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How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with nor

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10543 posts

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Tue 18-Sep-12 02:07 PM | edited Fri 21-Sep-12 01:52 PM by ericbowles

We've had a number of posts about testing the D800 including recent posts about whether you should even buy a D800 without testing it. Let's get some non-scientific data to get an idea of how much testing is taking place.

Feel free to share your experiences, but let's try to avoid debate on whether one approach is better or worse. We can move those discussions into new threads if needed.

Poll result (80 votes)
None
(17 votes)Vote
less than 2 hours
(26 votes)Vote
2-10 hours
(27 votes)Vote
10-25 hours
(7 votes)Vote
25-100 hours
(3 votes)Vote
More than 100 hours
(0 votes)Vote

  

duh59

Rochester, US
591 posts

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#1. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

duh59 Silver Member Charter Member
Tue 18-Sep-12 12:50 PM

Hi Eric, I received my D800 in June. Took graduation pictures and vacation pictures and loved the pictures. Then I started reading about the focus problems and decided that maybe I did not notice picture problems.

Did some focus testing on center and four corners with my 50 f1.4 and 85 f1.4, and to me they looked fine. I think I am done testing, and will just take pictures. Did I get an better than "normal" D800, maybe, or maybe not.

Virge

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CHP_VR

Newport Beach, US
29 posts

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#2. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

CHP_VR Registered since 02nd Feb 2011
Tue 18-Sep-12 01:25 PM

Received my D800E in June.. with all the information here, I tested it fairly extensively with my 85mm 1.4g, 16-35mm F4, 105mm 2.8G, and 70-200mm 2.8 VR G.. found no issues.
Then I took Tom's test and survey as well.. http://www.bythom.com/D800autofocus.htm.. still no problem.
Did a few more test charts and newspaper on the wall tests..
No issues...

At that point, I quit testing and just started shooting.. to date, I'm still in the WOW section..

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PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2807 posts

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#3. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Tue 18-Sep-12 01:38 PM

I got my D800 on the first day they were available. I took some pictures and they looked good. I made money, and still am.

Done.

------
Webpage: http://www.ptfphoto.com

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pyrpal

Portland, US
42 posts

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#4. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

pyrpal Gold Member Nikonian since 14th Oct 2006
Tue 18-Sep-12 03:35 PM

Hi Eric,

I purchased my D800E locally in June and was quite happy using center focus and producing great images. I did not discover it had a left focus issue until August using FoCal. I asked the dealer to send it back to the factory and two weeks later it was fixed.

I did some fine tuning with FoCal and it is fine now with a 24 f/1.4G and 50 f/1.4G lens across all focus points. I also discovered that my D3s could benefit by fine tuning (even more than the D800E) and now it is sharp with these lenses as well.

Tom
Puget Sound Nikonian

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NASattack

Dartford, UK
177 posts

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#5. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 4

NASattack Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Feb 2008
Tue 18-Sep-12 04:29 PM

Tested my D800E for the last three weeks,no issues with the camera but have ditched a few lenses and will upgrade a few more.

Steve.

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emi_fiend

Poway, US
301 posts

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#6. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

emi_fiend Gold Member Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 28th Jan 2006
Tue 18-Sep-12 06:03 PM

Eric,

To see if I had the dreaded left focus point issue, I tested, read, and retested and concluded I didn't have the problem.

I have been AF Fine Tuning lenses with LensAlign Pro and that takes me a lot of time. I have not found major AF Fine Tune corrections needed, yet. Maybe the people who don't get wrapped around the AF Fine Tune issue have the right idea.

