70-200 f/2.8VR1 repair? Or replace?

Joined
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Jon Schusteritsch
Hi everyone, it has been a long time since I've visited this site and after a while of browsing I have no idea why I stopped visiting. Anyways, hopefully this is the right place to post this...

tl:dr does Nikon still service the VR1 version of the 70-200 f/2.8?

Long version:
I have a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G VR1 lens that has treated me well for a long time. I bought it used around 2010 for about $1700, from a member here, and has since been a staple in my arsenal. It has been repaired once by Nikon in 2017 when they replaced the AF motor for about $340, this was after it would intermittently stop working. I mainly use it for weddings and also for shooting ice hockey (neither of which I've done much of since covid hit). I recently did some photos of my daughter and quickly remembers an issue I was noticing pre-covid with many of my ice hockey shots... the bottom 1/3 of the frame always seemed soft. For hockey I was shooting at high iso and mostly wide open so I figured it was just the nature of the beast, but for the portraits I did of my daughter I was stopped down a lot (7.1 or 8) at base iso of 100 on my D750 and I still noticed this issue.

I was going to swing by the Nikon office in Melville to drop it off for repair but looking at the website I see I now have to schedule a service drop off, I also noticed they don't even list this lens as an option for repair. Do they not service this lens anymore?

If they don't service this lens I then have to debate whether or not to look for a used VRII or a new Tamron G2 I guess.

Thanks for any input, here's the portrait of my daughter I took last weekend for reference, it was for school and they wanted an image with her and her interests, so we combined hockey and reading.
(plus it was only the third time I've picked up my camera in all of 2021 :-( ). I decided to play with some lights that I haven't had a chance to play with in a year, I shot this from the blue line racked out to 190mm and f/8.

51059179952_ac95b24bd2_b.jpg
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March 17, 2021-JS1_6431-web by Jon Schusteritsch, on Flickr
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
I would contact Nikon and ask them.
They might be able to fix the VR1, but spare parts will be the issue. If your lens requires something that is out of stock, they can't fix it.
At this point I would look at newer lenses, either used or new, depending on your budget.

The school has a Tamron 70-200/2.8, that I am anxious to get my hands on.
I used the 70-210/4 and was pleasantly surprised. At first I did not think much of the forward positioned zoom ring. But, in actual use, it worked well. My fingers rested naturally on the forward zoom ring, and could easily work the zoom ring. Call me convinced.
I think the 70-200/2.8 would be similar.
 
Joined
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Jon Schusteritsch
Thanks everyone. I was afraid it would be out of service, afraid and kind of excited I guess because that means a new lens for me lol
I've been reading reviews and watching videos and don't think I'd notice a difference between the VRII and the Tamron G2 (both should outperform what I was used to with the VR1 anyways). I can find the VRII used for about $900 but, considering the age of the lens, worry it too might be out of service in just a few years, so I'm thinking I might spend the extra few hundred and get myself the Tamron (Adorama has it for $1200 with the usb dock and that 6 year warranty is very attractive).

Thanks again for the input.
 
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Andy
Thanks everyone. I was afraid it would be out of service, afraid and kind of excited I guess because that means a new lens for me lol
I've been reading reviews and watching videos and don't think I'd notice a difference between the VRII and the Tamron G2 (both should outperform what I was used to with the VR1 anyways). I can find the VRII used for about $900 but, considering the age of the lens, worry it too might be out of service in just a few years, so I'm thinking I might spend the extra few hundred and get myself the Tamron (Adorama has it for $1200 with the usb dock and that 6 year warranty is very attractive).

Thanks again for the input.
I owned the Tamron G2 and it is indeed a very sharp optic with good AF performance. But to my eye, there was something a little off with the color rendition and the OOF areas. Before the Tamron, I had the AF-S Nikkor 80-200 IF-ED, and afterwards, the VR2, and now the E. Along the way, I have quite a bit of experience with a good copy of the lens you're considering repairing, the VR1, borrowed from a friend when my 80-200 had issues. There is something about the bokeh and colors of Nikon optics that is consistently more pleasing to me than the Tamron. YMMV, of course.
 
Joined
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Idaho
I have a broken 70-200 VR 1 as well. At the closest focusing distance the lens locks up and won't focus at all. The autofocusing is hit or miss at other distances. I tried it out again yesterday. I guess I will just use it till it won't work at all. It's so heavy, it's not a lens I used much lately.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
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Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I have a broken 70-200 VR 1 as well. At the closest focusing distance the lens locks up and won't focus at all. The autofocusing is hit or miss at other distances. I tried it out again yesterday. I guess I will just use it till it won't work at all. It's so heavy, it's not a lens I used much lately.

Get the 70-200/4.
That is what I did, when I discovered that the f/2.8 lens was TWICE the weight of the f/4 lens.
My arms really appreciate the lighter lens after a 5 hour shoot.
 
Joined
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Jon Schusteritsch
Thank you all for the advice. I ended up getting myself the Tamron G2 and have been very pleased thus far. I've only had it out once (to a hockey rink while my son played) but it performed very well and the results were great. It took some getting used to with the zoom and focus rings in different spots (I def prefer the zoom closer since it felt more natural but hopefully in time I'll get used to it being farther out). The only other thing I noticed, which may have just been a change in the rink lighting, was that the Tamron seemed to be slightly darker than the old Nikon would be at the exact same settings... I shoot in the same rinks over and over and have the settings dialed in and custom presets in LR for each rink and, for whatever reason, the day I tried this lens I had to bump my exposure slightly in camera and add a little extra exposure in LR to get the same end results. I'm going back again on Saturday so I'll try again and see if it was maybe just the rink or if it is actually the lens.
 

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