Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

Started Jul 16, 2017 | Discussions
Alex Ethridge
Alex Ethridge Veteran Member • Posts: 3,336
Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

I've been browsing lenses on e-bay and I see several Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 lenses where cautions to "READ" the descriptions say they squeak.  One mentioned the squeak is why they are "selling cheap".

What's with the squeak?  Is it something to be concerned about?  Inconsequential?

I would buy only lenses that are listed as Very Good to Mint anyway and wouldn't buy a squeaky lens; but I would like to learn about this squeak thing.

 Alex Ethridge's gear list:Alex Ethridge's gear list
Nikon D800E Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Panasonic GH5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 +15 more
mostlylost Contributing Member • Posts: 589
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

This was a first generation Nikon professional lens having a focus motor inside the lens rather than in the camera body. They have been out of production for a decade and a replacement motor, should one be required, is not available from Nikon. While a motor might be available from an outside repair house or APS I wouldn't count on it.  Somebody might also have a parts lens with a good motor, but I wouldn't count on that either.

The squeak is frequently associated with the motor. It is sometimes, but not always, an indication of a future motor failure. Many report that their lens has squeaked for years and still works fine.

Many report that the squeak is annoying when using the lens and others don't particularly care.

This a condition that may also occur with other lenses.

Personally, I like this lens and would purchase one in excellent condition if it were available at a good price. It is big and heavy and I like it anyway :). It is not considered state of the art any longer, but was a big deal until better designs emerged.

Google nikon 28 - 70 f2.8 squeak and you'll get a boatload of hits.

-- hide signature --

But honestly, it's probably the unicorns.

Alex Ethridge
OP Alex Ethridge Veteran Member • Posts: 3,336
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

mostlylost wrote:

This was a first generation Nikon professional lens having a focus motor inside the lens rather than in the camera body. They have been out of production for a decade and a replacement motor, should one be required, is not available from Nikon. While a motor might be available from an outside repair house or APS I wouldn't count on it. Somebody might also have a parts lens with a good motor, but I wouldn't count on that either.

The squeak is frequently associated with the motor. It is sometimes, but not always, an indication of a future motor failure. Many report that their lens has squeaked for years and still works fine.

Many report that the squeak is annoying when using the lens and others don't particularly care.

This a condition that may also occur with other lenses.

Personally, I like this lens and would purchase one in excellent condition if it were available at a good price. It is big and heavy and I like it anyway :). It is not considered state of the art any longer, but was a big deal until better designs emerged.

Google nikon 28 - 70 f2.8 squeak and you'll get a boatload of hits.

You mentioned "first generation", by that do you mean all 28-70mm or was there more than one generation of the 28-70-mm.

It may sound like an ignorant question; but, I just don't know about these things.

 Alex Ethridge's gear list:Alex Ethridge's gear list
Nikon D800E Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Panasonic GH5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 +15 more
mgblack74 Regular Member • Posts: 487
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

Alex Ethridge wrote:

mostlylost wrote:

This was a first generation Nikon professional lens having a focus motor inside the lens rather than in the camera body. They have been out of production for a decade and a replacement motor, should one be required, is not available from Nikon. While a motor might be available from an outside repair house or APS I wouldn't count on it. Somebody might also have a parts lens with a good motor, but I wouldn't count on that either.

The squeak is frequently associated with the motor. It is sometimes, but not always, an indication of a future motor failure. Many report that their lens has squeaked for years and still works fine.

Many report that the squeak is annoying when using the lens and others don't particularly care.

This a condition that may also occur with other lenses.

Personally, I like this lens and would purchase one in excellent condition if it were available at a good price. It is big and heavy and I like it anyway :). It is not considered state of the art any longer, but was a big deal until better designs emerged.

Google nikon 28 - 70 f2.8 squeak and you'll get a boatload of hits.

You mentioned "first generation", by that do you mean all 28-70mm or was there more than one generation of the 28-70-mm.

It may sound like an ignorant question; but, I just don't know about these things.

The 28-70 was the first Nikon lens to have AFS.... silent AF. It's the first generation of AFS.

 mgblack74's gear list:mgblack74's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 Nikon 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR Nikon AF-S 105mm F1.4E ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +3 more
syberman7 Senior Member • Posts: 1,075
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

Alex Ethridge wrote:

mostlylost wrote:

This was a first generation Nikon professional lens having a focus motor inside the lens rather than in the camera body. They have been out of production for a decade and a replacement motor, should one be required, is not available from Nikon. While a motor might be available from an outside repair house or APS I wouldn't count on it. Somebody might also have a parts lens with a good motor, but I wouldn't count on that either.

