2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
emilyz Forum Member • Posts: 50
2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

Hope this is the correct forum to ask for advice on this lens, though I have recently been using it with an adapter on the mirrorless A7RIII.

The lens slowly but surely almost completely stopped focusing - in either AF or MF mode. All it will do now is move from 20m to infinity and even that kind of slowly and reluctantly -- at least in manual mode.

I am wondering if anyone encountered this problem, and what's the proper place to have it repaired.

Thanks!

Randy6414 Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

I have experienced a very similar problem with a 70-400 G2.  It attempts to focus but cannot achieve it (auto or manual.)  Precision told me "parts are no longer availble" and they could not repair it.  I, too, am wondering if there are any other locations that might be able to repair it.

Randy

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lehill
lehill Veteran Member • Posts: 6,461
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

DPR member travr was kind enough to inform us of their experience with Photo Tech, the other authorized Sony USA service center.

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garykohs
garykohs Veteran Member • Posts: 5,368
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

You should visit Precision Camera.

http://repair-camera.com/SonyRepairHome.aspx

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OP emilyz Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

Thanks a lot for your advice! I will contact both venues mentioned and report the results here in due time.

Randy6414 Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

Thanks, I am going to check out Photo Tech.

Randy

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 52,601
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

Check out the Tamron 70-200 f2.8. It’s just as good and a lot cheaper. It might be better to buy that lens than repair the Sony.

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Tom

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OP emilyz Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

Thanks for the suggestion, Tom. I will take a good look at the Tamron.

I sent my 2.8/70-200 to Photo Tech (in NJ), and a quote to repair just arrived. They found a microscopic dent at the front of the barrel. This was most likely caused by shipping two years ago when I bought it used, because it arrived with a damaged front cover. They claim - without any disassembly -- that this dent indicates a distorted barrel, which interferes with focusing. Needless to say, the lens worked perfectly until it stopped focusing just recently and I never dropped it. They may be right or wrong, but their quote is about as much as this lens is worth -- after the repair.

tqlla Veteran Member • Posts: 6,173
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

I think you should probably sell the lens for parts.

If you are using E-mount, you can try the Tamron 70-180mm.   Its not 200mm, but its pretty close.

The A-mount Tamron is very sharp, but it has significant focus breathing if you like to zoom in, near the minimum focus distance.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 52,601
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

tqlla wrote:

I think you should probably sell the lens for parts.

If you are using E-mount, you can try the Tamron 70-180mm. Its not 200mm, but its pretty close.

The A-mount Tamron is very sharp, but it has significant focus breathing if you like to zoom in, near the minimum focus distance.

I never noticed it with my Tamron 70-200 f2.8. If I don't notice it then I don't consider it significant.

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Tom

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osu
osu Regular Member • Posts: 378
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

tbcass wrote:

tqlla wrote:

I think you should probably sell the lens for parts.

If you are using E-mount, you can try the Tamron 70-180mm. Its not 200mm, but its pretty close.

The A-mount Tamron is very sharp, but it has significant focus breathing if you like to zoom in, near the minimum focus distance.

I never noticed it with my Tamron 70-200 f2.8. If I don't notice it then I don't consider it significant.

I had similar issues with the SAL70400 SSM II. Sony no longer carried the parts rendering the lens completely useless.

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OP emilyz Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

osu wrote:

I had similar issues with the SAL70400 SSM II. Sony no longer carried the parts rendering the lens completely useless.

Photo Tech informed me that the focusing assembly for the 2.8/70-200 G SSMII was available, but at a price that exceeds the value of the lens in working condition - at least based on recently completed ebay transactions.

Their service manager suggested that unless I desperately need this lens for an A-mount body (I don't) , will be better off just leaving it alone and going E-mount. Intend to follow his advice -- and I still have the Beercan for the rare occasion of needing a 70-200 zoom on my A77/A99 bodies.

tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 52,601
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

emilyz wrote:

osu wrote:

I had similar issues with the SAL70400 SSM II. Sony no longer carried the parts rendering the lens completely useless.

Photo Tech informed me that the focusing assembly for the 2.8/70-200 G SSMII was available, but at a price that exceeds the value of the lens in working condition - at least based on recently completed ebay transactions.

Their service manager suggested that unless I desperately need this lens for an A-mount body (I don't) , will be better off just leaving it alone and going E-mount. Intend to follow his advice -- and I still have the Beercan for the rare occasion of needing a 70-200 zoom on my A77/A99 bodies.

Remember the service manager has ulterior motives. He wants to sell you E Mount so the store can make more money. Because of that, his "advice" is based on selfish motives and not what is in your best interest. I say because you already own good A mount bodies buy the Tamron 70-200 f2.8. My advice is honest because I will not profit in any way.

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Tom

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SQLGuy
SQLGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 11,277
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore
1

tbcass wrote:

emilyz wrote:

osu wrote:

I had similar issues with the SAL70400 SSM II. Sony no longer carried the parts rendering the lens completely useless.

Photo Tech informed me that the focusing assembly for the 2.8/70-200 G SSMII was available, but at a price that exceeds the value of the lens in working condition - at least based on recently completed ebay transactions.

Their service manager suggested that unless I desperately need this lens for an A-mount body (I don't) , will be better off just leaving it alone and going E-mount. Intend to follow his advice -- and I still have the Beercan for the rare occasion of needing a 70-200 zoom on my A77/A99 bodies.

