Stock 18-200mm lens repair question at

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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 04:40 PM   #1
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Stock 18-200mm lens repair question

It pains me to post this as it is quite fresh, during a benefit run/5k charity event for a client a runner crashed into my lens and myself knocking my stock lens out of commission. The lens has lost it's functionality as it no longer zooms, hardly focuses, has some vignetting, and I can hear a loose part upon shaking it. The servo will not operate when the zoom lever is pressed in either direction. The lens is stuck even when switched to manual. It's a mess, and ought to have never happened as it was a careless runner who just wasn't watching where they were going.

Needless to say I'm beside myself, as I had the finish the shoot with my wide angle and digitally zoom thru that lens to cover the shoot and finish the day.

My question is: Has anyone ever had their 18-200mm reconditioned from this kind of hit and is it worth it? I had read here in the past about someone having this problem as a result of pushing their zoom in without putting the zoom in manual but instead leaving it in servo...thus making the lens hang up in one spot....I recall the problem is from a direct hit to the front of the lens doing far more damage as I was at the long end of my zoom.

So I will put it out there.....What would you do, get an 18-105mm e-mount and lose 100mm of zoom or get another 18-200mm e-mount power zoom lens. I need the power zoom as it just is how I work and what my clients expect so going for a manual glass solution just ain't cutting it.

The people that run the event have been gracious enough to pay $500.00 towards fixing this problem, which isn't the complete cost of the stock lens, but almost covers the 18-105mm. So here I am, as I need to get to work, and the next job is 48hrs away.

My intuition tells me shelf the 200mm and send it off to repair and get the 105mm to hold me over and eat the cost of repairing the lens provided it can be repaired....What do you think, remember I'm not switching to canon, tamron, or any other glass just sony power zoom lenses.

Got 24hrs so going to need some feedback
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 10:10 PM   #2
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Re: Stock 18-200mm lens repair question

Scott - had a much less serious issue with a Nikon 18-200 a contact with mother earth, still usable
but when my repair tech investigated not worth putting the shoe box of parts back together again
all the auto electronics a write off. 3 months later have just replaced. Incidentally at less than half
what I paid originally. What a great lens. Just leave it on that body and it saved me a regular dust
clean as I had been working in and around grain harvesting dust all summer.
Very sensitive but a good companion - Steve
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 11:35 PM   #3
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Re: Stock 18-200mm lens repair question

Unless you absolutely need that extra reach I'd suggest getting the 18-105. I used the PZ18200 on my FS100 but sold it after buying the 18105. The 18105 is f4.0 throughout the range, does not extend as you zoom and also zooms quicker than the 18200. The biggest benefit though is that it is much closer to being parfocal than the 18200, this makes focus work easier and gets rid of those little out of focus bits at the start of zooms.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 12:04 AM   #4
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Re: Stock 18-200mm lens repair question

Hi Matt

and if you do run out of zoom on one or two shots digital zoom is there and gives a pretty good result for me at say, 1.5 zoom ... which is not often! Then again if you tend to work consistently in the 100 -200 range then the 18-105 just won't cut it. The only issue really with digital zoom is not the image at all but if you have aliasing and zoom 2X the aliasing also doubles in size.

I'm shooting manual but digital zoom is always enabled on both cameras ...I would rather get a slightly inferior shot on DZ than lose the shot completely because there wasn't time to change lenses.

Even at DZ1.5 you will get to just over 150mm which isn't too bad at all and you are still at F4 and not F6.3 that would happen on the 18-200

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Old March 23rd, 2015, 01:51 AM   #5
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Re: Stock 18-200mm lens repair question

I agree with Matt, I bought the 18-105 recently and can't believe I've struggled through the last couple years with that terrible 18-200. I hardly notice the difference in reach, even though it's 100mm!

I'd overnight the 18-105 from Amazon, investigate used prices of the 18-200 on eBay, if you think it's worthwhile, send the 18-200 in for repair and when it gets back, either eBay it or keep it as a spare. (Gut feel is that it won't pay off, you'll have to junk it.)

Couple comments on things you didn't ask, the first that there are two people to blame here, the idiot who ran into you and the guy who was standing in the way when he got run over (i.e. you). You could put 100% of the blame on the runner, but then, there's really nothing stopping this from happening again, because there's always another idiot out there not looking where he's going, and if you're in his way, you'll get run over again.

Second, I try with my kit to have 100% backup - so if my 28-105 gets smashed, I don't have a spare 28-105 (that'd be excessive), but I do have a Canon 24-70 and an adapter, so at least I could shoot the rest of the gig. I also have a 5DMkII that I seldom shoot (video) with, but could in a pinch, and it comes with me on every gig - even out of town in the flight kit. Keep this in mind as you expand your kit.

Lastly, I have lost gear here and there over the years and it's always a terrible feeling. It'll pass! There's always more. NAB is around the corner. ;-)
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 07:27 AM   #6
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Re: Stock 18-200mm lens repair question

Going to get the 18-105mm today, and have my 200mm fixed later on.

Found the authorized Sony repair facility from Sony's website:

Precision Camera
7 Anngina Dr.
Enfield, CT 06082
Phone: (860) 272-2100
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

They charge a flat rate of about $350 to fix the lens regardless of circumstances, unless there is something that is super unusual then it will be additional.

Yes no matter what there are two parties that are at fault, so no matter what I share some of the blame. It's horrible when you take care of the gear and something happens like this, but you move and on and make peace with it.

So put the above number in your resource book and keep your lenses safe!


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Old March 23rd, 2015, 05:46 PM   #7
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Re: Stock 18-200mm lens repair question

Got the 105mm, I like the lens and can see why there are so many positive comments about it.

It has it's purpose and will fulfill my shooting needs until I need the long end of the zoom of my 200mm for dance school shows in another 60 days.

The 105mm just doesn't have the reach and nothing else is a power zoom will do the job so it's off to precision camera for a rebuild.

I like the fact that you can use the digital zoom on the end manual zoom if need be for emergency purposes. The zoom is way faster and smoother than the 200mm, and having f4 thru the whole range is a nice perk.

Takes nice pictures as well on my Sony a3000, nice form factor for stills. The 200mm took really nice stills, and it will again after the rebuild.

The charity that ran the 5k run decided to re-neg on their promise to fix my lens, which doesn't surprise me, so I'm on my own with the repair cost.

It was a color run with color powder everywhere, not a good environment to change lenses or for electronics cameras etc.....lesson learned shoot from afar and don't take the risk for the money shot when the gear is potentially at stake.

Be careful out there with your gear and will post some vimeo of the new 105mm lens footage.


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