Miss The 300 PF

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dan_brown|4, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Sent my 300PF to Nikon Torrence on 2/24, it arrived at Torrence on 3/2, and today, 3/16, still no word from NikonUSA.
    The e-mails are all marked "DO NOT REPLY", so I called NikonUSA Service late last week. When I finally got through to a human and ask if they could find anything about my lens, they informed me that they were a call center contracted by NikonUSA so no information other than the standard message I already received on 3/2. Tried NikonUSA.com web access and made an inquiry, and got an exact duplicate statement from the e-mail they sent me on 3/2 when the lens first arrived at Torrence, and what the call center guy told me. The web response (a DO NOT REPLY email) did say they would give me a status update within 24-48 hours, and that was about 120 hours ago.
    Not a pleasing experience in any way. Wish my $2200 was still in my bank account, and not NikonUSA's pocket.
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dan, when you purchase a new model, unfortunately you need to be a little more patient. I would give them another week. If there is still no update, give them another call and talk to a supervisor.
    A two-week repair is common and expected. If it goes beyond 3 to 4 weeks, I would press for some information.
     
  3. I am debating sending mine as I can repeat the VR issue others have talked about. Unless I shoot in the 1/100s to 1/250s range the lens is working ok.
    It seems Nikon is still working on the issue as I haven't not seen any 300mm PF available since I bought mine on 2/13 (eBay, B&H, Adorama, Amazon...).
    So I suppose the service centers are waiting for some feedback from the Nikon engineers.
     
  4. Sure, I will wait, what other option is there? I suspect there is an issue in the VR module, and NikonUSA is waiting on Nikon Japan for instructions or parts. Pretty sure they will get it straightened out.
    I purchased the Df as an early adopter and that went well, for this PF, not so much. In the future, I'll be more reluctant to purchase early. NikonUSA tech support is probably under strict instructions not to say anything about this issue, lest it explode on the Internet forums.
    Gosh, I would love to be shooting this lens today, as the weather has finally turned to spring in Texas.
    George: Suggest you hold off until you hear that a fix is in hand at Nikon USA, which news might first appear in this very thread.
     
  5. <<Sure, I will wait, what other option is there? I suspect there is an issue in the VR module, >>
    No no no. It's almost certainly going to be "impact damage." ;-)
    Kent in SD
     
  6. The web response (a DO NOT REPLY email) did say they would give me a status update within 24-48 hours, and that was about 120 hours ago​
    That's the issue right there.
    Why bother promising something you either can't or have no intention of delivering on?
    If they said 2 - 4 days, they could play the 'Oh, we meant working days' if it's over 4 days.
    If they DO reply in 'just' 24hrs, you'd feel well served!
    This way results in cross customers posting, quite rightly, on web forums....and giving Nikon an even worse Customer Satisfaction rating.
    _____________
    Nice one Kent!...:)
     
  7. I would much rather have Nikon use its resources to actually fix lenses and cameras rather than hold the customer's hand while they're waiting (all of that costs money which translates into higher cost for the end user). In Nute Gunray's words "There is no need to report that until we have something to report". If they're waiting for information and/or parts from Japan it could take some time.
    I would wait a few weeks and then call them to see what's going on. I suppose there is the possibility that with this lightweight lens, the vibration from the shutter and mirror may cause additional shake at some speeds which would then affect the outcome. Whether they can "fix" it is anybody's guess.
     
  8. I fully agree with the better use of resources arguement, but I for one wouldn't expect a client to be too impressed if I said I'd contact then within 24>48hrs about their upcoming wedding shoot and I hadn't done anything for 4 days.
    Not surprisingly, they'd start to get a bit nervous about my reliability! Kinda like the wedding starts at 10.00 and I wonder in at 11.30..:)
    Hopefully, it'll be a easy fix...I quite like the look of this lens. From the reviews I've seen, the AF isn't that quick, but the limiter helps. What I don't get is that it's FULL or 3m > Infinty? 3m seems an awfully 'close', near end. For BIF or airshows, 10m > Infinity would be much nicer. Of course, if this was a new Sigma 300mm you could designate your own limits.....;-)
    WRT modern focus limiters, are they hardware or purely software? ie, the rotating helix reaches a physical microswitch and shuts off the AF OR the camera body tells the lens's AF-S motor the D-info it needs to know when to stop?
     
