[News] Nikon D800 Has Confirmed Focus/Viewfinder Issues

[News] Nikon D800 Has Confirmed Focus/Viewfinder Issues

I didn't believe my buddy when he told me that his brand new Nikon D800 viewfinder was always out of focus. I assumed that he had the diopter out of whack. It wasn't until I used the camera myself that I realized there was a serious problem. The camera was sent back to Nikon for repair and he received the camera back last week with the same issue. After sending it back a second time, Nikon has admitted that "a run" of D800s have an issue with viewfinder alignment.

Steven's camera (serial number 3003228) seemed to have 2 separate issues; focusing, and viewfinder alignment. Sometimes autofocus worked properly, other times it was way off. When the camera did focus properly the scene still looked slightly out of focus through the viewfinder. After doing some tests with live view and then comparing his D800 to another, Steven confirmed that there was something very wrong with his copy.

Steven ordered his camera the day that it became available for preorder and was one of the first to receive it in the US. He got his camera weeks before me and I'm an NPS member. He has now spent $250 shipping the camera back to Nikon twice for repair. Nikon claims that the autofocus issue has been fixed but to repair the viewfinder will require parts that will not be available until next month. They are willing to refund his money for the camera so he can buy another (not including the $250 in shipping he has spent) but he knows it could be months before he receives another camera because he will be in the back of the line.

If you have a D800 give your viewfinder a second look. With Steven's camera you could autofocus, and then lean in toward your subject and the scene would finally drop into focus. Does anyone else have this issue? Luckily my D800 is working fine.

Update: About an hour after this post went live Steven got a call from the head of Nikon Service and Steven will be receiving a new camera directly from Nikon tomorrow. Sadly, they will not be refunding the money he spent to insure and mail the lens back to Nikon twice.

Another interesting note is that one of the commentors below claims to be having this exact same issue with his D4. We will keep you posted as we learn more.

Lee Morris's picture

Lee Morris is a professional photographer based in Charleston SC, and is the co-owner of Fstoppers.com

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I have the same problem as you Michael Holzbauer. The photos are sharp when the focus confirmation light is on, but the viewfinder is slightly blurry. If I move forward or adjust the focusring towards infinitiy, the viewfinder it in focus, but the photo is not. This also happened after an "accident" and repair. But I am not sure if it was like that before. But I don't think so. Hope they can fix it.
All the best


{sigh} I have the same issue :( This is my second D800, first one was replaced as the LCD screen was green. I've just sent nikon the shittiest email I could word and told them to call me asap. Every single shot is back focused by about 3-4 cm. I've fine tuned and tried everything!

just bought a d600 with the bad view finder issue. diopter does not work, cant even see the numbers in the finder, let alone focus on any subject at any distance. Nikon said they are sending me a lable to send it in for service, I see a whole bunch of posts regarding this issue - sell you Nikon junk and buy Canon!

Digital camera techology is still immatured! I am happy with my Nikon F5

it still happens... nikon service just returned my d800 after service, and NOW, the viewfinder is OOF...

I bought a D800 last January and have had nothing but trouble with the focusing on the camera. Nikon has had it back 3 times and it is still not focusing properly and it also has a problem with low light, which is one of the big selling points for the camera. Nikon will not fix it properly and they will not replace it. They have had the camera almost as much as I have. Stay away from the D800!

Hiii Facing Problem M Using D800 + 24-120 F/4 Lens... When i Press Shutter viewfinder showing shacking & Some Sound Ithink Its Af Motor Sound Coming during Focusing ...what should i do???

I am having a huge focusing issue as well. Sent both the body and all my lenses into Nikon for repair, received them back still having the same issue.