Nikon 17-35/F:2.8

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by fagus, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Hi
    I have unfortunately lost my camera with my 17-35 in a small stream where it was submerged in about 10 seconds. The d200 was damaged , but my 17-35/2.8 still work in part.
    Optically it is flawless, but it reports errors when it is mounted on a Nikon D700. On my old D70, it seems OK when used with manual focus. So I assume it is the focus motor and/or the electronics that is damaged.
    I returned it for a repair to our local Nikon repair service, who returned it without opening the lens with a remark that it is not worthwhile repairing it. Can it really be true that it is not worthwhile to change the electronics in this otherwise very excellent lens. Are there anywhere in the world a repair/refurbishingservice where they are experts in this kind of repairs? I'm willing to send it abroad.
  2. Strange that Nikon would make that determination for you. Their role is to provide a cost estimate, not assess the relative value of the repair to you. Where on the planet are you? In the US, Authorized Photo Service in Morton Grove (near Chicago), Illinois is a highly reputable service center.
  3. I agree, it seems strange that they would deny repair (and make money) if it's repairable. Sorta like mechanics denying a car job...
  4. I'd definitly get a second opinion, it suprises me that a >$1k lens would be determined as not worth repairing... perhaps the electronics are that costly to replace? Not sure where you are located but Strauss Photo Technical Services in Washington DC has performed excellent work on a couple bodies and lenses of mine in the past and they are Nikon authorized -

    Good luck with it!
  5. Perhaps what was meant is that the cost to service the lens would exceed the current market value of the lens, which does make sense. I had a minor issue with the manual focus ring on one of my lenses and the estimate was $430. So it is certainly possible that the repair cost for you lens would exceed $1000 which is about what the lens is worth used.
    Perhaps Jan can elaborate on whether the 'local' repair facility was Nikon USA or someone else. I would suggest you send it to Nikon USA in Melville.
    This list may be of interest to you:
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Why would people be surprised that Nikon declines repair? When the repair cost is so high that it exceeds the value of the item, an ethical repair shop should just tell you to buy a new one rather than milk you for some expensive repair. A repaired item is frequently not 100% as good as new or even a used one without ever been damaged.
    That procedure is pretty text book (standard) in US auto body work. After a serious accident, if a body shop determines that the car repair cost exceeds 80% of the current value of the car, insurance will declare it a total loss and won't repair it.
    When a lens is totally submerged, replacing all the electronics and most likely all the mechanical parts which can rust has to be costly. But as usual, getting a second opinion is also a good idea when the cost is pretty high here, just in case the first Nikon repair shop is wrong.
    If that lens is indeed beyond repair, perhaps the OP can sell it to be used as parts. E.g. perhaps some of the elements (the front element) can be reused.
    P.S. The OP appears to be in Western Europe. There are many Nikon repair centers in that region. I would imagine that the OP can call a couple other places and see what they have to say, before shipping the lens again. BTW, every extra day a wet lens sits, it can get worse as rust can form.
  7. When the repair cost is so high that it exceeds the value of the item, an ethical repair shop should just tell you to buy a new one rather than milk you for some expensive repair​
    Well, Keh, an EX 17-35 f2.8 is $1269 and a bargain one is 999 (currently on sale, normally $1120). Expensive repair? No doubt but are you implying it would take more 1k to repair the lens? Even at 80%, it would be greater than $800 still. If not, then the repairman should have gave an estimate and let the OP choose instead of denying him outright.
  8. 'Why would people be surprised that Nikon declines repair? ethical repair shop should just tell you to buy a new one rather than milk you for some expensive repair.' Conversely it would be highly unethical and possible for a Nikon repairshop to sweep a modest repair under the rug and say, 'trust me, buy a new one.' This isn't about ethics but allowing the customer to make a decision.
    The role of the shop is to provide an estimate. No harm in that. Whether a customer feels they're getting 'milked' is their prerogative. If someone's Grandpappy shot 250,000 images of three generations of the family, traveled the world, won a few Pulitzer's, etc. they might place an extremely high value on the lens and deem the $1,000 repair cost a pittance. Oscar Wilde's definition of a cynic comes to mind: A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    No doubt but are you implying it would take more 1k to repair the lens? Even at 80%, it would be greater than $800 still.​
    Leslie, obviously I have not seen that lens so that I don't know the extend of the damge, but according to the OP, it was submerged in water for 10 seconds. Therefore, I am not at all surprised that repair cost is well over US$1000.
    A year and half ago, I was on South Georgia Island in the Antarctic. I stupidly left my 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR (version 1, version 2 was not available yet at that time) on my D700 on a tripod. A gust of wind blew the whole set up over and the lens hit hard rock. There is a bit of scratch but the lens continued to work fine. It destroyed the lens hood. I pretty much only use that lens in the auto focus mode.
    Two month later, I tried manual focus and then realized that there is damage so that the manual focus ring is no longer smooth. I simply didn't use manual focus on that lens for weeks so that I didn't realize the problem; the lens works great otherwise. I brought that lens to Nikon USA in Los Angeles in person, and the initial repair estimate was between $450 to $550, for a lens that is working perfectly fine other than rough manual focus. I declined repair on the spot.
    Not only wouldn't I be surprised that the OP's lens repair cost is over $1000, most likely it is over the price for a brand new 17-35mm/f2.8 AF-S. Again, keep in mind that the OP is in Western Europe: both lens cost and repair cost tend to be higher than those in the US.
    Lilly, you are merely arguing about academics here. If the OP's lens were that valueable, he definitely should keep it in a valut and buy another one to use.
  10. Shun, you are missing the point. You are imposing your value system onto another person's decision-making. Perhaps you don't mind others doing so but most would be vehemently opposed. Not sure how else to convey the point.
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Lilly, I am not missing your point at all. IMO, you are arguing for the sake of arguing; I am not interested in that.
    In any case, if the OP somehow wants to repair the lens regardless of cost, he can always ask that Nikon shop agian and see whether they are willing to do the job for, say, $2000 or $3000 (or whatever in Euros) .... If the shop accepts, he can send the lens again.
  12. erik_christensen|3

