After seemingly ignoring the issue for some time, Nikon must have been working on a fix, however. In an interview of blogger Falk Lumo with Nikon Germany at Photokina 2012, Nikon acknowledges the issue and told him there is a fix for it as well.
Some points from the interview:
- Nikon has acknowledged, found and understood the root cause of the issue. It has been eliminated in the current production (however, I guess we'll never know when and from which serial numbers on).
- The root cause is a misalignment of the AF module when mounted, outside of Nikon's own production tolerances. But be asserted we are still talking micro meters here…
- The issue for affected D800 can be solved in selected Nikon service centers; such as Düsseldorf, Germany.
- The procedure is currently rolled out to more Nikon service centers.
- The fixing procedure for Nikon is a tedious one. It includes writing individual calibration values into the firmware. For larger deviations, the AF module will first mechanically be re-aligned. This may actually include the AF auxiliary mirror in some cases.
- This method is believed to deliver an autofocus precision which is at least as good as of cameras from a fresh batch. I could not clarify if there is a chance for both methods being non-equivalent in some way. However, Nikon Germany does not think so. They rather wholeheartedly believe that the in-service calibration procedure resolves the issue as good as current production does, if not better.