Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2

Started Apr 8, 2016 | Discussions
Timmyjoe Regular Member • Posts: 250
Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2
2

Has anyone else experienced this with their Nikon 1 Nikkor 32mm f1.2 lens.  I notice while shooting with it this morning that it wouldn't focus like it always has and was really dark on one of my V2 cameras.  The other V2 had the 10mm f2.8 lens mounted and I also noticed that with both lenses set for A (aperture priority), the 32mm f1.2 was using a MUCH slower shutter speed than the 10mm f2.8, even though both lenses were set for f2.8.

When I got home and had a chance to look closely at both lenses, I realized on the 32mm f1.2 lens the aperture is not opening.  It seems to be stock at about f8 and will close down to f16, but won't open back up past about f8.

I've turned the camera on and off, and switch the lenses between the two V2 cameras, nothing seems to work.  The aperture won't open up.

Anyone else experience anything like this and know of any solution?

Thanks for any and all input.

Nikon 1 V2
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OP Timmyjoe Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2
1

Couldn't figure out any way to fix the lens so I called Nikon.  The woman I talked to was like, "No, we've never seen that happen before, you'll have to send it in for repair."  Now I use these cameras and lenses for work, and this is the first catastrophic failure I've experienced with the V2's and the 10mm, 18.5mm or 32mm (which I use 95% of the time).  I am concerned about using them for work in the future, because when the 32mm went south on me this morning, I couldn't get any usable images with it.

So I go about filling out all the online forms to send the lens in for repair, and low and behold, after you enter all the Nikon 1 information about the lens into the forms, it kicks you out of the Nikon site and directs you to a sight of an electronics company in Illinois.  So Nikon doesn't service any of the Nikon 1 cameras or lenses, (or the DL models I came to find out).  They send everything out to this company in Illinois.  As luck would have it (for me at least) this company is only about 15 miles from me, so I loaded the lens into the car and drove it over to them.  Turns out, this is not an uncommon problem with the 32mm lenses according to the folks that service the lenses for Nikon, and it requires the rear element group to be replaced.  So they're going to do that to the lens and hopefully I'll be able to go get it sometime next week.

Hope the fix lasts longer than the 14 months since I bought the lens new.

Vlasty Senior Member • Posts: 1,835
unfortunate
1

I never had this issue but I have seen and heard multiple stories of this problem. The issue is something that has been popping up a bit more recently.

Two months ago I saw it first hand with a V3 user in my photo club. He sent it off and just as you mentioned it was the rear element assembly that had to be replaced. Fortunately the turn around in Japan for repairs is fairly fast. He dropped it off at a Nikon showroom and had the lens back in 1 week.  He is a bit concerned about the warranty though as it expires soon.

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Sonyshine
Sonyshine Senior Member • Posts: 8,784
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2
1

Thanks for sharing this useful insight.

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DesertCat Contributing Member • Posts: 687
Re: unfortunate
2

My hope would be that the rear element group has had some kind of tweak or fix so that the replaced one is more reliable.  Of course we have no way of knowing whether that's the case.

I'm reminded of warranty work I had to have done on my old 1993 Ford Ranger pickup.  After owning it for about 1 year, the electric clutch on the air conditioning unit seized up and needed to be replaced.  It was under warranty but made me concerned that I might run into the issue again. I owned that truck for another 22 years and never had any other issues with that part.

I think this does make the case, however, that one should buy the 32mm from an officially licensed dealer instead of picking up a gray model one to save money.

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Richard Murdey
Richard Murdey Senior Member • Posts: 2,610
Re: unfortunate
3

Vlasty wrote:

He is a bit concerned about the warranty though as it expires soon.

The numbers of these lenses out in the wild is - for Nikon's point of view - vanishingly small. A few thousand perhaps.

If this is an engineering failure - like the original 10-30mm's communication-with-camera error  - then Nikon will likely quietly keep doing out-of-warranty repairs either with or without a service advisory. It's just not worth the bad PR of having angry users see their very expensive, flagship Nikon1 lens fail with no support.

