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Member Since 04 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active Nov 17 2014 10:40 AM

Topics I've Started

Major frustrations with a new D800 – Focus seems soft

25 December 2013 - 04:42 PM

I’ve been practicing with various lenses while trying to learn my new D800 (purchased late 2013 with up to date firmware). 

While I remain amazingly impressed at the level of detail that can be captured, I’ve become increasingly frustrated on lack of sharp focus.


To date, I’ve tried multiple lenses including Nikon 105VR, Nikon 50 f1.8, Nikon 24-85VR, Sigma 15 FE, Tokina 17 f3.5.

I’ve shot through wide ranges of apertures and shutter speeds on all the lenses both hand-holding and tripod mounted.

Consistently all images lack sharp focus. Not surprisingly the zoom was the worst of the bunch.

The most frustrating aspect is that while on the tripod I manually focused the 105VR & “know” that a series of images were in sharp focus as seen through the viewfinder – yet these images appear just as soft as all the others when viewed in LightRoom4.

Exposure has also been a big issue, but there is no improvement in overall image when changing from Matrix metering to center-weighted.


In addition to an absolutely miniscule/ non-existant DOF, I come away with the feeling that the camera is fixing on a point behind the chosen focal point. I can only somewhat see this in some 50mm 1.8 images where I focused on the forward part of a flower, only to have elements behind the focus point appear in slightly sharper focus.


While the 50mm is the only new lens, purchased as new, & is the “best” of the lot in producing sharper images, it still does not demonstrate the level of sharpness I would expect. This leads me to wonder if the lenses are “off” and/or may need service. I have read (in on-line rants) that lens calibration is a necessary “evil” associated with the D800.

I’m aware of the semi-automatic home version, FoCal. I’m also aware that I have virtually NO idea what I would be doing using it.

Another option would be to send camera and all lenses to Nikon Service in Los Angeles (or personally deliver) for service/ calibration. (Anyone know if they service and calibrate non-Nikon gear?)


A looming issue is that I have a dive-photo-trip coming up in Feb 2014 and need this focus issue resolved before then.



I am willing and interested to hear anyone’s thoughts?



[I recognize that posting some images would be helpful, however I have no idea where or how to host 34.8MB NEF images. It seems pointless to show images that have been compressed to web-sized JPG.]




FS: Epson P-3000 40gig portable HDD w/ screen

23 November 2013 - 10:42 AM

For Sale: Epson P-3000 40Gig HDD with LCD screen


I've changed my workflow and no longer use this portable HDD

Very low use for a very easy to use system

Not only can one back-up photos and video, but you can also view photos/ video on the attached screen

Has both SD and CF reader slots

Adapter input listed as 100-240V / 50-60Hz



- Soft case and AC adapter (standard power cord missing) 

- OEM box and paperwork (can eliminate to decrease shipping cost)



$100 + shipping and money fees


I will ship International, but must be via method with tracking


Attached File  photo 1 (3).JPG   110.78KB   52 downloadsAttached File  photo 3 (1).JPG   83.21KB   49 downloadsAttached File  photo 2 (1).JPG   95.94KB   41 downloads

FS: Nikon DX lenses, Hoya UV filters

23 November 2013 - 09:31 AM

For Sale - Last of my DX gear!


Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G AF-S DX Nikkor lens $175

Very low use of a very sharp lens

Looks unused with no cosmetic or functional issues

Protective UV filter on from day of purchase (new)

No fungus, blade rust, or dust

OEM box, paperwork, unfilled warranty

OEM Hood and sleeve included 


Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Nikkor lens $400

My primary "walk-around" lens for my D90 (since sold - thanks WetPixel!)

