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

Started May 23, 2013 | Discussions
Nikonparrothead
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Re: Unfortunately
In reply to Guidenet, May 24, 2013

Guidenet wrote:

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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As an owner of a sqeaky 80-200 AFS I'd love it if Nikon gave me a hefty trade-in value for my lens right not. Sure it still focuses -- alebit squeakily -- but shouldn't that be worth MORE than a non-functioning one? Not that I've ever heard of Nikon giving trade-in allowances (I also haven't asked).

There is one big flaw in your logic. If Nikon can't fix the lens for a customer then that should suggest that it can't fix it then for resale. So it's a doorstop at worst, an unoffical 80-200 D if it still focuses on screw drive with the camera motor.

Also KEH sells Ex to LN 80-200 AFS lenses in the $1,100 range and BGN ones in the $790 range. By definition those BGN lenses actually work. Given KEH typical trade-in, they're probably buying the really nice ones for $800ish and the BGN ones that still work for less than $600. So why would Nikon give an above value trade-in for a lens that's by definition UG?

I know your logic. To keep the customer happy. Nikon could actually accomplish that by keeping the parts in stock and making money on the repair. Why then, should it lose money on a trade-in?

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r e cummings
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Re: Unfortunately
In reply to Nikonparrothead, May 25, 2013

Nikon's response:

Dear Mr. Cummings,
Thank you for contacting Nikon Service and Support,
According to the service center the parts which were no longer available for this repair have been listed below. We do apologize for any inconvenience. I hope this information will be helpful.
RUBBER RING & M/F RING
Regards,
Arshad M.
Nikon Tech Support.

Talk about detailed information, this is pathetic! How can these parts be related to a lens that will no longer autofocus? I'm trying to get additional info from them. In the mean time, APS says they can repair anything on this lens. I'm sure I will be sending it to them, but I'd like to get "detailed" and useful information from Nikon support first. Very disappointing from a company with such a long and reputable history. What a waste of my time and money. They new that they no longer have parts for this lens, so why did they have me send it to them for repair?

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Guidenet
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United Breaks Guitars
In reply to Nikonparrothead, May 25, 2013

Nikonparrothead wrote:

I know your logic. To keep the customer happy. Nikon could actually accomplish that by keeping the parts in stock and making money on the repair. Why then, should it lose money on a trade-in?

But they don't have parts in stock. That's not on the table. That error was made a long time ago. To keep the customer happy is a job that can be done today. Moreover, like I pointed out, the UGLY rated lens would become parts for tomorrow, not be resold.

Companies lose money almost every time they interact as a customer service transaction. Customer service is not a profit center. There can only be a resulting good or bad will from such a transaction. Most companies hope for a good result since they are losing money anyway. Customer service combined with technical support costs any company quite a bit more than CS by itself. Companies have to decide on both the short and long term effects when they come up with methods and procedures to follow.

Managers exist to modify those methods and procedures on a one by one basis. At some point up the managerial tree, there is someone who will make a positive decision for you in any customer service transaction with nearly all companies. They understand if they don't, someone above will. It's the companies who empower this at lower levels who are succeeding more and more in these days, but someone exists at Nikon who will take a procactive approach in every case. This is why I suggest being persistant and work your way up the management tree, maintaining a polite and courtious mannerism. The key is persistance with each manager before asking for the next. One sound bite that works is, "I understand your company policy here. I really do, but you must understand what I need to  have happen." Then restate what you want done. i.e. a trade-in off a new lens.

There might be a third party cottage type available who could repair these lenses for Nikon by using some work around Nikon doesn't have time nor inclination to attempt. Maybe a clutched micro motor could be installed within the casing. I don't know.

What actually happens when a motor or actuator goes bad in these lenses? I doubt there is actually wear and tear on metal parts. I would think a motor could be rewound for example. Maybe a burnt circuit board could be adapted from a different lens and reconfigured in the firmware. All it takes is some serious thought by a real engineer is this day of disposable hardware. One might need a couple and a schematic to work on and some spare time.

Take a look what happened to United Airlines because of a customer service person being stuck and why companies understand the power of social media more and more.

United Breaks Guitars

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lac111
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Re: Unfortunately
In reply to r e cummings, May 25, 2013

r e cummings wrote:

Nikon's response:

Dear Mr. Cummings,
Thank you for contacting Nikon Service and Support,
According to the service center the parts which were no longer available for this repair have been listed below. We do apologize for any inconvenience. I hope this information will be helpful.
RUBBER RING & M/F RING
Regards,
Arshad M.
Nikon Tech Support.

