Nikon USA releases statement on the 24-70mm f/2.8 distance panel light leak

This is the official statement from Nikon USA on the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 light leak problem, previously described here:

"We have received indications that when extremely bright light strikes the lens while shooting at high sensitivities, light other than that passing through the front of the lens may be reflected. This is not a problem with normal shooting and occurs very rarely under very specific conditions.

We value our customer feedback, and if a user is inconvenienced by this issue, they may request an inspection of their lens. If deemed necessary Nikon will take the appropriate steps to address the issue."

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  • anthony

    the way it should be!

    • Banned

      I think the 24-70 coffee mug is less leaky than the 24-70 lens.

  • Highlight

    very true

    • Highlight

      Huh, please do use my nickname…that’s evil!

    • Highlight

      Huh, please do not use my nickname…that’s evil!

  • bonk

    interesting that even RG doesnt post a real source of that statement.. i mean, did nikon USA send a Fax to him? or come to his office and type it on his computer? or did he go to Nikon Headquarters and they typed that statement into his website directly? this is very very sloppy journalism.. rob should really know better..

    • Well, they did not post a source to the story in Korea either – it was first reported (in English) on NikonRumors. Maybe they follow the Korean forums and got the info directly from there 🙂 I guess they are afraid that if they link to NR, their credibility will go down. Nikon USA could also have send the response to NR…

      • GC

        I agree with both of you – RG used to be a good site, but they lost it…

      • LGO

        Perhaps Nikon is still in denial that NR exist?

        NR plays a vital role in maintaining a high level of interest among Nikon owners. If Nikon’s Marketing is up to stuff, it should consider how it can best work with NR.

        • Greenwood_Geoff

          Agreed, once a site has become established it would be in their best interest to leak out little things now and then. I do not have enough gear to guarantee I would not jump ship if a competitor put out a product I was interested in.

          Best keep me hoping before another comes out with an award winning camera that I like.

          I plan to expand my lens collection very soon and will be in the position where I cannot easily justify changing brands. I imagine I can hold off until spring of next year before I will want a new camera and an actual lens collection.

          On a side note to Nikon, 12 or 14MP is not on my radar as an option.

        • I got contacted by Nikon Canada once because they wanted to clarify one of the rumors related to the Winter Olympics. That’s all for the 2+ years I’ve been running this site.

        • mark

          Really? NR exists because of Nikon. Not the otherway around. Nikon owes nothing to NR and infact it would be conflict of interest to even support NR which is a rumors site, if you understand what a rumor means.

          • Stefan

            NikonRumors seems to be more relevant than RG (based on unique visitors):


          • Greenwood_Geoff

            Maybe you have a problem with understanding the definition of rumor, I do not.

            I stand by the statement that leaking tidbits of information to an established rumor site is a positive marketing tool that is free for Nikon.

  • AZBoomer

    I tested my 24-70 with a 160 lumen LED flash light pointed directly on the focus window (as in actually resting the flashlight on the focus window). I only found it to effect it an image with an exposure of 2+ seconds or longer at 1600+ ISO on my D90.

    Not a big deal to me considering it took that bright of a flash light to get the light to bleed through. I also understand my newer USA model (#415XXX) might be less prone to light bleeding.

    • AZBoomer

      Hum, I just watched the Light Leak video. I will have to test it with a speedlight as well. If i see leaking, i may consider sending it in…

      • LGO

        I suggest you test it the way you would normally shoot it. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    • Tomaocron

      I was doing an engagement shoot with a 3 stop ND filter, and polarizer stacked, 1/3 second exposure (waterfall in the background) and 55mm focal length. I got the offending (very bright) white band on the top left of the frame. At the time I had no idea what had happened, but I started shooting vertical shots and it went away.

      My lens is freakishly sharp so I’m afraid to send it into Nikon for repair for fear they will miss-align something. I’m happy just to use black electrical tape to cover the window 🙂

      • camfan23


        Good to know another possible way it would leak-

    • Segura

      I imagine you are not seeing the issue as bad due to your smaller sensor. In the video, it was in the top corner, where you don’t really have sensor coverage. Why have that lens on a DX? What a waste.

