11 September 2008

digital photography & my broken lens

I love making photographs. My current camera is a Nikon D50 and my favourite lens to use on a daily basis is the Nikkor 18-200 F 1:3.5-5.6 G ED DX VR.
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When we were at DisneyWorld over Christmas the front glass fell out of the lens. So that was a real pain. The lens was less than a year old! And it has a 5 yr. warranty. Came home, took the lens to my local camera store and they sent it off to Nikon for repair. It took about a month, so it was about mid February when I got the lens back. Right away I noticed that every so often, the autofocus didn't focus. If I turned the camera off and back on, then it worked. This was very sporadic at first, but gradually happened more often. Near the end of May, the AF was not working right at least a third of the time. But we were getting ready to leave for Italy and I didn't want to send it off.

You know what's coming now, right? Second full day in Italy and the lens was hardly working on AF at all. by the next day I could only get manual focus to work and then in only a small range. Thankfully I had also taken my 50mm lens, so I could at least use my camera for the rest of the trip. With everything that's been going on healthwise since we got back, I haven't been able to take the lens back to the camera shop.

Today my sister took my lens to the camera store to see about getting it sent off and repaired again. I called ahead to tell the shop about the problem. So now my sister just called and said the lady at the shop told her that the warranty only covered one repair. HUH? What is that supposed to mean? I'm off to research it now, but a 5 year warranty should be a 5 year warranty. And actually, I really wish Nikon would just send me a new lens. I did not do anything to the glass to cause it to fall out at Christmas. And the lens has been having this focus problem ever since it came back from that repair.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will at least fix the lens. From what I have read online, others have had similar problems with their 18-200 lenses. I really expect better quality from Nikon.
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Janet W said...

Geez, it sounds like the people in the camera store just didn't want to pay to ship it out to Nikon!

You should just go through Nikon directly; their main service center for the East Coast is on Long Island

East of the Mississippi River:
Nikon Inc. Photo & Digital Service
Nikon Inc. Factory Service
1300 Walt Whitman Road
Melville, NY 11747

I would call them and deal with them directly. They were very nice when I needed my D200 repaired (needed shutter replaced at about a month old!)

Good luck,

decolady said...

Hey Janet, thanks so much for the info. I just haven't been up to doing anything with the lens, but my sister gave the store my phone number and they are supposed to call me in the morning. I will see if I can get in touch with Nikon directly before then.

Do you use this lens? When it's working I really do love it!

Janet said...

Well, I got the D200 with the 18-70 which got great reviews, but which I found I really disliked after I used it for a while. Nobody had the 18-200 in stock at that point, so I tried a few things and ended up with, of all things, the el cheapo 18-55, which, while it will not win any prizes for construction, takes MUCH better photos, in terms of color and sharpness, than the 18-70. I also got the 50mm 1.8, which is a great little lens, and a Tamron 90mm macro, which is just spectacular. After all that, I was kind of out of money, so I figured I would just use what I had :)

I did get an inexpensive tripod this year, and found that I take much better photos with it, so a good one is going to be the next thing on my wish list. Surprisingly enough, even though Nikon has released newer cameras since I got mine, I still prefer how mine handles to them, so I get to stave off the dreaded Nikon Acquisition Syndrome for a while longer.....

Good luck with your communication with the Nikon mother ship..