>>> ALL my focus issues << > >What focus issues? There have never been focus issues with >the D2X, just read the manual. > >I am thinking of all the time and money spend dealing with >this problem both by Nikon and the users.
Hi All As someone who had one of the early D2x bodies and had to return it within a few days to Nikon for "mirror box alignment", I have never been totally happy about the focus on this camera especially when compared to my D70. It was only last week that I was discussing returning it with Nikon UK for checking yet again last week but before I got around to it the new firmware appeared.
I don't want to get hopes up to high but I really think this update has solved my problems. This morning, after updating the firmware, I took over 20 shots of items around our garden that I use as my standard "real world" test targets, these include a very stony textured post and some little plant markers with text on them. ALL of the shots looked better than my previous efforts. They had the 'snap' that I have been looking for and even the colour rendering looks better. The shots were taken with my three main lenses 18-70DX, 50mm 1.8 and 80-400VR. No tripod used and under dull lighting so I wasn't looking for this amount of improvement straight away. I would nearly go so far as to say that it feels like a different camera altogether, more 'shootable' under normal conditions.
I also took a few indoor shots of my better half with flash and the closeups, while not winning any portrait competition, were much sharper than I recall having seen before. With the 50mm at f1.8 the shots from around 20 inches away show every fine hair and mark on the skin - so now the complaints about the camera come from my other half rather than me but that I can tolerate!
I really think that something major has been done in this update, I'd really like to know how other users feel after updating their cameras, especially those who have had issues with focus in the past...
Interestingly, the update doesn't seem to be available from Nikon USA (yet). I think I'll wait rather than install an "international" software update. Good to hear about the improved AF, though! Mine seems to be fine, but improvements never hurt, IMO!
I agree. While not exactly the same thing I once loaded a Nikon Capture update from the Nikon Europe site. After that I couldn't load any further N.C. updates. I had to work my way through the various releases until I got back to a single source update path.
>Interestingly, the update doesn't seem to be available from >Nikon USA (yet). >I think I'll wait rather than install an "international" >software update. >Good to hear about the improved AF, though! Mine seems to >be fine, but improvements never hurt, IMO! > >-Jason > >Jason P. Odell >Colorado Nikonian >www.luminescentphoto.com
Although the file sizes are the same, the filenames are different. If anyone of you have access to a Linux machine, can you run a "sum file-name" on the two and let us know if they are the same numbers?
I had mine replaced a couple of weeks ago and yesterday I was going to head to the local botanical garden to shoot orchids, but never made it. I am installing the update this morning and heading out there, I am hoping my findings are as good as yours. I'll let you know.
I have both cameras 1 a us model the other a japanese model anyone tried the update to a US model yet considering the firmware isnt on the US Nikon site?I just dont want to screw up my camera or have the menu only in Japanese or something.
Just updated my USA model D2x. Worked like a charm. All menus are now in perfectly legible Sanscrit.
I just got my camera, so I don't have a lot of reference points before the firmware upgrade. However, just shooting a handheld photo of some text hanging above my desk, it appears that there is less softness to the upgraded firmware photo.
Argh. I'm at work and will have to wait another 5 hours before I get home to download. The thing is, I've been really happy with my D2X thus far, so I cannot imagine how much better it'll get! Maybe I'll do a before and after upgrade shot to compare!
I noticed that these updates apply only to the D2Hs and the D2X. Anyone have a sense for whether there will be a corresponding one for the D2H? On further reflection, does anyone think that there will no longer be firmware updates for the D2H?
I am inclined to think that the problems with autofocus that were addressed with this firmware update do not apply to the D2H. I own both cameras and the D2H has never given me a problem with autofocus.
I wish Nikon was a little more transparent about these things. I have not downloaded the update yet, but I would like to understand what it does exactly. Is it really an AF improvement or is it just a sharpening tweak?
Michel G. Sylvestre Nikonian from Montréal, Canada
Upgrade completed, no problems- I'm off to try it out.
Before you do this remember to change the monitor off time to 10min or so. I walked away as mine did the first part, and when I came back my monitor screen had turned off! I know if I touch or even think about my camera while it is upgrading firmware it becomes a toaster. I waited another 10 minutes and touched the menu button- drum roll please, and all was ok. Set the monitor delay and you can watch the whole thing. Now if they would only come out with some upgrades for this camera's owner, then my pictures would get a lot bette Gary
>> I would like to understand what it does exactly <<
I agree, hopefully the big pros with pull with Nikon will extract that information from the company and it will trickle down to us.
I just shot a couple of things around the house, there seems to be an improvement in focusing and color rendition, the images pop out at you, but I got a lot of noise which I am 100% sure it is because I am shooting in low light inside. I'll test more later and see what happens.
No, it really is a focussing improvement - based upon my extensive experience of several minutes shooting round the house at such fascinating subjects as bookshelves!
The improvement is not on the focussing per se, the D2x was always spectacularly good at focussing, but rather on the ability to chose what it focusses on - a fairly important point!
I have quite a few shots (pre-update) where the camera decided to focus on a brighter, more contrasty subject than the one I had chosen - and not just when the off-centre subject the camera chose was close to the designated focus point (yes, I know that they are bigger than indicated in the viewfinder). Now, focussing on a book in the middle of an angled bookshelf, it is the central one in focus, not one in the outer third of the image just because it had a more contrasty spine.
Colour also seems a little improved, but I use Auto white balance 99.9% of the time - partly because I didn't like the red cast previously, partly because I once forgot to change when going from incandescent lighting to daylight and got very blue pictures, partly because I always shoot RAW, but mainly because it works really really well, soooooo much better than my old D70.
I dare say that I have lived a charmed life, but I always install new updates as soon as they are available (check at least once a day for computer software updates) and have never had a problem yet.
Summary: D2x was great; with the updated firmware it is better. Installed update an hour ago and camera not exploded yet!
That sounds good... how about a free keg of Sapporo Reserve for every firmware upgrade. Its sort of a return on investment, for dealing with the frustration of not having a perfect firmware in place when we spent $5k??
I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for a firmware update to see if it would fix my focus troubles. Just Sunday I decided I'd had enough and shipped my D2x back to Nikon. Today they come out with the firmware update I'd been waiting for for so long. Just my luck. Now I have to wait about a week or more to get my camera back plus the cost of shipping. Damn, damn damn or shuld I say hurray, hurray hurray!!!! Anyway if it comes back fixed I'll be a happy camper. So much for user error or bad technique should the problem really be fixed.
Please ask for a radio frequency trigger option for the SB800s. I use eight of them and often would like to hide one or more behind vehicles during night shots of police officers. Ideally, this option will work with existing SB800s and will be completely transparent to the CLS functionality and would increase the range as well.
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona Nikonian Team Member
Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.
>What I'm really hoping for is that the camera now acquires >and tracks focus more accurately and that it will actually >be able to lock on the subject and not the background most >of the time. > >I've tried shooting about 40 shots handheld with a 24-85 and >a 28-70 outside of my office and the focus is dead nuts >now....a substantial improvement over what I was achieving >previously.
Your saga is the definitive 'bad focusing caused by equipment error' case study.
If you consider the focusing issue fixed, then case closed IMO.
Report back after you've had some more experience with it would you please?
Mmm, felt a slight hesitation. I mean, basic it's a computer with a lens mount and software updates don't always make things better with computers. Nevertheless I updated the firmware. Camera seems to be at least the beast it was. It's dark now, wait for daylight to try out the promised increased AF performance. Errors in Dutch menus have been corrected - too bad I never noticed the errors (shame on me ). On the wishlist: a neat bugfixreport by Nikon!
Damn...it's dark outside and I will have to wait till topmorrow to test. Shot some rugby today and thought the shots looked D2X'ish...ie a little soft...tomorrows forecast is similar to today and I lookforward to testing the difference. The ££ spent getting the lens checked was a waste...any chance of a refund Nikon?
While not exactly a completely scientific test, my before and after shots are troubling to say the least. Attached are 3 shots from roughly the same spot and focusing on roughly the same area of the receipt with the 28 f/1.4 lens. Each exposure is ISO 500, f/3.5, 1/60 AF single area. I used NC 4.3 to convert to tiff and check where the focus area was. I opened in CS2 and added the text and cropped. These are all 100% crops.
Firmware version 1.00 indicates the proper focus (before upgrade). But the other two shots with firmware version 1.01 are not too great. The first one of these has focus behind the focal plane. Could it be that I moved forward after locking focus and before releasing the shutter? Let us hope so. The last shot I was more careful to keep still and it focuses somewhere in-between. I did not think that I had a back focus problem before. But after the update, now I am worried.
Were these taken handheld? If so, I would immediate discount it because when one shoots handheld there is always the risk of occasional camera shake regardless of how experience the shooter was. Specifically, hendheld shots certainly not ideal for such close quarter testing.
- Pradipta Speed is significant and interesting but accuracy is downright fascinating! My Gallery
Sorry, handheld with the D2X. Agreed, not scientific due to being handheld. But how do you explain the first handheld with version 1.00 being right on target. The lens to receipt was probably about 3 to 4 feet away. I shoot at this distance with this lens all of the time. I am not discounting movement. But in the real world, there is movement and my shots have been largely adequately focused in the past on the D2X.
Honestly, why bother posting such "test" images with inadequate technique? You can only stir up more noise (pun intended).
I've updated 2 of my D2X bodies and left the third one unaltered. Didn't have focusing issues with any lens before and certainly the 1.01 hasn't changed this. Did a lot of testing with the 17-55 under very dimly lit conditions and the focus is, as before, spot on.
However, HI-1 and HI-2 performance is markedly improved and w/b is enhanced by the 1.01 upgrade.
>Honestly, why bother posting such "test" images with >inadequate technique? You can only stir up more noise (pun >intended).
Honestly, because this is how I shoot in the real world and since both shots were taken with the same technique and the original showed perfect focus, it is reasonable to display what my result was. Only time will tell if I will have more OOF images than I did before the firmware update. I was not trying to hide the fact that these shots were hand held and I said in my first post that it was not scientific. But I still think that there is cause for concern and if users are having perfect focus with version 1.00 and do not need better ISO performance, they might wish to consider waiting until after the dust settles and users who have upgraded have had more time to evaluate. And correct me if I am wrong but if I were moving and this caused the target focus to no longer be in focus, then wouldn't the in focus area be suffering from motion blur?
I use my D2X as a working tool. And since you own three, you must also do the same. For the work that I do, I can rarely put my camera on a tripod and make sure everything is perfect before I shoot. Sometimes I get OOF shots and I expect some. But generally, my shots are in focus and do not suffer from camera shake if I have the shutter set high enough. My test, while by no means perfect, is a test that simulated how I might shoot in the real world. I've since tried several more shots with mixed results and none as tact sharp as the one I took with the old firmware. Perhaps my "good" shot with 1.01 was a on in a million. But based on previous experience with this lens, I do not think this is the case.
Your post indicates that you have not encountered any focusing issues with any lens since the 1.01 update. If you consider my test irresponsible, then I would challenge you to caveat all of your testing. This is a fairly broad statement. You could be doing just as much harm by telling people that "everything" is perfect with the new firmware if you have not performed a proper series as tests yourself as I have done by posting my tests.
Mike, I really don't want to get into the argument of whether D2X focus accuracy has been adversely impacted by the firmware upgrade or not but one thing, I hope, you will agree that when shooting handheld it is basically hit or miss. Especially when you take 100% crop from a 4288x2848 image. It could very well be coincidence that your 1st shot was sharp and 2nd and 3rd were blurred.
I did a quick test with D2X + 50 F/1.4 mounted on G-1325 + Arca-Swiss B1 and the focus was spot on as it used to be before the upgrade. Auto WB appears to have improved as well. But I was pretty happy with Auto WB anyways. As a matter of fact, I think I have never ever used a camera with as good an auto WB as D2X. So, no complaints .
- Pradipta Speed is significant and interesting but accuracy is downright fascinating! My Gallery
I absolutely do NOT agree that shooting handheld is hit or miss. I shoot 95% of my shots handheld and over 90% of them are typically in focus. With the 28mm lens, I usually shoot at f/2 or f/2.2, which yields less DOF than then f/3.2 that I shot with in my test. I usually do not make prints of 100% 600 pixel crops however. But if you see the image zoomed out, you can still tell that it is not in focus compared to where the AF sensor was. After more tests, I am certainly not getting anything near 90% hit rate with this test. But I can perform tripod tests later this week to see how well AF works. Again, I am not stating that AF performance has definitely deteriorated for me with the firmware update, just that I need to run more tests and see how it performs over time.
I can, with absolute certainty, report that the 1.01 D2X firmware update has fixed the focus assist problem I was having with my SC-29 cable. I had already purchased a second SC-29 cable, thinking I had a defective one. I had sent Nikon a support request and they acted like they never had heard of the problem and wanted me to send test images. I had not gotten around to sending them a test image before yesterday's firmware update. Today, I have tested the SB-800 tethered to the D2X via a SC-29 in a pitch black room, and I can now take flash exposures! In dark conditions, I was never able to to take AF flash photos under firmware 1.00. So this is a marked improvement for me with the new 1.01 firmware.
Since the upgrade my D2X is soft no thats more SOFT. Befor it was great I have taken it to Nikon UK HQ and they say nowts wrong with it but would swap it for a second hand body, what a cheek its one week old? Its so soft you could not use it! and Nikon dont want to know yet. they will when a few more start turning up, then i will take them to the small claims court for the cost that there lack of help has caused. If it wasn,t for Fixation I would move unhapply to Canon. as the HQ customer sevice is in the dark ages.
Most unsettling. There is a chance the files were corrupted while downloading. I would download again (From the link at top, Singapore, USA) and try again. I just made a similar test and the results are completely different than yours, although it became evident the size of the contrast areas (in this case: letters) matters, and a lot.
Here's Nikon's Official Fix Information for the Update:
===================================================================== Changes Included in this firmware update:
- Autofocus performance has been increased.
- An issue that prevented the AF-assist illuminator from firing when the Speedlights listed below were used has been corrected. Speedlights effected: SB-29s, SB-29, SB-23, SB-22s, SB-22, SB-20
- In images captured at a shutter speed of 1/250 s with a Speedlight SB-800, set to Distance-priority manual flash (GN), or Manual flash (M) with flash output set to full (M1/1) mounted on the camera, the top portion was often dark. This issue has been addressed. However, under the circumstances described above only, the guide number is reduced from that of full flash output level by approximately 0.6 EV.
- Images captured at white-balance settings of Incandescent, Direct sunlight, Cloudy, Shade, and Choose color temp. tended to have a reddish tint. This issue has been addressed.
I did my update and everything went well. My battery was a couple of notches down, and the D2x refused to update the firmware. I got an error message saying something like:
"Idiot...are you not aware that your battery is low, and that only a moron would attempt to update Firmware with a low battery. Change your battery NOW grandpa!"
Those are not the exact words, but something close.
After doing a little testing around the house, I can report that the AF system seems somehow snappier. More like the old F5. Interesting!
I just love these programmable cameras. Think of all the cool things Nikon will come up with in their next firmware update. Newer and better compression algorithms, 16.7 megapixel interpolation mode, Full-Frame Simulation Mode, wildlife fur and feather focus enhancements, food shot saturation mode (Color Mode IV), alien invasion detection mode, D200 emulation mode. So many things to consider. Software is flexible, and so is our favorite camera!
I've definitely noticed a huge improvement in the Incandescent WB (I haven't tried the others).
The 3200 ISO ain't bad either! In fact, it's very usable, IMHO. Here's an example. Ok, so it's not a great photo, but that's not the point here! The only things I've done to this photo were to adjust the levels and boosted sharpness by a tad. Lens used was 85mm, f/1.4.
This was shot using incandescent WB in relatively low lighting (just an incandescent ceiling light).
Yea I did the upgrade, and I *think* (or *feel*) I can see AF improvement. Keep in mind that this may be placebo effect going on here, I might as well be throwing salt over my shoulder and claimed AF improvement But I think the percentage of OOF image has decreased with the new upgrade, and I haven't changed my technique one bit.
Dunno, like everybody else, I only have the upgrade for less than a day...I really need to put this in a real fast working pace and see if I'll be cursing or praising
We'll see how it goes. I'm glad Nikon is at least responding to this issue, those 'open tickets' about AF issues at Nikon support must have forced the management to do something about it.
Darrell, and all; Installed upgrade successfully on D2Hs, using the asian site. Heads up to Mac folks. Tried the Macintosh download after 9pm pacific coast time tonight from the Nikon USA site, and the download went normally, but when decompressed the the resulting folder was missing the contents 'no files'. Tried multiple times, those east coast guys have a sense of humor. More than a bit frustrating, but the asian site delivered the same files listed on the u.s. site and worked perfectly. Camera functions fine, can't wait for some daylight to try the 'new' camera. Appreciate getting the news from the Nikonian News site. it's good to get notification support. Thanks to the community.
I did the update last night and it went fairly well. I had a problem doing the upgrade via a 4GB Sandisk and a card reader and to make a long story short I used an old Lexar 1 GB card and upgraded via the USB - camera connection and all went very easily. I had a nearly fully charged battery and could not upgrade, I used the AC adapter, you must use that or a fully charged battery.
I had similar problems with the Sandisk CF. The files would not transfer to the CF. Had a Sandisk card reader also. Changed the CF to a 256MB Lexar and it worked perfectly. I use the Sandisk CF for my imaging and experience no problems.
Not with mine... My battery was one notch down from full (has been for a while; I flit between film and digital and have just been on a major film run, so the battery hasn't been charged for some weeks). It went fine. I used an old, Kodak-branded 128Mb card since it was close to hand; most of the others I use are Microdrives and the site specifically states not to use those. I was initially concerned because the shooting settings didn't return to default, as the download site suggests... but I can see that others have spotted the same thing. I must have checked about four times that both A and B are at v1.01...
P.S. I don't see anything different with AF behaviour so far. I did a lot of testing a while ago, to make sure mine didn't suffer in the way others' have done. It has been spot-on. I haven't done such testing with v1.01 but it certainly hasn't broken anything.
After the D200's announcement, I kind of expected a firmware upgrade. From reading this:
"One big change from the D2X however is the on-screen user interface which has undergone some considerable make-over. The layout of the interface is identical but Nikon are now using high resolution anti-aliased fonts and icons and increased use of subtle color. The result is the best user looking user interface I've see on any digital camera. Double Kudos then for the screen and making proper use of it to deliver such a satisfying and professional experience."
I expected this would be part of it. Next version, I guess. Perhaps when the D200 is shipping? (ala D70S)
I chose a complex target for the simple test just a few minutes ago. First image is the full frame, resized. Second image just the focusing area at 100% of the NEF ISO 200 28-70mm f/2.8D AF-S @ 70mm 1/60 sec - f/4.8 WB - Flash AF Mode AF-C with Lock-On (focusing on the nozzle)