My Nikon D800 passed! Based on tests I performed today, I am fairly certain that my new, wonderful, exotic D800 camera focuses properly. What a relief. Focus has been an issue for me since I got my Nikon D90 two years ago. This blog is called “In Focus Daily” precisely as a reminder to me that my primary goal is to make sure every shot I post is in crisp, tack sharp focus. While I do not always manage to do so, it is still my goal. Now that I’ve moved up to the Nikon D800, I continue to struggle with focus. In recent days I have become aware that some of the new, award winning D800 cameras like mine were manufactured with autofocus defects. I’ve been reading horror stories about these problems and wondered if my fabulous camera might have fallen prey to this condition. To find out, this afternoon I performed an autofocus test on the D800 using my 50mm 1.4 lens. I plan eventually to test all of my lenses and my D90 camera as well but I cut my test short due to the heat. I was forced outside to perform the test in the heat because I needed to get optimum, fast shutter speeds for the test. And the 91° heat, actually a moderate temperature for this time of the year, got to me after a couple of hours of test shots, downloading and evaluating, outside again for another series of test shots.
For any of you camera wonks out there who are curious about what I did, I followed the instructions in NASIM MANSUROV’s Blog. First I downloaded and printed a test page; attached it to a white board propped on an outside table; I leveled the board to make sure it was perfectly vertical and that the test page was perfectly horizontal on the board, then leveled the tripod and set the camera focal length about six feet from the test page. The lens was set to maximum aperture, low ISO, and fast shutter speed. I took a reference shot using Live View. The problem here was that live view requires the ability to see the LCD screen well and since I was outside in bright sun (the board and test page were in open shade/indirect light) it was next to impossible to see the screen so I stood with an open newspaper draped over my head and top of the camera, feeling like a photographer from the 1800’s underneath his black cloth. I still had difficulty making sure the reference shots were focused well. Then I took three successive shots focusing through the view finder with autofocus after making sure the lens was unfocused before I started to autofocus each shot. I repeated this process three times, for each of three auto focus areas: center (the most accurate), far right, and far left. The left autofocus area gave me the most concern because some of the shots were not in crisp focus but when I repeated the test for the left autofocus point, all were in focus.
Since I have spent the day on technical camera issues, not using my camera artistically as I would prefer, my blog today features two of those technical, in focus shots. First is the severely cropped version of the test.
Focal Length 50mm
SB Fair Weather
This is the uncropped version.
Focal Length 50mm
SB Fair Weather
One thought on “Day 189—In Focus!!”
Yay for the D800! Fascinating test- and I’m not surprised that it passed. Your photos are always in sharp focus!