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D800 - Time to send it in

RidgesPhoto

US
24 posts

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RidgesPhoto Registered since 10th May 2012
Thu 17-May-12 03:37 PM

I hate this. My D800 is *almost* perfect. It suffers from the left AF back focus issus. The problem is that sometimes, it seems to focus pretty good. Other times, it's off. If I had to rate it, I'd say it's about 80% of perfect.

So, here's my problem. If I don't get it repaired, it will bug the #### out of me to know I paid $3k for a camera that's not working perfectly. That said, I also hate the thought of paying $75 to ship my brand new camera to Nikon with the very real possibility of them sending it right back saying all is well and not changing anything.

When I consider this, and the fact that I *could* work around the issue and if I'm honest, I don't shoot wide open wide angle very often, I'm tempted to just keep it. On top of that, I really don't want to be without my new toy for a couple of weeks by sending it in.

But then I come back to my new baby not working properly. My dealer is a good friend who discretely bumped me to the top of his list so I only had to wait a week to get my D800. I briefly mentioned the AF issue to him and while I think he would try to get me another one to swap out, I might just end up with another defective camera and I hate to take advantage of him like that.

I think I'm just going to have to man up and send it in and work with Nikon to get it fixed. This will probably mean several trips but in the end, it will be worth it. Thanks for letting me vent.

D800 and a bunch of glass that cost way more than my wife thinks it did.

DrGoon

US
36 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 0

DrGoon Registered since 11th Mar 2009
Thu 17-May-12 01:48 PM

I still have to do more tests to confirm it on my camera - I either have a left AF back-focus problem that is less pronounced than many or I'm diabolical at testing. Possibly both. In the meantime, I find that it isn't affecting real shooting. I'm electing to wait until (a) I've done more boring test shots (b) I've done a shoot next month that this won't in any way affect (c) I hear more reports of people getting prompt and effective fixes in the US.

Don't visit my Nikonians gallery yet. It's empty.

yunjo

Portland, US
75 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 0

yunjo Registered since 06th Jul 2008
Thu 17-May-12 02:01 PM

The following is the response I got from Nikon USA support this AM after emailing (their request) of 3 images showing the L AF focus problem on my D800E 30008xx last week. It doesn't appear they have an official answer for the problem yet:


Thank you for your recent inquiry. We are currently researching your issue, and are awaiting information from our technical staff.

We will update your case as soon as information is received.

Thank you for your patience.

Regards,
xxxxxx

Thanks for using Nikon products!
Nikon Inc. (USA) Support / Service
http://support.nikontech.com

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DAJolley

US
1300 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 2

DAJolley Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Dec 2007
Thu 17-May-12 02:04 PM

This is why I am waiting before I send mine in. They don't seem to have a consistent fix yet.
BTW, you don't have to get permission before you send in your camera for service.
Dave Jolley

David Jolley
Pickerington, Ohio
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mgd7

New York, US
104 posts

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#4. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 0

mgd7 Registered since 06th Mar 2012
Thu 17-May-12 04:58 PM

If it were me (and it could be, as I haven't really put my D800 through its paces yet), if my outermost AF point were 80% accurate, I'd declare victory and use the camera without a second thought.

Phase-detection AF systems are inherently a set of compromises. With 51 focal points in the camera and countless lens designs with differences in field curvature, chromatic aberration, off-center resolution, etc., it seems to me that Nikon prioritized this right in trying to get the center dead-on balls accurate (it's an industry term) and letting the less accurate outer points do the best they can.

(And yes, I have heard that Canon has better AF on their bodies. Maybe that accounts for the cost of the 5D Mark III: the extra $500 gets you better AF fine-tuning. )

icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 0

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Thu 17-May-12 10:51 PM | edited Thu 17-May-12 10:52 PM by icslowmo

One other thought is if you do send it in and Nikon doesn't have a fix and is working on one, your camera may be there for a few weeks until things get figured out..... If I ever get mine, I will test it also and if it's a little off, then I'll make a case and wait for answers.... just my 2 cents though....

Chris

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klrbee25

Naples, US
1386 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 5

klrbee25 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jun 2006
Fri 18-May-12 12:35 PM

This was my take on things. I'd eventually like it fixed, but I want the fix to be a sure thing when I finally part with the camera for a while. Until then, it's very usable...it's a minor issue during specific types of shooting.

