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Confirmed: Nikon has a fix for the D800/D800E left focusing issue

Ming Thein reported on his blog that his D800E left focusing problem was fixed by NPS:

"Just got my D800E back from NPS. Apparently, the cause of the focusing problem in all cases is some inaccurate calibration data entered during the alignment/ calibration process. I was told it’s basically a case of hooking the camera up to the laser calibration jig, and letting a piece of software run a calibration routine point by point – there are no physical or mechanical adjustments made to the camera. The software then writes this somewhere in the camera’s ROM for future use."

There are several videos and reports online that illustrate in details the D800/D800E asymmetric focusing issue. There is no official fix yet, but my guess is that it will be released soon since NPS was already able to resolve the problem.

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  • KT

    Finally, now I can order mine

    • T.I.M

      @KT
      Keep dreaming, the D800 you will order now have been made months ago….
      :o)

      • http://www.suomipictures.info Mikko Moilanen

        In Soviet Russia D800 orders you :D

        • Calibrator

          If you want “girls” then perhaps, but the most beautiful *women* come from Italy – and you can’t “order” them (anything to do).
          ;-)

          • LP

            I’m italian, and I agree with Calibrator ;)

          • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com bob cooley

            But you *CAN* request that they shave their mustaches ;)

        • Valerio

          I am italian too, but I usually do not “order” girls since they are not objects.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovewalkman/ Abhinav

            wtf

          • mampfred

            o hai white knight

          • T.I.M

            @Valerio
            You’re right, that’s why they have Miss Italy, Miss Europe, Miss Univers…..because they are not objects but dolls !
            :o

      • Mikey

        I ordered mine on Monday and it will be here tomorrow. Roberts Camera in Indianapolis is great for stuff like that.

    • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

      they cannot write it in camera ROM.

      • http://www.robertash.com Robert Ash

        You’re right, ROM stands for Read-Only Memory, but when the ROM is written it’s often not written completely, there’s often space reserved for additional writing if needed. Seems Nikon left some of the ROM unwritten just for these sorts of situations.

        • Phil

          So which part of “read only memory” did you not understand?

          • Donald

            “So which part of “read only memory” did you not understand?”

            It’s a bit funny when people do this and don’t have a clue…

            It is “read only” for the camera. It has to be “written” as some point unless you think the code is part of the hardware manufacturing process.

            • ninpou_kobanashi

              Very funny indeed.
              If it was never written to, whatcha gonna read? Even non EPROM ROMs have to be written to in order to be useful? (^_^)

            • nuno santacana

              The Universe was born with ROM already written. It was simultaneous with the Big Bang.

        • RoyL

          Surely they are using EPROM, no?

          • Tom

            In fact… EEPROM. Phototogs aren’t exactly known for their intelligence.

            • BartyL

              Derrrr…Barty make pitcha with cam cam…derrr…Tom so smart…derrrrr….why not Tom king of world?

            • neversink

              Excuse Me!!!! I just found out I’m not so smart……

              I’m turning in my college deegrees, and the truth is, I cheated and bribed my way through school. I am really an ignoramus without any clue of how anything works.

              Actually, most photographers I know are quite intelligent with knowledge across many disciplines and with many interests, talents and skills other than photography (which, by the way, is more than knowing how to point and shoot.)

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com bob cooley

              and tech-nerds who act like knowledge-nazis on commenting systems are hardly known for the eloquence (or ability to find attractive mates) :)

        • T.I.M

          ROM can now be written, like a memory card, RAM is erase when there is no power to keep it alive.

      • pegdrgr

        Not entirely true. ROM can come in the form of EEPROM, which is electrically erasable programmable read only memory. Typically you need to catch the device before it boots, send over a command that puts it into a mode to accept the data, send the data, confirm the data, and you are good to reboot.

        • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

          ROM is not EEPROM

          it is like saying that printed CD is CD-R.
          ROMs are made for the content.
          EPROMS or EEPROMS and other are electrically or UV- reprogrammable

          • pegdrgr

            We will have to agree to disagree. I am aware of UV erasable EPROM, but that is obviously not what they are doing. I am not sure how any form of a ROM is not considered a ROM, but to each his own.

            In this particular reference I believe the person stating ROM is probably not to be held to full technical correctness.

            • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

              because CD-R is a CD, as in compact disc, but CD is not CD-R

              ROMs are permanent
              xxPROMS are programable

              but usually under different conditions so the device cannot do it on accident. For example over another interface or pins or with UV

              usually there are no ROMs for firmware. It is EEPROM most of the time. ROMs are used where you need permanent content and lowest possible price. They cost nothing against EEPROMs which are even more expensive then flash memory is.

          • Kent

            Thanks Harold, for asserting your superiority.

            For what we need most in a camera rumors site is some geek showing he knows more about ROM vs EEPROM he learnt about in grade 7 computers class than a random blog owner.

            For if this error was left uncorrected with multiple posts, all our photos would surely be overexposed and our autofocus all be front focused.

            Thank you Harold our savior.

            PS, can you also go after those people who use the phrase “burn to CD”, for as you mentioned, CD is not CD-R and burning a CD would also result in noxious fumes.

            • Michael Switzer

              + 1 Kent. when Harold is not posting ridiculous stuff like this ,he whines about what terrible company Nikon has been lately.

            • Norman the Conqueror

              Well that’s one in the eye for Harold!

          • Tom

            Derp.

            You’re splitting hairs and sounding stupid doing it. Nobody uses hard coded ROMs for calibration data specific to a camera. That would be unwieldy and stupid in manufacturing.

