Interesting, Yesterday I shot 334 shots in low light with D800e 24-120mm F4 requiring at least ISO 800 and as high as 3200. I used most AF points and AF-C. Out of 334 shot only 1 was grossly misfocused in the most easiest of situations which really surprised me but ALL others were spot on even in most difficult situations like someone is walking very fast just few feet away.
Before D800e I was shooting with 5D2 and 24-105mm F4 in the same environment and getting mostly 40%-60%, that is right, 40-60% even if I used center point and re-framed. So obviously I am very happy I switched.
... >Before D800e I was shooting with 5D2 and 24-105mm F4 in the >same environment and getting mostly 40%-60%, that is right, >40-60% even if I used center point and re-framed. >So obviously I am very happy I switched.
Thanks for that perspective. Good to hear things are working out for you!
I get the impression that the D800 is not bothered by low lighting that gave my D90 and D7000 problems. Much of my shooting in low light in in events and clubs. As it happens. I am the only Nikon shooter of the regular pro shooters am around. They have mostly 5DII and 7D and L glass. Even with the D7000, they were envious about how many more keepers I got due to focus accuracy. Now with the D800, full blown envy has taken over. Dark scenes, flat black ceilings, lasers, fog machines, the -2ev AF just assumes it is daylight in the park and nails it every time. I do not chimp anymore, single shots are enough if I timed it or did my job properly. The AF of the D800 is one of the most impressive features of a very long list of "best of class" features. Stan St Petersburg Russia
In low light where my D7000 starts readjusting the D800 just locks on. I would agree with Stan defining the AF as "Best of Class" despite my recent challenge.
I had my first challenge with the D800 AF yesterday and surprisingly it was during broad daylight. I was photographing race cars running perpendicular to my right. They had to make a right hand turn towards me and would then be running parallel and in front of me. Speeds varying anyplace from 40-120 mph. Most of the time I had my settings at AFC, 21 and later 9 points, Release + focus, and focus tracking anyplace from 1 -5. I used the 80-400mm lens and 85% of the shots were at 400mm. All were at 100 ISO.
As the cars would come through and about mid way in the turn, the camera would lose focus and then quickly refocus. AF Tracking was at 3 moving tracking up to 4 or 5 with only worse results. Then down to 2 and 1, but the camera would often refocus on the wrong car if there were several coming through the turn at the same time.
If the selected focus spot moved slightly off the car, it did not take much, to have this happen. I had tohave the focus spot completly on the front end or the hood of the car to keep focus where I wanted. I never thought about just shutting the AF tracking off until after I left.
Out of about 600 photos I saw maybe three that might have been the camera misfocusing. Of the 280 photos I immediately discarded it was either my panning issues or poor composition, but not camera focus errors.
I shoot waterfalls and streams with some regularity and use a six-stop ND filter so I can use longer shutter speeds. I'm always amazed that the AF system (phase detect) can focus reliably even when I can hardly see the scene through the viewfinder. (I'm using the 24-120 f/4 lens or a 17-35 f/2.8 and a B&W filter.) I usually compose without the filter, then screw it on and double-check focus. Shooting with the eyepiece shutter closed (very important when using ND filters!) and a 3 second shutter delay. Never any focus delay. Good job, Nikon!