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D800 Autofocus failure x2

timnew

US
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timnew Registered since 04th Dec 2012
Tue 02-Apr-13 06:21 PM

Anyone else have to have their D800 repaired for the autofocusing failing? I bought mine in August of 2012 and while taking photos of a high school football championship in Early December, the autofocusing quit working. I sent it to Nikon Service Center in Los Angeles, California and it was repaired. I received it back on January 4, 2013. On March 14, it quit autofocusing again.

I am not sure what the repair was the first time but the 2nd it seems they replaced the Af/m switch.

Just curious if anyone else has had a similar issue or am I just unlucky?

ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
9071 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 0

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Tue 02-Apr-13 10:45 PM

Keep your service records.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

f5titan

HILO, US
1065 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 0

f5titan Platinum Member Nikonian since 12th Jul 2006
Sun 14-Apr-13 11:13 PM

My D800 quit auto focusing about five days ago using a 50mm f1.8D and 24-50mm f3.5-4.5D. After checking my focus settings and mounting a 24-70 "G" series lens it began to auto focus again.
Today (during a shoot) it failed to auto focus with a 16-35 "G" lens.
I registered the camera with Nikon on May 7, 2013 so it should still be under warranty...more later.

"Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

timnew

US
13 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 2

timnew Registered since 04th Dec 2012
Mon 15-Apr-13 03:12 PM

>My D800 quit auto focusing about five days ago using a 50mm
>f1.8D and 24-50mm f3.5-4.5D. After checking my focus settings
>and mounting a 24-70 "G" series lens it began to
>auto focus again.
>Today (during a shoot) it failed to auto focus with a 16-35
>"G" lens.
>I registered the camera with Nikon on May 7, 2013 so it should
>still be under warranty...more later.


Sounds similar except your lasted much longer than mine.

My first lens to fail was an older 70-200 2.8D lens; it failed one week before my others. Then each lens I tried started to fail.

Nikon initially requested I take photos and send them showing the problem,. There response was "You need to take the photos in AF mode". My response was "I did".

f5titan

HILO, US
1065 posts

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#4. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 0

f5titan Platinum Member Nikonian since 12th Jul 2006
Mon 22-Apr-13 10:07 PM

The auto focus quit again. I reviewed pages 91-100 of the manual to be certain that some setting I made did not cause the problem. No dice, so I sent it off fully insured (with an AF50mm f1.8 lens) to "APS" Authorized Photo Service 8125 River Drive Suite#100 Morton Grove IL, 60053 USA (http://nikoncamerarepair.com)
I may know something in a couple of weeks.

"Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

timnew

US
13 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 4

timnew Registered since 04th Dec 2012
Mon 22-Apr-13 11:54 PM

Good luck. Mine has been working like a charm since the AF/M switch was replaced. I'm wondering now if it wasn't 100% when it came back to me in January. I had a few shots out of focus at my cousin's wedding using 1 lens. I hindsight, I wonder.

I'll buy the extended warranty on mine probably in June (before August anniversary) date.

f5titan

HILO, US
1065 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 5

f5titan Platinum Member Nikonian since 12th Jul 2006
Mon 29-Apr-13 08:17 PM

I just talked with the "APS" Nikon repair people and they tell me that they have sent my D800 and lens to Nikon New York because "APS" is not yet set up to work on the D800.
I'll give Nikon New York two or three days to receive the camera and lens, then I'll give them a call.

"Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

f5titan

HILO, US
1065 posts

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#7. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 0

f5titan Platinum Member Nikonian since 12th Jul 2006
Fri 28-Jun-13 05:04 AM

It's been since April and my D800 is on the way back.
I'll check it out and get back to you again, Nikon repaired it under the warranty.

"Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

greensward

Kiawah Island, US
1 posts

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#8. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 0

greensward Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Feb 2009
Tue 02-Jul-13 10:50 AM

>Anyone else have to have their D800 repaired for the
>autofocusing failing? I bought mine in August of 2012 and
>while taking photos of a high school football championship in
>Early December, the autofocusing quit working. I sent it to
>Nikon Service Center in Los Angeles, California and it was
>repaired. I received it back on January 4, 2013. On March
>14, it quit autofocusing again.

