Design flaw in all nikkor 18-200vr's- All models are defective

Started Feb 14, 2008 | Discussions thread
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MaxKPhoto Junior Member • Posts: 29
Design flaw in all nikkor 18-200vr's- All models are defective

"Possibly the autofocus machine in the 18-200mm retains much more heat than other lenses. On long exposures this heat could react with the camera's sensor causing excessive circuit noise." These are the words told to me by a Nikon rep over the phone after I unloaded my recent troubles (understatement) with the nikkor 18-200mm lens to him.

When shooting long exposures with the 18-200 the right side of my image (bottom of the image on verticals) would have an intense orange glow ruining the image. See images-

D300: 18mm, 27.5min @ 5.6, WB tungsten, ISO 200, auto noise reduction

D300: 18mm, 28.5min @ 3.5, WB incandescent, ISO 200, auto noise reduction

After determining that I had a defective lens, I mailed the 18-200 to Nikon for a repair. 2 1/2 weeks later I received the lens. But the problem was not solved or even improved. I decided to prove to Nikon that I had a defective lens so I took many long exposures with the lens cap on. I also took an exposure with a completely different lens. Here are the results-

D300: 18-200mm, 44min @ 5.6, WB auto, ISO 200

D300: 60mm prime Nikkor 2.8, 50min @ 5.6, ISO 200, WB auto

For definitive evidence I decided to procure a favor from my buddy who owns a local camera store. I borrowed his 18-200mm nikkor and did a long exposure with his lens. Results-

D300: 18-200mm (dealer's lens), 38.5min @ 5.6, WB Auto, ISO 200

At this point I called up Nikon. They told me to send my lens in for servicing. I told them that my lens had just been returned to me from Nikon. The rep looked up my service order and told me that my lens was up to standards, and therefore the warranty was not applicable. I told the man about the various tests that I performed and the results that I received. He was momentarily speechless when I told him that I used two 18-200mms and that both got the exact same strange orange glow. At this point he put me on hold. When he returned he told me that the problem might be attributed to the placement of the AF machine in the lens and how it retains very much heat. I then asked him what he recommended I do, and he essentially told me to live with the problem and there was nothing Nikon would do for me.

When I explained my problem to the man he recognized that the orange glow was probably a defect in my lens. When he found out that both lenses I used achieved the same results he reversed direction and said that it is "the standard" for that lens. If one lens is plagued by defectiveness then nikon will recognize the problem. When every lens is defective then Nikon states that it is normal. WHY?

Every 18-200mm is defective, so Nikon claims that none of them are defective. This is not logic. This is evasiveness. This lens has a design flaw. Its plain and simple. My lens is defective. Nikon states that my lens is up to standards. Simply put, Nikon embraces a standard of mediocrity.

I was astounded at how the Nikon rep handled the situation. As a 23 year old photographer who is camera/lens committed to Nikon (meaning $$$$ in the future) it blows my mind that Nikon would alienate me and brush my problem under the rug. This is financially unwise, not to mention wrong, immoral, wicked, etc.

I am also astounded that other people have not experienced this problem. I would love to hear your comments regarding my problem. Any suggestions for further steps that I could take would be much appreciated.

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