Nikon User Repair Experiences


Real users, real experiences.

This is an old article. More recent Nikon User Repair Experiences can be found here.

To submit a repair experience, send an email here. And a comment: you'll note that I don't edit the text of these reader comments. My fear is that by touching them in any way other than to append a comment I'll modify context in a way that might influence how you interpret a report. For example, you might evaluate an experience that is detailed and seems technically accurate differently than one that is full of spelling errors and has many clear inaccuracies in it.

In less than a month we're closing in on 100 such reader experiences and judging from the content, these pretty much match the many emails I've been receiving for years about Nikon service. Sometimes the service was good (though not timely in the communication department), sometimes it's less than satisfactory or requires a second try.

Nikon has indicated that they hope to sell replacement DSLRs to existing customers in the coming years to continue to grow. I'll once again point out that the experience of what happens after a customer buys a product and has problems with it influences whether that updating actually ever happens. It's clear to me that Nikon's service is not going to meet any Six Sigma standard.

As of 10/10/10 the Better Business Bureau of Los Angeles rated NikonUSA's West Coast service as "F" ("we strongly question the company's reliability..."). That can't be good, can it?

2010


The latest from Nikon:

Just to let you know, an issue was found with your lens and it will be replaced. Be advised, however, that the lens' focus scale may not always match what you think the lens is focused on as the depth of field will influence operation. See the note on page 15 of the user manual.
The "note on page 15 of the user manual" is:

The distance scale does not indicate the precise distance between the subject and the camera.  Values are approximate and should be used only as a general guide.  When shooting distant landscapes, depth of field may influence operation so that the camera may focus at a position that is closer then infinity.
I knew that.  My argument all along was that 3-5 feet is way too close for a distant mountain range!  Of course they didn't say what the "issue" was, but the result (replacement of the lens) is what I've been seeking.  The counter lady at Nikon El Segundo said she will call me when the lens (and camera) are ready to be picked up.  So the bird is not in hand, but I can hear him singin'! (bc)

I just enjoyed a very positive customer care experience with Nikon - although the communication was a little...odd...the pace and quality of service left nothing to be desired. End-to-end, Nikon did a great job diagnosing and then fixing an issue, and based on this experience I would have no reservations about vouching for Nikon's warranty service. Initial quality, maybe not so much...but the service was good. Yeah that sounds like a plant, but read on.

I recently bought a new D700 after being somewhat disappointed with the usability, but not image quality of the D90. Naturally I should have listened to Thom's recommendation after coming from an F5, but I figured that a D700 replacement was on the horizon. After a few months, the D90 went on eBay and I bought a D700; as they say, the poor man pays twice!

I knew ahead of time that image quality at base ISO in good light would be very similar, although the D700 does have visibly better color and the files are more flexible. I further knew that resolution should be virtually identical under these conditions - in the neighborhood of 45 lp/mm-equivalent or so (obviously it's double that on the DX sensor, but that's what translates into on a 35mm-equivalent basis). After looking at my work from a couple of shoots, I was a little bit surprised to see rather soft looking images, noticeably worse than not just my old D90's output, but worse than my Canon G9 (which admittedly can be very, very sharp).

I've done a large percentage of my recent shooting with the 17-35 AF-S, which has always been a good performer on DX and film, but for some reason my D700 seemed to not like it, yielding soft results even in the f/8-11 range (!!). I had the idea that I might have knocked my lens against something (I didn't recall banging it and I'm pretty careful, but I do carry it everywhere, so who knows?). I contacted Nikon, and they asked for some test shots, which I sent to them and they immediately asked for some additional shots with different lenses. I inspected those files closely after creating them and they too seemed just a bit soft was well; Nikon concluded that the autofocus was out - albeit subtly - and suggested I send it in for repair. So my NEW D700 was out of whack! This was frustrating.

Here's where my story becomes relevant. At this point, I should have returned it and gotten another one, however I reacted too quickly and sent it to Nikon (also, I'd shot enough at this point to put a return into question; lesson: always test your gear before you take it into the field!) - something that could have been an error, but in fact had no negative consequences. Initially, I received a strange communication from their customer service guy who said that I should get confirmation that they received it within 4 - 5 days. This through me into a temporary, impotent rage - because it was at this time sitting on their loading dock and I had confirmation of the fact. Everything after this was positive, though, and I attribute this to right-hand/left-hand issues.

From another group within Nikon, I received a different communication that day that my D700 was being inspected by a technician. Several hours later it had transitioned to "in-shop" with a "B1" repair code, which means replacement of minor parts, presumably elements of the autofocus system - although no further detail was translated to me. It took a couple of days to repair, and less than a week later it was returned to me with good packaging (lots of bubble wrap on the camera and second layer lining the box) and - mirabile dictu - with fully functional autofocus. The difference was minor but noticeable and now I'm not being driven bat-**** crazy by slightly out-of-focus images.