    erik_christensen|3 Self-employed

    It sounds very strange, if the repaircosts should exceed the value of the lens.
    A new lens in Denmark costs pt. USD 2,582 incl. VAT (inexpensive USD) and there are not many available.
    Shun you are most likely right, that the repair costs are must higher there than in USA including the Danish VAT of 25%, but exceeding the above value sounds not correct.
  13. '...arguing for the sake of arguing.' Couldn't be further from the truth. I'm arguing the very simple principle of the matter; customer wants an estimate...give them the blooming estimate. Not interested in obfuscation or intransigence. I'm done.
  14. "The role of the shop is to provide an estimate. No harm in that. Whether a customer feels they're getting 'milked' is their prerogative."
    Not if they honestly decided that it was either unrepairable, or unrepairable at reasonable cost. The customer demanding a repair estimate for a lost cause would be milking the repair shop.
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Lilly, one way or another, as I said, I am not interested in a tangential debate about whether a repair shop should decide an item is a "total loss" or not. Moreover, I don't think that is helpful to the OP at all.
    I recall reading a study that if you somehow supply all the parts for a $20K car to a body shop and have them put it together (instead of having a car manufacturer's factory put it together), it would cost like 3, 4, 5 times $20K to put that car together. I don't remember the exact details. But the point is that a body shop is not equipped to make cars in an efficient manner.
    Likewise, if a lens (or camera) is seriously damaged, it does not take that much for the repair cost to exceed the value of the lens, especially if we are talking about an older lens whose value is not that high any more. Once the aperture diaphragm on my old 20mm/f2.8 AF got stuck. Fixing the aperture would cost $210 and the lens worth like $250.
  16. Jan,
    Did you send it in for repair to Nikon themselfs ( thyrough the procedure of filling out the online form and getting a " repair number") ? Or did you go through a "Nikon Authorized Repair Shop"?
    If the latter one, I think I'd try to send it to "Nikon Denmark Repair service" ( ) ( you live in Denmark, i think ?? ...).and ask for an estimate from them, as some Local repairshops here in Europe sometimes seem to try avoid the more complicated repairs by telling people that it is going to be very expensive....
  17. Shun at least your were given an estimated dollar value as to the the cost of your repair; you then made your own decision if it was worth it or not.
    I think what most people here are surprised about is that Jan was not given a dollar value estimate for the repair of his lens.
    I once sent a Nikon flash unit to KEH for repair. After a short time, they reported back to me with their estimate for the cost of the repair, and they recommended the cost of the repair was in excess of the value of the unit. In other words, they would have fixed it for me if I wanted them to, but they didn't think it was worth it.
    I think I would like to know how much it would cost to repair, before I replaced a $1000+ lens.
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Psul, it is actually quite common that any camera or lens that has been submerged into water is considered not repairable. (Yeah, Nikonus is an exception. :) )
    E.g., take a look at this thread and see what Nikon Australia has to say about a similar situation: (I suggest just read the OP's opening post and the last post from September, 2010, also by the OP), although that camera in question still seems to partially work in that case.
  19. Jan, If you purchaced this lens new within the last few months with a major credit card your lens may be insured against accidental damage. If this is the case, call your credit card company immediately. I always use my credit card to purchase photo equipment because doing so provides damage insurance and extends the original product warranty for up to one additional year.
    My heart goes out to you. I know from experience ho you must feel. Good luck, Jan.
  20. Jan, I think you probably did this already, but I'll ask anyway: Have you dried the lens thoroughly - for example, dehumidifying, using desiccant packs, etc.?
    This is my own experience with the 24-70mm lens: I completely submerged both the lens and D300 into water as I slipped and fell after shooting the Cathedral Rock in Sedona. I immediately dried both items with a microfiber cloth, then blew with a hair dryer. At night, I put them in front of the air vent of the hotel.
    The next day the lens could manual focus, and there were intermittent errors. Then some of the images began to look "foggy" in the middle. However, after a few days, the "fog" was gone. To this day both lens and camera are working well!
  21. Jan, send a mail to my friend tore <at> dfa-service <dot> dk. Chances are 90% that he did the assessment. I expect
    that your communications went through a dealer ?? Could be that the reasoning is that the initial repair would be ok in
    cost, but the likelihood of long-term problems (corrosion, etc) is high.

  22. Even if the electronics are not working (provided the optics are still indeed perfect), the lens is likely to still have considerable value to someone for use as mount-modified lens or for repairing an optically damaged one. I'd advertise it with full disclosure on eBay, with a low starting price and no reserve. You may be surprised how much you'll realize from such an auction. (I'd be quite surprised if you didn't net $400-500 USD. Given that an excellent used examples might be acquired for <$1000 USD, I wouldn't put more than $500 into fixing one, personally.)
  23. Hi & Thank You to all
    I't was the Nikon Authorizised repair service in denmark, that had decided the lens not repairable.
    I was just wandering, because they took no fee for doing it - usualy they would charge me som kind of fee for opening and evaluating the lens. Therefore I have got the impression, that the examination was rather superficially done. I had a hope, that there somewhere in the world would be a shop where they was doing refurbishment such things.
    Status: I have instead bought an AF-S 16-35/F4 G ED with VR and find it very satisfying (significant less CA than 17-35). My old, partially damaged 17-25/F2.8 works now as a very fine non-af lens on my sons d70 so he's very happy with that.

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