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Test for left focus error

mwhals

Winfield, US
1664 posts

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mwhals Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2004
Fri 26-Apr-13 10:58 PM | edited Fri 26-Apr-13 11:00 PM by mwhals

My D800 seems to be old stock with a 3039xxx serial number. I have seen online that the left focus error has been resolved since serial number 5055xxx according to Thom Hogan.

What exactly is the error and how best to test for it?

Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)

mwhals

Winfield, US
1664 posts

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#1. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 0

mwhals Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2004
Fri 26-Apr-13 09:14 PM

I found the test and description. My widest prime is a 24/2.8D, but I have a 50/1.4D so I will test with both lenses.

http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/07/03/how-to-tell-if-your-d800-d800e-d4-has-the-left-focusing-problem/

Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)

byvini

UK
28 posts

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#2. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 0

byvini Registered since 19th Apr 2013
Fri 26-Apr-13 09:27 PM

30xxxxx are US models
5xxxxx are Canadian if I am correct.
6xxxxx is UK for example...

So, your serial seems correct.

byVini photography

ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
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#3. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 2

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Fri 26-Apr-13 09:49 PM

Mine is 500xxxx and bears a US warranty, discussed in the serial number thread.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

mwhals

Winfield, US
1664 posts

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#4. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 2

mwhals Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2004
Fri 26-Apr-13 11:04 PM

My View NX2 CD would not install onto a Windows 8 computer. The download from Nikon of the latest version did install on the Windows 8 machine. I would think a newer camera would have a newer version of the software.

The May 2012 firmware update was not pre installed on the camera. I would think a camera produced after May 2012 would have the most current firmware version.

Those two points are why I think it is old stock, not the serial number.

Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)

mwhals

Winfield, US
1664 posts

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#5. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 0

mwhals Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2004
Sat 27-Apr-13 12:34 AM | edited Sat 27-Apr-13 12:35 AM by mwhals

Taking it back to Best Buy tomorrow. Right and Middle focus points were very close to live view. The left focus point was blurry while live view was similar to the middle and right focus points.

The test was done from a tripod shooting at a window blind with my 17-35/2.8 AFS at approximately 24 mm.

I was worried about this when I found my camera didn't even have the May 2012 firmware installed. That made me believe it was stocked prior to May and that it would have the problem that a lot of people had around that time.

I want them to expedite me one from outside of the store. If they have any more stock, it is likely the same age.

Very frustrating as I need this camera in one week. I don't want to send it to Nikon as I don't believe I will get it turned around within one business week.

Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)

mwhals

Winfield, US
1664 posts

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#6. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 5

mwhals Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2004
Sat 27-Apr-13 12:46 AM

Left Focus from View Finder:


Click on image to view larger version



Left Focus from Live View:


Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)

Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13762 posts

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#7. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 6

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sat 27-Apr-13 01:49 AM | edited Sat 27-Apr-13 01:50 AM by dm1dave

How do these compare to the center focus point, both viewfinder and liveview?

Have you repeated the test several times and had consistent results?

In the viewfinder shot – did you use mirror lock up? What was the shutter speed? Could vibrations from the mirror been the difference?

Regardless I would retest, just to be sure of consistent results, Ensure that you shoot with enough light to get a fast shutter speed or use flash.

Also try to get the focus target square to plain of focus. I would use a paper with a grid pattern, make sure that the vertical and horizontal lines are parallel to the edges of the viewfinder. Text on the paper would make a better focus target then the blinds.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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mwhals

Winfield, US
1664 posts

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#8. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 7

mwhals Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2004
Sat 27-Apr-13 01:59 AM

The center and right view finder along with live view images were sharp. Only the left view finder focus was not sharp. I used flash , so the shutter speed was 1/60th for all images. The aperture was 2.8 for all images.

The camera was solid as a rock on the tripod and was set to square with the blind.

I did the test on a Nikon box as well and it showed the same results. Shooting brick on the fireplace also gave the same results.

Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13762 posts

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#9. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 8

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sat 27-Apr-13 02:59 AM

You seem to have covered all your bases.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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byvini

UK
28 posts

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#10. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 8

byvini Registered since 19th Apr 2013
Sat 27-Apr-13 04:46 AM

Sorry to hear that. Try going to best buy to exchange your camera and check if the serial is one of the latest?

byVini photography

mwhals

Winfield, US
1664 posts

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#11. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 0

mwhals Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2004
Sat 27-Apr-13 01:08 PM

I am going to do some more testing today as my eyes and body are refreshed compared to last night. I am going to use a perfectly flat piece of paper too to make sure the camera is square with the subject. It is possible the blind was not perfectly square with the wall.

Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)

dm1dave

Lowden, US
13762 posts

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#12. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 11

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sat 27-Apr-13 01:18 PM

Good luck!

I simplified my test by not doing the live view comparison. I simply took 3 shots, one using the center focus point – one with the far left point and one with the far right sensor. Then I compared the images, all were sharp with no significant variation from point to point.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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mwhals

Winfield, US
1664 posts

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#13. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 12

mwhals Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2004
Sat 27-Apr-13 01:50 PM

I plan to do three shots each at left, center and right. Also take three shots in live view and pick the best one as the standard.

I decided that I am not going to return it to Best Buy if it has the left focus problem. I will just send it to Nikon for calibration. This would allow me to use it next weekend as planned to shoot my wife's prom that she sponsored at the high school.

I printed a chart from the internet and will use it outside to do the testing since it is a nice bright day.

Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)

mwhals

Winfield, US
1664 posts

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#14. "RE: Test for left focus error" | In response to Reply # 0

mwhals Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2004
Sat 27-Apr-13 05:00 PM | edited Sat 27-Apr-13 05:19 PM by mwhals

I shot 3 pictures of a lens focusing printout taped to the garage outside. The shutter speed was 1/2000 and the aperture was 2.8 on my Nikon 24/2.8D. The ISO was set at 100.

I shot three each of the following:

1. Liveview Center
2. Normal Center
3. Liveview Left
4. Normal Left
5. Liveview Right
6. Normal Right

There is a definite slight focus difference on the left focus point in the view finder versus any of the other 5 combinations. The text is still very readable and I think in the real world, it would be unnoticeable. It would be much less noticeable if someone handed me a flat page print from an image that had the left most focus point doing the focusing if I had no other images for comparison.

The center of the lens if definitely sharper than the outer areas as even the Liveview focusing shows a slight difference from left to right. The difference between left liveview and left normal view is more pronounced than any of the other combinations. As I said earlier, this would be unnoticeable in a nature photo in my opinion.

Making me think even more that it isn't a problem, I shot this test from a couple of feet away, which is closer than the recommended 2 meters. I believe the depth of field would be more at 2 meters.

I don't have a 1.4 aperture wide lens, so I am sure it will be more pronounced. Unless one if photographing stamps, I am not sure if it is a real issue.

At this point, I am not sure if I will send it to Nikon or not.

Shoot nature with respect and don't trample it or startle its inhabitants. :)

G