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Author Topic: D800 Struggling with AF Fine Tune  (Read 12483 times)
Steve_Townsend
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« on: June 03, 2012, 02:05:04 AM »
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Think I have a problem with my D800 and it seems elsewhere on the internet there is quite some feedback on an AF issue.

It seems my 24-70 and 70-200vrII need at least -20 adjustment on the AF fine tune. It would be nice to go a little further to see if it can be improved (can't go further than +-20). Not great sophisticated technique other than just trying the adjustment iteratively then comparing the resulting image at 100%. I wasn't trying to get a precise result because what I was seeing seemed to indicate that I do have a problem due to the scale of the adjustment required and my findings with manual focus lenses.

I moved on to my Zeiss 100mm ZF to see what happened to the focus indicator in the viewfinder and this is way off. Live view correct focus and correct focus according to the camera indicator are significantly distant.  I wondered whether a default value adjustment in the AF fine tune might help. In other words that I have a camera body with a more significant focus issue indicated by the scale adjustment of the individual lens bumping up against the -20 max. I was hoping that I could adjust the AF fine tune default value with the 100mm Zeiss (MF) then fine tune the individual lenses (AF) without bumping up against the max values. Wasn't able to achieve that with the manual focus lens and the Nikon Manual, as thick as it is, is sadly lacking in this department. Whatever AF default value I set for the manual focus lens, the viewfinder indicator never showed correct focus.

Wondered what others had found and also whether my method is flawed?
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 02:15:01 AM »
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Think I have a problem with my D800 and it seems elsewhere on the internet there is quite some feedback on an AF issue.

It seems my 24-70 and 70-200vrII need at least -20 adjustment on the AF fine tune. It would be nice to go a little further to see if it can be improved (can't go further than +-20). Not great sophisticated technique other than just trying the adjustment iteratively then comparing the resulting image at 100%. I wasn't trying to get a precise result because what I was seeing seemed to indicate that I do have a problem due to the scale of the adjustment required and my findings with manual focus lenses.

I moved on to my Zeiss 100mm ZF to see what happened to the focus indicator in the viewfinder and this is way off. Live view correct focus and correct focus according to the camera indicator are significantly distant.  I wondered whether a default value adjustment in the AF fine tune might help. In other words that I have a camera body with a more significant focus issue indicated by the scale adjustment of the individual lens bumping up against the -20 max. I was hoping that I could adjust the AF fine tune default value with the 100mm Zeiss (MF) then fine tune the individual lenses (AF) without bumping up against the max values. Wasn't able to achieve that with the manual focus lens and the Nikon Manual, as thick as it is, is sadly lacking in this department. Whatever AF default value I set for the manual focus lens, the viewfinder indicator never showed correct focus.

Wondered what others had found and also whether my method is flawed?
If you need more than +20 or less than -20 for two different lenses, chanties are that the trouble lies within the camera itself.
Send it back to a repair center.
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Steve_Townsend
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 03:39:31 AM »
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I think you are right. Really should go back and I get my money back and get a new one?
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 06:34:13 AM »
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Steve, I believe you used the correct technique to check your AF. There is a long thread on Nikongear on this, but if it were mine I'd return it to your dealer or call Nikon about a fix under warranty.
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David Watson
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 11:44:14 AM »
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Think I have a problem with my D800 and it seems elsewhere on the internet there is quite some feedback on an AF issue.

It seems my 24-70 and 70-200vrII need at least -20 adjustment on the AF fine tune. It would be nice to go a little further to see if it can be improved (can't go further than +-20). Not great sophisticated technique other than just trying the adjustment iteratively then comparing the resulting image at 100%. I wasn't trying to get a precise result because what I was seeing seemed to indicate that I do have a problem due to the scale of the adjustment required and my findings with manual focus lenses.

I moved on to my Zeiss 100mm ZF to see what happened to the focus indicator in the viewfinder and this is way off. Live view correct focus and correct focus according to the camera indicator are significantly distant.  I wondered whether a default value adjustment in the AF fine tune might help. In other words that I have a camera body with a more significant focus issue indicated by the scale adjustment of the individual lens bumping up against the -20 max. I was hoping that I could adjust the AF fine tune default value with the 100mm Zeiss (MF) then fine tune the individual lenses (AF) without bumping up against the max values. Wasn't able to achieve that with the manual focus lens and the Nikon Manual, as thick as it is, is sadly lacking in this department. Whatever AF default value I set for the manual focus lens, the viewfinder indicator never showed correct focus.

