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Thread: Heads together please guys...

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Heads together please guys...

    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

    HELP!

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Wow, that looks like a real big problem...

    I have never seen something like that before. Have you activated CA and lens correction in the menu of the D800? But I don´t have an idea if that will have an effect when shot in RAW.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    And, do you see anything when looking into the lens? There must be a bubble in the front lens...

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

    @ lens corrections in menus - I haven't because I only shoot RAW but that's not the source of the problem, as the asymmetrical nature of the defocus shows :-(
    @ bubble, not that either: the NPS loaner lens (theirs are well checked on general) shows the same thing.

    But thanks for thinking on it - this will take many heads I fear!

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    Member Mr.Gale's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    "It seemed to come and go a bit, but was generally most always there."
    At the same focal length and aperture? If it is a mount alignment problem I would think it would always be there.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Gale View Post
    "It seemed to come and go a bit, but was generally most always there."
    At the same focal length and aperture? If it is a mount alignment problem I would think it would always be there.
    that's part of the great mystery - it has appeared worse at different focal lengths after different 'fixes'. In general, if you peep hard, you can just see it at 24 and 28mm but it's nothing to make a fuss about. It starts to be intrusive to 'normal' print size at 35mm but, after the most recent fix, my copy was just acceptable at 35mm but was now pretty poor at 50mm even at F8, whereas historically, you could just squeeze a reasonable shot at F8 and 50mm and it was from 70 onwards that nothing worked. The loaner I shot literally three frames before leaving on a trip to see if it was ok, all at 35mm, one of them posted above, and it was such an obvious 'no' that I left the whole kit behind!

    I have never seen anything like it. I think it is probably as I postulated in the OP, but that very small differences in focus distance relative to the scene can push over the border of acceptability one way or the other...

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    Member AreBee's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Tashley,

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    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.
    Answer: Nikon are not as rigorous in their testing as you are, and you happen to have been loaned a lens that also is a dud.

    Seriously, I can't think what the problem may be. I can't imagine why Nikon are unable to find an issue that to you is quite obvious. I would, however, note that two lenses out of however many thousand have been manufactured represents a statistically insignificant sample. I also would suggest the following: send Nikon the body and lens.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AreBee View Post
    Tashley,



    Answer: Nikon are not as rigorous in their testing as you are, and you happen to have been loaned a lens that also is a dud.

    Seriously, I can't think what the problem may be. I can't imagine why Nikon are unable to find an issue that to you is quite obvious. I would, however, note that two lenses out of however many thousand have been manufactured represents a statistically insignificant sample. I also would suggest the following as a way to eliminate Nikon as less rigorous as you: send them the body and lens.
    Indeed, that's what's up next: I have just found with Nikon service that unless you are very clear about what's wrong and what the parameters are, they try half-heartedly to re-invent your wheel and then give up when it doesn't turn first time - so I want them to have as much info and hypothesis as possible. Also of course, I want to cover my own dumb @rse in case this is something obvious that I am not getting!

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    I had similar experiences with Nikon Service with my 1.4/85, which showed abnormal high CA on my D7000. Sending it first to Nikon Austria did not help, same with Nikon Germany. They tested it and sent it back saying all is within normal conditions - I even got a test certificate, stating the lens is within limits.

    Now the problem is still the same on my D800E and this is one of the reasons I am almost never using this lens. I know that the 1.4/85 has CA, as every fast lens will show, but never in that order of magnitude.

    I remember a 1:2.8/180 APO Leica, which showed the same on my DMR, but sending it back to Solms completely fixed the problem. They had to adjust a lens element.

    I am sure the same would work for my 1.4/85 Nikkor, but no one at Nikon Services does obviously care (or can care).

    I used to have a 1.2/85 Canon which not at all showed this issue on the 5D2. And this lens is even brighter.

    This is really very bad news, as it shows that quality control and measurement and fine adjustment at Nikon is not up to the level their camera bodies demand today. And to make it even worse is that the 1.4/85 Nikkor is a pro lens and pretty expensive too.

