D800 focusing issue. The end.

Haven’t had time to post here about the saga with my D800 (previous posts are here and here). After much debate with Nikon Richmond Service center I got referred to the corporate office in Mississauga, Canada. Even though originally it seemed like my issue was going to be ignored further, I actually got good service and in the end the camera was replaced with a brand new unit since the original one was malfunctioning beyond repair as I understood from our communication.

With this I want to say few final words.

  • I believe Nikon should have been more customer friendly with this issue. I don’t understand why they are afraid to acknowledge the issue since I’m sure it would be viewed mostly positive and as a desire to make it right.
  • I would advise you to fight until the end if your camera has the issue. Be polite, but firm. Demand actions and do not back down if your camera is faulty. Do not give up, because then you will be left with a very expensive piece of equipment that you could really use only with a Live View focusing (and trust me, it’s not fun at all if you do anything but orchestrated landscape shots).
  • If you think about sending your camera in, first contact Nikon Service office and request a pre-paid shipping label. First time I sent my camera in I was fooling enough to pay out of my own pocket (which amounted to a LOT, since I paid for shipping + insurance).
  • If your camera is faulty, do not delay sending it in. Your camera will run out of warranty soon and you will be left with a unit that is possibly beyond repair.
  • Good luck!

Wireless remote for Nikon D800

Vello ShutterBoss remote

There are many uses for a camera remote – you may need to secure your camera on a tripod and ensure that there is no shake to the camera when shooting, or you may need to expose for long time or maybe you want to just take a picture with yourself in the frame.

My old camera, Nikon D90, had a tiny IR remote that I could use for some of these purposes and it cost about $15-20. When you buy a more serious camera, however, Nikon does not make anything cheap to go with it. So you have to start looking for third party tools. There were 2 or 3 decent wireless remotes that have 10-pin connection for Nikon and in the end I selected one – Vello ShutterBoss (pictured here). While the name leaves a lot to be desired, the actual device is pretty solid and provides a great range of functions to control your camera shutter remotely. You can set up long exposures, delayed exposures, timed and interval exposures, which really helps with a lot of applications. It comes in 3 pieces – actual remote which allows you to control multiple functions, camera cable that links 10-pin connector with the receiver unit. The latter can be (but does not have to be) secured in the hot shoe.

I now cannot imagine how I would take long exposure photographs or HDR frames when I want to ensure that there will be no camera shake or shift. All in all – great tool and not very expensive either.

D800 memory cards

Lexar SD 32GB

I don’t think I mentioned this before but I am using SD cards with my D800 exclusively. Main reasoning for not using CF cards is to minimize number of gadgets I need to have and travel with. Since most laptops released in the last few years have SD card readers it becomes a big selling point for using only SD cards. If you decide to use CF cards then you will have to buy a CF card reader and carry it around when traveling. Besides, CF cards are quite more expensive than SD cards. The only downside of this approach is that you use only one memory bank instead of two.

I am using Lexar cards now, while I used SanDisk before. I’ve got 3 Lexar 32 GB 600x speed cards (pictured here) and so far I have not experience any slowdowns in camera when shooting.

D800 focusing issue. Part 2.

Today I got my camera back from Nikon’s service center in Vancouver, BC. They sent it back saying it’s within specifications. I set up another test environment with different target this time – star chart.

This was a second trip to the service center. After first trip my camera came back with improved focus when using left group of sensors (the problematic ones) but my center sensor became much, much worse – it does not focus properly now. And, apparently, center sensor should always be pretty much the best out of all of them.

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D800 focusing issue. The beginning.

So, it’s been few months since I got my D800. Unfortunately there are issues with the camera – quite infamous focusing issue with left group of focusing sensors. What is even more unfortunate is that Nikon completely denies any problems related to this widely known and proven issue and does not take any responsibility that one would expect from a well know company.

Read More»

D800

So far I’ve had good and bad with the camera. Seems like I get some issues every now and then. I guess mostly because this camera is still too much for me – I’m trying to learn it and photography in general. Will try to post some of the pictures I took while being absent from here really soon.

D800 Reviews

I figured I will post interesting reviews that are worth reading about D800. May be a good list of resources down the road.

  • NatureScapes review by one of the biggest authors of the site and forums there – E.J. Peiker

D800

Nikon D800

It is here. It is amazing from those few brief moments that I had with it. I hope to be able to spend more time shooting next week – late May, early June. And, weather and location permitting – even more shooting during the month of June.

A lot of things are different from my older camera and there is no surprise in that. I guess it will take me some time before I am comfortable with this beast of a camera and am capable of using it to the extent it requires to get decent photographs. Then there is a question of lenses – moving from a DX camera gets even more expensive if you don’t have any FX lenses (like me). At this point I am not 100% positive on the selection of lenses I would need/want, so I am taking it slow. Hopefully this will save me a lot of cash and help me learn the camera and photography in general even better. One can only hope :)

Gura Gear Kiboko 22L+. Days 3-5.

By this time I have already had my doubts. I started realizing that this bag does not work for me. I was actually surprised that it works for anyone. It is NOT comfortable and for the price they charge this thing needs to be a next best thing to a cloud in a sky and do everything except, maybe, shaving you in the morning. But not only it doesn’t help you with your facial hair, it also doesn’t make a job of city walking with some gear comfortable. And I should say that I had 3 small lenses – all of them DX, no FX lenses or big zooms.

Besides that the bag misses a lot of little things that would make it more usable. It has some illogical design features that make small extra pockets even smaller – the rain cover, for some strange reason, is located in one such pocket, making the pocket much less usable. Tripod attachment system is alright, but nothing spectacular. There are no little hooks or loops for attaching small items while on the go. I can continue on, but I think I can stop here.

Once I came back I returned the bag. I always try to take very good care of my possessions so the bag was in impeccable state. Since then I started looking for another bag realizing that probably there is no such thing as ‘holy grail’ of photography bags. At this moment I switched to Lowepro Pro Trekker 400 AW, which is not ideal, but feels hundred times more comfortable with all the gear in it. Sure, it’s not as slick at Gura Gear, but at the end of the day you have to make compromises. And hopefully this bag will work for me better than Kiboko 22L+.

Gura Gear Kiboko 22L+. Day 2.

So, I got a new Gura Gear bag, highly praised and considered a ‘holy grail’ by many. And I am traveling with it – plane, automobile and feet. I quickly started noticing that the bag is not very comfortable on my back, no matter what sort of adjustments I make. Sure, it wasn’t light, but what’s the point of spending all that money and carrying a point-and-shoot camera in a big bag? The bag was sitting quite high on my back and it seemed like all the weight was on my shoulders. I was starting to get concerned, but decided not to make quick decisions and try it out more.

Then walking came around – I was in Vancouver and went out for a walk with my camera (with half the original weight in it) and after couple of hours shooting (carrying bag around with few lenses, filters and sometimes a tripod) I started noticing that my shoulders get more and more tender and tired, my neck started to feel uncomfortable and the back was getting in on the pain. And I should say that I’m not totally out of shape – going to a gym all the time, working out and trying to keep myself in check.

By the end of day 2 I started thinking that the bag is not what everyone has been raving about. Sure, it’s built out of nice material. Sure, it’s got a neat butterfly construction. But it is not comfortable. Well, lets see what next few days bring.

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