On Nikon & Other Photo Gear

Everything Nikon and whatever…

Nikon’s Service Notice on the 70-200 VRII Issue

Dealers breathe a sign of relief on Jan 2oth with Nikon’s service note [better late than never right?], which sort of re-establishes the market value of the lens, even for the affected ones. Despite this, a lot of people will still prefer [given the choice] a defect free lens. So, I don’t think it is going to be that easy to get rid of one’s stock. This means that if you haven’t bought the lens yet you might as well wait a little longer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see major mail-order dealers selling their remaining stock of affected lenses at a big discount soon enough.

Since we are on the subject, I have calculated the focal length at INF using the known position of stars , the [averaged] results are:

Exif (mm)         Calculated (mm)

@70                            72.5

@86                            85.7

@105                        106.8

@200                        198.6

Of course, lens distortions do affect the results but overall pretty much on the spot.

24/01/2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Nikon’s 70-200VRII Issue Blunder

So far, the little feedback people got came from Nikon’s service centers, each one chipping-in their own ad-hoc version of the causes and effects. Such uncoordinated response is not, per say, reassuring and reassurance is what affected customers want and expect from Nikon. The all thing is now getting completely out of control with people returning their lenses by the bucket and dealers wanting to get rid of the stock they have asap. This will have a negative impact in present and future product sales not to mention the damage already done to Nikon’s brand image. After this, who is not going to think that a thorough check of the lens or camera is the sensible thing to do before handing over their credit card details? And what about pre-ordering the new stuff? The message from Nikon’s customers is clear: We care about performance but we also expect products that aren’t cheap not to look cheap!

I was a production engineer in a major manufacturer of brown goods a long time ago and what I believe happened is that Nikon knew there was a quality issue with this specific part but they decided to ship anyway to meet the forecasted demand for the Xmas shopping season. These kind of ‘mistakes’ just don’t happen, not in the numbers we are seeing and not without the management being fully briefed and their go-ahead.

In the end this tainted affair is Nikon’s own fault and I believe they deserve every bit of the heat they are getting. Also, the absence [so far] of an official position clearly shows that Nikon still has a lot to learn in the customer relations Dept.

19/01/2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One more close up of the defect on the Nikkors 70-200 VRII

Another close-up shot of the defective internal part in the new Nikkor 70-200 VRII.

Nikon Service feedback is that it does not affect overall optical performance. Maybe true now, who knows in the future but that’s hardly the point Nikon!

Nikkor-70-200-VRII-Defect-Closeup

Close up showing clearly some loss of material in the controversial part

16/01/2010 Posted by | Photo Equipment Reviews | , , , | 4 Comments

Feedback from Nikon Repair about 70-200 VR II issues

Just spoke in person with a couple of guys from Nikon Repair.

Apparently the official line from Nikon will be that the issues observed do not affect the lens optical performance but they will replace the part in question if the customer so wishes. Customers who have bought the lens [and registered] the lens with Nikon will be notified.

The problem is that no replacement parts are not in stock and will only be in stock in about 3-4 weeks time.

14/01/2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nikon UK 2 Year Warranty Messy Affair

In the beginning of 2009 I bought a D700 from Robert White [a reputable Nikon dealer in the UK]. The camera came with an announced 2 Year warranty whose terms required that the product [compact cameras, DSLR bodies and DSLR kits] be distributed by Nikon UK & Republic of Ireland, purchased on or after July 1st, 2007 and that the customer registers the camera or kit within 30 days of purchase [see attached NikonUK 2Y Warranty Original Version].

When I tried to apply to the extended warranty through Nikon UK customer service there were problems, to say the least. In the end, Nikon UK did acknowledge that my D700 did meet the terms of the 2 Year Warranty. Nevertheless, after mailing them the application form together with the rest of the documentation, I never received any acknowledgement nor the option to buy the extra 3rd year (as mentioned in bottom of the 2 Year warranty terms) [see attached NikonUK Support Email Exchange on 2Y Warranty].

Since then Nikon has changed the terms of their 2 Year Warranty. It now specifically mentions UK and Irish residents although it now only applies after Jul 1st, 2007! [see attached NikonUK 2Y Warranty New Version]

In principle and legally speaking, the warranty terms and conditions at the time of purchase are the ones that apply to the product you bought. So, in principle the revised warranty text only applies to products purchased after the warranty conditions changed.

Unfortunately, the wording used by Nikon UK in the revised 2 Year warranty terms leads to further confusion on what terms apply to what since there is no mention of the date of release of the latest version of the 2Y warranty.

Comments and personal experiences are welcome.

12/01/2010 Posted by | Anouncements | , , , | Leave a comment

Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8G ED VRII aka “The Dandruff Lens”

When I was just going to repeat the test between the old and the new Nikkor 70-200 VR, I noticed that the lens seems to have a lot of particles?? inside!! My old 70-200 f/2.8 VR I, even after years of use and abuse in very dusty environments, is squeaky clean compared with the new lens. I am not sure these are actually particles, they seem constrained to the optical elements. Can someone competent in optics clarify what is/could be the cause of this?

Is this dandruff? Not using Head & Shoulders regularly?

On a closer look, I also noticed some parts that appear to be damaged or in the process of disintegrating altogether with countless fractures all around the element. Some areas like the one shown in the image below seem to be missing some material actually.

Nikkor-70-200VRII-Dandruff-Lens-part2 v2

The image shows what appears to be disintegrating and/or damaged plastic parts inside the lens system

I’m not an happy camper right now, that much is clear. I think this is unacceptable for a lens that costs a premium and that is supposed to be a pro lens! It also gives a all new meaning to quality control and quality assurance, isn’t that right Nikon?

I am contacting Nikon Support about the above and share whatever feedback I get from them.

Feel free to add your own experiences with new Dandruff Lens from Nikon.

11/01/2010 Posted by | Photo Equipment Reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

Slight delay…

Sorry to everybody that came here to check the comparison of the new Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII against the the previous VRI. I did the tests but the new lens [at least the one I got] seems to have a shorter focal length [approximately 17% than the old one] across the zoom range. The new lens has better contrast than the old one but in terms of resolution [on a D300s] the old one seems to resolve more lines than the new. Because of this and the focal length issue I decided to redo the tests again, hence the delay.

05/01/2010 Posted by | Anouncements | Leave a comment

Upcoming hands-on review of the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR Ⅱ

Due end of next week, an hands-on review and comparison of the new Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8G VRII with the previous version of the same lens. Is it really worth the money?

07/12/2009 Posted by | Anouncements, Photo Equipment Reviews | Leave a comment