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Gary I would say you had a problem. If you can't get sharp images with the 14-24 @14mm there is a problem as the hyper focal distance @14mm and F2.8 is 2.3 metres (1m to infinity). So basically anywhere that you focus should give a sharp image, and lets face it when would you use F2.8 at 14mm.
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Quote: @Nick_w I have 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm F2.8s which I share between a number of cameras. I would say I have a 99% focus/sharpness success rate with them on the reliable D300 and D700, but only around 80% with the D800.
Adding to Nick's feedback page 107 of the 14-24 lens instructions is the section which confirms the huge depth of field available.
Pages 110 and 111 remind users of two types of autofocus subject where focus may be less accurate with this lens than those of longer focal lengths.
Links to a problem images can always help.
From time to time Nikon change the autofocus detection areas which requires a little learning from the photographer as generally a new system works better overall but less well with a few types of subject.
Many who did not quickly adjust initially complained the D2 autofocus was no good, followed by complaints the D200, the D300 and the D3s autofocus was no good.
Nikon reduced the size of the autofocus detection lines starting with the D3s; and how the auto focus controls work in the D7000. The way they work in the D800 are quite different to the D300 and D700.
I owned a D3s and a D7000 before acquiring my D800 and was used to change in how autofocus works going back to the film era.
I had no difficulty quickly adapting to how D800 performs autofocus functions but can understand someone who presumes there are no differences compared to a D300 or D700 initially having some difficulty.
Links to some examples of poor focus may help others comment on whether they think your 20% failures might be the camera, or subject selection. As page 100 of the D800 instructions reminds us auto focus is not infallible, and occasionally some user input helps get consistently good results.
Whether its applicable with some examples I don't know, the AF points are concentrated in the centre, I think in the part of the image that corresponds to DX. In landscapes for instance you want all the FG to be pin sharp (generally), if you just focused using the points often some FG would be soft. You often have to focus on something 1/3 the way in then recompose (or set manually).
On the manual Len, mine didn't come in the box, should it? ( bought via Amazon) I assumed I'd need to download (which been a man - I didn't)
D800 Rocks boys & girls
Recently had an image from my D800E criticsed as being over sharpened. It was a straight shot with only levels adjustment and no sharpening applied either in the camera at the taking stage or during processing via lightroom!
having read all this thread and this is my first post so be "newbie tolerant please" I currently have a D3200 (wife bought me as a prezzie but I enjoy using it) but am looking to upgrade to the D800. I have purchased quite a bit of "glass" with my current choice and all are AF-S G (some also have ED after) now I can afford the D800 body but not new glass, can I used them on the D800, sorry if I have put this in the wrong place but I would value you expert input.
All of your lenses will work with the D800, except any that include the term ‘DX’ in their labels. DX is Nikon’s term for APS-C, referring to the smaller sensor in cameras like your D3200. The D800 is an FX camera, which means it needs lenses with a so-called full-frame image circle.
Well, you can actually use DX lenses on FX cameras, but because the lenses don’t cover the whole sensor, the camera behaves as a DX camera, forgoing any advantages of FX.
Consider the D600 too: it’s cheaper, a bit smaller, much lighter, and offers similar image quality from its FX sensor, although it doesn’t have the D800’s 10-pin accessory port, PC-socket (flash sync), and ‘pro’ ruggedness.
That said, you won’t necessarily notice a difference in image quality between a D3200 and a D800. A clear difference exists, but it’s far subtler than many imagine, often requiring special raw-file processing, pixel peeping, and even then an experienced (i.e. picky) eye to spot the difference. For example, if in post-processing you expand mid-tone contrast by a factor of ten to get a high-impact look, as an advanced landscape photographer might do, then the better signal-to-noise ratio of the FX camera at ISO 100 comes into its own. If you’re shooting JPEGs and uploading the results to the web, the differences are insignificant.
This is why I mostly steer clear of camera forums,their is so much nonsense spouted after a few days of use or evaluation. When Nikon released the D800 I was as exited as I was when I got my first slr many moons ago,It was more than I hoped for,yes I had to buy a powerful PC,but the bottom line is, it is probaby the best dsr out there for studio and Landscape work. The files from it are simply fantastic and really large prints from a pro lab are stunning.
It goes without saying that a camera with such resolution has to be used with good glass and good practice ie solid tripod,mirror up and remote release,but I have never had any problem with hand holding at sensible shutter speeds and even shooting weddings and events all I would use would be a monopod for a 2.8 std zoom or 70-200 zoom and still get sharp images up to 20x30 inches.
With Landscapes and any camera the above with a solid tripod should be an absolute.
