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Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue

sbpatel75

Chicago, US
55 posts

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sbpatel75 Silver Member Nikonian since 25th Aug 2007
Tue 07-Aug-12 12:08 AM

Hello all,

I apologize for add another post on the Left AF issue, but I thought you would find my conversation interesting. I received my camera the first week of July. I read up on this board's discussions on Left AF issues. So I went out several times to shoot and believed that I had the same issue but I wasn't completely sure. I was running up against the Amazon.com warranty and so I called and requested a replacement. I was so close to the deadline that I was assigned a customer service representative from Amazon's Camera Concierge department. She said she'd put in a replacement request because Amazon has flagged the AF issue as something they want to look into. She said that Amazon was out of stock, but that they were receiving supply a lot more regularly and predictabily from Nikon and so she did not believe I was going to have too long of a wait. I found one of your recommendations yesterday to use a test described on mansurovs.com and set up the test using a tripod and Siemens chart. The test showed no AF issues.

I called the person from Amazon.com Camera Depart back today to cancel my replacement request. I explained to her what I had done and why I was canceling. She was so fascinated that she specifically asked me if I could tell her where I found the test. I relayed the URL and she even pulled up the site while I was on the phone. She looked at the focus chart while I was still on. She was pretty grateful and reiterated how this issue was something the Camera Concierge Depart. has flagged because of the feedback received by their customers.

I hope this was an interesting bit of news from one of the major distributors of the D800.

Swats

sbp
www.flickr.com/photos/sbpatel75

I tend to clumsily march to the beat of my own off-rhythm drum.

My mom wishes I spent my money on girlie things like dresses, shoes, jewelry, and purses. I'd rather focus on glass.

RockyIII

Raleigh, US
3271 posts

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#1. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 0

RockyIII Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 27th May 2006
Mon 06-Aug-12 11:50 PM

Thanks for sharing that. It is good to know that Amazon is aware of and looking into the situation, even though it would have been nice if they had done so a few months ago. If they can put some pressure on Nikon to issue a service advisory, that would be great. I got a new D800 from Amazon today, and the autofocus is fine.

Rocky

Gator Bob

SANTA FE, US
582 posts

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#2. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 1

Gator Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2006
Tue 07-Aug-12 11:15 AM

Today I cancelled my D800E order that is supposed to ship by August 15. I told Amazon I cancelled because Nikon refuses to address ongoing QC problems with this camera. I simply will not be a beta tester for a $3300 camera. Also, it doesn't affect my decision but I'll bet that discounting of the D800/800E starts in the next few months. I'll continue to use my D700 until I am satisfied Nikon is in control of QC on this camera.

Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico
D700 & SB800 * D800E on order
Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8
Tamron 90mm Macro

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#3. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 2

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Tue 07-Aug-12 12:30 PM

Even Thom Hogan admits that he has not been able to find any cameras produced in July or later that have the problem.
People are not beta testers, the camera design has proven itself to be the best DSLR available. There have been some that needed data updates but that is not a design issue and therefore has no beta testing implications.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Gator Bob

SANTA FE, US
582 posts

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#4. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 3

Gator Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2006
Tue 07-Aug-12 12:48 PM

Good luck with your conclusions. I suggest you read Thom's latest post today. My observations and conclusions mirror his. I headed IBM public relations worldwide and in that capacity I was privy to every major product problem for years. IMHO, caveat emptor applies to the Nikon 800/800E QC issues, and in spades!

Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico
D700 & SB800 * D800E as soon as Nikon gets its act together
Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8
Tamron 90mm Macro

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#5. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 4

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Tue 07-Aug-12 02:26 PM

I see nothing in Thom's post of August 7th about whether any D800s being produced today still exhibit the left-side AF problem (which I think was Stan's point).

Until we get more data - or until Nikon says something officially - no-one knows anything for sure about the size of this issue and we all have to make our own decisions. You've made yours, but there's no reason why someone else should not choose to be more optimistic

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

Robman3

West of Santa Monica, US
1842 posts

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#6. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 4

Robman3 Registered since 12th Apr 2010
Tue 07-Aug-12 03:22 PM

IMHO, rants are getting tiresome and so don't buy the camera!!!!!!

