Hi guys! I'm new to my DSLR (D5300) and it is my first DSLR; a dream of many years! I have been out shooting and learning obsessively since I first got it a few months ago for a big trip I am taking to Africa at the beginning of April. I decided I wanted to do a small upgrade to my kit 55-300mm dx lens that came with my camera. I was already finding the slow auto focus a bit frustrating and that was the biggest selling point for me in what I read about the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR lens. I thought I would pick up a used copy on ebay and sell my almost brand new 55-300 to make up for most of the cost.
Unfortunately, I think the lens I picked up is defective. It was sold in "as new" condition and the seller claimed it was only used for 4 hours. I suspected the latter was just a bit of a fib to help sell the lens but thought the unit would still be ok.
So the skinny:
When I turn on the camera with the 70-300VR attached I hear 3 thunks inside the lens and the image in the viewfinder jitters a bit with each thunk. This happens every time I turn the camera on regardless of whether VR is toggled to the on or off position, active or normal. I also can't seem to see any perceptible difference between shots made with VR activated versus it off (equal number of blurred/crisp images). I also don't hear anything beyond what I assume is the autofocus. After the initial thunks, the vr doesn't seem to make any sound. However, sometimes I still get 3 mechanical thunks and accompanying jitters in the viewfinder before the image settles. Again this seems to happen randomly whether the VR is toggled on or off.
I read this lens was noisier than other VR lenses and that certainly holds true when compared to my 55-300. But also being a relative N00b to photography, I am not certain if this is normal for this lens or whether in fact I got a defective one. The lens has a few cosmetic dings and wear to the lettering but was hoping that was just normal for a used lens (my second used lens, the first being a rokinon 14mm I got off craigslist which is flawless)
So my question to those that have the lens. Does it sound like something in the lens is defective (vr or otherwise)? Should VR have any particular sound to it when it is operating (ie when I half depress the shutter)? I really don't know how this lens should sound and act and I need to figure out pretty quick so I can file a dispute with the buyer about this lens before my trip. I should mention, the auto focus functions marvelously and I would definitely jump at getting another lens (but probably new this time as I also read this lens seems to have a high incidence of VR failure)
Also hello to you all! I hope to hound these forums as I try to beef up my know-how! Thank you in advance for any advice anyone can offer C:.