            • Phred99

              From the Wikipedia entry on Read-only memory:

              Other types of non-volatile memory such as erasable programmable read only memory (EPROM) and electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM or Flash ROM) are sometimes referred to, in an abbreviated way, as “read-only memory” (ROM); although these types of memory can be erased and re-programmed multiple times, writing to this memory takes longer and may require different procedures than reading the memory.[1] When used in this less precise way, “ROM” indicates a non-volatile memory which serves functions typically provided by mask ROM, such as storage of program code and nonvolatile data.

            • Tom

              I don’t care what Wiki says on the topic personally.

              I know what I’m talking about. I was in electronic warfare for years and been working on computer components for the last 18 years, give or take.

              People have no clue what they are talking about are chiming in and sorry, not going to change my tune just because a bunch of fools think that someone would ever put calibration data on a hard “ROM” and not one that is reprogramable. That’s about as stupid as I’ve seen the conversations on this site get.

            • Pablo Ricasso

              Hey Tom, I didn’t give a * about computers until a minute ago, but now I want to learn, in a really bad way, so I can help program where to send the next attack drone…

  • Simon Wee

    Good to hear that. Hopefully they can get all the major issues fixed soon!! :)

    • Andrew

      That’s it – this fixes all the major issues. But Nikon cannot take great pictures for you – for that, you will need training and experience.

  • Phil

    I knew it was just a matter of time until it would be fixed. I don’t want to be without my D800 for any length of time, so I never had any interest in fixing it.

    • Calibrator

      My preciousssss….

      • Carlos

        Ha Funny but (sadly) appropriate.

    • Ankle

      I bet you wear it around your uncle!

  • 120-300 os for Nikon

    get all the bugs out and more people like me and others shall buy it

    • Andrew

      “more people”? For me all the bugs are out. In fact the great news is that all the bugs you speak of were software and not hardware related. Like the software (i.e. firmware) update we got from Nikon. When I talk about bugs, I am talking about things that interfere with the physical performance of the camera and its ability to take perfect pictures.

      • Geoff_K

        When the left focus point wont focus properly, that is a problem

        • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

          yea but it was not really that big deal, you wont see it in the real life with little care.
          I just remember to focus on nose except on eyes when using left AF confirmation dot and thats it

          just pixel peepers are screaming

          imagine you would have to manual focus f1.4 lens, then all those noisy noobs would fall on the ground

          • Andrew

            1+

            “I just remember to focus on nose except on eyes when using left AF confirmation dot and thats it…”

            Harold, I could not have said it more eloquently, thank you for bringing clarity to the issue!

            • Geoff_K

              ROFL, so both of you are OK with a $3k camera that you have to focus improperly to get proper focus.

            • Andrew

              Geoff_K, the issue is not the price of the camera. I am not OK with any product that has a software bug. This focus issue was due to a software bug and it has been fixed. We are responding to people that are complaining after a fix is issued.

              I am a perfectionist, and any little problem is usually magnified until I learn to live with it. It is the same if I have one dead pixel on my computer monitor – it usually frustrates me for a few hours and thereafter I practically forget it ever existed in the first place.

              And yes, I can live with a focus problem that is easy to solve or avoid and therefore will not affect the quality of the picture. The D800 is worth every penny of the 3k Nikon is asking for it. It replaces the D3x for many – which was selling for $8,000. This is cause for celebration!

          • candid

            That’s a very practical procedure, even more if you’re shooting action!

  • Alan

    does that mean we have to send the camera in? Can a firmware update fix this problem?

    • …unless you happen to have a Nikon focus adjustment rig at home, it needs to go to a service point.

      • Banned

        I printed a focus target from some blog, does that work?

        • WoutK89

          No, because it doesnt change your focus alignment in the camera’s ROM.

          • Ben

            I go to nikon rumors every day, does that fix the focus?

            • knappe duivel

              No, you have to visit at least twice a day

            • Andrew

              Yes, with a little bit of prayer and faith. If your faith is as small as a grain of mustard seed – which is usually 1 or 2mm in diameter. That’s all the faith you need!

            • Andrew

              Faith is the means by which you calibrate physical properties in matter – like the D800’s focus adjustment (i.e. by using technology beyond the realm of software). But for most, it is advisable that they simply walk into a Nikon service center to get the calibration done the good old fashioned way – by brute force (whose equivalent in the software world is the brute force algorithm). Enough of this metaphysical talk!

    • French Fries

      If you have the necessary laser equipment laying around in your own house you could always ask Nikon to send them the needed firmware.

      Meaby you should read the entire story next time….

      • Jim
        • Banned

          Jim, we don’t take kindly to your racist rants and pictures here on the Interwebz, please be careful next time.

          • Dan

            How’s he being racist? I think that term is about as overworked, overdone and flatly abused as any in the English language…and as meaningless. The minute I see or hear it, my regard for the person using it is diminished by a factor of 10,000.

            • Webster

              @Dan
              Racist is a word. I looked it up in the dictionary and they had a picture of Jim because he referred to a lemur as “Bro” which surely they are not related, making it an insult.

              @Jim
              Jim you should be ashamed of yo self!!!

            • http://micahmedia.com Micah

              “Racist rants”?! How speciesist! How do you know Jim is not, in fact, a lemur?

          • kotozafy

            @Webster
            So every cartoon showing speaking animals are racist because they make human equal to animals ? This a website dedicated to serious photography science but let’s accept some humour.
            @Jim
            Thank you for adding some amusing pictures to all those messing bugs around.

    • Harold

      No, you dn’t even need a firmware fix. Just set your mode to ‘A’ and aperture to f20. Then all your photos will be fixed.

