View Full Version : Nikkor 18-200mm Problem

07-09-2010, 10:41am
G'day everyone. I thought I'd tell you about a problem I've encountered with my first generation Nikon 18-200mm lens - the front element just fell off!

It stopped focussing at anything beyond 35mm and I tried all the tricks to fix it i.e. turning the camera on and off and removing and reattaching the lens, but nothing worked. This morning I removed the filter to have a closer look and when I did the front glass element fell off. It bounced on the floor but luckily it stayed on its edge and remained clean. There were two thin metal gaskets(?) that also fell out. I put the gaskets back in and screwed the element back on. With fingers crossed I turned the camera on and it worked like it was brand new! Phew! I'll be keeping a close eye on it from now on, ensuring it remains nice and tight. To say I was annoyed is putting it mildly. Has anybody else encountered this?

Cheers Pete

07-09-2010, 11:00am
I have the 18-200 VR (original version) and I've used it a lot. This never happened to me.
Would you have loosened the front element retaining ring somehow while you were undoing a tight filter?
I've now moved to the 16-85mmVR because I thought the design compromises in an 18-200 zoom range lens were causing a little softness. I'm very pleased with the 16-85VR.
Looks like I've also got the same Sigma as yourself too.

07-09-2010, 10:20pm
G'day Rob,

I think I must have done just that, although from memory I haven't removed the filter more than three or four times. I guess it must have been loose to begin with. I'm keen to hear if anyone else has had this problem.

I'm very happy with the Sigma 10-20mm too.


08-09-2010, 5:24am
G'day Pete

Not nice to hear / have that happen to your dearly beloved lens ... :-(
However, I have had it myself 30+ yrs ago with other lenses, & I have seen one P&S job recently where the ring holding the lens & maker's details has come loose, allowing the front element to wobble & rattle - which caused the owner to show it to me

It also offers us another reason to have a set of Jeweller's screwdrivers handy...

It is a very timely posting tho - the need to keep an eye on those bits that 'sometimes' can come back to bite us
Regards, Phil

08-09-2010, 10:37am
Yeah! I'd say that the filter caused this problem. Those retaining rings are very hard to remove as a matter of fact(having tried various lenses) so there's a possibility that the filter(if it were very tightly fitted) may have expanded the plastic housing enough so that as you then removed the filter it also loosened the retaining ring too.

if it's a UV/Protection filter type, you're best advised to leave it off, unless you find yourself in conditions where it could be helpful. 99.999% of the time it's not, and for protection against bumps and stuff like that make sure the lens hood is fitted properly.

08-09-2010, 11:52am
G'day Phil and Arthur,

The filter is a Hoya CPL. I noticed that the lens element required more rotations to refit than the filter required so it must have been unscrewed over successive removals. Anyway, all seems OK now. I will take your advice Arthur and only use the filter when required, which I should have been doing anyway!


08-09-2010, 1:45pm
AhA! it's a CPL.

all mine seem to get tighter and tighter on the lens as I rotate them for the desired effect.

Don't have a 18-200VR, but I do have a 18-105Vr, and I've never had any problems removing the CPL I have for it, in that it gets too overly tight.

BUT!!.. when I had my Nikon 80-200mm lens, this particular lens had a rubberised front mount on the lens, where adding a filter then sealed the front of the lens.
What used to happen is that on rotating the CPL, the filter used to get slightly tighter and tighter, to the point where removing it was a nightmare of numb fingers and on a fwew occasions, having to squeeze the filter ring so tight to get a good grip, that I pulled the filter apart in trying to get it off!
This is also a hoya CPL, and the mechanical nature of the filter is not what I'd call professional grade either.
Occasionally it also gets very tight on the Sigma 10-20mm as that's basically where it stays and is stored :D .. but it's never been a problem to finally get it off the lens.. as it has been on the 80-200.