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Thread: Heads together please guys...

  1. #51
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Heads together please guys ...


    This is really far out.

    I assume you have shown them the same picture link you provided in your first post here http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v85/p1335847198.jpg

    If they cannot see the asymmetric behavior in that picture then they are so incompetent that this case deserves to be published e.g. on your own photography blog Tim Ashley Photography | Blog

    I also suggest you shown them this very forum thread http://www.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/42...ease-guys.html

    And what is the exact name of this Nikon UK service company, is it owned and run by Nikon or is it a third party company ?

  2. #52
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    It's probably a thermal issue. Metal and glass expand and contract with temperature.

    Can you review the images and determine if it occurs in certain environments?

    It's impossible for a service tech to replicate this kind of problem.

    - Leigh

  3. #53
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Thanks Dave - your opinion is important to me given your pedigree... I must say however, that it's not my hair I intend to tear out!

    What has me riled is not that the lens (or possibly the body) has an error: I'm pragmatic, I've owned an awful lot of gear and I know what the 'hit rate' is. No, my current itch is caused by the flat refusal of the tech team to recognise that there is any problem at all and their patronising behaviour, attempting to make their fault into my fault. It is so not on.

    An example: before they accept a return, they insist that sample images are provided. This time, wise to their ways, I uploaded the samples to a 'quarantined' page that would show me if anyone apart from me visited and to which only they were given the address. The page didn't receive one hit. When challenged with this, they said that their tech guys don't have access to the internet and that I should have sent a file on disc, something they omitted to mention up front and something they have never mentioned on any of my previous repairs...

    Grrr!

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Hi Tim,

    I can't begin to tell you the sheer number of both expensive and moderately priced lenses that I've encountered asymmetry issues with, not unlike your current 24-120mm. There is a limit to both the physical adjustment the manufacturers service center can perform in a given sample of a particular lens, depending on its design and what's causing the issue.

    Secondarily is how much and to what length they are also willing to go, in trying. What's considered acceptable to them may not be acceptable to the end users and in your case I have no doubt to the legitimacy of your complaint. With regards to asymmetry and in cases of lenses that one would expect fairly equally performance on both sides of the frame, been there and done that, including lenses that got shipped off back to Japan.

    Interestingly, it was in the very 1st generation of Nikon's 24-120mm lens, that the asymmetrey in many samples was so severe and obvious, that they instituted a formal recall for adjustment. From all I've seen and heard, it resulted in marked improvement, but not a complete success.

    Initially when these lenses were shot a 24mm, from what I recall, one half of the frame was soft/blurred, while the other half was OK. Sort of split down the middle, relatively speaking. Although that lens had a different optical design than the current f4 VR version, I wonder if any of the original design is a holdover. I doubt it, but one never knows. If one of the aspherical elements resin is poured unevenly in a given sample, then it doesn't surprise me if adjustment is of limited value. Of course this is only conjecture on my part. Hope you get this all sorted out without tearing out too much of your hair.

    Dave (D&A)

  4. #54
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post
    This is really far out.

    I assume you have shown them the same picture link you provided in your first post here http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v85/p1335847198.jpg

    If they cannot see the asymmetric behavior in that picture then they are so incompetent that this case deserves to be published e.g. on your own photography blog Tim Ashley Photography | Blog

    I also suggest you shown them this very forum thread http://www.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/42...ease-guys.html

    And what is the exact name of this Nikon UK service company, is it owned and run by Nikon or is it a third party company ?
    Hi Steen, thanks for your moral support!

    The images I provided were different but showed the same behaviour and I think did so very clearly. In fact they were probably a better example.

    The service facility is part of Nikon itself. And, when I have re-tested in the most bullet-proof way I can, I will indeed be writing about it! I don't want to use my blog to pursue vendettas or spread negative energy but I do think that this is the sort of thing that other photographers should have information on before making their purchase decisions....

  5. #55
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    It's probably a thermal issue. Metal and glass expand and contract with temperature.

    Can you review the images and determine if it occurs in certain environments?