  • whmitty

    Mechanical fixes are relatively easy but Digital DSLRs are becoming more complex with respect to their “software”. So with each succeeding iteration we can expect to see an increasing need for bug fixes to that software.

  • http://Www.cuibono.ca Rob

    Still crazy though that Nikon doesn’t reimburse shipping costs to users who have the problem.

    • Not Surprised

      Sue Nikon. You can probably win. You can put the Manufacturer(Nikon), the Disributor(NikonUS), and your Retail store in the same lawsuit for a defective product.

      • Banned

        Yea bankrupt yourself on a lawsuit for a $8 shipping fee, way to go. Or switch to Canon.

        • Calibrator

          Can you actually sue for that amount?
          Isn’t there an insignificance clause?

        • Nick

          FYI, shipping was 79 dollars with 3k insurance (ground shipping) via UPS.

        • GAP

          $8 shipping fee … insured for $3,000 … I don’t think so.

          UPS charge is $2 per hundred dollar value. That’s an additional $60 above the actual shipping charges ;-)

        • Ron Benson

          Yeah! Switch to Cannon!!!… and send your brand new 5DmkIII so they can put in a piece of vinyl tape to block the light leak around the LCD!!! Wise move indeed!!!

    • Dan

      I have a Canon XH-A1 which was recalled to fix a problem with the hand-strap piece. Canon not only paid for the shipping, they sent me a special box to pack the thing. Then, they not only fixed the defective part, but thoroughly cleaned and maintained it for nothing. I’ve been using Nikon cameras for over thirty years, the company is not nearly so customer oriented in my opinion.

      • Calibrator

        That’s it – I’m switching to Canon!

        Immediately!

    • bob d

      When my Nikon gear has warranty problems I take it to the local dealer that I bought it from and they handle the shipping. Then it arrives at their store when it’s fixed and I don’t have to wait for UPS to sign for it, and also the shipping both ways is paid by Nikon as long as it is under warranty. That’s why local dealers rule!

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      …in America they’ll email you a 2nd day air shipping label. At least they do if you ask them right. Remember to tell them it’s under warranty! Although it should be obvious since the camera hasn’t even been in folks hands long enough for a one year warranty to run out.

  • Smudger

    Great.

    Now we just need a firmware fix for the left hand AF & Metering mode setting issues.

  • dilbert

    Cannot confirm. Had a 800E and “the issue”. Agreed with supplier to ship to nikon including most challenging lens (1.4/24) and keep if fine then, return otherwise.

    Was much better after return, but worse than D700 still, so now I’m back with my D700.

    Focus was very inconsistent at close distance. AF-finetune would help with -15 close left and -5 close center, -5 distant left, 0 distant center. D700 is spot on at all constellations. D800 if not tuned to fit is way worse than D700 even downsampled to any MP count.

    So I’m thinking about waiting and trying next tranche of D800 or go for D3x which is almost same price today with <50k shots second hand. ANd the pro body benefits of more punch to AF etc. Plus no video, be it good or bad.

    Would you go for D3x used or 800E these days?

    Seldomly using those pro bricks, but shutter shake is sooo much less that average results are better than D700 any time. Especially D800 seems very shaky to me, bejond what 3x the pixels would let one expect.

    Any opinions?

    • You asked

      My opinion: you suck and you blame your camera.

    • iamlucky13

      My opinion – when you compare the results of the recalibrated D800 body to the D700, make sure you’re viewing at the same real size, not the same pixel size, and be darn certain that your test setup is consistent and doesn’t throw any curve balls (for example, making sure your test target is as square as you get it to the camera).

      And if shutter shake is really critical for your use, then it sounds like you have a good case for sticking with the D3X…and buying a really good tripod.

      My other opinion – ignore posters who don’t have anything to say beyond insults.

      • dilbert

        Had the D4 on a NikonSchool trip last week and was very happy with it in every regard but the 1.4-lens AF-performance on the 1.4/24 and 1.4/85. Out of focus at times even on static subjects.

        Think it’s not the lenses, they perform very good on D700 and were to service with D800E only recently.

        Might be an issue with the AF module of both D800 and D4?

        • Benji2505

          I can’t confirm that. Focus on the D4 has always been spot on for me. The calibration are most likely different between the two production lines as well.

          • dilbert

            On 1.4 lenses, too?

            The 2.0/200 was spot on all the times, actually tele lenses on D800 and D4 showed no problems on what I saw. But the 1.4/85 at times and the 1.4/24 quite often worked non-perfectly.

            Try yourself: business card in 50cm distance, PhaseAF and shoot. Switch to LiveView/ContrastAF and do same (this is what the optic can deliver). Midpoint OK at good AF-finetune, but sidepoints are bad. Still then, distant AF is different again (other AF-finetune values or even none required).

            Just my experience.

            On lenses 2.8+ I saw no issues.

  • jorg

    so every nikon service point will be quite busy for a few weeks. let´s hope nothing else breaks in the meanwhile…
    getting popcorn ready for all the camera-hypochondrics (see thom hogan)

  • Not all affected.

    Just for some scared people. This isn’t an issue on all D800(E) cameras, it’s affected some and is a legit issue to them, however I don’t this is an issue to most people. I have a D800 and a D800E and both are fine on all points.

    • Reilly Diefenbach

      No problems here either.

  • New models

    Anyone buying the latest and greatest high tech can expect these problems. Get used to it.

    • MacCruiskeen

      Yes, my older Nikons–an F and an F2–never have these issues. Well, not that I can blame on the cameras, anyway. I may need a firmware update for the old eyeballs soon, but that takes a different kind of laser jig.