  9. Yes, agreed. If NikonUSA had a technician talk to a whining customer every time they called, they'd never get anything repaired. That's why I whined here LOL.
    There are considerably lighter lenses with VR, so I doubt that is the issue here.
     
  10. Got a reply from NikonUSA today, they are doing what they can.
    Dear Mr. Brown,

    I have been asked to contact you regarding your lens on xxxxxxx. We are in the process of researching the issue that you are having with your lens, and are asking for help from Nikon Japan. Once we receive an update from them, I will contact you back with information.

    Thank you for your patience while we assist you with this.​
     
  11. There are considerably lighter lenses with VR
    Right, but the key is the light weight and the angular magnification of the 300mm PF. It is easy inadvertently shake it because it is so light weight and even a small amount of rotational shake blurs the image significantly because the image (and any angular movement) is magnified by the long focal length.
     
  12. So the positioning and pushing of the shutter button ~50mm to the right of the lens centre line can produce a rotational lens movement that the Up/Down & L/R prisms of the VR cannot deal with? And it's exacerbated by the light weight....not something that could be said for other long toms with VR.
    So maybe it would be significantly reduced by (hand held) self timer or Shutter Delay mode ie de-couple the finger press with the shutter movement.
    Not saying this is a cure, BIF with shutter delay sounds frustrating, but it would possibly help identify the issue.
     
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dan, if I am allowed to translate the reply you received from Nikon into English, it sounds like Nikon is still determining the best way to correct the VR issue for the 300mm/f4 PF. Of course, they could come to a conclusion quickly, but most likely, it will take some time. I think that also explains why it appears (again, APPEARS) that Nikon hasn't been shipping a lot of that lens and there are waiting lists all over the place. When I called my local store about 3 weeks ago, they couldn't quote me any delivery date, so I decided not to put down any deposit.
    As we discussed before, sometimes that is the price to pay to adopt new technology/new product models. Over the weekend, I used the GPS unit GP-1 for the first time on the D750 I bought last December, and that combo doesn't work. However, the GPS works just fine on the D7100. So it looks like my D750 is going back for warranty repair after all, even though I think the D750 flare really is unnecessary and am resisting it.
     
  14. No, Mike, rolling is not the kind of rotation I mean; the effect of pitch and yaw on the image are the kind of rotations that the VR system can compensate for, but since the lens is super light weight for the focal length, the lens is likely to shake more (than a heavier lens; a = F/m) and the effect of that shake in the image plane is greater than when using a shorter focal length lens. So the VR has to move the image faster and have greater range of correction to be effective. Thus the problem of reducing the shake may be more challenging for the VR system. I don't know whether this issue with the 1/160ish speeds that some of us have observed with the VR 300/4 PF is a consequence of the low mass and high magnification of the lens, or if it is simply a defect that can be corrected. Hopefully the VR can be improved / fixed but even if it can't, it's still a superb and very useful lens.
     
  15. Ilkka, I never noticed the VR issue with the 70-300VR zoom, which weighs just slightly less than the PF.
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    some of us have observed with the VR 300/4 PF is a consequence of the low mass and high magnification of the lens​
    In that case VR should also work poorly at 1/20 sec on that same lens.
     
  17. Fair enough.
     
  18. I thought I read that some people who received early copies of the lens have not reported ANY issue with VR at ~1/160 shutter speed, even when they try hard to make the problem happen. This suggests to me that the problem can be fixed, as long as they can figure out why some lenses show the problem and some don't...
    I've also seen some rather encouraging results from the few people who have the lens.
    So I'm hopeful.

    But I also think Nikon needs to be more forthcoming about the problem at this point. If they are not ready to make any meaningful announcement, fine. But any idiot can tell something is delaying the delivery of this product. So they should just come out and admit it. I'm tired of Nikon's general posture of total secrecy about everything. To me Nikon seems out of touch with their customers; I get the idea they could care less about our needs as photographers or our desire for even vague hints about their "road map." It seems the only communication we get from Nikon is at the time a product is announced OR subsequently when they are finally forced to explain a problem. I don't need them to answer every whine. Just be a little more present.
    Dave
     
