Stuck focus ring on Nikon 70-200 2.8 VRI

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by craig_shearman|1, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Isn't the focus ring on a Nikon 70-200 2.8 VRI supposed to be lose and easy to turn regardless of whether you are in MF or AF?

    I think that has been the case on VRI and VRII's I have rented in the past. But I rented a VRI this weekend (the store's rental VRII's were both already taken). When I tried it at home, the AF was making noise even after it reached focus. In some cases it made almost a squealing sound.

    Used it on a job today (figure skating). At first it seemed to focus, but it was hunting and way off more than usuual. Fiddled with the stuck focus ring and it became loose, and I was hoping that would fix things. Instead, it wouldn't focus at all, either MF or AF.

    I was using it on my trusty D200. Switched it to my D7000 and same problem. Gave up on the Nikon and pulled out my Tamron 70-200 2.8 and it worked fine, so the problem was not with either camera body. Got the job done with the Tamron, which was ironic since the reason I was renting the Nikon was that the Tamron usually doesn't AF fast enough for this particular assignment.

    So my question, is the focus ring supposed to be able to freely turn or it is supposed to be locked? I'm 99 percent sure that on all VRI and VRII's I've used before (and also on my Tamron) is that it turns freely.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Except for some early AF lenses, the focusing ring on essentially all Nikkor F mount lenses should be easy to turn but does have some drag so that it is not too loose. (Some of the early AF lenses have very loose focusing rings.) Both 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR lenses should have a good manual focus feel.
    Several years ago, I once foolishly left my 70-200mm/f2.8 version 1 on a fully extended tripod in a windy day. It took the wind no time to blow it over and the lens hit hard rock. Initially I found almost no damage other than a broken lens hood. That lens continued to work fine as I only used AF. Two months later, I tried to focus manually and I realized that the focus ring had become very stiff due to impact damage.
    Given that those are rental lenses, kind of like rental cars, most likely the renters have not been taking good care of them.
  3. Shun, thanks for quick answer.

    Just tried this lens again. It's magically autofocusing just fine now. But when I put it on manual focus, it will focus as long as you're turning it to focus on something closer (away from infinity) but when you then try to focus on something farther away than what you focus on (going back toward infinity) it won't go back in that direction. Switch to AF and it will. Definitely something not wrong with this lens.

    I've been lucky that I've never had a problem with a rental lens before (although I've had my share of problem with rental cars). This one was pretty beat up looking, which I suppose was my first clue.
  4. Yes i have that issue with my vr1 i dinged the focus ring (carrying it off right shoulder it just knocked into a table at a wedding) and its not round and a bit warped. When i close focus it wil have a hard time refocusing the next time so i have to move the focus ring and then it will work again. Ill have to send it to my repair guy NRC in taiwan. the zoom ring also seems stiff but was like this from the get go. Even when new. Has dampness on it. The afs motor has full time override control so u can grab the focus anytime to fine tune. Your lens obviously has impact damage.

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