I've heard the horror stories, but my experience was generally what I'd hope for and expect.


I purchased a D70 from a local (US) camera shop in 2004. While on a trip we had an accident and the D70 was damaged. On return, I had the local shop return the camera to Nikon for repair. They did repair the unit and in doing so they replaced the base.

Here's the rub. Nikon (US) installed a base that has a "non-US" serial number on it!

Skip ahead to 2010. I sent the D70 in to Nikon (through the same local dealer) for cleaning and checkout. I received a phone call from the local shop saying that "your camera is a non-US unit and Nikon will not touch it!"

Fortunately I was able to dig up all of the paperwork (including a copy of the repair invoice from the local dealer showing that the serial number was changed).

I just need to wait and see if Nikon accepts that ... or holds fast and refuses to do anything with the camera!

Moral of the story: Keep ALL paperwork. Especially with Nikon. They are certainly not "customer-centric."

Quick update. After forwarding the paperwork to Nikon (via the local dealer), Nikon decided to change the baseplate (again) so I have a camera with a US serial number!

Interesting solution!

(dm)


My experience with Nikon has been awful so far.I broke the lens on my Cool Pix S3000, and sent it in to be fixed. I had to pay $87.00 for the repair which was fine, better than buying a new one. However, it took nearly two weeks to even register on the site as a repair so that i could check the progress, and it has currently been held for parts for an entire month. I've contacted them numerous times and all they say is it will be sent out soon and sorry for the inconvenience. I would think, that a repair shop in the company would have have the parts needed for repairs already, and if not it should not take this long. I'm hoping to get my camera back within the next month, but things aren't looking good so far. (bw)


I purchased a Nikon D5000 camera in April 2010. Not long after purchasing I had a problem with one of the buttons. It had gotten stuck in and the more I tried to get it out, the worse it had gotten. The button, however, wasn't that important to me at the time, so I continued using the camera as it was. Eventually, four months later the button had went so far in that all of the other buttons suddenly stopped working! I called Nikon and was told to send the camera in for repairs. They told me that it would take 7-10 days and that I would receive an estimate once they receive and evaluate the camera.

I shipped the camera through FedEx on August 24, 2010. Nikon received the camera on August 25, 2010. The following Monday, August 30, I received an email from Nikon stating that they had gotten the camera and enclosed was a document with the estimate for repairs. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the repairs would be covered under warranty and it was FREE of charge. Seeing as the button had got stuck in, and even more from me trying to get it out, I thought they would claim that it was "owner misuse". I was expecting to pay for repairs. The status of my order immediately moved to Estimate. On the following day, August 31st the status went to Estimate Approved. On September 1st it was "In Shop". The status remained "In Shop" until the morning of September 3rd when it changed to "Shipped". There was a link to track the package and on the tracking website it showed that it was actually shipped on September 2nd, so the website was not up to date. I received my camera via UPS on September 3rd!

I was pleased with the work they had done. My camera looked as good as new. The button that had gotten stuck in was replaced, which was good because there were so many marks on it from me trying so hard to get it out with little needles and pins. Everything was cleaned and it looked like my LCD screen had even been replaced! I was surprised and very happy with the service and it only took 10 days!

My only issue is that when they returned the camera they did not return my Rubber Eyecup that was sent with it (I had forgotten to remove it, didn't realize it would be taken off though). I have to contact them to see if they will replace it. If not, I will just buy a new one. It's not that expensive, and it's surely much cheaper than I was expecting to pay for the repairs!

Great Work, Nikon! (th)


The USB connector of my D700 stopped working recently. I rarely used it; it happened during tethered shooting (the day before a studio shoot, incidentally). I debated whether or not to send it in after reading so many negative reviews of Nikon's repair service. I also have had a terrible experience with Nikon customer service in the past, so I wasn't entirely convinced tethered shooting was worth the hassle. However, I sent my camera in, and got it back in less than two weeks. I'm not a pro member, or it likely would have been faster. No problems whatsoever. It took a few days for them to get it in the system, a few days in the shop, and a few days shipping. Easy. Works fine now; they replaced the damaged component(s). It was repaired free under warranty, no questions asked.

