Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!

Started May 23, 2013 | Discussions
r e cummings
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Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
May 23, 2013

I told them that my 80-200 afs stopped focusing and more than likely had a dead focus motor. They had me send it to them. Status of my repair is "• PARTS NO LONGER AVAILABLE • NO REPAIR item shipped". How is this even possible? This was their premier zoom, and only went out of production in 2004. All I can say is LAME! Very sad because this is such a fantastic lens.

dwa1
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 23, 2013

Definitely not good news. However, I would check with some of the Authorized Nikon Service facilities. Perhaps one of them may have the part in stock? My first choice is always APS in Chicago.

http://nikoncamerarepair.com/

I wish you well in getting your lens repaired.

Wayne

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r e cummings
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to dwa1, May 23, 2013

That was my next thought. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Tyr-Sog
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 23, 2013

Nikon business model reminds me that of the struggling Meade Telescope company.  One that doesn't make it's customer base too happy.

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r e cummings
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to Tyr-Sog, May 24, 2013

I own a Meade telescope as well! LOL

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BartyLobethal
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Thanks for the 'heads up'
In reply to r e cummings, May 24, 2013

I own one of these. The focus motor made a high-pitched squeal the first couple of times I used it, but hasn't since. I think it's a great lens, but if they are no longer repairable perhaps I should start looking for a deal on a 70-200 VRII and offload the 80-200.

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KewlEugene
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 24, 2013

In the past, Nikon USA offered with my agreement, to hold my old lenses for years, while they scoured old camera parts dealers worldwide, until the lens was restored to spec. I recall it took years to fix a couple of my old AF-S and manual lenses. I don't know if they still do that. Why don't you ask.

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j_photo
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 24, 2013

sorry to hear that. I just bought one used. I hate to think it's unrepairable if something happens to the focus motor.

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r e cummings
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Re: Thanks for the 'heads up'
In reply to BartyLobethal, May 24, 2013

I can't say I'm very interested in Nikon having my lens for years. Kind of difficult to take pictures without a lens.

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Cytokine
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 24, 2013

It does not inspire confidence in new AF-S lenses; This is a superb lens and it still commands a high price in the UK. I hope you can find someone to fix it.

John

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KenHill
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to Cytokine, May 24, 2013

I recently contacted Nikon for a replacement focus ring for  my AFS 80-200 and was told I would have to send it in.  That sounded silly and challenged the idea that sending a lens via UPS made sense when a rubber ring could be put in an envelope and mailed.  A supervisor called and said there were no parts for the lens in the US and they would have to wait upon shipment from Japan.

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Guidenet
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In reply to r e cummings, May 24, 2013

r e cummings wrote:

I told them that my 80-200 afs stopped focusing and more than likely had a dead focus motor. They had me send it to them. Status of my repair is "• PARTS NO LONGER AVAILABLE • NO REPAIR item shipped". How is this even possible? This was their premier zoom, and only went out of production in 2004. All I can say is LAME! Very sad because this is such a fantastic lens.

Unfortunately, that particular lens was not made for long and not that many were made. The AFS was a bit complex and sometimes prone to failure, especially the focus actuator from what I was told. As spectacular as this lens is, it is one reason I've always stuck with the 80-200 f/2.8 AFD models.

I also heard last year that Nikon no longer had many parts for the focus motors and actuators used on this lens and it doesn't share much with other lenses. It was a new design at the time.

Given it is such a good lens, I'd definately find a third party to repair it. Along with others, you might talk to KEH. KEH dropped repair certification with Nikon in order to remain a certified seller. They still have a lot of parts and they still do a lot of repair. Since they are also the largest used lens dealer in the world, they also may have used parts that will work. I'd at least call or email them to see.

Just for the heck of it, I'd ask Nikon for a supervisor or manager. State what happened and that the reason you buy Nikon is because of their compatibility and reliability over the years. Let him know you believe Nikon should sub out a production run on the parts. This is too short of a time to run out. There must have been a quality issue up front to use up the parts so fast.

