Nikon D800 / D800E Asymmetric Focus Issue

There has been quite a bit of buzz around the Nikon D800 / D800E focusing issues and one of the most recurring topics of discussions seems to be around the asymmetric focus issue (left AF focus issue). As I have already explained in my “how phase detection autofocus works” article, any DSLR is prone to having AF issues, simply because of the way the phase detect sensor works.

Nikon D800

Folks that have been shooting with DSLRs for years and have gone through different camera bodies know very well that every camera announced to date had a small number of defective units out there. Some had rare issues that required service or replacement, others had defective components (such as battery) that had to be recalled and some units were plagued with autofocus calibration issues. In the big picture, however, the number of truly affected units was very small. The Nikon D7000 DSLR, for example, received some negative feedback specifically on its autofocus problems. After doing some extensive research and gathering lots of data from our readers, it turned out to be that most problems I looked at were user-related issues and very few units actually had manufacturing defects, as I have previously shown in my Nikon D7000 Review Follow-Up. Negative feedback is always more popular and when someone complains about a rather serious problem, it quickly gets blown up. Most people don’t even bother providing positive feedback anyway, so all the bad stuff gets surfaced rather quickly. Also, when looking through customer feedback before buying a product, have you noticed that you typically tend to look for negative feedback more than positive? There is a simple explanation for this type of behavior – people would rather read about product issues to understand limitations and potential problems, than only look at rave reviews.

Does this mean that all the talk around the Nikon D800 / D800E is unjustified and biased? The typical phase detect autofocus problems we have been seeing ever since the first DSLR camera out are there in a small number of units (probably no more than 5%), which is pretty normal, given that autofocus components could shift even during the transportation process. However, the Asymmetric Focus Issue that we have been hearing about lately is a Nikon D800-specific problem. And it seems like many Nikon D800 / D800E units are affected by this specific problem.

Is the issue confirmed?

I have been gathering as much data as possible, similar to what I have done with the D7000 to understand how many units are affected and to see if I can identify the root cause of the problem. After several phone calls to Nikon Service when the issue first popped up, I quickly realized that Nikon Japan went silent on the issue internally – pretty much none of the service personnel knew anything about the asymmetric focus issue. Many of us that sent their D800 cameras initially to Nikon Service ended up getting their units back without any adjustments, with notes suggesting that the camera operates within factory norms. In short, most Nikon service personnel had no idea how to address the issue and they mostly blamed end users for improperly testing their equipment. I could understand how that would make sense with Nikon D7000 owners, many of whom were first time DSLR buyers. However, many Nikon D800 owners are long time shooters that either upgraded from a DX body, upgraded from a full-frame body or switched from Canon – people with some good photography experience that know what they are doing. So it was a matter of time until persistence won and Nikon Service was provided with proof that the issue indeed exists in many units sold to date. Nikon Service was able to replicate autofocus issues on multiple occasions (confirming issues on individual service basis only) and within a few months they came up with a permanent fix. Instructions on how to service affected units were quickly distributed internally and Nikon has been fixing affected D800/D800E units using these instructions ever since (see more on this below).

My next goal was to see how many units are truly affected. While it looks like only a batch of the D800 / D800E units is affected with the AF issue, I am actually finding the numbers to be pretty big. As many as half of the units that I have tested and received reports on thus far have a very noticeable asymmetric AF problem on the left side. To me it looks like very few units do not have a problem – most have very noticeable to somewhat noticeable focus errors. So as far I am concerned, I can confirm that the asymmetric focus issue indeed does exist on many D800 DSLRs cameras. However, NPS, Nikon USA and Nikon Japan have not issued any official statements about this and I doubt they will.

What Caused the D800/D800E Asymmetric Focus Issue

What is the reason for the asymmetric focus / left AF point issue? Why does the center and right focus points work fine and the left focus point does not? There is a lot of debate around the cause of the asymmetric focus issue. Unfortunately, very few people at Nikon know the actual cause and they are not eager to share. I have also phoned some people up that have direct relationships with Nikon to see if they can get an answer. As you might have guessed, everyone decided to keep their mouths shut on this issue. It has been tough to get anyone to say anything, but the service engineers at Nikon have been quite helpful in providing as much intelligence as possible and sharing their insights on the situation.

Here is my conclusion based on the intelligence and comments I have received from the service folks at Nikon (I won’t mention any names here). The main cause seems to be with the testing/QA phase of the manufacturing process.

When the phase detect sensor, along with the main and secondary mirrors are installed and properly aligned/angled on the camera (as explained in detail in my “how phase detection autofocus works” article), the setup goes through some rigorous computerized calibration process, during which any potential offsets that happened during the manufacturing process must be compensated. Basically, it is a process similar to AF Fine Tune, except it is done on each focus point individually. Since the manufacturing process is not perfect and even computer calibrated manufacturing processes will have a certain delta to precision, manufacturers set certain thresholds on these measurements. The phase detect sensor could be angled slightly differently on any or all sides. The same thing with the primary and secondary mirrors, which could be off and angled wrong. This deviation could be very small, smaller than a millimeter and it could cause a lot of serious AF grief. Recognizing that adjusting the yaw and pitch of the phase detect sensor or continuously trying to tweak the angle of the main and secondary mirrors is not always viable, Nikon developed a system, where it uses computerized tools and software to compute and compensate for these differences. Once those differences on each focus point are identified, a computer program writes the adjusted values into the permanent camera memory (Flash ROM).

So with all these computerized tests, how could Nikon could have produced a left AF issue? It seems like it was the testing setup that was off. Nikon relies on a special “autofocus calibration” rig when doing this tuning and something shifted the left targets by a little. It might have been the earthquake or improper adjustment by a technician. Either way, whichever units went through this setup eventually ended up with an AF issue.

So far this seems to be the most agreed theory behind the asymmetric focus issue.

What Nikon Service Centers are doing

By now you might be wondering what Nikon is doing to address the autofocus problem when you send it for repair. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what is done to the camera – from turning a simple hex wrench inside the camera chamber to fully automated calibration using computer software, so I wanted to provide some insight into the actual process. Please keep in mind that the below information is not officially released by Nikon (and probably never will be). It is based on the information Nikon service personnel have provided to us over the phone when repairing a Nikon D800 with an AF issue.

Some of our readers have sent me some information on manual calibration of the secondary mirror with a hex wrench (eccentric pin close to the sensor), saying that it helped with resolving AF problems. While a wrong angle can certainly cause AF issues, I would not try to adjust any mirrors in a DSLR, especially if your autofocus is way off. A couple of turns of the hex wrench could completely shift your focus points and give you plenty of other headache. In addition, if the angle is wrong, you could end up with a tilted setup, where the top of the frame will always differ than the center and the bottom. Don’t do that – even Nikon Service rarely touches these pins!

The D800 calibration process for the left AF issue is actually a pretty straightforward process, according to what Nikon service technicians told me (as long as the mirror angles are good). They mount your camera to a calibration rig comprised of test charts for each AF point, then use precision software to re-calibrate your camera (similar to what Nikon does during the QA phase of the production process). Calibration is typically done with a Nikon 50mm f/1.4D lens, but other lenses such as the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G are also available for testing. The whole process can be done in less than an hour, often with other adjustment checks, sensor cleaning, etc. Once the recalibration is done and new AF values have been identified, they are permanently written into the camera ROM.

So if you send your camera to a service center, they should be able to fix the issue pretty quickly. The only exception is when there is a serious AF focus problem (not just left AF) – if software compensation does not work, the camera has to be disassembled and manual yaw and pitch adjustments have to be carried out. That process is very painful and could take hours to complete…

The usefulness of AF Fine Tune

After I posted my last article on “how to quickly test your DSLR for autofocus issues“, I received a few emails and comments from our readers, asking why I did not talk about AF Fine Tune as a way to try to resolve camera AF issues. I specifically held off on that piece for two reasons – first, because AF Fine Tune is not always helpful, especially when using very high values above 10 (more on this later) and second, because AF Fine Tune often does not address camera AF problems. The Nikon D800E that I received has a really nasty case of AF problem that requires a minimum of -20 to work right with my lenses. Why should I have to retest and readjust all my lenses, if the problem is clearly with the camera?

Official statement from Nikon

Given how many people are going through this asymmetric focus issue, you would expect Nikon to recognize the problem and take care of it right? As consumers, we are quite used to seeing occasional product recalls and when a product has a manufacturing defect, we expect the manufacturer to issue a statement and take care of the issue. Failure can be forgiven, as long as the manufacturer pleads guilty and takes corrective action. However, the Japanese culture is the exact opposite – failure is both unacceptable and shameful. As we have seen with the whole Toyota Prius fiasco, accepting a failure is typically the last resort for the Japanese. They would rather go silent, than say they are sorry and take care of the problem. And it is not just Japanese that do this – many other countries and cultures are quite similar in that regard.

With this mentality, I doubt we will see an official statement from Nikon on this issue. If more and more people discover the problem, which I think many are simply ignoring, and escalate it to Nikon, we might get something out of them. Otherwise, it will be just another issue that will be forgotten over time. Nikon will fix its production fault (and it probably already has by now), so future batches will get less and less complaints, but I do not see how they could deal with this any other way. Issuing an official statement would not only hurt the company’s image and add bad publicity, but it would also most likely require a product recall, which is a very expensive process as you may already know.


  1. 1) Scott
    July 14, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I always enjoyed your posts about photography and gears. Just a friendly comment: I was quite worried about the way you wrote about the Japanese culture. For my understanding, I wouldn’t say the Japanese culture would rather go silent, than say they are sorry and take care of the problem. I’m afraid that some people might be offended. Just my two cents.


    • 1.1) Stefan
      July 14, 2012 at 4:47 am

      During the fukushima catastorphy the japanese also tried more to block and hide information than to inform straightforward about facts.

      I dont know why so many countries/mentalities have such problems to cultivate a culture of openess and honesty. Mistakes happen, that’s human, but trying to sweep a problem under the carpet results allways in an own goal

    • 1.2) Calibrator
      July 14, 2012 at 6:55 am

      > For my understanding, I wouldn’t say the Japanese culture would rather go silent, than say they are sorry and take care of the problem.

      In my personal experience I have similar experiences – also with American companies – but losing face is a much more severe threat to Japanese employees than to American or European ones.

      I don’t know if this is a general cultural thing or if Japanese employees are much more bonded to the company they work for. Other people would even argue that Japanese people in general have more honor – which is the prerequisite for shame – than Americans or Europeans and they would perhaps have a point…

      However, the case and its cause at hand (D800 focus issue and this blog entry) isn’t about individual persons but a large and well-known company. A company, however, can’t and doesn’t “feel” — so it can’t be offended and we shouldn’t worry about it.

      > I’m afraid that some people might be offended.

      “Being offended” is a prime strategy of guilty parties. It relieves them from having to answer the injured party – at least that’s the tactic. And if you are already afraid then you are playing into their hands.

      But where exactly are we now? We *are* already in the worst possible position: Apparently *many* units are defective, we don’t know exactly what is causing it and the manufacturer plays dead!

      Perhaps the communications managers and strategists at Nikon haven’t reached the 21st century, yet, or perhaps they are so sure of their market position because of the high sales numbers that they think they don’t have to communicate with their customers.

      Whatever is the case – it doesn’t matter: The more they keep mum the more damage they cause!

      You want to change this behaviour? Great! The only thing you have to do is applying pressure to the company in question! How? By going public as best as you can.

      Hence, kudos to Nasim as a longtime Nikon user/fan to not sweep something under the rug but being honest and inquisitive!

    • July 14, 2012 at 8:30 am

      Scott, I agree that my comment might be perceived as very negative towards the Japanese. I respect the Japanese culture, traditions and definitely its people. I hope I did not offend anyone. I added another sentence that other countries and cultures also have a very similar attitude towards failure. I come from the former Soviet Union, which was far worse in that regard!

      • 1.3.1) Stefan
        July 15, 2012 at 10:33 am

        Scott: “For my understanding, I wouldn’t say the Japanese culture would rather go silent, than say they are sorry and take care of the problem. I’m afraid that some people might be offended.”

        Offended or not, its quite true. Nobody said at all that all the japanese culture is bad. There are many great aspects about the japanese culture. But to go silent in such a situation, this aspect is not good at all. For this single aspect I have no respect. I can just accept it, that it is this way, but I can’t admire it or agree with such an attitude.

        • D800 user
          May 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm

          Like it or not, the Japanese has some strange baggage when it comes to their culture. Used to be they wouldn’t speak of business with a female. Where my mother used to work, the Japanese contact kept directing all communications to a prior employee. Until Mom told him the man was deceased, they would not acknowledge her position. It is/was another taboo in their culture that one does not communicate with the dead.

    • 1.4) Deepak Chourasia
      August 17, 2012 at 12:20 am

      My d800 is also affected with this issue. I do not care whether Japanese are offended. I expect them to be offended and correct this issue gracefully for saving their honor. I work in a service industry and we believe in total honesty. It is really very unfair of Nikon that they are not excepting their fault. I do not believe anymore that Japanese are the most honest people in the world.

    • 1.5) Daniel Roberts
      March 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      I’ve had HORRIBLE service and response from NIKON regarding a repair thatwas done on my D90. They charged me for something that was not wrong with the camera, to avoid claiming fault. My experience was so bad, I am contemplating a CANON, and I’ve owned NIKON for three decades

    • 1.6) Nikonuser
      March 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      So Nikon will not admit to a problem because of their “honor” or “culture”? An introduction to an aspect of the US culture called “class-action lawsuit” will fix that. Anyone with an autofocus problem care to sign up?

      • 1.6.1) WJ
        July 7, 2013 at 10:45 am

        My D800E is currently in the LA service center for the second time with a focusing issue all within a three week period, without boring you with the details I have received the worse customer service, bar none. This is from someone that has owned Hasselblads, Phase One backs, and Canon! It had interfered with my business, cost me loss revenue, etc. Where do I sign up?

      • 1.6.2) leeor
        June 18, 2014 at 9:14 am

        Hi there.
        I just saw your comments here. I bought my D800 in June 2012. As I didn’€™t use the camera as often as anticipated, I initially didn’t see that my camera had a focusing issue. And when I started using it, my initial thought was that I was doing something wrong. Unfortunately, the warranty had expired by the time I got my arms around the problem — which appears to have been pervasive. To say the least, I am annoyed on multiple levels, including the fact that I spent $3,000 on a camera that doesn’t work as advertised and that Nikon still refuses to take responsibility.

        I am the furthest thing from litigious, but I am so annoyed about how this has been handled (and how much the D800/E users have suffered because of this!) that I am exploring legal options. I have conferred with potential contingency lawyers and with a few other Nikon purchasers about this and wanted to gauge your interest. Please let me know if you would be interested in discussing the issue further.


      • 1.6.3) CAM
        August 4, 2015 at 10:44 pm

        I recently purchased a PENTAX 645D and I love it. I was thinking about taking Nikon to small claims court as I am very annoyed that after 2 repairs and one replacement, I still have a defective D800E. I already sold all but 1 of my Nikon lenses (85mm f1.4G) & my SIGMA 35mm f1.4 art lens. I swear never to purchase another Nikon product ever again… I will also warn other potential buyers. I will buy Canon, Sony or Pentax ONLY.

  2. 2) Don
    July 14, 2012 at 3:37 am

    You are spot on. Unlike Canon which finally admitted to the light leak issue, I do not expect Nikon to admit that their groundbreaking, semi-flagship DSLR has a flaw, no matter how small. It is simply not the way they work, and I would be completely surprised if they come clean. It reminds me of the movie with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes (Rising Sun) where Sean Connery says: “do as the Japanese do. Fix the problem, not the blame. Then no one gets the blame”. I see a similar pattern here. By fixing returned cameras here and there, Nikon doesn’t have to admit to a fault, or issue a recall. Their perceived reputation remains intact because they never admitted to anything publicly.Oh well, luckily my D4 is problem free.

    • 2.1) Calibrator
      July 14, 2012 at 8:21 am

      As for Canon:
      They apparently learned their lesson: Recently they admitted to a toxic material problem with the rubber grips of the new 650D:

      As for Rising Sun:
      While I like the movie for it’s mixture of class and pulpiness (it’s perhaps the best adaption one can make from this book) my opinion on the book is that it was pretty much misunderstood from the beginning.
      It wasn’t a bestseller author criticizing the Japanese mentality but it’s a simple parable of the Amercian (and European) fashion to readily sell everything (knowledge, companies etc.) to the highest bidder for a quick profit. In this case the rich Japanese megacorps, around which Crichton superficially constructs a more or less clicheed thriller including corrupt cops, a beautiful and mysterious woman, filthy-rich and decadent executives and – of course – the Yakuza.
      But pay attention: Crichton was a novellist and used the literary tools of one here!

      If you look more closely you see three American cops: One who has completely sold his soul (Tom Graham, played by Keitel in the movie), one who has done mistakes in the past but can still be a better guy in the future (Peter/Web Smith = Snipes) and the “mythical cop” John Connor (Connery) who knows everything, is always right and – more importantly – has a moral codex.

      All three cops are versions of America:
      Graham is the personification of the current filth, someone who cuts the branch he sits on to fall to his death. He doesn’t really end up on the winning side, either.
      Connor is the American heritage, with an Irish name, no less! He personifies people with dignity doing the hard work, understanding what is going on behave morally correct even if they have the tools and the abilty to do otherwise.
      Smith – with the blandest of all names – is the personification of contemporary America of the early nineties. Mistakes in the past, brighter more successful future if he is able to change. If he learns (honor, dignity, respect above all) from the old guy, America’s past, that is! In the movie Connery has white hair and black suits and looks like an animal very special to Americans: The bald eagle…

      And a final hint for the deconstruction of this book: It’s a US senator – the literary personification of politics! – who is the most decadent person and being corrupted because of it. He becomes a mere puppet in the hands of the corporations and their ruthless managers – apparently a common case, as can be seen in what happens in Germany right now (“Mappus case”).

      Of course Japan isn’t the “big threat” anymore as other countries (Arabic emirates and China) are now housing richer companies or are investing directly – but the behaviour is still the same: Western companies and corporations readily sell the stuff they should make money from in the future.

      But Western spin doctors of course branded the book as simple anti-Japanese propaganda to direct the public at a different target and of course nobody learned from the book and continues on its way to mutually destruction but perhaps this is normal human behaviour in a globalized world with lots of interests.

      As for Nikon:
      Of course Nikon should admit the production fault because their perceived reputation *won’t* remain intact.

      Example: While the D7000 is a solid seller it could’ve been even better if they haven’t made so much mistakes in the weeks after launch. There are still dozens and dozens of bad reviews at!
      Compare the ratings to the Canon 60D and Pentax K-5, especially as the latter had problems with its sensor and Pentax had to do an official factory recall for many units.

      As for the D7000 the focus issue should’ve been cleared up by Nikon – instead people like Nasim are doing the research and publicity! A public statement and a PDF-hintbook like they did for the D800 may have stopped the driver-less train in its tracks.
      Then there was the white hotpixel problem in movie mode – fixed by a firmware update after several weeks.
      And noone at Nikon admitted that many D7000s were shipped in a state where oil from the mirror assembly smutches the sensor in short time. Yes, Nikon cleaned affected units but only for a time and if you contacted them directly. No instructions were given for users to check if they were affected. This wasn’t exactly the best customer policy, either!

      The way I see it the flood in Thailand may actually have prevented Nikon from having had more problems with the D7000 as it was practically unavailable for weeks.

      I sure hope that Nikon will learn its ways as I’m not fixed on one system. When I go fullframe sensor one day I can’t use my DX lenses anyway and may indeed switch to a company that has a better customer support…

      • 2.1.1) Don
        July 14, 2012 at 8:30 am

        Did you really get all of this from the one line in a movie that I mentioned? Really?

        • Calibrator
          July 14, 2012 at 10:24 am

          You were not directly meant, Don, but I’m sick of hearing that Rising Sun is a cheap anti-Japanese pamphlet.

          • Don
            July 14, 2012 at 10:36 am

            Ah okay. It was an okay movie. A bit predictable but passible entertainment. I was wondering if the biz practices are that ruthless.

      • 2.1.2) Daniel Roberts
        March 21, 2013 at 1:41 pm

        Yawn, really man? You don’t have something more fruitful to do other than crafting all of that? Like eating a popsicle or something?

  3. 3) kevin
    July 14, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Japanese went to all over asia during world war II. Look at the rape of nanking and other nasty behavior they have done in the past. The japanese government officials still deny all the bad things they have done in the past. Even worse, they actually worship these war criminals. Nazi admitted what they done to the jews , but the japanese never admitted anything. But hey, all the korean , chinese, japanese, vietnamese etc government never admit anything anyways. I am asian and i can agree with you. They do not admit anything if they can. They would try to either cover it up, shut it up, or just kill the people who talk. That is the culture! That is what they believe. Still, it dose not stop me using d800 tho.

    • 3.1) Martin G
      July 14, 2012 at 4:59 am

      Disturbing post Kevin. WWII was awful but this is about cameras and photos. Lets stick to that. See my post below.

      • 3.1.1) Stefan
        July 14, 2012 at 5:37 am

        I think Kevin tried to show a pattern

        • Kevin
          July 14, 2012 at 6:26 am

          Thanks Stefan . I was trying to show a pattern that is related to culture and business model. If the government can deny about how many millions life they took away, camera def can deny how many cameras got auto focus problems.

  4. 4) Martin G
    July 14, 2012 at 4:14 am

    I am not expecting anything from Nikon. My D800 has been shipped back to the supplier. I have been told it will be replaced under warranty.

    I recall that Sony shipped their first colour TV with a fault and then quietly replaced those that failed rather than admit the error – see John Nathan’s book “Sony – the private Life”

    This is a strategy designed to minimize damage, not admit fault. I don’t just think it is a Japanese thing, many large companies adopt similar approaches. I guess they (rightly) see the press as utterly irresponsible when bad news is about.

    • 4.1) Martin G
      July 14, 2012 at 5:31 am

      See page 48. (Nathan)
      In September 1967 Miyaoka discovered a fault in the trinitron cathode wiring which would cause the tube to darken and askred that the delivery schedule announced for the TV be changed. He was transferred back to ‘development’ and told not to mention the defect to anyone.

      Sound familiar? They chose to go the hard way rather than “compromise a marketing deadline”.

      • 4.1.1) Don
        July 14, 2012 at 5:33 am

        Moving right along….

  5. 5) Anthony
    July 14, 2012 at 4:22 am

    What happened with Bob V’s email about a Nikon Press release….on Friday the 13th?

    • 5.1) Stefan
      July 14, 2012 at 4:53 am

      I guess he paniced and took it back :)

      Exactly after 10 p.m. yesterday no more comments were possible and the article was removed from the start site. That was kind of funny. Bob is and remains my favorite author. Like I said: Mistakes happens, thats so human :)

      • 5.1.1) Martin G
        July 14, 2012 at 5:06 am

        As I understand it, the comments went off on tangent (See above) because the email went out without the disclaimer and people actually thought it was from Nikon. It seems to have caused some upset.