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I agree with part of David McMullen's comment. By now, it is quite apparent that some samples of the 300mm/f4 PF AF-S VR have this VR problem around those shutter speeds in the 1/100 to 1/160 sec area. The end result is that not many 300mm/f4 PF have been shipped such that every store is out of stock, and not many people actually own it. In this case the shortage is more a supply issue rather than demand issue. And early owners such as Dan Brown who have sent their lens in for repair are kept waiting for a long time. It would be great if Nikon could at least acknowledge the issue, although they may not have a firm solution yet.
    Another interesting point is that Roger Cicala of Lens Rentals reported that his first sample of that lens has some de-center issues and then quickly posted a follow up: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015/02/addendum-to-the-nikon-300-f4e-pf-ed-vr-test
    However, he hasn't posted anything on that lens for a month and hasn't commented on any VR issue (as far as I know).
    The problem with "VR issues" is that it is not clear cut, unlike e.g. a circuit broad problem where a camera just dies. For those who already own this lens and are experiencing this issue, I would wait a bit until Nikon has a successful fix so that the turn around time for the repair is more definite. Otherwise, your lens could stay in the shop for a long time as Dan's, leading to a lot of frustration. In the mean time, those lenses are still mostly fine and useable.
    As far as future product roadmps goes, the Osborne Effect is a well known case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_effect, leading to the demise of that entire company. Unless it is a start up brand (or new product line) trying to project a bright future to attract early adapters, few established companies would reveal their hands about future products.
     
  20. I understand the Osborne Effect. I could be wrong but it seems like Nikon is even more secretive than their competitors when it comes to divulging anything. For example both the D7200 and D750 were almost not leaked at all until days before they were announced. But really I'm talking about much more than that. IMHO, Nikon could do a much better job simply maintaining better contact with loyal customers. Understanding and listening to customers is an investment that can help create a competitive advantage. Maybe because most of Nikon's revenue comes from selling cheap consumer cameras, mostly to people who buy 1 camera with a kit lens, or maybe 1 extra lens at the most, maybe those are the only customers they care about.
    Dave
     
  21. I think Nikon is focusing more of their product development on enthusiast and specialty professional equipment than consumer gear; they realize the consumer camera market is in rapid decline and while they try to address it by reacting to the changed ways in which ordinary people use their cameras (wifi features, mobile connectivity and touchscreens are to this effect, as well as lighter weight equipment), I think they realize the fall in consumer dedicated camera sales is partly irreversible and are thus focusing more on the more stable and less price sensitive professional and high end enthusiast market.
    I don't think one-on-one chatlines between customers and product designers are a realistic expectation. Nikon's tradition is that they try to resolve problems quietly without making a public fuss about it.
     
  22. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon's tradition is that they try to resolve problems quietly without making a public fuss about it.​
    That is not a strategy that is going to work in this internet era.
    Today, information spread quickly. As soon as a few people run into one issue, they'll post to forums. In no time lots of people will scrutinize their equipment as Dan did here. And the fact that Dan's lens is now in the shop for fairly long with no end date in sight is also quickly shared. The longer Nikon keeps quiet, the more rumors and innuendos will spread.
    Meanwhile, no store has the 300mm/f4 PF in stock. It is not clear to me whether anybody is receiving delivery recently. It looks like there isn't much sale at all to be affected anyway. Of course, it is also not in Nikon's interest to sell more defective units that will only lead to more costly warranty repairs.
     
  23. It's now been three weeks, and the Nikon USA status has been changed to "Parts Hold".
    Keeping fingers crossed for good luck.
     
  24. The Nikon Service Point in the Netherlands reconfirmed the same to me: "investigation pending". I also started my case early february, but I only submitted NEFs to support it and keep the lens for the moment. Outside the 1/60 - 1/160 seconds shutter speed range the lens is great and I am still confident Nikon will solve the VR issue.
     
  25. Forgot tot add that I get sharper pictures with my V1 in the 1/60 - 1/160 seconde using the electronic schutter than with my D7100. So shutter vibrations influencing the VR unit at certain shutter speeds seem to make VR less effectieve.
     