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OP Timmyjoe Regular Member • Posts: 250
Disturbing news
3

Got some disturbing news from the electronics shop in Illinois about my Nikon 1 camera and lenses. When I talked with the customer service rep on Friday about my concerns with the camera system and my worry about the equipment suddenly dying during a shoot, she recommended that I bring my whole system to their shop and they would inspect all of it for me for no charge.

So I brought the 32mm, which was broken, and an 18.5mm, 10mm, and 30-110mm, the three other lenses I use regularly with the 32mm.  The 32mm was obviously broken and will have to have major parts replaced (thank goodness, still under warranty), but the other three lenses seemed to be working fine.  Well, they found issues with all three of them, and none of them were to Nikon spec.  I've had all of them less than three years.  Luckily again, all are still under warranty, but the 18.5mm did not meet the Nikon autofocus specs, the 30-110mm also had autofocus issues, and the aperture in the 10mm was not operating properly.  They're going to fix everything, but I'm very concerned that the whole system has pretty much gotten screwed up in a fairly short amount of time.

On another forum I had mentioned my misgivings about how much of the Japanese camera market now seems to be made in China, and how I was concerned that the quality control in the Chinese factories might not be up to the Japanese standard.  I was roundly ridiculed for this, and eventually told not post anything in this vein or I would be banned from the forum.

The fact that all four of my Nikon 1 lenses seem to have issues, the oldest being 3 years old, and the youngest, being just 14 months, does make me concerned about the quality control in the Nikon 1 line.

Vlasty Senior Member • Posts: 1,835
Re: Disturbing news
1

Where the equipment is made has recently been on my list of criteria. Not everything produced in Japan is perfect but in general I have had much better experience with gear produced in Japan. Not slamming the Chinese manufacturing process but I think this speaks more to the fact of saving money and not enforcing quality control.

The only two Chinese manufactured Fuji lenses produced that I have used is on par with the majority of the Japanese Fuji X lenses  I personally think Nikon is just pushing the money savings to far.

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IVN Senior Member • Posts: 1,890
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2

I just want to say thank you for this thread. I've had not problems with my N1 gear (V1, 10-30, 18.5) so far - at least none that I'm aware of - but this was a really insightful read. Now I wonder when the camera and lenses will die on me.

OP Timmyjoe Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2
1

Keep in mind, aside from the 32mm, the other three lenses were still functioning for me and I was still producing images with them.  The 32mm is the only one that went completely belly-up and no longer would produce images.

As much as I've enjoyed shooting with the Nikon 1 series cameras over the last three years, I think I'm finished purchasing any more Nikon 1 gear (which may be a moot point as Nikon may be phasing it out).  Which I find disappointing as I believed the system had promise with it's size and the image quality I could get out of it when it was functioning properly.

Richard Murdey
Richard Murdey Senior Member • Posts: 2,610
Re: Disturbing news

Timmyjoe wrote:

Got some disturbing news from the electronics shop in Illinois about my Nikon 1 camera and lenses. ....

The fact that all four of my Nikon 1 lenses seem to have issues, the oldest being 3 years old, and the youngest, being just 14 months, does make me concerned about the quality control in the Nikon 1 line.

The 10 and 32 mm are nicely made lenses. Also the original 10-100 PD Zoom. The others are a little bit too reliant to too many plastic load-bearing parts in my opinion. I don't think they stand up as well to wear and tear as Nikon's F-mount lenses. The plastic bayonet, contacts, and zoom unlock mechanism seem in particular to be prone to failure.

Personally I've seen intermittent fault with my 6.7-13 (zoom registered as "unlocked" even when it is locked due to too much play in the mechanism - the lens I own has seen heavy use), my 32mm (very occasional complete loss of AF link, fix by power cycle) and 10-30 (the communication error).

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avyoung Regular Member • Posts: 220
Re: Disturbing news
1

Thx for the heads up! The longterm value of the Nikon 1 system does not stack well against the FX legacy system at all. I think that is disappointing for a lot of us that are used to nikon's durability and resale value.  I will try to live in bliss and keep on shooting!

OP Timmyjoe Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: Disturbing news

Richard Murdey wrote:

The 10 and 32 mm are nicely made lenses.

