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I gambled and bought Nikkor 80-200/2.8D from ebay (in good working condition) to use as portrait lens and for some slow-action shooting (not for sports) for less than 200USD. Of course, "Seller does not offer returns" etc.

Lens arrived and looks as described and seems to be generally OK. The problem is that my D600 seems to have not enough power to autofocus it closer than 10m mark. I checked AF screw on lens, and it does feel tighter at close focusing (tighter than on my 35-70/2.8). Lens can focus, it just require more power than my Nikon D600 can provide.

Question: is there any general suggestions to alleviate tight/limited focusing on AF (not AF-S)? Does taking off rear plate and oiling everything that moves will make things better or worse? Maybe there is any specific suggestion for Nikkor 80-200/2.8D

Nikon suggests repair will cost 375$ (I guess, without shipping cost).

P.S.: I didn't expect any superior performance for 200$, but would be very happy to not go through Ebay money-back, it seems worth it to try repairing.

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The driven part of the AF coupling in the lens should be easy to turn for the entire travel. Most of the mechanical parts that make the AF happen are toward the front of the lens, so removing the lens mount and poking around isn't likely to net you anything.

In your situation, I'd send it in if you can't get a refund. $200 for the lens plus $375 for Nikon to fix it still puts you ahead of the game if it's the push-pull version of the lens and way ahead if it's the two-ring version. The latter is a very good lens, and having one that's just been serviced is worth something.

  • if it was two-ring version I would be very happy with repair quote. But it isn't, that is 2nd generation of push-pull. And for $575 I can try to ebay a two-ring version these days in good condition. – aaaaaa May 9 '15 at 22:14
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Are you sure you don't have the focus limiter switched on? It signals the lens that you want to focus either close, or at a distance, and prevents the lens from "hunting". If you turn off the focus limiter, the lens should focus from it's nearest point out to infinity.

If you switch to manual focus, does it get sticky as you get to the 10m mark?

  • The switch is set to FULL. When it set to LIMIT, it physically prevents manual focus closer than 3m. I am not sure how that affects camera because it have trouble focusing that close from infinity. Probably also just clamps focus in 3m..$\inf$ range. Manual focus feels more damped than on my 35-70mm, and gradually gets worse as you go down from 10m. At this point I feel that lense have been lying around too long collecting dust that now slows focusing. Maybe some usage will help it. – aaaaaa May 9 '15 at 3:37

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