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Author Topic: Defective Nikon 70-200 VR II  (Read 8562 times)
vandevanterSH
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« on: January 11, 2010, 08:35:16 PM »
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Several Photography sites now have threads re:Defective Nikon 70-200 VR II.  I looked at  mine and there are defects in one of the visible internal threads and there are "silver" particles on some areas of lens interior.  No reports that this affects function but I bet it will have a big impact on resale value of the lenses that have this "defect".   I wasn't aware of this issue until after the 30 day return period for my lens so I am stuck.  I wonder if Nikon will have a re-call if not I guess people like me will just have to eat the decreased value.

Steve
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Dustbak
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 01:29:33 AM »
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I have the same problem  Your lens should still have warranty (as does mine). From people reporting it appears this defect is really wide spread.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 01:31:34 AM by Dustbak » Logged
vandevanterSH
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2010, 11:54:28 AM »
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Quote from: Dustbak
I have the same problem  Your lens should still have warranty (as does mine). From people reporting it appears this defect is really wide spread.

The US warranty is five years.  The lens functions properly and the "problem" may just be cosmetic.  I will wait for Nikon to say what the problem is and how they will fix it before sending it in for repair.  Even if the problem is "only cosmetic",  the value of the lens is significantly reduced, IMO.  I paid $2400 US for a lens that is now worth significantly less because it was sold defective.  The problem is so wide-spread that it is hard for me to believe that decision to sell these lenses,  in this condition,  wasn't a senior management/corporate decision.

Steve
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2010, 03:47:39 PM »
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As a follow-up, I called Nikon-USA service and as expected, they are aware of the problem with the 700-200 VR II.  The person that I talked to made sure that my lens was in their data-base and I was issued a "case" number.  I was told that I would be informed via e-mail about repair etc. once the problem is sorted out.  Nikon Service was "professional" and supportive as expected.

Steve
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 08:56:29 PM »
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Well things are looking up.  I had pre-ordered my 70-200 VR II in August from Amazon.  It was delivered at the end of Nov.  I thought that I was past the 30 day return period but I just learned that since my card was charged during the holiday period, returns extend to Jan. 31, '10.  

In addition to the "chipped" metal that has been well documented, I and other people have noticed metallic particulates in the lens.  Another person posted a photo of this problem.  Mine is about 1/2 this bad.  The particulates are in a different part of the lens than the chipped "threads."  Despite what Nikon China and Norway have allegedly said, I don't consider this a non-problem.  Mine is going back in the AM.  Whew!!.. I think that I dodged this bullet.

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/3a9765a889.jpg

Steve
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2010, 12:41:46 PM »
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Well, the plot sickens.  Nikon says that the pitted metal and internal debris are within "standard" for this lens.  A bad corporate position, IMHO.   They are now basically saying that the defective 70-200 VR II's are the new Nikon manufacturing and QC standard.

Steve
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 12:42:32 PM by vandevanterSH » Logged
Dustbak
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2010, 01:30:08 PM »
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They are basically creating 2 standards for one product.  A lens without broken threads and without chips/dust in the barrel and one with it. Both are being sold for the same price new. Guess which one people would prefer?
 
I can only advice other people to not buy this lens online. Buy it in store, carefully check the lens at 200mm while looking very carefully inside the lens. Only buy the lens when you feel really comfortable it is not affected.

Vote with your wallet, that seems to be the only argument that makes an impact.
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010, 02:18:53 PM »
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Quote from: Dustbak
They are basically creating 2 standards for one product.  A lens without broken threads and without chips/dust in the barrel and one with it. Both are being sold for the same price new. Guess which one people would prefer?
 
I can only advice other people to not buy this lens online. Buy it in store, carefully check the lens at 200mm while looking very carefully inside the lens. Only buy the lens when you feel really comfortable it is not affected.

Vote with your wallet, that seems to be the only argument that makes an impact.


By saying that the pitted metal and debris are "standard" they don't have to service the lens and are betting that if mechanical or optical problems do develop, it will occur after the 1-2 year warranty period for the non-US buyers will have expired.  

Steve
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Scott O.
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2010, 11:55:39 AM »
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I had a discussion 2 days ago with a Nikon customer rep.  He was aware of the problem but no decision has been made as to what to do about it, except that it would be dealt with on the manufacturing end.  At present, no recall is planned as "the speckles do not affect image quality".  I have 2 issues with this.  First, I suspect that the speckles are lubricant since it does look like a spray of some sort.  Don't know if it will get worse with use although I suspect so.  The speckles are highly reflective, and a close exam will show reflections on the lens surface.  Second, even if there is a recall I'm not sure I want some tech cracking open my lens.  So...even though my lens was purchased at the beginning of December, it was a gift and the dealer takes gifts back within a month of Christmas.  So mine went back for credit, and I will purchase another when this is all sorted out.  Note: Other copies of this lens at the dealer all showed the little speckles.  Don't mean to be running around crying "wolf", but that is just too much money to be taking a chance with.
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 04:08:16 PM »
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Quote from: soberle
I had a discussion 2 days ago with a Nikon customer rep.  He was aware of the problem but no decision has been made as to what to do about it, except that it would be dealt with on the manufacturing end.  At present, no recall is planned as "the speckles do not affect image quality".  I have 2 issues with this.  First, I suspect that the speckles are lubricant since it does look like a spray of some sort.  Don't know if it will get worse with use although I suspect so.  The speckles are highly reflective, and a close exam will show reflections on the lens surface.  Second, even if there is a recall I'm not sure I want some tech cracking open my lens.  So...even though my lens was purchased at the beginning of December, it was a gift and the dealer takes gifts back within a month of Christmas.  So mine went back for credit, and I will purchase another when this is all sorted out.  Note: Other copies of this lens at the dealer all showed the little speckles.  Don't mean to be running around crying "wolf", but that is just too much money to be taking a chance with.