Jim

a San Diego Nikonian

RIW

Kings Lynn, UK
265 posts

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#7. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

RIW Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jan 2009
Tue 18-Sep-12 07:02 PM

I have a relatively early 800E. As normal with a new camera I tested it extensively with the lenses I use. Then I checked out some of the rumoured problems. Yes it has the AF problem on the left. However I use almost exclusively manual focus lenses. The green dot is way out, but I don't normally even look at that. My attention is in the picture. The main things I tested were lens performance on the camera - curvature at wide apertures, focus shifting on stopping down, DOF v diffraction, resolution. Then ISO range testing on various types of subject and variation of processing of RAW files to bring noise to an acceptable level, and thus to establish my working settings.

I have found Live View 2 steps below max is good, not excellent, but better than nothing, and for studio work my normal working. This also allows, with a delay set, avoidance of mirror and release artefacts. The mirror bounce has pronounced effects even when using a heavy tripod and fast - over 1/1000 sec - exposures. This has really surprised me. So when I cannot use LV I try to use MUP.

Overall I am very happy and am amazed at the results I can get when I make only a few mistakes. For relaxation I can even photograph black and white cats in sunshine and in CS6 get detail in the white and black fur. Never before!


Roderick

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walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16920 posts

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#8. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Tue 18-Sep-12 07:35 PM

I use mine for photography rather than testing. Works well for that.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

emi_fiend

Poway, US
301 posts

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#9. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 8

emi_fiend Gold Member Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 28th Jan 2006
Tue 18-Sep-12 08:16 PM

Rick,

Wow! A novel use for a D800. Thanks for sharing.

Jim

a San Diego Nikonian

FineArtSnaps

Leesburg, US
401 posts

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#10. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 8

FineArtSnaps Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jun 2012
Tue 18-Sep-12 08:16 PM

+1, Rick. A lot less tedious and a lot better results.

Russ Lewis
www.russ-lewis.com
www.FineArtSnaps.com

InsaneO

Encino, US
395 posts

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#11. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

InsaneO Registered since 09th May 2012
Tue 18-Sep-12 08:57 PM

Took less than 5 minutes to find out that both new lenses I bought with D800e are at -15 backfocusing. So I sent camera and both lenses to Nikon. Same week I got them back with -5. Tested again left center and right focus points and all at -5.
Done testing.
All together less than 10 minutes.
But I did spent little more time on other lenses I bought after.

JonK

New York, US
6330 posts

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#12. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

JonK Moderator Awarded for his high level skills and in-depth knowledge in various areas, such as Wildlife, Landscape and Stage Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004
Tue 18-Sep-12 10:41 PM

I also got my D800e in June. I shot some around the apartment and in Central Park; I made an attempt to test lenses with LensAlign but aborted. So I just started using it.

I basically shot a few thousand frames, from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the 14-24, 24-70, 24-120, and 70-200, landscapes, daylight, available (low) light, and flash.

In mid-June I shot with it for several days in Colorado, a variety of lenses with very good results. In early August I used it for a promotional shoot with multiple speed lights, and in mid-August shot an off-off-Broadway show. Again, the results very very good.

I've also tried some action shots — birds and the NY Yankees. As expected, the lower FPS rate as compared to my D3s does put more of a premium on skill and technique (or in my case, luck).

Bottom line: I will retest my glass with the LensAlign. But to my mind nothing beats real world shooting.

Jon Kandel
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#13. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Wed 19-Sep-12 06:21 AM

Bought in May 2012. Unboxed, borrowed charged battery from D7000 and starting shooting. Noticed wide open 24 1.4 never looked better at various FPs while shooting in the garden. The first shot is framed and hanging on my sister's livingroom wall. Two days later went to Scotland and got my best landscapes ever. Still never have seen a problem with the best AF I have ever used(including the D3s, D2h, D700, D300, D7000, D90, 7D, 5DII etc). Still intend to unwrap the owner's manual someday, maybe this winter.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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jtmcg

Simsbury, US
4996 posts

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#14. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

jtmcg Moderator Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife, Macro & Landscape Photography Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 22nd Mar 2007
Wed 19-Sep-12 07:03 AM

Did a quick check with 14-24 lens using leftmost, center and rightmost focus points. Saw no difference and decided that for me at least no further testing necessary.