Stick to your guns and politely move the conversation over to compensation. Suggest Nikon ought to give a large trade in value on your lens towards a new lens. That would solve two issues. It would make you happy and it would supply them with additional parts. I would try for something like your lens and an additional $1200 for a new 70-200 f/2.8 VRII and go from there. They were selling the new lens for $2100 after rebates at retail last month, so basically that's giving you $900 trade allowance for your old lens. I think that's fair. They benefit from more parts and get a happy customer. It's worth a try. Just stay polite but don't falter. Keep repeating your request until he does it.

Good luck and take care.

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lac111
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 24, 2013

Surprising. I used to have, in fact I still do, have a list of all the Nikon authorized centers from a few years ago. It was available on the Nikon website, now I just checked and you have to input what item needs repair before they will give you the list. I did and it states that ONLY they are authorized to repair this lens. I surely hope that's not true.

Something to seriously consider when buying certain older used lenses. This could and possibly should affect the value of such lenses if they are not repairable.

Let us know what you find out.

Lora

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Lora
Profile is wrong, I've been on Dpreview since June 2006.

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Chad Gladstone
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to lac111, May 24, 2013

lac111 wrote:

Surprising. I used to have, in fact I still do, have a list of all the Nikon authorized centers from a few years ago. It was available on the Nikon website, now I just checked and you have to input what item needs repair before they will give you the list. I did and it states that ONLY they are authorized to repair this lens. I surely hope that's not true.

Something to seriously consider when buying certain older used lenses. This could and possibly should affect the value of such lenses if they are not repairable.

Let us know what you find out.

Lora

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Lora
Profile is wrong, I've been on Dpreview since June 2006.

That is a really "one off" lens that was not in production very long.  I don't suspect that particular issue is indicative of how all future failures will be met with when offered for repair, but this type of revelation does not resonate with me, as a consumer.

These are complex consumer products that are indeed prone to failure because of how delicately tuned they are and the punishment they are required to endure.  Based on Nikon's recent philosophy to deauthorize repair centers and require the repair work to be done by the subsidiary/importer, if this type of incident becomes commonplace, I will stop buying Nikon products.  To me, digital camera bodies are disposable at the moment because they are not a mature product yet (but they appear fast becoming so), but lenses should remain operational, if well cared for and properly maintenance, for as long as the user deems them serviceable.

There is 100% probability of failure of any mechanical/electronic product (lenses included) if the timeline is stretched long enough, and I do not want a bunch of useless, expensive book ends littering up a land fill just because I elect not to upgrade to the latest and greatest optics available and Nikon refuses to service a product is sold.  If Nikon determines that, an otherwise serviceable repair, is not a profitable enterprise and positions itself in the market to promote waste (by refusing to stock, carry, engineer, or machine replacement parts), I will find another brand that espouses to my correlative philosophy.  At present, I only replace lenses because the older lenses have great secondary market value and I can afford to and appreciate the optical benefits of the newer versions (I have never had a failure that could not be locally repaired) and lose little in the exchange.  In the future, however, I would like some further assurance that I am not investing in something that retains no value once it malfunctions or needs to be serviced.  I don't care how great the optics are, they become expensive fixtures if there is not some guarantee of repairability.

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Chad Gladstone

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KewlEugene
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 24, 2013

I don't think they have parts for stuff older than 10 years so it's hard to fix old cameras and lenses.

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iso800
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to KewlEugene, May 24, 2013

Sorry to hear about your lens I've just bought the 80-200 AFS about 6 months ago, just had it service, cleaned and recalibrated as the Auto focus started to get intermittant. All done under warranty from Grey's of Westminster in the UK. I hope mine doesn't fail me, I payed a fair amount for it, expensive if no parts are available now!

Not sure if this will help but just came across this on the webb

http://www.partshe.com/catalog/product/view/id/4409/s/oem-28-70mm-swm-80-200mm-2-8-silent-wave-motor-unit-new-repair-part-made-to-fit-nikon-af-s/

Hope you get it sorted.

K

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unknown member
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 24, 2013

Sorry about your experience.

I have read before of the AFS failure in the AFS 80-200. Similar to the widely reported failure of the A/M ring on the 2 ring 80-200 (but apparently that can be taped with duct tape and used, no big deal).

Hence, why I am aiming to buy a 80-200 2.8 one ring push pull. Great optics, and if the AF motor stops, I will be able to manual focus, no intention at all of having it repaired if the AF fails.