Test dummy not I!!!!

OK got it, again...

Next post put in all caps so we really know how indignant you feel.

Otherwise MEH.

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Gator Bob

SANTA FE, US
582 posts

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#7. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 6

Gator Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2006
Tue 07-Aug-12 09:17 PM

If had handled an IBM problem the way Nikon has handled this problem I would have been fired. For whatever reasons, on this particular subject a lot of intelligent Nikonians apparently prefer to see (almost) no evil and speak (almost) no evil. I accept your advice and will shut up.

Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico
D700 & SB800 * D800E as soon as Nikon gets its act together
Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8
Tamron 90mm Macro

gpmaijer

US
11 posts

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#8. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 7

gpmaijer Registered since 25th Jul 2012
Tue 07-Aug-12 09:48 PM

Thank you for posting this. As a new member here I find it enlightening to read that one of the providers of cameras is aware of an issue and wants to look into things.

I'm looking to upgrade before the end of the year from a D80 so this camera is in my sights.

jpFoto

US
1114 posts

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#9. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 6

jpFoto Registered since 25th Jun 2010
Tue 07-Aug-12 09:50 PM | edited Tue 07-Aug-12 09:54 PM by jpFoto

Robman

I don't quite understand this. Maybe you haven't updated your profile, but it doesn't appear that you own or that you have ever owned a D800 or a D800e. I know that you told us your plan about heading down to some California Nikon service center if you ever bought one of these cameras, but, to date, it doesn't appear that you have. Is this correct or have I made a mistake?

Gator Bob didn't create an indignant post. Why would you suggest that he did so and why would you suggest that he post a reply in all caps? His post was very much in line with Thom's. This is just my personal suggestion, but why don't you buy a D800 or D800E and let us know what your experiences are before you comment further.

jP

LMMiller9

Potomac, US
1168 posts

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#10. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 9

LMMiller9 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2005
Tue 07-Aug-12 10:42 PM

In thread after thread Gator Bob has ranted that he won't be a "beta tester" and attacked Nikon for how they have handled this and made insinuations about those who have bought the camera, of course ignoring the fact that many of us have bought the camera and love it. I've bought two of them that have both worked perfectly.

Now he says he actually placed an order for one and then cancelled it. Why? Enough! Enough! Enough!

Larry Miller, Potomac, MD
DF/D810
http://lmmillerphotography.smugmug.com/

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Gator Bob

SANTA FE, US
582 posts

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#11. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 10

Gator Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2006
Tue 07-Aug-12 11:13 PM | edited Tue 07-Aug-12 11:14 PM by Gator Bob

Please, stick to the facts. From Day One I stated that that I had placed a Feb 27 pre-order for an 800E. As I observed the difficulties so many early adapters were having with their D800s and with Nikon I decided to wait until Nikon gets its act together. Plain and simple. And I believe eminently logical.

As I recall, you pronounced your first D800 perfect after walking around for an hour or so and taking a batch of hand held photos.

I suggest you read Thom Hogan's observations about how few D800 owners know how -- or even care -- to do careful, accurate testing of their D800s.


Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico
D700 & SB800 * D800E as soon as Nikon gets its act together
Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8
Tamron 90mm Macro

KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
4954 posts

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#12. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 0

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Wed 08-Aug-12 01:52 AM | edited Wed 08-Aug-12 01:59 AM by KnightPhoto

Thank you Svati for that interesting post.

Reading Thom today, I can at least partially understand Nikon not wanting to open floodgates and that they need to tread carefully, given the level of internet hysteria these days.

It's pretty clear there are people with cameras that have the problem and another set of people that do not have the problem but are convinced they do.

So treading a fine line and getting people to prove it with sample images before submitting in for service is one way of dealing with the false positives. So I kind of understand the need for that protocol. It is also pretty clear that the comparison to Live-View is a fundamental part of the diagnosis and that merely having some out of focus pictures is not on its own enough of an indicator.