Talk about detailed information, this is pathetic! How can these parts be related to a lens that will no longer autofocus? I'm trying to get additional info from them. In the mean time, APS says they can repair anything on this lens. I'm sure I will be sending it to them, but I'd like to get "detailed" and useful information from Nikon support first. Very disappointing from a company with such a long and reputable history. What a waste of my time and money. They new that they no longer have parts for this lens, so why did they have me send it to them for repair?

I'm assuming they paid return shipping and you just had to pay for shipping the lens to them? I'd ask for compensation under the circumstances. The time you can't get back.

Lora

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Snapshott
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Re: Unfortunately
In reply to r e cummings, May 25, 2013

r e cummings wrote:

Nikon's response:

Dear Mr. Cummings,
Thank you for contacting Nikon Service and Support,
According to the service center the parts which were no longer available for this repair have been listed below. We do apologize for any inconvenience. I hope this information will be helpful.
RUBBER RING & M/F RING
Regards,
Arshad M.
Nikon Tech Support.

Talk about detailed information, this is pathetic! How can these parts be related to a lens that will no longer autofocus? I'm trying to get additional info from them. In the mean time, APS says they can repair anything on this lens. I'm sure I will be sending it to them, but I'd like to get "detailed" and useful information from Nikon support first. Very disappointing from a company with such a long and reputable history. What a waste of my time and money. They new that they no longer have parts for this lens, so why did they have me send it to them for repair?

APS repaired mine 2 years ago for a failed focusing mechanism. Great customer service and the lens arrived back at my door one week from the day I shipped it out.

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whatsmyname
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 25, 2013

Probably can't fix one of the sharpest lenses they have made, when the next option is $2300.00

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Nikonparrothead
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In reply to Guidenet, May 25, 2013

The flaw here is you're suggesting that Nikon, a manufacturer should put used parts in a unit it fixes or refurbishes. As an end customer I wouldn't be happy with that unless I had full disclosure ahead of time and the repair was offered at a major discount.

Sometimes equipment breaks. Sometimes parts lines must be discontinued so new parts can be made cr other items. For all I know, this is still outfall from Nikon factories being flooded some years back.

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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to whatsmyname, May 25, 2013

whatsmyname wrote:

Probably can't fix one of the sharpest lenses they have made, when the next option is $2300.00

That is ironic, it seems some think this lens just as good as the 70-200 VRII. I will be happy with the 80-200 2.8 AF-D though.

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Re: Solutions Well reasoned and balanced
In reply to Guidenet, May 25, 2013

Guidenet wrote:

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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That is a well reasoned and balanced summary and expectation analysis. The lens was sold for professional use and thus should be repairable as such, 10 years is not long for a lens, let alone the 6 or 7 that some obviously had failures. It was not a 'consumer zoom' that busted and 'ah well, buy another one'.

Not trying to start anything but their whole repair policy will just push people to Canon, I am not saying that they are sublime, but it seems they are much more 'repair friendly'.

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Guidenet
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In reply to Nikonparrothead, May 25, 2013

Nikonparrothead wrote:

The flaw here is you're suggesting that Nikon, a manufacturer should put used parts in a unit it fixes or refurbishes. As an end customer I wouldn't be happy with that unless I had full disclosure ahead of time and the repair was offered at a major discount.

Sometimes equipment breaks. Sometimes parts lines must be discontinued so new parts can be made cr other items. For all I know, this is still outfall from Nikon factories being flooded some years back.

I think there's a differnce between a worn item and an item that's not worn and is fully put back tp spec to make sure. A disclaimer could also be there. Refirbished items would be an easy choice here.

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joneil
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Re: Solutions Well reasoned and balanced
In reply to Bajerunner, May 25, 2013

Bajerunner wrote:

That is a well reasoned and balanced summary and expectation analysis. The lens was sold for professional use and thus should be repairable as such, 10 years is not long for a lens, let alone the 6 or 7 that some obviously had failures. It was not a 'consumer zoom' that busted and 'ah well, buy another one'.

Not trying to start anything but their whole repair policy will just push people to Canon, I am not saying that they are sublime, but it seems they are much more 'repair friendly'.

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Enjoy.....believe in yourself..

You know something though, this is an issue that far surpasses Nikon, it goes into all business fields.   for example, I have three commercial duty printers that will not work properly under Windows 7, only XP.  It's just a matter of drivers.  You know the official response from the manufacturer?  Buy new printers.

