I've have an issue. A long running, mindfeck of an issue, and before I take the next step I need some mental support, please, from the smart minds that hang around here.
On my original D800, my replacement D800 and my D800E, my 24-120 showed softness on the RHS only. It only started at 35mm and longer, but was clearly visible at F5.6 and wider and was still there even at F8. It seemed to come and go a bit, but was generally most always there. I thought it was decentered, or maybe not VR 'parking' properly.
I sent it off three times to get fixed and on the third try, spoke to Nikon in some detail about it. They insisted that there was no problem that they could see and though I provided files to demonstrate it, they just couldn't replicate it. So they said, maybe it's your camera's mount that's a bit off... and I replied that none of my other lenses in any focal length (spanning 14-200 and with about ten candidates including the Tammy 24-70 and Nikon 70-200) had the problem, but that this 24-120 lens had demonstrated the problem on three different bodies before the first fix (I now only have the D800E).
So NPS sent me a loaner lens and I tested it on my D800. The file, at 50% size, is linked here.
It clearly shows the issue.
So, process of elimination:
* My copy was bad on three bodies but Nikon can't see it in tests
* My body doesn't show this behaviour with any other lens
* My body does show this problem with the NPS loaner
I'm not seeing any elimination here.
Best guess is that the specifics of the zoom and focus internals of this particular design are picking up a mount misalignment on my camera that doesn't show with any other lens, and that this also showed on my other early bodies because early manufacturing had an issue that is now sorted. Either that or Nikon service are not testing the lens on a D800, and there is some natural dis-affinity between the designs of the 24-120 and the D900