Nikon ED VR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D - need repair or design defect?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by stanleybeck, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. I’ve had this 80-400mm lens for several years, and never used it much until the past couple of years. I noticed that when I tripped the shutter (on tripod, or hand held), the lens reset with the image shifted lower than the previous shot. Then on the next shot, it was higher again (in view finder and recorded image). The lens did focus well, and produced clean, sharp images, however. I noticed something sounded loose inside, and sent it to Nikon for repair.

    The lens was repaired for about $430.00, by replacing some major components. After trying the lens, the major issue is still there, though not quite as bad. Has anyone noticed this issue/problem? Does this sound right for this lens?
  2. at


    I dont have direct input but I am curious as to what others will state.
    I only have one VR lens. All my f2.8 lens (17-35, 28-70, and 80-200) are old carry overs from film days.
    My 18-200 does make noise, but that's normal...its the VR mechanism
    turning on/off. I have no shifting at all like you. I would definitely send it back. You paid
    a good sum to get it fixed. Dont settle for anything less. I've read here where others have had to push
    Nikon a bit during repeat repair actions. No flames please.... but this is why I still dont trust
    delicate VR systems. Too much to go wrong with even the slightest deviation picture quality is affected.
    Good luck with your repair.
  3. I have used the Revision 0 80-400 VR for about 6 years, and what you describe is the normal function of the VR mechanism. When VR is turned on, depressing the shutter release half way causes the lens to focus and the VR to activate. The viewfinder shows the VR working because all image movement in the viewfinder stops and freezes slightly upward. Releasing the shutter button stops the VR and the random movement reappears in the viewfinder. Mine also makes a muted clunk or knocking sound when the VR disengages.
    Don't expect this same action and noise with newer lenses. The 80-400 uses Nikons original version of VR, so it is the crudest. Works fine for me, though.
  4. Sounds like it could be normal operation of the VR. I have never noticed a significant shift with mine. I am not sure how much of a shift you are seeing. Why don't you call Nikon Tech Support where you had the lens serviced and ask them?
  5. It is normal that the image shifts (the VR element position is reset to center) just prior to exposure and after the shot has been taken, so you will experience slight difference in composition from what you intended. I wouldn't worry about it. Newer VR lenses may have less jittery operation as the system has become more sophisticated over the years. E.g. the 70-200/4 VR is like a dream. On tripod, by the way, you should probably turn VR off, at least if it is a solid tripod and you are using a solid replacement tripod mount for the lens.
  6. OK, thanks, guys. At least I know that the lens has been checked, and is functioning well.

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