Nikon VR 18-200 DX lens

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by sjfrellc, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. sjfrellc

    sjfrellc CLM

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    I've had this lens for 3 months and it takes OK photos but I'm not impressed by the sharpness. Yes I know it's reviews and its a jack of all focal lengths master of none. But I was reading Ken Rockwell's review of the 80-200 D lens and he wrote:

    "Three of four brand-new samples I inspected in December of 1999 had horrible manufacturing defects inside. I bought the only good sample I found.

    These defects were seen by performing a standard test used for inspecting used lenses: shine a bright light through the lens and look into the other end. This highlights any internal dirt, haze, scratches or bubbles in the lens that otherwise are usually invisible.

    I found internal haze on several elements and incompletely polished grinding marks left on the elements on all three defective samples I didn't buy. This is nasty; I have never seen this poor surface finish on any lens of any poor quality, including plastic elements on disposable cameras or garbage made in Russia or China.

    These defective lenses did produce great images, however I wanted nothing to do with this sloppiness and the problems I'd have explaining this if I ever go to sell the lens in ten years. Jeeze, there was more haze on the elements of the brand-new 80-200 AF-S than any of the 40 year old lenses I use with my large format cameras. The Tokina AF 80-200 f/2.8 I looked at to check my sanity was far better, too.

    I examined three USA versions and one gray market version at three different dealers in two different states, both mail-order and retail. They were all about as bad. I wonder if Nikon was reserving the good ones for the Japanese domestic market?

    Thank goodness I found a good one and that's the one I bought."
    Quotes originally found here


    So I look at my lens and it kind of looks like he describes. Obviously Nikon is trying to crank these babies out to clear up their backlog. Should I send it to Nikon and see what they say about it.If they say its ok I can just say send it back or pay them to clean it depending on the price. Theres lots of dust on the internal elements, especially up front on the inside and I have not abused it or had it in dusty environments. I can see some lens grinding marks on one of the elements. Can lens designs let dust in through the back?

    Otherwise can a camera store be paid to give an opinion on it and suggest recommendations.
     
  2. seanmac45

    seanmac45 CLM

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    Mild dust infiltration is the burden of all zoom lenses. As to the grinding marks on the glass, it is your call whether it bothers you enough to send back.

    I just shot my niece's sweet 16 this weekend. I started with a fast 50mm prime and got tired rapidly of stepping back and forth to frame shots in her house.

    Once at the hall I switched to the 18-200mm and never looked back. The picture quality was tremendous.

    My only issue was in finding out why I should have gone for the bigger bucks on my flash. I used the new SB 400 and spent a lot of time and missed shots waiting for it to recycle.

    If your lens is soft to the point of bothering you, contact Nikon and see what they say about assessing it.

    Good luck.
     

  3. nipperwolf

    nipperwolf

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    what type and brand of batteries were you using?
     
  4. seanmac45

    seanmac45 CLM

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    Duracell AA's.

    Bad idea?
     
  5. sjfrellc

    sjfrellc CLM

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    I think it is soft to the point of bothering me.

    I just got off the phone calling nikon and one option is emailing in some photos to nikon support for them to evaluate and based on the exif data, maybe they would suggest how to optimize sharpness (or I doubt the would say, yes they are totally not sharp) Sharpness would be subjective. I wonder under what conditions or what subject a good representation would be?
    Any quick tips for me to test sharpness myself?

    The other option is to send the lens in for cleaning and maybe complain about the internals and see what they say. I suppose I have to clean it anyway. I can't imagine how that much dust got inside.

    The following attached file of a picture of the lens is taken at 1/20 sec and has camera shake. I'm holding the lens with one hand while opening the aperature blades and resting it on a halogen light. I might be able to take a better one with a helping hand.
     
  6. sjfrellc

    sjfrellc CLM

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    It didn't attach. Try this:






    And here's a picture:
    [​IMG]



    Picture of the lens:
     
  7. nipperwolf

    nipperwolf

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    yes. get some Energizer Lithium batteries.

    LINK

    about $9 per 4 pack. but you will see a big improvement in recycle time, and battery life, as well.
     
  8. seanmac45

    seanmac45 CLM

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    Nipperwolf;

    Doh! Those are exactly what I use in my wife's Nikon point and shoot. I should have thought of it myself.
    Thanks, will do.


    sjfrellc;

    WOW! I have changed my mind. That sucker definitely has to go back for at least a cleaning. My dust contamination is nowhere near as bad as yours. The pic of the duck is not that bad, but the condition of the lens is.

    Good luck.