    It's impossible for a service tech to replicate this kind of problem.

    - Leigh
    Hi Leigh,

    It seems to happen at any temperature - and whilst I do understand that certain problems are hard to replicate in a lab, if the guy stepped outside for a moment and shot a real image, he'd find that it's pretty hard NOT to replicate it!

  6. #56
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    OK, I'd really appreciate it if anyone has a chance to look at these:

    This shot was focus bracketed on the central Reikan chart with the aim of checking for sharpness differential on the labels of the file boxes far left and right. I chose the sharpest shot. F5.6 and I show a link to the original file and then two crops.

    Full-size original of this here


    Crops:




    Next, and I will make no comment because I am interested to see what people think, is an image focussed on the tower, centre, using live view at the centre of the frame and then two further shots, with the camera rotated on the top of the Cube so that the tower is far left and far right of frame. Focus unchanged between the three shots. The aim of this exercise was to show what I suspected as being a very different placement of DOF, indicating differing planes of focus on each side of the lens.

    This is the scene:


    Full sized files of each shot for comparison are
    here
    and
    here
    and
    here

    I think the answer is clear but any observations people have would be much appreciated. And the $64,000 question is: if you had this result, would you feel justified in kicking up a fuss when told that there is nothing wrong at all and that the performance of the lens+body combination is 'within spec'?

  7. #57
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Tim,

    I read your posts and I just really feel for you but you are causing yourself way too much pain and suffering. Nikon is never going to repair that lens. If, buy chance, they would exchange it for another you might, just might, get lucky and get a better copy. My major rules are don't buy any lens from anyone who won't take it back and test immediately. Your methodology is on the money but your expectations for any kind of zoom - and some primes - are beyond what I think any of them can deliver. I've run into all of this stuff with Digitars, Leica's, Nikon's, Canon's, Hasselblad's...... all of them are a crap shoot. Test immediately and if its not up to what you want then send it back.

    You gotta just stop this..... you're going to drive yourself nuts. I don't own any zooms......

    Victor

  8. #58
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Opinion appreciated and you may well be right. I feel like pursuing it because I have seen results from lenses which are much better and also because it just p***s me off to be told by a service dude that there is 'nothing wrong with it' when there so plainly is. If manufacturers are allowed this degree of slop on a kit lens, so be it - but this lens is high-mid price, pro spec and recommended for the D800...

    Also the problem with the 'return window' is that when switching systems (maybe a twice in a lifetime experience for most serious photographers but seemingly worthwhile when the earth moves as it did with the introduction of the D800) one acquires a lot of new gear in quick succession and some problems do not become evident quickly. But that really is my fault... I ordered this lens while awaiting my d800's original arrival and by the time I got the camera, the lens was already 'through the window'...

  9. #59
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by vjbelle View Post
    Tim,

    I read your posts and I just really feel for you but you are causing yourself way too much pain and suffering. Nikon is never going to repair that lens. If, buy chance, they would exchange it for another you might, just might, get lucky and get a better copy. My major rules are don't buy any lens from anyone who won't take it back and test immediately. Your methodology is on the money but your expectations for any kind of zoom - and some primes - are beyond what I think any of them can deliver. I've run into all of this stuff with Digitars, Leica's, Nikon's, Canon's, Hasselblad's...... all of them are a crap shoot. Test immediately and if its not up to what you want then send it back.

    You gotta just stop this..... you're going to drive yourself nuts. I don't own any zooms......

    Victor
    I mostly agree with what Victor has expresed and I'm sure many of us have experienced much of the same. Assuming it's not a particular mis-shapened or distorted element, vis-a-vis the pouring and curing of the resin which is part of the process of mass produced asphericals, but a consequence of misaligment of an element or grouping, I would then suggest consideration of the following:

    Many zooms in the general consumer arena, whether they be pro level or mid level, often stretch general consumer technology to near it's limit when a price point is considered. It could be due to the extrodinary speed of a new zoom relative to it's focal length range, it's relatively compact size or possibly a combination of a certain max f-stop speed of a lens vs. it's extended zoom range.

