55-200 VR (noise and image movement)
My question is a little different than the other previous threads. I have been using a D5100 and 18-55 VR for a few months. I am very happy with this combo. It has taken me a while to get used to the difference in operating compared to my old F2a (20 years ago). I have barely noticed the VR noise and image movement with this lens. Today I received a 55-200 VR. UPS crushed the package. The lens box was creased in toward the barrel of the lens. The lens appears to be unscathed and it appears to be satisfactory optically, but I am concerned with the VR noise. When I turn on the camera whether or not VR is ON, I get four sequential noises like a "tat-tat-tat-tat". The images moves noticeably in the viewfinder four times. For the most part after the turning on of the camera, VR operation is quiet, but once in a while I get the four tats again with the four shifts of the image in the viewfinder. I am wondering if the VR is noticeably noisier with this lens and whether the four shifts and tats is normal. The UPS person said to try the lens out and if it appeared to be damaged to call UPS. What bothers me is that I purchased the lens from a reputable vendor and the lens box was placed right up against the side of the shipping box with no padding on that side. I am sure UPS will say that it was improperly packaged for shipping.
#1. "RE: 55-200 VR (noise and image movement)" | In response to Reply # 0JosephK Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Fri 17-Aug-12 10:44 PM
At a quick read, it sounds like the lens is damaged. If the VR is off when you turn on the camera, you should get no noise and no image movement.
Seattle, WA, USA
D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX
#2. "RE: 55-200 VR (noise and image movement)" | In response to Reply # 1Fri 17-Aug-12 11:03 PM
Thanks Joseph. I am thinking that if the VR is switched off and then the camera is turned on the initial VR noise is OK since the VR should be put back to neutral to operate without VR, but then this should occur possibly every time the camera is turned off. What bothers me is that each "tat" takes about a quarter second, so that every time it happens I lose about 1 second of shooting opportunity. It occurs about every 10 or 15 seconds. I wouldn't mind if it's normal, but want to be sure the lens is not operating abnormally.
#3. "RE: 55-200 VR (noise and image movement)" | In response to Reply # 2briantilley Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sat 18-Aug-12 11:46 AM
As Joseph says, if the VR switch on the lens is in the "OFF" position, the VR system should be disabled. Switching the camera on (with VR off) should not activate it. The VR group of elements should have returned to its locked position when VR was turned off at th lens.
#4. "RE: 55-200 VR (noise and image movement)" | In response to Reply # 3Sat 18-Aug-12 02:51 PM
I've played with both lenses this morning. My 18-55 VR is very quiet. With VR "on" I can barely hear the hum inside the lens. When VR is "off" there is no hum. The image does seem to be more stable with VR "on" but at 55mm the shake is not too bad. So this lens seems to be working fine.
With the 55-200 VR with VR "on" or "off" it makes a very loud grinding noise four times. Sort of like the sound of winding an old spring alarm clock. Then the lens is totally silent with no hum until the next 4 noise rattle sequence about every 10 seconds. I can not detect any image stabilization. By the way the image jumps a lot 4 times, about 10 to 20 percent of the height of the viewfinder image. I think the VR is definitely toast.
I am hoping B&H will take it back even though it was damaged in transit. It was not really packaged well. If they allow me a refund, I can get the lens locally at Best Buy tomorrow and check it in the store. It was sure great when I lived in NJ and could run to the B&H store on Sunday mornings. Has anyone had problems returning a damaged lens to B&H?
#5. "RE: 55-200 VR (noise and image movement)" | In response to Reply # 4gbowen Nikonian since 31st Mar 2011Sat 18-Aug-12 03:40 PM
B&H is a great outfit and I would check with them first. They may tell you to make a claim against UPS. Either way it needs to be replaced. Good luck with that.
#6. "RE: 55-200 VR (noise and image movement)" | In response to Reply # 5Wed 22-Aug-12 10:48 PM | edited Wed 22-Aug-12 10:57 PM by StevenPituch
I just wanted to thank everyone for the advice. The VR was definitely broken on the 55-200VR. I called B&H and they were very nice. I told them to send me the 70-300 4.5-5.6 VR instead. They even had me talk to customer service again to tell them to pack it better this time. Got the lens today. This time the lens box was placed directly on the bottom of the shipping box. It was a squeeze fit at either end with no padding. Wouldn't you know that the ends got pushed in this time crushing the lens box in about 1/8 inch, and popping the packing tape at each end of the shipping box. They said that they pride themselves on shipping lenses all over the world but I don't see how they get away with it.
Anyway the lens looks fine as the lens case was packed into the crushed end of the box. I took some very quick shots of the dogs playing before sundown. I have four of the shots here.
Please realize that I have never used a monster lens like this one before, but I think I am going to like it very much. Focus in the pics is not perfect as the depth of field was likely too shallow. I have 3 questions (the camera is a D5100):
1) How do I hold this thing? I have been holding the lens with my left hand, and the camera/shutter with my right. Occasionally I need to remove my left hand to focus. Will this hurt the mounts?
2) If I put the camera on a tripod, the lens may not be supported. Is this OK, or do they make a bridge piece to put under the lens to support it?
3) Can I turn off the camera with the VR "ON", as long as the shutter is not pressed down half way to activate the VR? Or do I need to turn off VR, and then turn off the camera. The manual is a little fuzzy on this.