    Not sure what I will do in the future. For now I do have to stay with Nikon as I need my D800E and lenses for some near term projects, but long term I might go a different route. Not sure either if Canon Service would be better

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by AreBee View Post
    Tashley,



    Answer: Nikon are not as rigorous in their testing as you are, and you happen to have been loaned a lens that also is a dud.

    Seriously, I can't think what the problem may be. I can't imagine why Nikon are unable to find an issue that to you is quite obvious. I would, however, note that two lenses out of however many thousand have been manufactured represents a statistically insignificant sample. I also would suggest the following: send Nikon the body and lens.
    Question is ... why can Leica deal with such issues and solve them and Nikon can't???

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    You really cant compare Leica and Nikon. Nikon makes a vastly huge amount of product compared to leica by the millions. If Nikon runs into a issue it affects many until the issue is caught . Leica it maybe a few hundred until a issue is realized. Lets say its comparing a full bottle of aspirin to like 2 sitting on the table. Leica is not the best for service just ask my two M8s that sat in Germany for months on end.

    To the issue at hand. To me it sounds like a lens element that moves at a certain focal length or lets say pops out of spec. Also my bet is even there loaner lens and given you bought that lens maybe early on in a production run or at a certain time in a production run that they both could be showing the same issue. Now if you look at serial numbers they could be within a certain time of each other but we need to remember it could even be thousands apart as they produces a ton of these lenses. Not sure there loaner is even in spec. and probably not as loaners are typically returns or demo units. We can only guess here since we do not have this on a optical bench to test. But I'm leaning to a element that pops when you zoom to a certain focal length. When zooming elements change there position within the tube or shell.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    You really cant compare Leica and Nikon. Nikon makes a vastly huge amount of product compared to leica by the millions. If Nikon runs into a issue it affects many until the issue is caught . Leica it maybe a few hundred until a issue is realized. Lets say its comparing a full bottle of aspirin to like 2 sitting on the table. Leica is not the best for service just ask my two M8s that sat in Germany for months on end.

    To the issue at hand. To me it sounds like a lens element that moves at a certain focal length or lets say pops out of spec. Also my bet is even there loaner lens and given you bought that lens maybe early on in a production run or at a certain time in a production run that they both could be showing the same issue. Now if you look at serial numbers they could be within a certain time of each other but we need to remember it could even be thousands apart as they produces a ton of these lenses. Not sure there loaner is even in spec. and probably not as loaners are typically returns or demo units. We can only guess here since we do not have this on a optical bench to test. But I'm leaning to a element that pops when you zoom to a certain focal length. When zooming elements change there position within the tube or shell.
    I agree you cannot compare Leica and Nikon, but if we are talking about pro level glass from Nikon and Nikon service, then I expect Nikon to be able to correct vast abnormalities or at least replace the lens. Otherwise how can one really exploit the advantages of a high end system?

    Also what worries me is the unprofessional access to their service and the inability to not be able to talk to them (their service interface) directly in order to describe the issue and help them understand better what you are looking for.

    As I said I am not sure if Canon would be better ....

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Part of the problem of being a big company.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post

    (...) Also what worries me is the unprofessional access to their service and the inability to not be able to talk to them (their service interface) directly in order to describe the issue and help them understand better what you are looking for. (...)



    I just jump on my bicycle and go and have a talk face to face with the Nikon service person that will repair or adjust my Nikon camera and / or lenses.
    While my M8 camera and M lenses I had to pack carefully and ship to Leica.

    So I think it depends a lot on where we are located and I think we should simply give up generalizing about specific brands and their products and service.
    It always depends.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steen View Post


    I just jump on my bicycle and go and have a talk face to face with the Nikon service person that will repair or adjust my Nikon camera and / or lenses.
    While my M8 camera and M lenses I had to pack carefully and ship to Leica.
    Can I come and live with your for a few months?