    When one or these are mass manufactured, a perfect ideally adjusted sample may indeed just about make the grade in terms of what you're testing for. The majority of samples though will fall short to varying degrees. I emphasize the word "varying", as samples will run the gamut from near perfect adjustment/centering to a wide range of asymmetery. The more expensive and pro level the zoom is catagorized as, the somewhat less chance of such lesser samples..note I said "somewhat"!

    Notice how pro level zooms have generally shorter focal length ranges? This way, a more precise alignment can be achieved at a greater frequency and if the lens is at a higher price point, possibly a bit more effort and time is spent achieving this.

    A 24-120mm constant f4 zoom is probably near the limit of being able to achieve perfect symmetrey/alignment, especially in mass production...and thus a to find such as sample will take a lot of effort and testing.

    Although no one said every sample of the Nikon 24-70 f2.8 is perfect, there are many more that closer to acceptable. A newly designed 28-70 f2.8 or 24-70 f4 would even be easier to achieve close to excellent alignment, assuming the price point was such that made it reasonable for Nikon to achieve this in most every sample. Sooner or later, technology in optics will change and then a 24-120 f4 lens with near perfect asymmetrey will seem like a piece of cake....and it will be the future 24-200 f4 that will give everyone headaches.

    What to do is difficult to say. Either someone at Nikon will go to bat for you, or else it will be a matter of testing additional samples. One way or the other, I truly sympathize with your fustration Tim.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 25th January 2013 at 13:48.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Once upon a time, there was some ancient Arri cameras with something called celluloid film.

    At that time, I was a kiddo and could not understand why there was one guy on the crew with a long tape measure and he was called the focus puller.

    Fast forward and what has it got to do with Tim predicament?

    I am wondering if we are not at the same old problem where the plane of focus is not in perfect parallel and equidistant with the scene.

    In other words, although to the eye both plants pots seem to be equidistant to the camera position and plane of focus but probably they are not.

    A minute "angled" movement on such camera will "amplify" the focussing difference between extremes and will not render the same focussing for each side.

    The solution, buy a tape measure and make sure the camera is at equidistant lenght from both extremes....only joking...a laser measuring thingy will do

    I appreciate this might sound un-digital but we have been there and got the T-shirt....maybe, just maybe you are facing a similar situation.

    On a comparative note. Suppose you are testing the camera on a flat wall with some measuring lines and circles of some kind. The camera should be in the perfect middle of the target and both sides of the target should be at the same distance from the camera focus. The camera and target should be in perfect parallel and frankly this is more easily said than done.

    Tim, give it a thought!

  11. #61
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Alon, I have given it much thought: it is true that ensuring exact perpendicular alignment of sensor to subject is very difficult outside of a lab (pretty tough even in one!) but the interesting thing is that, were this the problem, I'd get some shots soft on one side and some soft on the other. This never happens. Hand-held or tripod, it is always the right. And the second shot clearly shows that at these distances and F5.6 there is ample DOF to cover such a small error should it be present. I align these pretty carefully but of course not perfectly, but the 'always on the right' nature of the issue is telling I believe... especially when taken in conjunction with the fact that no other lenses of the many I own in overlapping focal length range show this at all: If I had a natural tendency to angle the camera slightly 'off' it would show with other glass I think!

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Yes, you have a point.

    I don't have a solution.....maybe shims?

    Or just get another lens as offered and keep fingers crossed.

    Sorry, could not be of more help.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Alon, I have given it much thought: it is true that ensuring exact perpendicular alignment of sensor to subject is very difficult outside of a lab (pretty tough even in one!) but the interesting thing is that, were this the problem, I'd get some shots soft on one side and some soft on the other. This never happens. Hand-held or tripod, it is always the right. And the second shot clearly shows that at these distances and F5.6 there is ample DOF to cover such a small error should it be present. I align these pretty carefully but of course not perfectly, but the 'always on the right' nature of the issue is telling I believe... especially when taken in conjunction with the fact that no other lenses of the many I own in overlapping focal length range show this at all: If I had a natural tendency to angle the camera slightly 'off' it would show with other glass I think!
    Tim, relative to what I expressed in my post above, I agree that in your case, that it has little to do with precise measurment of camera to subject distance between the right side vs. the left. As you say, the softness is always evident on the right side.

