Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Members Galleries Master Your Vision Galleries 5Contest Categories 5Winners Galleries 5ANPAT Galleries 5 The Winners Editor's Choice Portfolios Recent Photos Search Contest Info Help News Newsletter Join us Renew Membership About us Retrieve password Contact us Contests Vouchers Wiki Apps THE NIKONIAN™ For the press Fundraising Search Help!
More5

18-200 vr lens auto focus quit

Mon 04-Jun-07 02:33 AM
I love my Nikon D200 and my Nikon 18-200mm AF-S DX VR Zoom lens. I recently noticed that if I am pointing the lens towards the ground, the front flange of the lens slowly extends outward as though I am zooming (As long as I am not holding onto the zoom ring). I'm hoping that the zoom ring tension can be stiffened to prevent this from occurring.

My newest problem caused me to quote Scooby Doo by saying, "Rut Row". Two days ago, I was attempting to take a picture of a nearby object when the lens wouldn't lock-on. The lens would focus, then immediatley go back out of focus for no apparent reason. This happened over and over, so I switched to manual focus and took the shot. I did not have time to trouble shoot the problem any further at that time. Yesterday, I attempted to take a photograph with the same lens (VR on) when I heard a squealing noise coming from the lens as it was attempting to focus. The lens did not focus. I turned VR to off position, but still the lens would not focus. It just made a slight click when the shutter release was pressed. The lens does not even attempt to focus at this time.

To trouble shoot the problem, I changed lenses from the 18-200mm, to my Nikon 105mm AF-S VR Micro lens. To my relief, the 105mm lens was quick to focus and worked flawlessly. I then switched back to the 18-200mm lens and found the auto focus was still dead-in-the-water.

Time for my first experience with Nikon repair service. Has anyone else experienced this problem, and is there hope for a permanent fix?

By the way, I have never dropped or banged my lens or camera, and I have not exposed them to moisture.

ShankDaddy

#1. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 0

Tue 03-Jul-07 01:15 PM
My 18-200mm VR is currently at Nikon UK awaiting repair for a similar focussing issue. The lens probably received a big jolt whilst in the hands of airport baggage handlers. Although it was in a camera case the lens hood was smashed. I'm disappointed that something like that could cause the thing to stop working.

#2. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 0

Thu 02-Aug-07 01:14 AM
I'd send it in for repair for the focus problem, they should be able to fix it.

They will not however, be able to fix the zoom creep when pointed downwards. I was told it is just the way the lens works. I was told this from Nikon themselves.

#3. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 2

Sun 12-Aug-07 11:44 PM
>I'd send it in for repair for the focus problem, they should
>be able to fix it.
>
>They will not however, be able to fix the zoom creep when
>pointed downwards. I was told it is just the way the lens
>works. I was told this from Nikon themselves.

Nikon did take care of the lens creep issue on my 18-200 when it was being serviced for the auto focus failure. I suspect the lens creep issue may return with extended use, but for now it is much better.

#4. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 0

Thu 02-Aug-07 01:28 AM
Mines dead too. (bought December 07, c5000 shots on it)

It's been babied since new, no drops or jolts even.

Focus became erratic, a large percentage of shots were quite soft, out of focus even. I wondered if it was me, or was it the VR??

Eventually it had an intermittant lock, then died altogether. It's been living in the repair shop for nearly four weeks, and it'll be at least another two or three "while parts come from overseas".

I'm pretty nervous now about the ongoing reliabilty I must say.

I too would like some reassurance!

Cheers,

P
mcmac1943

Is from: Cleveland, US
81 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#5. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 4

mcmac1943 Basic Member
Thu 02-Aug-07 07:36 AM
I have the same lens with exactly the same problem. It came about in roughly the same way, however, I didn't hear the noise, but that doesn't really mean that there was no noise, taking my hearing into account. I guess we will both be donating to Nikon Repair Charity.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

#6. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 5

Wed 08-Aug-07 12:49 AM
Well it's been four weeks today, and still no lens.

"Parts on backorder" apparently.