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


    I thought you would never ask

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    They could be testing the lens on an optical bench. If the lens comes within manufacturing tolerance, then it will pass. It is not really feasible to take a lens apart and tinker with the elements--the design does not allow for that. Nikon is between a rock and a hard place--they need to provide very good optics at reasonable prices (I wonder what Leica would charge) and that is a fine balance to keep. At some point the consumers is going to have to decide if that lens is for them--quality is subjective and if your expectations are very high, it is hard to meet. And to be honest, a 24-120 zoom is hard to make. It should be no surprise that other lenses will do better. The cost goes into just trying to make that zoom range work. To make it work perfectly would make the lens too expensive.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Optics: 17 elements in 13 groups. The older sibling has a 15/13 design. Flares and ghosts can result from too many air/glass-surfaces and Nikon has added Nano-coating to reduce this. We'll see in my test how well this works. The cross-section shows three aspherical and two ED-glass elements. [+]


    Thats a pretty complicated design for sure.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    And then consider those groups have to move while changing focal length and focus. And to maintain those distances becomes tricky. And IF lenses focus by changing focal length. The fact it works at all is a minor miracle.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    1. * My copy was bad on three bodies but Nikon can't see it in tests
    2. * My body doesn't show this behaviour with any other lens
    3. * My body does show this problem with the NPS loaner


    I'm not seeing any elimination here.
    Eliminate this:
    1. * My copy was bad on three bodies but Nikon can't see it in tests

    I'm convinced Nikon have no idea about your kind of attention to detail:

    I once took 5 copies of the 17-55 lens back to a big dealer in Cambridge - all with proper documentation showing a similar problem (soft side in the middle of the range). They dutifully change the lens for a new one, without complaining.

    After a while I asked them if they'd had a lot of problems with this lens - He told me he'd never had one back faulty before . . and then, after a pause said that he almost never got faulty lenses on the basis of optical problems . . .much less than one a year.

    I had a similar problem with the Pentax 16-50 D* lens last year - I had 3 copies - all which were soft between 35 and 50 - after 3 I gave up and sold all the Pentax kit I was so irritated. . . . . again Warehouse express (a big company) said they had seen no other problems.

    The point about this, is that if you make 10,000 lenses, and 5 come back with complaints about their optical quality, a quick cost/benefit basis will tell you not to bother to try any harder: simple as that.

    So you'll get no help from Nikon (although they'll probably happily keep on changing kit for you . . . and selling yours back as refurbished).

    I'd say the likelihood of them seriously trying to reproduce the problem is very small (why bother if the lens is 'within specifications' and they aren't going to do something about it).

    Which means that there is clearly a problem with both your lens and the loaner

    So, the solution to the conundrum is simple - Nikon aren't looking properly or don't care. 2 and 3 then make perfect sense.

    You could keep changing lenses if you want (I did get a decent 17-55 in the end).

    All the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Just saw this posted on Nikon rumors . 75 million lenses made to date. Figure 1 percent are bad and that's a low number 750,000k. Wow
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Problem is people complain about mass production than 3 seconds later complain about a small manufacture not getting product, service or whatever. Yea I know we get the screws. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Member Oamkumar's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    The problem is clearly visible in the picture and wonder why Nikon service people could not figure it out. Have you tried to focus the right hand side manually?
    I felt Nikon do not train the service people properly. I had a bad experience. I had oil spill on the sensor in my D800E and contacted the authorized service centre at kochi - India. The Service rep looked at the image and said the spill is not on the sensor but on the lens. I asked him, If it is on the lens, how can it be so sharp edges and all other lenses having the same problem? Then he tried to clean the sensor and the oil was smeared all over the sensor. It was visible on the picture. I told him about that and he asked me to bring the cam next day. I was afried to give the cam to the same guy again, so I went to a friend of mine who runs a camera service centre and done a sensor cleaning. Now it's fine.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Old rules apply buy 3 test all send back 2 keep the good one. It's been a Nikon , canon tune for so long now.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Well, have you tried to take a picture like they (Nikon service) do?