    It's related simply to the sample lens you have and whether it's worth pursuing a better aligned or manufactured sample, is a personal decision. I agree, when something is marketed such as a 24-120 f4 lens, one expects a certain level of manufacturing and performance, but Nikon I believe looks at a bit differently when it comes to a mid level zoom, especially one that stretches the limit of optical performance for such a focal length spread in a constant aperture zoom.

    My post previous to this one provides my thoughts as to why some samples of this and similar zooms will achieve acceptable level of performance and some simply won't. What I neglected to mention, is Nikon also realizes that the vast majority (world wide) purchasers of this and similar mid level zooms, is often quite different than those using their 24-70 f2.8 and thus allow more leyway in what they consider "acceptable" vs "non acceptable" in a given sample of lens...as unfortunate as it might be.

    Dave (D&A)

  14. #64
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Thanks Dave - and I agree nearly 100% but I do think they should remove it from their recommended list of lenses for the D800 in that event. I also think that from my now reasonably wide experience of Nikon, their standards of QC and repairs (and attitude) are notable poorer than Canon's, however brave and smart their choices of sensors. I have never sent anything to Canon for repair, but here's a shot of my repair documentation from the past 10 months with Nikon!




    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Tim, relative to what I expressed in my post above, I agree that in your case, that it has little to do with precise measurment of camera to subject distance between the right side vs. the left. As you say, the softness is always evident on the right side.

    It's related simply to the sample lens you have and whether it's worth pursuing a better aligned or manufactured sample, is a personal decision. I agree, when something is marketed such as a 24-120 f4 lens, one expects a certain level of manufacturing and performance, but Nikon I believe looks at a bit differently when it comes to a mid level zoom, especially one that stretches the limit of optical performance for such a focal length spread in a constant aperture zoom.

    My post previous to this one provides my thoughts as to why some samples of this and similar zooms will achieve acceptable level of performance and some simply won't. What I neglected to mention, is Nikon also realizes that the vast majority (world wide) purchasers of this and similar mid level zooms, is often quite different than those using their 24-70 f2.8 and thus allow more leyway in what they consider "acceptable" vs "non acceptable" in a given sample of lens...as unfortunate as it might be.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Heads together please guys ...


    It's so obvious that your sample of the lens is defective, having a very weak right side. It's as simple as that, and personally I would never ever accept it.

    If it were me I would insist on having my money back so that I could buy another sample via the internet.

    In my country buying via the internet gives me the right to let a bad copy go back within the first two weeks without further explanation.

    If the Nikon UK folks claim they cannot see that your lens has a defect they are simply lying. I cannot imagine for what reason, it's definitely not serving their business or reputation.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Tim,

    My lord! If nothing else, you may actually have the world's largest collect of Nikon repair invoices. That alone should be worth something one day. I'd put a smiley face after just writing this sentence, but I know it's certainly not a humorous situation. Just to add a little levity to the situation, I could say whatever lens you used to photograph that image with (of the invoices) is front focusing. Just look how out of focus that middle invoice is! ( I hope you know I'm just kidding).

    *** Tim, just an FYI....I just sent you an e-mail through Getdpi. If you don't receive it, just let me know.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 25th January 2013 at 16:42.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Heads together please guys ...


    One of the more bizarre aspects of this case is that I think few persons have done more than Tim Ashley to spread the word about the new D800/E, e.g. by having the courage to set up the 'forbidden format mixing meeting' between his new 24x36mm D800 and his medium format Phase One IQ180
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/36...ne-had-do.html

    Now it looks like we are about to witness a somewhat different story, the negative side of the coin: the Nikon UK Service Level.
    Looks like Nikon UK is not quite aware of the fact that customer discussions and illustrations on the internet make one of the strongest promotional factors in today's marketing.