I'm very pleased with this round of service and repair. Of course, I'm still displeased that my USB connector stopped working after fewer than 10 uses. (je)


Just thought I'd drop you a line to say that Nikon Hellas [Greek distributor] (not actually Nikon, but Damkalidis are the jokers who runs this service dpt), are to be avoided at all costs. I took my D80 two years ago to them, as my 18-70DX would get stuck half way through mounting onto the D80 (turn lens to mount onto body, button lifts half way, need to press it down again to continue mounting circle, or just hold down lens release button throughout entire process). I took it it to their service dpt four times, each time they told me it was fixed. Within five or so times of mounting it, it was up to cock again. It wasn't the particular lens at fault as I had a friend with an 18-70 that I tried, did the same thing. Just that the 18-70 in particular gave me this issue. None of my other lenses did this. I eventually just sold the lens, and ended upgrading to the 24-70, and called it a day. I paid for the 'repair' to be done, and was never satisfied, but I had got so tired of going back and forth (an hours drive back and then forth an hour), I gave up. I should have demanded my money back. Fast forward to a year later, and I have a D700. I bought a 180 F2.8 IF ED lens (used off ebay, bad move eh?), and it front focused by +6. I told them to fine tune the lens (something you can't really do with an af-d lens, yeah I know), and told them, here it goes, to check my D700 that it was within spec, and if not, to tune it to spec. My D700 was perfect (all my lenses focusing 100% wide open; fast primes shot wide open etc), but I made the mistake of telling them ; seeing as the 180 lens, according to your results is 'within spec', please tune my D700 to that lens. Big mistake. I then told them that they had made my D700 front focus with all my other lenses, and to fine tune it to their 50mm lens. Little did I know, that they do not test past f2.8 (On an f1.8, or f1.4 lens? Are they serious?!). That was where things went REALLY wrong. My 50mm 1.8D that was bang on target before, needed more than +20 af fine tune. At that point I just gave up.
 
I sent an email to Nikon ellas to complain; they asked me if I still had the D700 (I sold it, was still under warranty), they said they would have had me speak directly to the technician; why they just didn't do this from the word go I don't know. They offered to take another look at my D80 too, I said I no longer have that lens etc. I appreciated the call, but too little, too late. I was told that when a camera is new (he used the D3 as an example, not the D3s har har) the customer needs to work with the service dpt to solve the issues, it being a new camera and all. I call bs. He may as well have said, yeah we don't have a clue how to fix for front/back focus, but we'll give it a whirl. At the end of the day though, my fault for ever taking it to them and expecting them to get it right. Once scarred twice shy etc.
 
Nikon service has been great in the UK (had my D80 checked for off white balance, as well as when it got fried when I connected it via USB cable (Yes, lesson learnt), all under warranty. (gk)


You want to give them business and after tracking you find this information. NOT being available to receive a package....I know 9:37am is early for some but aren't they running a business? I used Nikon's on-line packing slip for shipping information and address. Even verified it.... Not instilling confidence in their customer service in my mind.

Label/Receipt Number: 0310 1230 0000 2154 3456
Expected Delivery Date: October 5, 2010
Class: Priority Mail®
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation™
Insured
Status: Notice Left

We attempted to deliver your item at 9:37 am on October 05, 2010 in EL SEGUNDO, CA 90245 and a notice was left. You may pick up the item at the Post Office indicated on the notice, go to www.usps.com/redelivery, or call 800-ASK-USPS begin of the skype highlighting 800-ASK-USPS end of the skype highlighting to arrange for redelivery. If this item is unclaimed after 15 days then it will be returned to the sender. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.

Detailed Results:

Notice Left, October 05, 2010, 9:37 am, EL SEGUNDO, CA 90245
Arrival at Post Office, October 05, 2010, 8:34 am, EL SEGUNDO, CA 90245
Processed through Sort Facility, October 05, 2010, 2:38 am, LOS ANGELES, CA 90052
Processed through Sort Facility, October 04, 2010, 10:55 pm, ANAHEIM, CA 92899
Acceptance, October 04, 2010, 3:28 pm, HACIENDA HEIGHTS, CA 91745 (mb)


I'd like to share with you a recent experience with Nikon's service. As you are aware, Nikon has numerous service and repair centres all over the world, but how they treat Nikon owners when we bring in our equipment for service or repair can vary depending on where you are. Recently, my son's D90 suffered a broken memory compartment door. Obviously not a warranty issue, we enquired about a repair and was told to send it in for an estimate. Approximate down time - 2-3 weeks if parts are available, approximate cost, to be determined. Since I was about to travel to Asia I suggested to my son that I take it along with me and try to have it fixed at a local Nikon Service centre.

As soon as I arrived in Singapore, I looked up the local Nikon Service centre, found that its conveniently located a few minutes walk from a subway station in the downtown area and was there shortly after 10am. There was already a small crowd waiting to be served and I was # 13 in line. Whilst waiting, I browsed around at the product display area and played with some exotic lenses that were available for us to try out. #13 was called out on the overhead display and I was greeted by a charming lady that enquired about my problem. When I showed her the camera and added that I'm only going to be in town for a few days, she said that she see what she can do to help me. After checking with the boys in the back room, she came back and told me to browse around at the display area while they repair my camera. In less than half an hour, my camera came back with a new memory compartment door and a bill for $24.

