The Missing Nikon D800/D800E Press Release

Does anyone else believe this announcement by Nikon is long overdue?

The original post had the disclaimer located after the press release which caused some people to believe that it was a spoof – which it was not. Within a few minutes of the article being posted, I moved the disclaimer to the top to eliminate any confusion, but the RSS feed still went out with the original copy and it took some time for us to change the facebook article. What follows is my recommendation for how Nikon should handle this situation, given the number of D800/D800Es that appear to be affected, and the obvious concerns from current and potential D800/D800E customers.

Disclaimer: Nikon didn’t issue this press release – I did. And only on Mansurovs. I got tired of waiting. If Nikon is struggling with the wording, perhaps this will help them out a bit! :) Sorry – don’t mean to dash anyone’s hopes!


July 13, 2012

Nikon Inc. is asking your cooperation in resolving an issue affecting certain D800/D800E DSLRs. This issue manifests itself when you utilize the left bank of autofocus points, resulting in slightly out of focus images. This issue has been traced to instances of the autofocus mechanism alignment being outside of the engineering specification tolerances. While there have been a number of confirmed incidents of the problem worldwide, Nikon cannot yet determine the total number of units affected. Nikon can confirm a range of D800/D800E units within certain serial number ranges that may be affected by this issue.

Nikon’s Engineering teams have made the appropriate calibration change to the manufacturing equipment and included an additional quality assurance test to prevent further occurrences of this issue. For D800/D800E DSLRs affected by this issue, Nikon has developed and implemented a reliable means for Nikon Service Center technicians to diagnose, fix, and validate the repair. Nikon has dispatched trained technical teams across the country to work closely with each of Nikon Service Centers and customers to expedite the resolution of this issue.


What you should do:

1.) Determine if your D800/D800E may be affected

To determine if your D800/D800E may be affected by this issue, please utilize the link below and enter your serial number in the designated field.


If your serial number is not listed, you do not need to take additional action. Your D800/D800E has not been affected by this issue.

2.) If your D800/D800E serial number is listed

If your D800/D800E falls within the range of serial numbers listed, your camera may have been impacted by this issue. Having a D800/D800E within the noted serial number range is not confirmation that your DSLR has been affected by this issue. Nikon recommends that you follow a simple test to determine if your D800/D800E is affected. Comprehensive directions identifying the process to test your D800/D800E autofocus mechanism can be found using the link below. The test should take approximately one (1) hour to complete.


3.) If your D800/D800E does not exhibit the autofocus issue
If your D800/D800E does not exhibit symptoms of this issue per the outlined test, you do not need to take additional action. Your D800/D800E has not been affected by this issue.

4.) If your D800/D800E does exhibit the autofocus issue

Contact Nikon Technical Support at 1-800-Nikon-US or on the My Nikon tab of the Nikon USA Service & Support website: Upon filling out a Service Request, you will be issued a prepaid shipping label and instructions regarding shipping your D800/D800E to the nearest Nikon Service Center. Your D800/D800E repair progress can be tracked through the My Nikon website. Upon successful completion of the repair, your D800/D800E will be shipped back to you, along with a $50 coupon good toward any future Nikon lens purchase.

Nikon is committed to resolving this issue for any D800/D800E customers that have been affected. Nikon deeply regrets any inconvenience this matter has caused and appreciates your continued support of Nikon and its products. Nikon wishes to assure current and prospective D800/D800E customers that it remains committed to providing the industry’s finest photography equipment and delivering the highest quality service.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Nikon at 1-800-645-6687.


After participating in a variety of discussions on Mansurovs and other forums, I sense an unhealthy frustration emanating from people in different situations:
• Those that have confirmed that their DSLRS have been affected by this issue and wondering if Nikon has a good handle on it and is confident in a fix
• Those above wondering if their respective Nikon Service Center technicians have been trained in diagnosing the issue and reliably implementing the fix
• Those questioning if their D800/D800E is affected and determining how to test their cameras
• Those that are either awaiting shipment of their D800/D800E or are considering placing an order one

Many from around globe have been weighing in with their personal experiences regarding this issue in an attempt to help fellow D800/D800E owners better understand and deal with it. I have personally been in touch with people from a few different countries that were kind enough to share some helpful insights and stories of both successful and unsuccessful repairs. The voice noticeably absent from these discussions has unfortunately been that of Nikon. If it weren’t for the availability of the internet and photography forums, would any of us be as well-equipped to get our arms around this issue and understand what we had to do to test our cameras?

I believe the subject has shifted from the actual D800/D800E autofocus issue, to how Nikon is handling the matter. Nikon’s “Vow of Silence” regarding this issue is disturbing to even its most ardent supporters. It is unfathomable that given the amount and speed of information being exchanged around the globe, concerning a quality issue impacting the sharpness of Nikon’s highest resolution and most touted DSLR in years, Nikon is sitting on the sidelines without providing any assurance to its customers. In doing so, Nikon is creating a unhealthy amount of “FUD” among its user base – Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. It is not good for Nikon’s customer base, and having potential D800/D800E buyers postpone or cancel orders certainly can’t be good for Nikon or its distributors.

Some of us that have been involved in getting high tech hardware and/or software products to the market understand and are sympathetic to the many challenges Nikon faces. We do not have unrealistic assumptions that the production lines are going to run perfectly on day 1. There is an inherent risk in being first in line for any new product – that is simply part of being on the so-called, “bleeding edge.” Those of us falling into the Innovator and Early Adopter categories may not be enthusiastic about finding problems with our high tech products, but we have no illusions regarding the risks and rewards of receiving the first shipments of a new technology. Regarding this situation, we don’t expect miracles, merely answers to some reasonable questions associated with what many believe is one of the world’s best DSLRs.

Nikon has developed a ground breaking camera and captured the world’s attention. Shouldn’t it also be capable of providing its customers with a clear statement regarding an important quality issue and an unambiguous plan for resolving it?


If you believe Nikon should be more forthcoming regarding the autofocus isssue and plans to address it, let us know. I can’t guarantee that Nikon will respond, but with enough effort, perhaps we can eventually influence its position.


  1. 1) Hank Dinardo
    July 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Ming you had me fooled. And yes I wish that they would acknowledge the problem and the way that they plan on fixing it for those of us that have the issue. I for one have the left AF issue and would love to have it fixed. I love the camera and have been able to work around the issue but it should work like all the rest of my cameras including the D3 D700 and D3s for which I never had a problem Thanks for being so brave and I do hope that someone at Nikon is reading this. I took the liberty to already post your link on dpreview.

    • July 13, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      I have asked 4 different support reps, including a manager, to provide some information. Under the My Nikon section, Nikon seems to have gone nocturnal, as I get no updates. Unfortunately, it seems that Nikon is purposely keeping mum on the issue. I am far more upset about the Vow of Silence than I am the autofocus issue. Hope you eventually get your D800 issue resolved. I will post my experience when I get the camera back.

      • 1.1.1) Jorge G
        July 15, 2012 at 5:48 am

        Hi Bob,
        Since we’re in the same Melville boat, did anyone you’ve spoken to provide any insight into when we might see the return of our cameras?

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          July 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm

          Not yet. I can’t seem to get any meaningful dialogue out of the Service Center or the My Nikon web page. My camera is designated as “SHOP,” meaning it is in for repair. I don’t know if that means sitting on a shelf waiting or actually being worked on. If the latter, I would imagine it would be complete within a day or two and perhaps back soon. Will keep you up to date. Please do the same.

          • Jorge G
            July 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm

            Will definitely keep you plugged in to further developments. FWIW, the folks behind “My Nikon” are affiliated with Stream Global Services – essentially Nikon outsourced their web-based service. This was essentially confirmed during my visit to Melville as the person I spoke to showed complete disinterest in the interactions I had through “My Nikon” and dismissively referred to it as “technical support”… unfortunately a very distinct taste of left hand not speaking to the right hand.