    And I personally believe that at the end of the day the service level does more to the reputation of a manufacturer of electronics than specs and performance of the products themselves.
    At least I have years ago come to the conclusion that for me Service is the most important competition parameter when choosing electronic equipment of any kind.

    Electronic equipment is nice when it works, when it doesn't it is a time-consuming nightmare.
    That's why excellent service is so crucial and that goes for photographic equipment too, including the optics.

    We'll see.

  18. #68
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Thanks Steen - I do think I've done quite a bit of positive messaging about the D800 and I do absolutely agree with you that service, along with QC, are the most important factors. I suspect that the reason one sees so many white lenses at events where there are a lot of pros is that Canon understands this well, though the Nikon guys did say to me on the phone that there were more Nikons in the pro pits at last summer's Olympics than Canons...

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    To put some more oil into the Nikon QC fire:

    I had and have the issue of far to strong CA with my 1.4/85G Nikkor, which I bought new more than a year ago Had it on the D7000 and now also on the D800E. Had sent it back to Nikon Germany twice with the result it did not at all improve. The stupid answer with the lens coming back was: "We have tested it and it is well within spec's"

    So what does it help me? Nothing except that I almost never use this lens since then. Sure these fast primes do have CA, but I have never seen such strong CA in any of my other lenses like 1.2/85 II Canon nor of course in any Leica lens at f1.4. And once I had a similar issue with a Leica 2.8/180 APO I sent it back to Solms and after 5 weeks or so I got it back and it did not show any longer CA.

    What do I learn? Maybe the wrong choice staying Nikon in the future, as they simply cannot deliver the right quality for their products. So maybe better to just have a 22MP Canon with assorted glass than the 36MP D800E with lenses not performing as they should nor being able to be adjusted properly.

    So stay calm, at least you see that Nikon service in Europe is not any better!

  20. #70
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Whilst I have every sympathy for you, you story does not incline me to calmness!



    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    To put some more oil into the Nikon QC fire:

    So stay calm, at least you see that Nikon service in Europe is not any better!

  21. #71
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Heads together please guys...


    If I haven't said it before I'll repeat it now ...
    I think it depends a lot on where we are located, we cannot just make a global or even European generalisation about the Nikon service.
    I had some very frustrating experiences with two other brands before I gave up and jumped back into the Nikon camp (I'll refrain from telling those two brand names here in order not to be a brand basher).

    But here in Denmark I have actually been treated very well by Nikon on those rare occasions when I needed a bit of service.
    I also think I have so far been very lucky with nearly all my F-mount purchases.
    Maybe just a coincidence and I know it's no consolation for you two guys in Austria and England respectively when you are not having your gear problems solved.

    In a way this case is a classic illustration on how some weak links can hurt a brand name in general, so Nikon if you see this do something about it, wake up and do some damage control.
    Frustration hurts and frustration is remembered, so really good Quality Control together with really good Service makes the two most important competition parameters.

  22. #72
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    That's very interesting Steen, because it does imply that 'within spec' may be defined (or interpreted) differently by the Nikon service centres in different countries. As usual, in my experience, the no-nonsense, well thought-through epicentre is Denmark. Just one more reason to love the place!

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    ...'within spec' may be defined (or interpreted) differently by the Nikon service centres in different countries.
    The specs may be different in different countries.

    Since we have no access to them, there's no way to know.

    - Leigh

  24. #74
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Heads together please guys ...


    Just saw your summary of the case: Tim Ashley Photography | Caveat Emptor


    Especially one detail is scary:

    (...) and they added that the sample images I had uploaded to a web page for their review hadn't been looked at because their technicians 'can't access the internet' (...)


    Sounds like you are subject to harassment and they are not even trying to identify the problem and find a solution.

    How on earth can they deal with the problem if they don't even care to look at your identification illustrations of the problem

    At least they could have asked for the pictures on a dvd if really necessary, though not a very reliable excuse.

    I think I would contact the company top level in England as well as in Japan and insist on being treated in a fair manner

  25. #75
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Steen, harassment would require some energy!

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