Nikon has a fix for the D800/D800E asymmetric focusing issue

Ming Thein mentioned on his blog that Nikon already has an internal fix for the D800/D800E asymmetric left focusing issue:

"Was told by NPS this morning that an internal fix for the D800/ D800E asymmetric focusing issue has been issued. I’ll be sending my cameras in next week after a job; apparently it’s both hardware and software calibration."

Here is another illustartion of the Nikon D800/E focusing issue:

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  • Hope they issue an official statement soon – id like to get my 800E fixed.

  • guari

    So where’s the fix????

  • Dean

    I switched from the mk3 to the D800 and 6 grands worth of glass this week, only to find the focus issue, and it was pretty bad on the left points, and not great on the right points. Gutted does not begin to describe it.

    But, I contacted the Nikon service centre at 9am this morning, and they said bring it in.

    They took all four lenses, and the body, and in 4 hours turnaround, realigned the sensor to perfect, as it as it was off apparently, and calibrated the focus point by point, and then matched the lenses to the body, so now, all lenses are perfect at all points with fine adjustment turned off.

    Consider me very happy and very impressed.

    • studio460

      Do mind mentioning the location of the Nikon service center where you had your repair successfully completed?

      • Dean

        Sorry. It was in Brisbane. I’m not sure that they had anything official from Nikon, but they knew exactly what the problem was, and I definitely wasn’t the first.

        They were well aware of the issue, and acknowledged it the second I mentioned the left focus problem.

        • Alex Ball

          Glad to hear they know what they are doing in Brisbane. Taking mine in this week, after their first attempt did nothing but make the center point spot on. They called back Friday to say they have the correct instruction from Nikon, a pitch yaw adjustment of the AF block were the words used.

          • Alex

            Well I picked mine up today after the Brisbane repair centre adjusted the AF block (removing bottom plate). First photo i took, i knew it was out. Did a series from left to right af points and it is identical to before. Outer Left; very soft. Inner Left; soft. Center; sharp. Inner right; sharp enough. Outer right; Soft. Live view AF is sharp at all af point locations. Nikon rep it dropping by to pick it up. I think there might be more than one issue causing miss-focus.


        • lorenzo

          ??? Nikon in Brisbane, CA ??? Just know of El Segundo, CA

          I don’t have the D800E yet, but when I will get it I am close to Brisbane.

          However, I couldn’t find any Nikon Facility there. Can you be more specific, without mentioning the name?

          Maybe some in my Camera Club (PACC) knows. Thanks Dean!


          • BartyL

            I’m goin’ out on a limb here, but I think he means Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

            • Ted

              Y’all talking about those mythical countries outside US of A again?

            • Lol, yes Australia 🙂

              On the bright side, if they can fix one of these things in a mythical country like ours, you guys should have no problems getting it sorted.

            • lorenzo

              Ah, Down Under, I should have thought it!
              There are no intelligent/corteous service engineers here in Ny-Kon CA 🙁

            • but in australia you should have problems with right side points, or not?!

          • Remedy

            Don’t You just love those arrogant american pricks with their dodgy copycat city names and “Ny-kons” who think the whole fking world spins around their hamburgers with extra cheese.

            Am I the only one that wants to stab every yank who says ny-kon?

            • UncleDusty

              Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Bet you paid more taxes on your camera.

            • Remedy

              Unfortunately yes :/

            • BartyL

              Remedy, I’m from South Australia, where the overwhelming majority of placenames are British in origin. You can stand at points in the Adelaide Hills and see roadsigns pointing to ‘Piccadilly’, ‘Bridgewater’, ‘Stirling’ and so on. So I won’t begrudge the Yanks having a ‘Brisbane’ in California.

              As to the cheeseburgers, I think Aussies are now officially the second-fattest people on earth (behind the US) and to my great shame I’m beginning to add weight to that statistic (pun intended, or is that ‘bun’ intended?)

              I wouldn’t have met many people over the years who I didn’t want to stab at some point (the feeling likely being mutual). I consider myself an ‘equal opportunity’ stabber.

              And I only learned that it isn’t ‘Ny-con’ by reading NR!

            • JAson

              Nikon’s offical ads call it NY-KON…

              so why is some one trying to be a prissy school teacher in pronunciation, with wrong facts?

            • Wang Ke

              I can’t stand it when the bloody poms say “nee-kAHn”. It is not “AH” but rather “OH”.

            • Remedy

              BartyL: what I meant was You gotta be a real, typical american arrogant prick to even come to a thought that when people speak about Brisbane on international forum they mean some gypsy village in US and A. Every person with IQ above hamburger knows it’s the Brisbane in Australia.

              JAson: Nikon’s official AMERICAN ads call it Ny-kon, again because those arrogant pricks think US an A and their fail pronunciation are center of the fking world. When I hear those idiots saying foreign NHL or NBA or “you name it” players my blood boils.
              It’s the same with Nikon, it’s a fking JAPANESE company with JAPANESE name for fcks sake!!! It’s Nee-khon, ALWAYS WAS and ALWAYS WILL BE no matter what sort of idiotic bullshit american ads, representatives of Nikon USA or others claim.

