Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount
:) I recently purchased a Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR. Due to my own error, I dropped the camera about 18" onto soft grass and the lens snapped off. Upon inspection, I found the lens mount and mounting lugs are made of plastic and can easily be sheered off. This is first Nikon, Tamron or Tokina lens I have purchased over the last twenty years that has a plastic mount. If this lens had a metal mount, it probably wouldn't have snapped off. The lens produces execeptional images and I have no complaint about lens performance.
If this is the junk Nikon is selling with their name and reputation, it will be my last Nikon lens and possibly the last Nikon camera I will purchase. Shame on Nikon for selling such a sub-standard product.
#1. "RE: Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount" | In response to Reply # 0pforsell Basic MemberMon 22-Oct-07 04:46 AM
I am sorry for your bad luck.
Nonetheless, where a product is made does not make a product substandard per se. What Nikon was aiming with this product and a one or two other lenses with plastic mount, is to drive the price as low as possible.
If you had purchased the 70-200/2.8 VR lens, it would have not only metal bayonet but metal body too. On the other hand it costs quite a bit more: $1600 vs $200. It was you who made the purchase decision in the first place. Looking at the bright side: you can afford to buy 7 more of these plastic lenses before you approach that pro lens price.
The situation won't change much, if you buy another brand. The other big brand is famous for using a lot more plastic in it's products. The products are lighter, cheaper and less durable.
Once again, I am sorry this happened to you. Next time you purchase a lens, make sure it is made of metal and intended for the pro segment, be prepared to pay close to the $2000 mark and handle it with extra care. Whichever brand is printed on the barrel.
#2. "RE: Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount" | In response to Reply # 0briantilley Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Mon 22-Oct-07 04:59 AM
I'm sorry to hear of your problems, but it's in the nature of things that lenses at the lower end of the market are liable to be designed and built to their particular price point, whatever the brand.
To avoid offending any of our members, I removed your comment about where the lens was made (and edited Peter's reply, since that part then made no sense).
Please check out this recent post from our founder JRP on the topic - the country of manufacture alone really has no impact on quality.
#3. "RE: Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount" | In response to Reply # 0dclarhorn Nikonian since 31st Mar 2002Mon 22-Oct-07 10:00 AM
I'm terribly sorry for your bad luck. But, I think you're being a bit harsh by calling it junk. More and more lenses by all manufacturer's are being made with plastic mounts--as noted, one way to keep costs down for lower-end lenses. Any drop, not matter how small, has the potential for disaster--with plastic or metal.
There's no shame on Nikon for offering the same choices as others. It's up to each person to determine how important a factor it is when considering a purchase.
#4. "RE: Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount" | In response to Reply # 0blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 22-Oct-07 10:48 AM
What a bummer...
> If this lens had a metal mount, it probably wouldn't have snapped off.
Likely true, but then you probably would have had some damage somewhere else. At this price point, almost any damage is economically repairable - just having a technician look at it costs $80-$120 these days, most of the price of a new lens.
As others have said, I suspect that if you look carefully at other manufacturers, they too are using the same type of materials, at least in the same price range. If you move up the price range, not even all the way to the 70-200, but even to lenses like the 70-300VR and 18-200, you'll find construction that is better; this is true of the other vendors too. If you doubt this, try picking up a Canon 50/f1.8 some time. The professional lenses can double as weapons in a pinch, but they cost far more and extract a significant weight penalty.
Finally, I know what you mean about this plastic, but that term is a wide-ranging one that does not necessarily mean or even imply a less sturdy or less expensive construction. The $9000 600/f4 AFS-II has what can be termed a "plastic" construction - it's mostly carbon fibre, in order to save weight and increase longitudinal rigidity. Carbon fibre is the material that allowed Formula One cars to largely stop killing drivers when it was introduced in the 80s.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#5. "RE: Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount" | In response to Reply # 4edmun Registered since 16th Sep 2003Mon 22-Oct-07 11:26 AM
When you drop a lens and camera with metal mount.
The mount will survive but the camera body often is warped and the lens will often be bent.
So you had a cheap lens destroyed and not the camera.
#6. "RE: Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount" | In response to Reply # 5Kisatchie Registered since 27th Dec 2005Mon 22-Oct-07 10:58 PM
>When you drop a lens and camera with metal mount.
>The mount will survive but the camera body often is warped
>and the lens will often be bent.
That shouldn't happen with an 18" fall onto grass. In my mind, that lens is junk. But people want CHEAP stuff today, so the manufacturers oblige them.
"We turn not older with years, but newer every day." Emily Dickinson
#7. "RE: Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount" | In response to Reply # 6waterkey Registered since 05th Dec 2004Mon 22-Oct-07 11:43 PM
I agree with Kiz. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right.
This is one of the reasons I will never buy anything but manual focus Nikkor lenses.
#8. "RE: Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount" | In response to Reply # 7ddmerino Registered since 12th Aug 2006Sun 28-Oct-07 02:32 AM
The plastic Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S with VR (imagine with Vibration Reduction included!) for $200.00
was intended for the casual user. A person having this lens can have outstanding photos that can hold their
own against photos taken with a similar metal body/mount Nikkor lens costing $1600+. The common thing between
the cheap lens and the expesive lens is the optics used (no plastic in either) and the great photos they can
produce with their outstanding optics -- this is what the Nikon name stands for.
This is Nikon's way of allowing casual photographers or those with little funds to enjoy what the pros and the
"can affords" have enjoyed for years. Let's be thankful that Nikon produces these "cheapos" with good optics,
otherwise only the pros or the rich will be able to create those great shots we all love to get.
Remember, you have a choice. Those going to war-torn places where you may need to scramble and duck for
cover with you cameras/lens at hand, get the metal barrel/mount Nikkors for $1600+. For casual users,
you can just buy the $200 Nikkor mentioned above and if you accidentally break it, get another one, and another one,
and another one, etc. You'll have to break 7 "el cheapos" to equal the money spent for the pro model.
#9. "RE: Beware of Sub-Standard Lens Mount" | In response to Reply # 8thappy Registered since 18th Oct 2007Sun 28-Oct-07 09:12 AM
As mentioned many times about material it is what it is. but a drop on grass is the same as a drop on blacktop, grass has no softening efect. A drop of only 6" hitting the correct way will do the same dammage, on the flip side if the landing was more towards the camera body and not the lens then the mount most likly would not have broke.
Just my .02$