zoom grind explained - 24-70

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,359
zoom grind explained - 24-70

Well, some of it partially explained.

A lot of long-time forum users know about the zoom grind problem with the Nikon 24-70g. At some point in its life, the lens might suddenly become extremely hard to zoom past a certain point. The problem comes on suddenly and escalates rapidly.

For me, the problem occurred on vacation in China, after using the lens heavily for over 5 years. One day I noticed it sticking a bit as I zoomed past about 35mm. Two days later I was having so much trouble it looked like the lens would be completely jammed in another day. As I was in Hong Kong, I went out and bought a new 24-70vr. I put the old lens into the vr box (for packing), and it remains there to this day.

What I've never heard was a good explanation for WHY this problem occurs, and if the new VR version is not susceptible to it. Apparently the VR version has not has many (if any) reports of this, but then it's still pretty new also.

I recently wrote to Lensrentals to see if they could shed light on these questions. They are known for tearing lenses apart to repair them and describing the process. Here is the response:

Thank you for reaching out! The original Nikon 24-70 has 3 metal guides that the extending barrel slides over. They are just held in place with one screw and if the screw comes loose the zoom starts to jam. That can be fixed by disassembling, realigning the guides, and tightening them back up. That's not impact damage, it's normal wear and should be covered. However, it is also possible the zoom jam comes because one of the rollers or cams in the mechanism has become damaged and that usually is impact damage. My advice is to ask Nikon specifically to show the impact damage - if they show a bad roller or cam, they aren't going to budge. They should accept an out-of-place guide as a warranty repair. That being said, Nikon repair isn't what it once was, they send out 90% of what they do to third-party warranty repair, at least in the US and those guys would much prefer to not do low-paying warranty work.

I don't remember if the new 24-70 VR has a different mechanism or not, honestly, but we haven't had to do those as much. Hope this helps!


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Phoenix Arizona Craig

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