My point being, in computers, we are told to constantly upgrade.  for better or worse, this business model and mindset seems to be spreading into all other areas of business.

For example - my 24-70mm Nikkor zoom has a number 10 on the underside, surrounded by a circle.  Apparently this means the lens is good for ten years, or something like that.

so it's here, if we like it or not.   For the record, I completely agree that the lens here in question should be repaired, I think it is a crime almost that it cannot be repaired by Nikon.   In that case, I support looking around at third party lens repairs - it's not like you will violate a warranty at this time.

One last point.  A year ago I dropped my 24-70mm and had to send it for repair.  After that cost and experience I have been going back more and more to manual focus lenses.  new ones like Zeiss or older Nikkor glass.   I get everything form snide comments  to weird looks whether I am talking in person or on  some of the photo forums, but the reality is new lenses with auto focus and VR (or IS, etc) have some very sensitive components, they are easy to damage compared to all manual focus lenses, and they are very expensive and time consuming to repair.

IMO, the definition of what a pro lens was 30 years ago and what a pro lens is today, at elast from the point of view of the camera manufacturers,  is rapidly becoming two very different things.

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Guidenet
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Re: Solutions Well reasoned and balanced
In reply to joneil, May 25, 2013

joneil wrote:

One last point.  A year ago I dropped my 24-70mm and had to send it for repair.  After that cost and experience I have been going back more and more to manual focus lenses.  new ones like Zeiss or older Nikkor glass.

I agree totally with what you're saying overall. I just wanted to point out something. The 24-70 along with some other prograde Nikon lenses of recent make have shear areas in the lens, making them break in half when dropped, even sometimes from short distances. I was told this is to protect the lens elements from jarring loose like the crumple zones on a car. They told me it was to make it cheaper to repair in the case of impact damage. They just needed to replace the shear fittings and reassemble the lens.

In actual practice, I've seen very high repair bills associated with merely "reassembling" the lens when this happens, so it might be a very one sided advantage.

Just to put this in perspective. I got this from a fellow NPS member who was talking with Melville over the repair of his 24-70mm, so take it as what it is, a third party anectdotal story which may or may not be completely reliable. I have seen the shear points shown in a diagram at a Nikon booth. It was touted as an advantage at the time. Again, not completely reliable as I can be quite gullible.

Take care.

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In reply to Guidenet, May 25, 2013

So then you're suggesting Nikon should offer new gear, refurbished gear and then refurbished gear fixed with used parts. The entire concept behind refurbished is Nikon has brought an item back to factory specs -- by definition that can't be accomplished by used parts. So to create a whole new category of "refurbished but not factory spec" would require an additional labor cost for tracking and probably offset any savings from using used parts.

It looks like the OP can get his item fixed by a third-party shop so that's good.

Sometimes, that's the best alternative.

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Re: Solutions Well reasoned and balanced
In reply to joneil, May 25, 2013

joneil wrote:

.

One last point.  A year ago I dropped my 24-70mm and had to send it for repair.  After that cost and experience I have been going back more and more to manual focus lenses.  new ones like Zeiss or older Nikkor glass.   I get everything form snide comments  to weird looks whether I am talking in person or on  some of the photo forums, but the reality is new lenses with auto focus and VR (or IS, etc) have some very sensitive components, they are easy to damage compared to all manual focus lenses, and they are very expensive and time consuming to repair.

IMO, the definition of what a pro lens was 30 years ago and what a pro lens is today, at elast from the point of view of the camera manufacturers,  is rapidly becoming two very different things.

I agree and yes, if ones eyes are up to the task, there is nothing at all wrong with manual focus, not sure why so many seem to balk at it.

I actually have five MF AI (or factory AI'd) lenses, four are Nikkors.

Work just fine and I think they are quite hardy.

My biggest worry on lens longevity is fungus, bearing I live in a very humid climate and fungus likes glass.

None thus far, I have been using silica gel in the bag.

And yes, the electronic components can be fussy, it actually depends on the luck of the draw it seems.

Kind of a lot of money to spend on 'luck of the draw'. Maybe I am just old fashioned and like mechanical things where the movement can be seen and clearly explained.

It also seems that, for some reason, both Nikon and Canon have mechanical issues with their 24-70's. At least going by complaints on the forums.

Maybe its the lens complexity.