      • ??? Great glass is NEVER a waste, on any body—especially if he’s buying great glass with an upgrade path to FX in mind.

        • +1

          • isuckyourock

            humm segura like this post, your post is also a waste.
            i shoot 35mm and dx and my 24-70 is on the dx most of the time and better believe it’s not being wasted.
            Maybe your d3s fitted with a 24-70 takes better photos then my two year old does with his kodak point and shoot.
            But somehow i doubt it. So back to yes when you are taking photos even a d3s+24-70 is a waste

            • camfan23

              The 1.5X factor is also great especially when you like shooting portraits from full body right up to close up with a lens like the 24-70 on DX.

              Of course having 2 bodies is much better- with f1.+ lenses.


  • The invisible Man

    Mine is right now at Nikon repair center, I hope they will also check if there is a light leak….

    • The invisible Man

      I just called Nikon, they know about the light leak issue and will check my lens (who is already in repair for varifocal problems).

    • Greenwood_Geoff

      If the focus on mine was perfect (have not picked one up yet due to camera decisions), I would be hesitant to send it in. I would worry they would have to open the lens to correct the problem and that is not something I would want them doing if all else worked GREAT with it.

  • edw

    where’s the link for the statement?

    • you got to ask RG this – his site is my source, don’t know from there

  • stawarz

    It doesn’t need to be a bright source of light to reproduce it, I can reprth

  • Andrew

    Take two. It doesn’t need to be a bright light source. I can easily reproduce it with mine and two friends 24-70/2.8G lenses by putting an ND110 filter on, 55mm ISO 200, viewfinder shutter closed and by standing by a north facing window with the camera point towards it (i.e. the focus window is not directly pointing to light source) and expose for 15-30 seconds (depending on how cloud it is here in the UK).

    Will be interesting if Nikon UK will issue a statement.

    • The invisible Man

      I would have the same problem when I use the ND400.
      I think Nikon should provide free duct tape with that lens.

    • LGO

      What photo can you get with that procedure?

      • Greenwood_Geoff

        agreed, who would shoot that way ?

        • stawaraz

          @Greenwood_Geoff People who do architectural or landscape photography and needing to use a high filter factor ND filter to obtain smearing clouds and/or render people as mere ghost or not even register in daylight.

          Fortunately I whenever I use the 24-70/2.8G for this type of work it’s usually at the wider/longer end of the lens and so never came across this issue until recently reported. So for everyday use I would hazard a guess that the majority of people would not notice this problem.

          • Greenwood_Geoff

            “expose for 15-30 seconds”

            do architectural or landscape people shoot that slow of a shutter speed ?

    • Essentially, and relatively speaking, that IS a bright light source.

      I would say “duh”, but you don’t seem too bent out of shape in the tone of your comment, leading me to assume you’re pointing out that there are indeed cases where someone might need to have this problem addressed (compared to all the whiners who never knew this problem existed for the ~3 years they owned the lens until the problem was discovered and publicized).

      I really want that ND110. Yummy.

      • LGO

        You are not concerned with the color cast with the ND110? Most if the time its ok but there are times when I just wish I had used something else.

        • To be honest, I haven’t dissected the differences between the various ND’s at this level. I know the VariND has some issues, but aside from that I don’t know many of the specifics. But 10 stops of ND sounds highly tempting.

  • tim

    Just replace it with a 50mm and ur done.

    • Outstanding. I’m sure Nikon will add it to the manual supplied with their £1200 class leading product.

      • Banned

        Not so class leading apparently. I gave up on mine and sold it because of crappy grinding zoom, and now I see we have this light leak.

        If that’s class leading… That’s in the design flaw department.

        • I fear you’re right…

  • brummie

    recall time for a lens that costs £1200 in the uk thats disgusting, its a fundamental thing that should not happen in photographer, light comes in from the front on the lens not the side. not good.

  • Cowbell

    1. This is inexcusable for a lens this price with the Nikon name on it.
    2. The statement is garbage.
    3. People were on Canon’s case for something similar and there was a recall.
    4. I guess Nikon and Canon really are the same and the fanboys need to shut up.

