Nikon Nikkor AFS 70-200 VR Lens Repair

Nikon Nikkor AFS 70-200 VR Lens Repair

Ever since I started my venture in to photography I have dreamed about owning certain lenses.

First, was to own the Nikon AF-S 70-200 f/2.8 VR lens, which is one serious piece of kit. It is legendary for its handling and sharpness. At the time I could not afford to buy one, so I settled on a Sigma HSM 70-200 f/2.8 lens, while having great image quality was just not in the same league as the Nikon.

My second dream lens was the Nikkor AFS 500 f/4, which I actually purchased couple of years back which totally blew my budget for any other exotic lenses. This 500/4 is a serious dream lens and a pleasure to use and abuse.

Recently, I started having them recurring dreams about the Nikkor 70-200 and my search for a good secondhand example begun. I was lucky to stumble upon a eBay auction for an physically damaged lens, which seemed to still be working fine.

Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens DamagedAfter some bidding I managed to pick the lens up for less than 40% of the going secondhand value. The lens itself was clean and came boxed with the hood, soft case and unused strap. I tested it out on my D200 and it performed as expected and the test images were sharp beyond believe.

The damage was not that visible, it appeared that the lens had been dropped on to its side causing a crack to the top housing and distorting the filter threads. I managed to track down a service manual just to see how easy it would be to replace the damaged components.

Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens PartsThe procedure would be easy – unscrew the front beauty ring and then unscrew the front protector ring, followed by removing the top housing. So simple I was on the phone to Nikon parts department ordering up the parts, $85 (£45) later I had the parts winging their way to me.

The Repair

Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens CalipersUsing a modified verneir I attempted to remove the front beauty ring – this idea failed. Next I thought well the beauty ring is mounted on the protector ring which needs to be unscrewed anyway, so skip that and remove the protector ring first. That was not happening either!

Quick look at the service manual revelled something I missed, the protector ring appeared to be installed using some screwlocking compound (which probably explains why it was not moving at all). Also I think the fact that the protector ring had been distorted was not going to be easy as just unscrewing it.

Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens Covered ProtectedI studied the replacement parts and I noticed that when the protector ring is screwed down on to the top housing it stops just by the gold beauty ring that surround the top housing.

My plan of action was to remove the gold beauty ring (which was already cracked, so it just came off), then using a small hack saw to cut through the top housing till I got to the protector ring threads.

So to protect the lens from debris I taped the front up with masking tape, and also taped a plastic bag to the rest of the lens below my cut line. I started the cutting – slowly working my way round. The hack saw was making easy work of the plastic and after a minute or so I had done it.

Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens Front Off Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens Front Off Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens Front Off

A gentle pull and the front came away with the protector ring and beauty ring still attached to it. I could now see the 6 screws which attach the top housing to the lens.

The Fitting

Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens Front HousingSo I started to fit the replacement parts. First I installed the top housing – making sure the 6 screws where well tightened. I had to transfer the focus distance window from the old housing to the new one, which was very simple.

Next I smeared some screw locking compound on to the thread of the protector ring before screwing that down. To tighten it I attached a cheap UV filter to the front and used that to get more leverage, I had to wait for the screw locking compound to set before trying to remove the UV filter otherwise the protector ring would have unscrewed with it!!

Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens Beauty Ring

Finally I was able to re-install the beauty ring using my vernier calapers. This part is probably the scariest as a small slip could mean damage to the front glass.

The Finished Product

So here is my lens looking factory new. I purchased the lens not really worried about the damage but after discovering the price of the parts and the fitting procedure it was a repair well worth doing…..

Nikon AFS 70-200 VR Lens

Disclaimer : Due to the world of litigation and general stupidity, I need to warn you that everything you read is for information only – if you decide attempt anything because of what you have read here then you do so at your own risk. You have been WARNED !!

34 thoughts on “Nikon Nikkor AFS 70-200 VR Lens Repair

  1. Marco

    Hi Tarkan, thank you for your report and link of repair manual!
    I have only one trouble, I don’t understand like 1k521-355 (retainer ring) and 1c999-172 (protector ring unit) are put together inside 1c999-183 (focus lock ring unit). Have you other photo? I have only 1c999-172 dented and the filter does not fit inside. From your experiences, it’s possible to remove 1c999-172 with Filter Wrench?
    Many Thanks


  2. Dave

    Thanks you for the info on 70-200 nikon repair.

    I am in the process of doing the exact repair on my lens and your info was very very helpful.

    Kindest regards


  3. Andrew Peacock

    Great work on the repair. I’m trying to track down the service manual too as I have a similar cosmetic repair to make to my lens. If you have it in electronic format would you be able to share it please?


  4. Paulus

    Hi Tarkan,

    Nice post! Would you please tell me how to replace the distance focusing window? Mine is cracked and I would like to replace one. Thanks a lot!

    Best regards,

  5. Cornholio

    Hey there, nice post. I have some other serious internal problems with a 70-200 VR sample due to a big and nasty fall. I would love it if you could send me the repair manual or send me a link to get from.

    Thanks a million.

  6. Book

    Hi Tarkan, Thank you for sharing your repair information. I have a similar problem on that part. Could you please send me a copy of service manual? Thanks in advance

  7. gjon

    Hi,Tarkan I have the same lens as you and they worked fine for years,almost mint no scratches didnt fall either but recently I noticed that zoom ring get stuck.Could you please send a copy of the repair PDF manual rar or zip via e-mail? or point somewhere to find it…Thanks!!!!!!!!!

  8. reginald gelin

    Can you email me a copy of the service manual please… I have a problem where my lens fell, the filter broke and now it’s stuck to the beauty ring. Both of them came out but I’m unable to separate them. Plaease let me know if there is a way for me to buy it back caus now I can’t attach the cover nor another filter. Thanks, Reg

  9. SAM

    Hey a great job.My wife drop my lens and did some minor damage.I had a quote from Nikon that I thought was to much.So I am going to try myself.It would be great if you could either e-mail me a copy of the service manual or direct me to where I can get one.
    Much appreciated,

  10. Thierry

    Please, could you send me a copy of the service manual ? I have a problem with the focussing which stucks at the minimum distance, and I’m very far away from any Nikon service (Réunion Island, in the Indian Ocean). Thanks in advance !

  11. Leandro

    tarkan, great repair! have the lens too, and it is as great as it looks… have a 50 f1.4, too, had to send it to the service, ’cause I didn’t know about Nikon Service Manuals (knew about Apple’s Service Source, though)
    Could you please send a copy of the repair manual? or point somewhere to find it…

    thanks very much,

  12. Murphy

    It will be very grateful if you can send me a copy of the repair manual (PDF) as well. So that I can possibly make a tiny repair myself. Thank you.

  13. XingShengTang

    Would you mind sharing the service manual if you have it in electronic form (PDF)? There are some problems with my 70-200 VR and I want to fix it myself.

  14. Hugo

    Would you mind sharing the service manual if you have it in electronic form (PDF)? I’d like to order some parts and make some repairs to mine too (like yours, it works great, but was a bit ugly). Email it to me please, if you can. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.