            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              July 15, 2012 at 6:41 pm

              My Nikon has gone eerily silent. Perhaps I overwhelmed them with links, info, etc. It seems clear that no one I spoke with has any interest in saying much of anything regarding the issue. A bit odd and troubling…

  2. 2) Vijayakumar
    July 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Right time for Canon to Introduce a high resolution SLR like D800, and Nikon will feel the customer base eroding.

    • 2.1) Aron Cooperman
      July 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Maybe. But how many FX lenses do you have? I wouldn’t want to deal with having to replace all my lenses… I just need to get off my a** and test my d800. Might not even have a problem

      • 2.1.1) Vijayakumar
        July 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm

        I have all the gold ring ones 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 105 f/2.8 macro with D800E and D200 body plus SB800 . I cannot afford to switch over, but guys thinking of migrating to full frame might think twice.

    • 2.2) babola
      July 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      No, not even close prediction.

  3. 3) Mako2011
    July 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Like the D7000 oil splatter issue, Nikon will most likely not make any press release. It’s simply not a characteristic of how they handle this type of thing. They will though fix the problem when the solution arises. In the case of the D7000 they quietly began replacing mirror box assemblies. It would also appear, from forum traffic, that a solution is slowly making its way into the service pipeline. That’s just how they do things at Nikon. Can’t see them changing that in the near future. Not trying to comment on the right/wrong of it….It’s just the way they operate.

  4. 4) Aron Cooperman
    July 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Ok Bob, you what… I’ve changed my mind from my earlier post, I think this is kind of funny, would make a good Aprils fools day post.


    • July 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      I meant it to be a serious article and my recommendations for how Nikon should deal with it. Unfortunately, my original lead in wasn’t enough to let people know up front that I, not Nikon, wrote it.

  5. 5) John Richardson
    July 13, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Well, dreaming is free as Blonde used to sing.
    I hope something like this becomes either a reality or there is a software fix in the works!

    Did you forward this to the Boneheads in Tokyo? Because they surely did not live up to this page on the D4/D800


    • 5.1) Jorge Balarin
      July 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Nikon’s “bla bla bla”.

  6. 6) David
    July 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Bravo, Bob!! You’re my hero!

    • 6.1) David
      July 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      Esh, reading over the posts I’m amazed at all those lacking a sense of humor. Don’t feel bad about this post Bob, you did nothing to be apologetic about. I’m sure those upset are more than outnumbered with those amused.

      • July 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        It was meant to be a serious piece. Unfortunately, I goofed on the lead in and that gave people some false hopes. I will be a bit wiser the next time around.
        But even with the disclaimer at the top, some STILL believe this is from Nikon. Go figure…
        Thanks for commenting,

        • Vijayakumar
          July 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm

          Some people really expected some window to come up to verify their serial numbers. :)

          • Jorge Balarin
            July 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm

            That is very funny….unfortunately.

  7. 7) C Smith
    July 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I was going to place my order for the D800E next month. I think I will wait and see how the focus issue plays out. The waters are a bit too muddy for me right now.

    • July 15, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      I can’t blame you. This is exactly the issue that I pointed out. It is hard to blame anyone if they hold off for a while. A bit more communication on Nikon’s part would sure help ease a lot of concerns, huh?

    • 7.2) Jorge Balarin
      July 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Man, in your place I would wait little bit more. Say…one year ?

  8. July 14, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I find this admittance of the press release not being a Nikon post most disappointing and I feel let down. I didn’t expect this on Mansurovs. I have recommended Mansurovs to many on Nikonians and even posted the text there this morning, which now makes me look a bit foolish. Thanks for that and I’m now back to square one regarding my confidence in the problem.


    • 8.1) Jorge Balarin
      July 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      Sorry Richard, but in this case indeed you were a little bit foolish. It is very clear that this serious post was written by Bob and not by Nikon. Bob did a favor to all the “nikonians”. Best regards, Jorge.

  9. 9) C. David Hemp
    July 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

    WELL BOB!!!!!


    • 9.1) TimR
      July 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      WHY ARE YOU YELLING SO LOUD and why were you looking for the press release at Nikons site? Of course this is a phoney press release. There are telltale signs in the “release” that couldn’t possibly be written by any Japanese writer. The Japanese are not that fluent in perfect English lol. Bob was just making his own version for us as Nikon refuses to make one of their own Press Releases. They are either too lazy, too stubborn, or just couldn’t care less how we feel about it.

    • 9.2) TimR
      July 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      Oh I forgot to mention that the biggest dead giveaway that I knew this was a phoney release is since when does Nikon give away $50 dollar coupons? lol. Couldn’t fool me none ;-)

    • 9.3) Rolf Eriksson
      July 15, 2012 at 6:13 am

      YELLING is what you do! No one could possibly mistake this for a Nikon official press release, even if they missed the disclamer on top.
      The link to affected serial numbers doesn’t exist but should be the sekond thing for Nikon to provide their customers with. The first thing would be an excuse!
      I myself is a Canonian and had the problem with ligt leakage in the 5D MkIII. Canon acknowledged that problem and fixed it. So, when it comes to “the Japanese way of thinking” there is obviously a difference between Nikon and Canon.
      Both companies produce underful equipment and they both have technical problems sometimes.
      They should just admit it and provide necessary information to their potentially affected customers.

      • 9.3.1) TimR
        September 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

        Then go yell at Nikon not at us

    • 9.4) Jorge Balarin
      July 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      David, are you crazy ? Bob post was excellent and by doing it he did a favor to you and all the nikonians. Bob is not a coward and he say clearly and loudly what Nikon is not saying. If you can not understand what you are reading it is not Bob’s fault (are you working for Nikon ?).

      The only ones that deserve a trial in this case are Nikon executives that are treating their loyal customers without any consideration. I’m a Bob fan forever.

  10. July 14, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Absolutely C.David Hemp. I have put an apology on Nikonians and feel pretty down for wasting others time and contributing to what after all is a spoof. However, that will not affect this sites credibility in my eyes, it’s just really annoying. There is so much great content on Mansurovs and I’ll not let this hiccup detract from that.


    • July 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm


      Please see #39. It was never intended to be a spoof. My original lead in was apparently not strong enough for people to understand that it was not a Nikon press release. I realized that within 5 minutes and fixed it, although the original did go to facebook and the RSS feed. We fixed the former, but couldn’t affect the latter.

      I quickly explained the issue on the site, but we took the original article down so as to avoid any confusion. We later reposted it since many people expressed a concern to read it. This was a goof on my part, but again, there is nothing joking about my commentary that follows the press release I wrote. Nothing. I meant it as a serious suggestion for how Nikon should address the situation and how the lack of some formal information from Nikon was affecting a number of people in different situations.


      • July 16, 2012 at 1:59 am

        Although an intelligent man, I unfortunately often succumb to a failure to read every line of everything in detail. I do understand the situation and draw a line on this issue. However, I really do hope that the issue doesn’t bounce back to bite either you or Nasim on the backside.


        • Jorge Balarin
          July 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

          Who said you are an intelligent man ?

          • Richard Walliker
            July 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

            ? silly man, whoever you may be.

            • Jorge Balarin
              July 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

              Fortunately I never said I’m intelligent : )

  11. 11) Gegeti
    July 14, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Tanks so much for your action.
    Can’t fine thé link TO Know thé serial numbers affected, or does not work !

  12. 12) Mike
    July 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I can’t find the link either. the yellowed area to check does not provide a link.

