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Can I vent?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by lisa_h, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. lisa_h


    Sep 6, 2008
    New England
    Okay, So my 50 1.4 has never been real sharp below f/2.8 and I just feel it has had always had focus issues. So I send it to the Factory Service Center and they have it for 2 whole weeks, only to send it back and say there is nothing wrong w/ it. They did NOTHING to it but lube it and check it over. So it comes back to me and is still the same.

    THEN I buy the 105 DC f/2 lens and that thing straight out of the box is front focusing a lot-- the tuning in camera didn't even touch it. So I send that in. They've had it for 11 days. They tell me today it's shipping back to me and that there is nothing wrong w/ it :eek: 

    I know this is exactly 45 degrees b/c of my manfrotto tripod.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I'm not a beginner, I know how to use my camera. I've been doing this for 5 years now.

    I called a higher up at Nikon and they really could care less, obviously. They tell me I would have to send the 50 1.4 back to them and I just can't be w/ out that lens for another 2 weeks only to get it back and have them tell me the same thing. Also, regarding the 105, don't you think if you order a $1000 lens and pay for overnight shipping that you should be able to use it right away? Not send it away and wait another 2 weeks? What kind of QC is that? So if it comes back to me still not focusing right, it's been over 2 weeks, B&H won't take it back and I'm stuck w/ it..............:mad: 

    What kind of testing do they do? Do they do real life shooting or just tripod?

    Any advice?
  2. Leif


    Feb 12, 2006
    Could it be your camera? If the viewfinder and/or focus module is not set up correctly, you would be getting out of focus images? Try manually focussing. At wide open that can be hard, so try taking multiple images and selecting the best. If that works, it is the focus module. If not, then try taking shots manually slightly either side of focus, and if one of those works, it's the viewfinder.

    Also your lens mount could be out of alignment. :frown:
  3. Hi Lisa,

    Sorry to hear about your trouble with Nikon and their service.

    I have heard of people who have sent their bodies in to Nikon alongwith their lenses so Nikon can check out the problem. Ofcourse, this would be even more inconvenient <or simply not an option> for you.

    Wait for your 105 and if it behaves the same way as your 50 1.4, call Nikon and explain to them your situation and see if the body can be sent alongwith the lenses.

    Again, not sure if this is an option for you, I am only a hobbyist but not a pro.

    best of luck to you,
  4. lisa_h


    Sep 6, 2008
    New England
    Thanks Sanjay. Yeah, really not an option since I do this professionally and have sessions booked. The same problems w/ these 2 lenses on my D80 as well.
  5. lisa_h


    Sep 6, 2008
    New England
    :eek:  LOL. Not what I want to hear.
    but since I have the same problem w/ these 2 lenses on my D80 I'm guessing not.
    All my other lenses are spot on w/ both cameras--- the 85 1.4, 60mm macro, 28 2.8
  6. Lisa if your a NPS Nikon will lend you a camera.

    Sorry to hear about your problems. :-(
  7. Based on my fiddling around with the AF fine tuning, I would think about +10 to +15 would fix the amount of front focusing I see in your test shot. Have you tested any of your other lenses?
  8. lisa_h


    Sep 6, 2008
    New England
    Really? Thanks Paul, good to know. Maybe they want to lend me a D3? LOL.

    All my other lenses are fine on both cameras-- that includes

    85 1.4
    60 2.8 macro
    24 2.8
    sigma 24-70 2.8

    I tried the fine tuning. Nadda.
    Sonya had the same exact issue w/ her 105.
  9. Did you see any improvement at all with fine tuning? If not then it's possible you may have been doing something wrong. I've had lenses (ie, the 24-70/2.8) look worse than what you show corrected by AF Fine tune (on both my D300 and D700).