      • Banned

        You don’t need a laser jig, my buddy who lives at the trailer park said you could use a magnifier, he saw it on McGrubber.

        • Ric

          a trailer park DOWN BY THE RIVER -adjustingbelt.mov-

    • Banned

      Well I can see where you’re coming from with this argument but think about it a different way. Each new camera is really just an updated version of the previous model. D800 is an update to D700, so most elements have a proven track record of working well. Each new model is definitely not a complete redesign. So there is a reasonable expectation of you new camera working well even tho it’s a new model. I don’t think you would accept flaws because you purchased a 2012 model car in 2012.

      • New models

        I was a programmer many years ago. When I saw how many devices were beginning to use coded firmware the writing was on the wall. Everything from cars to cameras were going to suffer the same logic problems new software has suffered since the first computer became operational. True there’s likely a lot of the same components in each succeeding model of camera but invariably they have a new sensor or some other complexity and often this complexity requires some equally involved circuitry controlled by code written in haste to get product to market. And there you have it, bug city, returns and many angst driven postings. Perfection is not easily achieved.

    • Pdf Ninja

      It doesn’t have to be the latest tech. Even a pair of shoes could come “miscalibrated”. With the D800 it’s just that much harder to notice, prove, ship and repair.

  • Josh

    I bet Nikon doesn’t’ release squat and just quietly fixes the cameras that are sent in with the issue.

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      If you are trying to say that Nikon won’t release new models until they fix this issue, that’s a bet you’d lose. Nikon’s subsidiaries are the ones handling the repairs, and are not directly tied to manufacturing. I’m not even sure they directly share a supply chain.

      • Josh

        lol read the article and my post again. I didn’t say anything about new camera releases and they have nothing to do with the article. I really don’t know what you are talking about.

  • udu

    I got my camera fixed about 2 weeks ago. I heard that it was a bit more complicated work than described above. It would be interesting to see what those guys say who used to tell that there has not been an issue at all and stood up to defend the manufacturer using pretty hard words against us, non-believers.

  • PeterJ

    I wouldn’t be to optimistic about any repair, my D800 was returned to me after about ten days at Nikon UK who carried out a calibration, with exactly the same issue as when it left. It is now on it’s way back to them for a second attempt.

  • Meli

    I wouldn’t be to sure that there exists a fix like Ming describes.
    He is talking about “laser calibration”, etc. and when he’d been asked if he could confirm that Nikon uses such technology he answered :
    “No idea, I’m speculating……..They wouldn’t specify the details…”

    You can find the complete answer in the comments on his blog, being asked by “Glynn” on July 9th, 2012.

    I do believe and experienced that they can fix the problem, but not in the way he described and even before that date.

  • Neil

    Ming’s statement about the laser jig is mere speculation on his behalf and incorrect – Nikon do not use lasers on their AF calibration jigs.

    Ming,

    “Can you confirm that Nikon Malaysia are using a laser based AF calibration jig?

    If so it appears Nikon Malaysia are using more advanced calibration technology than Nikon in Europe.”

    Ming’s reply,

    No idea, I’m speculating because it seems like the easiest way to do it in a consistent and automated process. They wouldn’t specify the details. It could be entirely manual too.

    A colleagues D800 AF sensor module had to be realigned (shimmed?) – it was slightly tilted causing the far left AF point issue.

    Problems may vary from slight front/rear focus errors across all AF points (nothing new) which only require a standard AF re-calibration, to severe problems that require hardware surgery.

  • bob monson

    So I’m waiting for an d800e to be delivered. Do we know if the have fixed the ones going out now? Hate to think I’d have to turn it around.

  • Leon

    So I want to order mine in about four weeks. Can I expect it to be free of the issue by then?

    • http://www.istockphoto.com/huntedduck David

      No one really knows . . . the problems are intermitten. I have tested two samples of the D800, two samples of D800e, and three samples of the D4, and they all had this problem to a varying degree. I made sure my testing method were correct, comparing the focus results between the OVF mode and the LV mode. When LV focuses spot on, the OVF shouldn’t be too much further off. In some samples, the problems exists for all lenses that have f/1.4 or faster, or for zoom lenses, the longer focal length (e.g., a 70-200mm AF-S at 200mm). In some samples, the problems exists only with fast wide lenses, such as the 24mm f/1.4G (which had focus issues of its own when it first came out).

  • http://www.istockphoto.com/huntedduck David

    When I read Mein’s blog I dropped off my D800E. Before this I had dropped off a D800 and Nikon was unable to fix it after two tries (and insisted there was no problem), so I ended up returning it despite how hard it was to get one in the first place.

    My D800E came back tact sharp with my 50mm f/1.8G, 85mm f/1.4G. BUT, it was noticeably off on both sides (more so on the left) for the 24mm f/1.4G. As Mein indicated, the left AF problem with the 24mm f/1.4G was the most pronouced. I tried my D800E with two samples of the 24mm f/1.4G and found the same problem. I know it is not the lens because focus was tact sharp when I used LV; the error of focus was limited to the PDAF. This is dissapointing needless to say, so I am going back to Nikon USA to get to the bottom of this.

    BTW, this problem is not limited to D800/E, it also affects the D4 but to a lesser extent because the D4 has a less dense sensor so the OFF is less obvious. But my D4 is also going back to Nikon USA.

  • Al

    Something doesn’t sound right because software cannot write to ROM (Read Only Memory).
    Maybe he meant to say a flash memory or some type of nonvolatile memory.

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      ROM is often just shorthand for EPROM or the flash memory that has replaced it in most applications.