The squeak is frequently associated with the motor. It is sometimes, but not always, an indication of a future motor failure. Many report that their lens has squeaked for years and still works fine.

Many report that the squeak is annoying when using the lens and others don't particularly care.

This a condition that may also occur with other lenses.

Personally, I like this lens and would purchase one in excellent condition if it were available at a good price. It is big and heavy and I like it anyway :). It is not considered state of the art any longer, but was a big deal until better designs emerged.

Google nikon 28 - 70 f2.8 squeak and you'll get a boatload of hits.

You mentioned "first generation", by that do you mean all 28-70mm or was there more than one generation of the 28-70-mm.

It may sound like an ignorant question; but, I just don't know about these things.

There was only one 28-70 AF-S. It was the first generation 28-70 with a ring type ultrasonic motor, which Nikon called Silent Wave Motor, or SWM. It was also the first generation of this SWM tech. The 24-70mm AF-S replaced it, with a much more reliable motor mechanism.

The 17-35mm AF-S, which is still current, also has this first gen SWM.

Both of these lenses suffer from squeaking, and AF-S motor failure. The squeaking indicates a malfunction, but is not immediately fatal. It may keep working for ages, but it will eventually fail. When the SWM fails, the lens can still be used freely in manual focus mode.

 syberman7's gear list:syberman7's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 +7 more
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

I've been using my 28-70 AFS for some 15 years, of which 10 years with the squeak phenomenon. In my case the squeak disappears after focusing a few times on close and distant objects. Apart from the squeaks the lens is still working flawlessly, but to be on the safe side I've recently started using a 24-70mm. Nice lens, but is doesn't feel half as nice as my old friend the 28-70 AFS. I still like to use it occasionally.

-- hide signature --

Jur

syberman7 Senior Member • Posts: 1,075
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

Alex Ethridge wrote:

I've been browsing lenses on e-bay and I see several Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 lenses where cautions to "READ" the descriptions say they squeak. One mentioned the squeak is why they are "selling cheap".

What's with the squeak? Is it something to be concerned about? Inconsequential?

I would buy only lenses that are listed as Very Good to Mint anyway and wouldn't buy a squeaky lens; but I would like to learn about this squeak thing.

Here's a demo of 28-70 squeaking for anyone interested:

https://youtu.be/jX0MuGweB6M

As to why these ring type SWM fail, I quote Roger Cicala:

"As to how ring USMs fail, they are a stack of rings, torqued to a certain tension and then glued in that position. The stack can loosen from long term use or from shock. Sometimes we can replace and reglue and get more life out of the motor, but generally the entire motor has to be replaced. Once they start squealing, the stack is loosening and failure is going to occur, although it may be quite a while."

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58773152

 syberman7's gear list:syberman7's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 +7 more
nikonjohn
nikonjohn Senior Member • Posts: 1,439
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

syberman7 wrote:

Alex Ethridge wrote:

I've been browsing lenses on e-bay and I see several Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 lenses where cautions to "READ" the descriptions say they squeak. One mentioned the squeak is why they are "selling cheap".

What's with the squeak? Is it something to be concerned about? Inconsequential?

I would buy only lenses that are listed as Very Good to Mint anyway and wouldn't buy a squeaky lens; but I would like to learn about this squeak thing.

Here's a demo of 28-70 squeaking for anyone interested:

https://youtu.be/jX0MuGweB6M

As to why these ring type SWM fail, I quote Roger Cicala:

"As to how ring USMs fail, they are a stack of rings, torqued to a certain tension and then glued in that position. The stack can loosen from long term use or from shock. Sometimes we can replace and reglue and get more life out of the motor, but generally the entire motor has to be replaced. Once they start squealing, the stack is loosening and failure is going to occur, although it may be quite a while."

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58773152

I replaced the motor in my 17-35 when it stopped working and it was expensive; well over $300.  At this point I think I would be looking at used 24-70 2.8 AF-S lens.  They may not be as nice as far as construction goes but you get an extra 4 mm of reach and they have a newer generation motor which, I believe, can still be replaced if it goes bad.

mikemsphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,803
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

nikonjohn wrote:

syberman7 wrote:

Alex Ethridge wrote:

I've been browsing lenses on e-bay and I see several Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 lenses where cautions to "READ" the descriptions say they squeak. One mentioned the squeak is why they are "selling cheap".

What's with the squeak? Is it something to be concerned about? Inconsequential?

I would buy only lenses that are listed as Very Good to Mint anyway and wouldn't buy a squeaky lens; but I would like to learn about this squeak thing.