John

liamtoh1ps

US
312 posts

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#15. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

liamtoh1ps Registered since 17th Apr 2012
Wed 19-Sep-12 09:27 AM

I have not tested my D800 purchased immediately upon release of the camera. The results that I have seen on my PC (in LR4 and/or Nikon View NX2) are good.

nikonus

Southern California, US
499 posts

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#16. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

nikonus Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Feb 2007
Wed 19-Sep-12 06:19 PM

Zero time testing , Bought a D800 after seeing that the sharpness boost in the D800E images was minor . Some post processing exceeded the gain from the D800 to the E .

Hans K.

My Gallery

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kiu

Pleasanton, US
73 posts

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#17. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

kiu Registered since 09th May 2012
Wed 19-Sep-12 09:40 PM

I spent not even 5min testing the left AF.

After I got the camera I went to the backyard to take a pic of my dog for the 1st shot. Took more pics of him then took a few pics using the left most AF point just to see if I got a bunk D800. Other than that I didn't do any test using charts, or whatever. I figure if it can nail focus on a non-static object my dog then all is good.

my D800 first shot. 24G @ 1.4 straight out of camera

Click on image to view larger version

richardd300

Dyserth, UK
4509 posts

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#18. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 17

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Thu 20-Sep-12 11:14 AM | edited Thu 20-Sep-12 11:36 AM by richardd300

I voted 10-25 hours, which is not bad for a camera I only picked up 2 weeks ago today! My testing has been extensive and Thom Hogan's book has helped me a lot even though I've moved up from a D700. I consider these first two weeks to be principally about testing, not general photography. However, I was in a situation to really flex the D800, so best of both worlds. I see absolutely no reason to mess around with AF-fine tune or test targets, the camera just works well in every respect.

My testing has consisted so far of:

M/A/S/P used extensively in various and some testing situations.

Tripod and handheld shoots with ND12 filters to slow motion, polorizers, action, landscape and portrait (my dog and grandson on the beach)

Used extensively with 50mm f1.8, 16-35mm f4, 24-70 f2.8, 28-300mm f3.5-5.6.

Low light 45 minutes before dawn and at sunrise, tripod with Mup and remote release.

The lenses I have yet to test are the 70-200mm f2.8 and Sigma 50-500mm OS.

So, what do I think about it? After months of deliberation and thanks to folks on Nikonians I now know I have bought my best camera ever. That was a tough act to follow the D700. Greatest success has been the D800 coupled with the 28-300mm. I took much time over this after reading and contributing to the forums here. I am pleased to say that despite some disparaging comments I think this lens rocks on the D800.

I cannot describe how delighted I am. In shall carry on testing, but that is just an excuse to play with an extraordinary camera

Richard

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The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

mjgoetz

Manville, US
2 posts

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#19. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 18

mjgoetz Gold Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2010
Thu 20-Sep-12 11:38 AM

Also received mine 2 weeks ago. Some quick checks on a few focus points and the rest has been the sheer joy of shooting with an unbelievable camera! I spent 3 months worrying about nothin

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txstone12

Texas, US
599 posts

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#20. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

txstone12 Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 12th Feb 2012
Thu 20-Sep-12 12:50 PM

Good topic, Eric.

I voted 10-25 hrs primarily based on some diffraction testing with my D800 and three different lenses. I posted results here

https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=set_threaded_mode&forum=430&topic_id=12618&prev_page=show_topic&gid=12618#14548

I will probably test autofocus 'tuning' for some of my lenses, but I'm waiting for the Mac version of FoCal.

I love to test - design the experiment, run the test and analyze results. I attribute it to my engineering and IT background. Perhaps it's because I'm artistically challenged. From other topics, we know there are many Nikonians who love to test too, although this topic seems to be swinging the other way at the moment.