Now, I've not had much experience with other Service centres, but I thought that you might want to add this experience to your database. I'm one happy Nikon user. (ps)



In June 2009 I purchased a Nikon camera and lens on the internet – I didn’t know it was a gray market camera or understand what that meant.  When it arrived, I registered both the camera and lens on-line.  NikonMall offered an extended warranty, which I purchased for $124.99.  
 
In October, the auto-focus started malfunctioning on the lens (18-200 3.5-5.6G AFS-DX VR II).  I contacted Nikon USA (spoke with Raney Hernandez), gave him all the information on my camera and lens, and he told me to send it in for repair.  Not knowing if the problem was with the camera or the lens, he told me I could send in both camera and lens.  I sent a copy of the purchase invoice, emails with Nikon, and the extended warranty from NikonMall.  A month later, both items were returned with no repair.  There was a stamp on the paperwork that said “Non-US Product” with no explanation as to why it was not repaired.  My thought was:  “Duh, I know it is a Non-US product – it’s manufactured in Japan”.   Further, the camera was returned with a gouge in the monitor that wasn’t there when I sent it in.
 
Again I contacted Nikon.  They apologized for not repairing the camera and lens and sent me a shipping label so I could return it for repair.  Again, I sent them the camera, lens, and all my documentation – including the extended warranty information and a lengthy letter. A month later, I again received the camera and lens with no repair on the lens, no repair on the camera (that they damaged) and no explanation other than the “Non-US Product”.
 
On Jan 11th, I called again and spoke with a gentleman named Nicholas.  Finally, he explained the Gray issue. When I explained the sequence of events and the fact that NikonMall sold me an extended warranty, he admitted that Nikon botched this up and said he would see what he could do and get back with me.
 
On Jan 16th, I called again to check on the status and spoke with John.  He flat said that they had no record of my speaking to anyone on January 11th and they would not repair the camera or lens.  He advised me to contact NikonMall to get a refund for my extended warranty.  
 
Do I have any recourse?  I just want my camera and lens fixed --- that’s why I bought the extended warranty.  If they aren’t going to honor the extended warranty, why did they sell it? [sk]


It would seem that I'm having a GOOD experience with Nikon Service
 
My SB-600 experienced a broken flip-down difuser after it took a nosedive to the floor.  After an unsuccessful  internet search for a repair part, I called Nikon Service Parts Department in California.  I did have a 12 minute wait to talk to a human, but in the end, he went away for another minute and came back to announce he was  sending me a FREE replacement part
 
Never mind that the part was designed with little ears that were just bound to break off, the service was GOOD -- you can't beat FREE! [rw]


I damaged my D300 by dropping it into an inaccessible place and not only did it fall, it sat in the rain until it could be recovered. It had a Sigma 10-20 lens on it at the time. When I got it, it generally worked although the pop up flash was inoperable, and the WB button was jammed - stuck in. I sent the camera to Nikon, they received it (based on USPS receipt) on Monday, July 13 (simultaneously Sigma received the lens). On July 15 I received a reply from Sigma that the lens was non economically repairable and offering me a discount on a replacement.

By Saturday, I hadn't heard anything from Nikon so I called them. They said that they had received it and would let me know when they had evaluated it. On the following Tuesday, they emailed me an estimate - $291 to repair "water damage". I immediately approved it and the status was changed on the website to "in shop" where it stayed for two weeks. Then the status changed to "parts hold" on Wednesday August 5. In remained "parts hold" for four-and-a-half weeks, until it changed to "in shop" again on September 4. On September 23 it changed to "billed" and then "shipped" and I received it back on September 29, 11 weeks after they received it.

In the time that they had it, I contacted them three times via the website asking for status and received no helpful information, basically that they are working on it as fast as possible.

The list of repairs was long, including a new top cover, new bayonet mount, new CF pins, cleaning and adjusting. In general, I am very happy with the work done and the price, however they communication and the speediness of the repair left something to be desired. I would think Nikon could get parts for this camera in less than 4 1/2 weeks. [gv]


Maybe all the online commotion re: Nikon's repair services  has caused them to improve or maybe I was just lucky. I purchased a D80 1st week of January  this year. Other than the usual  matrix meter problems,the camera worked fine until a few weeks ago when the shutter started to hang up with no picture being recorded.  I called  Nikon support  and they told me the recomended troubleshooying steps most of which i had already done. They explained to me the process for sending the camera to the Melville service dept. I shipped the camera Sept.21st ups tracking had nikon receiving it the 22nd and Nikon had it logged in on the 23rd. After reading so many horror stories  online about Nikon not providing free warranty service, in many cases claiming owner misuse, I was relieved to see that the estimate was $0 with repairs covered under warranty.

