Still not happy with the D850 AF

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Nils
Nils Senior Member • Posts: 1,158
Still not happy with the D850 AF

I have been shooting with the D850 (three in total) since it release. I have a huge line up on lenses I love. Especially the 200mm 2.0, 400mm 2.8 and the incredible 105mm 1.4

I have tried so many solutions on the AF problems. Different AF Shift on different Apertures with the same lens! E.g. I adjust the backfocus on the 105mm at 1.4, but at 2.8 it needs a different back focus adjustment.

Now with Sony and Canon really being able to handle this with their newest cams ( the Canon r5 AF looks incredible) and the Z-Series of Nikon not really an upgrade it is really tough for me to wait, especially with Nikon about to go broke

What to do? I am really hoping for a Nikon Z8 or something, which is probably earliest end of 2021 (until then they will be out of business imho)

Thanks for any thoughts!

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Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach Forum Pro • Posts: 13,940
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
20

Nils wrote:

I have been shooting with the D850 (three in total) since it release. I have a huge line up on lenses I love. Especially the 200mm 2.0, 400mm 2.8 and the incredible 105mm 1.4

I have tried so many solutions on the AF problems. Different AF Shift on different Apertures with the same lens! E.g. I adjust the backfocus on the 105mm at 1.4, but at 2.8 it needs a different back focus adjustment.

Now with Sony and Canon really being able to handle this with their newest cams ( the Canon r5 AF looks incredible) and the Z-Series of Nikon not really an upgrade it is really tough for me to wait, especially with Nikon about to go broke

What to do? I am really hoping for a Nikon Z8 or something, which is probably earliest end of 2021 (until then they will be out of business imho)

Thanks for any thoughts!

My thought is that you need a change of brand.

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rokoko
rokoko Senior Member • Posts: 1,906
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
7

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

Nils wrote:

I have been shooting with the D850 (three in total) since it release. I have a huge line up on lenses I love. Especially the 200mm 2.0, 400mm 2.8 and the incredible 105mm 1.4

I have tried so many solutions on the AF problems. Different AF Shift on different Apertures with the same lens! E.g. I adjust the backfocus on the 105mm at 1.4, but at 2.8 it needs a different back focus adjustment.

Now with Sony and Canon really being able to handle this with their newest cams ( the Canon r5 AF looks incredible) and the Z-Series of Nikon not really an upgrade it is really tough for me to wait, especially with Nikon about to go broke

What to do? I am really hoping for a Nikon Z8 or something, which is probably earliest end of 2021 (until then they will be out of business imho)

Thanks for any thoughts!

My thought is that you need a change of brand.

I am afraid so.

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Sony a7 III Nikon Z7
rokoko
rokoko Senior Member • Posts: 1,906
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
1

Nils wrote:

I have been shooting with the D850 (three in total) since it release. I have a huge line up on lenses I love. Especially the 200mm 2.0, 400mm 2.8 and the incredible 105mm 1.4

I have tried so many solutions on the AF problems. Different AF Shift on different Apertures with the same lens! E.g. I adjust the backfocus on the 105mm at 1.4, but at 2.8 it needs a different back focus adjustment.

Now with Sony and Canon really being able to handle this with their newest cams ( the Canon r5 AF looks incredible) and the Z-Series of Nikon not really an upgrade it is really tough for me to wait, especially with Nikon about to go broke

What to do? I am really hoping for a Nikon Z8 or something, which is probably earliest end of 2021 (until then they will be out of business imho)

Thanks for any thoughts!

Not quite sure rumored Z7s can surpass D850's AF-C tracking. This is probably the earliest offer you can count on. Nikon is not quitting its DSLR business yet.

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Bill Fagan Senior Member • Posts: 2,070
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
3

Have you attempted to have the issue serviced by Nikon?  It does not sound like typical performance to me.

larrywilson
larrywilson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,021
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
3

Bill Fagan wrote:

Have you attempted to have the issue serviced by Nikon? It does not sound like typical performance to me.

