I am interested in buying a D800 but after reading all of the horrible reviews on camera issues and most of all the warranty department at Nikon, I am concerned to say the least. I will not pay that much for a camera body without the comfort of knowing at least the manufacturer will honor their commitment to the product and the customer. I do realize there are two sides to every story but I am still wondering if there is any validity to the claims. Please let me know if anyone out there in the Nikonians has had any problems with service or the D800 that could not be resolved.
#2. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 0
Beyond the learning curve, I have had no problems with either of my D800 bodies. I have expressed reservations about Nikon service in the past, but I have been very successful by sending my D700 bodies to APS in Morton Grove, IL for upkeep. They are an authorized service depot. I chose not to let the issues I have had with Nikon service dissuade me from the D800. It is a great camera and the later bodies appear to have the focus issues resolved. I got my last one from Adorama and it was a very late serial number.
#5. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 0 Tue 03-Sep-13 06:07 PM by DAJolley
My advice if you buy a D800 or any other new camera for that matter is to buy it from a dealer that offers at least a 30 day return period, test the camera thoroughly as soon as you get it and return it for a replacement if you discover a problem. That is far easier than dealing with returning it to Nikon. I have returned 3 lenses and two bodies to Nikon far warranty repair over the past 5 years and they took from 2-5 weeks to complete the repair. The repairs always fixed the problem the first time. Keep in mind that insuring and shipping a high priced camera body or lens can cost up to $50 which you pay (at least in the USA). That is why I say it is better to return a defective new camera than to pay for the return shipping to Nikon for service. Dave Jolley
David Jolley Pickerington, Ohio Please visit my Website
#6. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 0
Cape Coral, US
I did get a D800 and I did get it serviced by Nikon. I was very reluctant, in fact it took me a while to convince myself I had a problem (mostly because I didn't want to risk Nikon screwing it up from all the horror stories).
But it went off, came back reasonably fast (I don't recall example, a few weeks), worked much better, was all handled very professionally.
It is the only thing Nikon I've ever had to get fixed; I suspect most people are in that situation, you buy it, it works, done. But my one data point was done well.
I would absolutely agree with the other suggestion - buy from someone with a no-questions return policy just in case, and test your purchase with all your lenses in real world situations (plus some contrived ones if you like) in that 30 days.
#7. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 6 Wed 04-Sep-13 12:31 AM by avisys
In years past, they have been very responsive to correcting screwups (which should not occur, but that's another story).
About three years ago I sent a D2x to Nikon California for CLA. They did the job pretty quickly, for a reasonable price. HOWEVER, when they packed the camera for return, they filled the box half way with foam peanuts, wrapped the camera in plastic wrap (Saran?), and taped the box shut. I'd guess the normal process was to fill the box half way, put the camera in, and then fill it the rest of the way, which they forgot to do.
So the camera body had half the (too large) box to bounce around in during UPS shipment. As one would expect, the box corners were bashed in, so one could easily infer what kind of treatment the box and bouncing camera had experienced. When the UPS driver handed the box to me, he shook it to demonstrate the contents flopping around. "There's a CAMERA in there?!!!?" he asked, as he noted the condition on his magic device.
I didn't even bother to check the camera out --- I could never be confident that camera was not damaged internally. I took some photos of the packaging and sent them to the repair center manager. No questions asked, he immediately sent me a D2Xs, new in box. He asked for return of the D2x, which I did, but I'd bet it wouldn't have mattered.
#8. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 0
You couldn't pry the D800E out of my hands. I have a very early D800E. It did have the focus issue - the far left AF sensor was not accurate. But the center sensor produced some of the most spectacular, sharp images I have ever seen.
Ultimately I sent my camera for service a week before the warranty period ended. As you would expect, it was returned within 3 weeks with the problem resolved.
The issue was resolved in production months ago. It is unlikely you will experience an issue - but still possible with any camera. It's important to understand how AF works and the related issues.
