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Loose zoom on Nikon Zoom-NIKKOR 80-200mm f/4.5n AI

john tanner , Mar 04, 2010; 08:08 p.m.

the lens is Nikon Zoom-NIKKOR 80-200mm f/4.5n AI
One of the 10 best Nikon lenses "This unassuming tele zoom just happens to be the sharpest tele zoom I have

"I've confirmed folklore: this is Nikon's sharpest tele zoom."

"All Nikon's 80- 200mm f/4.5 zooms are excellent. I found the best is this AI "n" (new) version, which is recognized by the black rectangular plate on its rear m ount."

but the problem is loose as a goose zoom

the question is

can it be fixed b y Nikon and ho


John Williamson , Mar 04, 2010; 10:51 p.m.

I've got one too. Can Nikon fix them? I doubt it. They were made quite a number of years ago. Some people have speculated that Nikon made them a little "slippery" from the start, so you could move the zoom and focus quickly. Now, I haven't found a single one that isn't loose. Not that some collector might have a barely used one, somewhere. I've often wondered if there was a cheap home remedy for this.

Robert Hooper , Mar 04, 2010; 11:04 p.m.

Give this place a call. I think they will be able to help you.

Randy Boren , Mar 05, 2010; 09:20 a.m.

I bought one on the Bay advertised as a parts lens, it came partly dissmantled with new felt strips in the package. The repair was more complicated than what the seller wanted to fool with hence the $10 price. After looking at this thing for about 2 weeks I realized that the only way to fix it was to dissemble the entire rear half of the lens then I could access the zoom collar to replace the felt strips. Even after replacing the felt the zoom action is still a little loose. I can now see why this repair is so expensive, lots of hours involved. Of course, a skilled experienced repairman would be much quicker in his repair. The lens now works just fine (but loose) and is part of my MF Nikon kit.

Robert Hooper , Mar 05, 2010; 09:53 a.m.

As I recall, these lenses had a loose zooming action to begin and further loosened with use. I just checked my pre-AI 80-200mm f4.5 and it is loose. Still, it functions perfectly. I think this action was considered normal back in the day. I don't remember it being an issue with fellow photographers.

john tanner , Mar 05, 2010; 11:24 a.m.

Would it not be better to send it directly to Nikon? That soucre wants $150 and about the same to clean and check my F5 and F3? I am just saying why not send it directly to Nikon?

Robert Hooper , Mar 05, 2010; 01:17 p.m.

Hi John,

I don't know if it is the case with this lens or your F3, but Nikon periodically discontinues servicing or producing parts for older equipment. Places like the repair facility I mentioned earlier and others will fortunately still work on our vintage gear.

Call Nikon to find out if the Nikon 80-200mm f4.5 AI lens and your Nikon F3 are still being serviced by them.

Another place I can recommend which might be less expensive:

Fotocamera Repair Inc.
3095 South Military Trail, Lake Worth, FL 33463.
Tel : 561-433-8434. Fax: 561-433-8320
email Pete Smith at nikonsmith@aol.com

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