The status remained at estimate for a couple of days and then changed to in shop. On Oct 2 UPS delivered the camera to my door. I was surprised because the status that morning was "billed".  The report sent to me with the camera indicated that the following work was done:Rpr shutter mechanism,CLN CCd,General check and clean, Ckd communiction and Adj A-white balance.

I am guessing the shutter was replaced  as when i sent it in the shutter count was over 9,000 and after checking exif data upon return it showed 12 actuations. This is my second nikon camera and my first repair experience. I have only taken a few picures with the repaired camera but  the results so far look like they repaired it well. I would also like to say that the camera was returned shrinkwrapped in the box i sent it in in and they were careful to use air pillows in that box as well as the box they placed that in. Eleven day turnaround....not too shabby!  I think i may owe a bit of gratitude to  those who posted  as to how and where Nikon repair services was lacking and made suggestions as to how Nikon could improve. I would like to think that Nikon has taken steps to improve it's repair dept. and that my experience wasn't just luck. I guess time will tell [ep]


It was very interesting to read another Nikon User's experience with bad customer service in Australia. My saga started in the USA, went through Canada and Australia, and is about to head back to the USA.
 
I bought a Nikkor AF 16-85mm 3.5-5.6G DX ED VR lens from ACE Photo in VA (an authorised reseller), USA. Ser# US260062XX This is a USA lens, not a grey market import. I got a US warranty, plus a one year international warranty. That was in March 2008.
 
The lens specifications were exactly what I was looking for, however, after a while, I started noticing that the lens had a problem with auto-focusing at a wide-angle. As I was Vancouver, BC, Canada at the time, I took the lens in to Nikon Canada. They had a look at it. I collected it after a while, but was not satisfied. I took it back to Nikon Canada. They "fixed" it under the international warranty, and assured me that the lens was fine. Nikon Canada was very friendly, and did not charge me anything. Now it was October 2008. I left on an extended international trip, with my lens.
 
Some time into my trip, I noticed the same problem re-occurring - failure to focus at wide-angle. As I was still travelling, I decided to manually focus whenever the problem occurred.
 
Finally I reached Australia. There one day, when I pulled the lens out of my bag, I realised that the inner barrel had become detached from the outer. I assumed that a screw had become loose, due to the failed "repair" attempt by Nikon Canada.
 
Frustrated, I took the lens in to a large dealer, L&P Photographic in Sydney. They were very helpful, and forwarded the lens to Nikon Australia. Then came shock #1. Nikon Australia would not honour either warranty, or the warranty on the repair by Nikon Canada. Nikon Australia quoted my $400 for fixing the lens. (Keep in mind this lens sells for $609 at B&H). This was October 2009, less than a year after the last repair by Nikon Canada.
 
I refused the repair, and went back to L&P to pick it up. Shock #2. Nikon Australia charged me $60 for refusing to repair my lens under warranty! I wrote to Nikon, and was told by the same Stephen Castle, Customer "Relations" Executive (of the other user's report) that Nikon Australia would not budge. Fortunately L&P Photographic had the grace to realise that this charge was grossly unfair, and they did not pass it on to me.
 
So far I think it is Nikon 4, me 0 in regards to this particular lens.
- They sold me a bad lens (quality control)
- Then they fixed it badly (quality control)
- Then they wouldn't fix the problem under warranty (customer service)
- Then they charged me $60 for refusing to help me (bad customer relations).
 
In the mean time I have called up Ace Photo in the USA. They told me to send the lens back to them, and they would forward it to Nikon USA. This I will do asap, and will report back about the results. Awaiting the continuing saga ... [cr]


On October 20, 2009, I shipped two damaged lenses (a 24-70mm f/2.8 and a 14-24mm f/2.8) to Nikon Service in El Segundo to have the zoom rings repaired.  After dropping these lenses during a trip to Egypt, both lenses had difficulty zooming.  UPS shipping showed the lenses arrived on October 22, 2009.
 
On October 30, 2009, Nikon acknowledged receipt of the lenses via e-mail, and provided a repair estimate for a class C repair (major parts to be replaced).  I authorized the repair immediately on the 30th and a few days later, the website status was changed to "Parts Hold" which meant that the repair was being held up waiting for parts.
 
On November 12, 2009, I contacted Nikon Service.  My first phone call was answered, but the person was talking to another customer while I was on the line.  I could hear her end of the conversation--almost like someone answered the phone and then put the receiver next to a customer service rep.  I hung up and called back, this time getting a male customer service representative.  After I explained that I was hoping to get my lenses back on/before November 20th to deal with holiday shots, he put me on hold to contact the repair center.  After several minutes, he came back on the line and told me he had spoken with them and that the parts hold was still in place and that the repair parts would not be delivered until November 19th, but that the lenses would ship out immediately after that.  I thanked him for his efforts and figured that I would just have to wait for the repaired lenses until after Thanksgiving.
 
On November 19th, I returned home and discovered a UPS sticker on my door, showing a package shipped from Nikon.  A check of the Nikon support website showed the status as "shipped."  I immediately drove to UPS and picked up the box, which contained two lenses.  A check of the invoice showed that Nikon had replaced both lenses!  As near as I can tell, my phone call led to a decision to send me replacement lenses with new serial numbers (I presume these are refurbished lenses) rather than delay shipping my original lenses due to the parts hold.  No doubt someone else will get my original lenses once they are repaired.
 
IMHO, kudos to Nikon Service for shipping me lenses in time for my holiday work; they really should have made me aware that they were doing this though.  I imagine that some people would prefer to have a choice in the matter, although I am very, very happy to have working Nikon lenses again!!  And it probably shouldn't take a phone call from me to make that decision--I seem to notice an (anecdotal) trend here from the report experiences that once a follow-up phone call is made after the initial shipment, things suddenly happen very quickly at Nikon Service. [ah]


purchased Nikon 24-70 2.8 new in March

within one week and use in sever environments the zoom started scraping in the horizontal shooting position but not the vertical. sent in to Nikon spent about $50 through ups to have it sent in and fixed under warranty. Everything went smoothly and had it back inside two weeks.

fast foward to early november Went to photograph a band had to go 3 blocks in rain with 24-70 mounted to d700 got inside dried it off and as i shot the rubber on the zoom ring was completely flexible and all over the place.

one week later 24-70 and d700 combo was inside my crumpler camera bag with 70-200 mounted to a second d700 on my chair by my computer as i was packing up for a wedding. the camera bag top was shut but not fastened it became top heavy and fell to the floor. the 24-70 had broken. right at the top of the barrel near the lens mount that last section that meets up at the zoom ring close to the lens mount separated about about 3 to 5 mm and the zoom ring was really tight. i pushed and the top went back leaving a gap of about 2 to 3 mm and was able to function.

monday november 16th ups ships lens to Nikon melville ny

wednesday november 18th ups notification that nikon has received the lens.

friday november 20th afternoon I call repair they look me up but are not able to give me a repair number yet and I am adviced that it takes about 3 to 4 days to get repairs checked into the system.

tuesday november 24th second call and am informed that they are about about one week behind and that there is no repair number for me to have so I can check the repair status online. I am asked to give it 48 hours and call a third time. I explain that as a professional Nikon shooter I understand they are back up and understand but find it unsettling that it's not even checked in to a system. [nk]


I sent my D300 to Nikon to have the PC Connector repaired (the barrel has come loose inside the connector).  It was delivered by Fedex on Dec. 1, 2009 by 9am, and to date (Dec. 7, 2009) they have not even logged it into the system.  They claim they are backed up and are still logging in repairs from Nov. 30 and it will likely be a few more days before it is logged in.  Interestingly enough they claim they are NOT backed up on repairs.  I will let you know how the rest goes once they have it in their shop and see if the repair is performed in a timely fashion or not.  Somehow I think I’m going to be without my primary body for over a month at this rate. [gb]


Don't know if you've received any complaints but my 80-400 has been in El Segundo for about 4 weeks.  Maybe it should stay there and I should get a 300 or 400-:)

Just checked and the repair has been on hold for 3 weeks and 1 day for "parts." Of course they demanded the full $540 in advance to start...was paid...but no correspondence.  I had to call and raise a ruckus. (first talking to a guy in the Carribien who know nothing more than what I could get on the internet...then asked for the phone number for the repair facility and he would NOT give it to me...thank goodness for a white page lookup on the internet).

Got a young lady on the phone in El Segundo who would "get back top me....sometimes these things take time."  Oh, yeah it does!  In the past the 2 items sent to Nikon were back in 2 weeks.  Not that the 80-400 is a great lens but I need it tomorrow.  Couldn't they have sent a courtesy email for an update?  That's what service is all about!

Is Nikon losing its reputation with others because I am not too pleased!  Please file this email under "current disgruntled Nikon owners." (bs)

October 2009


The saga begins when I became the proud owner of a new Nikon D300 (back in Jan 2008) which I purchased locally through work (when I was working with Broadway Camera House). This camera provided sterling service for well over a year (about 14-16 months of trouble free service) before I noticed a degradation of the image quality of the rear LCD screen. At first I ignored it thinking I was being paranoid, but was forced to act on it when members of this forum noticed that my D300 screen was funny at the forum PMA Dinner. At the time, Gary, Leigh and a few others believed that the reason for this image colour and detail degradation could be originating from one of two sources, a faulty LCD panel, or a faulty piece of circuitry. This resulted to my first trip to Nikon Australia.

