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Nikon 35mm 1.8 - Should I be worried ?

Amel D , Mar 20, 2013; 05:32 p.m.

My Nikon 35mm 1.8 is acting weird. How can I tell if it needs to be sent back to Nikon for repair. I think it's still under warranty as I got it 2 years ago.
Problems:
When I am mounting it on D90, it is very tight and also tight when taking off. Only lens that feels like this, and I just noticed it maybe 2-3 months ago.
When its trying to focus, I almost feel that it's making a noise that is louder than usuall.
I don't have a camera store around here, would it be a good idea to call Nikon or take it to a store (an hour away) for evaluation.
Thank you all in advance!

Responses

Robert Bouknight , Mar 20, 2013; 05:47 p.m.

Is the manual focus override stiff?

If the lens operates differently than it was when new, might very well be worth sending in. Any chance it has been dropped? If a bayonet lug were slightly bent in, difficulty or mounting would be higher, and something could have happened to the focusing mechanism to create the sound.

Check the bayonet for dirt or debris which could cause stiff mounting.

Mary Fenton , Mar 20, 2013; 06:16 p.m.

Definitely send it back..its got a 5 year warranty and Nikon has been pretty good with turn arounds. I have sent my 50mm in twice and always comes back good as new!

JDM von Weinberg , Mar 20, 2013; 06:28 p.m.

I have sent my 50mm in twice and always comes back good as new!
[Emphasis added]

Hmmmm. Apparently no better than new, though?

Aside from deteriorating camera case upholstery, the last time I had to have anything Nikon fixed it was still EPoI. I think that's a better recommendation. :)

Amel D , Mar 20, 2013; 08:32 p.m.

Robert -
Manual focus is almost more loose than when I got it. I don't recall ever dropping this lens. I did travel with it for 3 weeks in Europe but took really good care of the camera gear. I will check for dirt, but as you mentioned if it isn't acting as same as when it was new, might be worth sending in.
Mary -
Thanks! Will definitely look to send it back for evaluation.

Wouter Willemse , Mar 21, 2013; 04:59 a.m.

its got a 5 year warranty and Nikon has been pretty good with turn arounds

This might be true for the US, but many countries in Europe have less than 5 years warranty; some European countries may have just 2 years. So if Amel, if you're not American, first check the warranty status of your lens. Obviously, the speed and quality of repair can depend strongly per region too. Not all repair centres are created equal, unfortunately.
My 35 f/1.8DX always have been quite stiff to mount and dismount; both my 50mm f/1.8D and f/1.8G are also tight. They all work completely fine, so I don't think there is much wrong with that. The focus ring is not linked to the motor on this lens, so there is no relationship between the two. It is normal the ring gets a bit more loose over time, so I would not worry about that. The noise is hard to judge, of course.
So, start with validating the warranty status - if it's close to the end of the warranty period, sending it in as a preventive measure could be a good idea. If it still has plenty warranty coverage left, and the lens works fine otherwise, I would keep using it until it actually shows a defect. From your description, I am inclined to think the lens is actually just completely fine.

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