        I am one who is happy it was taken down. The focus should be on Nikon, not the “missing” press release that Nikon may never issue.

        • Stefan
          July 14, 2012 at 5:43 am

          Bob tried to “push” Nikon toward a press release. But without the disclaimer in the email it caused splendid turmoil :)

  6. July 14, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Sorry to say, but Nikon had not issued anything further on the D800 autofocus issue. I had indeed created a post identifying how I thought Nikon should handle the situation. Unfortunately, it was not clear from the original lead in comment that it was my suggested approach vs. an official Nikon press release. I realized it after seeing a few posts and immediately moved the disclaimer to the top so it was very clear, and apologize for any confusion regarding the issue. But even after the changes, some people did not bother to fully read the post and went into a false euphoria.

    Since the original story gets copied into facebook and RSS emails, however, not everyone received the updated post. So instead of helping the cause, my post lead to additional confusion and frustration instead of my original idea – which was to help raise the awareness and need for a more formal response from Nikon – so we removed it. Enough people are already burned up over the autofocus issue and it didn’t make much sense to do anything that could be even remotely be perceived as adding to people’s woes of getting a D800/D800E that wasn’t working properly.

    As Mary Chapin Carpenter sang, “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.” :) I will be more diligent about being clearer in my intent and understanding how posts can be interpreted – and misinterpreted – in the future!


    • 6.1) GAP
      July 14, 2012 at 5:37 am

      Thank you for removing your article. There seems to be enough misinformation, confusion and frustration already on the Internet about the D800/D800E.

    • 6.2) Stefan
      July 14, 2012 at 5:48 am

      When I was reading the press release yesterday, I was saying to myself: “Damn, everything comes exactly as Bob predicted it. Nikon is exactly bringing a notice in the manner he wanted. Incredible how exactly he knew this … !”

      Then I saw it was your creation … oh gosh … you got us all!

    • 6.3) Jorge Balarin
      July 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Bob, don’t remove your post. It is a very good one. You are not guilty if some people have a deficit understanding what they read. Best wishes, Jorge Balarin.

      • 6.3.1) babola
        July 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

        Luckily we have someone like you on board to translate to the rest of us with deficiencies.

        • Jorge
          July 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

          And I’m doing that for free !! : )

  7. 7) GAP
    July 14, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Thank you for your article and comments. I received a D800E with the left AF issue. It has been sent to Nikon in Melville,NY for repair/ adjusments. Hopefully it will be fixed!?

  8. 8) Jorge G
    July 14, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Thanks again for another informative piece. I had seen a similar explanation on a different site so unless it is a concerted effort on the part of Nikon to throw a wet blanket on the problem with a simple, yet technical-sounding fix, then I suppose we could all rest a bit easier.

    I can add that my particular repair was classified as “B2 – Moderate Repair: Major Parts Replaced” and that was the case from the get-go (i.e. right from the actual drop-off at Melville). Perhaps mine is of the “yaw and pitch” fix variety that was referenced, which makes me a bit more nervous, but I offer that up to as info to others in my predicament.

    Would be curious to know the classification of other repairs that are ongoing or completed. My D800 has been at Melville since Monday, July 9 so the “quick fix” hopes have already faded. :-/

  9. 9) STEVE
    July 14, 2012 at 5:59 am

    My D800 has the focus problem and like many others am very disappointed that Nikon has failed to announce how it will be resolved. What is also very disappointing was that I used my D800 while in Maine at Acadia National Park recently on a photography trip planned well in advance and noticed after returning home that many of the images were soft and not sharp. I did not learn about the problem until returning home and after shooting thousands of images, many of which are not usable. VERY DISAPPOINTED!

  10. 10) Don
    July 14, 2012 at 6:02 am

    The only way to get anyone’s attention is to hit them where it hurt. In the wallet. A very timely class action lawsuit would figure in nicely. As Nikon is fixing the problem they can’t deny a problem exists. They are in a bind.

    • 10.1) Kevin
      July 14, 2012 at 6:24 am

      I agree with you don. Nikon should receive a class action lawsuit. Who is willing to take the action if they keep on denying it.

  11. 11) Kevin
    July 14, 2012 at 6:34 am

    I’m glad I bought this camera in the US. If I bought it in china I can’t even return it to the store. Nikon service center will be my only hope and it’s very hard to talk to them.

    • 11.1) Jorge G
      July 14, 2012 at 6:39 am


      Stay tuned to this thread as I plan to update as progress (hopefully) is made on my repair. Both Bob’s and my D800 have been at the Melville, NY repair facility since Monday July 9. See his previous article for more info, but anecdotally, they have been able to repair the issue.

      Of course, results can vary depending on circumstance, but it is somewhat comforting to know there are success stories out there.

  12. July 14, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Excellent piece of information Nasim and thank you. I have been cogitating about the D800 as my D700 replacement since the D800 launch, but will always hold back in case there is a problem which needs Nikon’s attention. This D800 AF problem has been unfortunate and many D800 earlier affected buyers will have suffered much pain as a result. I firmly believe, however, that this resolution has come about by reports on other sites and forums, but in particular here. This is an example of a great resource where I for one am a lot more confident and this may well lead to a purchase. What I particularly like about your site is the pure amount of valuable information available in one place. Thanks again and keep up the great work.


  13. 13) Anthony
    July 14, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Light at the end of the tunnel: got my D800 back from Melville yesterday and AF works great, center, right…..and left!
    I was told that after repair cameras go to quality control inspection before shipping out (should try that at factory!).

    Nasim’s article on left AF problem is a model of clarity. Great job!

    • 13.1) Jorge G
      July 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Congrats on a successful fix! May I ask how long the turnaround time for you was? My D800 has been at Melville since Monday July 9. Also, out of curiosity, do you know how your repair was classified? Mine is listed as “B2 – Moderate Repair: Major Parts Replaced” — one of their generic descriptions, but knowing other situations will help boost my confidence. :-)

      Thanks in advance!

      • 13.1.1) Anthony
        July 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

        See #38 which I put in wrong place.
        Ignore what classification and status is on website: totally unreliable for me.

        • Jorge G
          July 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

          Thanks! I saw it. I suspected that might be the case so it’s good to hear it confirmed from an actual repair.

          As an additional anecdote, I live in NYC so I drove to Melville to drop off my D800. In chatting up the person at the drop-off window, he remarked that many technicians were out during the July 4 holiday week so he hedged on quick completion due to queue backup. Perhaps that was a factor in your repair as well.

          Again, thanks for the info! I’ll take you up on your recommendation to call and ask for a supervisor.

  14. 14) Martin G
    July 14, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Class action? So you don’ t think tsunami, relocation and floods are enough? Class action is a hugely ironic title in these circumstances. It would be better to get a bit of perspective here. My D800 is fine except for one area with fast lenses. I have sent it back and will accept a replacement. A class action is inappropriate in my view. If you want to upset them ask for a refund and buy another brand. I’ll stay with Nikon.

    • 14.1) Don
      July 14, 2012 at 8:16 am

      Who said anything about leaving Nikon? Let me recap this for you in case you missed it.

      1. Nikon is clearly selling a defective product. How do I know? The fact that people all over the Internet are reporting the same problem.
      2. Nikon has not admitted the problem but they are refunding money or making warranty repairs.
      3. See points 1 and 2 for clarification.

      You really made a massive leap down the rabbit hole. A class action suit seems to be the only way to bring this to light and if you’re not interested in joining a suit then don’t.

      • 14.1.1) Martin G
        July 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

        I had heard that there were potential issues before I pre-ordered. It didn’t stop me. There is always a risk with a new product. I agree Nikon has been slow to act but I didn’t miss anything. Did you miss something? Repairs ARE being done – see the article and see the post by those such as Anthony above. Class action is not the ONLY way to make things right. My D800 will be replaced. Point 2 is wrong. Point 3 is irrelevant.

        • Don
          July 14, 2012 at 9:04 am

          I think you are a bit comprehension challenged…

          Point 2… Please post a link where Nikon has admitted the problem and are offering free of charge fixes or replacements. An official link from Nikon… I’ll wait…
          Point 3… I see you cherry picked and ignored point one but the fact remains that Nikon is selling a defective product as MANY are reporting, to include Nasim. Are you not getting this? Surely it can not be that hard to understand. At no point did I say that Nikon is NOT offering repairs or refunds. You came to that conclusion all by yourself. Second, who doesn’t know about inherent risks when purchasing a new product? I bought a D4 without thinking twice about the price or the fact that much of the technology was new and untested in mass production… So your words about new products are wasted on me…

          • Martin G
            July 14, 2012 at 9:48 am

            Any takers then?

  15. 15) David Hunter
    July 14, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I just shot a wedding with the Nikon D800 and I did not have focus issues effecting the left side of the photos. I did, however, have focus issues at the center of the photos. Over and over again. It could have been the 50mm 1.4g as I heard that this prime lens has focus issues. Notice how the blue hydrangea in the center is slightly unfocused but everything else around it is sharp as a tack. (I am posting this image because it is easier to see on a small screen.)


    • 15.1) Martin G
      July 14, 2012 at 9:06 am
      • 15.1.1) David Hunter
        July 14, 2012 at 9:23 am

        Thanks for the link. No word though on the 50mm 1.4g on this site.

        • Martin G
          July 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

          No, but it is interesting. Have you opened with either NikonView (or Aperture) and checked the focus point? It may well have opted to priorities the skin tone of the hand. I think you need to look at the settings you had to work this through.

        • Drazen B.
          July 14, 2012 at 10:18 pm

          David, I don’t own a D800 (yet anyway) but when it comes to the Nikkor 50mm f1.4G prime I have had some major focusing issues with it, regardless of its default shallow DOF it comes with. To cut the long story short replaced it with its newer sibling a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G and never looked back. I find 1.8 G is much more forgiving focus and DOF-wise. On the other hand it could have been a ‘faulty’ 1.4G I owned originally, though.

          • David Hunter
            July 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm

            Drazen B. – Thank you for your relply. I suspect the focusing problem lies with the lens. Whatever focus issues the D800 has, it was not what I experienced and it’s why I am putting more weight to the problem on the lens. It is nice to hear from someone else who has had similar issues. What I don’t get is why Nikon released the D800 or 50mm 1.4g? What happened to quality control?

    • 15.2) Jen
      July 15, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Hi David,

      I have a friend who was trying to get me to buy his 50mm 1.4G lens and I did a series of informal tests with it compared to my 50mm 1.8D using my D800. Photo for photo the 1.8D beat the 1.4G in both sharpness of focus and color, particularly indoors.

      It may be the 1.4G lens and not the camera.

  16. 16) Cabe
    July 14, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I was fortunate enough to end up with 2 D800E at the same time (ordered 2 from different places and didn’t cancel one when the other came in a week earlier). Using Nasim’s autofocus test, one of the D800E had severe left focus problems compared to the other one. The interesting thing is the serial number on the one with the severe problem was 30035xx while the one with just a touch of left autofocus issue was 30009xx. So it appears it is not a production run of certain serial numbers but a more global production issue. The 30009xx is at least usable with just a touch softness. The 30035xx was terrible and quickly returned to the store.

  17. July 14, 2012 at 8:57 am

    So, Nikon is thereby shifting business to competitors with a superior customer service attitude? Canon et al I am sure are rubbing their hands with glee. Sure, the others have issues as well, but from what I gather, they perform much better in the attitude department.

    • 17.1) Drazen B.
      July 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      “So, Nikon is thereby shifting business to competitors with a superior customer service attitude?”

      And this being Canon?!

      Sorry but in my humble experience (jumped ship to Nikon 8 years ago) this couldn’t be further from the truth.

  18. 18) Anthony
    July 14, 2012 at 9:02 am

    It took almost 4 weeks, but they had it before Ming posted successful repair, so I think it waited for “the fix” to be fully operational there. Also, had other issues.

    I filed incident report on website, called many times, eventually spoke with supervisor who sent me prepaid UPS label!

    I found calling customer service # (I NEVER talked to a repair person) useless at that level, but then asking for supervisor always got an articulate, helpful person who could get answers. You cannot believe the repair status posted at their website, or the first person to answer the phone. Unfortunately, you have to push.

    My sense is that they are trying hard to do a good job, but they are not wonderful at giving out information

  19. July 14, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Hi David. I see from the exif data you took the image at f2.8 which, as you know, will lead to a good bokeh. Is there a chance you focused on the hand? That said it is strange also that the right flowers are also in reasonable focus as is the bouquet stems. It looks to me like her hand moved the bouquet and the nearest flowers are out of focus the most. Only a thought.


    • 19.1) David Hunter
      July 14, 2012 at 9:48 am

      Thanks Richard for the response. No, the focus point was directly in the center of the blue hydrangea. Just looking at the flowers, you are right, the right flowers, the left flowers, and all the bouquet stems and leaves are sharp. It is just the center focus point that is blurry. I shot at 1/250th sec. so minor movement should not have been a problem. I have photo after photo where the center spot focus is blurry.

      • July 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

        I do find it strange that some of the areas appearing to be at the same focal depth are sharp and others not. Having had another look it is also strange that the leaves at the top and the white berries at the bottom are in focus. That means that the actual focal square area appears to be the out of focus area. This is really weird and would drive me crazy, even more annoying that similar images suffer the same problem. I’ll be interested to see the resultant problem when finalised.


        • David Hunter
          July 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

          Hi Richard,
          Yes, as I believed too, this is strange indeed. In fact, the night before the wedding, I went out with a pro-photographer who works for J.Crew and he noticed the same thing. He was dumbfounded. He couldn’t tell if the problem was the D800 or the 50mm 1.4g. The fact that the camera and the lens was a rental unit did not help matters. I no longer have the camera but this same occurance happened time after time. Notice too how the wine glasses to the left and right are in focus.

          • Richard Walliker
            July 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm

            Yes, I did notice that. Most strange, although I haven’t a D800, but think the likely cause is the lens. I say that as I have read that the f1.8 is a better lens at certain apertures. Isn’t that always the case, but I wouldn’t have thought enough to throw the focus out that much. My suggestion would be if it wasn’t a rental camera and lens to take the D800 to a dealer, fit a new f1.4 and test it in the shop. In any event it is very curious.


            • David Hunter
              July 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm

              Why can’t Zeiss make auto-focus lenses? : (

  20. 20) steven
    July 14, 2012 at 9:09 am

    i don,t think it is a calibration issue. I am quiet sure it is a auto focus module design flaw which means the autofocus module is not made perfectly. that,s why recent batches keep coming with same issue. That,s is why d4 has same issue. it will take more than you think to fix this problem since they have to re design the chip and apply to manufacturing process. I am thinking it will take maybe a year minimum. it is a mess. nikon will suffer a lot with this.

    • 20.1) David Hunter
      July 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Once fixed, Nikon should just rename it the Nikon D900.

      • 20.1.1) Don
        July 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

        Best post ever…. Nice one David… I got a nice chuckle out of it.

      • 20.1.2) Drazen B.
        July 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm

        The D800S shouldn’t be far off :)

        • Elence
          July 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm

          Well, they did excactly that with sb900 flash, introducing sb910, so this may take a lot of time.

        • Elence
          July 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm

          Well, they did excactly that with sb900 flash by introducing sb910, so this issue may take a lot of time.

  21. 21) steven
    July 14, 2012 at 9:27 am

    oh and you need to forget about sending your camera to repare center cuz, there is no way to fix this problem with calibration. My all lenses are work perfectly with d700. Why all of the sudden my all lenses need different amount of calibration with d800? Again focusing chip has not manufactured or designed correctly. that,s why everyone has problem with same focusing point!

    • 21.1) lorenzo
      July 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      Hi Steven,
      if you are right you surely scared me to hell.

      My D800E is in a waiting list at B&H and you make me think that I should call them and cancel the order. I already got a lemon D300s, I don’t want another D800E with the same performance.

      One thing, however, providing your theory is right, how can you explain that Nikon is able to fix the defective units? Apparently most of people that sent them in were happy after the cameras returned.

      B&H said that if the camera arrives defective I can return it to them (and they send it to Nikon, not to the next person in the list) . If instead I do send it to Nikon and they state the usual note “Camera is at factory specs” then I can’t send it back to B&H anymore!

      I am confused. Is there anyone that would like to advise me on what to do? Thanks.

  22. 22) Chris Kern
    July 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Canon and Fujifilm quickly admitted to problems with recently-announced camera products. Some Japanese manufacturers apparently do understand the value of candor.

    I recently took delivery of a D800E. No sign of the left autofocus problem, as far as I can tell, or any other issue with autofocus. And during what was admittedly a preliminary and somewhat cursory set of tests—I was eager to spend what time I could getting acquainted with the camera by shooting with it rather than evaluating it for potential flaws—I didn’t even see a need to fine tune any of three different prime lenses. But because of Nikon’s continuing silence, I’m just the slightest bit wary about trusting my own, decidedly amateur, judgment.

    The irony is that Nikon’s silence on such a widely and credibly reported issue may backfire. If they made the kind of public announcement Bob Vishneski has recommended, providing enough information for owners to know whether their D800/E bodies might be at risk and authoritative instructions about how to determine whether they were, that might mitigate the demand on their service organization from people who don’t really have a problem but imagine they do, or just aren’t sure.

    • 22.1) David
      July 14, 2012 at 9:43 am

      I thought the same about my D800, all my images seemed razor sharp. Then one afternoon was bored and thought I’d just verify my belief and to my surprise I indeed had the problem. So I would strongly suggest setting up the tripod and checking it out.

  23. 23) David
    July 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I think an on-line petition should be prepared and all those effected with the AF issue can sign it as well as those considering buying a D800/E but are holding off can sign it and we send it to Nikon. You would think several thousand people requesting this from Nikon might have a stronger effect than individual phone calls.

    • 23.1) David Hunter
      July 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

      I’m there. Sign me up.

  24. 24) Art
    July 14, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Thank You for the article. I am glad to hear that you think Nikon has a fix for the problem since after a week talking to Nikon technical support folks and sending in images (used your troubleshooting process), they told me to send my camera in for evaluation. So I sent my camera to El Segundo yesterday, lets hope they fix the problem.
    I find it disturbing that you think about half the units that shipped are effected. I have been buying Nikon Products for the last 35 years including lots of lenses, FA, F100, F5, D2XS, D3X, D7000, D700, and My D800 and the only camera or lens I ever had a problem with new is the D800. I just hope that this is not Nikon’s new way of doing business and it is only part of the rebuilding process after the natural disasters that have happened in Japan and Thailand.
    But I would strongly suggest that Nikon step up to plate, admit the problem and at least pay for return shipping or give us a credit for our next purchase. Living in Hawaii and paying for shipping and insurance to El Segundo is $104. If my camera comes back not fixed I am going to be quite displeased.
    I know of at least 2 people that have put their D800 purchases on hold until they see what Nikon is going to do about the problem. These two people were about to sell their old equipment and purchase all new lenses with the camera so not only is Nikon missing out on the sale but also the Camera store that would have sold them the equipment.
    Again thanks for the article, this a great thing you are doing to educate people on this problem, lets hope Nikon is also reading. Well its time to go out and take some photos with my trusty D3X (glad I did not sell it).

  25. July 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Just for reference, I ordered my D800 from Amazon the second they started taking orders and received it around March 21st. My D800 doesn’t seem to have any AF problems at all based on the simple tests I ran. Did anyone else have troubles on D800’s that came from the 1st batch?

    • 25.1) David
      July 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Yes, most did. You might want to take a moment and do the comprehensive test procedures. Chances are good your body is effected.

      • 25.1.1) BenCK
        July 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        I tried it again using a longer distance than the first time (used about 10 feet or so) and used apertures of f/2 and f/8 on the 35mm f/1.4G lens. I compared the Live View AF to the AF achieved using the viewfinder and I couldn’t discern any meaningful differences. If there really is a problem with mine, it’s not noticeable enough or occurs often enough for me to care.

    • 25.2) dencelly
      July 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      My D800 is from the first batch and has the asymetric focus issue. Today I did the same test with my D7000 and ooops just the same problem :( You can just see it, if you use fast apertures like 1.4.

  26. 26) Adam
    July 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Today I returned my D800E to the local camera shop for a refund (thank you, local camera shop).

    The Nikon rep had offered expedited service to have “the fix” applied. Thanks, but (a) your manufacturing people failed, and (b) your quality-control people failed, and (c) your customer service people failed (“problem? what problem? send it back on your dime, dude, and we’ll look at it”). Why, exactly should I be confident that your service tech won’t drop the ball? I took the money and ran.

    Not only was the left-AF off with my 50mm f/1.8G and 85mm f/1.8G, but the LCD protector was dirty, scratched, and pockmarked from the factory. I know what you’re thinking. It sounds crazy. How could such a thing happen? Surely you’re joking, or crazy. Nope.

    I tested with a LensAlign lit with a couple of halogen floodlights. For each focus point (center, left, right, center-minus-3, center-plus-3), I took 3 shots with phase detect (PDAF) and 3 shots with contract detect (CDAF/live view). The right point was “OK”, meaning that PDAF and CDAF gave similar results. Center point right on the money. Center-minus-3 and center-plus-3 very good. Left point, very difference PDAF and CDAF results.

    • 26.1) Adam
      July 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Er, make that “very different PDAF and CDAF results”. Any chance of an “edit post” function here, Nasim?

      BTW, thank you for this excellent article.

  27. 27) David Hunter
    July 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    OMG! This is turning into a disaster! The Nikon D800E was a camera I pined for. Now, it has become a white elephant. This is so sad. What, maybe two years from now I will consider purchasing the D800E? By then, who knows what will happen in the world of digital cameras. Such a shame.

  28. 28) Bala
    July 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I am U.Balashanmugham (Bala) from Chennai, India.

    I bought by D800 on 26th June 2012 with Serial No. 8007726

    After going through the various forums on the Left, Centre, Right Focus Issue I checked my camera with various Lens like 60 F2.8D, 24-120 F4G VR and 24-70 F2.8G.

    I find my camera has a consistent Right side Focus problem, whereas the Centre and Left seems to be Ok when compared with Live View.

    My simple and effective solution would be, Nikon should provide a new Firmware which has AF Fine Tune option for the Extreme Left, Centre and Extreme Right Focus Points for Each Lens you own. Once this is available in the Firmware the Hardware Problem will be overridden as the Focus of rest of the points can be interpolated by the camera and the hassles of Re-calling or Repairing millions of Cameras can be eliminated and also Nikon can save its face with its loyal customers with immediate solution and save their millions too.

    With Warm Regards

    • 28.1) Bala
      July 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      Hi Bob

      When dealing with high precision equipment, there is bound to be some errors cropping in while manufacture. If it is purely hardware problem, it has to corrected/repaired.

      But when there is a Software Solution, then it can be used to circumvent the hardware issue. Like every Hard Disk manufactured has some bad sectors and they are marked in the Firmware while manufacturing or even at the user level by running some Disk Utilities from time to time. From then on the defects are not visible to the user.