  26. Ilkka Nissila:
    I did not say nor intend to suggest that Nikon should start "one-on-one chatlines between customers and product designers." When I talked about Nikon needing to be more in touch with loyal customers, I was thinking about a number of things, including not keeping us in the dark about product delays, but more generally simply listening and paying attention to the problems or needs of real photographers who actually use the gear. One obvious example is a pro DX camera, a successor to the D300s. That's a tired topic and I don't want yet another thread to get sidetracked on that. I only bring it up because I will admit that my disgruntled regard for Nikon these days is certainly partly due to the fact that I am one of the minority of Nikon users who has wished for a D400 for a long time; we are confounded by Nikon's stubborn refusal to acknowledge any legitimate place for such a camera.

    Maybe I read too much of Thom Hogan, and I should certainly give him credit because maybe I plagiarized this whole notion from him; he said it much better than I in this piece yesterday:
    http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/camera-makers-dont-really.html

    Dave
     
  27. Now there are a few reports on other forums of the D810+300 PF giving unsharp results in the affected range but the problem disappearing when the vertical grip is mounted. Presumably the additional weight and structure helps to dampen mirror and shutter induced vibrations. One poster additionally noted that the D7200 with or without grip didn't have the vibration issue. This may be due to the smaller mirror and shutter in that camera causing less vibration. This is consistent with my observations when using the 70-200/4 on the D810 and D7100 on tripod; the D810 needed EFCS to produce a sharp image in a certain shutter speed range but the D7100 did not. I think this is a good reason to use a DX camera with longer lenses at borderline possible shutter speeds.

    As for a D400, the D300 existed in a relatively unique position as other manufacturers did not make this type of a camera and it was a great value compared to its predecessors the D2 series as well as the D3. Today this type of a camera (high fps aps-c) is made by Canon, Sony, Fuji, Samsung, and Pentax. Nikon has several cameras in the 1k-2k price bracket that present internal competition as well. Nikon has not kept updating its DX high end lenses while third party manufacturers have made new lenses such as 11-16/2.8, 18-35/1.8, 17-50/2.8 stabilized etc. I think also that a high fps DX camera is the most challenging DSLR to make, since it requires both high speed and high precision but must be able to be manufactured at low cost. I think these are reasons behind Nikon not bringing out this type of a camera, despite customer demand. Note that Canon CEO a short while ago stated that he expected high end APS-C to disappear. Maybe Nikon took this seriously and decided to focus on FX. Perhaps Maeda was bluffing.I think the 7DMk II however presents a challenge to Nikon and changed the competitive landscape, and as a result I would be surprised if the D300s successor project was not proceeding at full steam now. It is not a camera I would buy however as I'm not interested in high fps.
     
  28. David, Thom Hogan is no doubt the expert of what photographers who attend Thom Hogan workshops would benefit from, while attending Thom Hogan workshops, but I don't believe his data or experience is representative of the larger photographic community. Many of the points he makes and sampling of user needs are focused on around the needs of a narrow interest group and unfortunately he spices it up with a know-it-all attitude that makes reading his blog quite difficult for me.
     
  29. Four weeks, still nothing from NikonUSA.
    I'm staring to think I won't have it back for the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR race on April 11.
     
  30. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Unfortunately, Nikon has to come up with a proper fix and perhaps develop new parts. It all takes time. That is part of the price to pay when you adapt new technology or new model. If Nikon gives you an improper fix, which could still happen, that will only mean that the lens will be going back for even more repair, creating more frustration.
    Dan, you still have the 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR, among other lenses, right? That should get the job done for the time being.
     
  31. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Maybe I read too much of Thom Hogan​
    David McMullen, most likely you do. About two years ago (April 2013), this person on DPReview posted links to a bunch of Thom Hogan's incorrect Nikon D400 predictions, dating all the way back to 2008 or so (a year after the D300 introduction in 2007): http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51256976
    Since that DPReview post, Hogan has continued to make quite a few similarly incorrect D400 predictions. Apparently that is what you have been reading.
    And Canon is already giving a $100 rebate to the 7D Mark II: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1081808-REG/canon_9128b002_eos_7d_mark_ii.html
     
  32. I sent a web-inquiry to NikonUSA service department, asking for a call from a technician on the matter. Planning to ask if they think a fix is imminent, and maybe asking for the lens back until Nikon figures this out. Of course, I have extremely low expectations from NikonUSA, so nobody will call, and I certainly can't call them. My mistake was giving NikonUSA custody and control of my lens before I was positive a fix existed. Stupid decision.
     
  33. And Canon is already giving a $100 rebate to the 7D Mark II: (link)
    That speaks volumes.
     
  34. My new Ferrari has a 'recall' and they offer a replacement whilst its gets fixed....
    What did you get to play with as your new 300mm f4 pf is in the shop....a 300mm 2.8 VRII ?
    Nah, thought not.
     
  35. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I was watching 60 Minutes (a popular news program in the US, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60_Minutes) on CBS last night. They spent two segments on a new cancer treatment, using polio virus to attack the cancel cells. The very first patient who went through this trial was a young, 20-year-old nursing student with brain tumor. Normally you don't associate cancer with someone that young. In any case, surprisingly she responded very well to the experimental treatment and is essentially cured. She is now a 24-year-old nurse. However, some other patients in the trial after her didn't respond well to the treatment and died.
    The thing is, for anything new, it is common that unexpected issues come up. It is particularly difficult to repair if it only affects certain units. I know in some occasions Nikon would collect such defective units and ship them back to headquarters in Japan for further studies, because defective ones are not necessarily easy to come by. Nikon needs to find out exactly what the difference is between a perfect sample and one that has problems.
    Not sure it is going to make Dan feel better, but regardless of whether it is medicine, lenses, or whatever, there needs to be some pioneers that may have to go thru pain and even death, before others can benefit from their early experience.
    I know we are talking about buying a new lens, not to advance medicine. If you don't want to be a pioneer, I would wait 1 to 3 months before buying into any new model. In these days words spread very quickly so that any small problem will be reported all over the internet.
     
  36. Sorry, but buying a new Ferrari is NOT being a pioneer.... nor is buying a flawed new Nikon lens.
    Trying out a pioneering new drug is.
    Please Do Not try to confuse the two.
    I'm sorry, but I find the comparison very, very shallow.
     
  37. No offense, the comparison of people trying out a new pioneering drug for cancer to buying a hunk of metal and glass that is flawed and new to the market, is simply beyond ridiculous. There is NO comparison!
    It appears that people should be OK with the idea of throwing down $$$ and be beta testers for a billion $ company. How convenient for Nikon! NO, for a $2K lens released for consumer use, the company should have thrown it against a concrete wall before sending it to the market. No consumer should have to plunk down 2K and still be without a lens. For an average Joe/Jane who saves up money for a year or two to buy his/her dream lens, this is nothing but heartache!! Since when did it become acceptable to expect the first batch of any product would be a dud? Nikon is a multi-billion $ company, not some corner mom & pop enterprise. Stop making excuses for them and call them out loud and clear.
     
  38. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    No offense, the comparison of people trying out a new pioneering drug for cancer to buying a hunk of metal and glass that is flawed and new to the market, is simply beyond ridiculous. There is NO comparison!​
    Actually, the only way the two have no comparison is that those who tried experimental cancer treatment essentially have no choice. They have exhausted pretty much all conventional treatment and it is not working, so they are dying anyway and are willing to take a chance on just about anything. As one patient puts it, she has nothing to lose anyway.
    Buying a lens is different. Nobody is forcing you to buy a brand new lens model. Just like any new medical treatment, any new product has a tendency to have unexpected issues. Forget about a $2000 lens, the Boeing 787 that costs well over $200M had a series of well publicized fuel leak and battery overheat issues back in 2013; one plane even caught fire but fortunately there was no crash and nobody died from it. The FAA in the US and various international authorities banned all airlines that had the 787 from flying it for months, until the problems were finally fixed. As a result, those airlines had hundreds of millions of investment sitting on the ground for months.
    Buying a new product model may give you some bragging rights to be the first kid on the block to own one, or the first airline to own a 787 or one of the first passengers to fly on a 787. However, there is some inherent risk that comes with it. If you don't want that risk, wait a few months and let other people try it out. That is the advice I give on this forum over and over.
    I appreciate that Dan has shared his experience with the 300mm/f4 PF, both good and bad, with the rest of us so that we all have something to gain. However, in multiple occasions, he and I have discussed the risk of buying a new lens model, especially with this brand new PF technology that is a first for Nikon. So I am sure Dan is well aware of the potential risks. Unfortunately, sometimes we just get the short end of the stick.
     