I have also spent some time on a field curvature test with the Nikkor 24-70mm wide open, but so far have been unable to set up a good subject scene to demonstrate results. I plan to try some new ideas for subject material.

David

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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
4509 posts

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#21. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 20

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Thu 20-Sep-12 01:08 PM | edited Thu 20-Sep-12 01:08 PM by richardd300

<<I attribute it to my engineering and IT background.>>

I infuriate all my ex Instrument and Control engineering colleagues since I retired from the precision industry of metering and pressure measured, electronically to a -0.1 to +0.1% accuracy legal requirements. I try and steer away from anything too technical now as it makes my head hurt. I have tried fine tuning to satisfy my curiosity, but decided I could get myself into all sorts of trouble, so leave alone

Richard

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The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10543 posts

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#22. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Thu 20-Sep-12 04:12 PM

Thanks for all the good responses so far. Just looking at the results, it appears the median would be around 3 hours and the average around 10 hours.

My own experience is a bit harder to classify. I have spent about 2-3 hours of pure testing on targets, etc. But I have done a lot of testing in the field with real targets and the full expectation of keeper images.

My first major use of the camera was a trip to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, so I had nearly 3000 images of birds in flight, AF using the center sensor, sharpness testing, and looking for moire. I did a little high ISO testing. I also used this to test teleconverters with my long lenses.

I've used the D800E for event photography - a good test of moire and some of the automation.

I've done some food and restaurant photography providing a pretty good test of high ISO.

My most recent testing was yesterday at the PGA Tour Championship - photographing golf. The release speed and frame rate were the features being tested.

I don't normally do a lot of testing. I need a reason to test. But I do want to try out both basic features and new features. Next on the list is some work with video. I've never been much on DSLR video, but it seems to be a growing field and something I need to learn to use.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
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Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

richardd300

Dyserth, UK
4509 posts

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#23. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 22

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Thu 20-Sep-12 04:26 PM

<<My most recent testing was yesterday at the PGA Tour Championship - photographing golf>>

How did you do that Eric, I am envious as at the British Open no cameras or phones are allowed past the entrance?

Richard

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The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

agitater

Toronto, CA
4527 posts

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#24. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Fri 21-Sep-12 03:24 AM | edited Fri 21-Sep-12 11:12 AM by agitater

Received camera on May 19. Immediately began testing . . .

May 20 -spent additional eighty bucks at camera store on LensAlign, but after getting home discovered dreaded "LensAlign kit is really hard to set up accurately issue"

May 22 - gave up on LensAlign and picked up FoCal, but soon encountered the dreaded "FoCal is stupidly difficult to set up accurately issue" after discovering the dreaded "none of the walls in my house are actually square, parallel or plane issue"

May 24 - gave up on FoCal and picked up the Norman Koren focus testing whosits, but almost immediately encountered the dreaded "Why have I spent all my money on focus testing kits issue" followed shortly thereafter by discovery of the dreaded "my left foot was accidentally nudging the tripod and blurring my FoCal test shots issue" and began developing sharp, banging migraine from focus testing eyestrain

May 27 - migraine abated, gave up on focus testing kits by shouting at the basement walls "who designs this stuff?!?" then began camera setup and configuration procedure, taking test shots of my right foot after making each setting, but soon encountered the dreaded "This is monumentally stupid issue" so moved on to detection of "Dreaded left-most viewfinder focus point issue"

May 28 - called my doctor for a Zoloft prescription

June 1 - after 1,600 test shots of my (left-most) foot and the neighbor's sleeping cat, began seeing focus issue on left side, but it turned out to be the dreaded "My eyes are bleeding from staring for hours at digital images at 150% magnification and now I'm hallucinating and seeing things issue"

June 11 - had to take a break from testing; phone call came in and I was upset to learn that good friend received D800 on same day as me and already had three conservation area shoots and several city walkabouts under his belt; began to feel onset of dreaded "the whole world is passing me by while I'm taking test shots of my left foot and the neighbor's sleeping cat issue"