      Similarly, in this case the Nikon D800 Focus Problem can be easily solved.

      In Nikon D800 there is NO Problem with the Focus Mechanism, only there is an Alignment Problem. With “AF Fine Tune” option you are able to get the Focus Re-Calibrated by the user, for any one of the 51 points for any given Lens, so there is a Software Solution.

      All Nikon has to do is, make a Software to Re-Calibrate the 4 extreme edge points (Left, Right, Top and Bottom) and the Centre Focus Points by the user, by connecting the Camera to the Computer and Calibrating with Test Shots. Once Re-Calibrated, the values can be uploaded to the Camera. All the other points can be interpolated by the Camera for Exact Focus of all the 51 Focus Points. This option of Re-Calibrating should be available for every Lens you own. (Currently Nikon D800 allows to Re-Calibrate 20 Lenses you own but only the Centre Focus Point).

      This way the user can keep his/her Camera always in best focuses for every Lens they own and for every Focus Point. Even when the Camera / Lens get old it can be Re-calibrated by the user.

      This method is not new; Nikon has a similar option of uploading a custom curve from the Computer to the Camera right from Nikon D70 onwards, so this is possible.

      This is a fastest and Permanent Solution by Nikon. Also Nikon should include this 5 point “AF Fine Tune” option in the Camera Firmware for people who do not want to use the Computer for Re-Calibrating their Lenses.

      I sincerely hope Nikon gives a solution like this or better soon.


  29. 29) Marc
    July 15, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Please see here what is being done by Nikon Serviice Point in the Netherlands. It does include some mechanical fixes as well:

  30. 30) Albert
    July 15, 2012 at 3:05 am

    My goodness what a beat up this is.
    OK, the camera has slight operability problem.
    It has been addressed weeks ago with a surefire fix.
    Nikon are far from silent on the matter, at least they talk to photographers about it and maybe keep a little bit silent to internet junkies that like to see their names on the web and so far the level of correspondence has been first rate.
    Personal experience is that 2 x D800 bodies with a left AF focus issue have been dealt with promptly and satisfactorily with minimum down time.

    Quite simply, those who make a big deal out of this relative non event only do it for a few reasons. Those reasons are that they either do not have a clue about their own camera or that they are only determined to post negative stuff on their websites to garner more hits to further their questionable credibility.

    • 30.1) Adam
      July 15, 2012 at 8:09 am

      A personal attack on the victims of a botched product rollout always elevates the discussion. Thank you, Albert.

    • 30.2) UncleDusty
      July 15, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Non-sense. When and where was it addressed weeks ago with a surefire fix?

      Nikon has mass produced a $3000-$3300 camera body and a substantial percentage of them are defective. They have not issued a statement about the problem or even offered to reimburse shipping costs. This isn’t a cheap point and shoot or a $1000 beginner’s DSLR. The people who buy this camera are typically internet fora participating photographers or serious amateurs.

      Mine arrived in El Segundo on Friday (7/6) and I haven’t received an arrival acknowlegement to date. My Fed-Ex tracking info shows an arrival signature. When I called Nikon to check on it Thursday (7/12), they told me they would call me Friday once they found it. I called them back Friday (7/13) afternoon to follow up and they told me that they’d be in contact when they found something out. No response. My D800 with a left focus issue arrived at the El Segundo repair facilities over a week ago and is nowhere to be found.

      If Nikon had a system by which they issued shipping boxes with return labels to take care of the defective cameras, like Canon (and I hate Canon) they’d have a better handle on expediently resolving the issue and would restore some consumer confidence. Furthermore, they’d avoid a class action lawsuit.

      I’m not sure who the ‘internet junkies’ comment was aimed at, but if it’s Nasim and/or Bob you are waay off base. They may be internet junkies (and photographers), but when you google “D800 left focus issue”, is a top result. Nikon is aware of this and I would surely make myself known when checking the status of my D800 if I were in their shoes. With that being said, Nikon may not like the fact that they got a BUNCH of calls on Friday afternoon about a D800 defective AF S/N list, hence the article being absent most of yesterday and returning accompanied by an informative everything is ok/slap on the wrist article written by the boss. Flecti, non frangi. An article titled, “D800: LEMON? – High percentage of AF defective on Nikon’s MP King” would get quite a bit of attention, if they really wanted it.

      I never tell Nikon that I am an internet junkie when I call in; I just pose as a fanboy photographer.

  31. 31) David
    July 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    For what it’s worth, the dealer I purchased my D800 from is willing to send the camera in for me all on Nikon’s dime. Buying gear from a dealer in a face to face transaction has its advantages.

  32. 32) Mayukh
    July 16, 2012 at 11:08 am


    After reading about this asymmetric focus issue along with the back and front focus problem on D 7000 and D800, I am in deep soup whether to go for a D700.

    I am living in New Delhi (India) and after a long spell of lull, D700 shipments have started to reach distributors.

    Can you please suggest whether there is any possibility of ending up with a D700 having the same problem. I have absolutely no idea about the production line / test bench/ calibration of different models of Nikon DSLR’s. What i want to say is whether new D700’s are tested/ checked with the same machine/ software?

    Thanks in advance.


    • 32.1) David Hunter
      July 16, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Great question Mayukh,
      I have a friend who has a D700 and uses it professionally without any problems. The problem is that with the D800 having these issues, who’s to say that the newer D700’s don’t have quality issues as well? This can easily snowball into something far bigger than Nikon can handle.

      • 32.1.1) Don
        July 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm

        I agree with the beginning part of your post but you venture off into fear-mongering territory. How will this be bigger than Nikon can handle? Ever hear of Antenna-gate? Apple got a grip on that in less than 2 weeks. Nikon has been repairing D800’s that have come in for repair. Statements such as: “who’s to say that the newer D700′s don’t have quality issues as well? This can easily snowball into something far bigger than Nikon can handle.” just flame the fires of inaccuracy that are already pervasive on the net. Yes the D800 has problems but Nikon is fixing them. Post some links pointing to D700 QC issues. @Mayukh, buy the D800, get it fixed if need be and don’t subscribe to all of the negative stories on the net.

        • Albert
          July 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

          Be careful that you don’t start something radical Don, speaking common sense on the internet might catch on if you keep writing like you did. :D

          Then again, maybe it won’t because the ‘net seems to breed people that simply like to spread crap just to see their name in letters.

          Proof of that is earlier in this thread where I posted similar thoughts to yours but people still want to attack those speaking the truth.

          • Don
            July 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm

            I remember reading it Albert. You would think that this is the “Jesus Camera” (no offense so save your flames) or something. It is a piece of plastic and metal with brand new technology that for the most part is unproven and rushed to market to meet the demands of the same people who are complaining, wringing their hands, demanding faster, bigger, better in no time. Nikon should have waited a bit longer but the Olympics are coming and they surely do not want to see a ton of white barreled Canon lenses out there. In short, the cameras will be fixed for free.

            • UncleDusty
              July 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm

              Apple sent me a rubber bumper to put around my iPhone 4 and I sold them both for an Android that will function as a phone.

              Nikon hasn’t issued a statement about a product defect. Apple did so in a timely fashion.
              Nikon hasn’t taken care of the postage for defective items. Apple sent the solution to my house and not to the store I purchased it in.
              My shipping to Nikon was over $50.
              D800 $3300 with tax – iPhone 4 $200 + 2 year contract or $175 early term fee
              Have you even heard of Antenna-Gate and what does it have to do with Nikon’s D800 issue?

              Nikon has been repairing the units that come in and shipping them back out, unless you count mine that has been in El Segundo for 2 weeks. What about the units that came back to customers that weren’t repaired?

              I agree that someone saying that other Nikon camera body’s (D700s) will share the same issue is a stretch, but most of the complaints are legitimate.

              A majority of D800 users understand how to ‘make a picture’ with out it being blurry; even though I’m sure you could show us sooooo many better ways that you learned in your film days; or we could be cool and tough and only use the center AF or only live view. I have a hard time with ‘just rubbing some dirt on it’ to make due with a $3000 camera; regardless of how cutting edge the technology.

              Albert has sent 2 D800s in for repair and you guys are chalking it up to user error and paranoia all because of a…eh…minor focus issue. If Nikon would get a handle on the situation, shipping costs and paranoia wouldn’t be an issue. Nah, buy a D800, the left side isn’t great with Auto Focus, but you can send it in, eh! Great advice. How about…test your D800 at the store to make sure it doesn’t have a left focus issue? You’ve even put the blame on the market for demanding better cameras and rushing Nikon. Get a grip.

              We understand that your D800s got in and out quickly. Good for you. Where were they serviced? SNs? How about something constructive here instead of ‘bashing the victims of a failed product rollout’?

              Between a fully functioning D4 and a 2 D800s with repaired left AF issues, you guys should be out taking pictures!

  33. 33) Patrick Sullivan
    July 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    They could borrow some cultural cues from Germans, who practically go into a cold sweat panic if the quality of their work is questioned.

  34. 34) Don
    July 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm


    Considering the fact that you put together a complete paragraph, I will assume that you are not comprehension challenged. Please point to one, just one post where I made light of the issues with the D800. Only one. This should be too hard to find unless, there isn’t one. I realize that the D800 has issues. Issues that Nikon needs to fix, if not address and from what I’ve read, and continue to read, Nikon is fixing cameras that are affected. I believe Nasim even shared this view. I can’t speak about the postage and handling. Some have paid it, some haven’t. I don’t know. If you had to pay, I will agree with you in that this was not fair and you should be reimbursed by Nikon or the shop where you purchased it from. As for Albert, I do not think he was bashing anyone as much as saying that the problem will be rectified. Again, please point to a post where I chalked it up to user error or paranoia. You then go on to cast aspirations saying that I put the blame on the market? Maybe there comprehension issue in the first place. Maybe the grip should start with you.

  35. 35) Albert
    July 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Uncle Dusty, I certainly am not chalking anything up to user error, the problem is real and is being addressed pretty promptly by Nikon who in this country have been very very happy to communicate positively to photographers with an affected body. I am not “bashing” anyone but I am seeing a lot of hysteria and downright crap from a lot of people around this issue right down to a wannabe that loudly proclaimed that he was being penalised from being sold a dud D800 and having to wait for it to be repaired. He then posted “evidence” pictures on his website of the focus issue. He then had lots of other people howling about refunds, class actions and general recompense. The only trouble is that he slipped up and left the exif in one of his “evidence” photos which showed that they were taken with a D7000 —-
    Needless to say his website is no longer up —-

    There is a problem.
    It is being fixed.
    Many products have problems, simple really.
    I don’t have any affiliation with Nikon, I buy their products exactly the same way as most people.
    I had two bodies with the issue.
    Nikon advised me when the known cure was available — about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I took the bodies to them. They fixed them within 2 days.

    I am doing some meaningful photography today seeing as it is a bright sunny Winters day —-

  36. 36) UncleDusty
    July 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    1. Comparing this situation to Antenna-Gate with respect to Nikon’s handling and recommending that someone purchase a D800 and simply, send it in if there is an issue falls under the realm of making light of the D800 issues. I can’t seem to figure out a way that D800 and iPhone 4 parallel with the exception of a faulty product (iPhone 4 vs. D800).

    2. “Statements such as: “who’s to say that the newer D700′s don’t have quality issues as well? This can easily snowball into something far bigger than Nikon can handle.” just flame the fires of inaccuracy that are already pervasive on the net. ”

    How do you know that pervasive fires of inaccuracy are more prevalent than actual problems on the ‘net’? I think it’d be fair to say that most of the people having D800 issues aren’t just on the internet sqawking to see their name, but actually have the issue and want the best solution. You can be paranoia and Albert can be user error.

    3. “It is a piece of plastic and metal with brand new technology that for the most part is unproven and rushed to market to meet the demands of the same people who are complaining, wringing their hands, demanding faster, bigger, better in no time. Nikon should have waited a bit longer but the Olympics are coming and they surely do not want to see a ton of white barreled Canon lenses out there.”

    Rushing a product to market to meet demands is not an excuse for releasing a defective product or a ‘satan’ camera.

    “Quite simply, those who make a big deal out of this relative non event only do it for a few reasons. Those reasons are that they either do not have a clue about their own camera or that they are only determined to post negative stuff on their websites to garner more hits to further their questionable credibility.”

    You are seeing hysteria and crap posted online because of Nikon’s failure to address the issue. Are people going to be morons and spread rumors? Yes, but if Nikon would address the issue with D800 owners publicly, the paranoia would be gone and confidence would be restored.

    • 36.1) steven
      July 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      You are not reading nor listening. You just like a nikon company. Let me tell you what we have been talking about. D800 has a focusing problem but nikon would not listen or address on this. That is the problem. We love Nikon and i believe the most of the people in this blog are Nikon lovers. That is why we are talking and demanding more. Now, you feel like you are totaly feel defferent way, you need to find somewhere else but don,t pretend you are better than the others.

    • 36.2) Don
      July 17, 2012 at 2:09 am


      Sorry for not completely spelling it out but I will clarify for you…

      My comparison between Apple and Nikon are a contrast between two companies that had launch issues… The difference it that Apple came out with a public statement but issued a fix. Nikon said nothing to date but are still fixing cameras. Had Nikon not fixed the camera’s or shops not refunding money then there would be an issue. I never said that people on the Internet are squawking to see their name. Again you cast faceless aspersions. Post a link or point to a post where I did made these statements. Your quote: “You can be paranoia and Albert can be user error.” I guess my giving you benefit of the doubt regarding comprehension issues is in order. How you made this leap is beyond me. Your credibility factor is circling the drain… No where did I say the issue with the D800 is not worthy of concern and that people are the problem. Actually, I can’t be bothered to answer the rest of your pointless tripe. You haven’t made a cogent argument but you do seem to point fingers. Clueless is what comes to mind…

  37. 37) Ronald C
    July 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    >However, the Japanese culture is the exact opposite –
    > failure is both unacceptable and shameful.
    >As we have seen with the whole Toyota Prius fiasco,
    >accepting a failure is typically the last resort
    >for the Japanese.

    I think it’s unfair to make sweeping generalization that Nikon’s action is a Japanese culture. I have visited many countries in the world and hear lot of people say that Americans are warmongers. I resent that because I know that is not true.

  38. 38) Joewho
    July 17, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Hi Nasim,
    Don’t know about the Left AF bit, but I’m having trouble getting my Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm FX lens to focus on my new D800E body. Not all the time, but quite often. I’ve tried in FX and DX modes and it’s just so so. According to what I’ve read online in various reports it should work fine and in comparisons with 22-300mm online, difference doesn’t seem to justify extra cash outlay. In fact some say the 70-300 is faster. it works much better on my trusty old D300, which of course is DX format.

  39. 39) BenCK
    July 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

    The way people are blowing up about this issue is mildy amusing. All I know is I took my D800 that I got back in March on a 10 day trip to Europe in May and I can’t say I had any problems with AF. The left AF point might have a problem on my copy, but I honestly didn’t notice if it did. I didn’t even know this issue existed until this week when people started complaining. It sure hasn’t stopped me from producing great images with the camera. Maybe it’s because I was mostly using single 51-point AF mode or continuous single-point mode (center or top-center). Yes, the camera shouldn’t have been shipped with the defect and, yes, Nikon should offer free shipping to get it fixed, but until then it really shouldn’t stop you from creating great photos with the camera. Some people just need to take a deep breath and relax.

  40. 40) Jorge Balarin
    July 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for your excellent article Nasim. It is very clear and instructive.
    For me Nikon executives are not doing a statement about the D800 autofocus problems because of monetary reasons. I don’t thing honor or shame have something to do here.

  41. 41) Don
    July 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    IT’S FIXED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just read this on Ming’s blog:

    Now we can move on to shooting photos again…

    • 41.1) dencelly
      July 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      Bad news, within only four days the nikon service point fixed my D800, but I have not checked it yet with a detailed test. This sounds good but the bad news is another. As I picked up my 7 parts from service point I talked a little with a girl working there (really hot), she told me that there is no final fix from Nikon and that Nikon told them that they are working to fix this problem better. The nice girl told me to test my D800 and call them again in about three weeks, maybe they will have a better fixing software! The service was fast and they checked all my lenses too but this news is very disappointing me!
      Maybe this is why Nikon has no official comment because they haven’t a real final fix!

      For me it’s absolutely doesn’t matter if Nikon makes a press release or not and which mentality they have or not. I will only that they have asap a real final fix!

      • 41.1.1) Dustin
        July 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm

        Very interesting. This kind of matches what I’ve been saying. Nikon has no fix but they are making adjustments which are correcting some of the cameras that may not be far off to begin with. This is truly disheartening.

  42. July 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I just received my NPS Membership today so am hopeful that mine will be repaired & returned soon!

  43. 43) Dustin
    July 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Just received my D800 back from El Segundo yesterday (7/16), the camera is still not fixed.

    Take a look. The left focus point isn’t even close!

    Not sure what to do now, I called the 1 800# and they were going to inform management and told me to wait for further direction.

    • 43.1) Jorge G
      July 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Terribly disappointing Dustin. I feel for you. In my view, the appropriate step is full-on replacement. Nikon needs to put a wet blanked on this mess… quickly… and the only way to do that appropriately is to get you a working camera immediately.

      • 43.1.1) Dustin
        July 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm

        I’ve actually just been inspired! I am thinking about starting a website and dedicating it solely to blurry pictures, particuarly D800 Left AF shots. Fully post processed captures, just blurry. I’m thinking that I could really make this be artistic.

        Hmm… the wheels are spinning now, maybe I don’t want a replacement camera….

        • Jorge G
          July 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

          Ha!! Well you will have a lot of would-be contributors ready to lend their blurred talents to your creativity. Who knew Nikon’s fumble would turn out to be your muse!

        • David Hunter
          July 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm

          Please, let us know what your website is. This is a great idea. Some people here think that I’m a Nikon basher. Quite the contrary. I love Nikon. I used the D800 and I loved it. It’s just when you release a $3000 camera, I expect perfection. I expect perfection from Nikon. What is wrong with that? I can only afford to spend this kind of money on a camera every 5 years. Sorry guys, I’m not rich. As far as I’m concerned, I am just another voice holding a manufacturer to the superior standard that should be expected from all of us. Why wouldn’t we all expect the same thing? I just don’t get how several people here have paid good money for their flawed D800 and even slightly defend Nikon. I too am convinced that this is a hardware problem and not a software problem.

          • Dustin
            July 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm

            my new blog:

            Just got off the phone with Nikon. They are waiting for someone to look into my case. I guess they have a lot of stuff going on…

  44. 44) steven
    July 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I know how they feel who own defective camera. I was the one of them. I returened mine and I am waiting ’till nikon fix this problem. I still have my D700 so, time will tell. For those who sending their camera to service center, That is kind of lottery playing. Think about this for a moment. Modern digital camera is center piece of precision. You would not think any small lab can handle it other than Nikon corporate in Japan. Furthermore,focusing points cannot be calibrated by individually, at least untill now. It is hardware, people! That is why defective camera still coming out. That is why Nikon has no official announcement. there is no fix yet. what nikon is doing now? I am totally believe that they are looking for the alternate AF module. It,s like a computer Cpu. there should have more spin ’till the bugs can fix.

  45. 45) David Hunter
    July 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I’m surprised that dpreview has not caught on to this.

  46. 46) Mike
    July 18, 2012 at 1:55 am

    I tested my camera today, and it is affected. If you want to see my test process and results feel free to view them here:

  47. July 19, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Last year as everybody praised the new D800 – I commentd to wait till the new Cam has be proved in wide field; So it’s the one thing to be technically improved but the other thing is to reach the quality of the former product – talking about D700


  48. July 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    My wife is the photographer, I’m her technical guru. We received our D800 around July 1 and all tests I have done on it have proved it to be “flawless”. I performed autofocus tests using moire patterns ( using single point autofocus moving the point to either center, full left or full right, not a complete test, but pretty thorough. And done at the widest aperture of each lens under test.

    Oops, I used Live View for most of the test so most times, the phase autofocus was NOT tested. You should also take test photos. The moire test is EXTREMELY precise, by the way. At least in live view mode the autofocus was absolutely perfect using this method with all the lenses we own. Hard to believe? I think Nikon’s latest batches of the D800 are undergoing better factory QA. For us it’s a sigh of relief. There are some real fine D800 specimens out there. I also bought Michael Tapes’ lens align tool which I keep in reserve.

    However, we have observed in practical work, as noted in the Nikon lit, that the depth of field with the D800 is definitely a bit less than with our D700 and we highly recommend you read and follow the guidelines in D800_TechnicalGuide_En.pdf. In general, if you want real sharp pictures with the D800, shoot at f8 or f11 with good lighting, and you will be rewarded with 36 megapixel photos with absolutely fabulous results. A studio shoot we did last week using studio strobes, came out marvelous. Assuming your D800 passes the autofocus tests, you will get what you paid for, and then some. Just expect to work for it!

    The D800 really has the beautiful medium format look when you follow the recommended Nikon guidelines for this camera. The ability to do an “infinite zoom” in lightroom without any pixelation is quite startling. However, for casual shoots or walkabouts especially at the dark extremes of the day where you may have to go to a wide aperture or higher ISO than, say 1600 (which is pushing it), I recommend you go with a less finicky camera like the D700 or the D3.

    • 48.1) Drazen B.
      July 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Finally a word of reason, thanks for your collected and unbiased reply, Katz.

      A mate of mine who is a pro-photographer said a pretty much the same regarding the flawless D800 auto-focus as well other points you mention. While he originally planned to sell his D700 to fund the D800 purchase but decided to keep his ‘old’ D700 for very same reason(s). D800 is a great camera but could be tricky in many situations where older and simpler model can provide a better fit.

      His D800 is from late June batch, so it may well be that the problem has been fixed for some time now.

    • 48.2) Drazen B.
      July 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Sorry meant to say Bob …not Katz ;)

    • 48.3) steven
      July 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      hey bob,
      what are you talking about?
      you did not test with phase detection af system? and you think your d800 is flawless? you must been joking!!!

      • 48.3.1) Bob Katz
        July 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        Oh, well. At least I admitted it! I will retest with the phase detect, and I fear the results. But then again, we could always use live view to do manual focus from now till infinity. :-).

        • Drazen B.
          July 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm

          “…we could always use live view … ”

          Hope not. Not many of us would be keen on a $3k contrast-detect ‘mirorless’ FX camera.

    • 48.4) Adam
      July 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Everybody’s contrast-detect works.

      You have a paper bag containing a can of something. Test the phase-detect and you’ll know what.

  49. 49) kevin
    July 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I just received my d800 serial 300323xx I just confirmed with left auto focus problem ! :(

    • 49.1) Bob Katz
      July 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Oh, dear, you got the spam, I’m so sorry, hope Nikon fixes it for you… We waited months to get our D800. ( Knock on wood, we got the caviar…..

      • 49.1.1) kevin
        July 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

        Hey Bob, actually i got Sardines. My center focus looks fine. The left focus was very soft!

