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Today I dropped my D7500 with my 80-200 attached. From about 3ft up. Lens first. Onto a pointy rock.

Fortunately (ha!) it had the lens cap on and a Hoya UV filter. The lens cap was jammed in and the UV filter itself was smashed completely into various sized chunks. There seems to be about 3 small scratches on the front element that I am not currently concerned with. Also the camera itself was turned off when this happened. That's the good news.

The bad news is that the remaining ring of the Hoya filter is jammed and I can't unscrew it, and the lens no longer focuses properly. (and it just doesn't sound the same)

I've had this lens since new and I am very emotionally attached to it as for me it was a superb lens that never let me down. (and I also standardized around the 77mm front element and have adapters for all my other lenses to 77mm for my filter and other accessories!)

Given the age of this lens and the type of accident, is it likely to be economically viable to repair it?

Additionally, in the US do I have to go through official Nikon repair locations, or are there still 3rd party repairers?


Edit:

  1. Testing with manual focus seemed to free up something and it now seems to be auto focussing correctly. However there is a distinct roughness/grating to the focus motion in both auto and manual.

  2. To the VTC for saying that this is likely to be opinion based. My reply is that the typical costs of a rebuild of this class of lens should be well known, as is the value of this lens if it was in working order. Economic viability of repair is simply if one is greater than the other. These are facts, not opinions. Additionally I don't even know if there exists places that are capable of doing such a repair. They (lack of) existence is also a fact.

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You can achieve some success to unscrew the filter by pushing the front of the lens against a rubber surface (the underside of a mouse pad, or and inner tire tube for instance) and turning the lens.

Don't be too happy to fast, among possible damage:

  • Slightly bent lens barrel (no way to align optical elements after that)
  • Slightly bent camera body around the mount(*) so all your lenses become misaligned (does the camera still work with other lenses? No loss of sharpness in any area of the picture?)

A service shop should be able to make a first diagnosis to evaluate the real damage.

This said the lens you will get back will never be the same as the lens you loved.

(*) Possible check with a spirit level (the masonry type, that has both horizontal and vertical bubbles), and a L-bracket

  • Find a flat and horizontal surface (table top, kitchen counter top, use the spirit level to check)
  • Put the camera bottom on it (the lens can extend beyond the edge)
  • Put the spirit level in a vertical position across the edges of the front lens, it should be strictly vertical.
  • Put the camera on its side (with the L-bracket) and repeat the check (level still vertical, but since the camera is rotated it will check a lateral bend).
  • Ideally, do a first measure with a known good lens and camera, so that you can check your measures
  • Then check your camera with a good lens (bend in the mount/body)
  • Then check your damaged lens (after removing the filter) if there is no visible damage to the front lens rim)

You can also do a similar check with the camera facing upwards, the level is easier to use (just lay it on the lens), but it is somewhat harder to make sure that the camera is strictly horizontal and remains so for the whole measure sequence (requires a very sturdy tripod and head)

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  • I hadn't considered that the lens mount could also be bent. Is there anyway I can test this at home? – Peter M Oct 8 at 11:53
  • See edited answer. – xenoid Oct 8 at 12:57
  • @PeterM Please see this answer for the simplest way to test for proper alignment of your sensor and lenses. If all lenses are off in the same direction, it's usually a result of a mounting flange alignment issue. It's also possible that the sensor could have been moved by the impact. If you do have a tilting issue, it will be most noticeable with larger aperture shorter focal length/wider angle lenses. – Michael C Oct 8 at 23:30
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I had my lens inspected by a local, reputable camera repair shop (who said that it would still have to be sent to Nikon anyway) and their guesstimate was that it would be at least a $300 repair.

In looking on Ebay there are a plethora of this model lens selling for $200 to $300, and that mint condition lenses are selling for $400-500.

Given these numbers I have to conclude that it is not economically worthwhile getting my lens repaired, and that I'm better off putting money into a newer lens that more better suits what I want to use it for (This particular lens just doesn't have the reach for the wildlife shots I want to be doing).

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