    • 12.1) Jorge Balarin
      July 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Try restarting your computer : )

      • 12.1.1) dencelly
        July 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm

        Sorry Jorge, but starting Windows doesn’t help, the link is only working on a Mac ;)

  13. 13) Art
    July 14, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Bob I totally agree with you that Nikon should admit the the problem, fix everyone’s camera, and enjoy the reputation of being a honest and responsible company. Then as an apology to everyone effected pay for the shipping costs to have their cameras sent to a service center to be fixed or at least give us a credit for our next Nikon purchase.
    I just sent my camera back for the left focusing issue after talking to Nikon technical support for a week and sending them example images. To ship the camera from Hawaii to El Segundo was $104 with shipping and insurance. This is quite a bit of money to pay after I laid out 3 Grand for a camera that should focus properly.
    By the way, thank you for doing something that Nikon should have done in the first place by stepping up to the plate and admit that the problem exists and that Nikon will fix it.
    Well it off to take pictures, (Glad I did not sell my D3X).

    • 13.1) Jorge Balarin
      July 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      I don’t understand why Nikon people is asking for example images. It is very clear that there is a problem with the left autofocus points. They must ask directly for the cameras and pay the shipment, period.

      • 13.1.1) Art
        July 17, 2012 at 8:46 am

        I have found that when working with Nikon service centers it always goes a lot smoother if you first contact them about your problem, show them examples, let them create a incident number, and let them tell you to send the camera in for repair. Using this process I have always gotten my camera back repaired correctly. Even though it seems like the long way around the barn I find that this process will save time and frustration in the long run.
        I am not happy about having to pay shipping costs, but I always knew that this is the way Nikon does business so I guess I will suck it up. I really do not have a choice if I want my camera fixed. After buying Nikon products for 30 years or so this is the first time I have had to send in a product for warranty work so I really cannot complain too much.
        On the other hand, at least in Hawaii, Canon pays for shipping and handling for sending in items for warranty work. I guess if I ever get tired of paying shipping I could sell my Nikon stuff and just use my Canon gear.

  14. 14) dencelly
    July 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Bob, I heard Nikon has a new spokesman ;) I have strange news from my test odyssee. I didn’t send my D800 to the service and made more tests. Now I am very confused, because I did the same test with a D7000 and all my Nikkor lenses with a slower aperture (all 2.8) are okay. But the ones with faster apertures (all 1.4) produced similar bad results just like with the D800. What’s wrong now? Have both cameras the same autofocus technique and both are bad?
    In live view I got with all lenses better results than with viewfinder AF. But not only the left AF bank produced bad results also the center AF point and the right bank produced slightly worse results.
    It is possible that the Phase Detection AF can’t produce better results and we can only see this issue on higher resolution cams like D7000/D800 with fast aperture lenses like 85 mm and 50 mm 1.4. Maybe my cams are okay and can’t produce better results when I test them so critical. What to do now?

  15. July 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I will never buy one of these cameras but your blog is still interesting to read.

    You are telling everyone that Nikon has been selling a DSLR body for $3,000 and there is a problem with the auto-focus? This is inexcusable. Whether it’s Nikon, Canon or any other camera manufacturer, when they sell one of the most expensive and most sophisticated units it MUST BE PERFECT.

    I do not own a Nikon camera now but this situation sends a message to me and everyone else. “Beware of Nikon quality.” I will be saying that in my next photo class.

    • 15.1) dencelly
      July 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      I am very interested to know which camera you would buy or which cameras you are using? Whatever you use or want to buy, please make the same test that bob described in his article and try to use an aperture not slower then 1.4. I look forward to read from you!

      • 15.1.1) coastcontact
        July 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm

        I have a Panasonic FZ150. I moved the focus area to the top, middle, and bottom of the left side of my LCD screen and shot a picture at each focus location at f 2.8. I see no issues on screen. Of course I am not as particular as many more advanced amateurs. The LCD is will not provide the clarity of the D800.

        I stand my comment. At $3k for a camera body there should be no issues.

        • dencelly
          July 15, 2012 at 1:01 am

          I supposed an answer like that. But we are not talking about issues you can see on a camera LCD screen. Not about issues you can see with a slower lens with enough depth of field to excuse slightly incorrect autofocus. Photos that I shoot with my slightly incorrect focusing D800 printed on 17″ rollpaper are so phänomenal you can’t imagine! If you now wonder what my technical problem is please buy or loan a D800 take shots on a tripod from a test chart with a fast lens not slower than 1.4 and make the same shots with your FZ150 and compare them on a color calibrated 27″ monitor at 100% pixelview – then I am sure you will be very surprised ;)

          • Jorge Balarin
            July 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

            Dencelly, I think we must not be so much condescending with Nikon. I have a D700 and all the Nikon glass I could buy and I love them, but even admitting that any product could be improved, and that there are some risks just when something new is launched, the failure with the D800 ($ 3000) and D4 ($ 6000) autofocus is too much. Almost 45 % of the Nikon stock of those cameras presented the failure (an autofocus failure on a 36 megapixels camera !!).

            Simply Nikon didn’t test enough their new products. By other side, the D800 autofocus problems were noticed first without the help of microscopes or specialized tests. The later ones came only to certify that something was wrong. That’s not a battle of brands. I have Nikon gear and I will stay with Nikon, however I think something in Nikon’s management must change or they will lose money. Best wishes, Jorge.

            • dencelly
              July 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

              Jorge I agree with you in some points, but where people are involved potential mistakes never cannot be excluded. For me it’s just like magic that Nikon could deliver their cameras in this short time in view of the fact what happened in Japan and Thailand.
              But please tell me where to hell you get the information about the percentage of failure?

          • Jorge Balarin
            July 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm

            Hi Dencelly, I think I red about that failure percentage in a Bob’s post (perhaps I’m wrong). Also if we use an ultra minimal sample, like “the Manzurov’s people” : ) we could see that both Nasim and Bob got autofocus problems. Greetings, Jorge.

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          July 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm

          It is fine to have such expectations, but you should also be grounded in the simple reality that the early production runs are going to be more prone to issues than later ones. That is simply part of any learning curve that accompanies a complex manufacturing process of a sophisticated device. Too many people are acting as if it was some shock that Nikon might have hit an issue as it attempted to ramp up production of the D800. If you really want to minimize your chances of hitting such an issue, wait some months before placing your order. Nothing is ever perfect out of the gate. That is not an excuse for quality issues, but rather acknowledgment of the realities of high tech manufacturing.

          • coastcontact
            July 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm

            When you read Consumer’s Reports car reviews they warn about the gamble you take when buying a new version of the car. Usually saying it is a smart idea to wait until the bugs have been worked out. So that ought to be the case with cameras too. Since new models are released annually you should at least wait until the reviews are in and the manufacturer has removed the bugs. Perhaps that is six months after the initial release.

            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              July 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm

              Absolutely. On Day 1, when B&H began accepting pre-orders, my first thought was to wait a bit, expecting that if any issues were to arise, they would likely do so in the beginning of the launch cycle.
              I think it is fair to say with brand new software or high tech hardware, the 1.0 version typically is going to require some time for the companies to work through a myriad of issues. That is to be expected. What each of us needs to understand, are the risks and whether we have the time or inclination to deal with such issues. If we don’t want to sign up for the risks that go along with the chances to get our hands on new technologies, we may opt to wait 6-9 months before placing that order.

    • 15.2) Martin G
      July 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      I got my D800 in June. It is a wonderful camera. I love Nikon cameras and lenses. Canon is great too. What you buy says a bit about the type of consumer you are. The D800 has gone back for repair or replacement. With my standard 70-200 it had no focus issues. The issue only arises with fast glass. Yes I want it fixed, but don’t imagine for a second that the D800 is not a wonderful camera. I expected some issues buying a camera from early in the production cycle. We all know that is a risk.

      If you want an FX the D800 is worth it. Just run the tests when you get it. It is also a camera that eats less than stellar lenses. Prepare to get rid of some older lenses and invest in much more expensive lenses. When you get to the FX level there are lots of things to watch out for. Canon has a few issues too, should you choose to go that way.

      Always check out the issues I guess.

