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Hidden Calibration Problems with Nikon D810

We had a Pro calibration kit in today consisting of 2 camera bodies – D750 & D810 and a good range of lenses including a 24-70mm, 50mm F1.4, 70-200m F2.8 and a 200-500mm. All seemed to go swimmingly regarding calibration of lenses to the D750. A totally different story when it came to the D810 though.

We found the Nikon D810 suffered from two problems. The first  was a faulty USB connection which caused no end of problems with connectivity and thus communication of the software. We could see that the USB connection to the camera sat awkwardly in the socket. This in itself was not too much of a problem.

The second however was more of a problem. In undertaking the calibration we found that lenses when calibrated to the body were giving readings that where outside of range. For example in the case of the Nikon 50mm F1.4,  it gave a reading of -40!  As you may know Nikon AF Fine Tune settings allow a maximum of -20 to + 20 in terms of AF micro adjustment values.

We then calibrated a Nikon 24-70mm lens. We see this lens a lot as it is probably the worst lens in the Nikon range for AF consistency. The figures at 24mm were -14 and -20mm. The same lens when calibrated on the D750 were as follows: -3 at 24mm and -7 at 70mm. Now whilst we do not expect the readings to be the same we do expect them to be similar. However this is a huge difference and alarm bells started to ring. There was something else going on here with the D810.


So what factors come into play when there is such a big difference between the the same lenses when calibrated to two different bodies? As usual the nerd in us came to the fore. A challenge, a question that needed some research. Thankfully with decades in the industry we have build up a considerable network of likeminded nerds and techno geeks that are passionate about what they do and certainly do not run away from a challenge. This included possibly the best technician we know when it comes to cameras and lenses. Twenty minutes discussion and considerable 'out side the box' thinking we came to two possibilities.

  • Lens mount had been stretched
  • Body casting had been warped.

Both of these problems would have been caused by a long tele lens being mounted to the body and and the lens not being supported properly. Most likely not changing the strap connections from the body to the lens. Sling the strap over the shoulder with the lens hanging off the body but the strap being connected to the body and that is a considerable amount of downward stress than would cause this type of distortion.

Approximate cost of the repair would have been £110-00 to supply and fit a new body mount and £700 + to fix the warped body casting.

The customer in this case had only recently bought the camera as a used item from a reputable dealer, which goes to show rarely do dealers check equipment during the buy in process.

So if you are experiencing issues let us at Cameracal check your camera and provide a suitable solution.

More and more of our customers are using our services and our vast experience (over 75 yrs) to check equipment bought new or second hand.



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