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: , ,
Hipstamatic shot

Flowers are for the birds

I was looking at pics on my iPhone this week and realized I have shots going all the way back to 2009! The funny thing was that I never thought I used the camera feature very much. Typically I’d opt to use a “real” camera like my Nikon D200. Yet here were upwards of 320 photos, shot and/or manipulated on my iPhone 3′s camera roll.

What does this tell me? Well, mainly that my iPhone is a device of convenience for things other than making calls, texting or tweeting. Without realizing it, I have grown used to whipping out the phone to make a picture. And not necessarily some quick “grab” shot, either.  I’ll take the time to compose the scene, maybe shooting a few angles and then often I’ll take even more time to edit/improve the image using another app. So the adage, “The best camera is the one you have with you” is proving true. Read the rest of this entry »

Teaching is an awesome calling. Not a job. A calling. And while there are surely days when I’d rather be doing anything else, there are far more days when I realize how lucky I am to be a teacher.

Today was one of those days – not so much for a specific teaching moment (heck it is Sunday) but because of something I read.

Read the rest of this entry »

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