Wondered what others had found and also whether my method is flawed?

First thing I did was check my 800E with Lens Align - pretty well spot on with these lenses.  I agree with the other posters - send the camera back.
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David Watson ARPS
Steve_Townsend
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 11:30:27 AM »
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Phoned Nikon this morning. I would have sent it back to my dealer and demand a new one but as you have probably guessed they don't have one on the shelf!!

Nikon UK said it would take 7 - 10 days but when pushed and being an NPS member that reduced to 3 days. Trouble is I have sold my D3x and replaced it with this so a little concerned and nervous going on a job with my faithful D3s but without a backup!!

Anyway relatively pleased, a courier will collect the camera and get it back to me within the reduced time frame.
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2012, 02:10:08 PM »
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Steve,

Please do resurrect this thread and tell us if it has improved once you get it back from Nikon UK.
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Mark Ogden
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 01:15:34 PM »
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Hello, my first post.

Steve, I have exactly the same issue with the same kit: the D800 and the 24 - 70.  I shot on a tripod and kept the aperture reasonable, and I did not see a sharp image despite seeing the AF confirm.  Same results with a Nikkor 35mm f1.4.  The worst results were hand-holding the camera with a Zeiss 35mm zf.2 f1.4. I focused manually till I saw the viewfinder display "in-focus" dot.  Missed by a mile.

The camera is now on its way to the Nikon Eastern US service center on Long Island.  Here's hoping, but I confess to developing an intense frustration with everything about this camera so far, from the long wait to acquire it to this little issue.
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Mark Ogden
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2012, 06:41:31 PM »
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To follow up on my last post, the D800 returned from Nikon Melville demonstrably sharper.  The repair invoice included with it listed the following work:

ADJ MIRROR ANGLE
ADJ AUTO FOCUS OPERATION
ADJ DEFOCUS CONTROL
CKD COMMUNICATION
CLN CCD

For what it's worth (and considering the reports of a certain factory run of these having bad autofocus issues) my camera's serial number is 3024657, so if yours is in that range, you may be looking at the same issue.

Interestingly, whoever serviced the camera left an SD card in it showing their focus test set-up.  I was somehow expecting something more elaborate, but hey, it got the job done!

« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 06:43:15 PM by Mark Ogden » Logged
allegretto
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 12:26:21 PM »
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LensAlign is a very useful tool and far better than just serial photos. Allows you to adjust for front and back focus and enhances reproducibility

Sadly, unless you're very lucky you will find your "zoom" has a variable factor at different points

Believe I read elsewhere here that Canon allows adj at the long and short end, but not in between
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 12:48:11 PM »
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Believe I read elsewhere here that Canon allows adj at the long and short end...

The Canon 5D Mark III & 1D X bodies are currently the only Canon bodies with that feature. If absolutely precise focusing is the most important aspect you consider when evaluating a photograph, use the Live view feature + magnification at 10X when shooting.
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Ellis Vener
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kers
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 04:31:10 PM »
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Interestingly, whoever serviced the camera left an SD card in it showing their focus test set-up.  I was somehow expecting something more elaborate, but hey, it got the job done!

also interesting is that they used a 50,mm 1,4 D lens at aperture 2,8
I heard before that they test focus at d2,8 and not at 1,4.
It maybe explains why these cameras do not work very well at 1,4 - also due to focus shift
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Pieter Kers
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 05:10:50 PM »
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Believe I read elsewhere here that Canon allows adj at the long and short end...

The Canon 5D Mark III & 1D X bodies are currently the only Canon bodies with that feature. If absolutely precise focusing is the most important aspect you consider when evaluating a photograph, use the Live view feature + magnification at 10X when shooting.

Olympus has allowed two adjustment points for zoom lenses since the E-30 (the camera interpolates between the two set adjustments at intermediate zoom points, EXIFs reveal), as well as the ability to fine tune focus indivually for every AF focus point (which admittedly would be a hell of a chore unless it was automated as with FoCal).  How hard can it be to code this into the firmware?  Indeed, you would think that the camera makers would want to offer the feature and the ability to automate adjustment via the crapware that's bundled with the cameras so that their products would perform at the best level possible, at least at the pro and prosumer levels of product.  I utterly fail to understand why this approach has not been followed by every camera maker.  Sometime you would think that the people who design the cameras don't have a clue about the actual practice of photograpy.  And don't get me started on the lack of DNG adoption by the manufacturers....