        This issue happens with wide angel fast lens. I just tested My father’s old 35-135mm 3.5-4.5 lens and it seems to have the same issue as my 50mm 1.4g . If that old grandpa lens got the same issue with this camera, then this camera really needs some fix.

    • 49.2) Dustin
      July 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Good Luck! I wish you better luck then I have had.

  50. 50) Doug
    July 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Nasim, Thanks for your comprehensive attention to the D800 problems. Do you still recommend sending a D800 with AF issues back to Nikon or should I send it back to the distirbutor?
    What is the closest or best Nikon Service center to send my camera to from Colorado?

    • 50.1) UncleDusty
      July 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Do not send it to El Segundo, CA! Mine has been there since the 6th and status still says “in shop.” From what I’ve read, Melville, NY is where most of the US repairs have been successful.

      • 50.1.1) pgraphy
        July 20, 2012 at 11:34 am

        That’s not good. I left my 2 D800s there on the 17th and the current status is “in shop.”

      • 50.1.2) Jorge G
        July 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm

        FWIW, my D800 has been in Melville since July 9th, also holding at status “In Shop”. As additional color, the repair has also been categorized as “B2 – Moderate Repair: Major Parts Replaced” which may or may not be accurate according to commentary I’ve seen on the web on Nikon’s descriptives. Certainly doesn’t align with the fix described in Nasim’s article.

        I’m clinging to hope that Melville does have a record of success, as Dustin alluded to. In phone conversations I’ve been assured of its return early next week, but I have my doubts. Best of luck to everyone with their repairs. I’ll post updates here.

  51. 51) dencelly
    July 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

    D800 back after four days only (service point in germany – very fast). I did the same tests with every lens three times. What do you think, is it fixed? I would say only 80% not more. The results are really better than before but with the fast 85 mm 1.4 g ed I can see that the left focus point produces a little bit blurry result. I suppose that this is the result fixing a bad aligned focus sensor only with software. Compensating the problem with only changing some parameters can not resolve this issue really. Because the bad aligned focussensor gets not enough light on the left to work properly! Why they can’t not align the sensor is now the next question. Maybe not possible or not easy? I don’t know and will ask my service point on monday.

    • 51.1) Stefan
      July 23, 2012 at 4:23 am

      Please keep us informed! I am also from Germany and I am interested in what Nikon is doing to provide us with a flawless D800.
      Mine has a (nearly) very good performance with center AF but it is worse with the outside AF sensors (left + right) in combination with my lenses 24-70 2.8 and 50 1.8G at large apertures. the 70-200 VRII is ok.

      • 51.1.1) dencelly
        July 23, 2012 at 7:58 am

        My second attempt at the Nikon service point. They told me that everything that was possible was done. They asked me about two to three weeks of patience. Nikon would work hard to get a better solution.

        Stefan, you can only recommend to send your camera to the service. In your case the problem can be solved probably better. Good luck!

  52. 52) Far
    July 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Hi Nasim,
    Thanks for your great post about the focus issue. Just to let people with the same problem know….I tested my camera last week, it was affected, returned it to Nikon in Toronto, got it back in 3 days and it is fixed now.

  53. 53) Leer
    July 23, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Justed tested out and pretty sure I got the left-focus defects. I can see the out of focus simply turning to my manual focus on the same spot, I can get the manul focus almost everytime while the auto-focus Only gives you blurry results.

    What should I do? Send to Nikon service or wait for Nikon to give us consumers a clear explanation and instruction?

    How frustrated it is!!!!


    • July 23, 2012 at 11:56 pm

      Leer, send it to Nikon. All units that have been sent during the last month have been repaired in 1-2 days. Looks like Nikon service knows exactly what needs to be done.

      • 53.1.1) Adam
        July 24, 2012 at 4:20 am

        Where did you get that factoid, Nasim? “All units” as in “100% of units” is a big number :-)

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          July 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

          Adam, from all photographers that are reporting successful repairs (mostly locally, 8 units have been repaired in less than 3 days by Nikon service in California within the past month). I also received 5 other reports from other friends in different states that also had their cameras repaired and functioning. That’s why I said that “all units” are getting proper repair. Talking to a Nikon service guy in El Segundo, he said that they have a procedure from other Nikon service centers on how to properly repair the left AF issue.

          • Leer
            July 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

            Thanks Nasim,

            I just called Nikon Service Center, they asked me to send them three sample images in order to decide what to do next. Asking further who will pay for the shipping, he stressed the customer will be responsible for the shipping charge as the warranty policy stated. Then I asked him where his office located, he told me in Dominican Republic, what?????

            I am beyond in frustration at this moment.



            • Jorge G
              July 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm

              Hi Leer,
              Sad to say I am in the same boat as you. I can tell you that the people to whom you were speaking are part of a third-party service organization called “Stream Global Services”. They are not, in the formal sense, Nikon employees. I would suggest you escalate your case and firmly request that shipping be paid by Nikon.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              July 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

              Leer, like Jorge said below, you might want to try to escalate your issue to the real Nikon service team, not the third party support. Just ask to be transferred to Nikon service center in El Segundo, CA or other service centers that have Nikon engineers.

              So far, Nikon is making people pay for shipping, which is very unfortunate. They will continue doing that until Nikon acknowledges that the D800 is defective (might never happen). So you will probably need to pay for shipping the camera to Nikon service. If the camera does not get repaired the first time however, you will receive a shipping label if they have to perform service on it again.

              I know this sucks, but that’s Nikon for you and their pure negligence on this problem…

            • Jorge G
              July 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

              This has all the markings of a class action…

          • phil rainman
            July 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm

            Oh, Nasim!
            It is not like you. I have heard many of them have’nt had any good repair at all. Now, you are changing your position to where? I know Nikon do not have any valid solution yet.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              July 25, 2012 at 12:08 am

              Phil, I am not changing my position. Nikon is responsible for this and they need to fix all the affected cameras. I am still waiting for a public announcement from Nikon!

              And if I were a person whose camera did not get fixed, I would keep on sending it back to Nikon service until the issue is taken care of. They won’t charge more than once for shipping anyway.

      • 53.1.2) UncleDusty
        July 24, 2012 at 6:47 am

        Someone has hacked your account and posted false information. Leer, I think you should wait for the real Nasim to answer your question before you send your camera in to Nikon. We are talking about D800s here, right?

        • Leer
          July 24, 2012 at 6:51 am

          Now, I am even more confused :-(


        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          July 24, 2012 at 10:55 am

          UncleDusty, no it was me – I just posted quickly from my phone and did not explain fully what I meant. Nikon service is handling all left AF issues quite well at this time. I am getting positive reports on left AF calibration issue after service is performed.

          • UncleDusty
            July 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

            Thanks for clarifying, Nasim. Mine has been in El Segundo since 7/6 and will be arriving tomorrow. I’ve also been in contact with 2 other people awaiting their D800’s arrival from servicing in Melville, NY (one of which has already been to El Segundo at the beginning of this month and was not repaired, then shipped to Melville). I’ll be posting an update as soon as I get mine back tomorrow and am able to test it. I’m certain you’ll be hearing from the other 2 gentlemen when they receive theirs.

          • Dustin
            July 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

            I can assure you, Nikon is not repairing all the D800 focus issues on the first or second tries. In addition, their customer service as been nothing short of horrendous.

            This Left AF issue may be the worst experience I’ve ever had with any company.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              July 25, 2012 at 12:05 am

              Dustin, I guess it is a matter of luck…most people that I have talked to recently have had good experience with repair. I know that things can vary quite a bit when it comes to service, but you should demand that the issue is addressed and escalate it to senior engineers if needed.

              Nikon dropped a big ball on this AF issue. A class-action lawsuit might follow – maybe that will teach them a lesson!

  54. 54) Phuc
    July 25, 2012 at 11:29 am


    My 2 D800s are ready for pick up at El Segundo. Dropped off on the 17th.

    • 54.1) Jorge G
      July 25, 2012 at 11:37 am

      Congrats (at least for now…) Please report back once you’ve had an opportunity to kick the tires.

      My poor D800 has been in Melville since July 9 and I have struggled with Nikon customer service on getting a straight answer on status for over a week.

      • 54.1.1) UncleDusty
        July 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm

        My D800 arrived from El Segundo and I have tested it. It HAS NOT been fixed. I have posted new test pics @

        Lawyerin up!

        • Jorge G
          July 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm

          Unbelievable!!! But then again, not really.

          The only possible way they make this right is an immediate replacement until you get one that works.

        • dencelly
          July 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

          That’s what I said here few days ago. In some or in the most cases – I don’t know – there is no real or no 100% fix. My Service point told me that Nikon is working on a better solution … I send my cam now to Nikon’s central service in Germany, hope they will find a fix before x-mas :-(

        • Dustin
          July 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm

          Sorry to hear. It’d be nice if Nikon would fix the problem or give us a refund.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          July 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm

          I am sorry to hear that it has not been fixed. That’s very unfortunate. If I were you, I would give them a serious call and DEMAND that the camera is fixed. Do not pay for shipping this time – Nikon is responsible for that.

  55. 55) UncleDusty
    July 25, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I’m waiting anxiously by the door for mine to arrive via UPS 2-day air. Please let us know how they perform!

  56. 56) Don
    July 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I wonder how many people who have no problems are coming here to report that their camera is just fine. I have found that the Internet is great at exaggerating and expanding upon a relatively small issue. Small in the fact that Nikon Norway stated that out of 500 cameras sent in for repair only 4 had the AF error. That is less than 1%. I am sure that it is more annoying that a problem, especially when it is your camera but at the end of the day Nikon is going to fix the problem. People seem to forget that there were earthquakes, massive floods, and a few other nasty things going on that affected QC but in the end Nikon is going to make good. In my opinion an equally big issue is the fact that they will not come clean and admit fault.

    • 56.1) Dustin
      July 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      The problem is they are not helping the people who have a real problem. For the first month they denied the issues existed, now they are just going silent and fixing some but not others.

      • 56.1.1) Don
        July 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm

        I absolutely do not believe this. You are saying Nikon is picking and choosing? Sorry but no sale. I will say this, some people have legitimate issues, some think they do because the Internet says they do, and some like to complain because this is the air they breathe. I am sure Nikon wants this to go away as quickly as possible so for you to say they are not helping, or fixing some and not others is misguided and well wrong. Also, I was told by a Nikon friend that they are relocating a repair plant in the US which might be the reason for the delay. Maybe Nasim can shed more light on this. Either way, your statement (IN MY OPINION) are wrong and just feeds the Internet fire of misinformation.

        • Dustin
          July 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm

          I never said they are picking and choosing. I’m saying they have no fix and are just guessing how to make a fix. I find it extremely ridiculous that I have to sent a brand new camera in for service 3 times in two months to get it working correctly. For the record, I sent it in twice before even reading an internet forum about the left AF issue.

          Nikon is relocating El Segundo to Hollywood whch should make no impact on how Nikon handles the issue. If Nikon is going to delay the fix or doesn’t have a fix they should at least offer a refund or replacement camera.

          • Don
            July 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

            What I think and again this is my opinion is that Nikon is uncharted territory here. Nasim mentioned himself that this is new technology that was recently developed. The disasters that befell the assembly plants didn’t help matters either, neither did a lacking QC. Combined you have a perfect storm (no pun intended) of conditions to spawn what we see now. As for your other point, from the way I read it, it sounded as though you felt Nikon was picking and choosing what to fix and what not to fix. In regards to the relocation, if the repair facility is there, then yes it will have an impact because, and this is just a guess, highly sensitive instruments are needed for these calibrations, so repair times might suffer a bit. I do agree with you 1 x 10 googleplexes that Nikon should offer a refund or replacement camera. I can’t remember US consumer protection law but in the country where I currently work and reside, a biz has three chances to fix a defective product and then a refund or replacement is in order. I can’t believe that a camera shop will not honor a similar type of agreement. I said a few pages back, a class action suit is in order.

    • 56.2) Jorge G
      July 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Don,
      I can appreciate what you are saying, and perhaps in the larger perspective, the ratio of defective devices is disproportionate to the vocal number with legitimate issues. However, this issue has deteriorated to include a more glaring failure in customer service. As echoed by Dustin, Bob and others, the lack of clarity during the process of repair, and in some cases the disdain exuded by those in the service process has severely damaged the Nikon brand in my mind. Couple that with unsuccessful repairs, multiple ones in some cases, and you have a clear indictment of Nikon’s service process.

      I am one who believes that sunshine is the best disinfectant, and for Nikon to leave affected customers in the dark, however small in number we might be (and to be clear, I do not think it is insignificant), is a very poor reflection on their perspective on service.

      • 56.2.1) Don
        July 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm


        Great post. Back earlier I said something more or less to the same effect. The only way to force the hand of major corporations is to 1. boycott them or 2. have a very public class action suit where they can’t run and hide. Nikon should have come clean quite a while ago and admitted fault, and made amends. While we can disagree on the number affected, we can both agree that Nikon is handling this poorly.

        • Jorge G
          July 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

          Poorly indeed. If Nikon continues on this path, people will begin to vote with their feet, myself included.

          We can agree to respectively disagree on size. In my eyes, even the 4 of 500 figure you cite is on the high side in my humble opinion. Manufacturing gold standard has long been governed by six sigma which strives for 3.4 defects per million. Admittedly, this is an ideal, but suffice to say Nikon has fallen far short.

          Again, I can look past the manufacturing issue so long as they improve. It’s their behavior towards their customers that is appalling.

      • 56.2.2) Chris Kern
        July 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

        “However, this issue has deteriorated to include a more glaring failure in customer service.”

        Precisely. The problem isn’t the defect: that could happen to any manufacturer of a new product. The problem isn’t the (apparent) current lack of a solution, either: although Nikon collectively surely has much more information than any of us, it takes time to harmonize and evaluate customer descriptions of what they’re experiencing, and then to develop and propagate a fix that can be implemented by disparate national service organizations that have employees with different skill levels.

        The problem is the lack of public communication. Even if it is not the company’s intention, Nikon is giving D800/E purchasers—and prospective purchasers—the unfortunately clear impression it doesn’t care that they have acquired a defective product.

        • phil
          July 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm

          af is not working properly on af camera is not defective? what kind of theory is that? you are saying your left side eye is blind and you are a nomal human form. I know most people here is nikon fan boys like I am. However, you must not trying to assist them to hide deeper from this mess.

          • Chris Kern
            July 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm

            You might want to read my comment again. Appears that you misinterpreted it.

  57. 57) UncleDusty
    July 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Great, a Nikon facility in a country with a little more population than Los Angeles claims that only 4 of the 500 D800s that came back were defective. Do you believe that Don? El Segundo claims that my D800, Dustin’s D800 and several others were fixed as well, but they weren’t. This is not very valid point when your argument ends with “In my opinion an equally big issue is the fact that they will not come clean and admit fault.” If they’re not admitting fault, what makes you think that Aftenposten, or where ever it is you get your info from, is telling you the truth?

    • 57.1) Don
      July 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Internet facts or fiction can always find a home and someone to believe them. I believe 100% that there are problems with the D800 AF system. No doubt. 100%. However I am not sure of the numbers involved. I do also believe that everyone feels their problem in the most unique and most pressing. Nothing wrong with feeling that way, we are only human. Also the save of a nation doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the severity or scope of a collective problem.

    • 57.2) phil
      July 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      that is hog. 4 out of 500? I believe 400 out of 500. I have got through 3 of D800 bodies and I am a believer. I strongly recommend that the people who think their D800 is not af problem need to re check their cameras. my biggest concern was not left af point issue, though. This camera required all my nikkor lenses AF fine tunning. does anyone really think that is lens or user problem? Buy D700 or go for the Canon. I woul take light leak instead.

  58. 58) SK
    July 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks Nasim for posting this article. I was able to trace the problem only after I read your article. May God bless you.

    I upgraded from Nikon D90 to D800 and also replaced my DX lenses with professional quality 14-24mm f/2.8 and 24-70 f/2.8 lenses. I certainly did not do so to bear this goof up by Nikon! Just to mention that I paid USD ~3,800 for my camera. Yes USD ~3,800, this is the price in Saudi Arabia!

    The serial number of my camera which also suffers from the left focus points issue is 8800xxx. It can be inferred from the serial number that this camera is certainly not from one of the early batches. I do not know that how come Nikon let these batches out without performing enough quality checks on their so-called flagship products (‘the medium-format camera of the full frame’)

    I approached Nikon service center for resolution of the issue. They confirmed the problem in the camera as validated by Nikon’s online database which is accessible to service centers. They also confirmed to me that one of Nikon’s staff from Japan is coming to Jeddah on 23rd Aug. So I am just waiting for his arrival.

    I am extremely unhappy at the service that I have received from Nikon. I was looking for a replacement, and did not expect the advice from the service center to bring my camera again in a month’s time!


    • 58.1) AE
      July 28, 2012 at 1:13 am

      hi SK, i am in Riyadh, KSA. i have gone to the dealer´s shop last weekend and have seen the 2 D800´s they have on stock and they are both in the 8800XXX series. i have read your post only this morning and have been waiting for somebody to post from KSA telling about issues that they may have related to A/F.
      i was lucky enough not to purchase the camera last weekend. i still have my D700 with me and will continue using it. i’ll purchase the D800 until i get the level of confidence that A/F issue has been resolved or at least when we have a reliable technical support available here in Riyadh, KSA.
      thanks for your post. it really helped me a lot in making my decision to postpone my purchase.

      • 58.1.1) SK
        July 28, 2012 at 5:16 am

        Good to know that my review was helpful to someone. I am also based in Riyadh.

        You will have to wait longer for existing batches to finish. Alternatively, you can contact Nikon Service Center at Olaya Road (almost opposite to Hilton Garden Inn) with the serial number of the camera and ask them to confirm if this body has the problem. Once they confirm the clear body, you can make your purchase decision.

        You may like to contact Hanif at the service center who was quite courteous. Thanks.

        • AE
          July 28, 2012 at 6:44 am

          Hi SK, thanks for the additional info.
          You mentioned that i could check if the serial nos. that they have on stock have no problem and having a clear body, does it mean that the Nikon Service Center has the list of bodies with issues?
          Where did they get this list from? From Nikon Japan?
          I am quite confused on this…
          However, I will visit the Service Center as you´ve suggested and will try to meet Hanif and speak with him.
          Thanks again…

          • SK
            July 28, 2012 at 7:40 am

            I approached Nikon Service center with test pictures that i took as suggested by Nasim. They told me that whenever they receive any camera, they send its serial no. to Japan. They maintained that any quality-related faults may be traced using serial nos. I then received a call from them next day confirming that this camera body has the problem as they checked their online system or they emailed Japan (whatever!). They also approached Nikon’s regional office in Dubai who advised: “Please request the customer to bring the camera on 23 Aug”.

            Alternatively, you can tell the seller that you want to test this camera before you purchase it (as they will not return it once you have bought it). Follow the steps mentioned on this website to test the left focus points. Please use ViewNX 2 as it clearly shows the focus points. Honestly, the focus charts will give you better idea; however, i also checked these focus points on other objects. Please make sure to carry your laptop (with ViewNX 2), memory card and, most importantly, 50mm f/1.4 lens (even at f/2.8 the results are not so pronounced).

            As an additional confirmation note down the serial no. and ask Nikon Service Center to confirm if this is a clear body.

            Had I known the problem earlier I would have done this, as I was going to spent a significant amount on the body which is quite expensive for a serious enthusiast!

            I hope this would help. Thanks

            • UncleDusty
              July 28, 2012 at 8:09 am

              I would suggest taking a wide lens also, as this issue is much more evident with one. Unless Nikon lists an incompatibility issue with one of their lenses, they should ALL be fully functional and clear using all PD & CD AF points.

              On another note, if Nikon has a list of affected units’ serial numbers, they’re doing themelseves a great disservice.

            • AE
              August 7, 2012 at 8:27 am

              hi SK,
              I was able to locate the Nikon service center here in Riyadh and have spoken to Hanif the other night. he was indeed courteous. i explained to him what i´ve read as you´ve explained here.
              i gave Hanif the 2- 8800xxxx serials that i got from Abdul Wahed store, in Akariah 3, which were available last weekend.
              after this, i was advised by Hanif that he would check his system and will advise me the following day, which was yesterday.

              meanwhile, after speaking to him, i went back to the store and found that the 2 units were sold already. and i have been offered with the 2 newly arrived units which were likewise having the 8800xxxx serials.

              so i took the serials again… and last night, i received a call from Hanif, and have been told that the 2 serials i gave him were reported not to have issues.
              and i was told by Hanif as well that he doesn´t have serials of 8800xxxx in his list, which made me think.. because the one that you had reported does have such serial.

              i believe i will continue to use my D700 for my upcoming vacation during the Eid holidays and will get back to the Nikon store, in a month or two and will make sure that I won´t get a unit that has 8800xxxx serial…. and likewise conduct the test detailed by Nasim, before purchasing the unit.. .

              i hope that Nikon resolves this issue as soon as possible. i will still continue with Nikon as i have already invested quite a lot on my lenses 85 f/1.4G, 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8

            • SK
              August 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

              Thanks UncleDusty for your advice. Once they will return the camera, and hopefully, repaired. I will test this with my 14-24mm also.

            • SK
              August 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

              AE, Their confirmation that none of 8800xxxx bodies have the issue is a bit confusing for me!

            • AE
              August 7, 2012 at 11:24 am

              Hanif told me that they don’t have 8800xxxx having an issue.
              I have also provided him the newly arrived serial nos. (which are 8800xxxx as well) and his response was that if the unit is having 8800xxxx, then i should buy it because it’s a clear body.
              That was his response. sorry for the confusion.

  59. 59) Art
    July 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I am happy to report that I received my D800 from El Segundo today with the left auto focus problem resolved. The camera now focuses properly on all the focus points.
    The repair invoice stated they adjusted auto focus operation and performed the normal clean & inspects. Nikon received the camera on 7/17 and shipped it back on 7/25. the only bad thing is I am out $104 for shipping.
    Before I sent the camera in for repair I contacted Nikon tech support, sent in pictures demonstrating the problem using the technique described on this web site . They then gave me an incident number and asked me to send the camera in for repair. I included all the correspondence from tech support, a CD with the pictures the shows the problem, and the normal stuff like invoice and warranty card. So from my POV I am happy about the quality of the repair and the turnaround time.
    Well its time to put away the test charts and shoot some pictures.

  60. July 28, 2012 at 8:21 am

    My D800 came back from Nikon’s Melville Service Center on Wed. The left and right sides were very good. I was just about ready to claim victory and swear off my test chart photo addiction. But I was so focused on the left and right sides, I completely ignored the ones I took with the center focus point. When I finally did get around to looking at them? The center was totally out of focus, requiring +15 to +20 or so to get back in focus – for all the lenses I tested. That, of course, threw the left and the right sides out of focus.

    Nikon’s Service Manager implored me to give his team another chance to “fix it this time.” After thinking about it for a minute or so, I realized that I had had enough. I had already spent too much time on one DSLR. Nikon had everything they needed from me and others to check this out and get it right. It went back to B&H on day number 30.

