Help for a broken 500mm AF-S...

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jst-j, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. Hi there,
    I send my 500mm AF-S I to nikon Canada in Ontario. The manual and AF wont work. They cant fix it because there is no part avalaible for it. Before sending it they say they have all part for this model !!! Not sure what exactly is the problem but seem the AF module is broken or something like that and have to be replace.
    Any of you have any idea of what i can do beside use it has a paperweight.
    Thanks to you for any reply !
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Sorry I can't help, but generally speaking, repairing the AF motor inside AF-I lenses is a problem. AF-I was in production for only short period of time, from 1992 to 1996 and then replaced by AF-S. And 1996 was 18 years ago, well past the "parts available for roughly 10 years after the end of production" rule of thumb.
    Maybe you can check with Authorized Photo Service in the Chicago area and see whether they happen to have parts:
    Shipping from Canada to the US for repair can be a bit of a pain, but it is a long shot that they have parts to begin with.
    Otherwise, sell the old AF-I for parts and maybe get a newer AF-S.
  3. I suppose you could try contacting Nikon USA as it is a larger market perhaps they still have parts for the lens. Shipping it to Japan could be costly especially if the answer is negative, but you could also try contacting Nikon Japan and send the information about the part that needs to be replaced along with your enquiry.
    This is one of the drawbacks of the lenses being updated so frequently; at some point parts become unavailable. I have read about AF motors failing, but this is the first time I hear about manual focus also not working.
  4. Thanks for reply guys very appreciated.
    I will definitely try somewhere else before sell it for part.Just to clarify it is a AF-S, Ist generation. not a AF-I.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I send my 500mm AF-S I​
    Sorry, I suppose you meant AF-S version one; somehow I read AF-I. My apologies.
    I happen to have that same version, purchased back in 1998. As far as I know, its AF motor is the same as the one in the 500mm/f4 AF-S version two. The availability of AF-S motor parts should be much better than AF-I. I would certainly check with Nikon USA and Authorized Photo Services.
  6. Thanks Shun, its good to know !!! I ask them to tell me the number of the broken part, they should come back to me soon, might be easier to find that piece trought the web. Thanks again !!!
  7. It's astonishing to me that a lens that expensive could be considered disposable!
  8. I sent my 28-70 afs to nrc in taiwan. He repaired my defective silent wave motor. Costed less than it would have if i would
    have sent it to nikon usa. Took much less time as well and got amazing personalized service with email replies
    sometimes within minutes.
  9. @ Al: Yes it happens. That's one consideration when buying these lenses. What smart guys do is sell there and upgrade each time a new version comes out.
    The best strategy is to buy one when new model comes out and then implement this strategy.
  10. It would seem the AF-S MK I stopped production in 2001, so the lens must be at-least 13 years old and could be up to 17.
    Interesting how genuine spares are still available for sports cars from the 70's (and earlier)
    There's a large degree of self interest in Nikon NOT making enough spares...
    "Sadly we don't have the spare parts, I'm afraid you'll have to upgrade"​
    However, pop into your nearest Ferrari dealership and I don't think you'll be hearing this...

    Sorry, we can't fix your 550 Maranello (1999), but we've got this very nice new F12 Berlinetta (2013), if sir is interested?​
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    There's a large degree of self interest in Nikon NOT making enough spares...​
    In these days, DSLR bodies are out of date in 2, 3 years. Expensive lenses is the main reason that discourages people from switching brands. When people cannot repair their old, expensive Nikon lenses due to the shortage of parts, it gives people more incentive to switch to Canon since they need to re-purchase an expensive lens regardless of whether they stay with Nikon or switch to Canon.
    Therefore, I don't think it is in Nikon's self interest at all to make their products not repairable. Their customers can get frustrated and decide to pay the price to leave.

    My 500mm/f4 AF-S that I purchased back in 1998 was my very first AF-S lens, and I added a 300mm/f2.8 AF-S later on that same year. Fortunately for me, after 20 or so AF-S lenses, I haven't had one AF-S motor failure yet. Perhaps I am lucky, but I sure hope that it stays that way.
    P.S. As I pointed out earlier, as far as I know, the 500mm/f4 AF-S version 1 and version 2 use the same AF-S motor. Version 2 was discontinued in 2007 in favor of the AF-S VR version, and we are still within the 10-year window. Availability of parts shouldn't be a major issue, unlike the much older and rarer AF-I parts.
  12. The biggest bugbear of mine is that Nikon no longer sells spare parts to the public - or even small independant shops. One used to be able to order the parts needed and fix the item themselves (with care it can be done better than a dealer) but now they have stopped this. I remember calling the spares department, being told what I wanted (a part for my F3) was no longer available but they would find me a good used one from the workshop - sent for £5. It's service like that that builds a lifetime buyer of that brand.
  13. Shun, in my limited experience people who own a 500mm f4 AF-S are very, very unlikely to have a) just one lens and b) just one body. So they are tied to the brand, unless they have bottomless pockets.
    The OP went to Nikon Canada, not the local 7-11 for goodness sake! I'd expect them to know that Version 1 and Version 2 share the AFS motor. If not, it's just another example of poor Nikon Service.
    For a lens of that calibre, I'd expect my Nikon dealer to ring round to find the spares for me.
    Can you really see the Ferrari dealer in LA telling a customer 'Sorry can't fix it, try San Diego'? No, you'll get a 'It's now Monday afternoon, OK, it'll be here first thing Wednesday, be ready to drive away Thursday afternoon.' That's customer Service.
    When people cannot repair their old, expensive Nikon lenses due to the shortage of parts, it gives people more incentive to switch to Canon​
    Well OK, following that argument why are there no spares then? Sure, they'll run out of spares eventually, but for hard working parts like AFS motors?? It's hardly a storage issue. Since fast, efficient couriers have been with us, having spares available pretty much anywhere in the World in 48 hrs isn't hard.....and we're talking Ontario, Canada not the South Pole!
    Before sending it they say they have all part for this model !!!​
    I remember someone else saying the same thing about a year ago for another lens. It turned out to be a big waste of time and a-lot of postage fees.
  14. The F100 film camera was available new as old stock up to 2010 from authorised Nikon stockits, however the back door on mine is now all degraded due to unsuitable materials used yet I'm told parts are no longer available as of today. I just don't think Nikon care about sourcing parts - even though I bet with a bit of effort they are obtainable.
  15. why are there no spares then?
    If they underestimated the frequency of failure of a particular lens' AF motor or circuit, this kind of a situation could happen. It was Nikon's first generation SWM so we can hope the situation with later models is better.
  16. It is not practical for Nikon or anyone else to keep a lot of spare parts for any equipment that is more than 10 years old. It is not a good use of capital. Most spare parts for sports cars are not OEM but made by a third party.
    You do seem to have an issue with Nikon if they told you that they had the part and then when they got the lens they back tracked.
    It is precisely for reasons like this that I will never own an AF lens. All of my lenses are AI/AIS and some date to the early 80's. The only repair issue I have had with any of them is cleaning the aperture blades of a little oil on my 55mm f/2.8 AIS Micro Nikkor after the lens was almost 30 years old. 20 years from now, when I am in my mid '70's they will still be performing for me if I am even doing photography at that time, long after todays lenses are in a pawn shop or the landfill. The only PM I do on them each month is take all of them out, rotate both the focusing and aperture rings several time to keep them smooth and limber.

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