No good deed goes unpunished.

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I was asked back in January to provide advice to a friend of a friend whose daughter (13-years-old) was really interested in photography and had saved up enough money to buy a modest new camera. She is interested in photographing birds. Knowing how limited the budget was, I recommended they consider the Nikon D3500 kit with 18-55 and 70-300 lenses, refurbished from Nikon USA. Two weeks later, I received an email from the mother saying she had bought it.

I offered to help her up the learning curve if she wished. We did have one 30-minute Zoom session in which I coached her on a few fundamentals. She is a quick learner and very enthusiastic.

I suddenly realized that the 70-300mm lens that comes with that kit does not have VR, which would be very helpful to a beginner. Without discussing this with them, I found and bought a like-new 70-300 AF-P DX VR lens from a seller on Fred Miranda. After getting it, I tested it a bit to be sure it was o.k., then called and offered to swap with them at no charge. My plan was to trade in the non-VR lens at MPB.com when I came across something interesting there.

She has used the VR lens for about 1.5 months now, and suddenly the camera now shows "no lens attached", or when it does connect o.k., it won't autofocus and sometimes makes a buzzing sound. So I swapped back the non-VR version which she is using now.

I checked with Nikon service, and the repair cost would be $146.95. I only paid $139 for the lens!

So the lens is not worth repairing and is just a paperweight. :(

I am left in a quandary. Any suggestions?
 

JLH

Joined
Jan 28, 2019
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I have seen some YouTube videos of people fixing these lenses. It seems on many its not as difficult as it might seem to get inside and look at the electronics. If you have a "paper weight lens" it might be work a try. I know I would! Send it over, I will give it a shot!
 
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Walter Rowe
I assume you have tried the VR lens on your own camera with similar failure since getting it back from the young student photographer? Check all the contacts are clean on the lens?
 
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I assume you have tried the VR lens on your own camera with similar failure since getting it back from the young student photographer? Check all the contacts are clean on the lens?

Yep, done all of that...cleaned contacts with Deoxit. Funny thing is that occasionally it works, and then it doesn't.
 
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:shame:

Looks like another embarrassing user error. The lens is working fine now on my wife's D5500 and on my Z50 with FTZ.

When I tried it on the D5500 today I suddenly realized that I had been trying to autofocus with the AEL/AFL button, which is how I have all of my cameras set up. Duh...

So perhaps cleaning the contacts with Deoxit did the trick.

Fingers crossed until we try it again on the young girl's D3400.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
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MN, USA
:shame:

Looks like another embarrassing user error. The lens is working fine now on my wife's D5500 and on my Z50 with FTZ.

When I tried it on the D5500 today I suddenly realized that I been trying to autofocus with the AEL/AFL button, which is how I have all of my cameras set up. Duh...

So perhaps cleaning the contacts with Deoxit did the trick.

Fingers crossed until we try it again on the young girl's D3400.
I've done worse . . . :(
Whenever a camera doesn't recognize a lens the first thing to try is to clean the contacts. You should clean the D3400 as well.
 
Joined
May 27, 2005
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Clearwater, Florida
:shame:

Looks like another embarrassing user error. The lens is working fine now on my wife's D5500 and on my Z50 with FTZ.

When I tried it on the D5500 today I suddenly realized that I been trying to autofocus with the AEL/AFL button, which is how I have all of my cameras set up. Duh...

So perhaps cleaning the contacts with Deoxit did the trick.

Fingers crossed until we try it again on the young girl's D3400.
Glad we didn't try Gary's hammer trick!
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
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21,706
Location
Idaho
:shame:

Looks like another embarrassing user error. The lens is working fine now on my wife's D5500 and on my Z50 with FTZ.

When I tried it on the D5500 today I suddenly realized that I had been trying to autofocus with the AEL/AFL button, which is how I have all of my cameras set up. Duh...

So perhaps cleaning the contacts with Deoxit did the trick.

Fingers crossed until we try it again on the young girl's D3400.
That's great news!!
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
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Update: I offered to take the lens over to the girl's house and try it on her camera again, but she declined. She decided she wants to stick with the non-VR version that she has.
 
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