I have owned this gem of a lens for some time now, the 18- 200mm Nikkor zoom.  It’s literally on my camera 90% of the time. But lately, I’ve been noticing some sharpness issues. The lens seems to work fine, but the final image quality of some recent photos weren’t up to par.  I thought maybe it was just the auto focus having issues with high key lighting, so I tried manual focus. That didn’t resolve the issue. So I tried varying the aperture. Still no improvement. I shot with and without VR (vibration reduction). Tripod. No tripod. Fast shutter speeds, wide angle vs telephoto. Still no luck.

So, finally, about two weeks ago I drove my favorite lens over to Nikon Canada’s service department in Mississauga. I was told they’d get back to me in about two weeks and sure enough, just shy of that time I received an automated email (nobody phones you anymore, it seems) with the damage report and the dent my pocket book will take to fix things.

I’m not sure how it happened, but apparently the lens received external damage:

  • Impact damage – zoom roller / guide compressed
  • helicoid bent
  • main circuit board has broken component

This was/is distressing to me as I normally take good care of my gear. But apparently something happened at some point.  Maybe I took too many pictures of my friend Tom Green on the last camping trip. I dunno.

The repair bill for fixing/replacing parts came to just over $300, including taxes. Ugh. But on the upside, this lens retails at just over $800.00. So, a painful hit, but not as painful as it could have been.

I’m hoping I have the lens back in my hands next week to I can run some tests.

Written on March 20th, 2011 , On the Personal SIde, Photography Tags: , ,

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