    • MK

      +1 for #1-3
      -1 for #4

      why you gotta be a reactionary?

      • Greenwood_Geoff

        total score out of 4 is a 2 ;- )

      • Cowbell

        Because I pay my hard earned money for the Nikon brand and I expect it to be better than Canon’s gear, not the same. If you haven’t shot Nikon for a long time way back to the film days you wouldn’t understand what the Nikon name stands for.

  • Dweeb

    Translation: Nikon will spring for a piece of black tape for you big babies.

    Why no statement on the 70-200 internal debris problem from them? Typical flakey Nikon.

    • Greenwood_Geoff

      I thought that was justy bubbling that occurred during production of the lens casing ? If that is what happened, then nothing should be in there when they put they paint them. Once they painted them, anything that was not cleaned out first is now stuck to the insides (i imagine they clean them before painting)

      • Dweeb

        Look in some archives and you will see posts of the sparkly fairy dust on the elements. This was what got people looking in the first place for the source.

        • Dweeb

          Also forgot to mention the similarity of the fix to Apple’s current problem. Just as Nikon can please customers with what is believed to be a piece of tape, Steve is fixing their I phones with a band rubber band! You only get customer satisfaction if it doesn’t cost more than a few cents to them.

          • Dweeb

            Sorry, band rubber band is actually a mistake. It’s really a $30 dollar “Bumper (TM)”. That is all.

        • Yo, Dweeb—Care to share your source on the actual flaked paint chips on the elements you are referring to? I saw not one such photo.

          If you can’t produce an image, and excuse my bluntness ***edited by admin*** If you can then I’m sincerely interested in seeing it, as it was never circulated in any of the forums or news posts I read on this issue.

  • Meh

    There is an amazing fix for this: take off the lens cap and take real pictures!


      & when you try to sell your lens on craigslist, just try to explain the dude that the black tape is a kinda “decoration”. He will certainly understand.

    • +50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

      For most people, this will never be (nor has it ever been) a real world issue. Nobody seemed to even ever notice it until the very beginning of this year. Talk about an issue getting blown out! (no pun intended)

  • The invisible Man

    Well, the 24-70mm is made in Japan it may be a better idea for Nikon to have it made in China !

    • The invisible Man

      Mine is made in Japan, the hood is made in China, I don’t know about the box or the manual, made in India ?

      • fork()

        I wonder if the leaking hole is made in Japan or China.

        • camfan23

          hahaha! Lost in translation perhaps. LOL.

          So far you get this problem if
          1. you forget to shield your lens in flash setups- [some we do shooting film-the cinematic kind]
          2. long exposures-silky water effects or long exposures with high ISO’s.

          Solution- black gaffer tape over the leak but looks fugly.
          Maybe a more elegant accessory like a thick rubber band that can double as a lens cap tie.[cap attached to it with string-I lose a lot of lens caps!]

  • Anonymous

    why is it then Nikon Korea who answers as the main technical service department ? … my guess is that ALL lenses are make in China or Korea today with a huge lack of professionalism.


    Well said. Today’s lenses are made out crappy plastic or very bad metal. brake more = sell more = rebuy newer system = change whole set of lenses & camera evey 4 years.

  • Colin

    I like how this lens has been out for almost 3 years and it hasn’t been until recently that people’ve been bitching about this “problem”.

    The only way you can get this happen if you use it in conditions you never normally would. Try this with other lenses with windows, you get very similar things.

    Please Nikon, don’t waste your time with this. Make some new and interesting lenses! *looks at a sub $1600 35mm 1.4 AF-S*

    • You’re plain wrong…

      • COOLPUKE

        agree, plain wrong. accepting the unacceptable = formatted robot facing the point of no return.

        all my poormans dx lenses can manage 4 minutes day light exposure with ND filter without any “light leak”.
        maybe they should provide some free “dollar max black tape” in the boxes to be consistant with the production quality…

      • Care to elaborate, Russ? His circumstantial evidence of the 3 year delay in discovering this flaw is definitely proof that this is being blown WAY OUT OF PROPORTION.