  39. Shun Cheung wrote:
    David McMullen, most likely you do. About two years ago (April 2013), this person on DPReview posted links to a bunch of Thom Hogan's incorrect Nikon D400 predictions, dating all the way back to 2008 or so (a year after the D300 introduction in 2007): http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51256976
    Since that DPReview post, Hogan has continued to make quite a few similarly incorrect D400 predictions. Apparently that is what you have been reading.
    And Canon is already giving a $100 rebate to the 7D Mark II: (link)
    Shun,
    I don't think Thom Hogan is alone in missing on predictions that a D400 would appear (that's a pretty big club!), but that is beside the point. I know he writes mostly opinion, but personally I find a lot of what he writes resonates with me as very practical and sound, for example he often preaches that people should really learn or prove the limitations of their current gear before making a decision to get something "better." He encourages me to take an honest look at what is truly limiting my photography, is it my gear or my skill or my post processing, etc.

    Getting back to the topic of this thread, I get frustrated with Nikon's "distance" from us as customers, just Like Dan who said above, "I have extremely low expectations from NikonUSA, so nobody will call, and I certainly can't call them." I think I agree with you when you suggested that in this day and age, Nikon needs to make clear announcements and not just remain silent, trying to keep the whole situation a total secret and hope that customers will understand and reach the right conclusion. I appreciate that technology in today's gear is complex, but I want more direct and honest updates from Nikon.

    Dave
     
  40. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I don't think Thom Hogan is alone in missing on predictions that a D400 would appear (that's a pretty big club!), but that is beside the point.​
    That may not be the main topic for this thread, but that is not besides the point. Early on, I too thought there would be a D400. However, as soon as I saw the specs for the D7100 two years ago, I immediately made the call that no D400 was forthcoming because there was no room for a higher-end DX body: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00bNA6
    If Hogan is that knowledgeable, he should see what even I could see two years ago, instead of keep on repeating the same error. After you are wrong 2, 3 times, most people will figure out that they'd better shut up on that topic.
    just Like Dan who said above, "I have extremely low expectations from NikonUSA, so nobody will call, and I certainly can't call them."​
    The problem is that you and Dan have drawn your conclusion before you try. Just a couple of weeks ago, people kept on complaining about an error on Nikon's web site. Since I got tired of the complaints, I first contact Nikon's PR firm the MWW Group, which is Nikon USA's interface with photo.net, as they have explicitly asked me to go thru them first. When they didn't respond after a week, I felt free to get in touch directly with Nikon, and Nikon USA corrected the error within 24 hours: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00d9sU
    I am glad that I am not in customer service or customer relations that has to keep dealing with all sorts of whiners. However, I think Dan has legitimate concern about the status of his lens repair. I would give Nikon a call and ask for a supervisor if necessary. Let's see what happens, before you draw conclusions.
     
  41. I think Dan should try to call Nikon and request that the lens be sent back to him so that he can enjoy using it while waiting for parts. I think the wait time could otherwise be too long. I am surprised that NikonUSA would not accept calls from customers, how is that even possible? I can contact Nikon reps and the people who service products by e-mail or by calling them (and they have always quickly responded), but I don't live in the US. In case of prolonged repair I've always been able to get my camera/lens back to me so that it doesn't have to sit idle waiting. Only if the repair is promised to be completed in a few weeks would I consider leaving it in repair for the duration of the wait.
     
  42. Hello Ilkka. I am about to request the lens be returned, I would just like to know if there is any progress, and whether a fix might be imminent. It costs $60 to send it in, and if the fix might occur very soon, I'd rather wait than have to send it back.
    To be fair, you can call Nikon USA service, you just don't get to talk with Nikon. Rather, you get a call-center where the individual thanks you for calling, assures you they can help, then simply reads the on-line status you can read yourself, and then asks how well they did, and may include an offer to take a survey to rate Nikon Service (read: rate the call center). It's also interesting to read my NikonUSA on-line account service history, which indicates that my "blurry VR" issue has already been twice resolved by Nikon.
    The other thing that annoys me is that the lens has been at NikonUSA for so long that the time to return it for a refund at my local dealer has past. And, at this point, I would truly like to have my $2200 back. But, this is probably all the result of my anxiousness and stupidity.
     
  43. Can you not ask that they connect you to the person who is responsible for repairing your lens? If they can't do that then ask to speak to a supervisor and try it through them.
     