    I know this is not what you want to hear but when I had this issue with my D2x I had to send the camera and lenses to Nikon and they did come back fixed.
  10. wow.... sorry you are having these issues.
  11. Hmmm - I admit I don't quite understand how one lens can focus to point of aim and another can't. It is a closed-loop control system with the feedback point being the AF sensors in the body. I can see how an alignment/adjustment in the focus mechanism in the body ccould throw things off, but the lens just responds until the focus system tells it to stop. Of course if the AF system isn't closed loop, but the body commands the lens to change focus by X amount, then it is quite obvious how this could happen. I assume it is a closed loop system due tothe accuracy required.

    I'm obviously missing something here myself. I don't doubt this happens, I just can't see the engineering involved at first glance.
  12. Just a wild idea - Lisa, are you using a Speedlight when you take the test shots or just ambient light?
  13. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    sorry Lisa ...this really bites!

    unfortunitely you're getting the "professional put-off". when they can't fix it they generally coin this as "within specs":mad: .

    there's only 2 ways i buy a "problematic lens" such as these. from an experienced respected member of this forum or from a respected brick n mortar.

    so, considering u went through the strokes is there any chance b&h would consider exchanging it for another?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2008
  14. Actually the lens loop is closed but the camera to lens is not (the camera calculates where AF should occur and outputs a corresponding voltage while the lens closes it loop against that reference point). Thus there can be two sources of error - the camera and/or the lens.

    I believe the (Value setting) AF Fine Tune feature adds a fixed offset voltage to the camera output voltage thus compensating for front or back focus. There can be 12 unique settings to correct up to 12 lenses. OTOH, the Default Value setting in the AF Fine Tune menu appears to compensate camera body errors and it affects all lenses.
  15. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Lisa :

    Escalate, escalate, escalate...

    You've spoken to one supervisor. Call again and get a different one. Find out who they report to and escalate.

    You probably know this, but be very calm, be resolute, and have concrete examples at hand to explain the problem. Make sure that they understand that you're a professional, and that you are a dedicated Nikon shooter. Don't make comments about changing to Canon or suchlike, as this removes any incentive for the Nikon person to help.

    But keep escalating up the ladder.

    At the end of the day, Nikon doesn't want to have ticked-off professional shooters being unhappy with the company. They aren't perhaps the most customer oriented company (read some of Thom Hogan's comments for a better and more informed discussion on this), but they aren't stupid either.

    Escalate, escalate, escalate...

    John P.
  16. Lisa, I've found using the 45 degree test unreliable. You don't really know where the camera is focusing. What I do is line up three cereal boxes so that the sides are facing camera. I stagger the boxes so that each is an inch or so in front of the other. I aim for the middle box and check if it is in focus or if either box on its side are (one of the boxes on the side should be slightly in front of the middle box, the other slightly behind the middle box). I think this is a much more reliable test.

    I also use a tripod, use a remote to trip the shutter, and use exposure delay to minimize the impact of mirror slap.

    I hope this helps.
  17. schwann


    Sep 7, 2008
    San Antonio. TX
    I posted this on another forum and I'll post it here too....instead of cereal boxes (good idea) I lined up beer bottles.....using my new D700 and new 50 1.4, I got these results.....i use to do the chart test but for me its easier and more fun lining up bottles....the lens set wide open, auto iso, auto wb....

    rear most....
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    3rd from rear
    View attachment 260736

    2nd from front
    View attachment 260737

    View attachment 260738
  18. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    i do simular testing, schwann ..but only when i've had a "suspect" lens. unfortunitly my suspiscions were always right....lol

  19. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    very good word here John ...and there's always that chance she was dealt a dummy ...sometimes a fresh face makes all the difference ...;-)
  20. Ditto on that. In fact when I was discussing focusing issues with Nikon and mentioned "the chart" I was told that is unreliable and don't bother sending any photo's using it because they will be ignored (he told me 3 dimensional testing is the only right way to do it).

    That said, I improvised my own setup as shown below. It can only focus on the steel rod since there is nothing else nearby for it to lock onto. I've gotten consistently repeatable results (with 3 different camera bodies). The cereal box idea works fine though. And so does the beer bottle test (assuming you haven't just finished emptying them :wink: ).

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
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