Botton line right now in my humble opinion is the D800 is true state of the art now and probably for a while to come.
Got to use mine in the studio today for a family portrait shoot. Was a real test as we had a family group of 12 which took some arranging not to mention lighting! I did get the Tamron 24-70 2.8 from Focus in the week. I couldn't quite run to the cost of the Nikon 24-70 but this lens is a little beauty, so sharp you'll need stitches! With this combo I have to say I am even more knocked out by the performance of this camera.
In a nutshell, the D800 makes me smile.
Further to the ongoing soft images problem I've been having with my camera for the best part of six months, today I had my D800 calibrated for each of the lenses I use with it. The test process backed up my suspicion that the camera was front focussing by some way. All seven tests showed a front focus error. Thanks to all those that suggested having it done. It's not something that occurred to me as I have never needed to do it before.
Not done any real world tests yet so fingers crossed!
Quote: the ongoing soft images problem I've been having with my camera for the best part of six months,
It takes about six minutes, not six months, to test a fine tune camera for reasonably accurate focus.
The first step is to set up a subject which includes fine detail subject on perhaps a wall that also meets the criteria for constant accurate focus - on page 100 of the instructions for the D800.
With the camera on a tripod, take an image in LiveView, then with ordinary AF at nil, then in ordinary AF at plus 10 and then at minus 10.
If your camera and lenses are as good as Nikon say they should be (Nikon say fine tune is not normally needed) and the target is reliable for both auto focus systems the first 2 pictures should be sharpest at 100% and the third and fourth images should be a little soft.
If not quickly investigate and, if you have a problem and bought from a UK retailer, get the equipment exchanged.
Perhaps the greatest challenge is testing reliably. A lot of so called test targets do not meet Nikon's (or Canon's) guidance for consistent accurate focus. It is interesting to note about 1 in 4 posts I see for the current "in fashion" FoCal target are from users who have abandoned it because each time they use it they get very different front and back focus indications
When testing it is important to change the focus distance each time you change the zoom setting to keep the target a constant size in the viewfinder.
If a camera body has a front or back focus issue it does this in the same direction with every lens used on it by a roughly similar amount.
If a new screwdriver AF lens has a focus issue the lens itself plays no part in deciding the focus distance so either you tested it wrong or it is badly broken.
If a new AF-s lens has a focus issue it is possible that the CPU is stopping the lens at the wrong focus.
When people report a problem and post a link it is extremely rare for them to have used a target where autofocus is supposed to work to a good standard. While occasional faults are not unknown most perceived problems turn out to be in less than ideal testing when an image is posted.
Quote: It's not something that occurred to me as I have never needed to do it before.
You've been lucky then. It's not an uncommon problem on DSLRs - or any camera where the AF sensor is at a different place to the image sensor. If all your lenses need fine-tuning in the same direction I'd suggest that the problem is the set up of the camera body and it might be worth sending it back to Nikon for adjustment. The fine-tune adjustment is for the small errors that occur in some lenses when PDAF is being used.
For those that were having problems with focusing (I didn't BTW) Nikon have announced a new firmware upgrade. Its supposed to make AF-C more accurate. I just downloaded and installed. I noticed straight away even AF-S was much quicker at locking on (this has been reported elsewhere too) just wondering if this is what everyone was seeing.
I don't know if its because my first sSLR was a D80 which had a very poor AF that I got used to focusing on areas of high contrast that I didn't see a problem.
Anyway those that haven't here's the link:
I applied the firmware upgrades to both my D800 and D800E on Tuesday.
I must confess that I haven't noticed any differences at all since updating - but then I never noticed any problems whatsoever with either camera.
Just tried the D800 with the 24-70 F2.8. The image quality and resolution outstanding.
Camera and lens build quality and the feature set, miles better than Canon.
I had little problem in getting pin sharp images when handheld, providing I was sensible and didn't shoot at too slow a shutter speed.
However, I do think Nikon overcomplicate their cameras with so many external buttons and controls and I found it very difficult initially to set the camera to my preference. The grip is also a bit on the shallow side for such a heavy combo.
I would still have without a shadow of doubt instead of my 5D2, but swapping over would kill me financially.
Come on Canon, your sensor tech is stagnating. Give your customers something to kill for.
Canon is too busy struggling trying to sell their mirrorless EOS M.
I read elsewhere on the web (so it is probably untrue, but frankly it wouldn't surprise me if it is true) that an unnamed retailer was sending its entire stock of the EOS M back to Canon as there were no takers.
They do seem to be dropping the ball at the moment. But I think every major camera manufacturer goes through that phase.... Pentax comes to mind as well.
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