            • Bravo. I’m glad I’m not the only one. Living in Japan makes me sensitive to Nykahn and that horrific Black Rain movie.

            • UncleDusty

              Don’t worry, we’re not too ignorant or arrogant to think your entire country is as bigoted as you.

        • Gabe


          I had Nikon Asia email me (after I logged the autofocus issue with their support team when I first got my camera), they told me weeks ago to send on the D800 into their service centre in Brisbane too, they fixed the issue. They told me it was only a data update to recalibrate the autofocus as they claim it was loaded with the wrong specs on the first patch – but they updated the firmware too.

          I had a D800 8000xxx serial number camera and I got it on the day it was released. After a week, I logged a my issue with Nikon to only be told it operated as normal based on the samples I provided. Then out of the blue months later, I got the email to send it in. Ming was on the money with him identifying the issue in his blog

    • radlclaus

      That sounds good! Made a deal with D800E supplier: Nikon fixes focus => I keep it, otherwise => refund.

      Sent all my 1.4 lenses (24,50,85) and the 800E to service where it arrived just this morning. Hope they’re already prepared to fix it as Nikon proposes.

      My preferred Nikon service nearby said they don’t have the equipment for D800 servicing yet, so I sent to central service.

      High expectations… thanks for your info!!

      • studio460

        That’s similar to the kind of deal I plan to make with my local dealer when my D800E comes in.

    • Jabs

      @Dean – Thanks for the information and good to hear that Nikon has nailed the problem plus fixed it so fast.

      On to the D600 and D400 then!

    • Marc


      thanx for the info. Good to hear it’s fixable.

    • Tinker’s Realm

      Good News & so Happy to hear that they knew exactly what needed to be done-This is the best report I have heard to date on the repair. May I ask what repair center you took it to that allows someone to walk in-I would love to show up w/camera in hand & my lenses for calibration.

  • ano102

    but it is a little strange that nikon did not recognize the problem so far …
    Now they have a fix, so they confess the problem …
    strange behaviour

    I hope the D800 will help nikon to debug their AF module, so The D400 will OK from the release …

    • twoomy

      That’s typical corporate denial and bad P.R. (that most companies do). Don’t admit to a problem until you have a fix for it. Same thing for auto recalls.

      I cancelled by D800 order because of the many, many reports of focus issues. I’ll wait another few months for existing users to get fixed, and maybe just maybe… new D800’s will be focusing properly right out of the box.

  • donald

    Any word on how many were affected ? specific batches , serial numbers ?

    • MuttonPuncher


  • John

    Nikon is not as big as Canon yet …yet it starts showing Canon traits … drop its balls.

  • Dave in NC

    The video explained this well to me. I don’t have the lenses he discussed, but have 16-35mm f/4, 50mm f/1.4g, 24-120 f/4. Has anyone tried these lenses to see if a D800 will produce the same autofocus problem?

    I may try today. If I do, I’ll post a report. Thanks

    • Selva S

      to Dave
      Yes ,I have tested my d800e with 24-120 f/4 and truly it has LF issue and I sent it to Nikon and hoping they will fix it right. Thanks

  • Cabo

    I had both my D800 bodies fix by Nikon Germany three weeks ago. It took them only two days. Excellent service!

  • Matt

    I got my D800E last Friday from Amazon. I am among those who got a delivery date for June 16, which was cancelled. My guess is they had a shipment announced, but Nikon pulled it, checked the cameras, and send them back. In any case, my D800E has no focus issues. Even better (!) – my beloved 135DC which needs fine tuning to -20 on my D700, is spot on on the D800E, as well as a few other lenses that needed less drastic tuning.

    • Radek

      Hope they can give as a serial number so we can be sure if we have got this issue. I got my camera on 21 of June from amazon and i have done some test with 24-70 and I can see that centre point is spot on but left and right just little less sharp that the centre one but I think is normal. I can not see any differences between left and right point????
      Or left and right focus point should be as sharp as the centre one??

      • Ralf

        The achievable sharpness would also depend on the lens. If a lens is getting a tad soft towards the corners or edges no autofocus adjuments on the planet will fix that.

  • Michael

    Nikon has dropped the ball badly throughout the entire release of the D800/D800E. In their zealotry to dominate Canon, they were willing to screw over many of their most devoted long-term customers leaving them hanging in pre-order land indefinitely. I’ve been a Nikon enthusiast since 1970, and I’ve waited on my D800E since February 10th with no end in sight. During that time, I’ve read of screen color problems, flash release problems and now focus problems. What has happened to Nikon? What has happened to quality control? Why do they feel they can piss all over us and tell us it’s wine? I’m completely disillusioned with their company. I’ve used up all of the excuses I’ve made for them since the flooding last year. Nikon used to stand for quality. I think consumers will be leery of whatever they tell us in the future, and just like we do with computers and software, we’ll wait before buying next time while their company works out all of the bugs. It is time to register our complete dissatisfaction with Nikon over ALL of these issues. And it is time for Nikon to respond to us, too. Their silence has been insulting.