      • 15.2.1) dencelly
        July 15, 2012 at 1:20 am

        Martin, I have the same issue on my D800 and D7000. A very slightly incorrect AF occurs with a faster prime (1.4 and faster) than with a slower (2.8 and slower) because of the very small depth of field a faster prime has. The fast primes don’t excuse any AF incorrectness in their widest opened aperture. I can see nothing of this issue if I stop down my fast primes 2 or 3 fstops. I agree with you the D800 is a wonderful camera! I am not sure but I hope Nikon can correct this AF problem on my D7000 and D800.

        • Jorge Balarin
          July 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm

          Dencelly, as Bob said, there are D800 sub-types. It seems you have a Sardine D800, but don’t forget that there are also a lot of the “Spam” type, with a severe left autofocus problem. Best regards, Jorge.

          • dencelly
            July 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm

            Jorge, I had a spam type with center to left af issue, now Nikon has it ;) Tomorrow I called the service point and told them only about the left fokus issue not more. The service point told me to bring in the D800, the D7000 and all my lenses. Further they told me that I would get my equipment back until in a week. They will check my lenses and pair them with both cameras. I bought a camera knowing well the risk that a 1.0 version of every product can have failures. Remember what god did if he made the humans or our german weather ;) But if a company takes care about their mistakes, then nothing can be wrong with this.

      • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski 15.2.2) Bob Vishneski
        July 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm

        I share your sentiments – great camera, and we know that early units are at a higher risk of having issues. The silence from Nikon, however, has to be frustrating many people.

    • 15.3) Drazen B.
      July 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm


      ““Beware of Nikon quality.” I will be saying that in my next photo class….”

      Even as a Panasonic camera user, you’re way out of line with this statement.

    • 15.4) Jorge Balarin
      July 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      I agree completely with your opinion.

  16. 16) Bala
    July 14, 2012 at 8:32 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

    • July 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Given the buzz and volume of information on this issue, one might reasonably expect Nikon to weigh in. Alas… we hope they respond. One lady above indicated that she is going to postpone ordering her D800E, and I am sure she is not the only one.

      • 16.1.1) Bala
        July 16, 2012 at 8:36 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.


        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          July 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm

          Thanks for the explanation. But… I am not convinced that it is indeed a software only solution. One has to wonder if it were indeed “just” a software solution, whether Nikon would be so adamant about having you ship all these D800/D800Es to the Service Centers?
          What you have proposed may indeed be the problem, but there are some other opinions that software alone cannot resolve this issue. I base that on that fact that D800/D800E owners got the “Spam” version – one that was blurry even in the center autofocus points. No amount of AF fine tuning could even achieve decent sharpness for any of the autofocus points.
          As I said, given the lack of clear statement from Nikon, we may all be speculating.

  17. 17) Ido
    July 15, 2012 at 1:41 am


    Is it just me? I don’t see the link for: Determine if your D800/D800E may be affected



    • 17.1) Mike
      July 15, 2012 at 3:05 am

      Nor do I in the UK see a link.

      • 17.1.1) Gegeti
        July 15, 2012 at 3:08 am

        Can’t find it ?
        could you put the link online?
        Many thanks

    • 17.2) Martin G
      July 15, 2012 at 3:53 am


      There is NO link because it is not actually a real Nikon press release.

      Bob wrote it, not Nikon. Bob is showing what he thinks Nikon should do. If Nikon do eventually post a press release, Bob believes there should be a link so customers can check.

      We would all love to see a link, but there is no guarantee Nikon will ever make such a press release or that they even know exactly which cameras have the problem.

  18. 18) Francois R
    July 15, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Your release should focus Nikon a bit and put them on the right track lloll.

    • 18.1) Martin G
      July 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      I really like then shots of the pelicans below. I use a monopod when I use the 70 -200 plus the TC20e iii. I often needed better bokeh than the 70-300 can provide at the long end. I do have some images from that lens with good bokeh when the subject was close and i was using it at around 200. I also found the focus on the 70 -300 too slow for many birds. Pelicans are the exception because they often gluide in nice predictable ways. Thanks for sharing the image.

  19. 19) Cesar D
    July 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    The link above to check serial numbers is not working!

    • July 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Please reread the post, especially the Disclaimer at the top. We changed it within 5 minutes of the original posting so it was more obvious that it was from me, and not from Nikon.

  20. 20) Ronald C
    July 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I love this site ( I get a lot of good information about photography. I love everything about it except for Bob’s articles.

    Bob is a practical joker. I fell for his practical joke the first time and then after that I alway skip articles written by him whenever I visit this site. If I have nothing left to read on this site, that’s the only time I read his pieces and with all caution and I usually just speed read through it and go straight to the comments. Just like this one, I went straight to the comments and sure enough I discovered that the article was just another BS. I’m glad I didn’t fell for it. I’m sure there is some good information in it but I don’t have the time to wade through and see what’s BS and what’s not. It’s just like the boy who cried wolf. You just ignore and don’t pay attention anymore.

    I have a good sense of humor myself but I don’t think practical jokes have a place in a professional setting. For example, it’s all right after work and you are out having a beer with your co-workers. But during work hours, in a meeting with important people, um, I don’t think so.

    I think the editors of this site made a poor judgement in letting writers like Bob publish articles on this site. Because of this, I am no longer as excited and as frequent as before visiting this site. Although I check first if the author of the piece was from Bob, I am now suspicious if a piece (although from a different author) is not coming from another prankster.

    • July 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm


      This was no practical joke. In the first 5 minutes, I realized that the initial lead-in wasn’t strong enough for people to understand that I, not Nikon, wrote it and they were taking it as a spoof – which it is not. So… we moved the disclaimer to the top and apologized for any confusion regarding the intent. And even now, with bold, italicized font, people still cannot figure out that I, not Nikon, wrote this. Just read the comments above.

      This press release was exactly how I think Nikon should handle the situation. My sentiments that follow the press release are based on more than a few years in bringing new products to market and dealing with such issues. You claim it is a prank, but I don’t see anything funny in it.

      Apart from the very obvious pieces that are purposely designed to provide a bit of entertainment, the others I have written are aimed at helping others in some aspect of photography. And the last time I checked, photography is not a life or death subject. If you can afford some of the equipment we discuss, have time to indulge in photography, and time to read such sites, you are doing better than 99% of the world’s inhabitants.

      You are welcome to read some other photography sites and see how, on topics such as sensor technology, people will degenerate into name calling and all manner of childish behavior simply because they disagree with someone else, and the anonymity of their keyboard and distance bring out their bravery. It doesn’t take long to find such posts, as some sites are full of such nonsense. We may not always agree with each other on this site, but we certainly have far less of the silly arguments.

      As you can see from this and Nasim’s post, there are many that have other opinions about this article and others. I do appreciate the feedback, however, and your visiting the site.


    • 20.2) dencelly
      July 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Ronald, Bob’s article was absolutely right. Many people in the world just like me have problems with their new camera and many of the them wonder why they get so much shots that are unsharp or not sharp there where they set the focuspoint. This problem is not new and I am sure Nikon knows this Issue. But they say nothing, no tipps how to ensure where the problem is. A joke is not what bob did, it”s a joke what Nikon USA did. They published a technical guide about how to get right sharp images well knowing that the focus mechanism of their new cameras is sometimes not right adjusted and this is a really unacabteble joke!

      I have two Nikons with bad adjusted AF mechanism. Thousands of shots I made during my last joirneys are not usable and I thought I did always something wrong. After reading the technical manual I believed that I am the problem. But Bob’s article was the helping tool to find out where the real problem is. It’s a bad joke from Nikon telling nothing about known problems and telling us instead that we are doing something wrong.

    • 20.3) Martin G
      July 16, 2012 at 3:11 am

      I was glad the original release was removed but I am glad that most of the responses to the new version are discussing the issue. With Bob’s articles you DO have to read the whole thing and take the time to see why he is making the point. It is a good point.