Here's a demo of 28-70 squeaking for anyone interested:

https://youtu.be/jX0MuGweB6M

As to why these ring type SWM fail, I quote Roger Cicala:

"As to how ring USMs fail, they are a stack of rings, torqued to a certain tension and then glued in that position. The stack can loosen from long term use or from shock. Sometimes we can replace and reglue and get more life out of the motor, but generally the entire motor has to be replaced. Once they start squealing, the stack is loosening and failure is going to occur, although it may be quite a while."

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58773152

I replaced the motor in my 17-35 when it stopped working and it was expensive; well over $300. At this point I think I would be looking at used 24-70 2.8 AF-S lens. They may not be as nice as far as construction goes but you get an extra 4 mm of reach and they have a newer generation motor which, I believe, can still be replaced if it goes bad.

I had the SW motor replaced on my 28-70 2.8 last year by Nikon Canada. It cost $358 (Canadian dollars) so apparently the repair parts are still available. Works perfectly now. It never squeaked, the AF just quit working one day.

-- hide signature --

Michael Sherman
http://www.msphoto.ca

Shooter036 Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

I had a Nikon 80-200 2.8 AF-S, which has the same motos as the 28-70. It used to squeak sometimes, but when I learnt that the parts are no longer available, I got paranoid, and sold mine. These 1st gen AF-S lenses have extremely good optical quality, but the parts are weak. Now, after that experience, I shifted to complete AF-D lenses, and have been happy eversince, as these AF-D lenses dont require any maintenance if you keep them properly. How about the tokina 28-70 2.8 AF? It's a brilliant lens, which comes in a fraction of cost of the Nikon counterpart? Costs about 150-200$ in ebay. I am also hoping to purchase one in the near future. 
The current af-s lenses that I own are the 24-120 f4 vr and the 35mm 1.8 af-s. Very rarely, the 35mm exhibits focus squeak, but it had been like that for more than 2 years without any problem. I have noticed, that it squeaks for a while in the winter, and after a little use, it is again back to normal.

 Shooter036's gear list:Shooter036's gear list
Nikon D5000 Nikon D7000 Nikon D750 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +18 more
syberman7 Senior Member • Posts: 1,075
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

Shooter036 wrote:

The current af-s lenses that I own are the 24-120 f4 vr and the 35mm 1.8 af-s. Very rarely, the 35mm exhibits focus squeak, but it had been like that for more than 2 years without any problem. I have noticed, that it squeaks for a while in the winter, and after a little use, it is again back to normal.

Never heard of the modern AF-S 35mm f/1.8G squeaking before. Anyone else heard of this?

 syberman7's gear list:syberman7's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 +7 more
Shooter036 Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

syberman7 wrote:

Shooter036 wrote:

The current af-s lenses that I own are the 24-120 f4 vr and the 35mm 1.8 af-s. Very rarely, the 35mm exhibits focus squeak, but it had been like that for more than 2 years without any problem. I have noticed, that it squeaks for a while in the winter, and after a little use, it is again back to normal.

Never heard of the modern AF-S 35mm f/1.8G squeaking before. Anyone else heard of this?

I guess this is an intermittent problem. I dont recall using the lens in the last winter, but the winter prior to that. But now, the lens works flawlessly, as it should work , and I am even using the same on a D810 and a D750 and getting great results.

 Shooter036's gear list:Shooter036's gear list
Nikon D5000 Nikon D7000 Nikon D750 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +18 more
tektrader Senior Member • Posts: 1,682
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?
1

The squeaking is ALWAYS a precurser to the focus motor failing......... Its a matter of time.

 tektrader's gear list:tektrader's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF VR +6 more
dylanear Veteran Member • Posts: 3,413
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

Alex Ethridge wrote:

I've been browsing lenses on e-bay and I see several Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 lenses where cautions to "READ" the descriptions say they squeak. One mentioned the squeak is why they are "selling cheap".

What's with the squeak? Is it something to be concerned about? Inconsequential?

I would buy only lenses that are listed as Very Good to Mint anyway and wouldn't buy a squeaky lens; but I would like to learn about this squeak thing.

My 28-70 is a squeaker, but is mostly when I first start using the lens and it'll quiet down. I've had it over 10 years and it's always squeeked, it's still focusing fine. But I never used that lens all that much. And very rarely lately as it's not all that sharp on a 36MP sensor.

My 17-35 squeaks on occasion, it got a lot of use over the years, but again, less lately as the edges do not please me on modern cameras.

I suspect both would fail eventually if they got tons of use, but they don't. I suspect they will be focusing fine 15 years from now given how I use them.

 dylanear's gear list:dylanear's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D700 Nikon D300 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-P5 +4 more
fishy wishy
fishy wishy Veteran Member • Posts: 8,703
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

tektrader wrote:

The squeaking is ALWAYS a precurser to the focus motor failing......... Its a matter of time.