    • RoyL

      Insulting? What is your problem? Did somebody from Nikon hit on your wife? The camera business is not what it was in 1970 for anyone. No longer can they undertake a project like the FM2n shutter. No longer can they linger over these model designs for years because consumers will not allow it. Nikon did a great job getting this product out, and in most cases the problem is not much of a problem. Many screaming “insulted” users pushed their cameras into Nikon service prematurely and found that repair was unreliable. Nikon knew about the problem some time ago, for sure more than 6-weeks-ago, and apparently the fix wasn’t as easy as some “insulted” people want to believe. All that’s needed is a little patience and understanding to come up with a camera absolutely without equal. I would find it pretty difficult to be angry with Nikon in this matter, and I had one of the “problems”.

      • exec

        yes a nikon exec stole her underwear!!

    • Am-Expat

      Apparently there was a calibration station at the assembly plant that was miscalibrating them so the majority did not have the problem. They have a revised adjustment procedure so I do no see why some people are so emotionally traumatized by an adjustment needing to be made on some cameras. They do it and those who need to use far left focus points can now use them. The center points alone were enough to make the D800 the best DSLR out there and no one missed any shots because it.
      In regards to lack of supply, and your delay in getting one, that is a non-issue also, those who looked for one got one. It took 3 days for mine to arrive. Nikon announced that they were intending to build 30,000 a month which is a lot for a semi-pro, camera. They would be unwise to ramp up production for a short peak demand period, and be left with unused capacity after the initial rush was over.
      I am quite happy…, thrilled….with the camera and think they did a good job of rolling it out. If you want one, cancel your order with the big on-line shops and go pick one up from your local dealer or Best Buy.

      • Shasta_D

        I’m more irritated that I’ll have to spend $50 for shipping/insurance and being without my D800 for a couple of weeks and missing shoots with it.

        • RoyL

          “I’m more irritated that I’ll have to spend $50 for shipping/insurance and being without my D800 for a couple of weeks and missing shoots with it.”

          There is that. I sure miss my E.

        • Geoff_K

          I agree. Sending a camera in for repair could take longer than the 30 days(?) I have to return it. If they cannot correct the problem I would be stuck with a camera that has a flaw.

          I almost pulled the trigger on the D800E from best buy yesterday however, my concern kept my finger from the buy now button.

          In a month or two I hope they have this sorted out and the stock of problem cameras has all been turned over.

          I dont really need a new camera until the start of HS football. I can wait.

      • studio460

        You said, “Apparently there was a calibration station at the assembly plant that was miscalibrating them so the majority did not have the problem . . . ”

        I suspect the same. But, are you quoting a source f0r that information, or is that your own personal speculation?

    • +1

  • chris

    sadly my d800 shows the same problem (tested with an 14-24)

  • Daf

    Good news.
    Think I’ve got it – just doing a rough real-world test with my new 24-70.
    Have heard that it can whack lens micro-adjustment out a bit though.

    Will wait a while to see if there’s an official announcement and send in when I have no major job looming.

  • GaiaOverAll

    @Admin: we can expected that the problem does not recheck in the new models?
    Is important for new buyers…

  • RoyL

    “Nikon is not as big as Canon yet”

    Nikon will never be as big as Canon, unless you consider only Cameras and lenses. Canon is a copier/printer company, first and foremost. Cameras are a sideline business for them.

  • tarjei

    After seeing this I printed out the siemens star and did the same thing with my D7000 and I found the outer points on both right and left side to be out of focus by quite a lot. The auto focus is perfect all along the line until the last point on either side.

    I tested with 35m f2, 50 f1.4, 85mm 1.8 and 18-200mm vr.

    Would this be covered by warranty? On the plus side I finally fine tuned my focus and now, at least, I know to stay away from using those points for focusing.

    • Sahaja

      Not quite sure what you are doing – but you have to test the focus points separately. If you are focusing in the center and the left and right is out of focus – that is probably just the normal curvature in the field of focus. Many lenses exhibit this.

      • tarjei

        Nonono, of course I tested them separately. I did pretty much the exact same things as in the video. Testing each focus point and comparing with live view focus and also manual focus.

        Using the center focus point gives a perfect focus, but using the focus point on the left or right side gives images well out of focus.

  • I just tried my D800 with the 24-70, and it seems to be perfect. Honestly? Even if this problem is true (I’m sure it is), it’s so minor I doubt it will affect pictures in real world, in fact, I have about 5 friends with D800/D4 totally unaware of this issue.
    Heck, my old N90s had only one AF point in the center!

    • Radek

      Is you left and right point as sharp as the centre one? I have done some tets with 24-70 and the centre one is the sharpest but left and right little(just a bit) less sharp than centre one?????

      • Aldo #2

        I’m willing to put money that either your test is inconclusive or you don’t have the issue on your camera since the focus was about the same for both left and right.

