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I just dropped a 70-200 f2.8 lens and the images are pretty washed out and blurry. I am really sad about it since I just borrowed it from one of my friends for the weekend.

The exterior of the lens is a bit damaged, but the glass looks fine. There might be some calibration problems. I included a few photos to demonstrate the point. Basically the pictures are are really blurry on the edges, but focusing works.

What can I do in a situation like this? Is is worth calibrating, and if so how much does it cost?

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  • Consider telling your friend what happened. Your friend may already have a service contract. Otherwise, if your friend is agreeable, you could contact a repair shop for an estimate or purchase a replacement. – xiota Jan 19 '20 at 18:00
  • While it is unlikely that there will be repair advice, not knowing the model of lens makes that even more unlikely. BTW, try to arrange something to sell that lens to a hipster to recover the loss, the images look pretty artsy now :) – rackandboneman Jan 19 '20 at 18:40
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    You need a repair shop & hopefully a good insurance policy. There's nothing anyone here can do - you dropped it, you broke it. Get it fixed or buy a new one. A 70-200 2.8 is going to be worth about $£€ 2,000 or more to replace, so see what the repair cost might be then make the call. – Tetsujin Jan 19 '20 at 18:59
  • Romania, oh how I miss you. – ChrisB Jan 22 '20 at 3:42
  • There is no way, anyone could guess the price for a repair of an unnamed lens of unknown damage. – Kai Mattern Jan 22 '20 at 16:23
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I'm so sorry to hear what happened to the lens you borrowed. But dropped lenses happen. It appears the lens has been severely misaligned due to the shock of being dropped. Lenses can usually be realigned by a skilled repair technician if nothing is mechanically broken and the range of adjustment allows for any slightly bent parts.

This is something not even an experienced do-it-yourself lens tinkerer would want to tackle. While I occasionally will partially disassemble simpler lenses for cleaning (when there's something a lot bigger or more harmful than dust inside), I wouldn't dream of opening up a 70-200/2.8. They're some of the most complex mass produced lenses around. All it takes is breaking one of many flex connectors (which is all too easy to do), or touching one focus position sensor (which one doesn't even know exists, much less what it might look like) with your bare fingers to totally brick many complex zoom lenses.

Since the lens does not belong to you, you need to inform the owner of the lens what happened. It's their lens, thus the ball should be in their court to decide how to make their loss whole. Maybe they have insurance or a service contract? Even if they do not, they should be the one to decide how to proceed.

70-200mm f/2.8 lenses are some of the most complex mass produced lenses on the market. They require a lot of labor time to disassemble, adjust, (partially) reassemble, measure, adjust some more, reassemble, etc. Due to the unique design of each brand's versions of such lenses, you're usually better off sending it in to factory service rather than trying to get it done locally. All most local shops will do with a massively misaligned 70-200/2.8 is send it to factory service themselves and then charge you more than factory service charged them (and would charge you).

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I believe the price depends on your location. I've tried to fix mine in the official Nikon service in Prague. It cost me around 100 euros and didn't work out :( But still it's cheaper than buy a new one.

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    Are you saying that for €100 they failed to fix your lens? Or that they examined it for a €100 fee and said that it could not be fixed? And does "didn't work out" mean that you had to buy a new lens? – Andrew Morton Jul 6 at 20:52
  • Yep, they charged me for the review and some "repair" but it didn't fix the problem. – Ly Mo Jul 7 at 17:44

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