My 70-200 VRI fell out of my bag onto the cobblestones in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. The manual focus ring is jammed, and at times it does not autofocus; this seems to occur at a specific focus distance that is not the focus distance limit, although I could easily be wrong about this. If I point at an object and it does not autofocus, I focus on another object and then back to the initial object it will, sometimes, autofocus.
I have Traveler's insurance, and I asked for world-wide coverage when I bought the policy, they now tell me that my policy only covers a loss in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. They deceived me. Needless to say, I will seek another insurance company for coverage. Thus, I have no insurance money.
It needs repair; should I have it repaired it or is this a good reason to buy the VRII? I shoot with a D3s and a D3x, if that makes any difference.
Nikon Service has always done quality work when ever I sent anything in for repair. While the Nikon Authorized Repair Stations might be a little cheaper, if it was my lens I would send it to Nikon Service. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I dislike sending anything to Nikon, because of their user-hostile practices. But in this case, yes, I would send it to Nikon. This one is a pretty extensive repair, and a lot could be wrong with it, not just the things you've mentioned. I'd guess for example that you do have one or more elements decentered, and you really don't know yet whether or not the VR mechanism is fully up to scratch.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Definitely have Nikon quote the repair. If you decide to not do it, you're only out the shipping costs. With a quote in hand, it should be a very simple calculus to determine if repair is worth it, knowing used prices and with the confidence that Nikon will return the lens to like-new condition.
I've never undertaken a repair this major, but the few lenses I've had worked on (at El Segundo) I've been happy with the service and surprised (in a good way) at the price.
BTW I'm sorry about your lens and that sucks to hear about travel insurance that doesn't cover you while traveling!
I have no experience with that repair shop so I can't comment on that.
It would be worthwhile for you to do some research on used prices for this lens. My impression is (but don't quote me) that you can probably get $1300-$1400 for this lens used. If that turns out to be true, I'd do an $800 repair even if the intention was to sell the repaired lens towards the purchase of the VRII version.
Personally I think the VRII version is "worth it" but I use the lens for FX landscape shooting, especially for stitching panos, so corner-to-corner sharpness and even lighting is critical for me. If you're primarily sports shooting where your isolated subject is centered and edges are out of focus anyway, or shooting on DX, then you don't stand to gain much if anything from the upgrade.
I would have the lens repaired unless the repair estimate is more than the cost to replace the lens. Even if you don't plan on keeping it, you should have no problem selling the lens for more than it cost to repair. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
>I have Traveler's insurance, and I asked for world-wide >coverage when I bought the policy, they now tell me that my >policy only covers a loss in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. > They deceived me. Needless to say, I will seek another >insurance company for coverage.
What is the name of your travelling insurance - I want to make sure never to use them.
APS (your link) in Morton Grove, IL. is an authorized Nikon repair facility and can get all the parts needed. I've used them before and consider them top shelf. Have it repaired to as new condition and if you want after that, sell it (of course disclosing the recent repair and cleaning) and apply the cash to a VRII. Kim Western burbs of Chicago
Update on my insurance. I called USAA who initially had my insurance and their agent had me use Travelers's Insurance, who initially declined to cover the lens. It turns out Traveler's made an error and the lens is covered. So, they will pay for repair, minus the deductible.
For what it's worth, I have a Valuable Peronal Property policy with USAA that covers every piece of gear I own above $100 under ANY circumstances. Had a couple of claims and USAA sent me the check before I even got them the original receipts - they are great. No clue why they handed you off to Traveler's unless it was a one-off trip policy. I would look into a permanent - no questions asked policy for all your gear. DM
USAA said they would not cover me any longer because I had expensive equipment, considered me a professional, and because I submitted two claims for damage. (This was earlier this year). Insurance companies are determined to reduce their risk and if that means canceling a policy, they will cancel it.
Bummer and very surprised, since they are a non-profit company ("non-profit insurance company," now there;s an oxymoron). I certainly have enough gear to qualify as a professional and I don;t recall anyone every asking me what I did with the stuff I have covered with them.
Anyway, I"d ask for an appeal on that, but it;s your call. DM