Nikkor f/4 300mm IF-ED "problem".

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by andrew_alan_cameron|1, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. I recently sold my 300mm f/4 and received a complaint from the buyer who described the AF as having a "Screeching and grinding noise and the MF is rough, not smooth".
    Naturally I refunded his money and he kindly returned the lens by express post... no problems with the transaction whatsoever. I had assumed that the sound was normal for this lens given what Thom Hogan has said in his reviews http://bythom.com/300lens.htm http://bythom.com/300AFSlens.htm
    The MF sounds (to me) like a ticking of bearings and the AF like a heavy movement of metal compared (of course) to the AF-S of my 70-300VR.
    It focuses accurately and not all that slowly and the lens produces pretty decent images, used correctly.
    I'm concerned about it because the buyer said he'd shown it to a Nikon main dealer who'd said that it sounded like a problem where the spindle passed through the lens mount. The clicking/ticking is coming from the focus collar to my way of hearing.
    Obviously anyone kind enough to reply may say "I'd have to hear it before commenting" (which is perfectly understandable) but before I send it at some cost to a Nikon repair facility can anyone tell me if their 300mm behaves as I've just described.
    I'm getting on in years and find that heavy gear doesn't agree with my arthritic back and shoulders, this was the only reason for the sale.
    Please don't think this posting is a subtle ploy to sell the lens... it's not, I'm keeping it but I'd really appreciate anyone who owns a similar lens replying to let me know what their experience is.
    Many thanks.
     
  2. Andrew, I have this lens, and haven't experienced any of the issues you describe. AF and MF are both smooth and noise free. There is a possibility your lens may have some issues. Wish I could be of more help. Good luck. Joe
     
  3. Thanks Joe, compared with an AF-S it is noisy but the guy in my local camera shop said it was because of the system of gearing and the spindle etc.
    Oh well.... if it's worth the cost, I'll take it for repair.
    Thanks again for your reply.
     
  4. Andrew I just check mine there is a small amount while AF is being used. I just believe its normal for this lens.
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I have had the 300mm/f4 AF-S since it was introduced about 10 years ago. AF on mine is quiet as all AF-S lenses should be. MF is smooth.
    If the AF-S motor is making grinding noise, it is on its way out and may need to be replaced soon. If I were a buyer, I would return that lens too.
     
  6. Whether you still want to sell it or keep, why not send it to Nikon for a free repair estimate? It may not be too costly and is certainly a lens worth keeping in good working condition.
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Elliot, we know that changing the AF motor is not cheap. See this thread: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00W7UI
    I have had that same problem on my 17-35mm/f2.8 AF-S for a few years. I don't use that lens often enough so that its AF-S motor is still working. If you can live with it, I would. If you sell it, you may need to discount it by a few hundred Pounds as the buyer may need to replace the AF-S motor in the not-too-distant future. But the operative word is "may"; nobody knows for sure about when.
     
  8. I'm sorry but The lens in question does not have an AF-S motor... it's a 300mm AF f/4 IF-ED.
    I mentioned that compared with an AF-S it is noisier.
    I'd like to add that I would never knowingly sell any defective equipment to anyone and did not do in this case.
     
  9. Err..... I'm just checking, but is this the AF or AFS version? They are both 300mm IF-ED. Only reason I ask is that the fault being described as 'noise of the drive spindle coming through the lens mount', isn't a lens problem, it's the body's 'screwdriver' AF mechanism...No? AFS lenses have no focus drive connection.
    The OP also states the AF noise is like heavy movement of metal as compared to the AFS of his 70-300mm AFS....If they're both AFS they should roughly be the same??
     
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Sorry, I got mixed up since I saw your link to Thom Hogan's review of the AF-S versiion.
    Before I upgraded to the AF-S version, I had the 300mm/f4 AF for a decade. There is definitely no reason that lens' AF mechanism should make any grinding noise, and MF should be smooth. Something is wrong with you lens, but I sold mine for like $500 a decade ago when I upgraded. I am not sure it is worth spending the money on repair now.
     
  11. O.K. thanks very much... it was the buyer who said it was "grinding and screeching" to me it seemed to be a slight clicking and a normal non-AF-S AF system I've associated especially with long focal length lenses over the years.
    The Thom Hogan links also included the version I have and mentions the MF noise as a "Noisy semi-smooth touch" and the AF as "noticeable whine as it searched for focus"... this was why I was hoping my lens was not defective.
    Sorry I will state again that my lens is not the AF-S version.
     
  12. I guess the ' try the lens on another body' and 'try another lens on the same body' should indicate whether it's surely your lens or a mechanical drive connection problem?
    Does the lens focus smoothly (manually!) when it's not on a body? and does the little slotted drive connector on the lens mount spin happily?
     
  13. Yes, you're right that's why I tried on my D3s, D300s and D700 bodies... the lens focuses as I described in my post.
    When off the cameras it's a sort of fast tickticktickticktick and not a dry bearing sound (it occurs at the short end of the scale), I'm an engineer as well as a photographer so I have an ear for the "Oh dear, that sounds expensive" situations.
    The drive spins away freely without any problem... a tiny drop of fine machine oil would make no difference as the noise comes from the area of the focus collar.
    I'll strip it down tonight, I've done older AF Nikkors before.
     
