Brand new 35 f/1.8 DX's AF function dead-on-arrival!?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by shuo_zhao, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Hi everyone, I just received my brand new 35 f/1.8 lens today. But the AF motor appears to be non-functional. I've tried the lens in both S and C modes on both a D300 and a D40; the AF motor didn't make a sound or move at all the whole time. (I switch the focus selector around, and nothing happened...) I also tested all 5 of my original lenses on both bodies, the bodies seem to work fine.
    *The 35 does appear to meter and I can take pictures with it, but it's MF only regardless of what I do with it.
    *The only possible explanation aside from the lens being faulty is "firmware not up to date". But I doubt a older version of firmware would cause the new lens not to AF...
    Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
     
  2. Send it back. Tomorrow.
     
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Does the 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX have an AF/MF switch? If so, I would switch it back and forth a few times just to make sure that it works. Besides that, as usual, I would clean the electronic contacts around the lens mount to make sure that there is a good connection between lens and body.
    If that doesn't fix the problem, I suppose it is time to get a replacement lens.
     
  4. I think today is "Bad Equipment Mojo Day." Sorry to hear that you are having problems. Send it back and enjoy what you already have... that works.
     
  5. Shun, it does have a AF/MF switch. I switched it around quite a few times. Nothing happened. I also tried switching the focusing mode switch on the D300 and the selector in the D40's menu several times; again, nothing happened...
    The lens itself is very clean, just out of the box. So the contacts are spotless.
    Just two things to ask:
    1) So it doesn't have anything to do with firmware at all?
    2) I got the lens off Amazon.com, should I send it back to Amazon or should I send it to Nikon service?
    Thanks for the responses so far...
     
  6. 1) no, i dont even think the D300 has a firmware update yet.
    2) Amazon, unless you want to wait forever. I assume they have a return policy.
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Personally I prefer a brand new item (camera, lens, flash ...) out of the box over one that is repaired. The real difference is probably minimal. Additionally, since this is a new lens, Nikon may or may not have all the parts. If you send it back to Nikon, there could be a delay due to parts availability.
    The only concern about sending it back to the camera store (in this case Amazon) is that if the item is in short supply, you may have to wait for the next shipment. But that doesn't seem to be an issue for the 35mm/f1.8 DX.
    P.S. The D300 already has something like 3 or 4 rounds of firmware upgrades. I skipped the first 1 or 2 rounds before I updated it, and there is already a newer version since. But you shouldn't need the latest firmware to AF with any lens.
     
  8. I purposely pre-ordered the lens right after it was announced, because I knew there's going to be high demands for the very limited supply of the lens. Returning it would probably mean that I won't get the lens until 2010...
    Maybe I should give Nikon customer support a call before deciding what to do...
     
  9. gosh-darn 3rd party lenses!!! shoulda got a Nikon. oh wait...
     
  10. Heh, Eric! You funny. :)

    Sorry to hear of your trouble, Shuo. Amazon should turn that around pronto, I'd expect.
     
  11. I really hope they gonna take this as an exchange, instead of a cancellation/repurchase. Some places have already starting to jack up the 35 DX's price...
     
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Given the number of different threads on this new 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX, I have no doubt that Nikon has yet another winner lens. But any shortage is not going to last very long, especially is this economy. Within a month or two there will be plenty of supply, and I expect the "street price" to drop to $170 or so within 6 months.
     
  13. Let's hope it doesn't become another 50 f/1.4G in terms of availability...
     
  14. Tell Amazon you want a replacement so you don't lose your place in line.
     
  15. I'm going to withhold judgment on the "winner" comment until we all get more time to look at the CA issue. I've got a couple shots with a strong CA and one of the guys on another web site I was discussing this on took this shot with a 35G and a D90... that's some good CA right there...
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Andrew, what I meant by "winner" is that the 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX will be another business success for Nikon; i.e. they'll sell a lot of them and make plenty of money, similar to the 18-200 being one of Nikon's best-selling lenses of all time. Whether those money-making lenses are optically great or not is another issue. Clearly the 18-200 is a lens that is optimized for convenience (which is important for a lot of people) rather than absolute optical performance. I don't even own one myself.
     
  17. I think you're right on that count. This is going to have a definite place in the market with the high enthusiast segment.
     
  18. Shuo Zhao,
    >Returning it would probably mean that I won't get the lens until 2010...
    That's not true. There's still stock in BuyDig.com. I ordered mine and it was shipped out the next day.
     
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I wouldn't worry any serious shortage for this lens. When Nikon announced major price hikes on lenses in Europe and the US in mid January, there was a surge in demand to lock in the lower prices before the February price increase. Therefore, there was a short-term shortage. Now that wave is over. The overall demand is actually lower.
    The 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX will probably settle down around $170 or so eventually, but that will take a few more months. Another factor is that the US$ has gained some ground on the yen. If that trend continues, we may see some short-term rebates a little down the road.
    Incidentally, if you can find a third DSLR body, it doesn't hurt t double check. I would imagine that each lens has been tested before leaving the factory. The actual problem could vary from some connection might have come loose inside during shipping to the AF motor may be dead.
     

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