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Lens CLA (by Nikon service) cost in US

Arnab Pratim Das , Oct 14, 2004; 11:59 a.m.

Could any of you please give me some idea how much it costs to have a lens CLA-ed by Nikon service center in the US? Examples would be nice.

What does the CLA cost depend on -- the original price of the lens or the number of elements/complexity of design?


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Mike Kovacs , Oct 14, 2004; 12:04 p.m.

Sorry no specific answer but Nikon simply provides flat rate service. If a later model, does your lens carry a Nikon USA warranty? If not, they won't touch it for any repair. The flat rate is likely to be a rip off IMO.

I'm going to suggest an alternative for you: consider an independent repairman for lens servicing. I doubt that Nikon will do any better work. If India is devoid of good servicing, one of the best in Canada is Winball Camera in Toronto. The owner/operator is a former big wig from the Nikon servicing facility in Hong Kong. If the repair needs parts, Nikon Canada has an outlet within driving distance to him in Mississauga.

Arnab Pratim Das , Oct 14, 2004; 12:20 p.m.

Mike, the 200mm/f4 Micro Nikkor is the lens I have in mind. Yes, it has what I think are traces of fungus :-(

I'm asking this in context on my upcoming US trip this November. Until 2 weeks ago I knew I would be going to Dallas but some rapid turn of events at PricewaterhouseCoopers now makes Tampa, Florida a more likely destination. It can be as long as 1 year stay, I'd rather take it with me and have it cleaned than leave it to rot at home.

I'm sure there would be good 3rd party cleaners in Tampa, are you aware of any? BTW Mike, is it true that a lens is *never* the same once it (glass elements) is cleaned?

Photography in India (~40 degrees celsius and over 90% RH during the monsoon) is a "serious compromise", as my friend Saikat Pathak puts it.

roger michel , Oct 14, 2004; 12:28 p.m.

much much better to have a lens CLA done by a competent local repairer. in the first place, nikonservice is not very good as a general rule. second, and perhaps more important for your situation, you can actually talk to your local repairer about how tight you'd like the focus, etc. if the lens is not exacty right, he can tweak it quickly. with nikon service you'll be spending big money, waiting a long long time, and taking pot luck on what you'll finally get back.

Mike Kovacs , Oct 14, 2004; 12:52 p.m.

BTW Mike, is it true that a lens is *never* the same once it (glass elements) is cleaned?

BOLLOCKS! It all boils down to the competence of the repairman. I've seen these sorts of comments before on photo.net and I have to wonder if people think that magic fairies assemble these lenses when they are built.

An exception might be the case where your fungal infection is bad enough that the acid byproduct has etched your coatings. I would get it serviced sooner rather than later. If you're very paranoid, I would be happy to take the lens off your hands for a couple of beers...

Mike Kovacs , Oct 14, 2004; 12:54 p.m.

afterthought: you should expose the fungus to a few hours of sunlight if you have the chance. It should slow down or halt the progession of the growth.

Ilkka Nissila , Oct 14, 2004; 12:58 p.m.

If you bought the lens in India through a local official Nikon importer, and have the original receipt and warranty card, Nikon USA will of course service it for a fee. They only refuse to service items which are imported to the purchase country by someone else than Nikon.

Vivek . , Oct 14, 2004; 01:06 p.m.

Keeping it dry is a safer option (get a bunch of silica gel pouches from your neighbourhood drugstore). Storing the lens in a lens hard case (with the silica pads) is better than keeping it in a pouch.

Exposing this lens which has a complex design and ED elements for 2 hrs is something that I will not do. Especially, given the average prevailing temperatures.

If the elements are taken apart for a fungus clean, they need to be put back together in a relatively clean environment (dust free) and properly collimated.

Atleast you have a lot more Nature/Wildlife opportunities in Florida compared Dallas!


Vivek . , Oct 14, 2004; 01:08 p.m.

I meant exposing the lens to the Sun.

Jerry Litynski , Oct 14, 2004; 08:05 p.m.

Best bet: ship the lens to Nikon in Japan. Cleaning the elements (if it can be done) is best left to the guys who manufactured the lens.

Tampa has some 'extreme' lightning storms from June through September: one can almost set your wristwatch to the incoming storms. The humidity problem will be with you again....

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