This first trip to Nikon Australia (June 2009) was pleasant, probably the most pleasant from this saga. I dropped off the camera at Lidcombe in person and was told that I would hear from them in a week or so. I got this initial quote back within a few weeks (June 30), the news:

NIKON D300 DIGITAL SLR S# 601XXXX
Inspect and test camera unit, dismantle unit, replace LCD monitor, re-assemble unit, check operation, adjust, clean and service unit as required and test all functions. NOTE: Fault was not observed during testing – repair actions are on speculation only. ESTIMATED COST OF REPAIRS 337.81

After reading this, I called up Nikon to clarify the situation and was told that they could not find the cause of the fault but thought that the LCD would be the most likely suspect, I would be covered for SIX months and any further repair work on this situation would be covered under warranty. I was very happy to go ahead on this repair with the firm belief that things would go well and I would have a fully functional camera back soon. However this would not be the case.

When I was told the camera was ready for pick up (July 16) I welcomed the camera back, initial shots showed that everything was in order. However, this was short lived, with the same problem rearing its ugly head again in a matter of hours, so the camera was taken back to Lidcombe on the same day. At this point in time I was still happy to return the camera and have it checked over again.

On July 23 I recieved another email letting me know that my camera was ready for pick up, that nothing was wrong with it and that there was a Technicians report. This did not bode well for me, and I was eagar to see what was in that report.

NIKON D300 DIGITAL SLR S# 601XXXX
Inspect and test camera unit, clean unit as required and test all functions. NOTE: The monitor is a VGA (Video Graphics Array) display, with a 640×480 at 16 bit colour depth. This is a very basic display and when viewing images that have a similar but slightly varied brightness will show the rainbow banding seen in the sample images. The LCD is 900, 000 pixels but still will display the VGA colour depth. Also, the exposure has contributed to the problem. The sample images that show the effect are poorly exposed, generally by about +1 to +2 stops, due to the use of manual exposure mode. Under normal exposure conditions the effect is not present or greatly reduced. This is why it was stated in the previous repair estimate report that the effect was not observed and the replacement of the monitor was to be carried out on speculation only. Had sample images been supplied, monitor replacement would not have been suggested. When seen a monitor of greater colour depth, the effect is not present or greatly reduced. Recommend that the user utilise auto exposure modes to achieve better exposure results and recognise the limitations of a VGA display. The intended use of the monitor is toconfirm correct exposure, focus, composition, etc, not as a primary display. For these purposes, the VGA standard is suitable.

I do not need to tell you that I was not happy with this result. I found this report both not useful and offensive, summing to.
- a lecture about VGA displays
- I don’t know how to use Manual exposure
- I should use P, A or S modes on a D300

BUT not taking into account - detail degradation – which makes focus confirmation very difficult- 14-16 months of faultless service prior to degradation of the LCD image- supplied images being well exposed or slightly UNDER exposed (-0.5 to -1 stops) as confirmed by Steve Castle (Head of Service at Nikon Australia).

After a lengthy discussion with Steve Castle about the issue, and comparisions between images recorded and displayed on my D300 and then the Nikon Service “master” body, we could not reach an agreement as to what was being observed. I felt as if I was the only one there that was not colour blind, although I had the knowledge that everyone outside of Nikon that has seen the camera can vouch for the presence of a fault. Possibly to my error I took the camera back and pursued a refund on the original repair. This process took until after September 10 to get a partial refund, I agreed to be reasonable and compromised with a refund on the cost of the LCD screen and paying for labour with Kurtis White (National Sales and Service Manager).

The saga does not end here, as a stroke of luck meant that I would have my D300 with me on a Sony Cybershot training (Oct 7) night where I met and got to know some of the VERY NICE people from Foto Reisel Camera House who saw my camera and urged me to bring it in to them so they could try to help me out. To their credit, Colin Macdougall (Retail Manager) and Jade (Repairs) were a great help. I dropped off the camera, along with both repair reports with the hope that having the support of an important retailer would help my case. Before we sent off the camera we compared my D300 with one in the shop, and everyone (myself, Colin, Jade and George – another salesman present) concluded that there was something seriously wrong with my camera. We even let their Nikon rep (Andrew King – whom I had worked with in the past) know about the service history in hope that he could help get to the bottom of this.

It wasn’t until the mid October that we would hear from Nikon again. According to Jade, Nikon could not find a fault and had a technicians report for me, this was to the same affect as the previous report. Thankfully, Jade put his foot down and refused to accept that resolution.