    We may publish an article outlining more of the details and images of the before and after.

    • 60.1) Chris Kern
      July 28, 2012 at 8:40 am

      It seems that Nikon’s various national support centers are flailing around. Some (e.g., in the Netherlands and Malaysia) appear to have developed reliable procedures for recalibrating defective cameras. Others—Melville seems to be one of them, based on your experience—are experimenting with “fixes” that may only make the problem worse, such as calibrating for the peripheral focus sensors even doing so throws the center out-of-whack.

      I can understand that the company might be having difficulty analyzing the data it has received from customers and developing reliable realignment procedures that can be performed by technicians in various service centers around the world with, no doubt, varying skill levels. But your original point is still apt: why hasn’t the company said something publicly? Simply acknowledging the problem and explaining that it needs more time to prepare its service organization to perform the repairs would suffice for now.

    • 60.2) Dustin
      July 28, 2012 at 8:51 am

      The big problem I see here is that they didn’t test your camera! They made some adjustments/tweaks or whatever but never actually tested it. What’s up with that????

      • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski 60.2.1) Bob Vishneski
        July 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

        It is hard to believe that Nikon could have missed this one. But I have had prior experience with this Nikon Service Center. On a previous issue, despite three pages of detailed instructions, sample pictures, etc., associated with a 70-200mm VRI that could not focus correctly after I racked the lens, Nikon’s technicians failed to be able to repeat it during the lens’ first trip to Melville. They got it after the second time, but only after I had to get on the phone with the technician. It was very simple to recreate and I had already provided quite a bit of information that would enabled just about anyone – including a non-photographer, to recreate it.
        So I am disappointed, but not surprised. And as we discussed, I am not the only one that sent in a D800 to a Nikon Service Center only to see it come back as bad, if not worse, than before.

    • 60.3) Art
      July 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Sorry to hear that your camera was not repaired correctly. I hope Nikon is at least going to reimburse you for the shipping costs. Glad you were able to send it back to B&H. Are you going to get another one or are you going to call it quits?
      I feel lucky that Nikon was able to repair mine since the images that the D800 produces are nothing short of outstanding for resolution and quality. I think later on this year when I am sure this focus issue has been resolved I may even spring for a D800E and sell my D3X.
      But one thing this fiasco has taught me is that I will no longer be a beta tester for Nikon, I am going to wait for all the problems to be resolved before I decide to lay out my hard earned cash for any new Nikon products.

  61. July 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Well, I’m back! In a previous report I had reported that our new D800 was just fine but I was using live view to autofocus and was properly chastised here to use the viewfinder (phase detect) autofocus. I resolved to return after a thorough check with the phase detect. NOT TO LEAVE YOU IN SUSPENSE, I am pleased and relieved to report that our D800 is absolutely perfect in left/right. Yes, Nikon apparently got some of these right.

    I finally found a free weekend (it takes two days to do this properly, folks….). The first thing I did was to get our new Michael Tapes Lensalign MkII into gear and adjust the camera for perfect front/back focus alignment with all our lenses using single point focus at the exact center. DO NOT attempt to use the Lensalign for a left/right test, it is designed to work ONLY with the center focus point and with the lens perfectly centered. That’s the reference, anyway, got to get that right. Our 70-200 Nikkor is out for repair with a bad focus situation (sound familiar?) and Nikon wants $400 to repair it (OUCH!). But I was able to test and adjust for our other Nikons, the 16 mm fisheye, the 14-24 f2.8, the old venerable 28-200 f3.5/5.6, and an excellent Tamron 70-300 f4/5.6 which I rate as sharper than the 70-200 Nikkor (shame!). After adjusting center focus with the lensalign at maximum zoom with the zooms, I then tested minimum zoom, and found the Achilles heel of the Tamron, it’s not very precise front/back focus at its different zooms. I compromised and set it for maximum accuracy at 100 mm. It’s still better now than before I entered the compensation for this lens in the D800. All the Nikon lenses were much better in that respect. I could see that they had been carefully tweaked for minimum front/back focus error throughout the zoom range and I did not have to compromise on AF fine tune after adjusting at the maximum zoom. But we only paid $400 for the Tamron and on the average I’m positive it’s sharper than the >$2000 70-200 Nikkor.

    Then for the left/right focus test I connected our iPad to

    On playback at various magnifications on the camera’s LCD when the focus is perfect, you can see a progression of moire at certain mags, telling you the focus is right on. And when it’s at maximum mag, you can see the little dots of the test pattern, also indicating when the focus is right on.

    I only tested three points, the vertical and horizontal center and the far left vertical center and far right vertical center, using single point focus mode and with the camera’s body parallel to the plane of the iPad, and physically moved the camera left, center or right to put the center of the iPad at the respective focus point.

    Knock on wood, we got the caviar and now I can confirm it. I did want to report the good news here. We have no way of knowing the actual statistic because obviously people reporting on this blog will more likely report the bad news than to keep quiet. And yes, I agree that Nikon is being, typically, Nikon about all this, in public denial. Nevertheless, I urge people about to do the test to follow my procedure, first adjust the AF fine tune for perfect center focus, and MAKE SURE that target hole in the lens align is absolutely in the center through the viewfinder. (For adjusting the parallel alignment I do use live view because with many of the lenses and distances recommended by Michael Tapes, the target hole is impossible to see without magnification). I then reverify the target is correct when “playing back” the photo. Hope this helps!

    • 61.1) UncleDusty
      July 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Your testing apppears to be very thorough, but a series of comparisons between the far right, far left and center AF points with respect to utilizing the viewfinder (phase detection) vs live view (contrast detection) with a wide lens is sufficient to easily notice the issue. If your lens needs to be fine tuned, it’s clarity or lack thereof will be consistent for all of the live view shots. Indeed, it should be fine tuned to the center before the test if it is not. If photos you took using a given point are consistently more out of focus by utilzing the viewfinder in comparison to photos utilizing live view with the same AF point, the issue is present. By utilzing the proper test pattern with proper lighting, you can rest assured that sharpness capailities with respect to differences between PDAF and CDAF systems are not the culprit.

      • 61.1.1) Bob Katz
        July 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

        I’d like to clarify that in this last test I ONLY tested focus using the viewfinder (phase detect). Live view was only used to speed up the job of aligning the lensalign. The lensalign method and even more so the moire method are such objective confirmations of focus accuracy that it is not necessary to do an A/B comparison with the live view method, unless you want to prove the accuracy of the live view autofocus as well.

        • UncleDusty
          July 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm

          The Live View (contrast detect) photos serve as the control and as the benchmark for this test. They should all consistantly be sharp. When you compare the CD photos to the PD photos and notice that for a given point there is a strong sharpness variance, therein lies your problem.

  62. 62) Suhail
    July 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I just bought the Nikon d800. How can I find out if my Nikon has same serial number which are affected.

    • 62.1) SK
      July 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      If your nearest service center wants to help you out then that is the only way; otherwise, you cannot. You have to run the tests yourself and visit the service center if the problem exists! Nikonian standards aren’t these!?

    • 62.2) Bob Katz
      July 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Based on observations of this blog and other sites, I don’t think there are specific serial numbers which are affected. I think this is primarily a Q&A issue as Nasim reports, since both “old” and recent D800s are coming out with the problem. I’m hoping that my D800, which was received new July 1st or so from B&H, represents the new factory Q&A standard. It’s logical that you should buy the most recent serial number possible to reduce your gamble. If it’s been sitting in a store for a few weeks (hard to believe anyway) then test it at the store before parting with your money. The moire test is VERY easy to do and you should be able to test it at the store using that; bring an iPad with you. Make sure you’ve mastered the new art of setting the autofocus area using the autofocus push button on the front. Unlike Ken Rockwell, I’m actually quite pleased with that new approach by Nikon versus the “tit” on the back of the D700. The D800 puts far more autofocus area options at your fingertips without having to dig through the menus than the D700. The only “down side” (if it is a down side in practice) is that you cannot inspect which mode you are in just by looking at the camera, not until you have pushed that button. But it is visible on the top LCD as well as through the viewfinder. Nikon have done a nice job with that in my opinion.

  63. 63) Ido Lempert
    August 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm


    Do you know if this problem exist in D4 ?


  64. 64) Ed Holzer
    August 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I was not serious about “defamation”…just wanted to get your attention.
    I have been shooting Leica and Hasselblad for 40 years and digital for 10
    years…and I still think the D800 is the best small format camera I have
    ever owned. Maybe I’m just lucky with
    the one I bought which seems to have no problems at all.

    • 64.1) Drazen B.
      August 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      The AF issues (many of us were spared from) aside, it’s a fantastic camera. Challenging and tricky? Oh yes, but most of it depends on the skill of a shooter/owner.

    • August 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Ed, no worries! :) I also agree that the D800 is the best high resolution camera in the world right now. If Nikon could take care of this focus problem for everyone who is affected, I would continue to praise it. It is a very fine tool and I have no plans to part with mine…

  65. 65) trialcritic
    August 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I have the D800 and do not know if it has the auto focus issue. Is there a camera store I can take it to for verification?

    • August 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      It is probably best that you test it yourself, then rely on someone in a store. Check out this article that I wrote a couple of weeks ago.

      • 65.1.1) trialcritic
        August 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm

        I do not use manual focus and found your article complicated. I talked to a store near my home

        They told me that they do not do any diagnostics. Any way around this?

        • Drazen B.
          August 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

          You’re in for some rude awakenings with your D800 then.
          Good luck :)

          • Sharpshooter
            August 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm

            Mind boggles.

            @trialcritic…just out of interest – why D800 instead of a much less demanding and user challenging model like an entry level D3200 for example?

        • oz_outback
          August 2, 2012 at 7:32 pm


          Good on ya mate! I’ll take that D800 off your hands any day to save you the trouble, you can have my minty D7000 plus cash…lemme know ;)

      • 65.1.2) trialcritic
        August 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        Nasim, I took sometime and figured out your article, it was helpful. Thanks a lot. I am used to my old D80 for 6 years and this camera is different. Anyway, good news is that my camera does NOT have the focus issue.

        I should thank all the rest of you for the humor in the process, sorry that I am not quick enough or a serious amateur/professional like all of you:-)

        I respect the quality of the articles in this blog and do not wish to be defensive or rude :(

        • Mark Dorcel
          August 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm

          trialcritic – I don’t believe anyone meant any disrespect. I have to admit I was also taken aback a little by your response as a D800 owner to Nasim: “I do not use manual focus and found your article complicated.”

          D800 is a hot topic at the moment and when a comment like yours surfaces it provokes commentary from others.
          At first I thought it was a joke but then realised it wasn’t so.

          In anyway, I’m glad you managed to check for the AF yourself in the end…happy shooting!

  66. 66) Faisal` .
    August 3, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Hi Naseem and others,

    I live in Pakistan and have been considering the purchase of a D800E from Nikon subsidiary here in Pakistan. They have them in stock, surely from the very first batches of production because expensive pro bodies don’t sell in very numbers here like other bigger markets. Judging by that, I assume most of them will have this defect. For the same reason, I’ve been holding off on my decision. But now I have a trip coming up soon and wanted to try this new machine for my landscape shots instead of my D700 which I would be selling out soon.

    The problem is that the local Nikon Sales Center or the service center do not know or aware of anything regarding this issue and I am not sure if they ever will be! So once I purchase the camera and if it’s faulty, I would be totally on myself to deal with any problem, since they will not recognize any issue with the product only because it’s getting discussed over the internet and which is not officially announced/accepted by Nikon itself. Even if they accept my point, they don’t have any such facility to address the issue responsibly.

    I am not sure if it’s possible but I can ask them to let me try a couple of bodies before paying them. If indeed they allow me to do so, what method do you recommend to isolate the problem quickly and effectively? (I may have to perform it in their premises). The same article “How to Quickly Test Your DSLR for Autofocus Issues” repeated for center/extreme left/extreme right AF sensors? Plus, as mentioned by a few guys that the issue is more pronounced with wide angle lenses at maximum apertures (1.4/1.8 ideally), I only have wide angle zooms with f2.8 (24-70 / 14-24) and not a wide angle prime like 24 f1.4. Which of these two wide angle lenses would help me best in this test?

    I wonder if it was at all possible to get a properly calibrated unit from the USA somehow. Wishful thinking :)

    Thanks in advance for your comments/suggestions. Any additional ideas in this regard will be appreciated.

    Faisal` .

  67. 67) Rob
    August 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Thank you for another very informative article. You are my go-to website for camera, etc. reviews and insight. I received my D800 a little over a month ago and have not notice the issue that you write about. I don’t know if I’m just fortunate enough to have received one without the issue, or I’m not noticing it. I followed your instructions on how to to test for the focus issue. My results, if I’m interpreting them correctly, indicate no issue. I used a 24-70 at 2.8 for the test. I have included a link for the test graph I photographed. If you, or anyone else, sees something I’m missing or what is consistent with the focus issue, please let me know. Any insight will be greatly appreciated! *The graph was printed out using an ink-jet printer*



  68. 68) dencelly
    August 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Everyone who is interested to know whether the vendors currently selling D800s with the discussed focus issue. The answer is yes! I bought today a D800E and it focusses right only with the center focus points. The left and right focus points are very very bad. This is until end of march my second D800 with a left focus dilemma. The first one is after the second service attempt back to the vendor.

    People who are planning to buy a D800 or a D800E must know that it is currently unfortunately a roulette game. Shame on Nikon!

    • 68.1) Geoff_K
      August 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Nikon Store sent me a D800E this past Monday.

      Focus is the same across left-center-right, the problem is … I have to put -20 in to get my 3 lenses to be almost the same as live view.

      The numbers behind the line are clearer a little further than those in front.

      I am thinking it will have to go back since there is no room for any more correction.
      I wonder if Nikon can correct THIS problem, even if I had to put -15 in, it would leave me room for when the lens and camera start to show wear. Right now, I am not perfect and have no room to move.

      I guess I will contact the Nikon Store and see about returning it, unless I hear this is something they can tweak on the camera since ALL of my lenses show the same problem with needing -20 to get almost perfect.

  69. 69) Geoff_K
    August 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    OH, my serial number starts with 3004xxx

  70. 70) Grant
    August 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I nearly bought the Nikon D800, like ordered then cancelled and bought the Canon 5D Mark III instead (long story).

    I still follow what is going on in the whirlpool thread for D800 owners.

    It appears to me to be an unmitigated disaster to be honest. It is lots of cameras and in many cases the cameras have been returned from the Nikon repair facility here in Australia, still with the focussing issues. You will see on the thread in some cases it is more than once! The Nikon D800 users are now learning all about lens calibration techniques as they give their cameras the ‘once over’ and many are not liking what they are finding. I suspect many (and a few have said) are just afraid to look.

    It is crushing to spend all that money on a camera to find out you got a dud. The owners of the opposing Canon 5D Mark III just talk about how happy they are with their cameras and the great photos they are taking. The D800 owners are talking about lens calibration and returns.

    It is a sad situation and in my opinion goes way beyond growing pains and probably will be found in academic courses soon in design and marketing as a ‘famous disaster’.

    I don’t see anything funny in this either, a mess for Nikon to clean up and a nightmare for people who are affected by it which appears to be quite a high percentage of owners.


    • 70.1) oz_outback
      August 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      This sounds like a whining ode from a new Canon owner with second thoughts. There’s plenty of people like you spraying their trollish commentary around the photo web sites, just check

      If you enjoy your 5d III, good on ‘ya. Go and shoot photos and enjoy your new camera in the same way thousands of us D800 owners with perfectly good cameras, do. If you feel like being a spokesperson on Nikon camera issues, no problem…just don’t do it here.

      • 70.1.1) Adam
        August 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

        Let me guess: Your D800 camera has “perfect” AF. But you haven’t tested it wide open with a fast lens and a LensAlign, because it looks great through your plastic f/3.5 zoom.

        • oz_outback
          August 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm

          Clairvoyance isn’t your strongest skill Adam, stick to your day job.

          • Adam
            August 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm

            I’ll take that as a “yes.”

            • oz_outback
              August 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm

              Evidently you aren’t the smartest boy on the block, either.

        • Mahan
          August 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm

          your GUESS does not add anything to conversation, neither your attitude. (your plastics f/3.5 zoom!!!)
          NO you are the only person in the world with a fast wide lens.
          I agree with Oz-Outback, I have a D800 with left focus problem (only when used wide open with my 24mm) but I still use it and would not exchange it with any camera…I enjoy shooting pictures with it very much. it is a great camera. I will have it fixed when there is a fix but till then I enjoy shooting great photos with it.

          • Adam
            August 26, 2012 at 6:42 pm

            I suspected that our Vegemite-eating, Fosters-swilling friend was a bitter AF Denialist. Now I don’t know what to think, he is so shy.

            As for your D800, I’m sorry you have the issue. It’s a great camera, except the for the AF.

            • Mock Kenwell
              August 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm

              Is this a case of one Aussie calling another Aussie – an Aussie? LOL!

              Comparing the posts above one could be forgiven for thinking that ‘Grant’ = ‘Adam’.

              Either that or this place has suddenly started crawling with bitter Australians.

            • Albert
              August 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

              Wow, such uncalled rhetoric by people who are supposedly meant to be taken as mature and informed!!!

              I’m Australian, I don’t eat vegemite, I don’t drink, let alone swill, Fosters.

              The D800 focus problem is real, it is a production defect, plenty of products have such issues.
              Plenty of people who buy those products have those issues.
              How lucky are we to have bought 2 bodies and to have both with the AF problem.
              It will be fixed, there are plenty of accounts ( first hand in my case ) that say the problem can and will be fixed.
              Strangely enough, it has never stopped either of us using those bodies very well even with the problem. As it happens, the far left AF point is the least likely one to be used by either of us so it had not impacted on the cameras ability to work astoundingly well.
              Others of course may rely on that AF point and will be very happy to see their bodies fixed ( as they should be ) and working correctly.
              Then of course there are those that make a lot of noise on forums who simply do not have a clue about how things actually work, enjoy seeing their anonymous name on the screen and I strongly suspect don’t even own a camera —–

    • 70.2) Mock Kenwell
      August 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      Buyer’s remorse can be a biach.

  71. 71) Grant
    August 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I don’t think it helps things that people such as yourself underplay the problem and attack people such as myself who comment on it. I’ve been watching this for months. Like most people I assumed it was just a few cameras but it isn’t.

    You aren’t doing the users who have been stuck with problem cameras any favours. Nikon needs to be dragged over the coals on this one.

    I am interested in just what percentage of users are affected but I suspect it is easily 50% or more but I guess we’ll never know and Nikon will certainly NEVER TELL.

    • 71.1) Mock Kenwell
      August 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      No one is ‘underplaying the problem’ – you are overplaying it.
      The issue is there, for sure – but not even near the levels you are trying to portray it here.

      50% ?!

      Get real dude.

      • 71.1.1) Grant
        August 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm

        Well DUDE,

        Some professional reviewers have had multiple dud copies of the D800 which doesn’t speak of a low level issue and every D800 forum is full of people complaining.

        I would suggest the occurence is underreported too as many users are amateurs who never calibrate their lenses for starters and often don’t have the experience to pick issues up unless they are obvious. The issues are going to be a lot worse too for primes like F1.4 where there is very limited depth of field to start with.

        • Mock Kenwell
          August 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

          How about calling and agreeing that ALL D800 have a left AF issue?

          Would that make you feel better?
          Will it make you feel less inclined to post your useless drivel, new Canon owner? I’d certainly think so.

          • dencelly
            August 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm

            To hear this from Nikon would help a little bit. But it would help more if Nikon would clean the shelves of dealers from the affected cameras and not sell further until they have produced D800s without the focus error. I tried three D800s, two of them were D800Es and from one dealer within two days. Trying tomorrow my fourth!

            Change the system to a C-Mark III can never be a solution, of course not! But underplaying the problem is also not a solution for this kind of problem. It is possible that ALL of the delivered cameras have the focussing issue. Some of us can live with this and some of us not.

            • Grant
              August 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm

              If you check whirlpool forums there are people who still have this AF issue after sending it to Nikon and getting it back.

              I mean have people on this forum who have had the issue, sent it back to Nikon then found it solved when it came back, or not, as the case may be?

              If the issue is identifiable then fixable then it is bad enough, as it is obviously a common and widespread issue, but it is not a catastrophe. It got my attention though when people got them back from Nikon still faulty.

      • 71.1.2) Adam
        August 26, 2012 at 6:54 pm

        I’m pretty sure that a user named “Mock” can’t question another user’s identity :-)

    • 71.2) Don
      August 27, 2012 at 1:02 am

      50%? Back this up with a number that you didn’t pull out of your 4th point of contact. I call BS on your 50% number until you can post a link from a reliable source validating your FUD…

      • 71.2.1) dencelly
        August 27, 2012 at 1:21 am

        Can anyone translate? 50% Number, BS, FUD?

        • Don
          August 27, 2012 at 1:32 am

          Is this really that hard for you to comprehend? Really?

          50% is a number. Didn’t they teach math or statistics where you went to school if you actually went? 50% was mentioned back in post #228. If you can’t bother to read, please don’t bother to post. BS and FUD can be found using Google… Your feeble attempt at humor was an epic fail…

          • dencelly
            August 27, 2012 at 1:47 am

            Don, thank you very much for your friendly translation. You must know, I never saw a school from inside, sorry for that. But what to hell is google or did you mean Gogol?

            • Don
              August 27, 2012 at 1:49 am

              Another swing and a miss… At least you’re consistent…

    • 71.3) John
      September 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      I also suspect the problem is seriously underreported. If I had to venture a guess, it actually would be closer to 100% of cameras shipped through the end of July… but I do know without a shadow of a doubt that 100% of the D800 models I bought (only one) have a focus point AF issue in the viewfinder. I will however say that mine is less of a “left” focus point issue and more of a “both sides” focus point AF issue. I get far sharper results using the center focus point and recomposing the image than using focus points on either side. Since it is widely accepted in literature everywhere (including Nikon’s technical manuals) that recomposing should result in less sharp results, I am using that as proof positive (in addition to the other fairly thorough tests I performed on a sturdy tripod with a remote trigger) that my camera received in early August was defective despite the issue having been known for several months prior. Since only weeks before every supplier in the country was backordered, presumably the copy I received had come fresh from the factory and the issue had NOT been addressed there. That is really unfortunate b/c I do very much like my Nikon products even though I firmly believe they are somewhat higher priced than the “other” company. But as many others on the forum here are voicing, the most troubling part is the lack of acknowledgement on Nikon’s part. In my view, they have many MANY thousands of “professional” grade products in the hands of customers that are performing poorly (or at best with mediocrity) and they don’t seem care at all. Unfortunately there are also a number of us who will be paying shipping and doing without our beloved new toys for several weeks while repairs take place (after having to prove the problem exists by uploading numerous images to Nikon and awaiting confirmation of the problem). I’m preparing to do just that… and am most assuredly peeved about it.