First - viewing a D800 image at 100% is asking for trouble. I do it, but you are looking at something approaching 200% on the D3/D700. It is much more magnified, so of course you can see any issues.
Second - AF works a percentage of the time. Even top pros don't get sharp images every time. The tougher the situation, the more misses you have. Which sensor you use matters - cross sensors perform better than regular sensors and with slower glass, you have differences in sensor performance.
Older and lower quality lenses impact images. I have an old Tamron lens that was fine with film, but it is useless on my D800. It's just too soft. The camera can outresolve your lenses - or at least reveal any error or issue.
Your editing and sharpening techniques are camera specific. A high resolution image with a large file is handled differently. You can sharpen more aggressively. At low ISO levels you have extended dynamic range and color. At high ISO you have lower noise - especially if you are comparing images at the same output size (remember the file is bigger so it needs downsizing for comparison).
Good lenses and good technique are rewarded. The D800 produces the sharpest images of any conventional DSLR.
You asked about the 24-70. It is one of the top medium zoom lenses. Use DxOMark for a quantitative reference. It really does a nice job with D800 images.
If you are unsure of yourself, the D800 could drive you crazy. Sure there may be normal camera issues, but your issues are typically within your control and not the fault of the manufacturer. Service - if needed - takes time, but Nikon generally does a good job. Don't believe everything you hear or read on the internet - the D800 is a fantastic camera and still stuns me with the wonderful images I can produce with good technique.
#9. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 0
I have had a bad experience with Nikon service ( Canada) my V1 would overheat and cut out after a message came on telling me this. Ident it in for service and after a while got a reply from the store where I bought it ( they sent it in for me). They told me that the inside was corroded from moisture and it would not be fixed under warranty. They basically said that I had gotten it wet. That camera was never near water. They refused to fix it , put it back together and shipped it back to me. I was not to thrilled with this, I've been using Nikons since 1967, my first camera was a Nikon f photomic. For some reason it still works only with camera but no video.
#10. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 9
Nikon Canada's service can be a little hit or miss. I have had good experiences mostly getting lenses repaired (re-calibrated). They took in my old beat up 70-200 VR and returned it to me looking almost new. I live close enough to drive to their depot in Mississauga, which saves me the shipping costs.
That is my nit to pick with Nikon (and Canon), is this garbage about the consumer paying for shipping for warranty work, especially for a manufacturers defect. I recently bought an X-Pro1 and the warranty not only states that Fuji pays for shipping, but they also have a one week turn around period, which if they can't meet, they will give you a loaner camera!
My D800e worked perfectly out of the box, though I found myself shooting dreaded test charts to be sure due to the known issue in early models. I always buy from a retailer who has a 10 day exchange policy.
#11. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 2 Wed 04-Sep-13 03:05 AM by PSAGuy
Lake Elmo, US
Agree 100%....APS in Chicago (Morton Grove IL) is so good, I actually drive my bodies and lenses there myself all the way from Minneapolis, when they need service. They turned around a 70-200 f2.8 that needed a whole new autofocus motor and mechanism in just 3 days over Thanksgiving !! They do super work.
#13. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 4 Wed 04-Sep-13 07:17 PM by ajdooley
David - The old focus issues concerned the left sensors not providing accurate focus. The newer bodies (including the D800E) seem to have this issue under control now.
Yes, I use the 24-70mm lens extensively. Until a few months ago I was using two D700 bodies, and one body was married to the 24-70 with two other lenses -- the 14-24 and 70-200 VRII -- being used depending on the situation. I now have two D800 bodies and am preparing to sell the D700s. I will do the same with them -- one bearing the 24-70 and the other for the other lenses. Right now though, I am using one body, as I am 7 weeks from rotator cuff surgery and it is painful to tote two bodies. But within weeks I expect to be back to carrying them both when shooting.