Autofocus just failed when using a 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens. I purchased the D800 on May 31, 2012 and have used it extensively for wildlife photography in a very dusty environment in Africa, tourism in Europe, and bird photography at home. While photographing flying birds a few weeks ago the AF (AFS, AFC) was intermittent. I had heard that the Nikon teleconverters (I have a 1.7) can lead to this problem, so I removed it. Fixed the AF issue briefly, but now no longer working at all. All my other Nikon lens (24-70, 16-35, 50) do work correctly. Can the AF engine in the lens be the problem or might it be the AF switch on the camera? Thinking it may be the former b/c, when photographing bird several months ago, the camera, in a bag, fell about a foot, and the haze filter on the lens cracked. Replaced the filter and lens seemed fine. Used the lens for several hundred more photos. But now no longer autofocusing. If I send the lens to Nikon for repair I guess the D800 body should also go along. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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f5titan

HILO, US
1065 posts

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#9. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 8

f5titan Platinum Member Nikonian since 12th Jul 2006
Tue 02-Jul-13 03:57 PM

I just got my D800 back yesterday from Nikon Warranty repair and will be testing it out over the next several days comparing its focussing performance with my D700.
My camera focus issues were with AF-D and AF-S lenses so I sent along my AF50mm f1.8 with the body for repair. (I couldn't part with my AF-S units!)

"Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

f5titan

HILO, US
1065 posts

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#10. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 0

f5titan Platinum Member Nikonian since 12th Jul 2006
Sun 07-Jul-13 05:05 PM

I've used three lenses, the AF50mm f1.8, AF-S 24-70 and AF-S 70-200 for hand held and tripod mounted images and I'm back in business!

"Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3390 posts

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#11. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 4

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Sun 07-Jul-13 11:07 PM

Kenneth -- You can call APS in Morton Grove a day or two after you are informed by the shipper that it has arrived. They will probably be able to tell you what the problem is, what and when it will be returned. These people have been absolutely wonderful to me on replacing two hot shoes on D700s. They also check the whole camera every time they get hold of it and return it to original specs. I hope you saved all you special choice settings on a flash or SD card -- it will be reset to factory "new" settings when you unpack it.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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trschell

Kiawah Island, US
34 posts

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#12. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 8

trschell Registered since 09th Nov 2010
Tue 14-Jan-14 04:33 PM

I'm having a similar problem with my D/300s + 70-200 f/2.8. I too was using it with a 1.7 TC when the set-up quit focusing. Sent the TC in for repair, came back but issue persisted. Found Nikon less than helpful (learned about the TC issue on Nikonians, not thru them. Planning to send the camera, lens and TC back all at once but they are so slow I'm panicked about not having the gear for a month! Have you found a good repair resource? I have to mail it anyway so it may as well go to the best vs the closest location. THX

Tina

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billg71

Acworth, GA, US
1485 posts

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#13. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 12

billg71 Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Aug 2006
Tue 14-Jan-14 10:04 PM | edited Tue 14-Jan-14 10:05 PM by billg71

Tina,

Give Peachtree Camera Repair in Marietta, GA a call, they're authorized Nikon Service and can tell you whether or not they can handle the problem of if it needs to go to Nikon. Also ask about turn-around time.

Good folks, never had to use them myself but I have a couple of friends who are pros and swear by them.


Good luck!
Bill

Georgia Nature Photographers Association

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3390 posts

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#14. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 12

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Thu 16-Jan-14 03:35 PM

Tina - It may be an issue of autofocus fine tuning. I don't have a D300S, so you'll have to go to the manual or a good book on the subject. Each lens and lens/TC combination may have to be fine focus tuned.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3576 posts

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#15. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 12

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Thu 16-Jan-14 04:13 PM

Those intermittent symptoms are what one would expect with camera or lens contact oxidation and it would be worthwhile and possibly save a big repair bill and shipping if you try de-oxidizing the contacts.
This would happen most often with exposed contacts that are not being used very often which points to the TC since most people do not use it all the time.

There are several very effective chemicals which, if applied very sparingly, will return conductivity almost instantly.
The most common is DeOxit from Caig Laboratories(USA distribution mostly) but also Kontact 60 from CRC or Cromolin R-5 (found mostly in Europe). It comes in a spray, which delivers too much for your purpose, or a liquid. Either uses the same chemical process. Use is by applying a little to a non-linting cloth or spounge applicator(like a Q-Tip) and simply wiping the mount contacts and the mating contacts of the lenses and your TC. The contacts are gold plated for long term conductivity since gold does not oxidize but it is not pure gold which would be useless in resisting the abrasive action of twisting on and off lenses, it is a gold alloy which has a metal which can oxidize.
It is not dirt so most cleaners will only make it worse, and the old standby of a pencil eraser will ruin the contacts in short order, and really shorten their life.
Even if there is a more complex cause, using the de-oxidizer every 6-12 months when doing routine PM on your cameras and accessories will improve electrical contact performance and resist further oxidation.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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trschell

Kiawah Island, US
34 posts

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#16. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 15

trschell Registered since 09th Nov 2010
Thu 16-Jan-14 09:45 PM

Hmmm, must admit I haven't heard of this before. The lens is 8 years old. I was thinking it might need a good overhaul anyway. What do you thing?

Tina

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3576 posts

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#17. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 16

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Sat 18-Jan-14 11:07 PM

Have you ever turned the volume or tone control on an older stereo or amplifier and heard a "scratchy" noise from the speakers? This is the exact same problem, not dirt but the chemical reaction of metal and atmospheric oxygen. If oxide builds up to a thickness of a could dozen molecules the metal oxide, which is an excellent insulator, interferes with conductivity between the two contact mating surfaces. In normal use, and thin layers of oxide, which are there regardless of age, the movement of the contact surfaces when making or breaking contact is enough to penetrate the oxide and establish a low resistance connection.
If the layer grows too thick, the connection becomes intermittent or current flow is stopped entirely. Removing that oxide layer will re-establish the low resistance of the connection. The less the connection is used the more likely it will reach the intermittent operation point, or not work at all until treated with a chemical de-oxidizer. Even if this is not your specific problem, an application of de-oxidizer will condition the contacts to maintain low resistance, reliable current flow for a long time.

An 8 year old lens is still essentially new and unless abused, it is doubtful that it needs an overhaul.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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rstcso

Round Rock, US
1664 posts

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#18. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 17

rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013
Sat 18-Jan-14 11:54 PM

DeoxIt has been the one contact cleaner that works when all others fail. When televisions had knobs that turned, DeoxIt Red would restore the potentiometers and keep them working. Now the go-to DeoxIt is their Gold. It comes in different sizes, formulas and applicators, but the best, general purpose, is CAIG DeoxIT Gold G5. This stuff is MIL Spec. By far, the cheapest place I've found it is at Guitar Center: $15.99. It's a 5oz can and it will last you forever, except it does have an expiration date. It's stocked in their stores, or here's a link to order online:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/CAIG-DeoxIT-Gold-G5-Spray-Contact-Conditioner-5-oz--429168-i1134930.gc

I use it on all types of connections, eg. RCA, HDMI, ribbon cables, in computers (memory, boards, SATA/IDE cables,etc.)... I could go on and on, like Bubba talking about the different ways to cook shrimp. The key is to use a very small amount. Never has the saying "a little dab will do 'ya" been more applicable.

Follow Stan's advice on how to use it, but get some. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Regards,
Brent

trschell

Kiawah Island, US
34 posts

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#19. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 18

trschell Registered since 09th Nov 2010
Sun 19-Jan-14 12:26 AM

Thanks Brent and Stan for your help, will definitely get some of the DeoxIt (esp thanx for the website). One final question. Since I sent the TC in to Nikon for "repair", and it came back and still didn't work, don't you think they'd have done this (or am I REALLY gullible?)

Thanks

Tina

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rstcso

Round Rock, US
1664 posts

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#20. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 19

rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013
Sun 19-Jan-14 01:07 AM

>don't you think they'd have done this...?

Hard to say what their standard procedures are, but it's not totally unreasonable to think your issue could be a combination of the TC and lens or TC and camera, where a connection is marginal and, when paired just right with another potentially marginal connection, the auto-focus doesn't work. Not all cleaners are created equal, so where one fails, another shines (DeoxIt).

I'm inclined to believe Nikon wouldn't return a product without following protocol on verifying it's within specifications... using established testing standards. It's only going to cost them more money, and ill will, when something is returned for rework.

Regards,
Brent

trschell

Kiawah Island, US
34 posts

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#21. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 20

trschell Registered since 09th Nov 2010
Thu 23-Jan-14 06:15 PM

So I got my DeoxIt and will try it now. But just had a conversation w Nikon re the D/300s. Is anyone aware that it does not support a teleconverter in autofocus at any apertures of higher numbers than 5.6. Anybody aware of that restriction? Still doesn't explain my problem at 2.8 or 3.1 but a) cannot believe of the 10 people I"ve spoken with at Nikon before, no one mentioned it and b)that it's true, which is ridiculous but it's in the manual. he said it's widely known

Tina

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3390 posts

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#22. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 21

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Thu 23-Jan-14 06:41 PM | edited Thu 23-Jan-14 06:42 PM by ajdooley

Tina -- The AF I believe, works on contrast, which it is unable to see in adequate quantity on many existing DSLRs. If you want an idea of what it is seeing, set a lens at f5.6 and then depress the DOF view button as you look through the viewfinder. The image goes sort of "grey" or flat. It's worse at smaller F/stops. Some of the newer DSLRs can reach a little beyond f5.6 on some of the focus points, but not all. I believe that as the lens stops down, the AF loses its ability to confirm sharpness. Some of the people here on Nikonians who are better educated on exactly how these cameras function can either tell me I'm way off, or help clarify the issue.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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trschell

