I have an early 400mm f/2.8 AF-S version 1 lens that needs a cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment. I have contacted a respected authorized service center that is reluctant to take on the job due to potential lack of repair parts, especially the SWM motor. I do see that this lens has recently sold with new replacement SWM motors installed by Nikon USA. I am very reluctant to have the lens sent for CLA if a part like a SWM is unavailable but called for. Anyone have any experience with this issue? I am almost considering selling it for a AF-S version II, as that SWM is certainly still available. Lord knows what Nikon USA would charge for a CLA and new SWM on my lens, assuming the SWM is available.
I know that the AF motors for the earlier AF-I lenses have not been avaialble for quite some time. That said, this is the first I have heard of problems with availability with regard to AF-S motors. Contact Nikon Service directly and go from there. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
Your reference to AF-I lenses is part of my concern. Twice I almost bought AF-I lenses, a somewhat uncommon 500mm and a 400mm, as I remember. I did my research and found AF-I motors were virtually nonexistent. That ended that. Frankly my existing version 1 400mm f/2.8 works fine, but for how long? We throw away a 3-year-old TV rather than try to fix it. It is easy to find out if parts for an older car are available. Nikon labor will exist for years but will the version 1 SWM? I would buy the SWM from Nikon if I could, but all I read says I cannot. It looks like I would be out about $1300-1500 to go to a version II of my lens. UGH!
I contacted a respected Nikon Authorized Service Center on the West Coast that discouraged sending the lens to them due to parts availability questions. A friend who is driving to LA now has my lens to go to El Segundo or Hollywood, wherever Nikon figures out where they will be. It is in for a CLA and possible replacement of the SWM. I decided I have no confidence in getting repair parts in the future and will sell the lens when it comes back in weeks or maybe months. I bought a used Nikon 500mm f/4 AFS II at a very good price. That will be my lens, also in part because it is lighter and I am getting older. For those who suggest I contact Nikon, I can only ask if you have talked to Nikon El Segundo lately on the phone. Don't bother, you cannot pry any useful info from El Segundo. My emails went unanswered for many days. Frankly, Nikon's support out here on the West Coast is abysmal. I trust their techs will do a good job, but the management is unbelievably poor.