June 12 - changed lenses from 50mm f/1.4 to 24-120mm f/4, and began focus testing with LensAlign; after three hours found that I was experiencing the dreaded "sobbing uncontrollably out of frustration with the focus testing kit in the basement issue"

June 16 - needed short break to recover senses and renew Zoloft prescription; good friend with D800 came over for coffee, checked out what I was doing and I suddenly began experiencing the dreaded "smack on the back of the head by a friend trying to beat some sense into you issue"

June 16 (late afternoon) - dragged outside by friend and two blocks south to wilderness trail on the north shore of Lake Ontario; began shooting and almost immediately began experiencing the dreaded "good grief the D800 is incredible and I'm a bozo for flushing three weeks down the basement drain when I could have been out shooting and learning how to get the best out of the camera issue"

June 16 (late evening) - return home from wilderness trail after sundown; review photos on computer and suddenly begin sensing euphoria combined with the dreaded "i just wasted a lot of money on Zoloft issue"

June 16 (late at night) - flushed remaining Zoloft down toilet

September 21 - D800 has been working perfectly for months since I stopped testing it back in June.

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Howard Carson

Hawk Eyes

US
167 posts

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#25. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

Hawk Eyes Registered since 09th Jun 2012
Fri 21-Sep-12 03:49 AM | edited Fri 21-Sep-12 03:52 AM by Hawk Eyes

^^^^^^^ Baaahaa agitater, thats some funny ass S#$%. I tested for about one hour at some point. Then just kept shooting after that. The photos have been great since day one. Really I tested the camera to see what the wild storys were about. But I found nothing. Good times

richardd300

Dyserth, UK
4509 posts

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#26. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 25

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Fri 21-Sep-12 04:52 AM

I can tell old age is creeping inextricably on me, because I did actually conduct one single, non technical test on my D800 which I had forgotten. In the shop I fitted a 50mm f1.8 lens and took 5 pictures of the book shelf with focus points set far left, right, upper, lower and centre. This was to satisfy my focus paranoia after all the stuff read here and elsewhere. That was it.

Back in the D7000 early days I used to go on a bit too much about cameras before it "working out of the box" and mostly I was lambasted for "don't be daft, all new cameras have a steep learning curve". Whether it's what I learned on my torturous journey with the D7000 or a return to the good old days where my Nikons worked "out of the box" I don't know, the D800 just did.

My current mantra is "don't mess with something that's not broken".

Richard

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The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#27. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 24

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Fri 21-Sep-12 09:49 AM

Great diary Howard!

If you had bought two D800 bodies, you could have doubled that Zoloft intake...then doubled the euphoria moment!

or waited for the D600 and started all over again.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#28. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 23

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Fri 21-Sep-12 11:01 AM

Richard

Here is a thread in the Sports Forum along with some images from the Tour Championship.

https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=167&topic_id=45119&mesg_id=45119&page=

Most events allow photography during the practice rounds. Guidelines for camera bags are pretty restrictive, but there are no problems with long lenses or multiple camera bodies.

In the case of the Tour Championship, there was just one day of practice open to the public. But there were very few people and I had a great degree of flexibility in choosing where I wanted to shoot. Tiger Woods played just 6 holes - but only had 50-70 people following him. I followed Open champion Ernie Els for 6 holes and there were never more than 5-8 people in the gallery. Mickelson, Kuchar, Bradley and Dustin Johnson were playing together with a gallery of about 50-75 people. Cell phones were not prohibited but there were specific areas where they could be used.

The Masters is much tougher to get tickets for practice, but also allows photography. The crowds are much larger - 5,000 or more following Tiger and Mickelson. The Masters prohibits cell phones on the property - and violation results permanent loss of tickets (even for members).

Eric Bowles
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agitater

Toronto, CA
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#29. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 27

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Fri 21-Sep-12 11:10 AM

>Great diary Howard!
>
>If you had bought two D800 bodies, you could have doubled that
>Zoloft intake...then doubled the euphoria moment!
>
>or waited for the D600 and started all over again.