I read of someone who thought to take their 80-200 apart after noises and some problems focusing and found out their problem was the ribbon cable getting pinched by the movement of the distance scale, so they taped it out of the way.

Having said that, I voted not to take on an 80-200 that would squeal after it hadn't been used for a long time, because what it offered wasn't quite unique enough to make it worth the trouble. You'd only save about $150 over a Tamron VC or VR I maybe. Considering the 80-200 is bigger, heavier and doesn't have the same zoom range, it's not such a sound bet. Although it is a very contrasty lens and has a convenient AF button placement.

rb4u2c Forum Member • Posts: 94
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

I heard my 70-200mm lens squeak once while focusing during a wedding ceremony.  The autofocus motor failed during the next wedding the following week.

 rb4u2c's gear list:rb4u2c's gear list
Nikon D5 Nikon D810 Nikon D750 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 +13 more
dylanear Veteran Member • Posts: 3,413
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

rb4u2c wrote:

I heard my 70-200mm lens squeak once while focusing during a wedding ceremony. The autofocus motor failed during the next wedding the following week.

I never heard a peep from my 70-200 VR1 in 10 years of owning it before trading to the VR2.

The 28-70/17-35 squeaking will generally go on a long while before failure. At least that's the typical story I hear. So I do wonder if your squeak then failure is a different thing? Haven't heard of too many AF failures on the 70-200 over the years.

 dylanear's gear list:dylanear's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D700 Nikon D300 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-P5 +4 more
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

dylanear wrote:

I never heard a peep from my 70-200 VR1 in 10 years of owning it before trading to the VR2.

The 28-70/17-35 squeaking will generally go on a long while before failure. At least that's the typical story I hear. So I do wonder if your squeak then failure is a different thing? Haven't heard of too many AF failures on the 70-200 over the years.

Neither did I. My 70-200 VR1 is still going strong after more than 10 years without a single squeak.

-- hide signature --

Jur

tektrader Senior Member • Posts: 1,682
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

nikonjohn wrote:

I replaced the motor in my 17-35 when it stopped working and it was expensive; well over $300. At this point I think I would be looking at used 24-70 2.8 AF-S lens. They may not be as nice as far as construction goes but you get an extra 4 mm of reach and they have a newer generation motor which, I believe, can still be replaced if it goes bad.

Opinions vary, But I sold my 24-70....The edge focus is ghastly. I really dislike that lens. I had a string of 28-70's over 5 years, one of which was outstanding, The others not so much.

Unfortunately I dropped my fantastic lens a few years ago and have been looking for another excellent one every since. I have tried probably 5 used copies in the last few years looking for the optical gem whether the focus motor is dead or not with a view to getting it fixed in any case.

Almost ALL of these have squeaked......

Its a matter of time till they fail. Until then I will keep using the 24-120 f4 which I still beleive has been sold short by the majority of people... ( or I got a great copy )

My 70-200 VR1 is still going strong as well ( super sharp) , I will never swap it for a VR 2 but if I won the lottery could be tempted by the new VR FL version..

 tektrader's gear list:tektrader's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF VR +6 more
dylanear Veteran Member • Posts: 3,413
Re: Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 squeaks -- big deal, or not?

tektrader wrote:

nikonjohn wrote:

I replaced the motor in my 17-35 when it stopped working and it was expensive; well over $300. At this point I think I would be looking at used 24-70 2.8 AF-S lens. They may not be as nice as far as construction goes but you get an extra 4 mm of reach and they have a newer generation motor which, I believe, can still be replaced if it goes bad.

Opinions vary, But I sold my 24-70....The edge focus is ghastly. I really dislike that lens. I had a string of 28-70's over 5 years, one of which was outstanding, The others not so much.

Unfortunately I dropped my fantastic lens a few years ago and have been looking for another excellent one every since. I have tried probably 5 used copies in the last few years looking for the optical gem whether the focus motor is dead or not with a view to getting it fixed in any case.

Almost ALL of these have squeaked......

Its a matter of time till they fail.

People say this and it's surely ultimately true. But then again, there are a LOT of squeaking, still functioning 28-70s and 17-35s out there. Almost all of them in fact by this time I suspect. Will they all eventually fail, yes if used enough I suspect they will. Will all that squeak fail in light to moderate use in the next 10 years? Not so sure that's the case.

But I suppose you are taking your chances. Anyways, I have no intention to fix or replace either of my squeakers unless they do fail, but after 10 or so years with both, granted with light use they are doing just fine.

 dylanear's gear list:dylanear's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D700 Nikon D300 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-P5 +4 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads