Old becomes new: Nikon lens gets a surprisingly inexpensive second lease on life


posted Monday, June 24, 2013 at 11:39 AM EST

Last March, the folks at Nikon Rumors reported on an impressive lens repair job by the folks at Nikon Repair Center in Taiwan, who took a rusting 17-35mm f/2.8 lens that had been immersed in sea water, and restored it to working order. Today, they've followed up with another lens restoration that -- while perhaps not so dramatic -- is none the less extremely impressive.

This time around, Nikon Repair Center -- who aren't affiliated with Nikon's Taiwanese distributor, and seem to share premises with a wedding photography business -- took an extremely battle-scarred old AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens, and restored it almost to new condition.

In the process, they turned it from a black-bodied lens to white-bodied, or "light gray" in Nikon parlance.

This old Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens had clearly seen better days.

And when we say it's almost new, we mean it -- every label and marking has been painstakingly restored, and even the Nikon nameplate gleams of gold once more. We don't doubt that it comes complete with that "new lens smell", as well.

After restoration by Nikon Repair Center, it's resplendent in light gray finish.

What's most impressive, though, is the price. According to the Nikon Repair Center site, stripping damaged paint costs about US$120, while refinishing with wear-resistant paint costs just US$220-US$320 depending on the lens model. That suggests the total cost to bring this lens back to new condition was somewhere around one-quarter of what it cost when new.

Even small details like lens markings and the nameplate are restored.

And if black or light gray aren't your style, you even have your choice of colors -- their site shows red as an example -- although this may increase the complexity and cost of the restoration.

If black or light gray aren't your style, other colors are available.

More details on the Nikon Rumors and Nikon Repair Center websites.

(via Nikon Rumors)