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Nikkor f/4 300mm IF-ED "problem".

Andrew Alan Cameron , Apr 28, 2011; 07:40 a.m.

I recently sold my 300mm f/4 and received a complaint from the buyer who described the AF as having a "Screeching and grinding noise and the MF is rough, not smooth".
Naturally I refunded his money and he kindly returned the lens by express post... no problems with the transaction whatsoever. I had assumed that the sound was normal for this lens given what Thom Hogan has said in his reviews http://bythom.com/300lens.htm http://bythom.com/300AFSlens.htm
The MF sounds (to me) like a ticking of bearings and the AF like a heavy movement of metal compared (of course) to the AF-S of my 70-300VR.
It focuses accurately and not all that slowly and the lens produces pretty decent images, used correctly.
I'm concerned about it because the buyer said he'd shown it to a Nikon main dealer who'd said that it sounded like a problem where the spindle passed through the lens mount. The clicking/ticking is coming from the focus collar to my way of hearing.
Obviously anyone kind enough to reply may say "I'd have to hear it before commenting" (which is perfectly understandable) but before I send it at some cost to a Nikon repair facility can anyone tell me if their 300mm behaves as I've just described.
I'm getting on in years and find that heavy gear doesn't agree with my arthritic back and shoulders, this was the only reason for the sale.
Please don't think this posting is a subtle ploy to sell the lens... it's not, I'm keeping it but I'd really appreciate anyone who owns a similar lens replying to let me know what their experience is.

Many thanks.


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Joe Elrod , Apr 28, 2011; 07:47 a.m.

Andrew, I have this lens, and haven't experienced any of the issues you describe. AF and MF are both smooth and noise free. There is a possibility your lens may have some issues. Wish I could be of more help. Good luck. Joe

Andrew Alan Cameron , Apr 28, 2011; 07:55 a.m.

Thanks Joe, compared with an AF-S it is noisy but the guy in my local camera shop said it was because of the system of gearing and the spindle etc.
Oh well.... if it's worth the cost, I'll take it for repair.
Thanks again for your reply.

Tom Blair , Apr 28, 2011; 08:45 a.m.

Andrew I just check mine there is a small amount while AF is being used. I just believe its normal for this lens.

Shun Cheung , Apr 28, 2011; 08:51 a.m.

I have had the 300mm/f4 AF-S since it was introduced about 10 years ago. AF on mine is quiet as all AF-S lenses should be. MF is smooth.

If the AF-S motor is making grinding noise, it is on its way out and may need to be replaced soon. If I were a buyer, I would return that lens too.

Elliot Bernstein , Apr 28, 2011; 08:56 a.m.

Whether you still want to sell it or keep, why not send it to Nikon for a free repair estimate? It may not be too costly and is certainly a lens worth keeping in good working condition.

Shun Cheung , Apr 28, 2011; 09:19 a.m.

Elliot, we know that changing the AF motor is not cheap. See this thread: http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00W7UI

I have had that same problem on my 17-35mm/f2.8 AF-S for a few years. I don't use that lens often enough so that its AF-S motor is still working. If you can live with it, I would. If you sell it, you may need to discount it by a few hundred Pounds as the buyer may need to replace the AF-S motor in the not-too-distant future. But the operative word is "may"; nobody knows for sure about when.

Andrew Alan Cameron , Apr 28, 2011; 10:23 a.m.

I'm sorry but The lens in question does not have an AF-S motor... it's a 300mm AF f/4 IF-ED.
I mentioned that compared with an AF-S it is noisier.
I'd like to add that I would never knowingly sell any defective equipment to anyone and did not do in this case.

Mike Halliwell , Apr 28, 2011; 10:31 a.m.

Err..... I'm just checking, but is this the AF or AFS version? They are both 300mm IF-ED. Only reason I ask is that the fault being described as 'noise of the drive spindle coming through the lens mount', isn't a lens problem, it's the body's 'screwdriver' AF mechanism...No? AFS lenses have no focus drive connection.
The OP also states the AF noise is like heavy movement of metal as compared to the AFS of his 70-300mm AFS....If they're both AFS they should roughly be the same??

Shun Cheung , Apr 28, 2011; 10:31 a.m.

Sorry, I got mixed up since I saw your link to Thom Hogan's review of the AF-S versiion.

Before I upgraded to the AF-S version, I had the 300mm/f4 AF for a decade. There is definitely no reason that lens' AF mechanism should make any grinding noise, and MF should be smooth. Something is wrong with you lens, but I sold mine for like $500 a decade ago when I upgraded. I am not sure it is worth spending the money on repair now.

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