But, I want Nikon to know the issue exists. So I've made a case with them and uploaded pictures that they're reviewing now. When they say they have a fix and want the camera, I'll send her off.


-Alex Rosen
www.flickr.com/photos/klrbee25/

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10544 posts

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#7. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | 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
Fri 18-May-12 12:43 PM

Given the demand for the camera, difficulty of getting a replacement, and Nikon's lack of a clean fix, I would probably wait a few months before sending it in for service.

I completely understand the idea of sending it in now - it's new and you won't really miss it. If the problem were more severe that would be the only option.
I also share the frustration of a problem with new gear. My 600 f/4 had a 3 month wait and when it arrived it was non-operable due to a stuck aperture. But after service and a good checkup, the lens is great - and it's spectacular with my D800E.

Eric Bowles
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jhearl

Milford, VA, US
465 posts

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#8. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 0

jhearl Registered since 16th Apr 2007
Fri 18-May-12 04:55 PM

So, here's my question - how would I know when it might be safe to order a D800E without having to worry about it possibly having the AF issue? I didn't jump on the bandwagon to get one as soon as possible. I want one, but I'm willing to wait until the issues are worked out by Nikon. How would I know when that will be? I don't mean I'm looking for an exact date. I mean, will they ultimately acknowledge the problem and post something on their web site that it's resolved in manufacturing or will one of the Nikon insiders get the word from Nikon and tell others or what? At this point, I'm not so desperate to get one that I'm willing to risk getting a bad one but I also would not want to have to wait until 2013 to order one. Of course, I realize there's always the chance of getting a defective camera even after this problem is fixed but right now, the odds don't seem to be very good for getting one that isn't. From the one survey posted here, it seems at least 30% of the ones people have already gotten are going to get sent back to Nikon for repair.

Thanks -
John

My Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancingtuna

mikesrc

OKLAHOMA CITY, US
299 posts

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#9. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 8

mikesrc Registered since 03rd May 2009
Fri 18-May-12 06:56 PM

Well I guess in a few more weeks the folks in service will know how to fix them

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klrbee25

Naples, US
1386 posts

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#10. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 8

klrbee25 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jun 2006
Fri 18-May-12 07:18 PM

I finally decided that 1) the camera's AF issue is very minor and 2) having the camera, even with the issue, far outweighs needing to get it re-calibrated at some point.

-Alex Rosen
www.flickr.com/photos/klrbee25/

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yunjo

Portland, US
75 posts

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#11. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 10

yunjo Registered since 06th Jul 2008
Sat 19-May-12 02:12 PM | edited Sat 19-May-12 02:14 PM by yunjo

+1. Totally agree. Think of all the great images you would be getting while waiting for the fix to become available. You can still focus and recompose your images like cameras of the recent past.

loveisageless

Oakland, US
119 posts

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#12. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 11

loveisageless Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Feb 2011
Sun 20-May-12 02:47 AM

I think it would be a good idea to get it in as soon as they have a confirmed fix and hold on to the paperwork that comes back with it. The problem with this type of situation isn't the ones that get sent in for repair, rather its all the ones that don't. Pentax had a similar situation with their Pentax K-5. To this day, people are hesitant to buy one used if it is out of warranty. Getting the issue fixed and getting document to prove it will ultimately affect its resale value. We all know that someday there will be a D900

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Clint S

Chula Vista, US
460 posts

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#13. "RE: D800 - Time to send it in" | In response to Reply # 0

Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011
Sun 20-May-12 05:22 AM

>... The problem is that sometimes,
>it seems to focus pretty good. Other times, it's off.

If the focus issue is not consistent then I'd suggest two things, testing needs to be properly done and/or the issue is not with the hardware.

With previous models quite a few had to learn how to properly use the camera and problems did not exist with the camera. Understanding the focusing modes, how they work, how they work with each different exposure mode and how each focusing point works as well, are all applicable.

For me the D7000 was a big learning curve and setting up the focusing modes with the exposure modes to achieve the focus I expected each time, took a while to work out. Another issue for me was I am no longer able to hold the camera as steady consistently (as in every shot) as I used to be - thus resulting in some shots not focused while others were.

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G