When you don’t look, you won’t see. That’s why some reviewers never find anything wrong. See Brand-new Blur. See also the results of the survey I took regarding focus, and see my in-depth review in DAP.
But real pros always check out their equipment, especially new stuff. Here, James M shares his experience from yesterday:
I just returned my first Nikkor 24mm f1.4 for refund or replacement.
The bad news: decentered, with an upper left corner that never got sharp. No good for architectural or landscape work.
Good news: focused correctly at infinity, and very sharp across most of the frame from f2 on.
For $2,200, I don't believe Nikon should outsource quality control to their customers.
Why shouldn’t Nikon (and Canon) continue current practice? The odds make it a win when 99% of customers never look for an issue, or just assume softness is their own fault. But why anyone would pay $2200 (or even $1000) and then not confirm that the lens is performing properly... well I suppose it does take some skill and knowledge, and I’ll bad aiming to address that in the future.