Even the recent 70-300's I have seen reported AFS failures, albeit maybe not that many. But, the 80-200 2.8 AF-D seems much better optically  (pro level glass vs consumer ...there is a reason it cost so much new) and it is made to alternate as an MF lens anyway.

Still best value around for an amateur in my opinion and for my needs.

Thing is, less complex   =less to break down and easier to fix.

Like the modern day cars. Electronics up the wazoo. A bit better on fuel yes, but when it breaks, needs all kind of diagnostics etc etc etc. Whereas the old carburetor cars were easy to fix, for an owner, unless it was something major.

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Enjoy.....believe in yourself..

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 24, 2013

My notes indicate this lens was withdrawn 10 years ago when the original 70-200 was introduced.

Whether it is reasonable for Nikon to carry parts 10 years later is really what this thread is about.

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Leonard Shepherd
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inasir1971
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Re: Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to Leonard Shepherd, May 24, 2013

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

My notes indicate this lens was withdrawn 10 years ago when the original 70-200 was introduced.

You're right - seems that it went out of production early 2003; over 10 years ago.

Whether it is reasonable for Nikon to carry parts 10 years later is really what this thread is about.

It doesn't seem to be about that even - it sounds like after 10 years they have simply run out of some parts, not that they are dumping what they have into some landfill and refusing service.

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Guidenet
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In reply to inasir1971, May 24, 2013

inasir1971 wrote:

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

My notes indicate this lens was withdrawn 10 years ago when the original 70-200 was introduced.

You're right - seems that it went out of production early 2003; over 10 years ago.

Whether it is reasonable for Nikon to carry parts 10 years later is really what this thread is about.

It doesn't seem to be about that even - it sounds like after 10 years they have simply run out of some parts, not that they are dumping what they have into some landfill and refusing service.

Nikon has built its reputation partly on compatibiilty and longevity of their gear, especially for professional use and this is a professional lens. I've still got lenses I purchased brand new in the 1960s and 1970s that are still part of my professional kit today. Would I be upset if one broke and Nikon said it was out of parts? Probably not, but I'd expect them to attempt to fix it. Would I expect a 10 year old professional zoom to be repaired? Yes, that would be my expectation.

This is Nikon, not Sony or Pentax. This is Nikon who has maintained F-Mount compatibiilty since 1959. My expectations are indeed high. If Nikon wants to limit thrid party repair places and keep it under their roof, they need to meet these expectations. Nikon's reputation is partly based on the "expectations" of its service obligation.

I suspect Nikon ran out of parts for this focus mechanism because it was new and more troublesome than later units. Moreover, I don't think the parts are shared with other lenses. It's not so much Nikon's fault the design may suffer higher than normal repair needs, but it is their fault for not having the foresight to make extra parts before shutting down the lines. I'm sure by that time they would have known the lens suffers from lower than normal reliability to the focus unit. I started hearing about parts shortages on this lens several years ago which puts it only six or seven years out of production.

I think there are three possible solutions for Nikon.

  1. They can stonewall and take a rigid stance
  2. They can engineer a new part or work-around
  3. They can offer a fair trade-in or coupon to address a way for owners to trade up, only losing the depreciation of the lens as if it were not broken.

I think the first choice is totally within the law and might be fair in their eyes, but is poor for their reputation and sets a lower minimum expectation for customer service.

The second choice would be my favorite but might be too expensive to contemplate. I would wonder if a current motor or system could be engineered to fit the lens.

I think number three is a win win even though it would not satisfy everyone. It would show they cared and were making the attempt. I think a guaranteed trade-in of somewhere between $900 and $1200 be allowed on a broken lens determined by the condition of this lens by the Nikon Store or Repair Center. The trade in could occur through the online Nikon store and used only on the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII new, not refirbished. The old lens could be retained for parts which are obviously needed for this lens.

Number three could also have a coupon for savings on any purchase. That coupon's value would be somewhere between the value of the 80-200 working and the 80-200 only working in manual mode. People would keep the lens in that case.

I think this solves issues on this lens and a few others which might not have parts so soon after they've been discontinued. This would restore the reputation in my eyes at little cost to Nikon.

Just thinking out loud.

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