Nikon AI-S lens, loose and wobbly focus ring

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1,148
Name
Craig
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#1
I purchased aNikon 24mm AI-S lens from a well known online film gear supplier this week. It is in good nick apart from the fact that the focus ring is very loose to focus in that there is barely any resistance when turning the ring. Potentially more serious is that the focus ring is almost loose and the front element moves with it, so if you're looking through the viewfinder you can see the frame jump as it sort of 'clicks' forward and backward.

This is in no way about the camera company as I have no doubt that they will be helpful if I want to return it or raise the issue with them, I'm asking if a) has anyone else got Nikon AI-S lenses that this happens on, i.e is this common? b) Is it actually not that much of a problem?

I could send it off for a service with Miles but don't want to spend out on it if it is possibly 'defective' and I could just return it.

Thanks
 
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449
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#2
The front element being loose enough for the image to jump about might suggest that there is a bit more going on than just needing some lubrication (which is what the loose feeling focus ring sounds like it needs), although it maybe depends on how much the image jumps. The threads in the focusing mechanism necessarily have to have some play to ensure things don't bind when the ambient temperature varies, and the grease would normally reduce or remove the play. So, if it's a tiny jump in the image, maybe it just needs a CLA. If it's a big jump, it might just need some loose bits tightened inside, which would be addressed as part of a CLA. If it's rattling and on the verge of falling off, I would consider returning it.

Was this looseness mentioned in the seller's description?
 
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5,877
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#3
Return it

How well was it packaged when it came? (i.e. was it a packaging issue or potentially damage caused in transit) - any holes or signs of damage to the box?

All the Nikon manual lenses have very well damped, smooth focusing rings. The Series E lenses don't feel quite as well damped, but the AI-S lenses were once their top of the line series.
 

simon ess

Just call me Roxanne.
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7,609
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#4
I would definitely send it back if the looseness was not mentioned.
 
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4,222
Name
Richard
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#5
If the problem was not mentioned in the sales description then I would ask for a refund and look for a replacement. A service by Miles is going the cost around £50.00 once you take into account postage and that may make the lens a very expensive one.

There are lots of 24mm f2.8 AI and AI-S out there from £120.00 to £180.00 and I have even seen them in cracking condition go for as low as £100.00, so based on that you can make your decision. Good luck.
 
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4,326
Name
Peter
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#6
I'm with Simon and Richard that you should be sending it back, since that's exactly why we have distance selling legislation to cover such issues. Obviously I'd phone them in the first instance if you have a number for them, since they might be able to send you a return label to keep costs down.
 
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