Remember the service manager has ulterior motives. He wants to sell you E Mount so the store can make more money. Because of that, his "advice" is based on selfish motives and not what is in your best interest. I say because you already own good A mount bodies buy the Tamron 70-200 f2.8. My advice is honest because I will not profit in any way.

AFAIK, Photo Tech is only a repair center, not a dealer.

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OP emilyz Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

tbcass wrote:

emilyz wrote:

Photo Tech informed me that the focusing assembly for the 2.8/70-200 G SSMII was available, but at a price that exceeds the value of the lens in working condition - at least based on recently completed ebay transactions.

Their service manager suggested that unless I desperately need this lens for an A-mount body (I don't) , will be better off just leaving it alone and going E-mount. Intend to follow his advice -- and I still have the Beercan for the rare occasion of needing a 70-200 zoom on my A77/A99 bodies.

Remember the service manager has ulterior motives. He wants to sell you E Mount so the store can make more money. Because of that, his "advice" is based on selfish motives and not what is in your best interest. I say because you already own good A mount bodies buy the Tamron 70-200 f2.8. My advice is honest because I will not profit in any way.

If I neglected to mention at the top his thread, the main usage of the SAL70200 was on my A7R3, with an adapter. I seldom use the A-mount bodies these days. So if I buy a replacement lens, it will certainly be in E-mount. The dilemma is between the $1200 Tamron and the $2600 Sony. But that's for a different forum.

Marco Cinnirella
Marco Cinnirella Veteran Member • Posts: 7,964
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

What did the OP decide to do ?

Unfortunately SSM motors fail and it sounds like this may be the case with the OP's lens. And sadly parts are either not available for these a-mount lenses or the prices quoted are extortionate.

There are options as others have said. The Tamron 70-200 f2.8 is very sharp as has been discussed.

Also, the venerable Minolta 80-200 HS G f2.8 lens is a total BEAST - all-metal, no SSM motor to go wrong, super-sharp with beautiful bokeh and colors - it replaced my Tamron 70-200 and I could not be happier with it on my a99 and a99ii

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OP emilyz Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

Marco Cinnirella wrote:

What did the OP decide to do ?

Unfortunately SSM motors fail and it sounds like this may be the case with the OP's lens. And sadly parts are either not available for these a-mount lenses or the prices quoted are extortionate.

There are options as others have said. The Tamron 70-200 f2.8 is very sharp as has been discussed.

Also, the venerable Minolta 80-200 HS G f2.8 lens is a total BEAST - all-metal, no SSM motor to go wrong, super-sharp with beautiful bokeh and colors - it replaced my Tamron 70-200 and I could not be happier with it on my a99 and a99ii

Gave up on the repair -- at least for now -- since the price Photo Tech quoted (almost all for parts) exceeded the value of the lens. Still scratching my head what to do next.

Incidentally, the exorbitant quote was explained by the need to replace the entire front assembly, not just the focusing motor. They pointed to a tiny dent on the front of the barrel (visible only upon very careful inspection with a 10x magnifier) as indication that the barrel may be out of round. They wouldn't disassemble the lens to check further before I commit to the expensive repair.

SQLGuy
SQLGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 11,277
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

emilyz wrote:

Marco Cinnirella wrote:

What did the OP decide to do ?

Unfortunately SSM motors fail and it sounds like this may be the case with the OP's lens. And sadly parts are either not available for these a-mount lenses or the prices quoted are extortionate.

There are options as others have said. The Tamron 70-200 f2.8 is very sharp as has been discussed.

Also, the venerable Minolta 80-200 HS G f2.8 lens is a total BEAST - all-metal, no SSM motor to go wrong, super-sharp with beautiful bokeh and colors - it replaced my Tamron 70-200 and I could not be happier with it on my a99 and a99ii

Gave up on the repair -- at least for now -- since the price Photo Tech quoted (almost all for parts) exceeded the value of the lens. Still scratching my head what to do next.

Incidentally, the exorbitant quote was explained by the need to replace the entire front assembly, not just the focusing motor. They pointed to a tiny dent on the front of the barrel (visible only upon very careful inspection with a 10x magnifier) as indication that the barrel may be out of round. They wouldn't disassemble the lens to check further before I commit to the expensive repair.

I think repair shops have to be this paranoid about repairs. If they replace only the part that's causing it not to focus, but the result is some sort of degraded performance (tilt, decentered, back focus, etc) then they end up getting into a battle with the customer about whether this is new behavior and whether it should have been corrected by the repair.

You could try your own repair. I think this is the part that's responsible for focus, but I am not positive. https://sony.encompass.com/item/9649794/Sony/4-416-950-01/

Or auction it as-is/for-parts...

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Randy6414 Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

Wanted to report back after my earlier post in this thread.  I did seek an estimate from PhotoTech for my 70-400 G II , and then sent the lens to them.  It came back fully repaired/working.  They replaced the helicoid, replaced the focus motor assembly, and did a general cleaning and lubrication.  The lens is now working as new.  The cost for the parts and labor, tax, and return shippin was $847...expensive, but still less than buying a used lens (with unknown history).  PhotoTech provides a 90 warranty on their work.

I'm happy to have this lens back in service, especially during the high school soccer season, as I shoot my son's games.

Given the experience, I'd recommend PhotoTech for Sony repairs.

Randy

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ajff Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: 2.8/70-200 G SSMII won't focus anymore

Congrats on getting your lens repaired,

& another testimonial of how Precision Camera sucks!

😜

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Have Fun Taking Pictures!

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