Images were taken with D80 + lens 60/2.8 Macro Nikkor. The flat original taken at F8, 1/50sec. Lens produces perfect images when used on our other cameras (D700, D3). The irregular / inconsistent blur, suggests the problem is not camera shake or shooting angle.
Any ideas what might be the cause for this trouble?
You have done half of the testing by putting the lens on other cameras. Next, try a different lens on the D80 to confirm that it is a problem with the camera-only and not a problem with the d80-60mm combo.
I am not sure what the problem is, but it does not look like it might be fixable by the user.
---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
Check for moisture in the lens or a smudge on either end. You can paint fingernail polish on the mirror and it will have no effect on the image. Remember, the mirror flips up out of the way when the picture is recorded. I would have suggested cleaning the sensor but if a different lens worked ok, that is not the problem. All evidence points to the lens. I would say it is dirty, has moisture in it or is possibly defective.
You say it works on the other cameras, but don’t provide samples of the images so I don’t know how relevant my thought might be.
But one thing comes to mind that hasn’t been discussed as of yet is that the two cameras you list as working ok are FX and the D80 is DX.
Along with the fact that the D80 only uses the central portion of the designed angle of coverage of the lens, to maintain the same field of view you would need a significant difference in subject distance. So if you are maintaining the FOV, the issue could be lens related in that as the lens elements get racked in and out while focusing, there could be a malfunction when the lens approaches its near focus distance limit causing the elements to misalign.