Here is a link to some pics of the "sparkles".   This is the best example that I have seen of the problem (and is very similar to what I saw in my copy)...It clearly shows that the "sparkles" are in a different part of the lens than the "pitted" threads which are located above the screws.

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.ph...mp;page=#173566

Steve
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010, 10:30:10 PM »
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Just to add a data point...

I recently purchased my Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR2 (serial 20025xxx) and there is not a speckle in sight. The glass is pristine - no internal dust, no speckles, no coating marks, nothing. There are very minor markings in the "thread issue area" but no burrs, shavings, or anomalies such as I've seen in the images in other threads/forums. I have no concerns at all about this one and it shoots (so far) like a dream, so I'm hanging on to it!

-mike


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CJL
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2010, 05:48:53 PM »
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Are the "sparkles" actually loose particles moving around in the lens, or are they just exposed bright spots on the metal surface that didn't get painted?  Neither is good, but I would be a lot more concerned if there was loose debris moving around inside the lens.
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Dustbak
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2010, 03:36:08 AM »
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In my lens I have only seen the damaged ridges in that baffle. I have not seen debris, flakes or chips inside the lens barrel. Other people have reported they did and some even claimed the amount was growing with usage of the lens.

The images this lens makes are stunning, I am however disappointed with the way Nikon is handling this. They currently kind of officially claim it is normal, 'within spec' but no word on what they will do when this aggravates over time. Also no explanation why some lenses have it and others not.

It kind of feels having bought a new car and just discovering it came with a damaged interior due to fabrication. Not big enough to make a real fuzz about it but large enough to leave quite a dent in my confidence in the reliability of Nikon.
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LKaven
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2010, 09:50:35 AM »
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According to Thom Hogan, this is merely cosmetic.  What appear to be "threads" are actually baffles, whose main purpose is to not reflect light directly back into the optics.  The part is cast, not machined, and not intended to be finished.  There are no actual reports of metal flakes getting into the internals of the lens that have been substantiated.  Looking sideways through the lens elements magnifies the surface in question to make it appear more prominent than it actually is.
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Dustbak
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2010, 01:19:02 PM »
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Quote from: LKaven
According to Thom Hogan, this is merely cosmetic.  What appear to be "threads" are actually baffles, whose main purpose is to not reflect light directly back into the optics.  The part is cast, not machined, and not intended to be finished.  There are no actual reports of metal flakes getting into the internals of the lens that have been substantiated.  Looking sideways through the lens elements magnifies the surface in question to make it appear more prominent than it actually is.


Do you have this lens?
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LKaven
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« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2010, 03:25:33 PM »
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I quoted Thom Hogan, and he's got one.  He's only repeating Nikon correspondence from other owners who have written in.  If you have a more serious problem than what is indicated, I hope it will be easily solved for you.
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Dustbak
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2010, 03:45:33 PM »
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No problem. Would you honestly buy one and not look into the barrel to see if it has the mentioned problem? Would you take one if you did see this problem or would you have a look at another one? When the other does not show this phenomena which would you prefer?

Has anyone from Nikon officially mentioned this will not become a problem in the longer term and if so they will fix it for their clients?

Are you beginning to see where I am getting at?

Yes, I would buy this lens again, I would prefer a clean one, I would buy one if they were ALL like this because I need one. No, I am not happy with how it is currently handled.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 03:46:27 PM by Dustbak » Logged
LKaven
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2010, 05:25:33 PM »
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I know you have to act to look after the integrity of your investment and personal goals that go along with it.  I don't fault you for a minute.  It is prudent to register a complaint and keep it lodged until the issue is completely understood and resolved.

I think my intention was to add a couple of data points.  I have seen correspondence from Nikon service reps, and in one case a service manager, and their position is that it is not a problem.  But, they could be wrong, and at the same time Nikon has been late putting up a corporate-level response to the problem, furthering customer anxiety.  [And it is hard to know who to trust any more, wherever you go.]

One thing I can attest to is that the location is identified as a "baffle" and not as "threads" and I felt that was a fairly important piece of information to contribute to this thread.  When all information is finally aggregated in one place, people can draw the appropriate conclusions.
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BertramPaul
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2010, 06:19:49 PM »
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Nikon has a statement regarding this "problem":

"The 70-200mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VRII lens features a component in the lens design which may appear to have surface pits or a rough texture when viewed through the front lens element.  This rough surface appears in a very small confined area within the lens barrel and is caused by air holes remaining in the metal portion of the lens during component construction.  Due to the magnifying effect of the front element this rough surface will appear greatly enlarged when viewed through the front of the lens.

This components function is to reduce and remove internal reflections from the lens and due to this the texture of the surface will have no effect on the lenses performance or operation. Nikon would like to assure customers that the lenses optical performance remains unchanged and that this component will not release any dust or particles into the lens itself."

Link:
Nikon 70-200 VRII
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Scott O.
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« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2010, 10:55:08 AM »
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This response from Nikon is pretty much what I expected, and I don't mean to be critical.  The recall of the lens would cost a fortune.  In denying that there is a problem, they will be available to fix/clean up any lens that is sent in for service.  And I expect they will very quietly remedy any manufacturing process which is causing the issue(s), so the next batch should be just fine.  I continue to think the best course of action for anyone concerned with the problem is to return the lens and wait until the fixes are made to buy another.  Bottom line is that there really might not be a problem...I just prefer to err on the side of caution so my lens went back to my dealer.
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