repairing Nikkor lens (broken 55-200 VR mount)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by joe_cormier, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. My wife knocked over her tripod with her d-300s on it. The 55-200mm lens broke off from the lens
    mount. The camera is ok and different lenses work ok. The 55-200 mounting flange broke off. Its a very thin
    piece of plastic approx. 1/16" thick and 1 inch long. Any chance of repairing it, or if it is repairable is it worth
    the cost of repair since the lens is only worth $200. Thanks in advance.
    Joe
     
  2. The version II 18-55 lens mount is under $20, shipped from Nikon parts dept. and takes about 5 minutes to replace.
    I guess I'll find out the cost of the 55-200's mount when I break it. (I don't handle by the lens alone on my D300, as it seems like a problem waiting to happen.)
    Nikon is one of the few companies that will sell parts direct to consumers. I've always found them to be quite friendly and knowledgeable.
     
  3. Adorama has that lens refurbished for only 150 bucks. I'd probably just buy another one.
    http://www.adorama.com/NK55200VRR.html
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    The construction of all Nikon lenses with a plastic mount is very poor. The chance is that more than the mount itself is damaged. For example, it is likely that the elements are now misaligned. I would get the entire lens checked. You are very luckly if replacing the mount is all the repair you need.
    Nikon USA does not charge for repair estimates. However, should you decline repair, the return shipping charge is like $15. Given the value for this lens, I am not sure it is worthwhile to waste another $15 or $20 on parts and shipping.
    I would check the focus ring and zoom ring yourself and make sure that they are not damaged. If they are, it'll make your decision very straight forward.
     
  5. These posts make me think about the possibility of replacing a plastic mount with metal. I have an 18-135 that I like very much (as a snap-shot lens on a D70s when visiting family). I would consider putting on a metal mount. Just found Nikon Parts Department, 7AM - 3PM (Pacific) Monday - Friday 310-414-8107.
     
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    It is not a good idea to replace the lens mount yourself, especially if your lens is currently working fine. Any slight mis-alignment so that your lens is tilted to one side by a tiny bit will lead to sharpness issues so that one side or one corner of your images will be unsharp.
    The main problem with Nikon lenses with plastic mounts is not necessarily the mount itself. Rather, the overall construction is of lower quality. Replacing the mount with a metal one will not solve most of the problems. In fact, doing so, you may introduce serious problems.
     
  7. Got it Shun, I'll pass on the idea.
     
  8. These posts make me think about the possibility of replacing a plastic mount with metal.
    Nikon bayonet mounts are generally unique to each lens, that is they have specific construction details on the reverse side of the mount (related to the stopdown lever mechanics) that can and usually do differ significantly from model to model. So for instance you can't simply swap out the plastic mount of the AF-S 18~135mm and replace it with the metal mount from the AF-S 18~70mm.
    As an example, even within the same model there are differences. There are three different versions of the AF-S 18~55mm, and each version of that lens requires a different replacement mount. They are not interchangeable.
     
  9. I discussed the metal bayonet replacement with Nikon's parts guy. I was informed that the plastic mount breaks on an impact, possibly to save the internals from complete destruction.
    It kind of makes sense as there is little or no metal on the the inside either.
     
  10. This lens is not worth repairing. Buy a new lens.
     
  11. I recently broke a plastic bayonet tab on a Nikon 70-300 AF lens. I thought about replacing the lens, but when I found out that a new mount was less than $20 shipped, I decided to attempt repair. I called Nikon parts, gave the clerk the serial # of my lens and cc info, and a week later the mount arrived. No instructions though. Quick websearch turned up a few step by step direction articles and 1 that included pictures. With instructions in hand, I completed the repair in about 20min. Lens works like it did before, with no apparent damage or misalignment from the accident or repair.
    The key is to work slowly and keep track of all of the little screws and parts. Each piece is designed to fit into another like a piece of a puzzle.
    Best, Ross
     
  12. Hi Ross,
    Might I inquire where you found those step by step instructions? I just pooched my 18-55mm VR and it looks like I'll be playing repair guy.
    thanks
    Russ
     
  13. You really think you can get it aligned properly?
    This is SO the wrong project to DIY.
     
  14. 2 Russ Hewitt:
    Hi Russ,
    You can find 'step by step instructions' in the Repair Manual. Pls find download links in this thread: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00TMdO?start=20
    Recently I've fixed my AF-S 18-55 GII lens myself (thanks to the Repair Manual). After drop it had a problem with AF. A/M switch stuck in 'A' position and could not be switched to 'M'. Focus ring stuck in advanced position. Squealing noise came from inside the lens when trying to take picture.
    After disassembling the lens I found 2 problems: 1) the gear #513 was broken, and 2) Helicoid ring jumped off its place in the Zoom ring.
    I've refitted the Helicoid ring in correct position, and also restored the gear.
    After assembling the lens works as before.
     
  15. Can you replace the 18-55 GII with a metal mount? Does Nikon make a metal mount that would fit? Just curious.
     
  16. No and no. The mounts are generally unique to each lens and only a plastic F-mount is made by Nikon for the 18~55mm. See above.
    If if one were to somehow convert a metal F-mount from another lens to the specific requirements of the 18~55mm mount, a metal mount is *not* necessarily better. Instead of a broken mount flange on a plastic mount equipped lens after a drop or sharp bump, you would have a nice fully intact metal mount ... but a broken lens barrel. Also see above.
     

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