Nikon 200-500 - Zoom LOCKED

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Charles Loy

Well-known member
Supporting Member
My Nikon 200-500 zoom has locked/jammed at about 480mm. I rolled the zoom ring to 500mm to photo an eagle, snapped a couple images. The lens will not move off it's zoom position. My lens is a bit over 2 years old, looks new and has been flawless in operation. Still makes nice images at 480mm.
I've read about this a few other times, elsewhere. Now it's happened to me. I will try to get service from Nikon, some state it will cost others suggest it's warranty. Any comments from other about this? Who else has had this problem? Has Nikon address the concern?
 

dabhand16

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I'm sure that I've seen another post on here with this issue. IIRC it was returned to Nikon who repaired it under warranty.
 

Charles Loy

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
The way warranty works is a pain too, all through the internet. I have to send to the LA location, it pre-addresses it that way.
 

Manglo

Active member
It's a very common problem. You can google it. Google results l had the same issue with the 200-500 mm on my D500. If you've registered the lens, it has a 5 year warranty. My lens was repaired within a week, cost free.
Greetings from Germany
Manuel
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I had a similar problem mid December. On mine, it would zoom out fine but would not close all the way. It would stop about 250mm.

Nikon rehired it under warranty and it was returned in a little over 2 weeks. I haven't throughly tested it since getting it back with the holidays and some bad weather but just shooting out the widow and at a local lake it seems to be working as expected now.
 

codehenge

New member
Same problem here, but was a fairly easy fix we could do without actually opening the optical chambers.

This guy (
) has it partially right. There was a screw loose in our lens, and once we found it it was clear from the black paint worn off that it was scraping the inner barrel and was impinging on the zoom mechanism, stopping the lens from going below 400mm.

This video also shows how to move the focus ring forward, which was necessary for us to find the screw:

His video shows the focus ring sliding forward (away from the camera body) easily. Our lens had some adhesive on that ring, keeping us from moving it forward. We applied heat carefully from a heat gun (or hair dryer) until the glue was loose enough to move the ring.

From there, the one loose screw was easy to identify and tighten. After that and subsequent reassembly, the lens works perfectly again.

Given the number of posts with the same problem, this seems like a fundamental flaw either in the design or manufacture of this lens. A loose screw should not be commonplace.

Regardless, this was a great opportunity to teach my son how to service a lens in the field. :)
 

Charles Loy

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
re: Given the number of posts with the same problem, this seems like a fundamental flaw either in the design or manufacture of this lens. A loose screw should not be commonplace.

That is a fact.
I got my lens repaired by an independent camera repair. He showed me the flaw within the lens, and suggest all will fail soon or later.
 

Andy Work

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Same problem here, but was a fairly easy fix we could do without actually opening the optical chambers.

This guy (
) has it partially right. There was a screw loose in our lens, and once we found it it was clear from the black paint worn off that it was scraping the inner barrel and was impinging on the zoom mechanism, stopping the lens from going below 400mm.

This video also shows how to move the focus ring forward, which was necessary for us to find the screw:

His video shows the focus ring sliding forward (away from the camera body) easily. Our lens had some adhesive on that ring, keeping us from moving it forward. We applied heat carefully from a heat gun (or hair dryer) until the glue was loose enough to move the ring.

From there, the one loose screw was easy to identify and tighten. After that and subsequent reassembly, the lens works perfectly again.

Given the number of posts with the same problem, this seems like a fundamental flaw either in the design or manufacture of this lens. A loose screw should not be commonplace.

Regardless, this was a great opportunity to teach my son how to service a lens in the field. :)

Welcome to the forum codehenge!
 

soundbyte

A well known member 🇦🇺 📷
Supporting Member
Today I fixed a second one of these lenses that has had this problem.

The first lens I did a few weeks ago I could reach the screws that jam under the outer ring without moving it forward out of the way.

Today I used the good suggestion @codehenge made here
We applied heat carefully from a heat gun (or hair dryer) until the glue was loose enough to move the ring.
to remove that outer ring.
The lens today had two of the three screws that need tightening loose inside the outer ring, they had somehow become totally extracted from the small bushes.
I had to remove the last screw to get to one of the screws that was jammed between the barrel and outer ring.
This meant the lens came apart, but I soon had all the screws and bushes back in place and tightened up with a very small dab of clear nail polish on the threads.
All seems well, I will return it to its owner and see what they think of the repair and whether the breakdown of the lens into 2 parts has made any difference to the lens performance.
 

eft

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I just addressed this issue and found the YT video by "wildlife snapper1" to be very helpful.

However, I also had the problem that @codehenge reported. The loose screw was not accessible enough to tighten. In my case, I was able to remove the three screws holding the zoom ring in place as well as the white "washers" under each screw. This allowed me to move the barrel inwards from 500mm and the zoom ring stayed put. This exposed the problem screw completely and I was able to tighten it properly. So, I feel fortunate that I didn't have to send the lens for repair and, thanks to the online community, the fix was relatively easy.
 

Turberticus

Well-known member
I just addressed this issue and found the YT video by "wildlife snapper1" to be very helpful.

However, I also had the problem that @codehenge reported. The loose screw was not accessible enough to tighten. In my case, I was able to remove the three screws holding the zoom ring in place as well as the white "washers" under each screw. This allowed me to move the barrel inwards from 500mm and the zoom ring stayed put. This exposed the problem screw completely and I was able to tighten it properly. So, I feel fortunate that I didn't have to send the lens for repair and, thanks to the online community, the fix was relatively easy.
This just happened to my 200-500! It got stuck from 500mm to 390mm. I used the guidance in that YouTube video and was able to gain access to the silver screw and tighten it using an x-acto blade with a clipped tip, as I did not have a phillips screwdriver small enough.
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
My Nikon 200-500 zoom has locked/jammed at about 480mm. I rolled the zoom ring to 500mm to photo an eagle, snapped a couple images. The lens will not move off it's zoom position. My lens is a bit over 2 years old, looks new and has been flawless in operation. Still makes nice images at 480mm.
I've read about this a few other times, elsewhere. Now it's happened to me. I will try to get service from Nikon, some state it will cost others suggest it's warranty. Any comments from other about this? Who else has had this problem? Has Nikon address the concern?
I had a similar problem. On mine it would zoom out to 500 fine but it would stop at about 300mm on the way back in.

I sent it back to Nikon and they fixed it under warranty. I bought mine when they had the 5 year warranty on the lenses and it was about 3 years old. It was fixed properly and came back in about 3 weeks (pre-COVID). It has worked flawlessly since.
Hope yours is an easy fix.

Jeff
 

Larry Shuman

Well-known member
After viewing codehenge's video I unpacked my 200-500, rolled back the rubber sleeve and my lens is locked up solid. Mid West Camera repair had no one that had the necessary experience to work on that type of lens. I would like to know if the focus lock mechanism can be removed completely, or if thread glue can be used on the offending screws? So repack and send off to Nikon.
 
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