They may look or seem nicely made, but my 10mm has an aperture issue (according to the repair shop, the only Nikon authorized Nikon 1 repair shop in the United States) and my 32mm had the aperture completely fail (closed down and refused to open back up).

I am now concerned about these electronic lenses where everything is no longer controlled mechanically, but electronically.  Especially if the electronics are not that stable.

Sangster Contributing Member • Posts: 605
Re: Disturbing news

Vlasty wrote:

Where the equipment is made has recently been on my list of criteria. Not everything produced in Japan is perfect but in general I have had much better experience with gear produced in Japan. Not slamming the Chinese manufacturing process but I think this speaks more to the fact of saving money and not enforcing quality control.

The only two Chinese manufactured Fuji lenses produced that I have used is on par with the majority of the Japanese Fuji X lenses I personally think Nikon is just pushing the money savings to far.

Japanese engineering and QC is not what it used to be. Take for example: Takata airbags, Honda automatic transmissions, Nikon 10-30, Fukushima Daiichi. The peak for Japanese engineering/quality control was in the early 1990s. It has been a slow descent downhill ever since.

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User0082137189 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2

I had an issue with my 32mm f1.2 lens but with a lens error message on camera and lens stuck fully open. It was returned to Nikon UK for repair who replaced the lens barrel unit. All ok again.

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OP Timmyjoe Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2

So our 32mm lenses failed in direct opposite ways, yours sticking wide open and mine sticking closed down.  Not sure if that's a good sign or a bad sign.

OP Timmyjoe Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2

User0082137189 wrote:

I had an issue with my 32mm f1.2 lens but with a lens error message on camera and lens stuck fully open. It was returned to Nikon UK for repair who replaced the lens barrel unit. All ok again.

Just heard back from the shop that has my 32mm lens.  They originally told me it was the rear lens group/elements, but now they just called me and told me it is the lens barrel, like with your unit, and they're waiting for a replacement part from Nikon.

Funny, mine was failing with the lens stuck closed down and yours was failing with the lens stuck fully open.  But they seem to be replacing the same part.  I wonder what they mean by lens barrel, on the surface it would seem like they are referring to the big aluminum body of the lens, but I can't see how that chunk of aluminum could be causing the problems.

Metalman844 Regular Member • Posts: 263
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2
2

Timmyjoe wrote:

User0082137189 wrote:

I had an issue with my 32mm f1.2 lens but with a lens error message on camera and lens stuck fully open. It was returned to Nikon UK for repair who replaced the lens barrel unit. All ok again.

Just heard back from the shop that has my 32mm lens. They originally told me it was the rear lens group/elements, but now they just called me and told me it is the lens barrel, like with your unit, and they're waiting for a replacement part from Nikon.

Funny, mine was failing with the lens stuck closed down and yours was failing with the lens stuck fully open. But they seem to be replacing the same part. I wonder what they mean by lens barrel, on the surface it would seem like they are referring to the big aluminum body of the lens, but I can't see how that chunk of aluminum could be causing the problems.

It's probably an internal lens barrel that moves the lens elements or aperature.... If for some reason it gets out of alignment, it could bind the movement at either end of the travel... Stuck open or stuck closed.... Same problem, different symptom...

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OP Timmyjoe Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2
1

Finally got everything back from the repair shop.  32mm lens is working and the repair order says they replaced the "Aperture Unit".  Same with the other three lenses, all seem to be working fine, having all been serviced.  The one Nikon 1 V2 body still has the sticking on/off switch, but they wanted nearly $200 to fix that, so I'm gonna live with it the way it is.  The flash is still putting out less power than it did originally, but that was also going to be expensive to fix (and unfortunately out of warranty), so I'm gonna live with that as well.

Really do like the size of this kit, and the image quality I can get from it, but it starting to feel like "waiting for the other shoe to drop" when it comes to using it on a job and worrying about another lens or camera failure.

Sonyshine
Sonyshine Senior Member • Posts: 8,784
Re: Aperture stuck closed down on 32mm f1.2

Glad to hear its fixed, my gear has been ultra reliable....

....famous last words.....

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