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Nikon AF-S 70-200 VR Lens Issues
April 2003
AF-S 70-200 VR Issues AF-S 70-200 VR Issues (Continued) AF-S 70-200 VR Summary

What Should We Do

If you're considering getting this lens, and decide to order it via the internet, you might have a more difficult time with your experience than at your local camera store (depending on where you live). If there are any problems, you can exchange it from the online store you got it from, and hopefully they will have more in stock. Another option will be to send the lens to Nikon, and have them repair it. Either way, you will be paying another $20+ for shipping that you shouldn't have to pay for. And even then, this is no guarantee the lens is going to work properly because I think there is an inherent electronic glitch with this lens.

I would strongly suggest going to your local camera store and trying out the same lens you will be purchasing. While this will take care of immediate problems that you can obviously notice at the time of sale, it will not help if the AF-S 70-200 has a tendency to die after unknown mounts and dismounts from your DSLR. However, it may help somewhat by having a hands-on with the lens you are going to buy. I suppose there is only so much a person can do.

What We Know

What we do know, given the above information, is that some 70-200 lenses have problems with a Teleconverter, and with the camera connection via the CPU Pins. This does not happen on all 70-200 lenses, and some functions of AF and VR are affected differently. Also, some lenses are DOA. Period. They just don't work at all. This could be due to the contacts of the CPU Pins as well.

Operator Error?

I'm not willing to go that far of a leap just yet. I'm assuming D1-series users know how to attach their lenses!

What Should Nikon Do

I think Nikon should look into the AF-S 70-200G VR lens as having some problems. There could be an issue with the D100 and this lens, or it could be just the lens. I've read problems with the D1x and D1, so I doubt it's the D100. Whatever the reason, Nikon needs to find out what it is. There is always the chance that more users complain and fewer comment when their equipment works, but those who do comment, should have a chance at having a reasonable explanation from Nikon on why their lenses did not work.

Should I Avoid Purchasing The AF-S 70-200G VR?

This is a tough question. Personally, I am waiting a few months (probably more) before even thinking of buying this lens. I have an AF-S 80-200, and it works just fine for me. If you have the money, don't have a 80-200, and you really are interested in the 70-200 lens, I suggest you don't be scared by what I have compiled above. What I have said here and shown you, is what I have gathered from photography forums and emails sent to me. This is by no means a scientific (or maybe even accurate) representation of how many 70-200 lenses are working or not working properly. Go ahead and make your purchase, but try to make it as easy for yourself as you can, if you should encounter some problems. By this I mean contacting a very well known and reputable online merchant (B&H Photo or Norman Camera). Stay away from a merchant that you might even think could give you a hard time. Be sure to ask about the return policy and if there is a defective/problematic lens, that you will be shipped a new one very quickly. Also, find out how many they have in stock. If they have very few in stock, you reduce your chances of getting a new replacement quickly.

So, in conclusion so far, don't think too hard about your lens having a problem. However, keep this in mind. We should all remember that a few D100 owners encountered problems with their camera when it was first released. Some cameras were just DOA, problems with electronics itself, and so forth. Out of the several thousand D100s sold, few had problems. So, giving this an honest perspective, I think you will not encounter a problem. There is a chance, but be prepared, and if you do encounter a problem, don't hesitate to contact me and be sure to tell Nikon USA or your local Nikon center about the problem as well. Information sent to me will be posted on this page, and will be updated when new information arrives.

Update (4-17-2004)

It's been a year since I have started this article, and I have recently just added two more individuals with problems. I would officially recommend staying away from this lens until Nikon at least publicly announces the lens has issues which may affect use of it.

Update (4-30-2005)

Two years have passed since I originally posted this article online. I've added new comments since then, which don't fair well for the 70-200. Now, of course, out of the thousands of 70-200 lenses Nikon has sold, I have only received less then 30 responses. However, if you do buy the lens online, be sure you shop at a place that is reliable.

Home Reviews Forums News 2015 2013 2012 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
RSS Feeds FOV Factor Table Sensor Sizes | Definitions: A-D E-H I-L M-P Q-U V-Z | Sitemap
Articles Archived Websites (Pre-DigitalDingus): D100 Lounge E-10 Club | Contact