    A white wall? A brick wall?

    I bet there will be no visible distortion like that shown in the picture in the main post.

    So what shall they find?

    So, try it and post the pictures, maybe at several focal length.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Old rules apply buy 3 test all send back 2 keep the good one. It's been a Nikon , canon tune for so long now.
    Nothing like enough

    I remember someone saying that they had a whole pallet of lenses delivered to choose the best one (one of those Nikon gurus - Thom Hogan? no Scandinavian guy? - can't remember his name)

    I think it was the old 17-35 f2.8.

    Costly to do that with the Leica 50 Apo Asph!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    HELP!
    Where in the frame did you acquire focus?

    If you look at the distant buildings you can tell from perspective that you did not shoot perpendicular to the quay. Therefore, the zone of DOF will not be parallel to the quay, and sharpness will be equal on the LHS and RHS only at an unequal distance from the camera.

    DOF at f/5.6 should be sufficient to envelop the buildings, but I dare say it depends on where you acquired focus, hence my question.

    For what it's worth, I doubt this is the explanation for the issue, but I figure it's worth mentioning.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Scandinavian guy? - can't remember his name)
    Bjørn Rørslett

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by AreBee View Post
    Bjørn Rørslett
    That's the one - Great guy, I used to read him avidly - I think (but I'm not sure) that it was him with the pallet of lenses!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Just saw this posted on Nikon rumors . 75 million lenses made to date. Figure 1 percent are bad and that's a low number 75k. Wow
    If they produce that amount of lenses why can´t they simply take that one back and give a new one? They can resell it as refurbished again. I believe it wouldn´t matter that much for them.

    I agree with you. We have that discussion here a lot. "All is too expensive, we have to save our money...", bla bla bla... but when they come back from shopping they complain about how bad things are. But in the first run they all were proud about how less money they have spent...

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotom View Post
    If they produce that amount of lenses why can´t they simply take that one back and give a new one? They can resell it as refurbished again. I believe it wouldn´t matter that much for them.
    In my experience that's exactly what they do - cheerfully and without complaint

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotom View Post
    If they produce that amount of lenses why can´t they simply take that one back and give a new one? They can resell it as refurbished again. I believe it wouldn´t matter that much for them.
    It matters a great deal. Margins are thin and returns are costly. Just check about any of these manufacturers annual reports, this is not a great business for profits. Which is why many of these companies sell other products that make them money. And if you think these companies will stand a division that can keep losing money, go look for a Contax, Minolta, Konica, or Bronica camera at B&H that are not in the used section.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by AreBee View Post
    Where in the frame did you acquire focus?

    If you look at the distant buildings you can tell from perspective that you did not shoot perpendicular to the quay. Therefore, the zone of DOF will not be parallel to the quay, and sharpness will be equal on the LHS and RHS only at an unequal distance from the camera.

    DOF at f/5.6 should be sufficient to envelop the buildings, but I dare say it depends on where you acquired focus, hence my question.

    For what it's worth, I doubt this is the explanation for the issue, but I figure it's worth mentioning.
    Actually, it doesn't matter: I've shot that scene a thousand times with tens of lenses and at 35mm and focussed dead centre, you can afford to be a little off with the perpendicular. In fact this shot was made as part of a series with several other cameras, including the RX1, all on the same tripod at all at f5.6 and the tripod and head were entirely static throughout. The other shots were all perfect though of course only the rx1 was full frame 35mm. The DOF has slight lack of perpendicular perfection covered. I was leaving on a trip so shot this lens only three or four frames but it looks just like the other copies of the lens on this and other d800 bodies. I severely doubt that every scene I ever shot with this one lens only has been off perpendicular by just enough to make the RHS always weaker... But in fact I do plan to run some more extensive tests before getting back to Nikon, when I get home. I know what the results will be though!

