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Old Oct 8, 2008, 7:33 PM   #1
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I have a Nikon D40, with one of the kit lenses from a D80, the 18-135mm.

When I started using it this afternoon, I ran into problems that I didn't have when using it yesterday. I was outdoors in bright light, and when I had it set on auto, all my photos were WAY too overexposed. I was outdoors yesterday, and had no issues with this.

When I set it to P, and set the exposure comp to -5, it looks almost normal, although it makes the vignetting look worse than usual.

Also, it was having a hard time focusing... It seemed like the focus issues were mainly when it was all the way at 135mm, but I can't say for certain that there's any correlation to the zoom. It was having a hard time focusing on auto. I could hear the motor try sometimes, but it wouldn't do anything. If I tried to focus manually, I sometimes couldn't get anywhere near what I wanted (when trying to photograph things off in the distance.) I think there might be some slight resistance on the focus ring also.


So, all in all, it sounds to me like something's wrong with the lense.



Anyone's thoughts? Any ideas what's wrong? Fixable?


Thanks
-Justin
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Old Oct 11, 2008, 12:48 PM   #2
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Hi, why don't you try cleaning electronic contacts in both camera and lens, then retry?

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Old Oct 14, 2008, 4:11 PM   #3
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I have not tried cleaning the contacts, but now that I am home, I have been able to swap to the kit lens I had sitting here, and it seems the lens is the problem.... I'll post example photos.



The first, is from the kit lens, which is working fine.
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 4:12 PM   #4
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And this is from the larger lens. Any thoughts on this?
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 6:48 PM   #5
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That's interesting.

According to the EXIF, the camera used a 2 stop brighter exposure for the second image (which would appear to indicate a problem metering with that lens, versus a different issue, if the lighting was the same between images and you didn't have a filter on the lens used for the first one that was reducing light).

The first image was taken at ISO 400, f/8 and 1/250 second.

The second image was using ISO 400, f/5.6 (one stop brighter aperture) and 1/125 second (a one stop slower shutter speed). Both of those differences combined would give you a 2 stop brighter exposure.

Have you got any filters on these lenses? If so, I'd compare them without any filter, just in case it's confusing the metering in some way.

What happens if you shoot using Aperture Priority with the Aperture wide open (smallest available f/stop number)?

If it doesn't overexpose that way, and does at smaller apertures (represented by higher f/stop numbers), then that could be indicative of stuck aperture blades (if they're stuck wide open, you'll start seeing overexposure as you use smaller and smaller apertures (higher f/stop numbers) with a lens, since it wouldn't really change with the camera settings if the blades are stuck. But, the metering seems to be working differently with the lens that's overexposing (since the EXIF is showing a 2 stop brighter exposure with it). So, I'd rule out something else causing the issues first. If it's also got focusing issues, that sounds more like an optical issue is causing problems (hence my question about filters), since a camera always focuses with the aperture wide open anyway, and AF shouldn't be impacted if the blades are stuck open.

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Old Oct 16, 2008, 7:12 PM   #6
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No filters on either lens...

With both lenses at F 3.5, the working one exposed for 1/30 sec, and the "broken" one exposed for 1/8 sec...

First the working lens...
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Old Oct 16, 2008, 7:12 PM   #7
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And the broken one...
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 7:05 PM   #8
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So it's been a while since I've posted about this.

I've determined that the aperture ring is busted. At one point you could look through the lens, and you could see one of the blades hanging down. Eventually through zooming in and out, the blade made its way out of the body.

So now the question is repair.

It's not a particularly expensive lens (Under $400)... I have no idea what the repair cost would be for this... Would it even be worth it? Or would I be better off just getting a new lens?
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 7:32 PM   #9
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I'd probably send it to Nikon and let them tell you what it would cost to fix it if it's not still under warranty.

Checking used prices for one, I see keh.com is getting $265+ for them in EX or better condition with hood, caps and case. With a bit of luck, fixing it will be less than it's worth (and they should be able to give you an estimate before repairing it).

Nikkor 18-135mm listings at keh.com

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