    • Dud

      Thank you, that was the most important part of the whole article. The mention of ROM.

  • Zaphod

    Could this issue be a reason for not have so mush shipment of the D800(e)? A swedish dealer told me that they had 600 people in queue for a D800. If you are not a NPS member you will have to wait until X-mas.

    • BartyL

      What I dislike about mush equipment is the way it leaks between your fingers and gets all over your jeans.

  • http://blog.dafyddowen.com Daf

    Yay – glad I waited before sending mine in, but didn’t wait to buy.

  • Kame

    Well my D800 left home today to go to Nikon Italy (NITAL/LTR) to be repaired.
    All my lenses required a AF Fine Tuning of -20, in addition the viewfinder was slightly out of focus on best focus position on the detector.
    Obviously left focus bank points were even worse… pratically they messed up the complete Autofocus of the camera during calibrations/inspections.

    I hope they will fix it quickly. D800 is more than a great piece of camera.
    I already miss her.

    • Geoff_K

      -20 ? isnt that the maximum ? No way would I keep a camera that had to be maxed out to correct. You have no room for additional wear. That baby should go back for a replacement.

  • tonyc

    Rather different story from Nikon Europe.

    I received this answer yesterday.

    Dear Tony,

    Thank you for your email.

    I would like to confirm that currently there are no recognised manufacturing problems with D800. Small percentage of cameras may be affected by AF calibration issues due to i.e. mishandling during shipping. If you find your camera not performing up to expectations, you are always welcome to have it readjusted in our Service Department within the manufacturer’s warranty.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us again in case of any questions.

    Kind regards,

    Aleksander Nowak
    Nikon Europe Support
    http://www.europe-nikon.com/support

    • kevin

      mishandling during shipping???????? Are they serious???

    • Josh

      Like I said Nikon is not going to ever release an “official” fix for the issue. The will just quietly repair the effected cameras while not acknowledging it’s a manufacturing defect. That way they can avoid a recall.

    • Bruce

      That’s a pretty funny response from Nikon Europe seeing as how some people’s “fix” requires nothing more than a software modification. Is Nikon really suggesting that UPS altered the focusing data in the software of the camera at some point in the midst of delivering the camera to me?

      • peterw

        sharp!
        compliments

        Also, it sounds silly anyway to state the camera of this price is badly packed and shipped to dealers and customers in trucks with no wheels. A Nikon normaly can take some tiny bit of beating.)

  • Jabs

    Well, glad to hear that Nikon is now reportedly fixing this problem. Seems like someone on the Assembly Line at the Factory messed up or the Calibration machine was incorrectly set for that particular camera during assembly – OH Well – stuff happens especially when you are rushed.

    Maybe a lot of D800/D800E’s will be returned to their Nikon Importers in each country for recalibration. A High-tech mishap – LOL.

  • http://www.markfiddian.com MarkLF

    My first D800 (an early version) looked unsharp and fuzzy compared to my D3x to me but I thought I would wait until my second D800 arrived and compare them. Big difference. It wasn’t the left focus problem and it wasn’t backfocusing. Just plain unsharp and fussy compared to the later manufactured D800. I sent it off a while ago and expect it back from Nikon next week. I must say that the UK returns process is very good and I am not a NPS member.

    I am going to be really interested to see if the repaired early D800 is;

    1. Still not as good as the later one
    2. The same
    3. or Better

    I wonder how many people have a early sub standard D800 and don’t know it because they are still impressed with all the detail?

    • http://www.markfiddian.com MarkLF

      I should add that this for me had nothing to do with the focusing systems or differences with using live view and that I used the same lens 105mm switching between cameras.

      • Jabs

        @Mark – You have some really nice images on your Web site.

        • http://Www.markfiddian.com Marklf

          Thanks Jabs. Kind of you to say.

    • Andrew

      If the difference is significant, then it is quite possible that your early D800 was defective since the focus problem has been identified to a specific software bug. You cannot take your single camera problem and make a generalization on Nikon’s entire earlier D800 batch. There are a lot of professionals using this camera and they are well qualified to evaluate issues like picture quality objectively, especially since they are upgrading from other high quality cameras and they have the eyes to spot problems. Then also you have to take into consideration fanboys who do not own the product and claim all types of problems. Based upon the discussions at nikonrumors and press reviews, it appears that Nikon has addressed all the major issues which are generally typical of major, ground breaking new product releases. So if I were you, I would not put much confidence in making a generalization based upon a single camera product!

  • Bruce

    Yet another misinformation post about the AutoFocus problem by Nikon Rumors.

    Ming’s blog is not the official correspondence avenue for Nikon, and Ming’s singular incident does not speak for all other AutoFocus issues and solutions.

    As we have read in the past on this forum and others:

    1) The AutoFocus problem is widepsread.
    2) The AutoFocus problem affects each camera to a various degree, hence Nikon’s AF Defect categorization process (for example, some problematic cameras are categorized as “B2″, and fixed in a certain way specific to the B2 categorization).
    3) Nikon is able to get away with using software-only modifications to fix the issue; in many other cases, both hardware and software adjustments are required.
    4) Some people have had their cameras fixed on their first-go with Nikon Support; however, many others have to send their cameras back a second and third time, sometimes finally getting fixed, and sometimes never getting resolved.
    5) Whatever internal information Nikon has about this problem isn’t systematically being shared, or practiced, by all global Nikon support centers, because many of them are not successfully fixing the problem.
    6) There is no 100% successful universal fix to this problem at this time.

    So, while I’m happy for Ming, Ming’s case does not represent all other AF cases, nor does it signify any sort of AutoFix Confirmation.