  14. I owned the lens for a period of time and it is an excellent lens and certainly worth keeping in good operating. It still has a lot of value both photographically and monetarily, especially if it is in good condition. Nikon does not charge for a repair estimate. You are under no obligation to fix it. KEH also has a very good repair department and seems very reasonably priced (you can get a quote online at KEH.com).
    Until the lens is checked, there is no way of knowing for sure what is wrong and what the actual repair cost will be. If the repair cost is not prohibitive, it is certainly a lens worth fixing. And when you finally decide to sell it, you may net more money than selling it in 'unknown' condition.
     
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    The pre-AF-S version of the 300mm/f4 AF is a early AF lens. Manual focus should be very loose and smooth for AF to work back then. If anything, MF should be too smooth.
    The OP is in Europe. I am not sure what Nikon's repair policy is. I wonder whether there is anything worth fixing. The problem is that if I am buying, I would only one that is 100% worry free.
     
  16. Thanks to everyone for your contributions, I'll close just by quoting Thom Hogan again..." When set to manual focusing, you don't get that silky MF Nikkor feel but a noisy semi-smooth touch"...
    I wouldn't use Nikon repair but I'd go to A.J.Johnstone's in Glasgow, they've been fixing Nikkors for me for 40 odd years... I'll get an estimate if needed. It's a shame to leave it in the cupboard so if it's not too expensive I'll have it serviced and then sell it.
    Cosmetically the lens is in Mint- condition, the only sign of use is the usual slight brassing on the chrome around the mount and a polishing on the base of the tripod collar.
     
  17. My 300/4 ED-IF AF-D made a grinding screeching noise when used on my F100 not long after I bought the lens and body in about 1999. It didn't do it right away, I think it showed up after about a year. I've had enough other AF-D lenses to know that this was not normal focusing noise. I sent the lens to Nikon USA and they supposedly fixed it under warranty. It worked fine for a while, then the noise showed up every now and then. Through all that it always focused fast and accurately, so I ignored it. The lens sat unused from early 2007 to a couple of months ago, when I bought a D7000. Just before I got the D7000 I put the lens on the F100, and there was the noise, intermittent, but definitely there. I've been using it quite a lot on the D7000 lately, with no noise or problems at all. It works very well, and I find it a great combo for hand held shooting on the D7000. I was going to say that maybe it's the body or a certain body/lens combo that causes the problem, but then I remembered that there were time when I had the lens unmounted and just turned the focus ring and could hear the screeching.
    So, no real answer for you, other than I would suggest using and enjoying the lens. On the F100 it was one of my favorites, now with the D7000, I like it even more.
     
  18. I have the 300 f/4 ED AF lens that you reference. The AF is still a whisper on my F4S.
     
  19. I also have this lens and I have had this very problem with my older D2x. I also am lucky enough to work only 4 blocks away from a Nikon repair centre. When I brought this lens in for repair, the technician took perhaps 2 minutes before handing it back, working perfectly. This problem was apparently well known to him and is simply fixed (I don't actually know what the fix was).
    My advice is to not worry about it but get it to a knowledgable technician, it most likely is a common design problem and won't be costly to remedy. I was not charged when I took it in.
    The Nikon repair facility I took it to was in Vancouver, Canada. I have had only good experiences with these people and I highly recommend them, although they probably only serve western Canada.
    By the way - mine is a very sharp and light (for a 300mm) lens.
    Signature URL deleted. Please review photo.net Terms of Use and Community Guidelines.
     
  20. Thanks, Gerald.... very useful response indeed.
    What I did was to strip the lens mount and take a look at the gearing, there was no sign of a problem at all... three tiny drops of light machine oil on the brass pinion and gearing plus a 'wipe-on-wipe-off' of non-corrosive grease on the spindle and there we are... it wasn't noisy anyway but is now a little faster..... same noise.
    I have heard from an independent repairer in the UK that if it happens again to put three drops on the 'screw-head' drive on the mount, point the lens down and rotate the focus collar a few times.
    He said that (obvious isn't it?) a gear system and such a long drive spindle needs lubrication from time to time.
    Yes indeed, mine's sharp also and lighter than you'd think.
    I'd love a trip to a Canadian repair facility..........but I live in Scotland, maybe one day.
    I posted this question on another forum and got two replies, very similar saying that "old lenses like this one often have stiff zooms and it's probably grit that's been sucked in" Hmmmmmmmmmmmm......... I now am down to only two forums, this one and luminouslandscape.
     
  21. Andrew, I have the 300 f/4 ED-IF AF, same as yours. In M focusing mode, I hear gears turning inside, and there is some inertia, but it feels and sounds like a fine instrument. No grinding or screeching.
    On AF, there's little sound. The lens is light for 300mm, very sharp, one of my favorite lenses on DX and FX.
     

Share This Page