  44. I actually calle NikonUSA again just now. My lens is in Torrence California, the other Nikon Service center is in Melville, New York. The guy I got was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He did say he was an employee of Nikon USA, but he hesitated.
    He could not answer any questions that weren't on the on-line service record, which has no useful information. He could not connect me with anyone else. I could talk to his supervisor if I wanted, but that person had no actual information either, just a call center guy. He said he would try to find out from Melville, however, he could not possibly call me back, just send me an email. Apparently their telephones do not have outgoing call capability.
    Obviously, this system is primarily concerned with Nikon USA cost control, and they don't trust anybody, including their employees and customers.
     
  45. I can totally relate to what Dan is describing. When you call Nikon USA, you are a number. It is very difficult to speak to anyone who really knows anything.
    Shun: I still think there is some common ground where we agree, but I'm going to quit trying to find it. I resent your implication that I'm a "whiner." I'm relatively new on this forum and I can tell you are not. I don't feel particularly welcome.
    Dave
     
  46. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I resent your implication that I'm a "whiner." I'm relatively new on this forum and I can tell you are not.​
    Sorry David, no such implication is intended. However, having the tendency to whine is human nature, and plenty of people do that on various forums. I probably do that myself in some occasions.
    Personally, I prefer to resolve problems and get things done. Therefore, I don't think I have the temperament and patience to serve in customer relations, where you essentially deal with customer complaints all day long.
     
  47. Fair enough. I really prefer to be positive and I don't want to be perceived as a whiner. So let me try to say something positive: It is true that Nikon USA has a very good on-line customer service tracking system, and they do try to answer and close out every inquiry with an official record. I can look up a complete history of my inquiries and the status, etc.
    For the most part, the reports about this so called "VR issue" with the new 300mm f/4E lens indicate it is not a major problem. I am rather impressed by the early reports, overall.
    I can appreciate that it is very difficult to develop a brand-new product with new technology that is completely free from every possible defect, and I think it's too early to make a final judgment on how big a defect this is, or indeed whether it is a legitimate defect at all.
    Dave
     
  48. Yesterday an owner of the new lens reported on the Nikon Rumors forum as follows. Take this for what it's worth--i.e., a report from one individual, not an official announcement from Nikon--but it does sound like this came from an official Nikon representative of some sort:
    Just talked to the Nikon guy, ... He confirmed [the VR issue is] only a matter of firmware and no mechanical parts involved. ... they expect this firmware [update to be available] in [approximately] 2 weeks ... He also said, it's difficult to find the cause of this failure, it doens't happen with all lenses, only at certain apertures and under certain circumstances.​
    I tried to post the link so you can read it yourself, but photo.net advised me to please not post rumors that are full of nonsense. I understand but as far as I'm concerned, Nikon gives us no choice but to speculate until they finally make an official announcement. Hopefully this report is true and it is a relatively minor issue, easily fixed.

    Dave
     
  49. David, thank you for that.
    I always figured Nikon Japan would sort it out and the PF would end up being a great product. Nikon USA, they lie within the suspect class IMHO.
    - Dan Brown
     
  50. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dave, I am the one who is blocking links to any rumor(s) dot com sites. Their sole purpose is to generate web traffic and advertisement money. I would take whatever posted on those sites with a grain of salt. For that matter, anybody can post to photo.net as well. Generally speaking, I would take whatever posted to this very forum with a grain of salt as well.
    Having said that, you may notice that Dan posted on March 23:
    It's now been three weeks, and the Nikon USA status has been changed to "Parts Hold".​
    That seems to suggest that Nikon was waiting for a part to repair Dan's camera. Therefore, it doesn't sound like just some firmware update. But I wouldn't necessarily take "parts hold" too literally.
    I agree that a large part of the problem is that Nikon hasn't been keeping waiting customers such as Dan posted. Having a brand new lens in repair for a month with no end is sight is clearly very frustrating. So are those who are on various waiting lists for delivery.
    I had a chance to check with Roberta, another member here with a 300mm/f4 PF. Her lens has no VR issues and she also gave me this link: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1356575
     
  51. Also Shun, thank you for the private email. At this point, I'm going to cool my heels and ride this out.
    With respect to "parts hold", a firmware upgrade could be itemized as a "part" by Nikon.
     
