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Nikon D850: Flange Focal Distance Problem Means that my Zeiss Milvus 18/2.8 reaches End of Its Focusing Range at around 28°F and is Hosed when it goes colder.

See my Nikon wish list.

Update 17 November 2017: 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.


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

Nikon D850

I have been waiting nearly a MONTH 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 in timely manner, and then there is flagrant disrespect and stonewalling.

I will note that one user reports no flange focal distance error with two D850 camera bodies. OTOH, he has not been shooting with camera and lenses cooled to the ambient temperatures of 25°F to 35°F I have been shooting in (thermal mass takes time to react).

Nikon, this is a fundamental failing that shows your company to be in the little leagues. My irritation has now entered the contempt phase. I have been WAY too patient. Get your pitiful act together.

I have several theories:

  1. Poor quality control. Nikon, just give me an answer as to wether my camera can be fixed and turned around in a week or less. It won’t solve the sloppy build quality problem, but it will solve my particular D850 issue. I now face the prospect of replacing the (excepting this issue) the best DSLR ever built and waiting for this fiasco to hash itself out.
  2. Nikon Japan considers saving face more important than honest and integrity. If true, and I hope not, this is pathetic.
  3. The change is deliberate and designed to generate FUD (fear uncertainty doubt) about 3rd party lenses, namely Zeiss. This is not idle speculation, but I cannot go into details here. But the terms “restraint of trade” come to mind, which as I understand it can carry very stiff penalties.
  4. Organizational incompetence at multiple levels—communication, protocol, technical to marketing to customer loops, etc.
  5. The reason for no response is because the real explanation is on the money as to one of the above ugly scenarios.


Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8 on Nikon D850 at about 28°F—no more focusing range left. If it gets colder, GAME OVER for infinity focus
f1.8 @ 1/170 sec, ISO 20; 2017-11-09 15:20:06
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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