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  1. #1

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    P:roblem Nikon AF lenses.

    Have to say I'm rapidly getting disillusioned with autofocus Nikon lenses, not the optical quality which is excellent, but the "plasticky" materials from which they are constructed, which seems to give them a vulnerability to damage, from the odd knock to inclement weather conditions. My 28-105mm developed "wonky barrel syndrome" after several months use, now my 35mm f2 has developed "sticking diaphragm blades" for the second time, having been "cured" of the same fault by Nikon only a year ago.

    My older all metal Nikon manual focus lenses have never given any kind of mechanical problem despite extensive use in all weather conditions. As an independent repairman once commented on taking apart my 28-105mm AFD lens. "If folk could only see the flimsiness of materials used on the inside of this autofocus stuff, they'd never spend good money on it.

  2. #2
    CGW
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    They have to be light to focus quickly--no way the mass of a MF lens could be accelerated that fast. I've found mine to be remarkably tough but if you're sadistic or accident-prone, they will break--big surprise.
    The 35/2AF is notorious for oily blades--no news there. If you're buying hi-mileage, used lenses, then the chance of problems just increases. BTW, MF Nikkors aren't immune to troubles either: dried-out helicoids, sloppy focus, impact damage, loose aperture detents. They all wear out and/or break.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    They have to be light to focus quickly--no way the mass of a MF lens could be accelerated that fast. I've found mine to be remarkably tough but if you're sadistic or accident-prone, they will break--big surprise.
    The 35/2AF is notorious for oily blades--no news there. If you're buying hi-mileage, used lenses, then the chance of problems just increases. BTW, MF Nikkors aren't immune to troubles either: dried-out helicoids, sloppy focus, impact damage, loose aperture detents. They all wear out and/or break.



    For the record, my 35mm f2 was purchased new, it was just out of guarantee period. And I'm certainly not sadistic with my lenses. If "oily blades" are a known issue, then why have Nikon apparently not fixed this problem at source? My oldest manual lens; a 55mm 1.2 Nikon, originally designed for the Nikon F, is still performing faultlessly, as is my (now) well used and marked, but extremely sturdy 35mm f2 manual, both purchased new in 1979. A 105mm 2.5 from the same series, still focusses with the silky smooth action typical of lenses of this period.

    Yes, I understand, that if you want lenses that autofocus quickly, then some sacrifice has to be made re. the solidity of construction. I have now decided I prefer the long term reliability of manual focus, over the luxury of autofocus.

  4. #4
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    For the record, my 35mm f2 was purchased new, it was just out of guarantee period. And I'm certainly not sadistic with my lenses. If "oily blades" are a known issue, then why have Nikon apparently not fixed this problem at source? My oldest manual lens; a 55mm 1.2 Nikon, originally designed for the Nikon F, is still performing faultlessly, as is my (now) well used and marked, but extremely sturdy 35mm f2 manual, both purchased new in 1979. A 105mm 2.5 from the same series, still focusses with the silky smooth action typical of lenses of this period.

    Yes, I understand, that if you want lenses that autofocus quickly, then some sacrifice has to be made re. the solidity of construction. I have now decided I prefer the long term reliability of manual focus, over the luxury of autofocus.
    Then you've solved the problem!

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    http://174.133.219.162/~nfoto/lens_z...tml#AFS28-70ED

    Got to play with one once, oh baby oh.

    It's also expensive enough to keep my attention while in use.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post

    Yes, I understand, that if you want lenses that autofocus quickly, then some sacrifice has to be made re. the solidity of construction. I have now decided I prefer the long term reliability of manual focus, over the luxury of autofocus.
    Good choice.

    Also, unless your eyes are shot, in most cases you'll get much more accurate focus as well.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  7. #7
    BobD's Avatar
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    I've had to send my AF Nikkor 35/2 in for service on the oily blades. Also, the MF 85/2 is prone to having this problem. And, I have an AF 24/2.8 with a crack in the barrel, also common (but it still works fine).

    But I have lots of other AF and MF Nikkors that have been trouble free for many years.

  8. #8
    Stephen Prunier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    Good choice.

    Also, unless your eyes are shot, in most cases you'll get much more accurate focus as well.
    My F100 has a light to help with being in focus

  9. #9
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Prunier View Post
    My F100 has a light to help with being in focus
    Yes, in near or total darkness with an AF assist light, AF can be a real advantage, which is why I said "in most cases" manual focus will be more accurate (also depends on the viewfinder/focusing screen being used)....
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  10. #10
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Never had a problem with my 50mm f1.8D yet... I have a very stron opinion that Canon lenses are total crap, as the FD won[t mount on the DSLR/SLR and even some SLR wont mount on SLR and Even some DSLR wont mount on DSLR with Canon. Canon plays the money games, and as far as i'm concerned, investing in optics is yet another short lived Canon investment, as they will someday find another way to introduce incompatibility. I havent found a problem with my 18-55, 55-200, 50mmD or 50mm f1.8, my 50mm f1.4 pre-ai, or even my horrible 43-86 pre-ai super flare nikkor. Try using your FD mounted Boat anchors on a modern/relevant camera

    Ken Rockwell bitches that the F100 has a brass lens mount... I looked at a Canon SLR of the same year... Plastic lens mount, plastic lens reciever on the camera... Plastic crap.

    The Confederate States of America would be offended to have such poor craftsmanship called a "rebel"...
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

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