      • 71.3.1) Jack
        September 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        You poor little troll…has that 5d3 fallen short of your expectations? Oh, we’re so sad to hear :(

      • 71.3.2) Jack
        September 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        You poor little troll…has that 5d3 fallen short of your expectations? Oh, we’re so sad to hear that :(

        • Mock Kenwell
          September 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm

          Don’t feed the troll…they get high on this type of cr@p they spray, let him be.

      • 71.3.3) Don
        September 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

        This has to be the biggest whiner post of the entire thread. 100%. Get two things. First being a clue and the second being a life…

  72. 72) Donald Z.
    September 18, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Hi Nasim, you might be interested in this:
    I sent my D800 to Nikon Canada for ccd cleaning after coming back from a long trip to the Atlantic provinces. In the invoice I found the following items that I didn’t request:

    I think those might have to do with this issue? They didn’t charge me for anything, by the way.

    • 72.1) Don
      September 18, 2012 at 7:14 am

      Good that they are checking the AF system by default. The firmware upgrade is normal… Looks like Nikon is back on track…

  73. 73) UncleDusty
    September 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

    When I sued Nikon for the alleged defective D800 I purchased, the small claims suit was resolved amicably.

  74. 74) Werner Sauter
    September 19, 2012 at 5:13 am

    I’ve testet my D800 (buyed at July 2012) with your suggested Procedure. Lenses for test are 50/1.8 AF and 24-70/2.8 AFS. All Tests show: AF with middle/right Focuspoint works fine. But left Focuspoint shows the discussed Issue. Other Test in Nature without Charts show the left Focuspoint is allways behind the Goal.

  75. 75) AE
    September 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

    hi SK,
    how is your D800? has it been repaired now by Nikon service center in Riyadh, KSA?

  76. 76) photog_pete
    September 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    My D800 was purchased August 30-2012, serial number 30415xx was tested using charts as described in other posts above. The Live View tests were perfectly focused left, center and right; but the Viewfinder AF showed perfect focus for the left and center points while the right focus point did not focus. This issue was easily seen right the on the LCD when magnified. It didn’t really need confirmation on my computer screen but I did so anyway as well as run the complete test a second time so no one would question my result.
    Knowing this problem existed I waited to purchase my camera until late August, but in the end it did not help because I just sent my camera to Melville for repair of the AF. I just got confirmation from Nikon and they classify the repair as Service Repair Rank B1.
    Since serial number 30xxxxx indicates units made for Nikon US it appears that manufactured units with numbers as high as mine at 41,500 employed the same manufacturing processes unchanged from when they began production.
    The real question in my mind is: Did Nikon ever change their manufacturing process or do they today still continue to manufacture faulty D800’s as in the past and just expect owners to bear the burden of checking the AF system and sending the faulty ones in for repair?
    As a business practice it sounds like economic Russian Roulette. But who is to know since they refuse make a public statement about this AF issue.
    I planned to use this camera’s 36MP to replace the 6x7cm and 4x5in equipment I just sold on ebay to help pay for the purchase. For me, there’s no going back so I am committed to finding out if Nikon will repair it properly by sending it to the Melville service point as I have done.
    Anyone wishing to purchase a Nikon D800 or D800e should use this information soberly before spending the $3000+ for either camera. It might be worthwhile to wait much longer if you can get along without this particular camera in your photography.
    From what many others have said on this website and others, I’m not sure if Nikon will ever publicly admit the problem and the manufacturing changes they may have made, if in fact any were made at all.
    How can Nikon be trusted that changes were in fact made to the manufacturing that ELIMINATE this AF problem. My serial number shows that there are at least 41,500 D800 cameras in the US that were made using the problem manufacturing procedures. That’s a lot of cameras. Would you like to own one yourself? Who knows, they may just come out with D800s ala the D300 to D300s and never say a word publicly about the AF problem. If that happens I’ll expect a FREE upgrade from my D800 as is often done in the software world today.

    • 76.1) Mock Kenwell
      September 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      “If that happens I’ll expect a FREE upgrade from my D800 as is often done in the software world today.”

      Somehow a word ‘delusional’ springs to mind…

    • 76.2) Murray Yates
      September 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      Troll alert, the guy’s never even been close to D800 camera, let alone owned one…

      Go away, you Canon troll.

      • 76.2.1) Adam
        September 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm

        Murray, please post a link to your D800 test shots.

        • Andrew
          September 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm

          And why should he?
          He’s just saying the guy is a troll, read ‘photog_pete’ commentary once again, most of it inflammatory and off-the-cuff “statements”.

          I won’t go as far as saying he is a troll, but the post is truly borderline trollish.

          • Adam
            September 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm

            If you attack someone’s cred, be prepared to back up your own. That’s why.

            Lots of folks have a big mouth when it comes to denying these problems. Not so many post kick-ass test shots demonstrating their dead-on autofocus.

            If you have a good camera, get hold of a LensAlign, carefully follow the instructions, and post. The poor devils who have the problem but are beyond the return period will thank you for it.

          • UncleDusty
            September 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

            Calling someone a troll because they post about their experience with the D800 focus issue in the comment section after a write up about the D800 focus issue is trollish.

      • 76.2.2) UncleDusty
        September 20, 2012 at 7:40 pm

        Or any of your photos, Hot Shot.

      • 76.2.3) Andrew
        September 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm

        Yup. He is.

    • 76.3) Chris Kern
      September 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      After repeated discussions over the last few weeks with Nikon-USA customer support, it’s apparent to me that:

      (1) all the customer support reps I have spoken to on the phone or exchanged messages with aware of the D800/E PDAF defects—not just the asymmetric problem, but others as well—and have been instructed not to offer their own opinions and instead just to gather information from customers;

      (2) the customer support people at Nikon-USA are waiting for a response from some engineering group in Japan about what is (are) the cause(s) of the problem(s), and for an authoritative remedial procedure;

      (3) some group in Japan is taking the D800/E PDAF issue(s) seriously, since I have twice been asked to submit sample image files and told, both times, that they have been forwarded to Japan.

      I’m as irritated as any D800 owner (an “E” model, in my case) that Nikon hasn’t made any public announcement about what obviously is a fairly common problem. Having said that, if the company’s engineering people are indeed still trying to figure out what went wrong with the defective cameras, I can understand the official reluctance to say too much—in other words, to avoid saying something that turns out, upon further analysis, to be incorrect.

      The obvious solution would be to acknowledge that there is a problem, explain that its cause isn’t understood yet, and reassure all afflicted customers that Nikon accepts responsibility for resolving it. I personally am confident the company will eventually repair the defective D800/E cameras. But a little transparency would sure go a long way to reassuring everyone.

      Unfortunately, that kind of candor doesn’t appear to be corporate Nikon’s approach to doing things.

      In the meantime, my own interactions with the customer support people in the United States certainly suggest that they are doing the best they can under what are for them, I’m sure, rather awkward circumstances.


  77. 77) Grant
    September 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Maybe it is about time that it is assumed that focussing issues are the norm for the D800 rather than the exception?

    How many people out there have tested their D800 closely and have no issues?

    A Nikon reviewer complained well before the D800 came out that he thought the AF was poor on the F1.4 lenses.

    It is possible that the release of the D800 is just showing a previous pre-existing issue, either alone or with a newly acquired one.

    Surely if it is a manufacturing quality issue then some cameras will have this issue while other’s won’t. If it is a general issue then really ALL D800 cameras should have a similar issue but still not sure that this is the case.

    • 77.1) Jorge Balarin
      September 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      Please Grant, are you going to deny the holocaust now ? Everywhere when I see two D800, one of them has an autofocus problem. Greetings.

      • 77.1.1) Grant
        September 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm

        I do believe in the holocaust. I see evidence of it all over this thread…

      • 77.1.2) Izidor Varda
        September 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm

        As a direct descendant of one of the Holocaust victims, I find your commentary offensive.

        Comparing something of historic significance like a Holocaust with a camera issue is bordering on idiotic.

        And by the way it’s spelled with capital H, you ignorant moron.

        • Grant
          September 22, 2012 at 9:01 am

          I do have some feelings about the event spelt with a capital ‘H’ and have even found myself vigorously defending people who do seriously deny it ever happened but please don’t politicise something that wasn’t intended to be political.

          If I have offended you though frankly I don’t really care, it says more about you than me.

          Honestly just stick to the topic or hang out somewhere else.

        • Grant
          September 22, 2012 at 9:02 am

          I think you are the moron buddy.

          This isn’t a political thread. If you think it is then piss off…

          • Mock Kenwell
            September 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm

            I don’t believe Izidor’s post was directed at you Grant but Jorge.

            • Jorge Balarin
              September 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm

              Hey Mock ! Do you have something against Latinos ? Greetings, Jorge.

            • Mock Kenwell
              September 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm

              Jorge, you silly boy.
              Time to shut your face, you said enough already.

            • Jorge Balarin
              September 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm

              Don’t worry Mock, I forgive you. I think that before writing your post number 284 you didn’t read my post number 282, that it was written even before my post number 283. Now it is your turn to apologize, as I did it. Greetings, Jorge.

            • Jorge Balarin
              September 23, 2012 at 4:44 pm

              And one more thing Mock. I hope you noticed that I never insulted anybody, and that I never answered an insult with another insult. Greetings, Jorge.

        • Jorge Balarin
          September 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

          Izidor, you lack sense of proportion. Nobody compared the Holocaust with the D800 problems, the Massacre of Sabra and Shatila, or other crimes against humanity that happened and continue to happen until today. My commentary was clearly done to signal the “deny of reality” (something that really hurts the victims of any real crime), so your observation has not sense, and your insults are completely pointless. Greetings, Jorge.

          • Don
            September 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

            Great post as usual Jorge. If you want to talk about a living Holocaust, how about what is happening the Palestinians in Israel or the blacks in the US. The list continues. So every time someone says something against Israel, the H word or A-S words (anti-Semitic) are thrown around. Time for everyone in the world to grow up a bit more I imagine.

        • Mock Kenwell
          September 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

          I could understand how the comment from Jorge rubbed you the wrong way, Izidor.

          He made an off-the-cuff comment using inapropriate comparison and should have done better, by thinking before opening his mouth, but that’s what it is – just a commentary and I don’t believe he meant creating a reply with direct politcal references and conotations to insult either Holocous or its victims.

          To all – this is a photography/camera forum so please let’s stick to to it for what it is and leave politics and political references out if possible, please.

          • Jorge Balarin
            September 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm

            Hi Mock,

            I agree with this part of what you said: “I don’t believe he meant creating a reply with direct politcal references and conotations to insult either Holocous or its victims” (not at all)”. Anyway, if somebody felt his feelings hurt – as it is Izidor case – I apologized. Now we can go on, and talk about photography. Greetings, Jorge.

  78. 78) Don
    September 22, 2012 at 12:50 am

    I told you Nasim that mentioning the D800 problems would open up a can of hurt. Please close and delete this thread.

    • 78.1) UncleDusty
      September 22, 2012 at 8:53 am

      The title of this column: “Nikon D800 / D800E Asymmetric Focus Issue”

      “This has to be the biggest whiner post of the entire thread. 100%. Get two things. First being a clue and the second being a life…”

      This shouldn’t hurt if you’ve never owned a D800, or unless two idiots insulting each other on the same side of an argument is hurtful to you. You’ve downplayed D800 problems on this forum for quite some time. You’ve also been rather vocal about people substantiating their claims. Why don’t you provide us with some test shots you’ve taken with D800s and wide, fast lenses?

      • 78.1.1) Don
        September 22, 2012 at 9:05 am

        Is reading also one of your problems? I have said from the very beginning that while I DO NOT HAVE A D800 (I have a D4) the outrageous number of supposed defects have been inflated. Considering I work along side a few D800 shooting pros, none of them have the issues that some here are having. That could mean the following: Not as many are having the problem as some are saying or some are so inept with the handling of their cameras that they are creating problems where none exist. I will say again, as you seem to have missed it, that there are probably some issues with the D800 AF. I know the the D4 had the issue of not shutting off when told to via the power switch, but the shear wringing of hands, and whining, yes I said it again is unprecedented. And yes, I was correct when I wrote Nasim and advised him against posting this.

        • Adam
          September 22, 2012 at 9:15 am


  79. 79) UncleDusty
    September 22, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Is deductive reasoning also one of your problems?

    “That could mean the following: Not as many are having the problem as some are saying or some are so inept with the handling of their cameras that they are creating problems where none exist”
    Oh, is that all it could mean???

    That could also mean that most of them are affected but not tested with wide fast lenses (or even tested).
    It could also mean that the shooting pros you work along side don’t shoot under the conditions where the issue isn’t present or pronounced. Can you provide us with test shots from the pros you shoot along side? Have they even tested for the issue?

    • 79.1) Don
      September 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Yeah, I’l get right on that just for you…I’ll ask my friends to run some tests just for you. Please wait for them mkay? Again, and I promise to go slowly this time. I never once said that there are no AF issues with the D800. If you can find a post by me stating this, please, please post it. I simply said that I do not think that it is as wide spread as some in this thread have made it out to be. Considering my friends are sports shooters, wedding shooters, and landscape shooters, I would say that they have used their cameras under several conditions that would yield adverse effects…

  80. 80) Jorge Balarin
    September 22, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Dear Don,

    Nasim and the “Manzurovs” web page staff experienced the D800 problems personally. Recently I went to a place that rent cameras in Vienna. They have two D800, and the two are now in a Nikon center waiting to be repaired. The duty of Nasim is to give unbiased information to the photo community. It would not be correct that Nasim didn’t talk about a real issue, that certainly is affecting a lot of people. Greetings, Jorge.

  81. 81) Harry
    September 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    This thread is getting incredible. Incredibly heated. I hope Nikon is feeling the same heat. No it’s not.

    Here’s some latest info from Photokina 2012

    If the info there and the majority opinion of this thread are true, the only conclusion would be that repair procedures have not propagated globally.

  82. 82) Don
    September 25, 2012 at 8:57 am
    • 82.1) UncleDusty
      September 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Glad you see your no D800 having, “I have friends with D800s” claiming self is sticking around to try to have this thread closed. You’ve provided absolutely no facts or test results for your arguments. You are by definition a fan boy-troll (read the title of this column).

      Your comment demonstrates your lack of understanding with respect to journalism (not to mention your excessive use of ‘…’ in place of proper punctuation is getting old). Because Nikon Rumors, a completely unaffiliated rumors site to, has a write-up of how an unnamed Nikon rep was dodgy with Falk Lume about details of the issue, but acknowledged some. “Nikon has acknowledged, found and understood the root cause of the issue. It has been eliminated in the current production (however, I guess we’ll never know when and from which serial numbers on)”, is a prime example. What, about that post on, gives merit to closing the thread on I’ll stand corrected if you can logically explain why this thread would need to be closed as a result of the link you provided.

      Nikon has not publicly acknowledged the issue; furthermore, according to the link you provided, they know which serial numbers HAVE NOT been affected and have not made those public to date. With that being said, how could anyone believe that, “Despite all oddities, the so-called service-rate of the D800 is unremarkable and only “sligthly increased” (compared to other camera models)”?

      By the way, where are the test photos you said you’d have your photographer friends take for me, or were you just flexing, again?

      • 82.1.1) Don
        September 25, 2012 at 10:35 am

        I’m sorry, your serial whining lulled me to sleep… Did you say anything important that I missed? No? Same old you.

        Your statement: “By the way, where are the test photos you said you’d have your photographer friends take for me, or were you just flexing, again?”

        In reply to my statement: “Yeah, I’l get right on that just for you…I’ll ask my friends to run some tests just for you. Please wait for them mkay?”

        Do I really need to explain it to you or are you being obtuse on purpose?

  83. 83) UncleDusty
    September 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Please do explain it. I’d love to see some hard evidence to back the statements and taunts you’ve made. Otherwise, we’ll all just think you don’t have any friends with perfectly functioning D800s. If there is something that you’d like to call in question about the posts I’ve made, I’ll be glad to provide proof to back them.

    #107 – “IT’S FIXED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just read this on Ming’s blog:

    Now we can move on to shooting photos again…”

    Spoke too soon. Proof? Nah, just more rumors.

    #166 – “I wonder how many people who have no problems are coming here to report that their camera is just fine. I have found that the Internet is great at exaggerating and expanding upon a relatively small issue. Small in the fact that Nikon Norway stated that out of 500 cameras sent in for repair only 4 had the AF error. That is less than 1%. I am sure that it is more annoying that a problem, especially when it is your camera but at the end of the day Nikon is going to fix the problem. People seem to forget that there were earthquakes, massive floods, and a few other nasty things going on that affected QC but in the end Nikon is going to make good. In my opinion an equally big issue is the fact that they will not come clean and admit fault.”

    Do you have copy of Nikon Norway’s statement that claims only 4 out of the 500 sent in to them actually had the AF error to post, or is that another “friend” that told you about it?

    #168 – “I absolutely do not believe this. You are saying Nikon is picking and choosing? Sorry but no sale. I will say this, some people have legitimate issues, some think they do because the Internet says they do, and some like to complain because this is the air they breathe. I am sure Nikon wants this to go away as quickly as possible so for you to say they are not helping, or fixing some and not others is misguided and well wrong. Also, I was told by a Nikon friend that they are relocating a repair plant in the US which might be the reason for the delay. Maybe Nasim can shed more light on this. Either way, your statement (IN MY OPINION) are wrong and just feeds the Internet fire of misinformation.”

    You have no proof that they’re correctly adjusting all D800s when sent in for service. You’ve never sent one in, because you’ve never owned one. I sent mine in twice, then sued Nikon because it came back with bad left AF both times.

    #239 – “50%? Back this up with a number that you didn’t pull out of your 4th point of contact. I call BS on your 50% number until you can post a link from a reliable source validating your FUD…”

    Can you provide a link from a reliable source that validates your claim that it is less than 50%? If not, you can call just as much BS on yourself.

    #248 – “This has to be the biggest whiner post of the entire thread. 100%. Get two things. First being a clue and the second being a life…”

    …taunting someone expressing their frustration from bad units when you don’t own a D800 or never have here. Read #248 over and over to yourself and take it to heart.

    #287 –

    Can we close this thread now…”

    What about the above link makes you think this thread should be closed?

    • 83.1) Adam
      September 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      Falk Lume’s unofficial talk with Nikon employees is interesting, but not for its ostensible theme (“nothing to see here, move along”).

      * Nikon doesn’t name “the” safe serial number, or the date when the spigot of bad bodies was turned off. That’s either highly irresponsible, or there is no such number/date.

      * AF asymmetry is only one issue. My first D800E had nasty asymmetry. The second was symmetrical, but left/right points were badly backfocused relative to the center point.

      * This is either an outright lie, or a deception: “Despite all oddities, the so-called service-rate of the D800 is unremarkable and only ‘sligthly increased'”. An outright lie if they know otherwise, or a deception, since there are an unknown number of bad bodies in the hands of unaware owners: “Nikon does actually not know how many D800 of the early batches have been affected.”

      * The assertion that what works for a 12 MP camera is good enough for a 36 MP camera is just sad: “Such are accuracy values as found in other cameras (e.g., D3). According to Nikon, we shall expect the same (or better) for freshly produced batches of D800 from Nikon, or for D800 now being calibrated in service.”

      * Finally, all of my observations are CRAP, because Nikon isn’t on the record with any of this. A couple of guys yapping at a trade show means nothing at all.

    • 83.2) Don
      September 25, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      I feel honored in a way to have my own personal stalker. I am flattered. However as you asked me to explain it to you I will…

      My statement: “Yeah, I’l get right on that just for you…I’ll ask my friends to run some tests just for you. Please wait for them mkay?” Is what someone would call sarcasm. It was obviously lost on you. Not sure why. Maybe because you don’t seem to have much of a life or or you’ve lost it trolling the Nikon sites looking for that elusive nugget so AF grail. Then again my original assertions about that whole obtuse thing about could be true. Only your therapist knows. As for your second statement: “Otherwise, we’ll all just think you don’t have any friends with perfectly functioning D800s.” Here, I think your visions of grandeur may have gotten the best of you as you’ve now take the weight of the entire AF world on your shoulders and you alone are the artier of what is and is not true. You would be a psyche interns delight. However, I can clear this up for you. Obviously somewhere along the way, I’ve given you the impression that I care about what you or any other anonymous person on this site thinks. For this I have to apologise and I will say here and now that your opinion matters to me about as much as that of a toilet bug…In the future, I will do my best to never give you the impression that anything you say matters one iota to me. As for asking my friends to provide proof that their D800’s are fully functional to an anon individual who seems to spend more time trolling the Internet than shooting, and who might not actually even own a D800 but loves to be part of the crowd, again, “yeah, I’ll get right on that”. <– Because you get confused quite easily, please note the last phrase was sarcasm.

      Are we clear now?

      Oh, don't expect me to sit by the keyboard and answer right away. I tend to have a life and things to do. Unlike you my existence isn't linked to an online persona…

    • 83.3) Mock Kenwell
      September 26, 2012 at 2:55 am

      You should get out more…

    • 83.4) Pablo Ricasso
      September 26, 2012 at 3:01 am

      “What about the above link makes you think this thread should be closed?”

      And what makes you think it should stay open? Is it so you can indefinitely keep blabbing and preaching to others on this topic?

      Honestly, get a life!

      • 83.4.1) UncleDusty
        September 26, 2012 at 7:51 am

        I think the thread should be closed when Nikon publicly addresses the issue, ensures us that they have replaced the inventory of possibly affected bodies being sold by their Authorized Dealers, and/or when Nasim deems it necessary.

        I don’t think this thread about the issue should be closed because non-affiliated third parties to Nikon make claim that there is actually a fix.

        Again, why should it be closed?

        • Don
          September 26, 2012 at 10:31 am

          Are you speaking for “everyone” again????

          • Andrew
            September 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

            It certailnly feels like it.
            Who’s willing to bet Don will soon start his own blog on ‘all things D800 AF”?


            • Don
              September 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

              Your post makes no sense, but what else is new.

              Anyway, I’ll take that bet. If I don’t start a blog, do you promise to get a life?

            • Andrew
              September 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm

              Sorry Don, a typo. The post was meant for Uncle dusty, not you. That’s why it meant no sense.

              It should have stated: “Who’s willing to bet Uncle Dusty will soon start his own blog on ‘all things D800 AF”?

              Just as you (and I’m sure many others here) I also am fed up of this constant preaching by two loud mouths here, Uncle dusty and Jorge.


            • Don
              September 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm

              Roger that Drew, but you are wrong. I love the constant bloviations and pontifications the the AF Guru. This is the best free entertainment on the net. Let him drone on and on. Clearly having a life isn’t something he’s interested it. Only Nikon bowing the the will of the Dusty-One… This is all that matters… :)

            • Jorge Balarin
              September 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

              Hi Andrew,

              I think you must be happy that there are some loud mouths around. when nobody says nothing about a commercial mistreatment, the bad practices are going to rule, and one day you could be a victim. I love the Nikon products that I paid for, but I want them to work properly. After all they are not so cheap. Greetings, Jorge.