      I am inconvenienced by the fact that my D800 has had to go back. I was just starting to get the messages that it was sending me about how to tune it and how to make it sing. I had just about perfected the D90 and knew the step up would offer significant challenges. I have to be sure that the D800 is working properly if I am to eliminate the faults in my own technique. I seldom use the outside left sensor point but I cannot afford to have it misfiring either.

      This is a tricky issue – how cross we are with Nikon will depend on what you think is happening. Is this lax quality control or has the new precision of the 800 brought things to the surface we didn’t see before? Are they negligent and uncaring or were they just a little to ambitious and find themselves trapped in a corner? Is it a major deal or should we see it as a temporary glitch that will eventually settle. How important is it to us to have the “amazing” new gadget?

      I am a little put out and disappointed but I totally understand that other people are a lot more put out and upset than I am. I first bought a Nikon when the Canon point and shoot (2003) was out of stock. I was more than pleased with the colour accuracy, contrast, focus speed and reliability of Nikon. That has continued to be my experience until now. I meet few disgruntled Nikon users in my travels. I do meet some disgruntled users of other brands (that seems to be that they are expecting too much for too little outlay. They would get much better performance if they spent a bit more.) The D800 is far from cheap but it does promise a lot for the money. That is why I decided to get it.

      I expect a lot from Nikon. Up till now they have delivered. This change to the D800 was a huge risk for me financially. I wanted it to be great. It has the potential to be astoundingly great. Unfortunately there is a problem that needs to be fixed. I have to admit I like it better when I know who to blame, what is going on and can see a path forward. At the moment we are (embarrassingly) caught in a spot where we don’t know much about what is going on. If Nikon would issue a press release we’d feel better, and see a way forward.

      I am not sure that getting really angry is helpful but sometimes people do. I don’t blame anyone who has been seriously put out and had to deal with the anxiety of images being seriously out of focus. My question is – how much photography do we really do (aside from test charts) at wide apertures and using the left sensor? If I am honest with myself, it is zero. That does not mean I don’t want it to be fixed or that is not important. I know that eventually I will find myself needing it to work perfectly from time to time.

      I suspect that most of us it is about wanting to be sure that the feedback the camera is giving us is something we can be confident in and that is NOT too much to ask from Nikon.

      • July 16, 2012 at 3:51 am

        To be charitable to Nikon, I do feel some sympathy to their plight. In the wake of the Tsunami and the nuclear problems, recovery must have been a tough road. However, they looked ahead and personally I think they actually brought forward some new models, then caught a cold as demand exceeded realistic production speeds. In the end, both at production and post production corners were cut and QA suffered. More haste, less speed, so to speak perhaps.

        Of course this may be a valuable lesson to other manufacturers who will seize on the D800/E problems and not replicate the same mistake. It is up to Nikon now to put things right and that will be an uphill struggle as owners with the problem who sold their D700’s to fund their D800/E will be in no mood for excuses. So it’s a bit like a phoenix rising from the ashes moment and we all hope Nikon will rise to the challenge.


        • Martin G
          July 16, 2012 at 4:51 am

          Absolutely. I suspect that the D800 is likely to be bought by many enthusiasts (like me). It is a major expense we want to be able to fully justify. Any fault is magnified in these circumstances. The fact is however, I probably would never have even found the issue without posts on the internet. In my normal shooting – birds – landscape – portraits etc. I prefer to use a single point and allow 9 points around that to contribute. The left side is nothing like as important to me as the centre. Even in formal portrait mode I rotate the camera left and use the right bank for the eye – not the left. What would left- handers do?

          The technological world is moving so fast, companies have to take risks. Personally I am very glad they did. Once this is all over we will still have a camera which is in a completely new category. What would you call it ? HRI – High Resolution Imaging?

          Two things i noticed were:
          1. I had to much better with hitting a key spot when focussing. The ones that worked properly are absolutely stunning in the levels of detail.
          2. I am able to be more selective because although fewer shots are keepers, the difference between the keepers and the almost OK is huge. Previously I kept too many images because they were mostly pretty similar.

          This means that I balancing the huge file sizes with selecting the ones I really want. If I ever reach the stage where I can consistently get everything right, I will need that 2Gb mirrored array of drives.

          • Richard Walliker
            July 16, 2012 at 5:18 am

            I agree Martin, but portraits may be an issue dependent on whether it’s a group shot or a single subject. It’s very strange and in fact like yourself I’m interested in wildlife, birds in flight and landscapes, but I have yet to see a post yet on various forums that make me say “wow” say “so that’s the difference and what can be achieved by buying a D800”. I am mainly interested in the DX mode and picture quality when compared to my D7000 (not my D700 as the file size in DX is too small). I probably havealready concluded that in FX it’s the landscape camera for me. If the D800 can give me better quality than the D7000 in terms of noise, but equal to the D700, then I may seriously consider swopping my D700 for the D800. In the meantime I am going to hire a D800, try it for wildlife in both DX and FX. Then I can make a hands on decision.


            • Martin G
              July 16, 2012 at 6:27 am

              I have had some great results with the D90 (Toucans, Honey-creepers, Tanagers, Hummingbirds, Spoonbills, Herons, Kingfishers, Owls and water birds. I used a D90 plus a 70-200 and a TC20E III. I used to use a 70- 300 but only the shots less than 200 on that lens were WOW. Why do you want a DX? Is it about the 1.5 crop factor?

              I have realised that I can get closer to birds than I used to be able to now, so the DX is no longer such a benefit. I do use a monopod with the teleconverter and often with the 200.

              I agree with you about landscapes. It really shines there.

              You are right about comparing them for yourself. It does depend on the type of image shooting you do and your subjects. Personally, I do see the need for a longer lens but I had the use of a 300 F4 for about 3 months before niece (a professional) wanted it back. Looking at those images, I think it got me about the same closeness as the 70-200 plus TC20E does now. I am thinking of getting a 300 F 4 and getting the 1.4.

              I do know that when I crop in on an image of a small parrot with the D90 when it is a only a around 30% of the image – the eyes are nothing like as sharp as the same sort of crop on the D800. I am impressed. My printer only goes to A3+ (13″ x 19″ Epson R3000) so downsizing will keep noise under control. So far the D800 prints have no visible noise (Max ISO 3200 – but 1600 is often enough)

              I have some images of a long -billed hermit (hummingbird) and several other varieties of birds (in Costa Rica) where the issue was not reach but resolution. I often got great shots when trying to stake out a completely different species. It seems that some birds are quite curious. (Toucans)

              I think birds of prey are much harder to get to but I also think that DX 1.5 “advantage” is not much of an advantage. I think the F4 300 will get me to the same spot.

              The megapixels of the D800 in DX crop is pretty close to the megapixels on D7000 anyway but I have never used a D7000. I did consider the 7000 but I was waiting for a significant leap forward and though landscape needed more than a DX sensor. (I could never quite get wide enough when I wanted a wide angle (I still have the 16-85 and the D90)

              I will be interested to hear how it goes comparing the two set ups.

            • Richard Walliker
              July 16, 2012 at 6:58 am

              I don’t seem to be able to reply to your post in order, perhaps there is a reply limit, anyway here goes. Yes, I am interested in the D800 for DX extra reach although like you I now get closer. I traded my D90 for the D7000, but always got on better with the D90. I have the 300mm f4 AF-S and for an oldie I think it’s classic. However, in a rain soaked UK with good light at a premium achieving high shutter speeds without the necessary high ISO’s is a rarity this summer. I also use it with a x1.7TC with great results. I used to have a 70-300mm VR and concur with your statement re: best at 200mm. We have a lot in common in that I too have a 70-200 f2.8 VI and use it successfully with a x1.4 and x1.7TC. One lens which I really have some good experiences with is the Sigma 50-500mm OS and on rare good light days it is my lens of choice as it is so superior to my old Nikon 80-400mm which on my D7000 was a total waste of time. In fact on my website are some images taken over the weekend with that lens + D7000.

              My printer is a Canon A3+ Pixma pro 9500 MkII (aaah ink costs) and I have used OnOne Image Resize on tight crops to enlarge image size with great results.