Anyhow it's clear there is a bad problem, for some people. It's not clear if the problem has been completely eliminated at source, but I'd have to imagine so by now. So it's just a matter of cleaning up the mess now, one would hope

Having done my share of equipment testing in the past, and being a very experienced and dedicated autofocus fine tuner, I am well aware of the difficulty of executing tests and drawing correct conclusions. I've always said it is tough labour intensive work. Throw in a potential for lens focus shift, lens de-centreing, lenses with bad resolution in the corners in the first place, mount issues, mirror issues, autofocus fine-tuning issues, sensor alignment issues and bad AF-targets and otherwise faulty testing and you have a real rats nest to disentangle. Thankfully the known problem is obvious for those who have it, so it should be do-able to clean these up. Let's hope this happens quickly since the dual action of no longer producing faulty units and cleaning up the faulty ones out there should lead to a zero recurrence rate, at which point we can sort out the folks with the dozen other things wrong from use of bad AF targets, incorrect technique, and lack of knowledge to those with genuine (but other) problems.

Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
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mklass

Tacoma, US
7421 posts

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#13. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 9

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Wed 08-Aug-12 02:11 AM

JP,

Owning or not owning a D800 or D800e neither qualifies or disqualifies a person from having an opinion on the subject of Nikon's handling of this.

If you want to comment on how good (or bad) of a picture it takes, then having some experience is a qualifier.

You prove this point yourself, as your profile does not show you as owning either a D800 or D800e.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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mklass

Tacoma, US
7421 posts

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#14. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 7

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Wed 08-Aug-12 02:29 AM

>If had handled an IBM problem the way Nikon has handled this
>problem I would have been fired. For whatever reasons, on
>this particular subject a lot of intelligent Nikonians
>apparently prefer to see (almost) no evil and speak (almost)
>no evil. I accept your advice and will shut up.
>
>Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico
>D700 & SB800 * D800E as soon as Nikon gets its act
>together
>Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8
>Tamron 90mm Macro

Interesting observations. Were you at IBM when they sold consumer products? It seems that since they abandoned the PC side of the business and consumer software, it would be a completely different animal from before then, and from Nikon now.

For the vast majority of Nikon users, this whole issue is a non-issue, as they are not using a D800 or D800e. It really would be interesting to know how may D800 series have been delivered, how many have a real problem, and what proportion that is of the total number of Nikon owners. My guess is that this issue affects but a very small percentage (<1%) which is why they are dealing with it the way they are.

For those who question my qualifications to comment, perhaps your opinion of my stature will improve when my D800e is delivered tomorrow. I intend to take it on a job Thursday along with my trusty D3s. After I compare the images, if they are good, the no testing will be required. If for some reason there is a problem, I'll check it out. But I sure am not going to waste by valuable time trying to take legitimate test shots with some protocol that will deliver accurate results, just to prove there is or isn't a problem that isn't apparent in real life. (I did ask Berger Brothers to take some test shots before sending it, to eliminate any need for an immediate return. My guess is they would have seen anything significant.)

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

Robman3

West of Santa Monica, US
1842 posts

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#15. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 9

Robman3 Registered since 12th Apr 2010
Wed 08-Aug-12 04:42 AM | edited Wed 08-Aug-12 05:02 AM by Robman3

JPF,

Thanks for the advice, on it's surface, sure my defense of Stan seems reactive but from my profile: "D-7000 and assorted pertinent accoutrement, D800 for video and stills"

Bob, has an acerbic way of contribution at times, an apparently half cocked penchant including denigrating comments to users about how "dumb" they are to buy a camera they don't know how to use, turned out the shooter had landscapes that run rings around the crowd over in Valentino's landscape forum. For which he ultimately apologized to that person.

Since then, he's made it VERY CLEAR, through successive posts of his abhorrent dislike for and advanced a skill at deeming this camera as usurping his personal consumerism. Repeat and rinse, no way on earth he would want to be Nikon's guinea pig and offer his hard earned 401k bucks from IBM to become a hostage to the service cabal at Nikon.

