Full Frame Sadness

I ordered my D800 way back on February 7th or so. I waited with patient excitement week after week. As the first few units got into the hands of pros and sample photos showed up online, it became more exciting still.

But as the rumors of various sorts of problems started to appear, I had my worries as well. Of course, jumping on the bleeding edge of new technology and equipment, one expects to get a little cut now and then. I knew the risk I was taking. As the wait for delivery stretched on, I began to feel confident that by the time I actually got mine, the production glitches will have been worked out, and I would avoid getting nicked.

It finally showed up around July 18th. Since then, I’ve had some pretty good fun shooting with this thing. I had no weird lock-ups, no greenish cast in the screen, and overall pretty sharp results. But I thought I had better really check it for the infamous left focus point problem. Using a 50mm f/1.8 lens, I took a series of shots with the focus point full left, centered, and full right, both with AutoFocus and with Live View, at about f/2. Alas, the left focus point was badly out. And in fact, the right was a bit out and the center not perfect.

I spent a few days trying to decide wether to send it back to the retailer, or send it to Nikon for repair. I realized the only really sensible thing to do was return it. Nikon doesn’t really acknowledge the problem, and many of their service centers here in the States have a bad track record of properly making the calibration adjustments to solve the problem. Moreover, the shipping was on me. Why pay to have fixed what ought to be working right from the start?

So today, I sent it back to B&H for an exchange in the hope that the replacement will be free of this problem. And by the way, their customer service has been great from beginning to end. But it was a sad, sad day. The focus problem occurs with settings I pretty rarely use, and everything else about it was pretty fantastic. I might have actually just kept it as is. I just couldn’t pay that much for a professional piece of equipment and have it be slightly crippled.

So now I’m waiting all over again, and dog only knows how long it will be before I’m reunited with a D800. Or if it will be fully operational this time. I don’t know; after going through withdrawals for a few weeks, I might not care the next time. Who needs 50-some-odd focus points anyway?!