Yes, sounds like something wrong with the camera, needs to be checked.

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Nils
OP Nils Senior Member • Posts: 1,158
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF

larrywilson wrote:

Bill Fagan wrote:

Have you attempted to have the issue serviced by Nikon? It does not sound like typical performance to me.

Yes, sounds like something wrong with the camera, needs to be checked.

I have three D850 (I tested 5) and everyone has its "sweet spot" for every single lens. Two of them have "area unsharpness" at 2.8 and lower which is quite annoying when you shooting fashion with the 105mm 1.4 and the top is out of focus no matter where you place it.

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rokoko
rokoko Senior Member • Posts: 1,906
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF

Nils wrote:

larrywilson wrote:

Bill Fagan wrote:

Have you attempted to have the issue serviced by Nikon? It does not sound like typical performance to me.

Yes, sounds like something wrong with the camera, needs to be checked.

I have three D850 (I tested 5) and everyone has its "sweet spot" for every single lens. Two of them have "area unsharpness" at 2.8 and lower which is quite annoying when you shooting fashion with the 105mm 1.4 and the top is out of focus no matter where you place it.

I tried two D850s, each of them gave me different AF tune number for the same lens. I used Reikan Focal to calibrate the lens.

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 20,151
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
7

Nils wrote:

Two of them have "area unsharpness" at 2.8 and lower which is quite annoying when you shooting fashion with the 105mm 1.4 and the top is out of focus no matter where you place it.

Presuming the subject is exactly parallel to the sensor either the lens mount or the body mount is not parallel to the sensor.

To check this out use a tripod head which can be rotated through 180 degrees.

With the camera in portrait mode take a shot, then rotate the camera through 180 degree and take a second test shot.

If the out of focus part between the 2 shots moves from top to bottom of the image the lens or camera probably needs a repair. If not the problem might be something other than a lens or camera body.

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than anything else.

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Jim Keye Senior Member • Posts: 2,336
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
2

Bill Fagan wrote:

Have you attempted to have the issue serviced by Nikon? It does not sound like typical performance to me.

Focus shift is common, and almost guaranteed with fast lenses. Hi-res bodies make it much more obvious. But it's always been there.

The only true way to avoid it is focusing at the aperture being used, which requires live view. And outside of the D780, that pretty strongly points to a MILC body.

thetwonk Regular Member • Posts: 264
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
4

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

Nils wrote:

I have been shooting with the D850 (three in total) since it release. I have a huge line up on lenses I love. Especially the 200mm 2.0, 400mm 2.8 and the incredible 105mm 1.4

I have tried so many solutions on the AF problems. Different AF Shift on different Apertures with the same lens! E.g. I adjust the backfocus on the 105mm at 1.4, but at 2.8 it needs a different back focus adjustment.

Now with Sony and Canon really being able to handle this with their newest cams ( the Canon r5 AF looks incredible) and the Z-Series of Nikon not really an upgrade it is really tough for me to wait, especially with Nikon about to go broke

What to do? I am really hoping for a Nikon Z8 or something, which is probably earliest end of 2021 (until then they will be out of business imho)

Thanks for any thoughts!

My thought is that you need a change of brand.

Yup looks like a an EVF and red banded lenses are calling you

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bflood Senior Member • Posts: 2,064
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
2

Nils wrote:

with the 105mm 1.4 and the top is out of focus no matter where you place it.

This sounds like a decentered lens to me. Before volunteering for the cost of a complete system replacement with another manufacturer's products, I suggest you get Nikon involved. You could benefit greatly from sending one or more cameras and/or one or more lenses to them.

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twamers Senior Member • Posts: 1,633
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
2

Nils wrote:

I have been shooting with the D850 (three in total) since it release. I have a huge line up on lenses I love. Especially the 200mm 2.0, 400mm 2.8 and the incredible 105mm 1.4

I have tried so many solutions on the AF problems. Different AF Shift on different Apertures with the same lens! E.g. I adjust the backfocus on the 105mm at 1.4, but at 2.8 it needs a different back focus adjustment.