The 24-70: as it is an f2.8 lens, I find little real need for VR. Would I like it? You bet, especially if it is as good as the 70-200mm f2.8 VRII. I'll upgrade if Nikon ever makes that move. In the meantime, I guess I have a steady grip (even at age 69) and get a majority of tack sharp images. With either the D800 or previously the D700, if I need more shutter speed, I push the ISO up. The 24-70 is inherently very sharp and entirely satisfactory.
#17. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 16 Thu 05-Sep-13 03:43 AM by Ferguson
Cape Coral, US
>Still a newbie at this. How did you determine that the far >left sensor was not working? >
I'm not Eric but I'm waiting for a bunch of shots to download...
Google "D800 Left Focus" and watch the number of hits.
More seriously - mount the camera on a tripod, and pick a very good focus target (read in the manual about what makes a good target). Ideally get three of them that are identical, and put them on a flat wall perpendicular to the field of view of the camera. Be sure they are at the same height as the camera.
Place them very carefully so that the center one is in the center focus point, and the left-most and right-most point have the other two.
Set the camera for "A", AFS-S, lock down the tripod, set exposure delay to 3 seconds.
Take several exposures using each of the three focus points. Each time defocus manually, and let the camera automatically focus. Take several to see if there is variation.
Now go into live view mode, and set focus to manual. Zoom in very close (usually max less 1 or 2 zooms). Focus VERY carefully, get the absolute best focus. Do this on all three focus points. Do it several times each.
Now compare your results. The NORMAL results is that the center done with auto-focus is almost but probably not quite as good as live view, and that the left and right are each yet more soft relative to live view, but still decent.
If all three in auto-mode are much more soft than in live view, you need to fine tune, then start over. Back/front focus is a whole different topic, search for "Fine tune Nikon back focus".
The LEFT FOCUS problem will show up as the automatic focus on the left side is VERY soft, while the right side is slightly softer than the center, but much better than the left.
Now repeat this with some different targets and if you have them, another lens or two.
Optionally, post your results in several online forum, and collect a half dozen followers who will tell you (a) you are crazy, (b) Nikon is involved in a conspiracy, and (c) your focus target does not meet the criteria for the AF system to work. These three things will happen no matter how you do your testing.
If your camera consistently is very soft on the left -- you have the problem.
If left and right are more or less the same, you don't.
If all three are pretty much in focus in both live view and manual, you have great luck. Post your results in several forums, and (a), (b) and (c) above will still happen.
But seriously -- that sounds complicated but it is not -- you need to compare to live view as that's the gold standard, and the "problem" is when in AF mode (not live view manual focus) only the left is really soft, you have the issue.
#18. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 17
My testing was very similar to the method Linwood described.
First - you need to understand that the camera has two different AF systems - phase detect through the viewfinder and contrast detect in live view and mirrorless cameras. Phase detect is faster, while contrast detect is more accurate. The problem is with phase detect AF while contrast detect with Live View is accurate. Adjustments such as fine tuning auto focus or errors live the D800 AF problem only involve phase detect AF.
Second - there are valid reasons why you still get out of focus images toward the edge of the frame. The outer sensors are not cross sensors, and the center sensor is the best of all the cross sensors which makes the center more accurate. AF is not a perfect process - you will have AF misses some percentage of the time. Light levels affect AF performance. And it is possible to have soft iamges due to lens issues such as softer outer edges of the lens which may be normal - or not - and decentered lens elements.
If you are going to test, you need to be perfectly perpendicular to a good AF target. I use the LensAlign target. You should also take a number of frames with each sensor you are testing - at least 5 frames defocusing between frames to make sure you are getting consistent errors.
I used shutter delay set for 3 seconds and a tripod for all test images. I used both a 50mm f/1.4 lens and a 24-70 f/2.8 lens set wide open.