    Sean
     
  9. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    Holy smoke. Is that a Katrina recovery? :shocked:
     
  10. sjfrellc

    sjfrellc CLM

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    Yes and George Bush doesn't care about quality control in Nikon lenses.
    Here's a couple more pics. They are defocused and I'm triggering a strobe remotely through the back of the lens holding the aperature wide open, guessing on the focus. There is no external dust.

    I see color birefringence in the duck pictures above. (not that I know what that is but it seems off)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This just doesn't look like good glass to me:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. sjfrellc

    sjfrellc CLM

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    I'm Playing Homer Simpson Today. Dohhh!
    In regards to the duck pictures, can you say noise?. I just was taking these pictures yesterday and guess what I forgot to reset?
    Nikon makes those two green dots for a reason (reset camera settings).


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]









    Here's a hint:

    Make = NIKON CORPORATION
    Model = NIKON D200
    Orientation = top/left
    X Resolution = 300
    Y Resolution = 300
    Resolution Unit = inch
    Software = Ver.2.00
    Date Time = 2007-03-26 08:45:14
    YCbCr Positioning = co-sited
    Exif IFD Pointer = Offset: 228
    GPS Info IFD Pointer = Offset: 28564

    [Camera]
    Exposure Time = 1/320"
    F Number = F9
    Exposure Program = Normal program
    ISO Speed Ratings = 1250
    Exif Version = Version 2.21
    Date Time Original = 2007-03-26 08:45:14
    Date Time Digitized = 2007-03-26 08:45:14
    Components Configuration = YCbcr
    Compressed Bits Per Pixel = 2
    Exposure Bias Value = ±0EV
    Max Aperture Value = F5.66
    Metering Mode = Pattern
    Light Source = unknown
    Flash = Off
    Focal Length = 200mm
    Maker Note = 27668 Byte
    User Comment = (C)SJF
    Subsec Time = 0.57"
    Subsec Time Original = 0.57"
    Subsec Time Digitized = 0.57"
    Flashpix Version = Version 1.0
    Color Space = sRGB
    Exif Image Width = 3872
    Exif Image Height = 2592
    Interoperability IFD Pointer = Offset: 28532
    Sensing Method = One-chip color area sensor
    File Source = DSC
    Scene Type = A directly photographed image
    CFA Pattern = [G,R],
    [B,G]
    Custom Rendered = Normal process
    Exposure Mode = Auto exposure
    White Balance = Manual white balance
    Digital Zoom Ratio = 1x
    Focal Length In 35mm Film = 300mm
    Scene Capture Type = Normal
    Gain Control = High gain up
    Contrast = Normal
    Saturation = Normal
    Sharpness = Normal
    Subject Distance Range = unknown

    [Interoperability]
    Interoperability Index = ExifR98
    Interoperability Version = Version 1.0

    [Thumbnail Info]
    Compression = JPEG Compressed (Thumbnail)
    X Resolution = 300
    Y Resolution = 300
    Resolution Unit = inch
    JPEG Interchange Format = Offset: 28692
    JPEG Interchange Format Length = Length: 8788
    YCbCr Positioning = co-sited

    [Thumbnail]
    Thumbnail = 160 x 120

    [MakerNote (Nikon)]
    Makernote Version = 0210
    ISO Speed Used = 1250
    Colour Mode = COLOR
    Quality = NORMAL
    White Balance = PRESET0
    Sharpening = AUTO
    Focus Mode = AF-C
    Flash Setting = NORMAL
    Auto Flash Mode =
    White Balance Bias Value = 0
    White Balance Red, Blue Coefficients = 375/256, 559/256, 256/256, 256/256
    000D = 00, 01, 06, 00
    Exposure Diff = 00, 01, 0C, 00
    ThumbOffset = 2366
    Flash Compensation = 00, 01, 06, 00
    ISO Speed Requested = 1250
    Photo corner coordinates = 0, 0, 3872, 2592
    0017 = 00, 01, 06, 00
    Flash Bracket Compensation Applied = 00, 01, 06, 00
    AE Bracket Compensation Applied = 0EV
    001B = 0, 3904, 2616, 3904, 2616, 0, 0
    001C = 00, 01, 06
    001D =
    001E = 1
    0020 = 0
    Tone Compensation (Contrast) = AUTO
    Lens Type = Nikon G series Lens
    Lens Min/Max Focal Length, Max Aperture = 180/10, 2000/10, 35/10, 56/10
    Flash Used = Flash Not Used
    Auto Focus Area = 00, 00, 00, 01
    Bracketing & Shooting Mode = 0
    008A = 2
    008B = 40, 01, 0C, 00
    Colour Mode = MODE1
    Lighting Type = NATURAL