Thread issue with Nikon Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR II

My shiny, new Nikon Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 VR II lens seems to have a damaged thread inside. The thread coating seems to be flaking (click photo below to enlarge). I’m worried that the flaking parts are going to damage the lens over time. You need to zoom to 200mm and then check the area indicated in the photo below if your lens has a damaged thread too.┬áThe problem seems to be pretty widespread, I’ve already seen dozens of users reporting the same problem after checking their 70-200 VR II.

I guess that’s what happens if you’re among the first to buy a new product these days? The serial number of my 70-200 VR II starts with 200104xx. I already spoke to a Nikon service center representative and he told me that they’re aware of the problem and that I should bring in the lens for repair. I’m going to bring it back asap because I’m sure those damaged 70-200 will pile up pretty fast at the repair center once everyone hears the bad news!

Does your Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VR II lens have the same thread problem too?

25 replies on “Thread issue with Nikon Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR II”

  1. I’ve sent two of them back to the shop. Some small parts appeared on the glass after three weeks of using it, they sent a new one and when I checked it was the same problem: visible dust pieces or something…so it went straight back too. I loved it and there was no problem with the image but hey what if there will be more and more…and after all, for this money it should be a quality product; my twenty years old tele has not even one dust inside and it travelled to some really really dusty places.

  2. Nikon released an article a couple of days ago regarding the irregularities on the thread, see,246,840/r_id/116678. I’m more concerned about the apparent flakes down the barrel. I spoke with Nikon today and the technician indicated what we see as flakes are actually tiny bubbles on the surface of the metal and that there should be no flaking whatsoever. I’m considering returning mine as well.

  3. Since I posted my comment a few days ago, I have now observed some flakes on the surface of the glass. They move up and down along with the zoom. So they are not merely light reflections as some had speculated.

    If they have no effect on image quality, why do we bother to clean the lens at all? I wear glasses and I know I need to clean it frequently. I also notice floaters in my eyes. So, it is hard to believe that they have no effect on the image.


  4. Thanks Jan ;). Much appreciated comment. Although I’m not going to take action with the lens issue, I do applaud you for taking the time to make other people aware of it. It’s definitely worth pointing out and I think it will encourage people to inspect lenses just a bit more closely when making purchases. I wish I had put a flash light through my 85mm 1.8 when purchasing it off Craig’s List. I was a newb at the time but after looking closely later on, it looks like it snowed in there. lol

    PS – I love your macro work. Excellent stuff!

  5. Joey, wow, really fantastic pictures you have there. If I had such great photos to show around I wouldn’t worry about resale value either ;-)


  6. Jan,
    If someone were to try to negotiate a lower price, I would tell them the same thing that I said in my first post, then I would send them to my website and show them the pictures I’ve taken with it. If that’s not enough, I’d sell it to the next guy who never heard about the sketchy thread.

    I’m not knocking you for returning yours but I’d rather not have my lens taken apart unless it were 100% necessary.

  7. Joey, I hope you realize that the 5 year warranty is not available outside the US or Canada. Even IF (and that is a big if) the thread doesn’t have any effect on image quality over time there certainly will be questions asked once you try to sell it.
    I certainly would try to negotiate a lower price for one of these early lenses if I were in the market to buy one 2nd hand. That’s why I sent mine back for repair because there is no such thing as a 30-day return policy where I live.


  8. I have this lens and I have noticed the same “defect” being mentioned. I have also noticed that the lens produces super sharp images and I have not heard anyone saying otherwise. The threading where this issue takes place does not rub or move when zooming so I am hardly worried about what appears to be a textured surface rather than one which is flaking. According to statements in another forum, this threading is strictly used to assemble the lens. I think a lot of people, especially those on Nikon Rumors, need to take an anti-anxiety pill. If you happen to see performance issues from further usage, be thankful for Nikon’s awesome 5 year warranty. Until then, just remember: It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian.

    Final thought (Jerry Springer style): Since it appears to be a purely aesthetic issue, I’m much more worried about the appearance of my models rather than the appearance of an insignificant thread in my lens.

  9. Mine has the same problem. S/N is L200090xx, from J&R in the US. It is very disconcerting to see a “pro” level product with such defects at such wide spread level. Whether it affects the image quality or not, it defintiely affects the image of a quality product.

    If Nikon cares about its reputation, it should offer replacements and step up its quality control on suppliers as well as final inspections. It takes time to build up a good brand but if it is not protected, the brand image can be destroyed easily.

    It bothers me that Nikon not only let them slip out but also has not attempted any damage control PR.

    Maybe I am paranoid. Is there any other threads like that in the parts not visible? If these threads serve no particular purpose, why are they there? Is it possible that there are similar parts inside that can use these threads? For ease of inventory and ordering, identical parts are used in the same lens. These threads would be used in one part but not the other. In that case, what is the long term effect of these poorly formed threads after usage?

    A concerned amateur,

  10. olilo, even if the damaged thread doesn’t affect lens performance: think about the resale value of a lens with a thread issue.

    I’m sure Nikon will change their manufacturing process so that newer lenses will have a smooth thread inside. Lenses WITH the thread issue will have a lower value after that.


  11. This is not a problem !!
    This simply a manufacturing default which doesn’t cause any problem in the lens optical performance, neither for its robustness …
    All the steel manufactured object has these kind of usually hidden “default”.
    It is quite normal !

  12. Mine just arrived today from The lens appears to be pristine in the area reported as damaged. My US Serial Number begins with 200179XX. Fortunately with Amazon, I’ve got 45 days in which I can return the lens for a straight replacement. I’ll use the lens quite a bit in the next two weeks and see how it looks after a few hundred shots zoomed completely out.

  13. Yep… mine has it bad. Four areas are chipped. Looks like a fair amount of flaking in the lens as well. I just bought it, so it goes back this week. I will wait some months until production is adjusted and buy it again

  14. Greetings from Finland. Same problem here, seems like there’s both notches and stains in the thread. I think this thread is not an active part of the lens; it doesn’t move, when zooming or focusing the lens.

    Mut still, not good at all; Mine is 200012XX


  15. My lens shows the same problem. Some flakes or some damage in the thread but to a lesser degree than on the picture shown above. Will email the store and Nikon Service Center.

  16. Just look into the lens through the front element and use a flashlight to lighten up the areas behind the front element. If your lens has the problem too, you should spot the damaged thread pretty easily if you vary the angle. And don’t forget to set the lens to 200mm first.

  17. My 70-200 VRII has this problem as well! :(( This is a bad one, I think Nikon will have to recall some of those lenses.

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