I really wish . . . you hadn't mentioned . . . the D600.

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Howard Carson

richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#30. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 28

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Fri 21-Sep-12 11:17 AM

Thanks Eric, that's useful information. I was at Royal Birkdale 4 years ago on the final day, so I assumed photography was forbidden throughout the 5 days.

Perhaps in 2014 I'll get to Royal Liverpool which is close to me and see if I can get tickets for practice day.

Richard

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LMMiller9

Potomac, US
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#31. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 24

LMMiller9 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2005
Fri 21-Sep-12 12:28 PM

Great post!

Should be read by every new D800 owner before they begin testing. Or, you could just send them a photo of your left foot and tell them to get the heck out of the house and just go shoot something worthwhile.

My first test, which some on this forum derided, was to simply put on my 24-120 lens, charge the battery and go walk around Annapolis shooting like a real human being might shoot in a travel/walk around mode. Some were horrified that I didn't use a tripod and wasn't more scientific. But, most of the time that is how I shoot. So, that is the test that means the most to me.

I virtually always shoot (when not shooting moving objects) using single point, single and center focus mode, with quick focus, reframe and shoot process. It is quick simple and virtually fool proof in most situations and if the camera works well in that mode I am most likely to be happy. Yes, I have done some tests of the different focus points and found no difference.

Larry Miller, Potomac, MD
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FutureLook

Miami, US
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#32. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

FutureLook Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Dec 2003
Fri 21-Sep-12 02:58 PM

I just took my camera out since day one and never stopped taking pictures with it. Haven't found any of the many problems reported in various threads. Thrilled with my camera!! I have quite a few posted in my gallery mostly with the 28-300 and some wildlife with sigma 150-500mm lens. I am not a pro so I can't see what others can since I don't have the time to conduct tests with all do respect to those that dedicate hours to run those amazing tests.
I do appreciate their comments and I truly learn quite a bit as long as they keep their explanations at a 6th grade level. Keep them coming.

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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#33. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 32

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Fri 21-Sep-12 03:23 PM

Some great pictures and another happy user of the 28-300mm

Richard

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The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Einstein

mborn1

Taunton, US
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#34. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

mborn1 Gold Member Nikonian since 20th Nov 2008
Sat 22-Sep-12 10:08 AM

No time pictures were sharp right out of the box

Myer
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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
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#35. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Sat 22-Sep-12 01:18 PM

Initially I did very little testing with my D800e. I just went out and made images at places I was familiar with and amazed myself with the resolution of the images. I spent 15 minutes checking for the infamous left AF problem. It didn't seem that my camera had the problem.

Then my camera had to make two separate trips to Nikon USA in Melville, NY for repairs. These repairs have been chronicled in other threads in this forum. The first trip was for a total power failure that was covered under warranty. The second trip was to repair a broken 10 pin socket. The 10 pin socket problem turned out to be self inflicted and I had to pay for it. During the second trip, even though I didn't think I had the left AF problem, I asked Nikon to check the AF calibration anyway.

After my camera's second trip to Nikon my images were not as sharp as they were initially. That drove me to testing. I found that LiveView focused images of a brick wall were much sharper than those using the normal phase detect AF. That led to trying AF fine tuning. I've now spent over 10 hours making and staring at brick wall images to dial in the AF fine values for 11 AF lenses.

After all my experiments I've found that every one of my lenses need +10 or +11 AF fine tune adjustment. It appears that Nikon changed the offset of my AF system from near zero to +10 or +11 when they checked for the left AF problem. After ANPAT I'm going to send the camera back to them to zero out this correction. This means I'll want to test a few more hours to redo/undo the fine tune values.