Is there another organisation in the world who think so highly of their customers that they wait around six weeks or so for repairs under warranty?? (I can hardly blame the repair shop, they're the ones waiting for the parts after all!)

I'm not one to grumble normally, but it is a bit disappointing to say the least! I sent a message to Nikon Australia today, and will update if there's a response.

cheers,

P
tlarssen


1 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#7. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 0

tlarssen Registered since 08th Aug 2007
Wed 08-Aug-07 10:27 PM
The autofocus on my new 18-200 also gave up after only a few hundred shots. I went yesterday to the service center in Beijing. When I gave the lady my lens and said that the AF was not working she immediately responded "I know this problem...". This was apparently a rather common problem.

I was told I will get my lens back in one week "if we have parts here".

I bought my lens in Bangkok and needed to discuss for a while to convince her that the "World wide warranty" should be valid even in China. After I while she agreed that China indeed is a part of the World and my repair should be covered by the warranty.

By the way, they cleaned my D70 and updated firmware in approx 5 minutes, for approx 18 US$.

#8. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 7

Sun 12-Aug-07 12:31 PM
My 18-200 VR is still functioning properly, since the repairs. Good to hear Nikon covered your repair in China.

#9. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 7

Tue 18-Sep-07 04:16 PM

>
>I bought my lens in Bangkok and needed to discuss for a
>while to convince her that the "World wide warranty" should
>be valid even in China. After I while she agreed that China
>indeed is a part of the World and my repair should be
>covered by the warranty.
>

Haha

#10. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 0

Sun 12-Aug-07 04:52 PM
Hi,

I have just come across this problem with my VR 18-200 lens. Exaclty the same symptoms.

Did Nikon repair your lens? How long did it take?

What did they say the problem was?

Thanks

#11. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 10

Sun 12-Aug-07 11:38 PM
Hello,

Yes, the Nikon Factory Service Center located in Melville, NY, repaired my lens at no cost, under the five year lens warranty. They didn't tell me why this problem occurred; however, they did list the items that they replaced, repaired or adjusted. I shipped my lens to Nikon on 06-11-07 and received it back approximately 2 weeks later.

I am completely satisfied with Nikon Service (Melville, NY).
Here is a list of the repairs made to my lens:

1)Repair SC 200164 (I'm not sure if this is a part # or an invoice #)
2)Replace SWM (I believe this means "Silent Wave Motor")
3)Repair zooming mechanism
4)Repair roller/guide ring
5)Repair cam ring
6)General check & clean

ShankDaddy

#12. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 11

Tue 14-Aug-07 06:40 PM
Latest news is that it will take until 2 September for the new SWM stock to arrive in Australia, so I have no lens for a few months, and miss my daughter's wedding!

The repair guys have been great, but can't get the parts. Nikon Australia's attitude when I phoned today?

"Why don't you hire a lens, you could get a much better quality one for a few dollars for the weekend."

Why would that make me happy?

So my question is: how come repair and service shops in other parts of the world seem to have the bits?

P


#13. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 12

Tue 28-Aug-07 11:12 PM
Finally a happy ending.

After a rather stern direct approach to Nikon Australia, my lens was replaced in time to cover my daughter's wedding last Saturday!

Of course I'm disappointed that it took six weeks and a lot of jumping up and down to get to the only obvious solution, but I am grateful that the issue has been resolved.

Nikon will sell my old lens after repair as refurbished stock, and someone will get a bargain, so two of us win! (as indeed does Nikon for keeping me as a friend! )

Cheers,

P

dgwhitham dgwhitham

Is from: US
184 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#14. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 0

dgwhitham Registered since 17th Mar 2006
Fri 28-Sep-07 02:40 PM
The same thing happened to my 18-200. I just shipped it to Melville a few days ago, so we'll see what happens...

Dave - Milford, CT
My Gallery

My Flickr Gallery

#15. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 14

Mon 01-Oct-07 03:38 AM
My 18-200 VR's autofocus just quit, too! Photos may have been a little soft recently (have been traveling and reviewing photos on my laptop for the last 4 months so I wouldn't probably have noticed much) but I really had no warning.

I *think* the VR mechanism is now making more noise than it used to, but I may also now just be paranoid.