IMO Stan has a bit more cred here usually, by reasoned input and on balance for opine.

Some of us have business and distribution, R/D backgrounds so the subject is being beat on like a drum, and frankly, he obviously wants to rant still and yet...it...is...tiresome...that's all my post was meant to communicate.

The issue is not a defect, it is serviceable under warranty, and in no way has Nikon offered anything other than, a new roll out with a few usual burps. Statistically a non issue unless as some here agree, traffic to websites need to be bell curved maximizing click through, By Thom in one view, fits that slight case of hysteria, even though he's not found significant issues of late.

No one has to buy it, Bob certainly has not, and to your point, if he ever does buy one, all the better for him.

In the meantime, it is what it is.

As for driving down to Nikon, yes, there are oil spots on the sensor, like the D3S had and the D7000 however mine is a second wave (3 FW's listed) post EN-EL 15 recall delivery, and AFAICT, suffers no left focus issue.

Chiding yes I agree, usually not a sublime or best approach, point taken so thanks.

If gator Bob wishes to offer his POV then by all means, I will cease and desist recommending to his version of how this should have been handled.


Rob

PS, I do like his cats a lot!

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#16. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 11

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Wed 08-Aug-12 07:09 AM

Guys,

It has to be possible to discuss this issue without resorting to personal comments.

Implying that another member is misguided because their view of this problem differs from our own is not the Nikonians way.

Thanks, everyone!

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

jpFoto

US
1114 posts

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#17. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 15

jpFoto Registered since 25th Jun 2010
Wed 08-Aug-12 10:25 AM

Rob and everyone else,

Please disregard my comments. I was interested in the OP's post and was taken aback when I read your post. I was not aware that there was an undercurrent here.

jP

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#18. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 12

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 08-Aug-12 12:25 PM

I agree with you SteveK. Internet hysteria could produce a landslide of D800 returns to Nikon...some legit and some not.

I think Thom has also made some other good points. He did not anticipate the level of some D800 buyers...the iPhone effect. You can tell that as you read his book. I was one of his reviewers, and I pointed out to him several times that he was expecting a level of user sophistication that just might not always be there with the D800. He is now seeing that first hand in the field.

One of the difficulties with this whole left-side autofocus issue is who does it effect and how will they gain confidence in the camera. I know several D800 shooters who never take the focus point out of the center. One of my friends who upgraded from a D80 did not even know you could move the focus point until I showed him; his next question after my demo was, "why would I ever want to do that?"

The left-side AF issue is a non-issue for them...but the Internet hysteria could lead them to think so.

For those who do move the focus point around (including me), a real issue is how do I test for the left-side problem and how do I know when it actually exists. Telling some people in written words to take shots using live view at different focus points and compare the results with viewfinder shots at the same focus points is like speaking Greek to someone who does not speak Greek. I am guessing that 80% of D800 owners would not be able to follow those instructions to a satisfactory conclusion.

Therefore, I believe Thom is right. He or someone is going to have to provide more detailed instructions as to how to perform the tests, provide youTube visual instructions or provide the tests as a service.

Another alternative is the use of software to perform the tests. I recently bought/received two new D800E bodies (thank you Adorama and Samy's!). The first thing I did when the cameras came out of the box was to go out into my garage and run the FoCal 51-point multi point sensor test. Both camera bodies showed absolutely no left side AF issue. In fact, the left side sensors showed higher focus quality than the right side in both cases.

By running the FoCal test and seeing the numeric results it provides, I did not have to go out and shoot a scene or target from multiple focus points and visually compare the results. The software took the qualitative element out of the equation.

Of course the issues with that alternative is how many folks would be willing to buy the software and how many could setup and do the test properly. It does take some level of user sophistication to understand the FoCal manual, print the target, setup the lighting and run the test. Many people would not want to deal with that process.

You could say the picture is not pretty no matter how you look at it. Nikon should have produced a perfect camera. Users should be sophisticated enough to test for problems when Nikon is not perfect. Test software should be available that anyone could use easily, and please make it free while you are at it.

