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Nikon D850: Flange Focal Distance is WAY Off (2nd Sample)

See my Nikon wish list.

Update 17 November: I received an offer from Nikon to send in the D850 I have for inspection by technicians for the flange focal offset problem. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, it won’t get looked at until about Nov 27. I will be sending it in.

Update 29 November: Nikon turned it around in one day. See my update.


See Nikon D850: the 2nd Sample is Off Also, both Skewed and Bad Flange Focal Distance.

My Zeiss Otus 55 focuses right around the infinity mark on my Nikon D810.

On the new Nikon D850, it has barely any mechanical focusing throw remaining, as shown below. And tht’s at 50°F. What about 28°F when I can no longer focus to infinity?! Been there about a month ago when it didn’t seem to get quite sharp racked to the mechanical limit. Temperature clearly is a major factor, because at room temperature the problem is reduced. But there might be other factors besides the lens (the mounting mechanism, contraction of the camera parts with cold, etc).

My D810 never had these issues. Indeed, swap the lens to the D810 it is self evident that that D850 is the issue.

Nikon either has made a deliberate (and problematic) change with the Nikon D850 flange focal distance (should be 46.50 mm), or the quality control is abysmal.

This is the 2nd sample of the D850 with this problem and readers have reported the same problem as has a certain unimpeachable expert professional source.

I have been waiting nearly 3 weeks for some kind of response from Nikon. Pick up the phone and call me, Nikon Japan. Your PR agency has my phone number. Make the call. There is care and consideration, and then there is disrespect.

Update 14 November: 4 weeks and counting. I expect no response; I expect stonewalling.

Nikon, your customer response (and response to a member of the press) is unacceptable. It is not the way to do business, at least not here in the USA where not facing an issue gets companies hammered. Stonewalling is for little-league teams—but you are NIKON. Raise your game please: you’ve built an otherwise fantastic camera, the best DSLR ever made.

At the least I expect a phone call from a serious technical person with something if only “hello, we need more time to investigate”. Initiating communication is the right thing to do.

I’m going to be like a dog on a chew toy until this is resolved. I’m not going to get upset (why bother), but I’m not letting go either, so I might as well be like a pig in shit and just see what evolves here and enjoy it because there is nothing I can do. It reminds me of how Leica took 4 months to stop production after I reported the 50/2 APO flare problem the first day I had the lens (they could have called me and saved themselves months of time and some reputation). No one else reports stuff like this, so I’ll do it. It has to be done.

Zeiss Otus on Nikon D850—almost at mechanical limit of focus
f1.8 @ 1/1250 sec, ISO 20; 2017-11-01 13:43:19
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back dual camera 3.99mm f/1.8 @ 28mm equiv (4mm)

[low-res image for bot]
Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8—most of the way at mechanical limits of focus
f1.8 @ 1/800 sec, ISO 20; 2017-10-12 15:20:17
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus back dual camera 3.99mm f/1.8 @ 28mm equiv (4mm)

[low-res image for bot]
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