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    I'm probably the least knowledgeable member answering this topic, but just can't help myself. Could it be just that the manufacturing tolerances achievable with a product like prosumer lenses today are so wide that a camera like your 36 megapixel Nikon is bound to show where the lens begins to fail. It's within accepted tolerances at Nikon and they're happy. It's not what you expect and you're not happy. Slight decentering on both lenses is my guess.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    I'm probably the least knowledgeable member answering this topic, but just can't help myself. Could it be just that the manufacturing tolerances achievable with a product like prosumer lenses today are so wide that a camera like your 36 megapixel Nikon is bound to show where the lens begins to fail. It's within accepted tolerances at Nikon and they're happy. It's not what you expect and you're not happy. Slight decentering on both lenses is my guess.
    I'm sure you're right (about everything except being less knowledgeable) - and I'm also sure that most users would never notice (which only means they're less discerning than Tim).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    I'm a bit later to the party (having just seen this thread)...but Tim, I've encountered this more times in the last 35 years than I care to remember. It's especially prevelent with zooms, whereby a slight change in focusing distance, focal length or combination of the two can result in a shift of which side is sharper than the other or some other easily recognized anomoly. It's usually not in the design of the particular lens as other samples will behave differently. As stated by others, there are moving groups of elements which have varing degrees of shifting around and each resin poured aspherical element thats contained in the design of the lens, will almost always have different optical properties than the next.

    The best one can generally do is test multiple samples and hope that one comes close to performing near the ideal level that the manufacturer had in mind when first designing the lens. Depending on the marketing level of lens (price, intended target group etc.) as well as the complexity of the design, factors such as these and more will often have an impact on just how much sample to sample variability is found.

    *** I'll mention one other thing. Often when one side of the frame is softer than another with regards to a given sample of lens...how much the manufacture's service department can correct the issue greatly depends on what the actual problem is causing such asymetry. There is a limit what they can do/adjust short of providing another sample. I once even had a pricey (for that time) a Pentax 15mm f3.5 SMCT lens which was at the forefront of optical technology at the time of manufacturer. One side of the frame was serverely distorted and blurred. It was sent back to Japan twice, and the best they were able to do, is eliminate about 50% of the blurriness/distortion. I suspect they didn't want to switch out single elements at a time to correct issue, but instead adjusted the cams to the extent they could. They ultimately realized another sample was in order.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 18th December 2012 at 07:15.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    jokes apart


    In this case it is not the customer being nitpicky, the frame represents a clear case and any photography enthusiast or brand representative would immediately be able to zoom into the frame and see that there's something wrong on the right side.
    If the Nikon service folks claim otherwise, they are either lying or they are incompetent.

    Going back to film has taught me that resolution and sharpness isn't everything, but I wouldn't want to shoot a lens with such a clearly asymmetric behavior or I would find myself spending far too much time looking for it.

    As it doesn't show with other lenses we can rule out any sensor or mount misalignment.
    It has to be either (1) the lens design or (2) the two specific samples of the lens.

    (1) So do we have some other owners of this lens who would be willing to shoot a similar target at the same focal length and aperture, just to find out if it's the lens design ?

    (2) And if it is not the design I would definitely ask Nikon to take the lens back and then try to buy a good copy via the internet so that I could easily return any bad sample without further explanation.


    ... any other owners of the latest 24-120mm ?

    .
    Last edited by Steen; 18th December 2012 at 05:29.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Thank you Steen,. I don't think I'm being nitpicky either, and given that the version I posted is at 50% size, we can hardly claim that it's a case of 'the d800 resolution reveals weaknesses other cameras hide'. The file is clearly a mess, and would be at 24 or 18mp...
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Tim, I have a D800e and the latest 24-120mm. Give my your settings and I'll test mine and post the results.

    Mr.Gale

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    ... I don't think I'm being nitpicky either...
    I'm sorry, I didn't want to give that impression. My point was that the manufacturer may well be satisfied with larger tolerances than their customers.

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    Heads together please guys...


    Fully understood, emr

    My 'nitpicky' designation (quoted by Tim) was in no way aimed at your comment, only at the Nikon service folks if they are hard to convince about something being wrong here.