What's a bummer is that my warranty paperwork is all in storage in the US, and I'm living in Germany for the rest of 2007. Not having had any experience with Nikon service, I emailed a local service center here to see if they'd cover it under warranty (the lens is so new that the warranty couldn't possibly have expired, right?) but they said that they probably would have to charge me to fix it.

So, either I miss 3 more months of Europe travel photos, or I pay to have my brand new lens fixed. Nikon, if you're reading this, why not consider providing unified worldwide warranty coverage? The world's a small place these days... This is certainly something I'll be considering much more carefully the next time I have an opportunity to choose a brand!
dgwhitham dgwhitham

Is from: US
184 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#16. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 15

dgwhitham Registered since 17th Mar 2006
Thu 04-Oct-07 10:01 AM
The amazing things is that I got my lens back yesterday it took all of 9 days from the time I shipped it.

Now I have to test it out to make sure everything is kosher.

Dave - Milford, CT
My Gallery

My Flickr Gallery

fiftyoon

Is from: US
2 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#17. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 16

fiftyoon Registered since 27th Jan 2008
Sun 27-Jan-08 02:05 PM
I am having the same issues with my 18-200 VR lens. With the lens set to auto-focus, the auto-focus light comes on but the shutter does not release. If I switch to manual, everything is fine. I have a D40x. Are there any compatibility issues of this lens with this body?

I bought my lens used, so no warranty. I am wondering what this repair might cost if I sent it to a Nikon service center.

Thanks,
Bob
avm247 avm247

Is from: Rancho Cordova, US
18785 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#18. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 17

avm247 Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Basic Member
Sun 27-Jan-08 02:18 PM
I think you'll need to contact Nikon or an authorized repair center for a service quote, though they may want to see the lens first hand.

There should be no compatibility issues with your lens and body.

Anthony

The Moderator Page and My Gallery
Two is One, One is NONE - always have a backup!
fiftyoon

Is from: US
2 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#19. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 18

fiftyoon Registered since 27th Jan 2008
Sun 27-Jan-08 02:59 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I understand that I would need to contact Nikon, but I was hoping that someone could provide a 'ballpark' repair estimate based on their experience.

>I think you'll need to contact Nikon or an authorized repair
>center for a service quote, though they may want to see the
>lens first hand.
>
>There should be no compatibility issues with your lens and
>body.
>
>Anthony
>
>The
>Moderator Page> and
>
My
>Gallery>
>Two is One, One is NONE - always have a
>backup!

#20. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 19

Fri 04-Apr-08 01:34 AM
another experience:
1. purchased lens late last year - took about 5000 pix, no problems. Then one evening (on second shot during daughter's graduation!) autofocus stopped working. No bumps or any ill treatment. Could feel a click in the lens, but no focus movement.
2. returned lens to Nikon Australia via Ted's where I had purchased it - I needed it quickly for a trip and once I started talking to someone in Nikon, they got it fixed and dispatched in 2 days - excellent. The silent wave motor had been replaced.
3. BUT when I started to use the lens, i found it it had been incorrectly assembled - the inner barrel was misaligned so that it was impossible to mount the lens hood without severe blacking out of corners. Otherwise lens SEEMED ok. A number of shots managed to get spoiled by flare or by my hand obstructing a corner of the picture.
4. Returned from trip and back to Ted's - didn't know what else might have been stuffed up in the lens fix, so demanded a new lens. In fact a number of pix I took seemed to have pretty severe chromatic abberation. When I again talked direct to Nikon (which I needed to do as I was about to launch on another trip and the standard "up to 6 weeks" would have left me in the lurch) the service person indicated that CA would be a result of the incorrect reassembly. Hats off to Nikon again in that I received my new 18-200 (with warranty to the end of the initial 12 month warranty period!) within a day of talking to Nikon.
5. BUT on the trip I had difficulty trying to auto focus, sometimes the lens focussed, sometimes it just sat there - after a bit of trying I found that the lens would focus in the tele- range, but not the wide angle range. So had to zoom to telephoto each time, focus and then zoom back to compose.
6. Back at home confirmed this behaviour with another body. The critical focal length varied with subject distance eg for a subject at 2.5 m it would focus if set to about 25mm or greater; for a subject at about 15 m it needed to be at about 50mm or greater. So contacted Ted's who didn't want to get involved and advised to get in touch with my previous contact at Nikon. Have now done that and am expecting a courier to pick up the lens today (Friday) or Monday for a quick assessment by Nikon and hopefully another replacement, but this time I want a full warranty period attached. Shall post the outcome.

