18-200 VR Repair story
I have one of the original 18-200 VR lenses and as I was taking it off the D200 with the camera on a tripod, I accidentally dropped the lens on to the concrete floor.
When I picked it up, it looked fine, but I could hear something wrong inside.
So I sent it to the U.S. Nikon repair center in Melville, NY on a Friday; that Monday they sent me a bill, it seems like the standard fee is $125.00, no matter what. I paid, then a few days later, they sent an email saying they needed to order a part.
That was Feb. 28. Finally got it back yesterday, April 16, with a huge list of what they fixed. It looks like new -- they cleaned it inside and out, adjusted it, and tested it. They even gave it a new bayonet mount.
Here's what they replaced:
All of the "RPL Helicoids" (not sure what those are, the gears?)
The VR system
All of the roller/guide rings
Lens bayonet mount
Adjust auto focus operation
I use the camera in the studio as part of my business and I was kind of lost without the 18-200, but I substituted an old 35-70 AF I had from my N6006. The 35-70 actually works great, it has very accurate color reproduction, and deep blacks.
I was surprised at how little Photoshopping I had to do to the photos. I usually have to fix cyan and/or yellows/reds with the 18-200, no matter how I white balance.
Anyway, that's my story, I've used the Nikon repair center several times and they've always done a great job for me.