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +3 more
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
lol...good luck

It really is a fantastic camera.
--
Roy

Neil Contributing Member • Posts: 624
Re: A real world situation....

showmak wrote:

Are those firefighters or bodybuilders? BTW, nice pics...

Thank you, hard to tell sometimes but they are genuine firefighters although you wouldn't know it from looking at some of them Here's some pics from the D3x.

I do not wish to hijack the thread Alex created and I believe Nikon equipment is quite capable of taking excellent pictures. But, I am very careful to only use the centre focus point on the D800 now. When I do I get fantastic sharpness.

 Neil's gear list:Neil's gear list
Leica APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH Leica M Typ 240 Nikon D810 Leica M-P (Typ 240) Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR +4 more
manni Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: A real world situation....

Has anyone else sent a d800 in to a service centre? Or indeed any camera?

Mine has the dreaded back focus on the far left, well beyond field curvature or what can be cured by af fine-tune. I'm going to try calling the service centre tomorrow to find out if it sounds like something they can fix. I've never sent a camera in before - anyone here ever done it? Is auto-focus inaccuracies, especially the type seen on d800s where it varies point to point, the type of thing they might be able to correct in a service centre.

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