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24-70 Repair or not?

jhearl

Milford, VA, US
465 posts

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jhearl Registered since 16th Apr 2007
Mon 25-Feb-13 02:46 PM | edited Mon 25-Feb-13 02:47 PM by jhearl

Last weekend, I managed to drop my D800E and 24-70 onto a hardwood floor from about 3 or 4 feet. I was on my way to shoot an event and discovered pretty quickly that the lens wasn't focusing properly. I made a quick AF fine tune adjustment, all the way to minus 20, and got it close enough, but not perfect. I decided I'd screwed up the lens, so the following Monday, I sent it off to Nikon for repair. I should also mention that I dinged the rim of the lens where a filter would screw in and took off about a half-inch chunk of paint.

First off, let me say that I was not thinking straight and didn't test the lens on another body. I didn't think about doing that until it had already been sent. But then I realized it might have been the camera itself that was screwed up, so I tested some other lenses on it and, sure enough, none of them would AF properly either. So, the D800 too has been sent back to Nikon for repair.

On Thursday, last week, I got the estimate for the repair - $642! I was in a state of shock. Through subsequent emails with Nikon "Service" I asked to have the lens checked to see if it was working properly and if not, I would have it repaired, but that I didn't care anything about the cosmetic damage. In other words, whatever I could do to reduce the repair bill and still have a working lens. Today, I got an email from Nikon saying they wouldn't do that! Here's what they said:

"Nikon's policy is:
Any product that is sent in for service MUST be sent back to the customer performing at Nikon factory specifications. Whatever parts are necessary to bring the product up to these factory standards are used. Work is based on the customer’s description included with the product for service and a preliminary inspection."

Thanks for nothing, Nikon.

I took a look at some of the photos I took that Saturday and in the ones that had some plane in focus, it appears that everything is in focus across the frame. So I'm guessing I didn't actually knock anything out of alignment. I had not had to AF fine tune that lens before the crash but whether or not that would still be the case, I can't say. I also don't use any filters on that lens, so having dinged up filter threads doesn't bother me. I didn't notice any issues with the zoom ring being hard to turn and it does AF.

$642 is a lot of money to me and I'm thinking about refusing the repair and taking my chances that the lens is OK. Worst case, I'd have to send it back again ($46 by UPS). I know I could never sell the lens in its current condition but I don't have any plans to sell it anyway. My question is, am I not thinking straight about the ramifications of not having it repaired? Will I get it back next week and suddenly realize something I didn't think of in my addled state that would make me think I made yet another bad decision by not having it repaired?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
John

My Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancingtuna

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