    I really wish people would stop posting this rubbish as some sort of universal fix.

    It’s just simply not true.

    • lorenzo

      +1. Totally agree with you!

      Unfortunately Nikon will never come out with ashes on their heads, this story will go on and on until the D800EX or D900 will arrive, then it will be completely forgotten for the new problems found in the new models :-(

    • lorenzo

      Remember the green LCDs, or did you already forget it?

      Here is the real story and it has to do with SRGB or Adobe RGB conversion for the thumbnail displayed on the LCD, nothing to do with the firmare – so Nikon said.

      Nikon Service NY can make your D800/D4 look like the D700/D3 (more blueish) for a $30 charge. If when you get it you don’t like it they can go back to the greenish color for another $30 charge.

      I question: they made such a great camera with a 448 pages manual of options, how difficult would have been to add a Hue option to the LCD?

      D900, maybe.

      • Bruce

        I remember the green LCD screens.

        I remember that Nikon claimed that the green screen was more realistic of a hue on the D4/D800/D800E than the hue they’ve been using on all of their previous model LCDs. They said that it wasn’t broken.

        I remember when Nikon then released a firmware that removed the green hue from all ofthe D4/D800/D800E LCD screens. This firmware was for a fix to a problem they said didn’t exist. So, in fact, by removing the green hue of the LCD screens that they said was accurate, they have in fact BROKEN the proper hue of the LCD screens, by making them more blue.

        If Nikon was honest about the green screen being accurate, then why did they release firmware that made the LCD screens LESS accurate?

        That, of course, is only the case if their initial statement about the green screen being more accurate was really true.

        Odd that no “news source” around here has followed up with Nikon about this conflict of statement vs firmware release.

        • lorenzo

          Not exactly what they told me last week.

          They said that there was nothing wrong in the LCD – I remember the statement of more accurate than the D3’s, but was that on the Nikon site? Noooo!

          In the firmware they just changed the color space for the thumbnail conversion, that’s why now it is more blue.

          You are right, we had no feedback from anyone saying if they were happy or not with the new hue. I don’t have a D4 or D800, so I guess some were not and for that reason Service created the $30 charge procedure I said above.

        • umeshrw

          d800 firmware fix corrects # d lighting issue # wireless transfer issue and camera lockup issue. where did you read that it corrects monitor hue problem? (which btw is not at all a problem as like nikon says it really is correct for professional uses[which d800 is]) If you are charged for changing just colour profile then
          a) you are scammed and
          b) you don’t need D800 .

          • umeshrw

            sorry . The first part is for bruce and second for lorenzo

            • lorenzo

              Not clear on which is first or second.

              I just wrote what Nikon told me last week:
              The D800 and D40 instead of using color space SRGB for the LCD, as they did for the D3s, they now use Adobe RGB, which is more rich or colors – and this may go with someone’s statement that said the LCD is now more accurate.

              Nikon told me that the new firmware DOESN’T correct the LCD hue, as it was posted here a while ago. If one wants to use the SRGB like in the D3s they have a fix with a charge.

              BTW, IMO the new LCDs look better than the D3s, that seem blueish to my eyes.

              Also have to say that IF I HAD this crazy camera (can I or just you can?) I wouldn’t send it in for the LCD problem but I would for the LT AF issue.

    • Andrew

      -1,

      Expert review on the left focusing issue by a Canon Fanboy. Why am I not surprised by the fact that you and your Canon friends are rejecting the Fix? Blind loyalty to a manufacturer is not a healthy trait.

      Just as a reminder, the D800 is selling so briskly that it is still on back-order months after its release. This fact alone must make you sad. Both Canon and Nikon are great companies, but right now, Nikon is leading. Nikon offers a fix for the left focus problem, Canon did not offer a fix for the 5D Mark III light leak. It seems as if Canon is the one that has dropped the ball this time. They suspended shipment of their camera but did not issue a recall. Go figure!

  • Bruce

    Ming’s blog is not the official correspondence avenue for Nikon, and Ming’s singular incident does not speak for all other AutoFocus issues and solutions.

    As we have read in the past on this forum and others:

    1) The AutoFocus problem is widepsread.

    2) The AutoFocus problem affects each camera to a various degree, hence Nikon’s AF Defect categorization process (for example, some problematic cameras are categorized as “B2″, and fixed in a certain way specific to the B2 categorization).

    3) Nikon is able to get away with using software-only modifications to fix the issue; in many other cases, both hardware and software adjustments are required.

    4) Some people have had their cameras fixed on their first-go with Nikon Support; however, many others have to send their cameras back a second and third time, sometimes finally getting fixed, and sometimes never getting resolved.

    5) Whatever internal information Nikon has about this problem isn’t systematically being shared, or practiced, by all global Nikon support centers, because many of them are not successfully fixing the problem.
    6) There is no 100% successful universal fix to this problem at this time.

    So, while I’m happy for Ming, Ming’s case does not represent all other AF cases, nor does it signify any sort of AutoFix Confirmation.

    I really wish people would stop posting this rubbish as some sort of universal fix.

    It’s just simply not true.

    • Bruce

      (apologies for the double-post – work computer/internet lagging on me)

  • tirmite

    Is anyone else old enough to remember and/or bothered by the fact that there are CONSTANTLY recalls, updates, fixes for new cameras recently announced? I never had to send my Canon EOS 1 or Nikon F4 or F5 in to fix a problem that shouldn’t have made it into a production run in the first place. We now have cameras with fewer moving parts but more problems. Light leaks, focus errors, LCD screens the wrong color temp, white spots on the images, etc. When did it become acceptable for companies to dump product onto the market and use us as beta testers to figure out what they should have done through do diligence BEFORE the product ever hit the shelves? We are inconvenienced and frustrated and it costs us time and money while the camera makers tweak and fix mistakes at our expense. Does anyone else see this trend? Does it bother anyone else that we spend $3000-6000 for a camera body that isn’t right from the start? Sure there will always be a few lemons when you’re dealing with such large production runs, but this is becoming common practice. It’s a shame, especially from Japan which years ago went out of its way to make near perfect cameras.