        • COOLPUKE

          dude, just stop protecting Nikon like a 18 year old fanboy !
          This issue has been reported 2 years ago & imphased since then.

          This is a pro lens, for a pro price & real pros need long exposures in real shooting applications.

          fact :The lens was badly built : light leak is a shame for a high quality lens & even for an amateur one. The answer from the service department is even worse.

          Please do yourself a favour, stop arguing like an amateur noob.

          • rambopower

            my 18-70 dx doesn’t leak light. 🙂 neither does my 18-55 dx or my 55-200 dx for that matter. I feel sorry for you pros that pay pro price and get mediocre photos. 😀 humm i mean mediocre equipment…

          • @COOLPUKE: link, please? Care to back up your ranting with actual data to bring clarity to this conversation, or were you just wanting to sound like a pissed off 18 year old?

            It’s not a big deal, and Nikon has said they will address it if anyone deems it necessary, at least according to this post. So what’s left? Is Nikon not allowed to make any mistakes ever, before, now, or in the future? And *gasp*, heaven forbid they should try to right a wrong by offering free service to fix the problem. Yikes!

  • Anonymous

    i guess people could be pretty unlucky because my copy stays dark and pitch black at ISO 6400, 10s, and right under a 500w bulb.

  • Nikki

    I was in contact with Nikon UK and they refuse to comment on statements from Nikon Korea or USA. They say as long as the problem is not officially acknowledged in the UK, customers have to pay for the repair themselves in case the lens is older than a year. I’m VERY disappointed about this and don’t know what to do with my defective lens now…

    • Greenwood_Geoff

      Have you run into a problem so far ? If not, don’t worry about it until they offer a repair. then decide if you want them taking apart your lens (assuming they would to do an internal repair). I’d worry about them messing it up and having to send it back again IF it were tack sharp.

  • Lon Doyle

    I have gone thru this entire thread, there are some in this thread who
    seam to be angry with those are upset with Nikon’s light leaked,
    engineered flawed pro rated 24-70 lens. Bunk! If you accept mediocrity from Nikon it will become a self fulfilling prophesy. Nikon”s needs to admit, fix and more on. I have tested my lens at 1/100s,55mm, 200,800 iso, shooting in sunlight and have found a light leak. The light leak thru the distance indicator window will degrade the photo file.I have sent files to Nikon and have posted on the web, as well as returned the new lens for a replacement. If you have a problem then do what is right and I’m sure Nikon will do their best to make it right.

  • jeff

    Interesting comment but I was shooting landscapes with mine in mid-morning sun and kept getting a bright spot in the frame. I thought it was flare but the hood was on and the angle was such that it wasn’t that. Yes it was that bright in the viewfinder and resulting photo. Then I thought maybe viewfinder so I closed it (D3). I ended up noticing that when I shaded the window with my hand that it went away.

    My point… it definately happens under normal shooting conditions. Just takes the right angle of sun to lens.

  • Afoo

    I just got a new copy of this lens. I tested mine with a D90 and did not see the light leaked problem. Someone mentioned somewhere that this problem is only visible when using with a FF camera? Is that true?

    I am afraid that my copy is affected. People with better knowledge about this, please let me know if my copy can still have this problem if it is tested to be negative with a cropped sensor D90 camera.

    Much appreciated. Thanks!

  • Nick

    I discovered the problem 2 years ago. I could demonstrate the problem at the Nikon Service at the Photokina 2008. They just couldn’t beleave that. After that they contacted the Nikon Service Switzerland (my country) so i could send the lens for repair. I think they just put some black paper to stop the light leak….

  • I am very sorry, but I do not speak English. Using an automatic translator.
    I am a mere amateur photographer attracted by the long exposure photography.
    his video is July 2, 2010!?!?
    I am sorry but I had the same problem back in June 2008.
    Camera Nikon D3 and 24-70 lens.
    The Nikon has changed me well and all four targets had the same defect.
    I tried to ask for written explanations. I also tried to complain. But everything was useless. It s really hard to fight with a multinational. :-(((

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