Zeiss ZF.2 CPU failure - is this common?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by patrick_boron, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Hello All,
    Just had a CPU failure on a 2 month-old lens (135mm f2 APO to be specific). Tested it on a couple of Nikon bodies to no avail.
    I've been using a couple of Zeiss lenses over the years with no such issues; other Zeiss lenses work fine on the same body by the way. How many of you have experienced this? The lens still works fine though (once defined in the camera), it simply behaves like a ZF (or any non-CPU), minus the ability to control the aperture using the front dial (one needs to change the aperture using the aperture ring on the lens now).
    I found the failure to be really odd for an almost brand new lens. Just looking for other users who might have experienced this. Perhaps there's a simple fix?
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Generally speaking, it is not very surprising that a new product (be it camera, lens, or something else) fails within the first few months, as some manufacturing defect or bad part fails after a short while. That is why a one-year warranty is typical and usually mandatory. It would be far more surprising that a high-quality product fails in its 2nd, 3rd year. After that, failures become more common again after several years of usage and normal wear and tare or even abuse.
  3. I take it you've tried cleaning the contact pips on the lens Patrick? There was a recent post about a new lens having some contamination on the CPU contacts that needed cleaning away IIRC. A fine toothbrush or soft lint-free cloth should sort out any dirty contact problem.
    It wouldn't hurt to have a good look at the contacts to make sure they're all springy and that one isn't stuck down in its recess or something similar. I once had a 3rd party lens where all the contacts were loose and one had fallen out. Obviously the stage of manufacturing had been missed where the contacts were riveted to the support springs.
  4. I have seen a few anecdotal reports of CPU failures on some other Zeiss ZF2 lenses.
    Hopefully it's under warranty
    Too bad you can't go with the lens on a nice vacation to Oberkochen!
    Word to the wise: Both times I have sent out-of-warranty ZF/ZF2 lenses to Zeiss USA (who ferry them to Oberkochen) for repair, they came back from Germany unfixed, and had to be re-sent. Sounds like your lens' issue is more clear-cut than mine were, so they should get it right the first time.
  5. I have also seen a couple of reports of chip failure in ZF.2 lenses but haven't encountered it myself. In Europe I suppose Zeiss repair is more convenient due to geographical reasons (my 100 ZF got stuck in the cold and needed repair, but that was done in the local importer's repair shop, quite quickly as well).
  6. I did buy a used 50mm/2 Makro Planar ZF.2 a couple years ago that had a loose contact pin, due to a bad spring behind the pin. Intermittently, it would lose contact with the camera, causing it to act like a non-CPU lens. The reputable dealer took it back and refunded the cost. None of my other ZF.2 lenses has had a problem, but anything electronic can fail, usually that's either early in its life or after a decade or two.
  7. "Both times I have sent out-of-warranty ZF/ZF2 lenses to Zeiss USA (who ferry them to Oberkochen) for repair, they came back from Germany unfixed, and had to be re-sent"

    I actually had exactly the opposite result. I dropped my 100/2 makro planar and did some serious damage. Sent it to Zeiss (yes, it did end up in Germany) and it came back quite quickly and repaired perfectly. Almost looked like a brand new lens and the cost was ridiculously inexpensive. If I recall, it cost me somewhere about $300 and Zeiss had to fix a lot of things in that disaster.

    Nikon would probably have cost more and taken longer had it been one of its lenses. Sorry to hear about your experience, but mine was stellar.
  8. Thanks for all the replies. The lens has been sent back for repair.
    I have only dealt with zeiss once, when one of my new lenses failed to reach infinity. It took them about three weeks to calibrate and it came back ok. Never had any cpu failures. It's a bit disappointing that such a trivial component has not been properly sourced or installed.
  9. Eric, Yes...Zeiss repair costs are reasonable...that is nice. To be fair to Zeiss, both lenses I sent them had unusual issues: one appeared to be slightly de-centered and the other had a loose rear element bezel. That one was fixed after I provided them with a video of my fingers shifting the rear element side to side.
  10. 21mm Zeiss Distagon, after two years of limited gentle use the CPU failed. Moving the locked on the D800 body lens slightly
    sideways makes it work.To repair, I need to send it from Australia to Germany. The job to replace the CPU takes 10 minutes...
    Not happy....

Share This Page