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Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 meets the briny sea.

Consulo 13 840 10 Scotland
22 Jul 2014 5:30PM
Hello everyone,

So to cut a long story short, I had an accident yesterday that resulted in my Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 taking a tumble and landing in a rock pool of salt water (disturbingly it was at the same location that my D70 came to a horrible end). I know, I know, you're probably thinking it's curtains for that lens. I didn't fully submerge (in fact it was only about a quarter submerged, lying on its side) and I managed to pull it out as quick as I could, maybe about 2 seconds after I could scramble down quick enough to scoop it up.

I've let the lens dry out a bit and given it a quick cursory go on my D7000 body and whilst it is metering fine, it is no longer autofocusing. I'm going to leave it a few days to see if it helps at all, but from what I've been reading on the interwebs, the outlook seems somewhat bleak. Is it likely this could perhaps fix itself, or has the briny deep killed the AF on my lens?

If it is dead, does anyone know how much it would cost to repair it? I'm going to get in touch with Nikon shortly and see where I stand, but I thought I might ask here first and see if anyone has had a similar experience. I suppose it's not essential to have the AF but I wouldn't be upset if I could get the function back again. If it's going to cost almost as much to repair it as it would to buy brand new, then it's a situation I'll have to think very carefully about.

If I don't reply straight away to any answers it's because I'm going to be away and won't be able to check in until tomorrow, so any answers proffered in the meantime are appreciated.


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Chrism8 11 899 21 England
22 Jul 2014 5:45PM
I know its difficult to do, but an option would have been to immerse the lens in clean tap water as soon as possible afterwards the event, the exposure to the salty water and letting it partially / fully dry out probably means curtains unfortunately.
Snapper Plus
13 4.3k 3 United States Outlying Islands
22 Jul 2014 5:49PM
What Chris said about putting it in clean water (unsalted!), but could you actually see if the salt water had got inside the lens, or only round the electrical contacts?
thewilliam 9 6.1k
22 Jul 2014 5:55PM
During the war, the bomb disposal people used to inject brine into delayed-action fuses because it'll quickly gum up and destroy clockwork and other mechanisms.
Paintman Plus
11 1.2k 177 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2014 6:44PM

Quote:During the war, the bomb disposal people used to inject brine into delayed-action fuses because it'll quickly gum up and destroy clockwork and other mechanisms.

Crikey! I bet that cheered Michael upGrin
Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2014 7:11PM
If I remember correctly, the "brine" or slightly conductive liquid was injected into fuses to allow the charged condensers (capacitors) to discharge slowly to earth (the casing of the fuse) rather than the usual sudden discharge used to heat the firing mechanism and subsequently detonate the bomb. Unfortunately, it had no effect with sealed tumbler/anti-handling devices which were added specifically to target the bomb disposal teams. It would be a long time before salty water gummed anything up, unfortunately. Oil was also used under pressure to damp the movement of a striker and prevent sudden movement of tilt mechanisms, plus even low viscosity oil would stop a clockwork mechanism, and the added bonus was that oil-soaked explosive in the fuse was much less likely to flash enough to detonate the main charge.

Other methods included drilling a hole in the bomb and using a steam hose to liquify the explosive, allowing it to drain out, and also removing the fuse and locking mechanism with a hammer and cold chisel. Rather them than me.

As for the lens, if no real water ingress has occurred, it is possible that drying it out for a few days and cleaning the contacts might be enough. Immersion in clean water might have worked immediately, but is less likely after salt water has dried, as it is quite corrosive for small circuit boards when wet, but leaves a small salt deposit when dry.

The contacts may have just had a thin layer of corrosion formed on them, so worth cleaning with an ink rubber if you have one, a small piece of light abrasive, or the tip of a flat screwdriver, carefully.

Good luck.

FredDee 4 78 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2014 7:17PM
Bin it and buy another one. They are as cheap as chips !
If you really can't afford fo replace it... then try getting the salt out (by soaking it in ionised water, then drying it out very slowly),
This may work, but again it may not !! Sad
Hope this helps.....
thewilliam 9 6.1k
22 Jul 2014 8:11PM
What about claiming from the insurance company?
col.campbell 14 1.2k 4 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2014 8:25PM
Can't comment on salt and corrosion, but placing it in a freezer bag with some uncooked rice may help to dry it out?
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
22 Jul 2014 9:51PM
Aj Johnstone in Glasgow are a Nikon authorised repair agent and will give you a quote before starting any work.

Personally, I'd bin it. Salt water and lenses just don't mix - ever.

andybebbs 10 491 1 England
23 Jul 2014 8:42AM
put in a box covered in rice that will help remove any moister.
Andy_Cundell 7 1.1k 5 England
23 Jul 2014 11:54AM
Get it to the professionals to clean correctly...............yes, the salt water may have damaged the internals, but if you try and clean it yourself with tap water, the minerals contained within may also have a detrimental effect. You need demin water to clean it correctly. You can buy demin at a lot of hardware stores, garages etc.
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
24 Jul 2014 8:48AM
If you mean the DX version of the lens the new street price is 148.
If your lens can be repaired it is unlikely to cost less than 100 assuming no major parts are required.
As the autofocus is not working after some drying out my speculation is at least part of the AF system needs replacing which could add to the repair cost.
Sorry if it is the DX version it is likely your lens is a write-off - though ideally you need an estimate to confirm this.
Consulo 13 840 10 Scotland
24 Jul 2014 2:44PM
Thanks to everyone for the input.

After some initial fogging of the elements which passed, the lens was free and clear and it was metering just fine, though AF was still dead. I just stuck the lens on the camera just before writing this post and it looks as if metering is no longer a go. I can alter shutter speed but can't alter the aperture settings, and when I detached the lens the iris is now stuck open at f/1.8, so it looks as if the lens is truly borked.

I'm not going to bother getting it repaired as at this point I think it's probably going to cost the same (or maybe more adding on service) as a new lens. It's been a great little performer but I don't think I will go for the same lens again in the immediate future. I'll use any money I would have spend on a replacement on a different lens altogether, as I have my eye on other lenses that would probably be more useful.

Thanks once again for the replies.
28 Jul 2014 4:50AM
what if you take a shot of dog? Tongue

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