    • lorenzo

      I am old enough and I remember my F2, F3, F4 as a perfection of optics and mechanics. Have to say one thing, however: in the old days we couldn’t complain (for a reson or for no reason) as much as today because there was no internet and no Blogs.

      • Sahaja4

        In those days they probably actually inspected, tested and calibrated each F series camera before it left the factory – instead of just inspecting a sample like they seem to do today.

        When the F and the F2 came out Nikon didn’t make too many other camera models (S rangefinders and Nikkormats) – nor did they make cheap quality consumer lenses.

        • lorenzo

          I want to be nice: let’s blame the Tsunami and Quake…
          But I am with you about too many cheap cameras and lenses today. More production, cheaper labor, no longer in Japan… we see the results: the new lenses look like plastic junk, the cameras don’t work… shut up lorenzo!

        • Kotozafy

          How many parts are in a F and F2 camera ? I don’t know bu maybe a few dozen of mechanical things. If you count every byte of code in a modern camera and every piece of transistor in all the chips it contains, I don’t know either, maybe a few dozen of billions. What I’m sure is I won’t wait years and years that all problems are fixed before new cameras are shipped to market. I also don’t want that dozens of thousands of cameras be sent to beta-testers, that would simply multiply final prices by a significant coefficient. I’m a software developper and I know that any software developper who pretends willing to sell a zero-bug soft will actually sell zero soft!

          • new models

            A HEARTY AMEN KOTOZAFY!

      • John Richardson

        Still have my F2 and F3! Though I don’t use either very often :-(

      • FanBoy

        The difference is that Nikon used to be run by camera guys but now run by financial types. The pursuit for profit is far more important than anything else now to Nikon.

    • Anonymus Maximus 1st

      There are two reasons for that:
      1) The Nikon F2 or F4 contained no or rather simple (compared to today, not at the time) processors. Modern Cameras are full blown computers with so many options that it is indeed impossible to test all possible permutations in the development phase let alone each individual piece. ( Think rice corns on chess board type of issue.)
      2) The production numbers are literally 10.000 times higher.

  • MB

    It seams to me that this is similar to D7000 “AF problem”.
    People are blaming the camera for making lousy shots.
    To prove it they perform some totally inaccurate and useless tests at home.
    Even people that don’t have the cameras in question are crying about it and how unhappy and miserable they would be if only they had it.
    Well I know that only a couple couple of D7000 brought to service actually had very slight AF misalignment that was easily fixed by regular maintenance procedure using software tuning. And it seams the same thing is happening now with a few D800.

    • YouSaid

      “I know that only a couple couple of D7000 brought to service actually had very slight AF misalignment ”

      On the other hand WE know that hundreds (if not thousands) of D800/E went to service so far. Doesn’t look like the same problem.

      • MB

        And who are you to address yourself as WE?

        • Legion

          My name is Legion: for we are many

          • legion

            lol

  • Sahaja

    Wonder if Nikon will publicly confirm that a significant number of D800s have this issue – and whether they will ever publish a list of the serial numbers of cameras likely to be affected.

    • Alien

      Sahaja, are you on Earth? It will never happen.

    • Sahaja

      Unfortunately you are probably right – I’d better come down to earth.

    • Andrew

      If you know how to use your camera you can test for this issue. If everything seems to be working fine, then it is possible you do not have a problem. But if you are concerned, then see if someone at a local camera store can help you test your camera.

  • http://www.daveyiphoto.com Davey

    It would be fair if Nikon could at least let us know which models or serial numbers have the autofocus issue.

    Or at least tell us that the newer production D800s have a fixed autofocus.

  • Nebi

    Is the D4 affected like the D800? I don’t hear anyone complaining about their D4, or maybe everyone simply bought a D800?

  • Pablo Ricasso

    I’m looking forward to buying a 36 megapixel refurb. Thanks y’all.

  • steve

    i don’t believe it. they are still producing defected d800s. it is obviously hardware problem.

  • Dustin

    Just got this one back from El Segundo yesterday (7/16), doesn’t look like they’re fixing them all.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/onepointfour/7593921838/sizes/k/in/photostream/

    • mally

      Dustin – Thanks for posting the link to the pic on Flickr. Can you provide more information like what lens did you use to take these pictures, focal length, aperture, approx. distance, etc?

  • Dustin

    They are a variety of 28 1.8g, 24-70 & 14-24. All these lenses are absolutely perfect on a D3, D700, D300 and a friends D800e. All shots were wide open. The 323 shot was probably around 10-15 feet, the distant house was half a block away, the cereal box was at 6 feet, then the Jeep and Red truck were at about 15 feet.

    • mally

      Thank, Dustin…. these are the kinds of posts for which I keep coming back to nikonrumors for…

      • +1000

        You mean, you actually don’t come here to read the “all is well” posts from the Nikon Church members? or should I say NINOY Church?

  • Dustin

    I also verified lens performance using Live View and the Live view images turned out fine. I did not include the live view pics on the flickr comparison because most of my friends and family that hear me whine all day have no idea what live view is!