          • Stephen Rooney
            September 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

            He would like us to think so. :)

            The guy’s spending far too much time on replying and combing thru other people’s posts than actually shooting and enjoying photography as a hoby.

            That’s my view anyway, after reading this thread.

            • Don
              September 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm

              Game, set, match: Stephen Rooney

  84. 84) photog_pete
    September 26, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I vote that the thread should stay open.

    My D800, serial number 30415xx is still in the Melville service point. It was sent in for a Right Side focus problem and remains “in shop” after 3 days. This is not one of the ‘unacknowledged by Nikon’, 3 hour AF reprogramming services or else it would have arrived back to me by now because I live close enough to Melville that UPS Ground is the same as overnight shipping.

    The D800 focus problems are greater than the earliest indicators of Left Side faulty AF.

    August 27th commentary at Thom Hogan’s website, this is in the ‘Archived 2012 link’ on his front page, at the bottom. He says “The interesting thing is this: I’ve now found three sources of data in addition to my own that all suggest that the number of early D800’s with problems, imagined or real, was well above 20%, and probably more like 33%. ”

    You can read for yourself if you like at

    For those who don’t already know, Thom Hogan writes Nikon manuals and maintains a website strictly devoted to all things Nikon.

    33 percent, in my opinion, is probably a real world number. And I am sure that Nikon’s service/repair incidence of the D700 to which it is sometimes compared as a reference was far lower.

    UncleDusty, thanks for running interference on this running dialog for those who have a legitimate D800 AF problem, In Fact.

    • 84.1) Jorge Balarin
      September 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      I agree with you Pete.

    • 84.2) Don
      September 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      What purpose does keeping it open other than serving as a one-click bookmark to the D800 AF Serial Whiners Club? The point has been made clear. Nikon isn’t going to post an apology but will fix your camera. Get over it.

  85. 85) Geoff_K
    October 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Am I expecting too much from the Nikon D800E ?

    This is my 4th one, from 2 different suppliers. Nikon Store and BestBuy.

    Is this as good as it gets ? SN 3005xxx

  86. 86) Geoff_K
    October 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Link did not post, maybe I cannot post one … if not apologies for trying.

    • October 1, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      Did you try a few other lenses? This is a bit off. I would be interested to see if this performance was repeated for your other lenses.

  87. 87) Geoff_K
    October 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    I did just now. I used a Sigma 50mm macro at F3 1/640th and the results are the same. WAY softer on left, somewhat softer on right, sharp as nails in middle.

    UGH … I told my wife this was my last one until 2013. I will be calling to get an RMA and send it back. I am not happy the REP at the Nikon Store …… lets say mislead me … I specifically asked what SN they were on. She told me they were shipping a much higher SN than I was sent.

    I would NOT have ordered had she told me correctly and she knew that. I was very specific about the SN issue.

    I guess I wont own a FF this year. I am uncertain I will order another one. I am 0-4 on them with THIS problem.

  88. 88) Lhowhang
    October 6, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Just want to share my D800 with the Leftfocusis Disease, which I sent to Melville Health Center that has to be readmitted twice and had some complication as well.

    I found out that my D800 had the left focus problem. Keep in mind that the center and right focus are spot on. Nikon asked me to send it to Melville Service Center. It was fixed with Category B1 repair. When my unit came back, they did fixed the left focus, unfortunately it migrated to the center focus. I was asked to send it back for the second time. THis time it was a category B2 repair. When my unit came back just this week it still has the center focus problem and to make matters worst it now has a shutter issue on live view. The tech support could distinctly hear the shutter anomaly over the phone. So now they are asking me to send it back for the third time for the center and shutter abnormality. Btw, the first time I complained after the second fix they told me it might be the lens and I might need to send it back. I told them that how come I have a problem with lens now since this was working fine with my D700 and prior to the first fix of my D800. They sent me a shipping label last Wednesday and I sent my D800 back to Melville for the “THIRD” time.

  89. 89) Geoff_K
    October 6, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Lhowhang, I am sorry to hear about the repeated repairs and their inability to repair your camera. This is why I have sent back 4 D800E’s instead of turning one in for repair.

    I hope they get it fixed THIS time. It might make me keep the next one I order (wont be until late November that I even bother looking, if then) and send it in for repair.

    Please keep us posted on this.

  90. 90) Lhowhang
    October 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Nikon won’t replace my unit.

    • 90.1) Geoff_K
      October 7, 2012 at 8:16 am

      I sincerely hope they get yours and everyone else’s repaired PROPERLY. This will give me the incentive to try another and send it in for the tweak instead of returning it. I do not want to get caught up in the repair void.

  91. 91) Lhowhang
    October 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    So far I have read some repair success when units were sent to El Segundo at first attempt, I still have to read a successful repair from Melville.

  92. 92) Lhowhang
    October 9, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Just got an update on my cam. It’s a category B2 Repair again (Moderate Repair / MAJOR PARTS REPLACED). Major parts to be replaced again? aheheheheheh. Thank you Nikon.

  93. 93) Robert Helms
    October 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I am considering upgrading from a D7000 (AF fixed) to either a D800E or D600. I shoot primarily architecture and landscape. Has Nikon actually fixed the asymmetric focus problem or are they still studying it? I have no burning need to upgrade but the extra resolution would be nice.

  94. 94) steve
    October 10, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    this thread is still going on. hello everyone!
    i just wanted to share with you my experience. I pre orderd D800, wait for a few months and of course i’ve got bad one so I returned it for the refund. I was waiting until end of August and I decided try local shop which was roberts in indiana because i had a wedding coming. I tested it for a couple of hours using all proven methods and guess what? It was good. All I wanted to tell you is, there is two types of D800s out there either good ones and bad ones. And it is not seems any related with serial numbers. so, good luck to find one for yourself.

  95. 95) Statler
    October 12, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Nassim thank you for posting this article, it turns out that my D800E has the autofocus issue. Nikon in the Netherlands is very supportive and offers a complete repair of the issue. Brought in the camera today and Nikon confirmed after some tests that it indeed had the autofocus issue. The camera is being repaired and should have it back in one week’s time. If you really want to have a comprehensive outline of the issue and its fix I strongly recommend everybody to read the following blog

  96. 96) Faz
    October 13, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Hi Everyone,

    Can anyone confirm if this asymmetric focus issue has been resolved by Nikon?
    I mean the new lot has this issue or not? manufacturing date or import date should be checked?

  97. 97) Lhowhang
    October 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I believe the new units comming out are free of this issue. What serial numbers might be a mystery.

    • 97.1) Faz
      October 27, 2012 at 3:07 am

      @Nasim – Can you please if we need to check the serial number before buying one? I inquired with the distributor and he has confirmed the date of import as Sept 2012. Would this lot have the lssue?
      Thanks in advance.

      • 97.1.1) Keko_Aussie
        October 27, 2012 at 3:15 am

        Faz, you should be OK. I have spoken to Nikon contact from the Australian distributor who told me that from Mid August onward every D800/800E made in their factory in Japan now undergoes a separate QC for A/F before it gets boxed up for shipping.

        Mine arrived late August and its perfect. Tested on Nikkor ‘holy trinity’ of lenses as well as 4 primes and 300 f/2.8 telephoto zoom.
        Rest assured yours should be good as well.

        • Zoki Zorule
          October 27, 2012 at 3:19 am

          Thanks for an update Keko, good to know this has now been taken care of, properly – during the production stage rather than post-retail stage, when is all a little bit too hard and ‘late’ to deal with..

          • Faz
            October 27, 2012 at 3:42 am

            Thanks Keko for the update. I second Zoki. It is very difficult to deal post purchase.
            Thanks again

            • Faz
              October 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

              I just bought the D800, import date Sept 2012, Packing date Sept 2012. Will carry out the test soon and update you all.
              The serial no is 302XXXX. I am excited and worried at the same time.

      • 97.1.2) Faz
        October 28, 2012 at 6:33 am

        Hi Nasim,
        I tried performing the auto focus issue test. And i am unable to confirm if my d800 has the issue or not. I have 50mm 1.8D lens and dont have any other FX lenses. Would the auto focus test work with this setup?

        Also, the images in LCD display are much brighter than the one i transfer to the computer. What could be the reason?

  98. 98) Phuc
    October 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

    My 2 D800 are fixed by Nikon El Segundo on 2nd attempt. They adjusted the mirror angle this time and I think this is the key to get the focus right. I’ve been shooting with all the focus points on the upper row from left to right on all my lenses (24G, 35G, sigma 50, sigma 85, 70-200 VR II) and none seem to need any fine tune. Very happy D800 now.

    157) Phuc
    July 25, 2012 at 11:29 am
    My 2 D800s are ready for pick up at El Segundo. Dropped off on the 17th.

  99. 99) Doru
    October 25, 2012 at 2:55 am


    After 2 Nikon D800 with left focus problem, i have sold them. I need a full frame camera and i think i will buy a Nikon D4.
    Do you have any information if the problem with autofocus have been solved on the new delivery camera?

  100. 100) Faz
    October 28, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I have just noticed that another issue with the images. When i zoom to 100 %, i see one star shaped mark in the image. if the background is completely black, then the star shape is quite visible. What is the reason? Did anyone face this issue? Guys please respond.Thanks

  101. 101) Adam
    October 28, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Faz, nobody can help you without image samples. Why don’t you post a link here?

  102. 102) Lhowhang
    November 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Here is an update from the question that I have been asking tech support which has been elevated to the ESCALATION TEAM. The question was based on Nikon’Warranty which states.

    “This Nikon Digital Imaging Product is warranted by Nikon, Inc. to be free from defects in material and
    workmanship for one (1) year from the date of purchase.
    During this period if this product is found to be defective in material or workmanship, Nikon Inc, or one its
    authorized service facilities will at its option, either repair or replace this Product without charge”

    The questions were simple and it goes like this.
    1. What is their definition of DEFECTIVE?
    2.How many times should the unit be sent for repair before Nikon replaces the unit.

    Escalation Team Answer . From a certain Mr. Brian
    1. They don’t have a written policy about both questions.
    2.It is a case to case basis. When asked in what case,,, I was just answered it’s a case to case basis.
    3.We are sorry, we understand you frustration.
    4. I can’t replace your unit, I will forward your request for replacement.

  103. 103) Lhowhang
    November 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

    After talking with the Escalation Team I received a heart warming love letter.

    They were sorry to hear that I continue to be dissatisfeid with the performance of my D800 camera. They were sure that this is not a situation I want to be in and they certainly don’t want me to be unhappy.

    At this point there is nothing that they can do until I return the camera. They will personally check it to determine what the issue could be. Since it was within standards when it left last time something else must be going on. They said they even request one of my lenses to be tested, too.

    This time this came from a Sr. General Manager, Customer Experience

    “it was within standards when it left last time something else must be going on.”

    How come you have to repair my cam three time, lol. These people are really very nice.

  104. 104) Harry
    November 3, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Hi Lhowhang, Phuc, et. al., I really appreciate your keeping us posted. Please continue to do so. I’m one f those who preordered my D800E a few hours after the announcement. I have tested it as soon as I got it and the left focus point is obviously off with the 28mm f/1.8. I have not sent it to repair for fear that they’ll mess it up and make even the center focus point blurry, which can happen according to some reports. I need the camera and can’t afford that kind of down time. Again, I really appreciate your posting the progress on your camera repair.

    Very good news from Phuc regarding repair at El Segundo. That’s where my D800E will be when I send it in. I wonder if Nikon is still trying to avoid performing mirror angle adjustment like a plague, so a customer will *necessarily* have to come back twice to get it fixed. So Nikon still might be part of the hideous industrial practice of deliberately frustrating people seeking repair, so those among them with less perseverance will give up. But Phuc’s is really good news compared to almost no good news previously.

  105. 105) YM
    December 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Any idea about current status on this problem in newly shipped D800/D800E?


  106. 106) Daniel
    December 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Just purchased the D800e from B&H Photo on Dec. 3rd. U.S. Serial # is: 30095xx. Will test thoroughly when I receive on Wed. The B&H sales rep assured me that defective stock has been pulled from inventory and replaced with properly calibrated units. I’m banking on the fact that B&H blows through a ton of cameras per month – so I’m relatively confident that I’m getting a newer batch (and until proven otherwise, will take B&H at their word). Of course, this is just one retailer and one product sample.

    My personal testing aside, I’m still reading about sporadic focus issues on newer units, although I would guess some of these should be framed up within the context of user error and/or testing using sub-par lenses. We’ll see.

    I still have great faith in Nikon, although I hope they take 2013 as an opportunity to re-tool corporate priorities around redundant quality assurance, product integrity, customer service and damage control. In this viral Internet age, any product deficiency or perceived lack of an honest and immediate response to a real or perceived issue, can send ripples across global markets for months or even years. Just the fact that we’re still talking about this (and worrying about this) in December is a testament to the collateral damage that’s already been done.

    • 106.1) Geoff_K
      December 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      mine with SV 30089xx seems to be ok. The outer are not quite as tack sharp as the center, though i do not expect them to be. the other 4 i returned were terribly soft on the left. I am keeping this one.

      • 106.1.1) Drazen B.
        December 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm

        Returned 4 times?! Good God…:(
        I’m surprised you stuck with the model in the end after all that pain. It must have been frustrating to heck.

        Anyway, the softness you still see in the corners may not be related to your D800 but lenses you’re using.
        I would strongly advise if you don’t already own then to borrow now infamous Nikon 85mm f1.4G which is tack sharp edge to edge at most apertures, and test again.
        I’ve done this myself, my 50mm f/1.8 was showing signs of softness at the frame edges and corners on my D800 but the 85mm f/1.4 I borrowed from a friend showed constant sharpness across the frame for f-stops of 1.8 and higher.

  107. 107) Daniel
    December 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    So, I’m pleased to report that my new D800e (purchased from B&H Photo on Dec. 3rd. U.S. Serial # is: 30095xx) appears to be properly calibrated. Tested using a 24-70mm and 35mm f/1.4 Tested using focus charts (Live View and Contrast Detection), against a brick wall, and even in a real-world scenario on a person’s eye – and I’m not seeing anything major.

    As others have suggested, the outer points are not as tack sharp as the center, but that’s to be expected. I may have to fine-tune focus my lenses as Nasim suggests – which is now needed given the 36MP. So now I can sleep easy and actually feel somewhat good about my purchase (that is, until the oil slick appears on my sensor, lol).

    • 107.1) Drazen B.
      December 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Great to know all is good with your D800 Dan.

      Funny how Nikon serial numbering works for different World markets. I bought mine in August, ser number 80181XX. :-)

      Enjoy this wonderful tool.

      • 107.1.1) Mahan
        December 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        The first digit in the serial number indicates which country the product is for. you should look at the rest to figure out how recent it is.

        • Drazen B.
          December 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm

          Yup, most of us figured out that much ;)

          • Mahan
            December 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm


  108. 108) Daniel
    December 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    OK, I spoke too prematurely. I had recently posted that my new batch D800e passed the left focus point test, which it did. But after further review, I have come to the conclusion that the focus points outside of center are very soft. Truth be told, I’m almost offended at the idea of having to fine-tune my pro glass on a $3,200 camera – and I’m just not convinced that the focus system comes anywhere close to my previous D3s.

    And if that weren’t enough, my LCD has the dreaded green tint issue. Sure, Nikon engineers can tell me it’s more color-realistic, but my eyes tell me otherwise. Call me a hack amateur, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I use the camera LCD to guestimate white balance and color rendition – even knowing that NEFs on my color-managed monitor will be more accurate.

    Aside from that, the build quality (such as the flimsy battery door) gives me pause. But mostly (and I’m probably in the minority here), I’m just not that impressed with the IQ (although I do give them props for the expanded DR).

    Sure, 36MP is awesome for aggressive cropping and mega-monster print sizes – but at what price? Hit or miss focus? Not so great handholding in lower light? Metering that seems to require -1 EV dialed in to prevent highlight clipping? Oil slicks on the sensor? If you ask me, the D800 is a brilliant idea that was poorly executed – further compounded by lackluster quality assurance. Never before have I had to send a camera back – and never before have I felt so sorely disappointed by the quality coming out of Nikon as of late. I can’t knock those who have had a good experience with the D800 – I’m just not feeling the love.

    • 108.1) Mahan
      December 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      The new LCD screen IS in fact more accurate, check it for yourself in a color managed monitor! and oil slick on the sensor is not related to D800 it is a D600 issue. finally, if you are noy happy with the IQ your solution is moving up to medium format but wait those are not great in low light handholding situation!
      D800 is a great camera…I have one of the units with left focus issue….but if you shoot at f5.6 above you dont even see it. plus you can always lock and change the focus point as long as the center is shap
      Focus issue in some of the units is the only problem with this camera….I suppose it is a matter of time for Nikon to fix it….
      It can be annoying as it has been for me but you have to be fair in evaluating the camera.

      • 108.1.1) Daniel
        December 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm

        Mahan, I have a color managed monitor and what you’re saying may be true, but it is disconcerting to see a green image on your LCD. Green eggs and ham still tastes like eggs and ham, but it can make you nauseous eating it, lol. As for the oil issue, this is a reported problem on both models, although the D600 is more widespread. As for your logic, I respectfully don’t get it. Why limit yourself to f/5.6 and above? And while aggressive crop does allow you to use center focus more casually, I have always come from the school of crop and compose in-camera. That being said, I think it is completely unaaceptable to spend $3,200 on something with this major focus issue. That’s not to say that the camera isn’t capable of producing outstanding images, because it is…and that’s not to say that others aren’t completely smitten with their purchase, because I know they are. I just happened to be one of those folks who was disappointed, that’s all. Trust me, I did go into my purchase with an open mind. Heck, I was so confident in fact, I sold my D3s. But in the end, I just couldn’t ignore what I was seeing and how I was feeling.

        • Mahan
          December 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

          I know, it is disappointing to have a camera with focus issue I have had 3! but I commented because it seemed that you were upset because of the focus issue but then bashed the camera in every other aspect.
          As for the f5.6 comment, I agree the camera should be perfect out of the box but for the time there is no fix for it, if you know your camera, you can get away with so many potential problems. If you don’t shoot wide open… if you use centre focus….
          (Ps: 1) I did say nothing about aggressive cropping, I said focus-recompose and lock the focus, 2) In none of my 3 bodies have I had the oil sensor issue 3) remember the first time you color managed your monitor every color looked wrong!)
          In my case, after going through 3 bodies I think D600 is the next best solution…D800 focus issue is more like the peafowl feet!

        • Robert
          December 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

          I have been following this thread for some time and your post raised a critical question: does the 800e have a problem with the left side being out of focus even if the rest of the image is sharp? Let us assume that both center and left side are on the same plane (distance from camera) and that I use a center spot for focus, would the left side be in focus as well or could it be marginally out of focus? If the left side could be out-of-focus in this situation, it seems to me that the camera is close to worthless as there is no workaround (other than extreme cropping) to get all of the image in focus. So is this an autofocus issue that affects just those images composed with and using select autofocus points or is it a differential focus issue?

          • Daniel
            December 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

            I don’t think so. All things being equal (using the scenario you have outlined), as long as you are on the same focus plane and completely parallel/squared up to both, I would think they should both be in similar focus – although other focus issues start to creep in when you push away from center (especially issues that are inherent in most lenses), such as soft corners and vignetting, just to name a few.

            That being said, I think the D800 focus issue is not a differential one as you suggest, but limited to using select autofocus points that were improperly focus calibrated in production. In my testing, I didn’t find anything to suggest a gross misalignment on the left side, although I did observe that many of the focus points outside of center were unacceptably soft when testing with my pro glass. I have never had to fine tune my lenses before, so I’m sure this could have helped proportionally tweak overall performance across all focus points, although it wouldn’t have help had I found the dreaded left focus issue.

  109. 109) Grant
    December 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I sold a D300 to get a Canon 5D1. I was then in the Canon Camp and had got a few lenses by then so ultimately went to the 5D3 but not without first angsting and nearly buying the D800. It was a close miss!

    The 5D3 they put a large amount of work into focus accuracy although it does require the newest lenses to get the full benefit. Basically very good attention to details that matter and virtually no issues on a new camera which is a pretty remarkable achievement.

    Nikon does need to have a good look at what they are doing. How are Nikon owners going to feel about their next flagship upgrade to the D800? I am guessing a lot will wait a good six months at least to wait and see. I would.

    Nikon have some work to do to restore trust. These cameras are used by well funded amateurs and people who use them to make money and both groups are really, really fussy about all aspects of the camera performance.

    • 109.1) Pablo Ricasso
      December 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      I bet you now wish you waited and bought the D800 in the end, once the AF issues got addressed during the production stage.

      Don’t get me wrong, 5D Mark III is a nice camera, but it sure ain’t in D800’s class, sorry.

      • 109.1.1) Andrew
        December 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm

        I will have to agree with you on this one.

        The online and magazine reviews place both cameras very close, however those reviews tend to be of a ‘balanced’ kind, addressing only some of the camera’s aspects that seem to fit the general review style.

  110. 110) Kit G.
    January 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    The question remains, has Nikon corrected the D800 in production, and if so, when will these “clean” units be available for purchase in the US?

    • January 22, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      I wish I could answer this one, but I can’t. We don’t see the same level of incidents reported as we did early in first wave or two of D800 customer shipments. But without any specifics from Nikon, we are all left wondering. I wouldn’t buy a used D800, however, since unless you could validate its focus accuracy and return it if it proved to have this issue, you could be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

      • 110.1.1) Kit G.
        January 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        Bob, thanks for your reply. Because this issue is so prevalent on this board and others, and because I have not read anywhere that Nikon has corrected the defect causing the focus issue, I am going to stay with my D3 until I hear otherwise. Thanks to you and other for the sage guidance.

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          January 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm

          I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a new D800, but I would recommend that you use the techniques Nasim and I described to quickly test it so that you could return it within the 30 day window if it turns out that you had an issue.
          Your response illustrates perfectly the issue with Nikon’s handling of the situation – it introduces doubt in customers’ minds.
          That said, I love my D800 and think it is a great camera. It is such a shame that Nikon didn’t handle the issue better and reassure customers.

          • Faisal` .
            January 27, 2013 at 12:30 am

            Thanks for all the efforts you guys have been putting into helping people to better understand the issue and handle the situation of bad AF on the D800 units. I am in the same boat and have been planning to upgrade to D8ooE for quite a while but holding off due to the said problem. Getting the camera returned/replaced is not an option in my case because the Nikon distributors in my country (Pakistan) don’t provide those services. Plus there’s no authentic/qualified Nikon Service Centers here who could calibrate the AF locally. They may send the camera to Japan for that (that too depends on whether they agree with you on the issue or not, most of the dealers here don’t understand the problem properly).

