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Photo Forum Everything on Travel Photography, from what kind of equipment to how to light a subject, moderated by Stuart (Reggie) Martindale, a pro English photographer
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Old 6 Feb 2002
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Reliability of Nikon AFS Lenses

I took a 28-70 AFS lens biking in Mexico and it went wrong after 3 days. I took manually focused pictures with it but all the shots turned out black.

Does anyone have any information that they're less rugged than the original D lenses?
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Old 6 Feb 2002
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Did you remove the lens cap? More seriously, why were the shots black? I would have suspected the camera more than the lens. The S (silent-wave) part of the lenses is only used for the focus, not for the aperture.

I have no experience with S lenses, just the regular D lenses. Both are considered "pro" and can take serious beatings. I travelled with two F100s, one equipped with with 20-35 the other with 80-200, in all kinds of conditions (heat, cold, dust, pouring rain). The lenses still look almost like new and I've got no real problems so far with the cameras.

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Old 6 Feb 2002
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Pierre is right-I'd look for trouble within the camera, not the lens. Except...

Take a good look at the electrical contacts between lens and body, check for cleanliness and good contact. Also, most important, check the small cam that operates the diaphragm (aperture) for proper operation. With lens in hand, stop it fully down. You should see the diaphragm blades leaving only a tiny non-round opening. Now, gently pull the small lever you'll see in the lens mount (in the black part, as you look at it from camera body position, you'll see it at around 3 or 4 o'clock, so to speak). As you move it, you should feel spring resistance and see the aperture increase. If it feels dead the spring probably broke.

Lastly, check the following with the (filmless)camera: with no lens attached, fire some shots and see that the cam actuator moves. This is a small lever you'll see on the left of the mirror box, just by the lens mount. It couples with the lever you checked on the lens, and it should move up at the beginning of exposure and down at the end. Hands off the mirror box while doing this, try not to touch anything in there. Now take your finger off the shutter release and GENTLY try to move this lever up. It should show resistance and not move, if it does, it might be broken.

If none of these help pinpoint the problem, please let us know and tell us which camera, film, shooting conditions, what where you shooting, and whether you were using flash or not. That will help us help you. But rest assured AFS lenses can take a beating, so this should not be a problem.

Hope this helps,

Roberto.
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Old 7 Feb 2002
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Thanks for info. I'm pretty sure I had the big shiny bit at the front

I've just picked up the repaired lens and serviced camera today (after 6 weeks). The lens had a broken 'FPC' - a printed circuit board apparently, which is good in that the motor & mechanical focusing bit was ok but strange that a circuit board broke at all.

The camera was fine. I've never had any problems with the D lenses or cameras before - they do seem to bounce quite well.

I'm just worried about it on the corrugations - if it happens again I'm buggered - well, sort of.

I guess there's only one way to find out ...
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