Nikon service and a new toy

My 10-30mm VR is back from Nikon service. It took two weeks from the time they received it to the time it was shipped back. In those two weeks, I only received one email from Nikon saying it was received, followed by a snail mail letter a few days later. I have yet to receive any message from them that the lens was shipped back. If I didn't check their service site regularly, I would not have known that it was the lens was fixed. The last time I had something repaired by them, they sent me an email saying it was coming back on the day I received my item.

I've been trolling craigslist for a D5200 and managed to snag one at a decent price. It's not clean (LCD protector has a small chip) and it's missing some important stuff (batter, charger, caps, strap, manual) but nothing that I don't have extras (batter is the same as the one on the D3200). I'm lucky to have brought a battery to test the camera, otherwise it would have been a no go.

The one drawback of this bargain body is the smoke smell. I didn't notice it when I tested the camera, but it's bothering me now as it's strong when I bring the camera up to my eye. My fingers also have a lingering smell after using the camera and lens. I've got them in a bag with activated charcoal, which hopefully will do the trick. If that doesn't work, time to grab some baking soda.

So far the camera works. It has the same backfocus issue as the D3200, so out came the hex key to get it close to acceptable. I don't know what Nikon is doing, but they should consider equipping all bodies with AF Fine Tune (oddly enough I've never had to do it with the D3, which has the feature). The swiveling LCD screen is fun to play with, and reminds me of my old Coolpix 990 (great camera for candids because of the swivel).

I did notice that my 35mm DX still backfocuses even after calibrating the body. I wonder if it's the lens? I don't have any issues with the V1 and 35mm DX, but the AF system is different (on chip for both phase detect and contrast detect) and doesn't suffer from back/front focusing.

Nikon has some rebates going, and coupled with a cash back offer from Discover, I've placed an order for the 35mm f/1.8G FX. Yes, it's bigger than the DX and my old 35mm f/2 AF, but it would be nice to replace two lenses with one. It's on back order, so it may take some time before I get to try it out.

Now, does anyone want to buy a D3200?

Update: I took some pictures with the two versions of the 18-55mm on the D5200, and both have trouble focusing at 18mm unless there's a good target in the center. The D3 doesn't have that problem, but the V1 has shown this issue with the 10mm. Something to keep in mind. The activated charcoal has reduced the smoke smell, which is great.

I'm still looking for a buyer for the D3200.


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