    I think it's pretty obvious that something is not ok.

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    Heads together please guys...


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Gale View Post

    Tim, I have a D800e and the latest 24-120mm. Give me your settings and I'll test mine and post the results.

    Mr.Gale

    allow me, sir



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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Looks like the plane of focus is slightly tilted, and the chromatic aberrations look like spherochromatism. Shoot a white wall wide open at infinity and see if the vignetting is symmetric around the image center. If not the lens axis is tilted.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    There's no doubt there's some asymmetry going on but the source of it is hard to determine. In relationship to my previous post, if it's lens related, I have some doubts whether Nikon can fully address the solution in that particular sample. Again its a bit difficult to say.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Hello,
    I wouldn't read too much into Nikon not being able to see the problem, and from the data you have it looks to me like the lens(es) being at fault. If it were the mount / sensor alignment that was off the problem would show up with other lenses. I'd suggest that you might try repeating your test focussing the problem right hand side manually with live view. If the mount / sensor were misaligned, and the lens good you should be able to get a sharp image on the right. If you can't get decent sharpness manually focussing on this side it must be the lens that is off in some way. Hope that is of some help.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Tim, I was out and about yesterday and took these snaps. I'm not sure if they are a good comparison or test but I'll let you decide.
    I tried to use the same setting as you with the exception of exposure time.

    Nikon D800E with 24-120mm
    Focal Length 35mm
    F Number F5.6
    ISO 200

    On close examination the sharpness is the same on both sides. The corners are soft and there is some CA both of which, I believe, are typical of this lens.

    I hope this helps,
    Mr.Gale








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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Thank you everyone, especially for the above sample shots, which have me packing my balaclava and heading Saratoga! ;-)

    I am back home now and reunited with the damned Nikon gear and as soon as the rain lifts I will, sigh, yawn, test it yet again and report back!

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Question is ... why can Leica deal with such issues and solve them and Nikon can't???
    The Leica lenses are machined metal, while the Nikon are typically plastic. In the case of Leica they will adjust for tolerances by measuring sub assemblies and lenses for their tolerance to the design specification. In other words they test each lens and try to put the parts and elements together so the manufacturing tolerances cancel each other out.

    To answer how they deal with them after the fact, the APO or ASPH lenses go back to Solms and I assume they just recheck the assemblies and if one is out of specification, replace it.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    I said I'd report back so here goes:

    Twelve days ago, I sent off both the camera and lens to a very solicitous-sounding Nikon UK service. Yesterday it arrived back and they had apparently replaced a Grip Unit and a Bottom Cover Rubber Unit, neither of which I had asked them to look at. There was no mention of the lens other than Check, Test & Clean.

    The assymetrical focus behaviour is still clearly evident. So I called them today and was pretty blunt. They said they'd call back. which they did. I was told that the head of service himself had look at it, that there was no problem with it at all, that I should read the technical supplement about the D800/E and be aware that high resolution sensors are demanding of technique.

    The clear implication (and I told them that I took this as the clear implication: they did not disagree) is that I am either imagining the issue or that my technique is wrong. I did point out that poor technique is unlikely to cause a lens to be blurred on one side only but hey ho.

    I quote, from memory: 'The service manager is willing to give you a replacement but he says there's no point since there's nothing wrong with what you have, it is all within spec."

    For anyone still interested (and frankly this is now beyond irritating and far into dull, even for me)... watch this space. As a service to mankind, and out of a slight, residual hope of eventually getting some use out of the $25,000-odd I have invested in my pro-level Nikon system, I am about to show my teeth quite aggressively... but first I am going to do a bullet proof test and show the results here, as a final sanity test for me based on the opinion of all my expert friends here.

    If those who have a moment care to pass judgement and, should they agree with me that this is not within any reasonable definition of 'spec', I will pursue the matter with really quite enormous vigour and vim. It's my New Year's Resolution.

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    Re: Heads together please guys...

    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)

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