            Having said that, my only option might be to test the unit in their showroom/outlet where I purchase the camera. Don’t know if it would be feasible or not but don’t have any other choice. What I wanted to ask and confirm is that – if I perform the test, which of these lenses would be more helpful in revealing the AF problem, 14-24 f2.8 — 24-70 f2.8 (since these are the only lenses I have in the wide category, I’m aware that the ideal would be to have something around f1.4/1.8 but that unfortunately is not an option here) ? Please guide me on any other related points concerning this test and the AF issue.

            Thanks again.

            Faisal` .

            • Emuebie Ginaza
              January 27, 2013 at 12:55 am

              It appears it is the same problem here in Nigeria, there is only one Nikon distributor at Abuja, 3 hours from where I live. They were also confused when I told them about AF issue. They only sell D800 and D800E cameras on special order, total of 3 were sold in Nigeria from its release (one of them is my D800E I was saving for over a year). I’m sure they don’t sell many D800 or other expensive Nikon cameras in Pakistan where you live, either.

              I also have to ‘hide’ the camera when I go out shooting, I use black tape to hide camera name and model. Sorry but I have had very bad experience with a theft of my 14-24 f/2.8, the thief pulled it out of my shoulder bag :( so yes, I am a little more cautious now and only go shoot with a single lens that is attached to my camera. There is no insurance here for lenses, and it it were it would be cost prohibitive for most of us in Nigeria.

              My D800E AF is OK (at least I believe so), fingers crossed yours is OK as well. Keep us posted, please.

            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              January 27, 2013 at 5:43 am

              You are correct – a 1.4/1.8 aperture would be ideal. Given your options however, either the 14-24 or 24-70 would be fine for testing. If you have the issue, it will be evident at 2.8 with each lens. Without being able to test, verify the focus accuracy, and be able to return the D800 if it turned out to be defective, I would be hard pressed to tell you to buy a D800.
              If the camera store would allow you to bring in test charts and go through this process at their facility, you should feel more comfortable buying a D800. It is not hard to perform the tests, but it does take some time to go through the process and then compare the results on your computer.
              Good luck and let us know how you make out.

            • Faisal` .
              January 27, 2013 at 7:44 am


              Many thanks for your reply. I will be getting one soon. I hope I will be able to negotiate the terms with them in case the unit turns out defective (heaven forbid). Will update about my experience.

              One more thing, is the left AF issue the only problem to worry about or are there other problems as well with the D800 AF in general that I should look for ?


              Faisal` .

          • Andre Lamones
            January 27, 2013 at 1:18 am

            Faisal and Emuebie… what the…f ?

            Pakistan and Nigeria, D800E, 14-24 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8 ?! Really ?!

            Nothing bad or untowards meant by my comments, but it takes a bit of an imagination to link someone owning a US$7k+ worth of camera gear and those two countries, sorry ;)

            You guys work for the government or foreign corporations over there?

            Faisal, I was in Nigeria last year as part of an MSF (doctors without borders) contingent, living there for just over 2 months. You could buy not one but two decent sized properties there for the money you spent on D800E and pro lenses…kudos to you brother!


            • Faisal` .
              January 27, 2013 at 1:49 am


              Sorry to hear about your bad experience regarding the 14-24 lens. People now are more aware than ever about the cameras and lenses and their values. Camera theft issues are increasing globally and it’s always good to take cautions and preemptive measures before going out especially in crowded places.

              In Pakistan, they get regular stocks of D800/D4 and I am not sure about the numbers but judging from the local photo forums, D800 sales here are going good. People in general are not technically aware of the AF issue and can’t tell if their unit is faulty but most of them know that something’s been going on with this camera right from when it was released. It’s just a matter of time I think, more folks will know and report the problem in the coming months. I in the meanwhile have been equipping myself with better understanding of the issue and to test it before I finally settle on a D8ooE unit. Will wait for Bob’s detailed response.

              I will definitely post about my experience of getting and using the D800E.


              Faisal` .

            • Faisal` .
              January 27, 2013 at 8:26 am


              What the F ? Photographers do exist outside the first world countries and they use the same cameras that come from Japan and Germany and Sweden. ‘Things’ like D800E, 14-24 and 24-70 don’t stop working if you somehow happen to use them outside the US, UK and the European giants. You’re obviously ill-informed and so your judgement is not only untoward but downright condescending ! These countries too have real ‘people’ who also work hard like the people in your country and save to fulfill their dreams. ‘Life’ exists here as well like anywhere else on Earth. Please don’t just base your ‘imaginations’ on what’s portrayed on those ‘big’ media channels.

              And no, I like hundreds and thousands of photographers here, don’t work for any govt. or foreign corporations here. I am just a freelance landscape/travel photographer who enjoys his work and is well aware about the equipment he uses.

              Comparing photography equipment to the real estate would not be a fair comparison at all. What you really want to imply here I don’t know but going by your strange analogy, there are many places in Pakistan whose property value would be easily comparable to some of the most expensive property in the world ! But, could that somehow indicate that photographers in Pakistan cannot afford to buy $7K worth of photo equipment ? I am sure there would be many in your country who can and who can’t. Doesn’t make any sense.

              You should read and explore more about other places and their people and culture before forming any firm judgements about them. Kudos to you as well bro :)

              P.S. nothing untoward meant by my words.

              Faisal` .

            • Nathaniel
              January 27, 2013 at 10:39 am

              I don’t believe Andre meant it like the way you’ve taken it to heart, Faisal.

              I actually happened to travel thru Pakistan last spring on work, so i could kind of relate to the slight confusion Andre must have had reading this thread. After reading some fo th eposts here I kind of also went – wow, this guy must be doing really well if he can afford all that gear there, but unike Andre, I didn’t post.
              If you can be a freelance photographer in Pakistan and make not only a decent living out of that but also being able to fund all the pro gear you mention, then there is a light at the end of the tunnel for many other pro and frelance photographers currently suffering badly as a result of digital photography proliferation into the life of the general population.

              What ever you do it seems to work for you, so keep it up! And good luck with your new D800E, it should be just fine as the AF issue hasn’t been reported for a while now so it seems like Nikon has cleaned their act.

            • Faisal` .
              January 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm


              I am totally getting your point, there might not be any need for a fuss here. Nothing bad was meant by my previous post either. It’s just that the tone of his post didn’t feel right to me.

              Thanks for your post and relating your experience about Pakistan. Lots of amateur, hobbyist and part-time photographers (myself included) here save for years before they could get any decent gear for what they want to do. And it’s true for everywhere in the world, right ? You’re also absolutely correct about the suffering the ‘real’ photographers are facing because of the proliferation of digital photography into general public; now everyone claims to be a photographer and all this gets ever so backed up by the advancement of digital camera technology. I still don’t earn my living through photography though. Photography is more than a mere living for me :)

              Thanks for wishing me luck. I hope I get a clean unit :)

              Faisal` .

            • Andre Lamones
              January 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm

              first appologies if I offended you with my post in any way. The post was more tongue-in-cheek than what it seems to have translated to you after you read it. It must have been my French style of dry humor, I don’t know…for many of posting in English as the second language could be a tricky thing to convey exactly what the poster has meant.

              Nathaniel is absolutely right, it wasn’t meant as in the way you received it. The fact I was trying to convey in kind of half-humorous way was that the price of the kit discussed is far greater than most of the people’s combined annual earnings in both Pakistan and Nigeria, let alone official earnings per capita…that’s all, really…as puzzling as it sounds it’s true, and you and Eunebia are live examples of that.

              And when I meant kudos to you, I really meant it. I am currently on 6 figures income and still have major issues saving up for some of the kit discussed here…I am far from envious don’t get me wrong please, just glad that you and Eunebie could pull it off, and congrats to you, once again.

              Thanks for your time reading this, no offence meant ;)

  111. 111) raj
    January 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    This rumor is a bogus there si no issue like that , in Nikon the camera setting is bit complex and some does a mistake to adjust and there they loose the left focus swith matrix focus and all will fine you will get the result you looking for

  112. January 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    If so, I have to ask you why Nikon analyzed my raw photos and process and indicated that my camera did have an issue and that their attempt to resolve it failed? They further went on to reimburse me for shipping since they sent the D800 back un-repaired?
    You may not think there is an issue, but in my case, Nikon acknowledged that my D800 was indeed not focusing correctly.
    What do you know that Nikon and I don’t?

  113. 113) Lhowhang
    January 26, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Just because the AF issue doesn’t happen to you other people’s complain becomes bogus. In my case why would Nikon perform one minor parts replacement and two major parts replacement in three different repair occassions for the AF issue. Inspite of these repair they were note able to repair my unit. The dealer who I bought my camera was kind enough to replace my unit even if the camera has been with me for 6 months, half of it spent with Nikon for the duration of repair. PCnation my dealer of the entire repair issue since day one. After the third repair they asked me not to send it back to Nikon Melvile,,, they replaced it with a brand new unit. This new unit doesn’t have the AF issue.

    • January 27, 2013 at 5:31 am

      Indeed I have heard a number of stories similar to yours. Why, despite the evidence, people continue to claim their is/was no issue is beyond my comprehension.

  114. 114) Lhowhang
    January 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    It’s simple and I know you know why? Simply because they don’t have this problem with their camera. Since they don’t have it they just assume that this problem does’nt exist. If these are problems out of our imaginations,,,,, Nikon won’t bother perform repairs from minor to major parts replacement. I tested my unit and with all patience I sent my unit for repair 3 times and yet the AF problem just shifts from left to center and a bit of softening in the right. My new D800 replacement doesn’t exhibit any of the AF issues, but I would be very willing to share my experience with the AF issue and repair.

  115. 115) D800 Eee
    February 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I finally took the plunge today and sent my D800E to service (CA center). I ordered with 24 hrs of announcement and took delivery in June 2012, so warranty expiration is getting close. I paid a total of $78.24 to ship it from the bay area (including insurance on value of $2000), a number I’m certainly not happy about. Although, I can live with it if the camera comes back with good all around focus. I’m report back to this group (great info guys) when the camera comes back.

    • February 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Hope it works out for you. If they do not fix it on the first attempt, escalate and demand that they pay your shipping costs.

      • 115.1.1) D800 Eee
        March 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm

        Progress so far (problem verified)

        Approval code Serial No Description CAT Problem Charges

        Wish me luck!

  116. 116) Lhowhang
    March 9, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I wish you luck and I hope I am wrong,,,, you might be going for a second trip back to Nikon. Again I really hope I am wrong. Check your unit as soon as you get it back.

  117. 117) D800 Eee
    March 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    As promised, here’s my report upon receiving the repair D800: the unit is entirely fixed. Sharpness of focus on all focus points with the 28mm f/1.8, at f/1.8, is now spot on. This was the lens I had most trouble with on the left-most focus point. The repair took 2 weeks including shipping (bay area), from 2/28 to 3/14. The relevant service items are:
    Service Repair Rank B2
    By the result and the list, I can believe that Nikon now has a procedure for this problem and the service centers are no long shooting in the dark. I’m definitely satisfied, even though, as noted above, I hope I wouldn’t have to pay ~$80 shipping & insurance for myself. I can live with it now that the result is good.

    Another piece of advice I have for those who try to decide whether their D800/E’s have focus issues: you don’t have to print and shoot test charts, although that’s what I did. The problem is not a subtle one. Just put your focus point on the left, walk around and shoot ~200 frames. If a significant percentage is not focused as you expect, you have a problem. I would estimate that before the fix, I had about 50% out of focus i.e. it just feels like total hit and miss, unreliable. After the repair, I seldom get an unsharp one.

    • 117.1) Kit G.
      March 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      That’s great news. Thanks for sharing.


      • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski 117.1.1) Bob Vishneski
        March 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm

        D800 Eee,
        Congrats! I suspected Nikon would address the situation. How they handled this situation, however, is a crying shame. The D600 oil splattering is not helping much either.

    • 117.2) Ching M
      March 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

      My Left AF issue D800 ( #3006XXX) is also finally fixed after THREE rounds of repair service by LA facility. So Nikon do know what the problem is and it should be fixed during the first round. As a loyal Nikon user over fifty years (since Nikon S), I am disappointed with their recent QA performance.
      I am appreciate the “” is taking a lead on discussing many Nikon issues.


    • 117.3) Mike F
      May 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm


      Thanks for posting and congratulations on the repair. I’ve long suspected my D800E’s focus to be lacking, so I’m glad to see I’m not at fault and there’s hope. Can I ask where you sent your camera (I also live in the Bay Area) and how you initiated the process. Thanks so much.


      • 117.3.1) D800 Eee
        May 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        Mike, Nikon repair starts with your going to Just follow the instructions. At the end, you’ll have packaging and shipping stickers to print out. I don’t think I picked the service center by myself. Good luck–get it fixed!

        • Mike F
          May 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm

          Eee, Thanks for your response – it’ll be on its way soon!

  118. 118) wooster
    March 20, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Well I had my first D800 last June, the second in July and the 3rd in September. All had the AF issue. I sent the first two back to the dealer, then let Nikon have a go on the third. Once they’d finished messing it up even more on two occasions, I sent it back to Amazon. I need to upgrade my D700s at some point but I have zero confidence in this company now so I’m considering a switch. I don’t want to ( solely for cost reasons – I’ve thousands invested – otherwise I’d switch in a nanosecond ) but it seems to me that here we are, over a year later still having to put up with this nonsense from Nikon.

    Seems its still as much a lottery as to whether this camera will work or not.

    Disgusting. Absolutely appalling.

    • 118.1) Mahan
      March 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Hey, my story is kind of similar to yours, went through 4 bodies…July August September and one in early Feb (which had a lower serial number than my third)
      I tried repairing the first one through Nikon twice, did not work…
      But I got one last month and it is perfect, I could not believe it!!! I think the new ones are fine you just have to be careful with the serial number.
      D800 is an amazing camera it is a shame that this issue has ruined its name!

      • 118.1.1) Kit Narodick
        April 3, 2013 at 12:08 am

        Please give us the first 4 digits of the D800 that is working for you.

        Thanks. Kit

      • 118.1.2) Carlos Espinoza
        June 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm

        My story is similar to many here. I tried 7 D800E’s. They all had the AF left focus issue. Three bodies came from Adorama, 2 from B&H and 2 from Amazon. I tested them in a controlled fashion right along with my D300. My old D300 came out always sharp regardless of the AF point used. The 800E’s instead were always bad on the left side. I still need the D800E but after the frustration of trying 7 bodies, I have given up on the D800E.

      • 118.1.3) Kit Narodick
        June 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

        I am going to buy a D800 or 800E. Can you share the serial number so I can order one specifically with a serial number above what you have? The first 5 digits will do. Thanks. Kit

        • Carlos Espinoza
          June 4, 2013 at 7:50 pm

          I don’t think that the issue is related to any specific serial number. I tried 7 bodies. Some were 30120 (1 body), 30132 (2 bodies), 30135 (1 body). I do not recall the other 3 but they were close to that range. Something that I found estrange was the fact that when I turned them on for the first time these cameras did not ask me to select a language and enter the date. On the contrary, the dates in the setup menu were already entered. I saw dates like January 20, 2012; February 2, 2012; February 24, 2012; June 26, 2012, etc. I don’t know if other users have noticed the same. My other Nikon cameras (Nikon D70, D200, D300, D3s) when turned on for the first time, you had to go through the process to select the language, the time zone and dial in the date prior to use them. In regards to the date, my other cameras followed the default format DD/MM/YYYY. 01/01/2004 for the Nikon D70; 01/01/2007 for the D300 and so on. Maybe the D800 is a little different in this respect? I don’t know.

          • Kit Narodick
            June 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm

            Interesting. Sounds like the cameras that had selections of dates, language, etc. had been used since they were “new”. I have read that D800s with serial number starting with a 5 are cameras that were manufactured after Nikon corrected the left focus problem, but I don’t know that for sure. If I did know that, I would order a D800 and required that serial number.

            • Carlos Espinoza
              June 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm


              Nobody knows if the serial # starting with a 5 indicates an issue free D800E. It is just speculation. As a matter a fact, if you browse the web, you will see users owning bodies in the series 5xxx are having the same issue. I’m almost sure that the issue is not related to a particular serial number but only to a lack of adequate quality control. If they were related to a serial number, I am sure Nikon would have recalled this bodies for a free calibration and should have saved their image.

            • Carlos Espinoza
              June 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

              By the way Kit,

              I don’t know where you live at but here in NY the only dealer who was willing to disclose the serial number with me before placing my order was Adorama. Unfortunately, not even these were free from the problem. None of the other dealers in New York were willing to disclose the serial number.

          • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
            June 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

            Carlos, that simply means that the cameras were used before…new cameras should always ask for a date, time zone, etc.

            • Carlos Espinoza
              June 5, 2013 at 7:02 am

              Thanks Nasim, I thought the same, that is why I returned them. However, when I checked the shutter actuations, they came up as new, that is the first pic I took was #1. I don’t know what to think specially considering that I tried 7 bodies. I have the feeling that Nikon must be having a lot, and I mean, a LOT of returns and they are somehow resetting the cameras with low actuations and put them for sale again. I don’t know, I might be wrong. But again, who can prove or disprove my suspicion? After all, when you buy software, the package is sealed, but that don’t happens with cameras. I talked with a few Nikon tech support specialists in Melville and they all play dumb ridiculous. They said they never heard about the AF left point focus issue. I am sure they know about it but it is clear to me that Nikon has issued a strong warning to its employees not to discuss the problem.

  119. 119) Saleem Chippa
    April 2, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    I’m having problem in focusing from my Nikon D800 camera while taking a group photograph a person wearing black sitting in the middle. Plz Help me what to do? waiting for your reply !

    • 119.1) Kit Narodick
      May 28, 2013 at 2:54 am

      Try center point focusing on the guy in the black. Tell us how it turned out .


  120. 120) darrell
    June 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    does anyone know anything about the reiken fo-cal software having a problem with D800

  121. 121) Sf001a
    October 16, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I bought my D800 in June 2013 and it didn’t ask for date and time zone either. Also no plastic scratch protection on the display. I called Nikon and they checked the serial number and told me that it is new. I should have returned it since you mentioned that it is used :-(

  122. 122) tasso
    January 3, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Greetings Nasim, and thanks for your articles!
    I too have just descovered focus issues with my D800, although I got it more than a year ago (saddly out of worranty by now). I’ve just discovered it because up to now I was using it with a 16-35mm f4 lens, which is too forgiving to show focus errors. Now that I’ve started using my 85mm f4 on it, issue it’s quite annoying, and occures on all AF sensors, left, center and right. I still haven’t taken it for repair yet, and I am scared of what I’ll face since it’s out of warrante. However, since there’s no way this could have been caused other than from a manufacturing fault, if Nikon is Fair they will fix it at no charge. If anyone had any similar experience with past-warrante cameras, comments are welcomed! Also, if anything else we need to worry about…
    I’ve baught mine from Belgium, and serial is 6031***

    • 122.1) Jose L Grasset
      January 7, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Hi Nasim,

      I recently acquired a Nikon D800 in Spain through an online seller (the camera came from Germany). I tested it as soon as I got it and it would not focus properly with the centre-left autofocus point. I sent it back to the seller and was so frustrated I didn’t even ask for a replacement, I simply asked for reimbursement. The serial number was 6136XXX, so the issue persists and Nikon has been unable to fix it in their production line.

      Thanks for your great website.

  123. 123) chris
    January 31, 2014 at 6:09 am

    I was thinking of buying a d800e…

    Can anyone tell me if in new cameras Jan 2014 (how do i check) if this is STILL happening.
    Very concerned.

    Or am i just better of going with Canon.


  124. 124) Jose L Grasset
    February 3, 2014 at 6:51 am

    After the D800 test, I did the same test with my D700 (had it since December 2009) and the same lens and it showed the same focusing problem, though the out-of-focus was not as extreme as with the D800. I then tested the D700 with the 35mm f/2.0 Nikkor and there was no focusing problem. So I’ve no clue as to what’s going on with the autofocus issue.

  125. 125) Tanya
    January 30, 2015 at 6:56 am

    This is exactly my problem with my D800 and if I could know where, I would certainly send a nice annoying complain. I have made the camera calibration already 2 times and this only helps temporarily, like several months. The official answer from Nikon was that for this age (2,5 years) the camera lens are expected to be dis-balanced or whatsoever. So they probably consider a purchase of 2-3 k euro pretty decent to have it working for a few years only, Damn them, I don’t trust Nikon anymore and will be recommending my friends to think carefully before buying any Nikon products.

  126. 126) Dragan Mikki
    February 27, 2015 at 2:52 am

    I bought one of the very first D800’s in UK, and was not aware at all about this issue, of left hand side of the pictures being out of focus, until three years later, which is now. Meanwhile, in 2013 I had camera checked by Nikon, and they made me have “service” on two of the zooms I use most, 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8, for which they charged me, as they were out of warranty. For the first time in my life, after 33 years of being professional photographer, I heard the new salesman’s spill, that cameras and lenses need to be serviced every year, as “after all you do service a car every year”. I only photograph events which always involve people, and didn’t pay sufficient attention to the lack of sharpness and pattern in it, but when recently I looked at the images of architectural nature, I could clearly see that left hand side of the pictures, was not sharp as the right one. I than checked the first images taken with brand new camera, as well as the images taken recently and during the whole three years. They all showed exactly the same problem through all this time .
    Still not having known about the existence of the issue widely publicised on Internet, I took the camera to Nikon UK where they quickly established that the fault is with the warped bayonet on the camera which would cost £465 to change. But for the past five or so years, I always made sure that the lens is never attached to the camera, and I didn’t notice any play between the lens and the camera, so I was puzzled by the explanation and I questioned the existence of the problem, and at that stage Nikon’s NPS manager let it be known about this Internet knowledge, which prompted me to look up all the articles on Internet, which without exception all described precisely the issue I have been encountering for the past three years.
    At that stage I couldn’t believe that Nikon allowed me to take over 100.000 of technically inferior customers photographs, while they were aware of the inherent problem with the camera. That shows callous disregard for me and for my clients. Not to mention unpleasant and wholly unacceptable attitude of the manager of NPS scheme. Never mind about lecturing on something, as never being the photographer, he is unlikely to understand, but he believes that because I managed to sell technically sub standard photographs, it proves that they were sufficient, and that I have nothing to complain about. I was astonished at the attitude, and was speechless. Nikon is not worried about the long term impact that having 100.000 images could have, which they could have prevented, but they are apparently prepared to charge me for unnecessary repair, which in turn would allow them to correct the manufacturing error, and make some monies in the process too.
    If that is Nikon’s business model, than we need to be very concerned about continuing to use Nikon.
    I wonder why is it acceptable not to recall the faulty cameras, when in our industry, while it is a decent and normal practise in virtually any other industry I know of.
    Currently, I am still waiting for the response to my Official Compliant, but Nikon’s Customer Service department doesn’t seem to be in a hurry. You would have thought that having known of the problem, they would feel responsible and embarrassed, but you would be wrong. You will do well if you are not verbally assaulted and humiliated by Nikon representative in the process. Thanks Nikon!
    I would also add that I don’t normally vent my anger on Internet, but on this occasion I think Nikon’s attitude stinks.

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