Rumor: Nikon to announce a repair advisory for the D800 left focusing issue

This is the latest rumor I received on the D800 focusing issue:

Nikon is close to sending a repair advisory about the D800 left focusing issue. It is a quick fix in the repair center but they are monitoring the amount of cases reported through the European Support Office. Well worth contacting Nikon if your camera has this problem. There have been plenty of reports already sent to the support center, but they have to hit a certain percentage of the total bodies produced in order for Nikon to announce a repair advisory.

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  • NNN

    My D800 seems to focus perfectly well with my old 70-300 zoom, but consistently gives me soft focus with my new 24-70 and my 50 1.8D.

    Is this a technique issue, of getting used to the D800 after using the D300, or of adapting to a wider lens?

    • Andrew

      It is the same problem all the Canon Fanboys have been having with the D800!

      Since they have been flooding this blog, the D800 has been experiencing a deluge of new problems. The trolls have taken over!

    • Bengt Nyman

      It is a tradition in Photography that the subject plane and the image plane are perfectly flat. With a telephoto lens this is no problem. Here the difference in subject distance between the extreme left of the image and the center of the image is quite small.
      Take a wide angle lens on the other hand. The extreme left of the flat subject plane is much further away from the camera than the center of the subject plane. Yet the lens has to perfectly focus all points in this variably distant plane onto the flat camera image sensor.
      The wider the lens the harder this becomes.
      That is probably why Nikon D800 focus problems are more apparent with wider lenses which are already struggling to focus the left and right edges of the subject plane.

    • Smudger

      Yep; develop an appreciation for OoF pictures.

    • sklsmk

      NNN, this is the exact issue I had but the lens that worked ok was my 80-200. The 24-70 and the 50mm would not produce sharp images. You are the 5th person I have read or heard from online not just on this site with the exact same lens issue where it wasn’t just a left focus point issue so for some the problem seems to be worse.

      • NNN

        sklsmk, I tested my 70-200 2.8 and it seems OK on the D800, but 24-70 is a disaster. Time to check manual lenses…

        • Bengt Nyman

          I assume you all fine tune each lens individually using center focus and Live View before you start looking for focusing errors off center.

          • NNN

            No, I compared with my razor sharp D300 which needed no special fine tuning of any lens.

  • anon

    I guess i lucked out, or maybe this lens isn’t a big enough aperture to notice a problem, but i took two shots using d800 and a tokina 11-16 at 15mm at 2.8 (no vignette here, but softer edges due to being at the very extreme usable edge of the lens)… one shot at the center focus point, one at the left most focus point. same distance from subject as close as i could get and still focus, all other camera settings the same as well. I also manually focused to infinity and allowed AF to bring it back to close focus. I see nearly no difference, if any at all, between the subject focused at the center and the subject focused at the left most point. I also don’t notice a green cast in the screen. I do notice though that the camera seems to be metering a little under actual, which is annoying me a bit because i end up putting my shutter speed lower than it needs to be for meter to look right, yet then i over expose. Never had an issue with d300 so it shouldn’t be my technique.

    • Markus

      Some (here) may give the impression that ALL Nikon D800’s have problems with focusing which is absolutely not true. It’s also that the camera’s which are affected by this problem vary. Some have only slight miss alignment at the outer most-left focus point, others are completely off on the left and right side.

    • Tangfish

      I would think you’d want to use an FX lens for the test (not a DX lens like 11-16 that uses only part of the sensor), but that’s just a guess.

  • Bob

    My 800e is soft across all focus points. The Center Point is on a scale of 1-10 (10 being perfect) is a 7, left a 4 and right a 6. I have tried 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 and 200-400. The results are generally as noted throughout this lens group. I have been waiting for some definitive Nikon response. Also I believe the CF point was a 9 right out of box and changed over time. Received my unit in May.

    • Bengt Nyman

      Hi Bob,
      I assume you have fine tuned each lens individually using center focus and Live View before you start looking for focusing errors off center.

      • Huh

        You keep posting this “I assume you” statement. Why? Are you having trouble forming a question or a point of some kind?

        Regardless, fine tuning should be used in rare circumstances. A person shouldn’t have to fine tune for EVERY lens, especially when none of the measurements have changed in decades.

        • Bengt Nyman

          I was answering Bob.
          Fine tuning is there for a reason.
          If you don’t care to get the most out of your equipment, that is your choice.

  • sklsmk

    As has been said countless times in this thread. It is already confirmed that it is not user error and there is an actual problem with the camera. I personally know for a fact not just from my own test but after speaking with Nikon. Others on here with similar issues should also help confirm that fact. I am not saying that there aren’t some who are getting blurred images due to user error but don’t downplay the reality of the cameras issue because some people have error free D800 bodies.

  • Bengt Nyman

    This is a nice, thorough tutorial for general purpose lens center focus sharpness test.
    It is agreed that proper testing methods are critical to separate the D800 focal plane problem from other causes of poor focus.
    However, this tutorial does not address the problem of off-center out of focus discussed in this thread.
    The choice of a Coke can for subject does not lend itself to detect off-center, focal plane errors, which is what we are attempting to discuss.

  • My D800e is working perfectly. I KNOW(not over the Internet) four other guys that own the D800 and they can’t find any problems either. I don’t know what batch they have but mine is 3002. I’m getting a second d800e soon and I’ll let you know if it has any problems.

    • tf

      I had a very severe case of left focusing (+ to a lesser extent right focusing) problem. I sent back the camera to B&H (excellent service BTW). I’m now waiting for a new D800. I’ll send it to Nikon customer service if the problem is still there.

  • heavyd

    After seeing all the comments, I test my D800 with the 24-70 lense yesterday at 24mm and sure enough, the pictures taken with the left focus point are soft.

  • sklsmk

    I am seeing that part of the issue is due to field curvature being magnified greatly on the D800. As a result some lens will just not perform that well but to my surprise, the 24-70 f/2.8 is one of them. Any f stop below 8 seems unusable for me. Someone suggexted I get a different lens but until now, the 24-70 was one of my best lens. If someone can, take a photo of a flat surface with this lens at 2.8 to share. I found a site where a guy has similar issues and he stated something similar saying it was lens curvature and bokeh fringing being magnified on the D800. There is no fix for that just fifferdnt lens and technique. Yes my camerahad a focussing issue but this is an added bit of info that is affe ting things as well.

    • sklsmk

      hopefully, you guys can comprehend the post despite the multitude of typos due to my failed attempt to multitask.

  • Rich inTX

    with a week remaining on my warranty, I sent my D800 in to Nikon to get the sensor cleaned and the left focus issue fixed. They checked out my camera and replied that it would not be covered under warranty, because they had found something else wrong with the camera: a bent aperture control lever (which is INSIDE the camera body).
    They said this showed that the camera had received impact damage. My camera has never received impact damage; it must have bent when I was mounting a lens. I dont see how impact could bend an internal part otherwise. In any case, I had to pay over $200 to get everything done. They said they wouldn’t do any work on the camera unless I let them fix EVERYTHING they found wrong with the camera.
    While I wasn’t happy about it, I can appreciate Nikon only wanting fully repaired product returning to customers. It helps maintain their quality of product in the workplace.

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