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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to Bajerunner, May 25, 2013

Learn from Nikon. They do not care and at this point rather than berating them follow the of the giant multi-national company- buy manual! Buy new manual buy or buy old manual. You will not change their indifference to our needs but next time a fine proud member of your "glass team" need a little help from the mother organization, blame yourself from not insulating your prized belongings. Do not give Nikon the chance to deny coverage. Manual lasts for decades and laughs at the advancing technology with the wisdom of aged maturity. It is the naïve technophiles that are the unknowing cannon fodder for this company. Without the sizzle of advancing technology Nikon is dead in its tracks. Play their game; they have all the cards at the moment

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JoeRadza
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to r e cummings, May 25, 2013

If everyone read the OP's original post carefully you'd see that he told Nikon he "thought" it was the focus motor. For all he knows there's nothing wrong with the lens that a minor adjustment would cure. This thread is a total waste of time.

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r e cummings
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Re: Inconceivable! Nikon can't repair my 80-200 AFS!
In reply to jhaber, May 25, 2013

I challenge anyone to shoot manual focus instead of auto focus and get the same number great shots while shooting a lacrosse game. Manual and super fast auto focusing lenses both have their place. The manual focus ring on the 80-200 afs lens is almost useless. It's not like an old school manual lens. You have to make very small adjustments to nail focus. Impossible with fast moving subjects. I agree that a simpler design is usually better though. Less likely for mechanical failure.

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Guidenet
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In reply to Nikonparrothead, May 25, 2013

Nikonparrothead wrote:

So then you're suggesting Nikon should offer new gear, refurbished gear and then refurbished gear fixed with used parts. The entire concept behind refurbished is Nikon has brought an item back to factory specs -- by definition that can't be accomplished by used parts. So to create a whole new category of "refurbished but not factory spec" would require an additional labor cost for tracking and probably offset any savings from using used parts.

It looks like the OP can get his item fixed by a third-party shop so that's good.

Sometimes, that's the best alternative.

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'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'

Geeze, I'm not talking anything, just thinking out loud. I don't think there's anything wrong with breaking down old cameras for parts. I don't think there's anything wrong with disclaiming this to a customer. I'm certainly not trying to argue it one way or another which you seem to be trying to do. I don't play that way with the bait and banter.

I also was one of the first to suggest the OP go to a third party repair service, if you read the thread. Please don't ankle nip. A real Parrothead wouldn't.

Take care.

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Grevture
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Not inconceivable, just a bit sad and quite normal.
In reply to r e cummings, May 25, 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.

As others have pointed out, its production ended in 2003, which is ten years ago. Also, as others have mentioned, this lens (and several of the other early AF-S designs) have been plagued with focus motor problems - other examples with similar problems are the AF-S 17-35/2.8 and the AF-S 28-70/2.8. These lenses have in common a complex internal design which makes them difficult, and consequently expensive to repair. Modern lens designs are less complex making them both more service friendly and cheaper to manufacture in the first place. (Source: A third party service shop here where I live with some 35 years of experience repairing mostly Nikon gear)

I can understand your pain not being able to repair a excellent lens, but it has not been produced for tens years which is a rather common time when spare parts become less readily available. And in the case of these early AF-S designs, I suspect Nikon might have run out of some spare parts a bit prematurely because those lenses have been prone to breakdowns, partly due to what seem like overly complex designs.

So, it is really not inconceivable, just a bit sad and quite normal.

I myself bought a heavily used AF-S 80-200/2.8 back in 2005, $399 from Adorama (this was before the D3 and the surge in prices for used Nikon lenses). I shot just shy of 100K images with it, loving its performance, before its focus motor died. This happened just at the time when the new 70-200/2.8 VR II became available, so I got one of those instead and left my broken AF-S 80-200 to rest in the cupboard. As much as I loved the AF-S 80-200, the new 70-200 is overall a better lens. But, sadly also a bit expensive.

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It just smell funny

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Nikon D70s Nikon D3 Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF +7 more
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KewlEugene
Regular MemberPosts: 306
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Re: Not inconceivable, just a bit sad and quite normal.
In reply to Grevture, May 25, 2013

I don't know how to call Nikon Service and talk to an actual repair guy these days, but way back when Nikon repair guys used to be accessible by phone, they cleaned the insides and fixed my 15-20 year old AFS 70-210/4.0-5.6, AFS 20/2.8, AFS 80-200/2.8, AFS 300/2.8, N2020 AF body, and more, which I then sold on eBay. They held most for years until they found the used parts.

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