              So, it appears we are both pretty much walking down the same road.

            • Francois R
              July 16, 2012 at 7:18 am

              I agree with you Martin G,

              I have a 300 F4 D and I’m much impressed by the results. My only regret is that I should have spent more for an AF-S model to get AF with a Nikon TC. IMHO a Kenko Pro 1.4 I have belongs to the fish tank…That said, coupled to my D800, I’m getting better shots at hummingbirds than ever. I also have a 400mm 5.6 L on a 5D2 and because of the 36mp of the D800 I’m getting a better reach with the 300mm. This is one of my prefered lenses short of a 300mm IS II L 2.8 or a 300mm VR which I only dream of. The prices of those are for the sky high for an amateur shooting birds lloll.

              The F4 at only $650.00 used can hardly be beaten except by an AF-S at $1200.00.

            • Francois R
              July 16, 2012 at 7:44 am

              Hello Richard,

              Cropped pelican shots, D7000 with 70-300VR on the fly in Nevis last winter. I had a 70-200VRI which I sold (heavy) and a D7000 which I sold too (to make room for the D800). But I kept the 70-300VR. It will be in my bag on the next trip.


    • 20.4) Jorge Balarin
      July 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Ronald, we are living in a democratic system, so you have the right to say that you don’t like Bob’s articles. Personally I love them. For me Bob has a great sense of humor, very good writing style, and he shares his knowledge just like Nasim, on a clear way. Unfortunately I can’t say the same of you (don’t be angry, I’m using my freedom of speech). Go on and enjoy reading the phone book or something like that. Best regards, Jorge.

  21. 21) Drazen B.
    July 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    A bit childish and irresponsible, Bob. And totally unnecessary, IMO.

    This is one of the leading and most respected Photo sites on the Web that could do without similar spoofs.

    Thanks for fronting up though, and trying to put it right for some that fell for it initially.

    Just my 2 cents…that’s all.

    • July 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      I would urge you to read my reply to Richard above. This was no joke and wasn’t intended to be one. Apart from my mistake in not moving the disclaimer to the front on the initial posting, I am not sure why you or anyone else thought it was meant to be funny. Reread my commentary after the Nikon 1-800 line and let me know what was NOT serious about my suggestions.

  22. 22) Francois R
    July 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I never had any doubt. It says clearly at the beginning of the article in bold caracters:

    “Disclaimer: Nikon didn’t issue this press release – I did. And only on Mansurovs. I got tired of waiting. If Nikon is struggling with the wording, perhaps this will help them out a bit! :) Sorry – don’t mean to dash anyone’s hopes”

    • July 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      For the first 5 minutes, the Disclaimer was at the bottom, and there was another lead in at the top. In retrospect, I understand how some people could have misinterpreted it. How they can still think it is from Nikon? That is a mystery… ;)

  23. 23) Jorge Balarin
    July 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Dear Bob,

    In this case Nikon’s executives are behaving like “sinverguenzas” (people without shame). To tell you the true, the correct thing to do is to ask the D800 owners to send their cameras to any Nikon service center to have a free check. I know a lot of people that simply is not able or willing to perform a sharpness test that last an hour.

    I think the mindset of the “sinverguenzas” is the next: “Well, only the hardcore photographers are reading blogs, so still we can sell a lot of our bad stuff. By other side, the nikonians had already invested in Nikon glass and they are not going to leave us”.

    The ideal would be that a “public consumer’s advocacy office” acts to defend the rights of unhappy buyers, and forces “Nikon” to make a statement and solve the problem, that is not a small one. Greetings, Jorge.

  24. 24) Mike
    July 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Time to let this nonsense stop and get back to important information!

  25. 25) jin
    July 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Thats why its cheaper than 5d mark 3, its lack of focus, ( you guys were not charge for the best focusing system , so dont complain). it was not included in 3grant deal..hehehe

    • 25.1) dencelly
      July 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Oh yes Jin, by canon 5d m III you pay more not only for the autofokus system no you pay more for a an ugly 90s colani plastic design and a black tape for fixing light leak ha ha haaa …

      • 25.1.1) Rolf Eriksson
        July 19, 2012 at 8:16 am

        At least Canon was open with it both about the problem but also about the “fix” woth the black tape.
        You’d better keep tour comments to the actual problem – not the competitors.

        • dencelly
          July 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

          Nikon’s problem is not an engineering or construction fault like Canon´s 5D Mark III light leak. Here we have a typical issue of fast production procedure that will be fixed from the Nikon Service. Where people work there are faults – have a look at Canon’s plastic soap tray design or Bill Gate’s Windows! And remember god made the humans but without guarantee or any service points ;-)

          • Rolf Eriksson
            July 26, 2012 at 2:15 am

            Yes, God made humans but I understand that he also provides us with a waste numbers of “service points”!

            • dencelly
              July 26, 2012 at 3:31 am

              Rolf, I am on search, please tell me only one servicepoint where we can send all the murderers, the mafia, some politicians, extremists, terrorist and more – my list is very very long?

              In my opinion whether hospitals, psychiatrics, churches, mosques, jails or other things like that, are not real servicepoints that I am asking … And a guarentee is also not given …

              But that’s now very philosophic and a little bit of topic ;-)

              Have a good day!

  26. 26) Fenix
    July 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Wow. It’s a sad day when Nikon’s customers have to school them on customer service and accountability. I also thought this was an official release when I saw it. Can’t say I wasn’t a little peeved.

    • July 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      Not at all. Companies make mistakes. In a free market system, the customers help the product manufacturers to become better. Nothing sad about it. Just where do you suppose any manufacturer learns it lessons? Sitting in a plant thousands of miles away? Nope – In the marketplace…
      If you read the intro, you would understand the story behind this post. And as I indicated, even with all the disclaimers, people continue to breeze by the obvious. Next time, I will be sure to put a neon sign on the intro! ;)

  27. July 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I am not, nor was I ever “angry” with Nikon regarding experiencing some quality issues with the first few production runs. The lack of communication however, is very hard to overlook. Someone at Nikon has made a calculated move that this approach is better than issuing some form of press release and/or having its Service Center or My Nikon staff shed any light on the obvious concern. I don’t expect perfection out of Nikon anymore than I expect it out of myself, but our expectation for having Nikon provide some information regarding the issue, particularly after I and others had to ship our cameras back for repair, is not being unreasonable.
    Everyone seems to be faulting those on the photo forums for estimates of the number of D800/D800Es that have this issue. That is not the point. The issue is rather why Nikon hasn’t said anything regarding this issue to clarify the number of cameras affected, the nature of the fix, and put its customers’ minds at ease.

    • 27.1) Vijayakumar M
      July 19, 2012 at 5:17 am

      Nikon’s strategy seems to silently fix the source of the problem and make the issue a non issue.That is why there are as many or more unaffected units in use than the affected ones. A new strategy, may be.

  28. 28) Gegeti
    July 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Probably time to whistle the end ! Nothing interresting for a long time !
    Thanks bob !

  29. 29) Peter
    July 19, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Tired of this Nikon crap, this ostrich attitude is pissing me off! Switched to Canon and got the 5D Mark iii yesterday, pictures are stunning!

  30. 30) Ben Lin
    July 19, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Can’t utilize the link you showed and enter serial number in the designated field to check if D800 has the issue or not.

  31. 31) FrancoisR
    July 19, 2012 at 6:48 am

    It had been a while since my inbox was filled with such hilarious comments. Maybe a Youtube clip could put an end to it (with close caption of course for those who can read). I sympathise with you Bob…

  32. 32) Gianni Comoglio
    July 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I have sold my D700 on e-bay in 12 hours, to buy the D800. I will keep using my old D90 until Nikon water up and starts respecting its (once upon a time) faithful customers !!!! Gianni C. From Italy

    • July 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      I wish I could strongly urge you to pick up a D800, but unfortunately, Nikon’s silence on this issue is really not helping much.
      Best Regards,

  33. 33) Yusuf
    July 21, 2012 at 1:19 am

    I was planning to buy D800 and it’s on hold now just because of this issue.