You may wonder why I want Nikon to fix my camera if AF fine tune solves the problem. I have and use several MF lenses. Unfortunately you can't AF fine tune non-CPU lenses. The default AF fine tune value isn't used for MF lenses either. The result is that the green dot in the viewfinder does not correctly indicate when MF lenses are in focus.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
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cbrandin

US
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#36. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 34

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Sat 22-Sep-12 03:26 PM | edited Sat 22-Sep-12 03:28 PM by cbrandin

Oops - posted in wrong place - sorry...

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cbrandin

US
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#37. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 35

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Sat 22-Sep-12 03:28 PM | edited Sat 22-Sep-12 03:30 PM by cbrandin

Actually, you might not have to send it back. The D800 has a "default" AF adjustment which I think is used for unknown lenses. You can set that to a value and it will be applied to all lenses that your camera doesn't recognize.

I just noticed that you say the default isn't used for MF lenses - are you sure about that? I'd like to know because I use some old lenses.

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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#38. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 35

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Sat 22-Sep-12 04:16 PM

Gary: I am sorry to hear of your camera problems and hope it's resolved to your satisfaction soon.

Although I am not aware of any problems with my D800, I am interested in your post. I have been reading extensively Tom Hogans manual on the D800 and he, unlike other authors, does go into some good detail regarding AF tuning. I have noted from his book however, he only specifies that he fine tunes what appear to be prime lenses and that makes great sense to me.

He states that he gets less AF problems with long primes like the 400mm, but more with the wide angle primes any they demonstrate the greatest problems with focus shift.

This is where I have a problem with AF fine tune. If a lens is a telephoto, say e.g. 70-200mm 2.8, would one fine tune at a set length and in my case the most used focal length is 200mm. If I was to adjust at 200mm, would it remain "in tune" at any other focal length. This has been discussed elsewhere be many including me with no real satisfactory conclusion.

My question is please, what is your feeling or method for AF-fine tune for zoom lenses? It's not something I personally wish to embark on, but would be very interested to hear what you think.

Richard

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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
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#39. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 37

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Sat 22-Sep-12 04:59 PM | edited Sat 22-Sep-12 05:00 PM by gpoole

Yes I'm aware of the default AF fine tune. I have it set to cover my smaller/variable aperture any other AF lenses I may use.

Reasons I believe that the default is not used for MF lenses.


  • I tried my MF Nikon105/2.5 at a distance of about 10 ft. With the default set at +11, I got similar front focusing to what my AF lenses showed before fine tuning. When I get some time I'll try with some other MF lenses.

  • On page 338 of the English manual in the Default section it says "used when no previously save value exists for the current lens (CPU lenses only)."

  • Thom Hogan eBook also states that "Default only works for lenses with CPUs."

  • In dialog with Nikon USA support I pointed out that not using the AF fine tune default for MF lenses is a design deficiency. They have not commented on that statement. I also commented that the deficiency could easily be changed with a firmware update. Support has not reacted to that statement either.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
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#40. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 38

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Sat 22-Sep-12 05:19 PM | edited Sat 22-Sep-12 05:20 PM by gpoole

Richard,

I don't think you found Thom Hogan's section on AF Fine tune. In version 1.03 there is a section "Adjusting Your Lenses" in pages 436-441 (pp. 437-443 in v1.02).

I chose to do the AF fine tune testing of my zooms in mid range. Actually I chose the geometric mean of the range {sqrt(min zoom * max zoom)} instead of the arithmetic mean {(min + max)/2}. My reasoning was that I wanted a value that would work reasonably well over the total zoom range of the lens. I have not "tested" the effectiveness of my fine tune settings at the extremes of the zoom range, but "real world" images at the extremes have sharp results wide open.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D810, D300 (720nm IR conversion), D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#41. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 40

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Sat 22-Sep-12 06:25 PM

<<I don't think you found Thom Hogan's section on AF Fine tune. In version 1.03 there is a section "Adjusting Your Lenses" in pages 436-441 (pp. 437-443 in v1.02).>>

Correct and 7 pages then describing "AF-Fine tuning!"