Now with Sony and Canon really being able to handle this with their newest cams ( the Canon r5 AF looks incredible) and the Z-Series of Nikon not really an upgrade it is really tough for me to wait, especially with Nikon about to go broke

What to do? I am really hoping for a Nikon Z8 or something, which is probably earliest end of 2021 (until then they will be out of business imho)

Thanks for any thoughts!

Have you sent the bodies and lenses to Nikon?  You say you've had this problem with AF since the release of the D850 - well that's 3 years I believe.  That sure is a long time.  So what have Nikon said or done??

By the way yours is the only post I've seen with this sort of extreme problem...on any site I look at.  If they were my bodies they'd have been back with Nikon ages ago.  I hope you get it sorted.

PerfectPoms
PerfectPoms Senior Member • Posts: 2,216
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF

I'd suggest picking up a Z7 to see if it works for you - and if it doesn't, you should be able to sell it used for not a great loss of $

The camera that is always soft at the top probably has the sensor not lined up parallel to the mount.  If you explain to Nikon that it has been this way since day 1, they MIGHT give you some consideration on a repair.

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Nils
OP Nils Senior Member • Posts: 1,158
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF

Thanks. Yes. I had the cams and lenses several times with Nikon NPS. The weird thing about the D850 is that over time the focus sweet spot changes. I had that with every 1.4 lens

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lokatz
lokatz Senior Member • Posts: 1,885
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
23

IMO, this thread is just pointless.  If you're not getting excellent results from a D850, maybe you don't know how to use a camera.  EVERY review says that much, and my own experience does, too. The D850 has few competitors, if any, and none clearly beat it.

If you simply don't like the body: well, sell it and move on. But don't badmouth what is almost universally recognized as one of the most capable cameras ever.

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 20,151
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF

Nils wrote:

I had the cams and lenses several times with Nikon NPS.

What did Nikon say?

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Leonard Shepherd
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ruley74
ruley74 Contributing Member • Posts: 551
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF

I had an issue a while back where i though it may have been a decentered lens as it was soft on one side of the frame... once i got a few more lenses i noticed it still there and much more noticeable on my 2.8 zooms.

Turned out to be my front body until was even so slightly bent which put the lens to sensor alignment out. with lenses stopped down a bit and not being too critical of an image you would have not picked it up.

Front body unit replaced and it's so good now.

Speaking to the repair guys and they reckon they do that job about once a week (on all camera's and brand's), and it's surprisingly easy to knock out of whack.

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DAVID MANZE Veteran Member • Posts: 6,217
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
5

lokatz wrote:

IMO, this thread is just pointless. If you're not getting excellent results from a D850, maybe you don't know how to use a camera. EVERY review says that much, and my own experience does, too. The D850 has few competitors, if any, and none clearly beat it.

If you simply don't like the body: well, sell it and move on. But don't badmouth what is almost universally recognized as one of the most capable cameras ever.

So is this post !! .......... you haven't the camera in your hand and know nothing about it .........

....... any camera can have faults without the blame being laid on the user!

Idiotic reply!!

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 20,151
Re: Still not happy with the D850 AF
9

DAVID MANZE wrote:

So is this post !! .......... you haven't the camera in your hand and know nothing about it .........

....... any camera can have faults without the blame being laid on the user!

Idiotic reply!!

Or is it a sensible reply?

Any camera can develop an operational issue over time.

Most experienced photographers know when their camera or lens is not working as it should - and proceed to do something about it.

Doing something about it can sometimes be as simple as cleaning the electrical contacts or (in wet shooting conditions) removing condensation from the front element or viewfinder. Sometimes the equipment needs a service or repair.

We can comment on images posted etc.

Any camera/lens can work well - even though some users have difficulty getting good results using it

Earlier you implied your camera has been back to NPS several times - and yet you seem unwilling to report what they found or did not find.

Based on the detail of the problem you have provided - my conclusion is the "blame" might be entered around the user.

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than anything else.

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