However, I suspect that if we wait around long enough this will be rendered moot by combined PDAF CDAF technology.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 05:12:57 PM by AFairley » Logged

TMARK
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2012, 09:19:51 AM »
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also interesting is that they used a 50,mm 1,4 D lens at aperture 2,8
I heard before that they test focus at d2,8 and not at 1,4.
It maybe explains why these cameras do not work very well at 1,4 - also due to focus shift

The 50 1.4D has focus shift up close.  On my D800e it is spot on at about 5 feet and at 1.4.  I wish the screen were better, something like teh Canon EG-s screens.

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Stephane Desnault
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 11:00:48 AM »
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I had the same issue : -20 (or +20, I don't remember) with my brand new D800E on a just-re-calibrated Nikon 24-70 (it fell HARD and had to be repaired). To make things worse, with most lenses, the focus results I was getting were simply unpredictable.

Standard AF was visibly sub par compared to LiveView focusing. To put it in less words: AF was completely broken and unusable, on any focus point.

Nikon took back the camera under the warranty with no discussion. They then took their sweet time (5 weeks...) but when my body came back, micro focus was perfect at 0 on my 24-70, using lens align for reference. And the culprit was the body: I hadn't sent the 24-70 with it.

Now, why on earth would they sell a non-calibrated body in the first place, that is the question...

Best,

Stephane
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 03:42:30 AM »
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Nikon took back the camera under the warranty with no discussion. They then took their sweet time (5 weeks...) but when my body came back, micro focus was perfect at 0 on my 24-70, using lens align for reference. And the culprit was the body: I hadn't sent the 24-70 with it.

Now, why on earth would they sell a non-calibrated body in the first place, that is the question...
I'm asking myself that too.
At least they know how to fix the issue.  Roll Eyes
Based upon the serial number or the info stamped on the box, can you tell the week it was produced? Maybe the issue relate to bodies built before a certain date.

Paolo
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vincenzo.torsello
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« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2013, 07:47:50 AM »
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I spent days trying to fine tune all my lenses (all about -20), with poor results, not good for all apertures.

Finally I tried the DEFAULT setting, removing all saved values for each lens, putting just -8 as default.

All lenses now give perfect focusing, at all apertures and focal length, tested with Lensalign!

Maybe this is not the solution for all cases, but I suggest to try!  Wink

Vincenzo
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2013, 01:17:27 PM »
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LensAlign is a very useful tool and far better than just serial photos. Allows you to adjust for front and back focus and enhances reproducibility

Sadly, unless you're very lucky you will find your "zoom" has a variable factor at different points

Believe I read elsewhere here that Canon allows adj at the long and short end, but not in between

That is an extra potential issue with zooms. Does focus stay precise over the zoom range over distance ranges?

Rather than blow money on lens align just put the camera on a tripod then stretch a tape measure/yardstick/whatever you have on the floor. You can focus on the large number beside the scale.
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kers
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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2013, 04:09:37 PM »
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I agree- if you have a printer just print two pages and make your own LensAlign- no miracle there- stone age science.
I tested two zooms f 2,8 70-200 VRII  and f2,8 14-24mm and they did not change much while zooming- (as you could have guessed - of course they are calculated that way)
On the other hand- my d800e came out at -10 to -20 with all my lenses and it took me halve a day to get everything right.
A job Nikon should have done. I spend almost a year thinking autofocus was not good enough for 36MP to find out it was  just a matter of fine tuning.
also -20 means we are at the edge - and if i go back to nikon services to put it back to about zero i have to spend another morning on this silly matter.
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Pieter Kers
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vincenzo.torsello
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2013, 04:28:44 PM »
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I agree- if you have a printer just print two pages and make your own LensAlign- no miracle there- stone age science.
I tested two zooms f 2,8 70-200 VRII  and f2,8 14-24mm and they did not change much while zooming- (as you could have guessed - of course they are calculated that way)
On the other hand- my d800e came out at -10 to -20 with all my lenses and it took me halve a day to get everything right.
A job Nikon should have done. I spend almost a year thinking autofocus was not good enough for 36MP to find out it was  just a matter of fine tuning.
also -20 means we are at the edge - and if i go back to nikon services to put it back to about zero i have to spend another morning on this silly matter.

Hi, did you try to use default value instead of a value for each lens? e.g. if you have -20 delete this value and put -8 as default value.
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