As a friend used to tell me at the most inappropriate moments, "Larry, there is no panacea." And he was right of course.

Larry Jordan

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

Website:
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Gator Bob

SANTA FE, US
582 posts

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#19. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 12

Gator Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2006
Wed 08-Aug-12 12:27 PM | edited Wed 08-Aug-12 12:27 PM by Gator Bob

Look dispassionately at the issue. Some, and no one knows how many, of Nikon's latest $3000 and $3300 cameras are flawed and Nikon has not once admitted it or even spoken out on the subject. Owners often must "prove" their camera has a flaw. Sometimes they must prove they bought it legally. Then they must pay to ship it to a Nikon repair center. And even then it sometimes is returned to them unfixed or with a newly introduced, different flaw. I view all that as unacceptable and indefensible.

Nikon is part of the never-admit-anything Japanese culture. The Japanese bow and say Hai! (YES!) even when they mean NO, NO, a thousand times NO! I worked closely with IBM Japan executives here and in Japan and almost every one was the same. My brother lived in Japan for six years and he said to me: “I agree with your understanding of the Japanese culture. Key is the unwritten rule to never use the word no. Say hai (yes) when you mean no and then sort of explain it (or not). “

Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico
D700 & SB800 * D800E as soon as Nikon gets its act together
Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8
Tamron 90mm Macro

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#20. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 19

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 08-Aug-12 02:31 PM

Gator Bob, I too worked for IBM as an executive before I took early retirement to start my own engineering company. I saw folks make mistakes during my 20 years with Big Blue, but I never saw anyone get fired unless they either stole from the company or purposely misled a customer. IBM believed in respect for the individual. People who made mistakes sometimes had to start their careers over somewhere else in the company. IBM also had problems with some of its products while I was an employee. Remember the IBM PC AT?

As to the Japanese culture of never saying no, I saw the same thing while dealing with the Japanese. However, that culture also results in the best cameras made anywhere in the world. I don't see an American made DSLR on top of the best camera lists.

Larry Jordan

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

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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Gator Bob

SANTA FE, US
582 posts

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#21. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 20

Gator Bob Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2006
Wed 08-Aug-12 03:12 PM

Well, we're off topic but yes, firing anyone from the old IBM was a painful task that occupied far too much management time and energy. On the other hand, I was present when two different CEOs simply said to their Executive Assistant, "get rid of him". Over and out. I was above the timberline where the results of my work, warts and all, appeared for all to see on page one of Computerworld, the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Paris Match or whatever.

As for the "best" cameras, IMHO the Germans and Swedes make the best (and by far most costly) off the shelf products. But yes, Japan produces superb reasonably priced professional and high end amateur cameras -- including the D800/800E. Hopefully soon, an 800E will be my 6th high end Nikon camera.

Nikon's most ardent fans usually are willing to overlook, forgive and forget. Regardless, Nikon has hurt itself and some of its best retailers in this QC fiasco. It remains to be seen how long lasting are the results.

Gator Bob Santa Fe New Mexico
D700 & SB800 * D800E as soon as Nikon gets its act together
Nikkors: *14-24 * 28-300 * PC-E 85mm *50mm 1.8
Tamron 90mm Macro

DAJolley

US
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#22. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 18

DAJolley Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Dec 2007
Wed 08-Aug-12 04:23 PM | edited Wed 08-Aug-12 04:59 PM by DAJolley

I wonder if Nikon will accept Focal results as proof that the camera needs service?
Dave Jolley

David Jolley
Pickerington, Ohio
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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#23. "RE: Conversation with Amazon.com about Left-Focus AF Issue" | In response to Reply # 22

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 08-Aug-12 05:11 PM

When I communicated with Nikon Melville before I sent in my D800 samples, they said they had to have NEF or JPEG straight out of the camera with left focus and center focus points. At the time, I had not used FoCal. I don't know that Nikon knows much about FoCal unless they read these entries. However, that might be the way to start the dialog with them.

Larry Jordan

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

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G