Kiawah Island, US
34 posts

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#23. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 22

trschell Registered since 09th Nov 2010
Thu 23-Jan-14 07:27 PM

Thanks all for your help with my issue. The good news: the DeoxIt worked like magic. I did some comparison shots with and without the TC on my 70-200 and they are exactly as they both should be. Quite sharp, the TC shots are very slightly softer. So thank you for saving me from spending a fortune and also for saving me from losing use of my gear for heaven knows how long. This was a horrific experience with Nikon support (or lack thereof) but I have a ton invested in Nikon equipment so am sticking with them. Happy shooting everyone and thanks again.

Tina

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#24. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Fri 24-Jan-14 02:58 PM

I have two D800e bodies. I have been using one for about 1.5 years and the other for a year. While trying to do AF fine tuning with a great used 500mm this week, I discovered that the older D800e could not be fine tuned with the lens. The newer one tuned fine.

I was ready to send the lens back, but I decided to try tuning with several other lens first...lens that I fined tuned with both bodies last summer. I tried the 80-400mm and 24-70mm. Both fine tuned with one D800e body, but I could not tune them with the D800e body that would not tune with the 500mm lens.

I used Focal ver 1.9 for all AF fine tuning.

The predicted AF fine tune setting for all three lens with the camera that would not tune was between -45 and -60...obviously below the -20 minimum allowed by a D800e body.

I just sent the body to Nikon today for repair. It will cost me $224 plus shipping.

I do not believe it is corroded contacts that is causing this issue. The camera focuses with all three lens...just not where it is suppose to.

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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rstcso

Round Rock, US
1664 posts

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#25. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 23

rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013
Fri 24-Jan-14 10:03 PM

Glad to hear it worked for you, Tina.

Regards,
Brent

jimmyv13068

Huntington, US
49 posts

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#26. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 24

jimmyv13068 Silver Member Nikonian since 11th Jan 2011
Fri 24-Jan-14 10:42 PM

What in the world is going on with Nikon these days?
First the D600 sensor/shutter issue and now this AF issue with so many D800's
Are they trying to run people off and follow Kelby?
Thankfully, I'm still very happy and satisfied with my D300 and few lenses that I use.
Maybe it just seems like a big deal considering the numbers of units they sell, but this can't be good I wouldn't think...

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johnnie5

Eindhoven, NL
41 posts

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#27. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 18

johnnie5 Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Jan 2007
Sat 25-Jan-14 08:53 AM

Thank you Stan and Brent for clarifying this problem and giving the solution!

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Visit my website : www.johndriessen.nl.

rstcso

Round Rock, US
1664 posts

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#28. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 27

rstcso Gold Member Nikonian since 17th Oct 2013
Sat 25-Jan-14 09:25 AM

Although I've been using DeoxIt for many years, Stan's the one who made the call to use it on the contacts between lens and body. I hadn't even thought about how all these newfangled lenses have CPUs needing to communicate with the body's CPU, etc.

Regards,
Brent

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#29. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 15

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 01-Feb-14 12:36 PM

Stan, I bought a spray can of DeoxIT Gold G5 and used it on my D800e contacts and the contacts on all of my lens. It worked like a charm. My Q-tips came away with black marks indicating I did have some oxidation on the contacts.

I learned the hard way that you have to be careful when spraying the Q-tips. The DeoxIT comes out hard and fast from the spray can. You have to be far away from your camera body or lens when you spray. Otherwise, you will be cleaning DeoxIT from your lens and camera body...or even the inside of your camera!

I have a lot of spare DeoxIT left if you live in central Florida and want to drive over. It will take me the rest of my life to use it up.

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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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#30. "RE: D800 Autofocus failure x2" | In response to Reply # 26

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Tue 11-Feb-14 05:13 PM

Nikon Melville usually says it takes 7-10 working days for a repair. They are just now telling me my camera repair will be completed tomorrow which is the full 10 working days. I will believe they have finished when I get a shipped notice or tracking info. They told me it was finished last Wednesday (6 days ago) and had shipped. The following day they told me the first notice was wrong...the body was still in the shop.

Whatever is wrong with the AF, it is not trivial to repair.

A Nikonians friend tells me he had to send his D800e in for repair for the same reason I sent mine in. Nikon had to replace the lens mount on his, and he says he never bumped or dropped the body with or without a lens attached.

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