Conclusions:
The silent wave motor failure seems, looking at the above posts, to be problematic. Perhaps Nikon needs to rethink its design.
There can also be some other and (to me) strange reason that prevents autofocus from functioning under certain zoom settings.

#21. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 20

Tue 15-Apr-08 03:39 AM
>another experience: ....

as a continuation of the above let me state that Nikon Australia has promptly replaced my lens. Again, hats of to them for their service level. I didn't receive any explanation of what componentry had been at fault. Hopefully the end of this saga.


#22. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 0

Sat 19-Apr-08 10:33 AM
Here's my 18-200 AF problem, slightly different:

Bought 11 months ago; has worked fine until now. At long focal lengths, everything looks good, or at least pretty close.

At short focal lengths, however, I can point at a building > 20 m away and it's focusing to 3 m. This result is clearly sub-optimal.

Unfortunately, I'm on holiday in CZ now; will be dropping my lens at the APO at work on Tuesday. Quite a bummer, but at least I've got my Sigma 30 1.4 and my N95 with me, and when I go to the States next month I'm planning on acquiring a 70-200 f/2.8 anyhow (assuming that I can find one in-stock).

Got a great shot of some LHR T5 failure: http://flickr.com/photos/backerman/2423314712/ Turns out BA has no security on their electronic signage sytem, so if somebody changes all the signs to display obscene messages, you heard it here first.


Brad Ackerman
Cheltenham, Glos., UK
SmugMug gallery: http://bsa.smugmug.com
Flickr gallery: http://flickr.com/photos/backerman

#23. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 3

Thu 19-Feb-09 01:45 PM
How much was your AF repair?

#24. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 22

Tue 24-Sep-13 06:55 AM
I've a focussing problem as well. First I noticed that my NIKKOR 18-200 VR was sometimes just off-focus. Now it doesn't focus at all in the extreme tele (200mm) although at shorter ranges its works fine.
davidhilos davidhilos

Is from: SG
17 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#25. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 24

davidhilos Registered since 01st Oct 2013
Fri 04-Oct-13 03:57 AM | edited Fri 04-Oct-13 04:21 AM by davidhilos
>I've a focussing problem as well. First I noticed that my
>NIKKOR 18-200 VR was sometimes just off-focus. Now it doesn't
>focus at all in the extreme tele (200mm) although at shorter
>ranges its works fine.

The problem with your lens is cause by a loose front optics.
Remove the front cap (and filter), you'll see 2 slots on the retaining ring. Just turn them clockwise and the whole lens group will turn. To prevent scratching the front optics from slips, use a wooden stick. You can even use your finger nails to tighten.
davidhilos davidhilos

Is from: SG
17 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#26. "RE: 18-200 vr lens auto focus quit" | In response to Reply # 25

davidhilos Registered since 01st Oct 2013
Fri 04-Oct-13 04:17 AM
I'm an independent part-time camera technician and these are the usual faults I have observed on this lens

* Problem with VR and focus:
Root cause - VR flexible came off and the focus mechanism hits the cable as it turns. The flexible cable will eventually gets ripped off
causing the VR to malfunction.

http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t97/davidhilos/2-1.jpg
The yellow arrow shows the movement of the focusing ring while the red circle shows the point of impact

Nikon improved this in VR2 version by placing additional tape on the flexible cable. If you send your VR1 for repair, they will add the tape as well


* Problem with AF:
Root cause - faulty compact SWM motor
Motor has to be replaced but recently i have discovered that cleaning the motor also solves the problem

* Focus problem (both MF and AF) at longer focal length
Root cause: loose front optics

G