Dropped Nikon 70-200 VRII - not a good day

Started Jan 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jeff Klofft
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,521
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Re: Advice for future: always use the lens hood to protect against impact and not a filter
In reply to TOF guy, Jan 22, 2013

TOF guy wrote:

Sorry to read about your misfortune. Now knowing what the scratches look like it is hard to tell you the impact on the image. The impact on contrast will be negligible if little of the surface on the front lens is affected *but* visible artifacts may occur depending on the lightinig. The scratch may induce glare etc under adverse lighting conditions. Try an image with a strong light source just off the composition, for instance.

Nikon will make sure that all parts of the lens is working properly if you send it for repair, regardless of what needs to be repaired. In other words they'll check AF VR etc. even if it's only the front element which needs to be fixed on first visual inspection. 3 things can happen:

  • The only broken part is the front element, you have to accept the repair and they'll proceed
  • They find something else broken, they will call you and give you a new estimate. Nikon refuses to do a half job. Say you want the front lens element fixed and some other issue which you deem minor in your view not fixed. They will refuse to repair just for the front lens.
  • In rare situations Nikon will estimate that it cannot bring the lens back to its state as new, in which case they will return the lens to you as is. Again they refuse to do a half job.

Finally you may want to prevent this situation to reoccur in the future. There is only one way: it's using the lens hood. Your experience is not too common but definitely not unheard of. A filter is not designed to prevent damage to a lens but a lens hood is. Aside from the fact that the filter can shatter and its debris scratch the lens front element, as you've experienced, there is also the way the hood breaks the force of an impact. The filter is screwed to the front of the lens and makes for a tight fit. It becomes one with the lens and pass along all the strength of the impact to the rest of the lens. People may experience internal damage to a lens when using a filter to protect against falls. It's extremely unlikely to happen with a lens hood because the hood will diassemble on impact. At worst you'll get damage to the spring on the hood and that's it (except for some very long tele lens a hood cost less than $50 to replace). Of course if you drop the lens from a building 2nd floor nothing will help. But for common drops the hood is the most effective way to protect a lens.

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Thierry - posted as regular forum member

Yup.  I've seen a 70-200 on a D800 take a fall in the Galapagos onto lava rock.  The lens hood was pretty scratched, but it clearly flexed and absorbed a great deal of the fall.  The lens and camera in question seemed to work for the guy perfectly for the remainder of the trip.

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Jeff

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