    • Elliot

      Nikon technicians don’t know what Live View is neither! Your images are the best presentation I’ve seen of the problem – shooting real subjects rather than charts you show that this is a real world issue and not some obsessive compulsive disorder. My D800 was like yours (back-focusing outer AF points), but when it came back from Nikon Service earlier today the outer AF points were spot on, whilst the centre AF point was severely front-focusing. So they just did the most basic focus calibration. Confirmed – Nikon does not have a fix.

  • Fred

    Well I’ve known how to fix the issue for a long time.
    Take camera, rotate 180° through the horizontal, frame and shoot – just be careful of the right focus point though.
    D7000 back-focus issue?
    Easy. Frame subject, half depress shutter button, take one step back, fully depress shutter button.
    Now why didn’t Nikon or any of the photo geniuses that invade these blogs think of that?
    Applause not necessary, just throw money.

  • Fred

    Doh, early morning. ‘…rotate 180° through vertical …’

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    This news is a few days old. I have seen posts where Nikon is now supplying prepaid shipping labels. A quick check of my D800, which was shipped after July 1 indicates there is no problem with the left side focus sensor.

    • studio460

      Ron, would you mind sharing the last four digits of your serial number if in the US (e.g., 3000XXXX)? Thanks!

      • studio460

        Crap! I hate that you can’t edit typos in these things! I meant the last five digits–e.g., “30XXXXX.”

  • C. Norris

    Nikon, stop wasting your time dealing with these FX stuff. You should be developing more 18~xxx DX lenses. The 18-105 desperately needs an update!!

  • http://www.cabophoto.com/ Carsten Bockermann

    Of course there is a fix. I have two D800 bodies and both were fixed by Nikon Germany about five weeks ago. They were really quick; excellent service!

  • Steen Heilesen

    I got my D800 fixed by Nikon Hong Kong. Nice service :)

  • Mal

    Hi everyone, Im new here. This may be too far down now in the thread for people to see, but Ill give it a go anyway.

    I have my D800 (with 50mm f1.4G), and loving it. But honestly, I dont know sometimes if it is my technique (likely) or a camera issue, but sometimes things that I think should be in focus (as I used a tripod, or the camera has a concrete foundation etc) are blurry slightly.. How much blur is normal in the details? Any examples of “before fix” and “after fix” photos out there?

    Could someone point out, without buying the expensive calibration cards etc, how I could find out if I have a camera issue, or if this is my technique issue?

    • Aldo #2

      First you need to determine if it is an focus issue or a blur due to movement when the picture is taken. If its a focusing issue make sure you are not blurring your subject with the auto focusing points at fast apertures. If your image its still blurry after using a single point to focus… then you may need to send your camera in. Now if its a blur due to movement when your picture is taken, obviously its a technique issue which can be easily corrected by either increasing shutter speed or making sure the camera is not moving when on the tripot when the picture is taken at slow shutter speeds. Btw I occasionally get the blur but only when I handhold the camera and I’m not too careful with keeping it steady… this can happen even at 1/250.. there is so much resolution that it picks up the movement if you are not careful. I hope this helps a bit.

      • Mal

        Thanks a lot. So basically, if I eliminate all blur causes (tripod, mirror up, remote release) and focus using the left point, and it is not perfectly in focus on the resulting image, then I have an issue?

  • http://photokaz.com Mike

    I tested my body today, confirmed it DOES have the issue. Too bad, guess I need to send it in to get fixed. I hope Nikon can turn it around quickly.

    Full results of my testing can be seen here: http://photokaz.com/2012/07/nikon-d800-contrast-and-phase-detect-autofocus-testing/

  • TONY

    Am I being shortchanged by Nikon? I have the 800e + 800 and both are fine both were first production line models, my question is should I complain? lol.

    • Crazy

      Complain about having no reason to complain!

  • http://www.AndrewStonePhotography.com Andrew

    Just want to throw this out there…I have the Nikon D800 and there is 1 bug with it that is a little annoying. I have my camera set to RAW compressed recording and it does not report the number of pictures remaining correctly. When I say, “correctly” I mean the number that is reported is not even close to reality. I have a 128GB card and I did the math ~40MB per photo. 128,000/40 = 3200. I know there is some overhead associated with the file system so maybe I can only take 3100 pictures, but the camera reports 1500 pictures. The same scenario holds true for smaller memory cards; Try it out! I called Nikon and reported this and the lady that I talked to confirmed it was a bug, but then Nikon blew me off in an email later on. Anyway…check it out on your camera and respond. This bug is only mildly annoying…problem being that I never really know how many pictures I have left. I tried a little experiment where I popped in a 8GB card and filled it. The number of pictures first reported to be able to take did not match the number of pictures actually taken. It was almost off by a factor of 2 as well (more like 1.8).

    Thanks,

    Andrew

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanlantzy/ Ryan L

      This has been the case on every Nikon camera with the compressed RAW setting. Compression is largely dependent on image content. If the image is complicated, compression is harder to do and less effective. If the the image is simple, compression is more effective and can make the result smaller. Nikon is simply giving you a “best guess” on the remaining images. In practice I find I have much more space than they say, and that’s a good thing.

    • http://photokaz.com Mike

      My 32GB cards report 400 images so that seems to be in line with what you are getting. I can shoot more than that, file size depends on the scene.

  • mike

    Lucky! At us in Russia official service center Nikon doesn’t read such situation spoilage. I have a missive from service about D700 with the same defect. They wrote that operation of side points of focusing isn’t regulated in any way, that is they can work as want. The main thing that the central point got to focus. Unclear where it is necessary to complain somehow to affect on shameful service centers Nikon in Russia?

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