        • Radek

          I know… I think I will try to do the test again at 24 2.8 on 24-70 lens. I have also 50 1.4.
          Can you confrim that centre focus is the sharpest one, and far left and right is sharp as well but not as the centre one?.
          I will have to find a test chart to print out and put them on my wall and do a second test :-/

          • Aldo #2

            I can’t confirm the center point being sharper… I tried several tests all the points seem to focus relatively the same. I tried at 2.8 24 on the 24-70. I wanna get my hands on a 1.4 just to try. Can’t really see any issues on the 24-70.

            • Stephen White

              I just tested my new 24-70 on my new D800E (both a week old) at 24mm and f/2.8, comparing live view shot to AF on leftmost, center and rightmost focus points. Sadly the focus issue does clearly rear its ugly head on the left focus point. The left focus shots are immediately recognizable as out of focus (at 100%) whereas the center and rightmost focus points look sharp.

              Yet another confirmation that at least some new models are still exhibiting the left AF issue.

              I’m already over B&H’s 200-frame return policy, am I correct that this will be 100% covered by Nikon under the 1st year warranty? I”m taking a trip soon and don’t want to get it serviced until I return.

            • Aldo #2

              I must add that I have a first batch camera serial number 30012xx… I’m getting a bit paranoid about this issue I will keep doing tests whenever I have the chance to make sure the issue isn’t present in my cam.

    • Aldo

      My name is also Aldo… and I just also tested with my 24-70 and seems to be perfect. I wonder if the issue can only be spotted with the 1.4 lens since I don’t have it.

      • vnomura

        I just tested with my 24-70 f2.8. Left most focus point is slightly blurry. Points above and below that point is less worse. 1 row over is better but the center and right most are perfect.

    • Ben

      … and if I recall correcty the FM had none ;-), only 30 yeras ago…

  • Does anybody know if the actual delivered units are still effected by the issue?

  • Jose

    What about the D4, any word on it for the few that have the same problem.

  • Winniethepig


    i got my D800 unit about a week ago, and yet could notice some strange focus problems with all my 3 different lenses.

    is my ‘recent’ D800 unit affected with this issue?

  • michael

    This will silent the cynics who allege that this left focus point issue is due to “user error”.

    • Sahaja

      It won’t

      To those people Nikon can do no wrong.

  • lorenzo


    I haven’t got mine from B&H yet; does it mean that WHEN it will come (maybe december 24th?) I must immediately send it to Nikon for repairs? I don’t have a studio test equipment to verify this issue.

    Will it be possible to ask Nikon and puclish from which serial number the D800E won’t have this LT Focusing defect? What do you suggest? Thanks.


    • Aldo #2

      You don’t need studio equipment to verify the issue.

    • Aldo #2

      Honestly I would only keep your BH order to avoid the tax… if you keep your eyes open you can get one soon from a local store or somewhere else like best buy.

      • lorenzo

        Hi Aldo,
        I meant the proper lighting and a free wall to run the test. All I have so far are just the printout of 3 Siemens Stars and the “Trinity” set of 2.8 lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200), never used and ready to go.

        Beside $300 saved in taxes I prefer to keep the B&H order hoping that the later it arrives the better (more problems are fixed).

        I had a bad experience with Nikon El Segundo and a lemon-D300s; I sent it to them at least 5 times last year and every time it returned worse. Since Feb it has been at Melville, and it is still there; with all these D4 and D800 to fix it passed in low priority. With my luck, I don’t want to repeat the story with another lemon- D800E 🙂

        But thanks for the advice.


        • UncleDusty

          You dont even need proper lighting and a wall. Really you can use your hand if you have a wide lens. If you take a picture using the furthest AF point to the left and it’s not anywhere near as clear as the picture you took with the right AF point, you have the issue. It’s really easy to notice if you’re looking for it.

    • UncleDusty

      You don’t need studio equipment to test for the problem. Just take a picture in single-servo AF mode through a wide lens with the AF point all the way to the right, then one with the point all the way to the left. If the photo using the right point is in focus and the one using the left point is not, you have the problem.

    • hopefully by then there will be an official fix from Nikon

  • UncleDusty

    My D800 does have the focus issue (SN: 30015xx). I received it from my local camera shop on 3/22 and am assuming that it was part of the first production run. I called Nikon this morning and basically just said, “I have the left focus issue with my D800; should I send it with the 24mm 1.4 or without it.” The rep asked me if the battery was fully charged (duh), then to hold, came back after about a minute and said to just send the body only. From that conversation, it seems to me that they are aware of the problem and addressing it; if, of course, you bring it to their attention.

    I’m not a pro and I’m not losing a ton of money being without my camera, but it is unfortunate that I had to spend an additional $50 to send a $3000 camera that is only a few months old back to the manufacturer for an adjustment that should have been made in the factory originally. Hopefully, Nikon will take some if it’s unexpected 2011 earnings and invest in a shipping system that doesn’t penalize one for purchasing a defective/warranteed Nikon product. Please wait to ship your D800 in for service so that mine will return faster.