    Nikon should understand that keeping mum is not only going to cause discomfort to the existing customers but also to the new users who are planning to buy D800. I would have been more confident had Nikon acknowledged the issue and published the serial number, without which Nikon is just losing customers .

    Unfortunately not much option for me right now, but that gives me an opportunity to wait for A99. Since I have no previous investment in Nikon, I can do that.

    • July 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      It is difficult to understand just what type of reasoning has led Nikon to this approach. Someone has to know how this appears to Nikon’s customers, many of which have helped define, isolate, and gather data regarding the issue. They say, “Silence is golden,” but certainly not in this case…
      When people ask me what I recommend, it is tough to give a hardy endorsement to the D800, given the fact that Nikon is doing nothing to reassure its current or prospective clients on this matter.
      I hope they will change their approach soon.

  34. 34) FF
    July 25, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Hello Bob,

    I decided to check if you still write about an insignificant number of defective cameras.
    What a difference a couple of weeks can make : -(
    Your attempt to “explain” the problem is only speculation since you’re not privy to the proprietary Nikon design info.
    Nikon is going throughout the motions to avoid the class action which they deserve because of their attitude.
    The units with the problem related to the camera defective prism may get fixed. Others including the D800E, which also were shipped with defective batteries, needs more than the current adjustment/calibration.
    The final solution is to redesign of the AF module and it won’t happen anytime soon.
    Meanwhile many will learn that Nikon doesn’t have an International Warranty and discover true resale value of their cameras.
    This desire to own the latest (not always the greatest) resembles a lemmings race.

    • 34.1) Rolf Eriksson
      July 26, 2012 at 2:33 am

      It’s a lot of fun participating in this lemmings race!
      BUT, it seems to me that manufacturers also have a “lemmings race”, trying to meet other camera manufacturers new models with cameras of even better specifications.
      “Your attempt to “explain” the problem is only speculation since you’re not privy to the proprietary Nikon design info.”
      The problem is that Bob and the rest of D800 users seems privy to no other info from Nikon than the original camera specification.
      ” insignificant number of defective cameras”, “The final solution is to redesign…”.
      You seems to have a lot of knowledge about this problem – perhaps you could share this with the rest of us?

  35. 35) Rolf Eriksson
    July 26, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Hello Bob!

    I live in Sweden and I have notised an interesting thing – there are not one magazine that have mentioned this “left AF problem”! I have also gone through 310 pages of a forum dedicated to D800 without findning anything about it.
    Does this problem not exist in Sweden or is it so hard to detect/find?
    I’m confused!

    • 35.1) Zimbio
      July 26, 2012 at 3:14 am

      Same in New Zealand and Australia. I talked to few of my colleagues in both countries, they were puzzled this problem seems to be widespread in some countries while in others not a blip on a horizon of AF issues. And there are some picky guys amongst us, believe you me.

      BTW, I also noticed disparity in serial numbers, while in US most of the D800s were in 3xxxxxx range, mine (bought locally in NZ) is in 8322xxx range. Quite a diference in production numbers but there’s definitely a reason behind it, I’m sure.

      • 35.1.1) George Popov
        July 26, 2012 at 3:20 am

        +1 here in Australia.

        Mine is also sans AF issues. I know at least 3 others locally, all pro photographers, who purchased the camera in the course of last few weeks (all purchased as part of pre-orders) none of them reported an issue after compulsory tests were completed.
        Lead time was 9 weeks, BTW.

      • 35.1.2) Chris Lambie
        July 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm

        Mine which is bought in Ted’s Camera store in Melbourne is also unaffected, at least it appears to be so far. My D800 serial number is 8107341, if that helps.

  36. 36) Gegeti
    July 26, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Same thing in France as in Sweden. And mine bought in march knows no problem !

  37. 37) Rolf G.
    July 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I am a wedding photographer from Switzerland. I bought two D800 from Kochphoto in Zurich, both of which came on Wednesday and without AF issue.
    This shop sold over 50 D800 and D800E cameras in the last 3 months and is yet to have one returned. Which is really confusing and contradicts what is being written here and reported by many people who seem to have issues with their D800 cameras.

  38. 38) Drazen B.
    July 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    It’s good to see that owners of good (‘caviar’) type of D800s start commenting on their experiences as well. I wonder what the realistic good/bad AF ratio would be, but judging by the few last posts it appears that many countries around the word have been unaffected in this regard.

    No wonder Nikon didn’t and wouldn’t release an official world-wide recall. They’re most likely also puzzled as most of us here as to why.

  39. 39) Alex Sidorov
    August 28, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Dear author, links provided do not seem to work. Can you please check this out.

    • 39.1) Kent Whitney
      September 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Alex S.

      Did you ever get an answer for the D800 serial numbers that had the left focus problems? As stated the link did not work??



      • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski 39.1.1) Bob Vishneski
        September 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

        Alex & Kent,
        Did you read the intro to this article?

      • 39.1.2) TimR
        September 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

        um.. Alex and Kent, there are no answers as Bob Vishneski posted the fake link as a spoof. please read bob’s explanation at the top of the article ;-)

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          September 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm

          It wasn’t a “spoof,” but rather my notion of how Nikon should have handled this issue.

          • Alex S.
            September 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm

            I see, thank you:) It’s just still a mystery if my camera has such a fault or not as it’s hard to say in normal operation/aperture not always at maximum

  40. 40) Charlie
    October 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks very much for this posting. However, I remain confused. The suggests that Nikon understands the problem and has implemented a corrective calibration procedure that includes validation of affected D800 cameras as well as eliminating it in all new D800s off the assembly line. My early D800e was returned to Melville, NY after I found my left autofocus points malfunctioned. When the camera was returned, the left points worked, but the center point no longer worked. I returned my camera again and this time, the center point was corrected, but the problem has now shifted to the lower right. Three weeks later, I am still waiting as Nikon ‘researches’… So does Nikon really understand the problem?

  41. 41) Charlie
    October 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks very much for this posting. However, I remain confused. My experience suggests that Nikon does not fully understand the problem. My early D800e was returned to Melville, NY after I found my left autofocus points malfunctioned. When the camera was returned, the left points worked, but the center point no longer worked. I returned my camera again and this time, the center point was corrected, but the problem has now shifted to the lower right. Three weeks later, I am still waiting as Nikon ‘researches’… So does Nikon really understand the problem?

    • October 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Until we get the “official” press release, we can be nothing other than skeptical regarding what Nikon does/does not know, since it is our hard-earned money on the line. My “repair” showed the same faulty “fix” that yours experienced. It is hard to be confident regarding a fix when there are more than a few horror stories out there, and Nikon is still giving us the silent treatment. Thankfully, I and some others were able to get new, properly working cameras or have our DSLRs successfully repaired.

      • 41.1.1) Charlie
        October 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm


        So how does one get a replacement? I have asked repeatedly but have been told they do not have replacements. Nikon’s official guidance is to sit tight and use the center autofocus point. Yeah right. I have missed two photo shoots and still don’t have a solution. I would think that after two repair attempts, and admitting they have no solution, that Nikon would replace my unit and stop tinkering. Any suggestions? Thanks

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          October 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm

          Escalate to the Head of Customer Experience, Customer Care, Product Support, etc. Twice is enough. They don’t have umpteen times to get this right. I was fortunate in that I was still within the 30 day time window of B&H. Don’t stop asking to speak to a manager until you get to the one that runs the Service Center.