Very good - excellent cosmetic condition

No functional issues

Protective UV filter on from day of purchase (new)

No fungus, blade rust, or dust

OEM box, paperwork, unfilled warranty, original purchase receipt

OEM Hood and sleeve included 


Hoya Pro1 Digital Filter 52mm  $25

No scratches or marring of coatings

Threads without "cross-threading"

From box to lens (35mm 1.8G) from day of purchase (new)

OEM case (labeled incorrectly from purchase as 62mm)


Hoya Pro1 Digital Filter 72mm  $30

No scratches or marring of coatings

Threads without "cross-threading"

From box to lens (18-200mm) from day of purchase (new)

OEM case 




Asking price does not include shipping nor PayPal fees

Happy to ship Internationally, although I will ONLY ship with a service that provides tracking


Plenty of recent excellent references on WetPixel and Scubaboard




Focus Ring use with Nikon 105 VR

10 November 2013 - 08:42 PM

How many folk out there have a focus ring for their Nikon 105VR? And use it? 

The lens does tend to "hunt" and I'm wondering if using manual override, as it's an A/M setting, would help get me closer to focus before the AF kicks in.


I'm not currently using the AE-L "thumb" method of focus - instead simply half-press shutter for focus.

FS: Nikon D90, Nauticam NA-90, Zen minidome, S&S 7" dome, Tokina 11-16 :: Lower...

04 November 2013 - 01:32 PM

Moving on up with the big kids to FX.

I'd REALLY like to move my DX gear!


NEVER EVER leaked, flooded, nor even got more than a drop of sweat on the inside of any housing or dome.

NEVER EVER directly exposed camera or lenses to fresh/saltwater - again other than sweat - hey it's hot close to the equator where I like to dive!


All items purchased new by me, and maintained extremely well.

Several references available on WetPixel and Scubaboard.com for purchases and sales - and some from WetPixel for just being a straight-forward guy who really does care for his gear with meticulous attention.


Listed prices have been researched (after I could hear the crickets chirping over my previous posting of this gear) and I think I'm being very reasonable.

That said, if you want multiple items, still think I'm asking too much, or just want to haggle - make an offer!


Prices listed do not include shipping nor any money fees (3% with PayPal).

Happy to ship internationally but must choose a shipper who has tracking and PayPal cost is 4%.


Nauticam NA-90 ($2500 – Backscatter price, note item discontinued)   $750

Used ~150 dives

Last serviced (1/12) ~80 dives ago at Reef Photo

Excellent working condition.

No dents or scratches.

Has oxidized from use in saltwater (like all Nauticam housings I've seen)


Housing Sentry-Basic ($290 – Direct)   $280

Installed – perfect functioning.

Hand pump/ brake bleeder with gauge included.

I would STRONGLY prefer to sell this with the housing...


Nauticam TN1017 Zoom Gear ($185 - Reef)   $100 - SOLD pending funds

Perfect/ mint/ almost unused condition in OEM box with paperwork.

Have extra rubber inserts for ring fitting onto lens.


Zen DP-100 4" dome ($1000 - Reef)   $450 - SOLD pending funds

Includes front port cover and rear port cover.

Used ~20 dives

Perfect/ mint/ almost unused condition in OEM box.


Sea & Sea NX 7" dome ($650 msrp)   $300

Nauticam mount installed at time of full clean and polish by Backscatter – West

Used ~4 times since

Rear cap ($30) and Neoprene cover ($60) Included

Includes original Sea & Sea mounting ring and screws.

Excellent condition.


Nikon N-90 camera body  ($600 - Amazon)   $400

Also included are 2x E-N-EL3e batteries and 2x MH-18a chargers.

Original receipt (06/09) + OEM box with paperwork, body cap, booklets, etc

Used mostly for 2-3 trips/ year for UW photo.

Shutter count (as of 11/1/13) = 15,557


Tokina 10-17 ($580 - Amazon)   SOLD


Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO ($540- Amazon)   $400

No lens cap, however, in place since purchase, Hoya Pro1 UV filter ($60) Included   

OEM box, paperwork, lens hood, original receipt (6/09) and unfilled Warranty card.

Excellent condition.

Never submerged, last used 11/11.



Pictures coming soon….

Really, seriously....

I know, I know, that's what I tell my family about dive pics...