Nikon Service Canada - what should I ask them? Recent experience?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kevin_beretta, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. Hi all,

    Does anyone have recent experience with Nikon Service Canada? I'm going to send my 10+ year old 24-70 f2.8 in for a service run. I find that it's not focusing and/or not sharp past f5-f5.6. Fine from f2.8 to f5. I tried on both cameras (Df and D850) to fine tune it but the results are not consistent from one shot to the next. I emailed them and I can send it in, as those lenses are still serviceable. Estimate for a refurb between $270 and $700 CAD.

    Since it'll be opened up, I'll probably ask them to rip all the wear parts out, like little plastic wheels, rubber bits and who knows what else is in there. If they have new outer rubber bands for the focus ring and zoom, I'll ask they change those too, as well as the rubber seal at the base. And of course a fine-tune and whatnot they do. I'd prefer to keep this one versus needing to buy a less sharp 24-70VRII copy.

    Is there anything else I should ask them to do? The lens is in 100% shape cosmetically and everything turns smoothly. But without focus... or at least partially, it's not much good.

    Ideas, comments and warnings welcome.

  2. I took my 24-120 lens in to Nikon Service in Mississauga about 4 years ago. The auto focus and VR were acting up. First thing, the lady on the desk looks at the lens and tells me when it was manufactured, which gave me confidence. The repair (replacement of internal parts) was fine, although 4 years later this now 14 year old lens occasionally squeaks.

    The guy in line before me had brought in a nearly new D5 claiming it had stopped focusing. The lady gives it to a tech in back, and about a minute later comes back and says "The camera focuses just fine while on an another menu, so the problem is your settings." Saved him a repair.

    I also sent in a zoom lens that was beaten up a bit in a fall onto a hard surface. The cost to repair was about $100 -$200 off the cost of a new lens of the next generation, so we instructed them to scrap it.

    In summary, I have confidence in Nikon Canada knowing what they are doing, but be prepared for a cost that may make it worthwhile to replace the lens.
  3. Thanks that's very helpful and comforting. I would not mind spending the money if it's done right. I hate throwing things out or not fixing them when it's possible. The new 24-70 is just too big and by all accounts it's softer in the middle which is a deal killer for me. Even if the repair is $1000-$1200 I'd rather gets this one back in 100% shape. Also just discovered the 300 f2.8 vrii is cheaper in Canada than in the US. Could be an expensive Christmas..
  4. Well my lens made it to Nikon. I basically asked them to spare no time/effort and gave them a detailed write-up of my issues trying to get consistent focus. Their estimate was a B2 service, which according to some Googling, breaks down as follows;

    N – no repair necessary or no repair made.

    A – minor adjustments and checks.

    B1 – moderate repair, minor parts replaced.

    B2 – moderate repair, major parts replaced.

    C – major repair, major parts replaced.

    D – extensive repair.

    For the B2 service, shipped back to me and including taxes, they quoted $447 CAD, which is far lower than I expected. I asked for both outer rubber bands to be replaced, although they were in fine shape and to toss any wear item inside (since they'll open it up), such as cam wheels, rubber bits etc. Now we wait to see what comes back and what gets replaced.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  5. The lens is back in my hands after Purolator managed to deliver it to the wrong address, lost it, found it and finally delivered it tonight, 5 days after the first attempt. It left Nikon one the 21st. The lens came back clean, no marks or scratches on it. It looked a bit blacker than before so likely cleaned with a solution of some sort. I could not see any marking on the screws at the back and the rubber focus and zoom bands were replaced. Note that this lens was pretty much pristine outwardly when it left my place, but still I requested it as time will decay the rubber. The front element was certainly not as clean as I left it, nor was the rear. A handful of Pec Pads took care of that (those things are not truly lint-free). The zoom is a tad stiffer than it was, which one would expect. Focus ring felt the same. So outwardly, all was well.

