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: http://www.nikonusa.com/Service-And-Support/index.page. 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.