  52. I received a courtesy call from a supervisor at NikonUSA service today. They explained that they are awaiting a resolution from Nikon Japan, which they thought would occur fairly soon ("within a few weeks"). Nikon offered to extend my warranty by the delay period, and also cover the shipping costs. I explained that my basic decision was to either request the lens be returned, or wait until the fix is available. Nikon said they would gladly sent the lens back, with a return shipping label so I could send it in again once the fix is in hand. They were a bit coy with specifics (understandable), but when I asked what that person would do it in my shoes, they said, I'd wait, it should be pretty soon.
    So, I am good with all this. In the future, I won't be so quick with the trigger, both buying and returning.
     
  53. Six weeks, still nothing of substance from Nikon.
     
  54. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dan, do you have the name of that supervisor who called you on April 2? The lens should be back to you after two weeks. For these shipments, I always try to get a tracking number, unless Nikon still hasn't shipped it to you.
    This is getting very annoying.
    There is more development on the Fred Miranda thread: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1356575/3#lastmessage
    I believe Danner on that thread is Dan Brown. Obviously Nikon is well aware of this VR issue, and a solution is forthcoming. But unfortunately, Nikon doesn't acknowledge these problems in public until they have a firm solution. I don't think that is a good way to handle these things, but that seems to be Nikon's practice. Therefore, if it takes them a long time to develop a solution, you'll see silence from Nikon for a long time.
     
  55. Nikon Europe has the Firmware Upgrade, here is a google translate copy of the Dutch website (https://nikoneurope-nl.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/64259):
    Thank you for choosing Nikon.
    Nikon offers a service to the firmware of the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f / 4E PF ED VR update. Details about this firmware below.
    Details of firmware update
    We have found that if the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f / 4E PF ED VR lens used with the D800, D810 or D800E, images taken with a shutter speed of about 1/125 sec. while the VR function is enabled (NORMAL or SPORT) sometimes show visible blur.
    To ensure that this occurs less often, we as a service to the firmware of your AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f / 4E PF ED VR update.
    When cameras other than the D800, D800E and D810 are used, this firmware update is not necessary.
    Update the lens firmware
    Users of the D800, D810 or D800E who worry about this problem, their objective may bring or send it to a Nikon service center, where the update lens firmware are free.
    Lenses recognize that the firmware is already updated the firmware of lenses with serial number 205101 or higher is already updated.
    * Depending on how the camera is held during the shooting or the shooting conditions can still images are blurred even when the lens firmware is updated.
    Service Requests
    For questions regarding this matter, contact your nearest Nikon service center or Image file a return request for free service.
    For further assistance, contact the customer support from Nikon.​
     
  56. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dan, hopefully Nikon USA is holding your lens for 2 weeks longer because they'll fix this issue before shipping it back to you.
    See the USA English version of the notice: http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/19448
     
  57. Shun, the Customer Service manager just contacted me directly to advise my lens fix was now available. Nikon is extending the 1-year warranty for 3-months on my lens. Really looking forward to getting it back. Should be within the week.
     
  58. The PF just arrived via UPS overnight. Took one quick brick-wall test shot on the D800 at f4.0 and 1/125 second. Razor sharp. :)
     
  59. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Overnight? Nikon does try to make Dan happy.
    I really wish Nikon had better communications with their customers. E.g. they could have told Dan that they needed to keep the lens for a few more days, once they found out that the firmware fix would be available shortly so that it wouldn't make sense to ship the un-repeared lens back to Dan in the mean time, and earlier there was no communication for about a month. Where there is no communication, it generates anxiety.
    Otherwise, I think Nikon has done a reasonable job.
    Dan, I am curious about how VR works at 1/125sec on a non-D800/D810 body, such as the Df.
     
  60. Shun, yes, Nikon could do a bit better on communications, but at this moment, I'm feeling pretty happy. I appreciate that fact the Nikon spent the money on overnight with AM delivery. The lens left Wilshire Blvd at 5:38 PM and arrived here (Fort Worth) just after 8AM. That kind of service is expensive.
    I will get around to shooting this weekend, and mostly, that will be with the Df. But, I am not going to do a rigorous test procedure, rather just take some photographs I want to take and look at how they come out.
    The more experience I get, the less I like rigorous tests. They usually reveal something to criticize, and usually it matters very little to everyday photographs, so it's tends to be a downer for me (and a waste of time).
     
  61. Any word on when the lens will begin shipping to stores again?
     

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