Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 lens rework?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by stevenseelig, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. This lens is a real work horse for me. It has never been dropped, jolted or anything that I would consider even close to damaging. But recently I find myself thinking it is not quite as sharp as it was in its youth.
    Question: For work horse lenses (I am guessing over 100,000 shots for this one), do people send it in for general refurbish maintenance. If yes, how often.
    A pro suggested doing it once a year, but I had never heard of doing regular maintenance on lenses.
  2. I am not an expert in lens internals, but it would seem possible that all of the cam systems that re-position groups of elements could get some wear leading to less precise element placement. Maybe the same types of issues that makes some examples of some lenses better than others.
    My 28-70/2.8 needs to go in. It is very sharp with a minor AF fine tune at close distances, but is significantly off at infinity. Darn.
    If you send it in, I would include a note to the effect that you suspect a loss of sharpness, so that the repairer might pay a little more attention to alignment.
  3. I regularly maintain my bodies (every two years), but usually only send in the lenses when they have an issue.
    The 24-70 f2.8 unfortunately has "known issues" and most folks who use them regularly have to get them serviced. I got about two years out of mine before it needed work, as the zoom gets "crunchy". Like yourself, never dropped, banged or damaged. I've heard from many other folks who have had issues with that lens. Great optics, love to use it, just wish it were more robust.
  4. "A pro suggested doing it once a year.." - Pro at what, I wonder? Prematurely wearing out lenses?
    Messing unnecessarily with a lens is likely to do more long-term damage than leaving it severely alone until maintenance is absolutely needed. The dismantling, removal/replacement of lubricant and re-assembly will actually add wear to cams and could easily result in misaligned optics plus extra internal dust or other abrasive debris. The average repair shop doesn't bother with hepa-filtered clean room conditions.
    Lubricating the zoom mechanism of this particular lens requires removal of the front element and front group to gain access to the zoom cams. That's not something I'd like to see happening to any of my lenses on a yearly basis.
  5. Rodeo..... Generally speaking many things (mechanical, electrical and etc) benefit from routine maintenance. While I am pretty careful about most of my things, I had never considered that a lens or even camera body might benefit from the same concept. So I was trying to get a feel for whether other people do maintenance on their lenses and camera bodies and if yes, what was their strategy.
    Tim... when you send your camera body in or your lens, what do you tell the repair people..."Routine maintenance?" or something else. Thanks
  6. Hi Steven,
    For starters, just so we're clear, unlike what Rodeo Joe refers to, I only send my Nikon gear to a Nikon Authorized Service Center. Never to some local camera repair person. You do need special tools and a special work environment to service these precision optical products, and Nikon service centers have those tools and conditions.
    When I bring my Nikon bodies that I use for work, into my Nikon service center, I tell them I want a CLA (clean, lubrication, and adjustment) on them. I am just one of many photojournalists who have their Nikon bodies CLA'd by Nikon, so Nikon Service is very familiar with the process and they know just what to do.
    As far as lenses go, again I usually wait until I have some kind of issue with the lens, then I bring it in and tell them what is happening (what is wrong) with the lens. They will take the lens, inspect it, and let me know the cost to put it back to original factory specs. If they don't find anything wrong with the lens, they will tell me that too (although I have never had that happen so far). I was lucky, when I had an issue with my 24-70 f2.8, it was still within the USA extended five year warranty, so they fixed it for free.
    Hope that helps. If you have any more specific questions, let me know.
  7. Tim... I have an authorized Nikon Repair place in the Chicago area so I was going to hand carry the body and lens in. ( Their website looks pretty credible.
    How much do you use your cameras in a year or month? Some metric that I can compare to my use.
  8. Steven,
    Couple of things. First, if your camera body and your 24-70mm f2.8 lens are still under Nikon warranty, then send them to Nikon New Jersey (or New York, can't remember which). I'm not sure Authorized Photo Service will do Nikon warranty work free of charge.
    If, on the other hand, neither your Nikon body or your Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens are still in warranty, then Authorized Photo Service is an excellent shop for servicing your equipment. They're the ones who do my Nikon body CLA's.
    Authorized Photo Service was one of the three Nikon Authorized Service Centers in the US up until a few years ago. There was an East Coast Service Center, a West Coast Service Center, and a Chicago Service Center (APS). Nikon decided they no longer needed three service centers, so they pulled their name from the Chicago location. All the same people still work there, and they still get full support from Nikon, just not sure they can do warranty work for free.
    Last time my D4 was serviced, it had been about 57,000 shutter actuations since I bought it (it was its first CLA as I've only had that camera a year and a half), and my D700 (backup camera) had like 20,000 shutter actuations since its previous service. I try to go by about every two years, not so much by shutter count, and usually right before the season starts (I do High School Sports).
  9. Tim. My D800/24-70 has 37500 shutter releases, but the lens was used on my D700 and even on my D200.
  10. If your D800 is working fine, and you are not using it professionally (meaning, if it stops working, you are not messing up a client relationship), then I wouldn't think you need to have it serviced at this time. I do my bodies because I can't go back to my publisher and say, "Sorry, my camera is messed up, I didn't get any shots of the game."
    But if your lens is giving you problems, and it is the 24-70 f2.8G, a lens that has "known issues", and you're past your five year warranty period with the lens, I would recommend taking it to Authorized Photo Service and having them take a look at it. If your lens is still in warranty, I would send it to Nikon New Jersey (or New York) and have them service it.
  11. Nikon Authorized Service is a half hour from me. They provide great service at reasonable cost.
    If you suspect it is not performing up to snuff, have your lens checked out. NAS will do it as a walk-in service, often for no charge. Calibration of the control chip costs about $100, which will perk up the focusing and exposure accuracy. If you need a new cam, they will tell you and quote the service. The last one I had done cost about $600, replacing both the cam and focusing motor. The lens was 12 years old at the time, with perhaps 50K images under its belt.
  12. Ed, are you talking about the one in Morton Grove?
  13. I've never had my 24-70 serviced, but I find that micro focus fine-tuning improves AF performance (as it does with all AF lenses).
  14. Yes, the one in Morton Grove/Elk Grove Village - it's now in an industrial park right on the border.
    Fine tuning is okay, but when the focusing becomes eratic, it's time for service.

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