So I successfully sent off my two Nikon lenses to the California repair facility, on their dime. Upon arrival, Nikon informed me the lens I purchased in England was covered under warranty repair; however, the original lens, damaged in the rainstorm over Stonehenge, was not covered. Nikon wants $90 to repair the second lens. Trouble being, I could purchase the same lens, used on eBay, for about the same price. Decision time. Do I pay for a duplicate 18-55mm lens (due to arrive via UPS on Monday), or do I save the $90 and pitch that into a fund to buy a different, perhaps more advanced lens. I’ve looked over some options and I could pick up an 18-85mm lens for about $250 (used). Of course, a more robust and versatile lens will cost dramatically more but that is probably beyond the budget right now. I’m looking for either inspiration or an excellent price to get my attention. Speaking of eBay, man, there are a bunch of dealers selling lenses out of Hong Kong on eBay with excellent reputation (thousand of positive reviews). Something I’m considering but honestly, Hong Kong is very, very close to China and we all know the quality of “made in China” products. Additionally, if you buy something from a vendor in Hong Kong, do you really have an option for return or complaint? Always concerning.
So we purchased a Nikon D40X in the fall of last year. Great camera, has been taking fabulous shots with it ever since. Truth be told, the camera is a little over my head but Iâ€™m working on learning the abundant features. Got it in a combo deal with two lenses, a bag, some odds and ends. Quite a nice bit of kit and all for a reasonable price. But not so fastâ€¦Took the camera with us to England during the Great Vacation of â€˜08 and was taking pictures like a tourist. Wait, I was a tourist. No matter. Went to Stonehenge (quite impressive, by the way) and was taking a couple of shots during a rainstorm. Camera worked just fine but the following day, the lens had frozen up. Would budge, neither by threat or by force. I was quite upset. We were halfway through the â€œtrip of a lifetimeâ€ and the camera, the only camera, was toast.
We took the lens to a local English high-end camera shop. By the time we walked out, not only was the camera lens still stuck, but now there was something loose inside and you could hear it rattling around. Huh. Went to a second camera shop and bought an exact replacement lens, the Nikon 18-55mm standard. Sure enough, camera worked, life and more importantly, vacation photos move on.
Until last week. Weâ€™ve been back from England for the better part of a month and I went to use the camera for something or other. Picked it up, turned it on, and attempted to zoom into something Iâ€™m going to sell on eBay. Lens wonâ€™t workâ€¦Yup, the very same lens I purchased to replace the original one now wonâ€™t work at all. I just hear a delicate squeaking sound from the lens motor but nothing more. F-ing great.
However, on the bright side, I contact Costco, they tell me the camera is beyond return but they have a service which interfaces with name brand manufacturers on behalf of customers. I call the 1-800 number and chat to a very nice gal who calls up Nikon while Iâ€™m on the phone with her. Around 15 minutes later, the Nikon guy (also a nice chap) has taken down all the particulars, has given me the address of the service center in California, and told me it would be around a 10-day turn-around.
Crappy start, optomistic middle, weâ€™ll see how the end works out.