Richard

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cbrandin

US
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#42. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 39

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Sat 22-Sep-12 07:27 PM

Thanks. Unfortunately, I think you're right. It's logical, come to think of it - without feedback from the CPU the camera can't know how much to change the focus; or more precisely, it can't know how much focus has changed while it adjusts it.

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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
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#43. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 42

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Sat 22-Sep-12 07:48 PM

The camera lights the focus dots and the arrows so the AF module is obviously live. Both AF-S and screwdriver lenses can all be corrected using the same default fine tune value so, there must be a computation between the default value and the amount the lens focus setting is changed. As an engineer, that all suggests to me that the correction could be applied to control the indicators without any info from the lens CPU. As I said before, I believe the deficiency could easily be corrected with a firmware change.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
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agitater

Toronto, CA
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#44. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 43

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sat 22-Sep-12 08:04 PM | edited Sat 22-Sep-12 08:05 PM by agitater

> As an engineer,
>that all suggests to me that the correction could be applied
>to control the indicators without any info from the lens CPU.
>As I said before, I believe the deficiency could easily be
>corrected with a firmware change.

Does the comparatively minimal amount of information provided by MF lens chips include the necessary information for the camera to make the focus indicator adjustment and/or apply AF fine-tune customization. I think some MF lenses would require a chip upgrade in order to do what you want. No such chip upgrade exists as far as I know, so I'm also not sure that your belief the "deficiency could easily be corrected with a firmware change" is well-founded.

This part of the thread is veering away from the OP's post.

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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
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#45. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 44

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Sat 22-Sep-12 08:26 PM

Yes, I guess we are on a tangent. Maybe one more reply can end this branch

There a couple MF Nikon lenses with chips, a 45P and 500P. According to Nikon and Thom Hogan that allows the lenses to be used with either the lens specific of default fine tune. The fine tune values also apply to the viewfinder indicators when using an AF lens in manual focus mode.

The reason I think firmware could enable using the default fine tune is that the fine tune appears to be an offset that is applied to the AF sensor output before gain coefficients from the lens CPU are applied to control the focus motor. I think the default fine tune could move the zero point for the viewfinder indicator without the gain parameters for the specific lens.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D810, D300 (720nm IR conversion), D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
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Fovea

Colombo, LK
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#46. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 0

Fovea Gold Member Nikonian since 26th Sep 2002
Sun 23-Sep-12 02:18 PM

Got probably the first D800 that came to Western Australia - Only test I done was high ISO performance against D700.
http://www.visiblerange.com/blog/2012/03/d800-image-resolution-high-iso-and-low-light-performance/

One of these days I should check it for focus issues - so far I have been able to produce tack sharp images most of the time and whenever I couldn't I thought it was due to operator error

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Dinil


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FL_Investor

US
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#47. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 46

FL_Investor Registered since 15th Apr 2012
Sun 23-Sep-12 11:05 PM

testing (playing with it just to test the great resolution) only on day 1.....

cbrandin

US
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#48. "RE: How much time have you spent testing your D800/D800E? Include all time actually spent setting up tests, taking test images, evaluating results, and AF fine tuning. Do not include time spent with" | In response to Reply # 43

cbrandin Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Nov 2011
Sun 23-Sep-12 11:13 PM

Lenses with CPU's and motors are basically servo mechanisms. Considering that AF fine tuning involves micrometer precision, I see no way you could "defocus" a lens with anywhere close to that kind of precision - especially older lenses without internal motors - without some sort of feedback loop (considering gear slop and backlash). To achieve AF fine tuning you have to focus on something, and then move the focusing elements ever so slightly away from what the camera's focus sensor "sees" as perfect focus. The only lenses I know of that might have internal motors that precise also have CPU's built in, so the problem with AF fine tuning on older lenses persists, and on newer lenses is already solved.

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G