    I reset the AF fine tune on the D850 to zero and set up to shoot the step wedge (f/2.8, 64 ISO and 125s with the SB900 as it was dark and I didn't have enough ambient light) . Surprisingly, it was quite out, back focusing quite noticeably. I took a number of handheld shots of bits and pieces around my house with the flash and some were quite good, others not so sharp. Human error I suspected. Back on the tripod, tried a few manual focus shots with live view and zoomed in. Dead on, nice and sharp, unquestionably so. Back to A/M. It was consistently off and back focusing. So I ended up with AF fine-tune at -20 to get it a point where increasing the sharpness in CaptureOne really didn't add any more benefit to the picture. Took a bunch more handheld shots and they were all dead on, sharp, in focus and without hesitation or questioning of the result. Stuck the camera/tripod on the balcony, shot a far away target I know well and had shot earlier with the 85 f/1.4 Nikkor at f/3.5 and 8s ISO 64. With the 24-70, I shot the same thing (not know the earlier shot parameters) at 70mm, f/2.8 and 4s ISO 64. The latter result is not as good, but there was less time, 15mm less zoom and it's not a prime lens of course. Still, it was quite a good picture and sharp.

    It seems so far to be consistent, but I am a little puzzled by the need to set it to AF fine-tune -20. Some step wedge shots (handheld this time) might look like it was front focusing a hair, so -18 might have worked. But it wasn't a tripod measurement. All in all, I think it's ok but I would have ecstatic if say the AF-fine tune was within +/- 5 or so. What do you all think?
  6. What kind of distance and magnification are you shooting the test target at to do your fine tuning?
  7. Roughly 8-10 feet at 70mm for the step wedge with the tripod and other items 15 feet to 2-3 feet. Mostly at 70mm.
  8. Okay, that seems reasonable. If you're comfortable using it at -20 fine tune then I'd just continue using it, but you could also contact Nikon and ask about it, but my guess is that they'll ask you to send in both the camera body and the lens for study and adjustment. How is the focusing of the lens on your other camera(s)?
  9. I have yet to try it on the Df. It's well past midnight here so that's a job for tomorrow... :)
  10. I tried on the Df just now. This time I looked at what I set it at before and it was +14 if you can believe it. After some tripod wedge shots and general shots around my place, it seems -20 is definitely too much but -17 seems to be quite nice. Again, a higher number from 0 than I would like, but at least it's consistent in the AF department.
  11. Just as a sanity check, I put the 85mm f/1.4 on the D850 and it hovers around 0 or +2 AF-fine tune so I doubt the camera is at fault here. I think I'll eyeball it all for a while and see how it pans out. I do have 90 days warrantee on the fix I think.
  12. I decided to contact Nikon and see what they say. I'm not really comfortable with the 24-70 at the moment. It will either need to get fixed properly or replaced. I don't like half measures... On a MUCH happier note. I got a 28mm f/1.4 Nikkor from B&H and that thing is as sharp as it gets, wide open at f/1.4. I swear it makes the D850 creep closer to the Df in terms of low-light capabilities.
  13. I got a reply from Nikon Canada today. They sent me a waybill for Purolator to ship the lens back. I explained in an earlier email what process I went through with both cameras. So I'll ship it back today and see what comes of it. I'll keep you all posted.

    In the mean time, I keep marveling at the results I get with the 28 f/1.4 ED lens. Taking night shots at f/1.4 while walking around the city produces all sorts of marvels. By far the sharpest AF lens I have.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  14. Well, 2 months after this process started I think we're done with it. The lens came back today after languishing in "Shop" status at Nikon for more than 3 weeks. I stuck it on the tripod, set everything up and re-shot my tests with the D850 and Df. Now I'm sitting at AF-Fine Tune -12 on D850 and -7 on the Df, so that's how it's going to be. Clearly something was off with the first fix and I'm happy it's resolved, maybe not perfect at 0 but it's also a 12 year old lens that I've lugged through 45-odd countries, about 30 of those on the motorcycle. All in all a decent ending.
    mike_halliwell likes this.

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