Nikon 5700 lens fault "Lens Error"?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Chris Wilson, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. Chris Wilson

    Chris Wilson Guest

    I bought this as a used buy from the UK company, Jessops, about 6 weeks
    ago. I am new to photography, and I put some problems down to user
    error, but now I am not so sure... The camera would often return out of
    focus images, seemingly at random, even of the same shot, tripod
    mounted, in good light, taken sequentially as fast as the camera would
    save and reload. It would also give worse performance in lowish light
    condition than an ancient Sony Mavica I have, and would pop up the flash
    on a bright sunny morning... Again, I felt something was wrong, but
    still thought I may be doing something amiss, although I frequently
    checked the set all options to default was re applied when I "fiddled".
    The lens drive motor was always very noisy, and when the lens was out
    could easily be pushed and pulled in and out about 2 mm with the
    lightest touch. This seemed to be the cause of the somewhat random
    focusing! Today, the damn thing has died with a "Lens Error" message,
    and it sounds and feels as if whatever moves the lens, probably some
    sort of motorised rack and pinion gear, has broken. I have to say I had
    reservations about the camera when I went to see it, as it just FELT
    flimsy, plasticky and very light. It's spec and magazine reviews won me
    over, but now I feel the thing is a lemon. Am I wrong? How much will
    fixing this cost, I need to check what warranty came with it, but if the
    worst comes to the worst?

    Finally, a general digital camera question. Is the technology such, in
    the price range this 5700 is in, that lowish light level photos, such as
    in woodland on a normal brightness day, will never be as good as a film
    camera? I bought it to take wildlife photos in woodland adjoining our
    house, and it has never returned an even remotely decent picture from
    there. Maybe it was *uggered from the start?


    Update: Spoke with Jessops, they were not surprised at this fault, they
    had heard of this before, for sure. They want me to take it back and
    they will send it as a repair to Nikon, and it will take 3 to 5 weeks...
    I have a specific business use for the camera over Xmas, and although
    they suggested they might be able to lend me a camera to use I don't
    really want the hassle of trying to master something else. I in an
    amicable discourse with them at the moment, but I feel disappointed with
    the camera, and some further web searching on Nikon digital lenses has
    shown this to be a worryingly common fault. I'd rather have my money
    back or buy another camera from them. In fact I am beginning to wonder
    if 700 quid digital cameras are worth that sort of outlay for my
    purposes, I found the controls incredibly fiddly and the camera felt
    very delicate. I have an old Nikon film SLR, and it is 10 times better
    made, robust, easy to use and has never given a problem. Are all digital
    cameras in this price range so plasticky? Are other makes any more
    robust? I'd forgo auto focus and many niceties for a decent pixel count,
    simple controls, good low light performance and no lag between pressing
    the button and the camera being ready for the next shot. I think I am
    saying I am unsure if digi cameras in my price range are going to do
    what I expect...? But could I go back to film, delays in processing and
    costs of a large percentage of pictures that are never likely to come
    out of the packet once processed. Do others have this dilemma <VBG> ?
    Chris Wilson, Dec 8, 2003
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  2. Chris Wilson

    Ben Micklem Guest

    I would go be to shooting film with your old Nikon. £700 will buy you a lot
    of film and processing- even 1 hour at a respectable place. If you spend
    more time thinking about each shot, and whether the shot is going to be
    worth keeping _before_ pressing the shutter, you will save money on film.

    If you really want to get a digital, pick up a second hand EOS D60 (in the
    region of £700) and save up for a nice lens or two.

    You don't sound the right kind of person for a camera like the 5700- yes all
    non-SLRs are pretty much like you describe (or worse).
    Ben Micklem, Dec 9, 2003
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  3. Chris Wilson

    Chris Wilson Guest

    [This followup was posted to and a copy was sent to
    the cited author.]

    Well, listen to this, I actually felt sorry for the lad in Jessops :) I
    looked at other high end none SLR digitals, the Sony, a Mavica and a
    Fuji. Build quality on the Sony was best, IMO, the other 2 were similar
    to the Nikon or worse. The lad suggested I had already had the pick of
    the bunch with the 5700, and asked me to try a brand new one, he was
    sure mine was a rogue model and I should seriously consider paying more
    and buying the new one off them. I said OK, and he unpacked it, fitted
    my fully charged battery, and suggested I tried to take a few indoor
    shots. The thing wouldn't take ANY shots, the flash was faulty, with
    some sort of error code, and in daylight the shutter release did
    nothing. Buggered, totally buggered.... His face was a picture, I didn't
    know whether to laugh or cry.... They then suggested the new Canon sub
    £1000 SLR, but didn't have one. I said I'd have one if they could find
    one for tomorrow, as visiting them is an 80 mile round trip for me, so I
    need to tie it in with other things. He just rang to say they could only
    get a body, and would mate it up with some lens they already had in
    stock. he suggested it was a better deal than the kit, but to be honest
    I was *issed off with it al by then, so will have a refund and re-assess
    things in the calm of post Xmas I think. As you say, you can buy a hell
    of a film camera and a lot of processing for that kind of money, and I
    may be wrong, but I feel the digital market, under 2k, is still a mile
    away from film quality, results, usage and build quality wise. A
    minefield to a none enthusiast consumer like myself. Thanks for your
    help. Happy Christmas.
    Chris Wilson, Dec 9, 2003
  4. <The lens drive motor was always very noisy, and when the lens was out
    could easily be pushed and pulled in and out about 2 mm with the
    lightest touch>

    Well I can move my 5700 lens laterally a small amount (in common with lots of
    my EOS lenses) , but under no circumstances would I try and push it in by a
    couple of mm.

    I don't agree with buying a DSLR either (in case you ask I have one). If you
    are only an occasional user and not an enthusiast, why bother with the size,
    and weight, and need for extra lenses, when the 5700 gives you an 8x zoom in a
    very compact and lightweight body. Its also a very good lens!

    Of course it has problems- bad focussing in anything other than bright light,
    an electronic viewfinder that takes getting used to, and a camera that drains
    the batteries very quickly.

    On the other hand, its so small and flexible that you can take it with you
    almost always, and tackle almost any subject.Unfortunately it also has a big
    learning process as the controls and options are not that intuitive unless you
    run it in programm mode.

    Often I leave my other big heavy system at home in favour of the 5700. As a
    result overall I take a lot more pics- and get some very good ones.
    CGannonOxford, Dec 9, 2003
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