    • lorenzo

      Still don’t have mine.

      Really funny the question on the battery charged or not! It is like if they said “Did you mount the strap? This problem happens without it” 🙂

      My stupid question: why when everyone mentions the serial number they mask the last digits? Is it for their own protection or to avoid any law suit?

      I don’t make a living with photography, I am not a pro, and I lost respect in Nikon CA, but still consider annoying and costly to buy a $3,300 body and have to return it right the way. Then if it ends to someone that just checks the “battery voltage” it might also come back with “Camera is at factory specs”, which is even more upsetting (it happened 3 times with my D100 and D300s).


    • Geoff_K

      Would you let us know how the repair went and how long it took them please ?

      I’m not buying a camera only to send it in for days, weeks, months while they fix something that should have been caught in manufacturing (unless it was a random problem that just happened occasionally)

  • Dormant

    Almost makes me happy my D800E hasn’t arrived yet, s I might not have to send it back for a fix.

    • lorenzo

      That is what I fear most. For what we know your camera and mine could already be on a boat and we will receive them BEFORE Nikon acknowledges and fixes this issue at the factory. I hate to send it in for service as NEW.


  • slt

    Received my 800E 4 weeks ago, and I didn’t even have to transfer anything to a big screen … could tell from the LCD that AF was way off. And not just the left points either (though they were the worst). Took it in to Nikon Aust and they calibrated it, but still had problems. For example when using my Zeiss 21/2.8 focused at infinity (ie. against the hard stop) the entire image was out of focus. As if the sensor itself was misaligned. Took it back to Nikon. They apparently replaced the AF module and did another calibration. Looks better now, but still not totally happy with the results. Might have to send it in for a third time. No pleased…

  • Funduro

    LOL now those that were putting off buying the D800 will now rush to buy it. Causing even bigger demand, and longer delivery delays.

  • I should have my D800 in a few days and am a bit nervous about this issue. Nikon should be sending out prepaid insured shipping labels for anyone with this problem because it is their fault. They should also extend the warranty on this issue.

  • studio460

    A member on DPreview posted that his US D800 body was affected, and reported a very high serial number: 3021506. I believe affected bodies are still in the US distribution chain.

    • lorenzo

      I think that too, but I don’t want to cancel my order, feel like gambling $3.3K.

      This serial # seems pretty high compared to the average seen so far, sure that wasn’t a typo? Can you send the DPR specific link?

      For those of you lucky (or not so?) owners, do the serial numbers have any different root between D800 and D800E or are they very well mixed?

      • studio460

        Sorry, but I don’t recall the exact thread, but it’s not a typo–I cut-and-pasted the number in here, and recall that it was about that high. The D800E serial numbers start at the same place (i.e., ‘0’ since it’s a different model). That is, the US D800E bodies are now in the mid-3,000s (e.g., 3003XXX).

  • donald

    Lorenzo , I have read from a variety of sources NR , Thom etc that due to intense demand Nikon are air shipping all D4/D800/D800E production , no boats involved.
    Even with customs delays I reckon we are talking as little as 10-14 days factory to consumer sometimes

    • lorenzo

      Donald, I was just joking on the “boat”…

      However, it is hard to think that the cameras are shipped the same week the come out of the factory, can we estimate at least another week or two before they fly? So, add 10 days shipping, plus 10 days to customs, plus 10 days to get to the stores, can we estimate 45 to 60 days at least?

      Unless Nikon cheats us and already fixed the bug in production, I think that first they have to acknowledge the defect, then pass the info to the factories, then here production management/engineers will require some time to put the plan in action …

      In my pessimistic opinion I believe that the new “fixed” cameras on the market will reach the US by end of September. I don’t think I will get mine any earlier than that date but in the worst scenario I can still return it to B&H for refund and put myself in the list again.

  • UncleDusty

    If you would like to see the test photos/comparison I took with my D800 and 24mm 1.4g go to

    • lorenzo

      Thank you UncleDust. Definetely out of focus!

      I still don’t get the process to take these shots.
      With the 3 Siemens stars, I thought that the camera is staedy on the tripod and always has in the center frame the center star; then the focus is chosen from RT to center to LT wich perfectly match the position where the RT and LT Stars have been put on the wall.

      What is compared in the shots is always the center star that is out of focus when selecting the LT Star as AF. Is that so?

      Then I don’t understand your vase: first you focus it on the center frame then you moved the camera to focus it on the LT and then you cropped the second picture? I watched that video several times and still don’t get it… sorry.

  • D800 & D800E owner

    To those who are scared to buy a d800 because of this issue, don’t worry. I have both models and all the points are fine with all my lenses.

    28 1.8
    85 1.8
    105 micro

    Then again, test charts aren’t my usual subject so ymmv. 😉

    • D800 & D800E owner

      I have no doubt this is an issue for some people, but I suspect it was a bad batch or something.