My test was a little simpler. I used the center of the target only. I took 5 images using the center sensor. Then I took 3 frames using the center sensor and Live View. Then I took 5 frames of the center of the target with the far right sensor, and then 5 frames with the far right sensor with a Live View series for each. The Live View images confirm your camera and lens are capable of capturing sharp images.
My center sensor was excellent for all 5 frames. The far right sensor was slightly soft but still acceptable. The far left sensor was significantly out of focus on all five test images and there was no variation. Live View images were sharp in all cases.
The test confirmed I had a problem, but I rarely use the extreme sensors. So I waited nearly 9 months until my warranty was near expiration before sending my camera for service. I wanted to avoid any risk of losing my camera or doing anything to decrease AF accuracy because the center sensor was so good and so sharp.
If the outer AF sensor is soft, you must have the Live View images sharp to confirm a problem. If the Live View images are also soft, your problem is likely with the lens and not the camera. If you are getting variation - some sharp and some not - repeat the test. The problem is not an intermittent problem and intermittent misfocus reflects a testing error.
#19. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 10
My problem with Nikon canada was that they basically said that I somehow put the moisture in the camera. There was never any question as to maybe it happened in shipping from the factory. The camera was not that old and was never near any water or humidity. They wouldn't listen to anything I said. I have used nikon's since 1967 I feel they are the best camera. My grandson is using my D100
#20. "REsponse: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 0
35 years ago, I dropped my F2AS into the Snake River. Nikon came through for me then, with flying colors. Countless bodies, lens, and Nikon widgets later, they have always been fair with me. I've had my share of hardware problems, but amazingly, they usually boil down to me "cheating out with a non-Nikon" substitute. Of late, I put Chinese MB-12 on my D800. Nikon worked tirelessly with me to solve the issue and we determined it was the non-Nikon battery pack. Getting ready to bite the $350. Bullet for the real MB12 and piece of mind. Bottom line....Nikon service has been exceptional. They know that customer retention is far less expensive that customer acquistion.
#22. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 0 Sat 14-Sep-13 04:15 PM by Skyco
Roanoke Island, US
I think you have been given great advice, especially from Eric (reply #8). I have had my D800 for over a year and I still love it! The photos I get from it continue to blow me away - especially when printed on metallic paper the subject can look almost three dimensional.
I did have to send my D800 to the Nikon warranty service center in NY. After about two weeks of use (I had D800 withdrawal if I wasn't shooting it a lot every day) I saw it had a crack on the sensor glass. I had never touched the sensor or even lifted the mirror to look at the sensor. I contacted Nikon on line, got a reference number and shipped my camera insured UPS. Two weeks latter to the day it was back in my hands repaired on warranty! I also saw that the focus settings were changed from what I had used and the focus point was set in the far right so I think they also tested for the focus error while they had my camera.
I strongly urge you to get a book on the D800, such as Darrell Young's "Mastering the Nikon D800". This book stays with me all the time and I have dozens of book marks in it. The manual that comes with the camera lists many features but does not give a clue as to how best to use them or how some settings work with each other. Or how you can expect those settings to work best for you. Nikon's D800 Digitutor can also be useful if you haven't already seen it http://www.nikondigitutor.com/eng/d800/index.html
Let me offer an example of the high resolution this camera has to offer. This is a small crop of a mule's eye from a photo that included its head and chest, taken with my old Nikkor 24-85 AF-S G (no VR). The reflection in the eye is my wife and me while I was taking the photo from over six feet away. Please click for a larger image.
"Humans don't rise to the occasion. Instead, we fall to our level of training and experience". Archilochus, a Greek soldier and poet. The best photo advice I ever received was at a John Shaw workshop. "... Practice your craft... ... Pixels are free...Practice... experiment with your camera".
#23. "RE: nikon customer service" In response to Reply # 22
Thanks so much for your input. I have decided on the D 800. I also have aD7000 and have Darrell Young's book for the 7000. It is an awesome help and I also have pages marked.Thanks for the picture and the link also.