These shots were made to test the autofocus sensors in a Nikon D800. Lens is a 24-70mm f/2.8G at 50mm, f/2.8. Distance to plane of targets was 2.5m. Camera on tripod, mirror up, remote release. Click on any thumbnail to enter the gallery. Enlarge your browser window to see the largest versions of the images. Use keyboard right and left arrow keys to quickly switch between images. More details of the test method are at:http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1030&message=41240699
For these tests, the camera and targets were not moved between shots. Only the focusing point or focusing method were changed.
Since this gallery was first uploaded, someone informed me that the outer AF sensors are configured as vertical lines. I had thought that the outer sensors were horizontal (based on information from at least two sources). A few quick test shots confirmed that the outer sensors are indeed vertical, and sensitive to variations in vertical detail when the camera is in landscape orientation.
I repeated my original test, with new focus targets better suited for vertical line sensors. The procedure was the same as before, except that I taped the targets to a white wall instead of a window, and used the on-camera flash to get more uniform illumination (still not perfectly uniform). The results of the new test were similar to what I found before. The center AF sensor focuses correctly, but the outer sensors produce unacceptable errors, and the left-most sensor is the worst. Live View focusing works as expected. Images 1 - 8 are from my second test, images 9 - 15 are from my first test.
UPDATE #2: Since creating this gallery, I returned my D800, and obtained a D800E. Test results from that camera are available here