  42. 42) rick
    January 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    all issue are bogus keep taking picture and don read this comment and rumors
    the D800E is perfect in all aspects. I check all the mechanism

    • January 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Apparently that is simply not true. I tested 2 cameras thoroughly. One after it had been “repaired.” I can assure you that this focus issue was not bogus. This may come as a shock to you, but occasionally, companies make mistakes. Sometimes they admit them, and sometimes they do not…

  43. 43) Gene
    January 25, 2013 at 4:14 am

    This is precisely why I cancelled my order for a D800, and I am seriously considering Canon. It is disheartening that a camera company with Nikon’s position in the market could be so penny-wise and pound foolish. Do they not understand that the other companies also make good gear, and it is now the company with the better customer service policy that will get the orders? Nikon does not deserve my hard-earned money. I will never buy new nikon equipment again, since their authorized repair facilities are overwhelmed making their warranty worthless, and their manufacturing quality control is becoming less credible. Add the fact that they have made the highly questionable decision to cut off independent repair facilties from parts and support. They cite as a reason that this will improve the quality of repairs, but I have seen quite the opposite – it takes longer, it is not often fixed correctly, and their prices have gone up, which they can do now because they control the market. Stupid move on their part.

    • 43.1) FrancoisR
      January 25, 2013 at 5:00 am

      Hello Gene,

      I own a D800 and 5D3 and these are two different animals. I never had any problem with my D800 (since June ’12). For high resolution shots where you have time to compose and good light the D800 is unequalled (great for portraits with 85G 1.8), while for shooting in low light, quick action and programmed settings the 5D3 is better. They are both keepers! I prefer the Canon colors…

    • January 25, 2013 at 5:08 am

      Unfortunately, every camera manufacturer has had their quality issues. Buying a Canon is no assurance of a problem-free experience than buying a Nikon. I sympathize with the camera companies’ challenges regarding investing in R&D, increasing the rate of product feature introduction, retooling their manufacturing processes on a tighter timeline, matching/beating the competitors, and of course, dealing with customers that, truth be told, expect more and more for less money. That is tough list to manage.
      That said, I believe Nikon could have turned the D800 focus issues into a reputation builder rather than a PR fiasco by handling it better. I even wrote the press release for them! Of course, they apparently chose not to follow my lead. ;)

  44. January 25, 2013 at 4:47 am

    I have the D800 and D800E and have had no problems whatsoever. I am getting incredible shots with them.
    I must admit I always use the center focus as I have been told it is the sharpest.
    I did check all focus points and found no problem
    I have had no problem with Nikon’d warranty program.

    • 44.1) Gene
      January 25, 2013 at 9:41 am

      The are both good and different. For my use, either would work extremely well, with a lean towards the Canon for better FPS – I should a lot of birds in flight and other subjects that require better performance. What has been the dealbreaker for me has been Nikon’s arrogance. I have owned Nikon gear on and off since the 60s. July 13 marked the first time I could not obtain a simple maintenance item – something I have purchased in the past and installed myself. It is a small T-Nut that accepts the threaded fastener on the lens hood for my 600 AFS F4. I have bought these for $22 in the past, but now, all of a sudden they won’t sell me this part, insisting that I send in the lens for refurbishing, at a cost of close to $800 between the service cost, shipping handling and insuring the lens during transit. This is ridiculous. I also misplaced the battery grip terminal cover on my D700 – was told it needed to be sent it for repair. This is not how you run a service department – it has completely alienated me. For the moment I will stay with what I have, I am not ready to jump ship just yet, but I am no longer buying anything new. The consensus among Canon pros I have spoken to is that they have a better customer service experience – even if their cameras might require more service. I’ll gladly take stuff breaking over having to deal with a cynical company any day.

    • 44.2) Gene
      January 25, 2013 at 9:51 am

      sorry about the duplicate post – this blog app does not allow a post to be retracted – what I meant to say is that I heard marvelous things about the D800/800E – I wanted one in the worse way, but when Nikon ignored everyone and went ahead with their plan, it was the final straw for me. I am quite happy with my D700 for now – if Nikon wants my business they will have to prove they are worthy. Their gear is exceptionally good, but its hard to ignore their service issues.

  45. 45) BJ
    March 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Hey lads,
    I am not sure if that’s me only but I can’t see any working links where I can check if my D800 is ok or not. The link to the test procedures also doesn’t work (I can’t see it).
    The only thing I see are two yellow text boxes (button-like) but I can’t click on them or anything like that.
    Am I doing something wrong?
    I use Chrome and IE9 and it doesn’t work on any of them.
    Any hints?

  46. 46) Canticleer
    May 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm


    I have to second Bartosz, the links don’t work anymore. I use Firefox and Safari
    I have a new D800 on the way and I sure would like to check the serials of the affected camera’s.


    • May 25, 2013 at 12:34 am

      Did you read the top section of the post? The bold italicized portion?

      • 46.1.1) Canticleer
        May 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        I have now.


      • 46.1.2) BJ
        May 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm

        Hi Bob,

        I have read it too but I don’t understand what does it have to do with the fact that links to the “testing process” and to the place where I can check my serial – don’t work?
        From the italicized text I have understood that the only valid info should be on this page – and nowhere else.
        Is that correct?
        I am sorry, I don’t really mean to be rude – just trying to make sure that I am doing everything ok.
        Those “yellow boxes” don’t work for me.


  47. May 27, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Are you sure you reread the bold italicized text?

    • 47.1) BJ
      May 28, 2013 at 12:39 am

      My bad Bob! I missed one important phrase somehow.

  48. 48) Cesar
    May 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I tried to use “your link” but it does not seem to work, and it sucks because i could of used it to check a d800 on ebay to see if it was affected by the left auto focus issue but i missed out. Either way thought i would let you know, if you can email me the links to check later on other d800 before i make a purchase please let me know. i really dont want to buy a camera with the problem and then have even more problems lol.

    • 48.1) Cesar
      May 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Ignore this, im retarded. actually delete it so it doesnt create clutter. my appologizes.

  49. 49) John
    July 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I bought a brand new Nikon D800 in March 2014.
    Just found out that left focus is a bit soft & sometimes out of focus quite noticeable when setting focus point on the left of the center.
    So obviously, Nikon did not fix the problem at the manufacturer level as everyone has hoped.
    Serial #: 6134xxx

  50. 50) Saleem
    November 15, 2014 at 6:46 am

    I first bought a Nikon D7000 followed by the D800E, I also bought, at the same time as the D7000, the latest gold strips – 24-70 2.8G and the 70-200mm 2.8G, of and the 50mm 1.4G… I have spent countless hours trying to get my auto focus tweeked with fine tune on both bodies… I’m absolutely pissed at the autofocus issues when wide open, granted there are tolerance requirements.. but Nikon could provide automated utilities to adjust using fine tune… or better still, fully automate the calibration of the bodies and the lens. my problem is I left it too late… these products are not fit for purpose… NIKON YOU NEED TO WAKE UP…!!! why should I have to spend more money getting the service centre to look into the problem and fix it… when, in essence the products I’ve purchased should work seamlessly together. Nikon should fix the auto focus issues without further charging their customers… if I could I would ditch NIKON… their customer service is questionable…

    • November 15, 2014 at 8:24 am

      I think Nikon got the message, as the D750 and D810 introductions were much better than those of the D800 and D600. My D810 doesn’t seem to need any lens adjustments with most of my lenses, and for those it does, it is very minor. Although very sharp, my D800 required a healthy adjustment for all my lenses.
      If Nikon can plug the gap with a D400, start transitioning to a mirrorless platform that give people the opportunity to use their F-mount lenses for a few generations of mirrorless bodies, I think they can stop the bleeding. Ultimately, they will have a tough time unless they can diversify, since cellphones, for most people, will continue to be “good enough” for most situations.
      Since I often carry two camera bodies around my neck while out and about, people will often ask me to help them with their cameras. When I start asking them questions about the cameras, I am never surprised to find that more than a few simply don’t know much about them. Thus a cell phone, with a few simple features that are easy to understand, a decent amount of megapixels, and some decent performance in low light is more than enough for their needs.

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