I toasted my 85 1.4 afd

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rffffffff, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. I left my 85mm f/1.4 at a clients house, on the lawn, for two weeks or so. Awesome!
    It still works, but its really hazy and I can see water spots inside on the glass.. its just not clear to look through.
    I have received trusted advice from Bjorn Rorslett (anyone know better than him?) that it needs professional cleaning... but I am dreading the Nikon $500 estimate that I assume I am going to receive. I emailed an estimate request to phototech (I live near NYC) but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on who should do the cleaning and if a third party is worth the risk.
    Any similar experiences out there?
  2. Well if you were negligent to the extent that you forgot that you left a valued lens like the 85 1.4 on someone's lawn then it could be construed that maybe you SHOULD have to pay an exhorbitant fee to get it fixed? Quality gear is so darned expensive it is hard to believe that anyone could be so cavalier about leaving an expensive lens out on someone's lawn to get ruined.
  3. Accidents happen Keith. Are you above that?
    If you have insurance Robert, which is a great idea, it should cover the cleaning or a replacement.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Why assume about the estimate? Get a real estimate first and then decide, either from Nikon USA or Authorized Photo Service, although I am sure that there are good repair places in NYC.
    If there are no parts damage, labor cost alone will probably be less than $500 although it won't be cheap. If a lens element is scratched or there is rust in some parts that they need to replace, it may be a different story.
  5. Its funny... part of Keith's response may be why I didnt think about Matt's response. I do have insurance, but I feel so stupid in losing a lens that I never even thought about using insurance... I just blame myself. I am not sure if breaking lenses is covered or not, but I'll find out.
    I do find Keith's response generally useless otherwise. I appreciate the support. =o)
    I will get a Nikon estimate for sure, but I have had a simple repair cost me $275 and I felt that I should have consulted another repair shop in order to find out what it would have cost afterwards... I am trying to learn my lesson a little bit.
    Perhaps the lesson of shooting with two photographers out of one camera bag while its getting dark quickly, carrying cameras and lights in bags and on shoulders and pockets and then to racing to the next shoot without even taking a mental inventory should be near the top of the lesson list for this week too! I knew I was missing the lens a few days later, but I had no idea even where the last place I used it was!
    At least we got some decent pictures! =o)
  6. Another place to try for an estimate is Precision Camera, in Connecticut. They repaired my 18-200 VR after Nikon Service in Melville failed to do so, and the turnaround time and communication were both excellent.
  7. Its a great lens. is it worth the repair? most likely. what is the other option?
    I try to take very good care of my equipment but like matt said accidents happen. and is a collateral that you cant never rule out completely. If you are a working professional you know that.
  8. Im with Keith! Out of all my gear I only have used stuff. Because I cant afford to buy new camera equipment. Let alone a nikon 85mm 1.4
    Im not trying to be a jerk but it makes my stomach turn to hear you guys talk about spending hundreds of dollars to get a lens cleaned/repaired and I will never be able to own a new lens like that. All my stuff is swap meet crap LOL.
  9. Bill, it makes my stomach turn to spend hundreds of dollars on repairs too! Its a little different, though, as a full time photographer. I carry $15K - $20K of stuff around in my camera bag probably, but it can make me thousands per shoot, so they seem more like tools than expensive collectables, as most hobby photographers seem like they regard these things. That good old 85 probably has 50,000 exposures or more on it, and has created thousands of images that I have sold, so ultimately even if I have to replace it completely I know that I have gotten back more than I have paid for the lens by a factor of 100 probably.
    A working mechanic probably values his wrenches more than I value my wrenches, but also is probably much less likely to polish them up after he uses them, if that makes sense.
  10. Thanks, David... I'll check them out, btw.
  11. Robert, allow me to toot my own horn.
    I've done many tough repairs at far more reasonable priceing than Nikon.
    For you and for the following reasons I'll beat the other quote; as a challenge to myself, out of pride and for making a name on the net.
    Email me if you're interested... Gus
    Click on to the "contact us" tab
  12. Robert, the shop I use: Advanced Camera Repair, in Portland, Oregon, is top notch and very inexpensive. They know Nikon very well and they have an online quote form. They get back within about a day and will give you a pretty good estimate. They are very fair. They are also good enough I trust them with Leica, Hasselblad, and other high end gear, and know it will be done right.
  13. Have to comment on above post. I did not realize the OP was a pro photog with more than one guy working out of a bag. I could see how something like that could happen under those circumstances. We all tend to consider a story from our own point of view which may not at all be the same as the affected person. So if the lens is only a tool for the professional it may make sense to just get a new one and the old one would probably be used as a write-off for taxes as part of the business.
  14. KEH does online estimates but they are only estimates.
  15. Robert, 20 years ago I was a car mechanic with about $15k of tools which I had purchased. I tried very hard to keep track of all the pieces. Once in a blue moon I would lose something and it still hurt even if it was a $30 wrench. I used them daily and was quite good at keeping them organized and clean because I used them daily. Tools get used, broken and lost. Find out what the cost for repair is then make a decision. If insurance will cover then great.
    To all have a good Thanks Giving
  16. When your a professional (photog, mechanic, carpenter, etc.) tools can get lost, damage, stolen, etc. Its a cost of doing business. The home improvment crowd couldn't imagine going through a $600 air compressor each year, but as a carpenter that was about the life I expected out of an air compressor. I'm just glad I decided to pursue an education because the carpentry business isn't exactly humming right now.

    I'm sorry to hear about your lens, but this is simply a business decision. With 50k exposures on the lens, it sounds like you use it a lot and need to either repair or replace it regardless.

    You just need to decide; Get it repaired (costing less), or wait for Nikon to announce the 85 f/1.4 AFS and get a new one.

    If it were me, I would probably get it repaired no matter what. With a $500 repair you can still turn around to sell the lens for over $1,000. Don't even consider what you originally paid for it because that is a sunk cost.
  17. Meanwhile try sealing the lens in a plastic bag with some fresh silica gel to absorb the rest of the moisture and to prevent further damage.
  18. Once you get the lens repaired, be sure to keep the receipt for your 2009 federal income tax return. Equipment maintenance is usually a tax deduction (if you are in business.)
  19. Well, if you have a week, do put the lens in a ziploc with a lot of silica gel and see if that does absorb all or at least mosture that you see inside the lens. You may be able to dodge the repair bullet doing this. This approach only costs you some time.

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