      • lorenzo

        Happy for you, one of the very few lucky persons!

        What are your serial numbers?

        I DO worry.

  • Ian

    I received my D800 3 days after the initial release – one of the first units off the production line and fortunately have no focus issues. I live in regional Australia and my local dealer was only sent two bodies.

  • zzz

    Response to some points above:

    1) There is no “effing” way Nikon will come out and make a public announcement about the left AF point problem. There are tens of thousands of D800’s out in the field. By announcing a problem everyone and their mother will want to send their D800 in for service, even if they don’t have the problem. Nikon would also be exposing themselves to class action litigation. They will just fix the problem at the services centers quietly and eventually the issue will fade away

    2) There is no correlation between the serial number and units which are affected. It’s totally random. Yes, AF problems have been reported with even the very latest units.

    3) Even if the “official” fix exists that in no way implies that Nikon is going to do anything different at the factory. The service centers are spending several hours to do the AF calibration for each D800. Do you seriously think that Nikon is going to spend a few hours to calibrate each AF point of each D800 they produce ? Nikon will continue doing what they are doing and fix the affected units as needed. You would hope that they have found some sort of “root cause” so that faulty units are no longer produced. However, this does not seem likely as the problem seems to be fairly complex. IOW there’s probably no need to delay your purchase hoping that later batches will be perfect from day one. Not likely to happen.

    4) The test for the AF issue is dead simple.
    a) Use a 50mm lens or wider. Ideally you want to use 24mm.
    b) Use an aperture of f/2.8 or larger.
    c) Make sure your subject is at least 4 feet away from you.
    d) Tripod mount your D800 and set it on 3s delay.
    d) Take a picture with the furthest left AF point and compare this to a picture taken with LV AF at the same area. This is key because you want to check the AF accuracy and not the sharpness of the lens.
    e) Take several pictures with both LV and PDAF because your AF will vary from shot to shot. Just take a look at the distance window on your lens to prove this to yourself.

    I see so many people using a 85mm+ to do the test and proclaim they have no issue. People are also doing tests with subjects less than 4 feet away. The problem doesn’t show itself readily if you do this. If your D800 has the problem it will be obvious.

    • lorenzo

      Thanks zzz, you might be right about Nikon silence and quality levels – I will get a defective one, I know it!

      When you do the test do you point the camera always to the same subject in the center and focus on it than on the RT then on the LT subjects?

      One doubt I have at 4 feet is that the distance from the camera to the center image is definitely less than the ones to the sides (make a rectangular triangle and calculate the hypotenuse). So with zero DOF both RT and LT should be out of focus. Am I correct?

      • zzz

        Lorenzo, I think your confusion is similar to a lot of other people on the Internet. This why people keep incorrectly citing field curvature as contributing to the focus problem.

        You are using the left AF point to focus on a target and directly comparing the region under the left focus point to the LV focused picture of that same region. The images can be slightly different as this is normal due to tolerance. However, if there is a large deviation between LV and PDAF then you have the left AF point problem. If you don’t want use LV you can also use manual focus and your eyes. The point is that you want a perfectly focused image as a reference to compare. Even if the lens is blurry in that region it doesn’t matter. You’re just trying to compare your PD left AF point to a perfectly focused reference image. It should be blatantly obvious if you have the problem. The YouTube video summarizes how obvious the problem is.

        When you are focusing with the left AF point you simply don’t need to look at other areas of the frame. Just look at the specific area of the target under the left AF point. This why variation in distances to the center and right part of the frame (and field curvature) doesn’t matter. You’re only evaluating a very specific area.

        • lorenzo

          I think I got it now, thanks. It would be easier to understand if I ever had a D800 in my hands, instead I am still waiting.

          I didn’t consider the curvature of the lens as a cause, if it was so the issue should have appeared also on the RT not just on the LT. Beside, some say that Nikon fixed their cameras, so at the service they didn’t just twist the glass.

          As I said earlier, with my luck I will get a defective unit and Nikon will return it with the note “Camera is at factory specs”.

          Maybe I should consider buying an used D3x 🙁

    • Aldo #2

      And you know all this how? I particularly appreciate feedback but nothing is for certain and a lot is up to speculation.

    • studio460

      Unfortunately, I think you’re dead-on about your assumptions about Nikon. I suspect that the problem is simply too widespread, and far too time-consuming to repair to acknowledge publicly.

  • ken

    is there a link anywhere to how to properly test for this problem. got a 14-24, 50 1.8 and 105 2.8.

    I’ve tested but hell i don’t know if i’m doing it right or not..what is a confirmed test that will show the issue or not including distances, lighting, lens, f-stop, shutter speed etc….

  • Joe

    Only 78 replies to this post? Must be a minor problem then with only few units affected. My D800E seems to be okay so far.

    • Stephen White

      I thought mine was okay until I did a more scientific test, at 24mm f/2.8 comparing both Live View focus and AF on a tripod with exposure delay. The problem was immediately apparent on my new D800E, sadly.

  • The is more than one focusing problem with the D800. There is the left focus problem, some people have reported back focus problems and I have had a D800 with unsharp blurred images. It was difficult to pin down until I got my second D800 2 months later but the first just seemed soft compared to my D3x (now sold). Testing side by side neither had a back focus issue or left focus but the first early D800 was just poor. Sent back now and waiting when I will compare again. Really interested to see if it’s as good as the more recent camera or maybe better!

    • I wonder how many have a D800 that is not as good as it could be?

      • slt

        My E seems to be one of those. I don’t have another 800 to compare it too, but comparing it to samples on the net it seems a lot worse. Dowrezed to 12MP and comparing it with my D700 the images look just about the same, but why would I bother! Btw. after it came back from Nikon for the second “fix” they had done some 700 shutter actuations! WTF!!

  • Joachim

    To me it seems like blowing a fly to an elephant size. The sensor just shows a lot of issues that were never a problem together with 12, 16 or even 24 MP. No lens has an ideal plane of sharpness, all are more or less spherical fields. So, when the AF Sensor in the center decides “sharp”, there might be a difference in focusing to the outer sensors. Vice versa, if an outer sensor decides “sharp”, that doesn’t mean the center will be sharp, too. Just because of the curved field, which especially the 24/1.4 G has. Otherwise it would not have a barrel distortion.
    Especially Michael Tapes’ test shows this flaw in testing. And a small wind becomes a hurricane immediately, just because one blogger copies the “issues” from another. Get a grip, people, in aspects of the pressure to Nikon – a lot buyers want to have this camera – it’s just no wonder, that some copies will have bugs in. Important is, they will fix it. Bad thing is, a lot of people will now suspect “I have a bad copy” and increase the workload of the repair centers.

    • zzz

      Wow, right after I comment about this common mistake someone posts the misinformation.

      “Vice versa, if an outer sensor decides “sharp”, that doesn’t mean the center will be sharp, too.”

      Look, nobody is using the furthest left AF point to judge sharpness in the center or right part of the frame. They are using it to just sharpness in the region directly under the left AF point. Field curvature will cause other regions of the frame to be out of focus but not the region directly under the focus point. In addition, people are comparing the left AF point directly against the LV focus (or manual focus) on that same exact region. Hence we are doing an relative comparison of AF accuracy against a reference image. Thus the sharpness of the lens in that region is irrelevant. Is the image directly under the left PD AF point more blurry than the reference “perfectly focused” image ? Yes ? Then you have the problem. No ? You’re all set. Seriously, why is this simple test so damn hard for people to understand ?

  • UncleDusty

    The video test is really overkilling it and causing people to think they have problems when they don’t. 2 photos is all you need, handheld (if you can properly take a photo). If you have this issue with your D800, it is very noticable when you use the left AF point. If you use the AF point furthest to the left, you will notice that your subject is clearly, no pun intended, out of focus when you take a photo (not in live view). If you can’t tell if it is less clear than when using the furthest right AF point, your camera is fine or you need to trade your D800 for a point and shoot. If you test using the right AF point too, you can rule out barrel distortion causing the blur.

  • I have had my D800E in for service four times. Nikon can not fix it. No replacements available for the last two months. After calling “wolf” four times, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Vincent

    Ran a similar test with a d800 and a 24mm 1.4g and 35mm 1.4g. Only the 24mm had the issue at 1.4 and went away around 5.6+. 35mm had no issues even at 1.4.


    • Vincent

      After further testing… my issue is due to field curvature vs asymmetric autofocus… hopefully Nikon will release an official statement or a firmware fix (vs sending cameras in).

      Good luck!

  • Marc

    You can see my experiences with the fix here:

    • lorenzo

      ——–> A COMPROMISE?

      In the series of your photos (top down LT, CT, RT), in my opinion the RT one were slightly better before the fix. They did improve a lot the LT, however.

      I don’t think here in the US we have engineers like in Netherland (forget about those in El Segundo!) and I think it will be costly to ship our cameras to your Country. The first response from Nikon US to one person here above was to check the battery charge – that tells you who we have to deal with – very depressing!

      You are right: better than before but not perfect. Thanks for sharing it.

      • Marc

        I’ll go to NSP somewhere next week with my camera and lenses to calibrate the 14-24, as it suffers from front focussing at 14mm (and my 24-70 at 24). After this calibration I expect them to work perfectly as well.

        I spoke to the engineer yesterday who’ve stated that he needs to align the bayonet, the mirror and the AF control unit, which of course is a precision job to do. Some dedicated software is used to check and fine tune the calibration per focus point. He also was aware that not every service centre seemed to be able to do the job, and surprised about that. So, indeed we’re lucky with this service centre.

  • Tinker’s Realm

    Thanks for the Video Turtorial-Sure enough my D800 has the AF issue-Left & right-Off to check the D4 now-Grrrr!

  • Tinker’s Realm

    MY D800 is series 300/102 not sure what the first run # was

  • Aldo #2

    We need to start posting serial numbers for cameras with issues and with no issues so we have some sort of clue of which serial numbers were mostly affected.

    • studio460

      I’ve been mentally culling affected and unaffected D800/E SNs–unfortunately, it’s all over the map. It appears random, with no obvious clusters. From very early sub-1000 US bodies, e.g., 3000XXX, to very recent, 302XXXX-series US bodies.

  • D800E- 3001800

    My camera is identically ultra-sharp, both right and left.
    I would never be focusing far left- wide angle- wide open anyway, but I guess some people do.

    I would like to see a real-world example that does not involve test charts,
    where the issue is clearly visible in someone’s actual workflow.

    Maybe I just got lucky, but I’m quite happy with my particular d800e.
    The photos are insanely high resolution, crystal clear.
    Miles beyond my old 5Dmk2 in every way, even video.

    • UncleDusty

      Your camera is identically ultra-sharp, both left and right because you are a photography master. You utilize the the optimum settings on your camera for every shot and they all turn out perfectly. Your many years of film photography have seasoned your skills so well that you can take no bad photos but also reassure us that our equipment isn’t faulty, but rather, it’s our technique.

      “I would like to see a real-world example that does not involve test charts,
      where the issue is clearly visible in someone’s actual workflow.”

      That’s easily said when your camera doesn’t have the issue. No, I don’t typically focus with the point furthest left, but it’s nice to have the option with a $3300 camera and a $2000 lens. Your aperture doesn’t have to be wide open to notice. It’s not like I’m having trouble with focusing my 70-200 2.8 at 6 inches away with the far left point. I know the 24mm 1.4 is capable of focusing with the far left point, yes, even wide open. Are you saying that I should just ignore this and not send my camera in because I never take that kind of shot or that the problem doesn’t exist and this is a result of poor technique?

    • Sean Mc

      Throw an 85mm 1.4 on there and try a portrait (read: headshot) where the subject isn’t dead-center. You’ll notice the problem. I had been tweaking my lens calibrations in the D800E thinking I was going crazy. When you’re looking for critical focus on an eye or anything that makes or breaks the shot, this is a serious problem. I’m hoping that Nikon releases an update before an upcoming wedding. I’m not holding my breath, though.

  • Yes, an official statement would really do. Either via the NPS or NPU program.

  • Tinker’s Realm

    I checked my Serial # & mine which does have the focus issue ends in #2101

    • where did you checked you Serial Number for focus issue?

  • How ya go’in!
    American here<—– I lived in AU, Boring place! It's just a bunch of opinionated jerks, who are dumb enough to think that America and every other country has the only Government that is currupt! They think their shite don't stink! Boy does it ever! By the way your burgers suck!!!


    • An Englishman

      By do little boys with an ego problem seem to take over all the time.

      It is because of that attitude that wehave wars and strife (apart from the one we married)

      In the time that the responses where written over 900 children died – Pity they were the wrong ones.

      intolerence is just as bad a racism

      Ocford English
      American Slang
      Pidgeon English
      Hackney Slang
      Glasgow Twitter
      Aussie Banter
      Red Neck Ignorance

      Its about a Nikon D800 – Don’t talk about it Use it.

      Same goes for the brain – if you have one?

  • Bala

    I am U.Balashanmugham (Bala) from Chennai, India.

    (I had just posted this comment on on D800 Left Focus Issue thread. I am posting it again here for the benefit of Nikonians searching in this website)

    I bought by D800 on 26th June 2012 with Serial No. 8007726

    After going through the various forums on the Left, Centre, Right Focus Issue I checked my camera with various Lens like 60 F2.8D, 24-120 F4G VR and 24-70 F2.8G.

    I find my camera has a consistent Right side Focus problem, whereas the Centre and Left seems to be Ok when compared with Live View.

    My simple and effective solution would be, Nikon should provide a new Firmware which has AF Fine Tune option for the Extreme Left, Centre and Extreme Right Focus Points for Each Lens you own. Once this is available in the Firmware the Hardware Problem will be overridden as the Focus of rest of the points can be interpolated by the camera and the hassles of Re-calling or Repairing millions of Cameras can be eliminated and also Nikon can save its face with its loyal customers with immediate solution and save their millions too.

    With Warm Regards

  • Zeev Kirshenboim

    I checked my D800 and it suffers from the left AF issue.
    I just picked my new D4 and guess what? Same issue. Focus on left point(s) is not accurate, to say the least.

  • Stewart Douglas

    I took my D800 to the Sydney Service Centre in Rhode last week. I purchased the camera on ebay about 6 months ago c/w 2 sigma lenses – 24/70 and 70/200 f4. I had noticed auto focussing issues on a couple of shoots and made adjustments using the auto fine tune. Both Lenses required -20 adjustment and I still didn’t think i was getting needle sharp images. The service centre refused to accept my camera and lens because it wasn’t a Nikon lens. I’m sure having read various articles the issue rests with the camera body. Can anyone recommend anywhere that will check and calibrate both camera and sigma lenses.

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