The next twist was one that really intrigues me. I received a call from Steve Castle on October 26 telling me that there was nothing more he could do except perform a custom hue adjustment to remove the ‘green hue’ from my screen and that there was nothing wrong with the unit, it was ‘within spec’. I proceeded to enquire the reason for the call and was told that he had already spoken to Jade, so I asked Steve Castle to have the image processing pipeline checked to see if my (and Gary, Leigh, Jade, Colin and Richard – Camera Service Centre) suspicions were correct. I then called Jade to verify that he had spoken to Steve, it turns out that there was no conversation with Jade, only a conversation about the fault, not the proposed solution.

The final installment arrived on November 3. I received a call from Jade informing me that Nikon had “found an improvement when they replaced a DRG board” one of the driver circuits for the LCD display (what everyone had suspected!!) BUT the cost of repair would be $600, however Steve Castle was in conversation with Nikon Japan, Nikon Australia still believes that the camera is behaving within spec. I waited, until today (November 5) when I saw Jade in person and was told that there was nothing to be done but either take the camera back unrepaired ($100 quotation fee) or pay for the repair ($600).

I have decided not to go ahead with this repair, and to Jade’s (and Foto Riesel’s) credit, they reduced the quotation fee to $60 (what Nikon is charging them). I cannot praise the quality of service that Foto Riesel has provided me, but I cannot say the same about Nikon Australia. I now await the return of my D300 and will update this post when I get the Technicians report that comes along with it.

It has taken Nikon Australia 3 (or is it 4) attempts over five months to find a fault (that according to them is not a fault) was speculated by us all along. To their (dis)credit, it appears that they did not fire test images during the first trip, insulted myself (2nd tech report) and are now not fixing a problem that they have indicated to be so unique that it is the first recorded case.

For those who made it to the end of this marathon post, thank you for reading. If you could all share your opinions on how you would feel about this if it were you, I would be greatly appreciated. I know that I cannot praise Nikon Service to any customer who comes in to buy a Nikon, it really is tough to sell a camera from a company that lets you down. (cf)

[Thom's comments: This report brings up a ton of issues, all of which seem to recur from time to time in Nikon's repair department. The first thing that raised my eyebow was the "Fault was not observed during testing" comment in Nikon's repair report. It seems unusual to repair something that, according to those at the service desk, has no problems. This is the first flag of a repair gone wrong: essentially Nikon admitted to doing a random repair, one which they did not think was necessary. But this gets back to one of the things that I've always said about dealing with Nikon repair: always provide proof of the problem. In the case of this camera, proof is a little tougher than usual, because it requires two cameras. A known good camera shooting Scene X would display a good looking image on the LCD, the problem camera shooting the same scene would display something different (and in this case obviously worse). Of course, getting Nikon to do a side-by-side test is the first problem. It appears that this never occurred to Nikon themselves. But more importantly, three attempts to repair a camera that takes five months to complete is a big customer problem. It's one of the reasons why I've long written that Nikon needs an Ombudsman within their subsidiaires, and one that has some flexibility in intervening in useful ways (providing loaner equipment, outright replacement, etc.). But the thing that bothers me most about this and other similar experiences that I receive is that they've been repeating now for over a decade. There's no indiciation that Nikon Australia saw this as a failure on their part and put into place any additional testing or procedures to try to keep the problem from repeating in the future. That's the scary part.]


Nikon was completely unresponsive with a D300 repair that took over four months to accomplish. When called on their lack of responsiveness, they accepted no responsibility and simply blamed the dealer. (True or not, it's terrible PR to tell a customer that a Nikon authorized dealer is incompetent. The store manager was less than thrilled at how they handled this communication.) [the poster went on to describe how he's voted with his pocketbook and moved to Canon] (jf)


I read with interst the experiences of Nikon users – both good and bad and here is mine. I bought some years ago in Singapore the nikon cool walker digital storage. From the day I got it the battery had problems. It would not retain the charge and while downloading a CF card the battery would die. The entire process taking 2-3 minutes. I tried changing the battery and no improvement..The battery is supposed to hav a life of one hour to one and a half.
 
On a trip to Singapore I visited the Nikon service centre and explained my problem. The veredict: forget about repair – go buy another one as the cost of repair is more then the cost of the cool walker. Now I decided that I will use it on mains power supply and then when it completely dies it makes an attractive paper weight and conversation piece for my office. Considering I paid good money for this, it’s a pity Nikon makes and sells such devices.
 
Nikon recently opened a “own” service centre in Mumbai, located just across the road from my office. I take the cool walker there and they look at it like they don’t know what it is. I explained my problem and asked if they hav a service manual for this which apparently they don’t hav. Needless to say I declined to give them the unit.
 
I then asked if they clean fungus from lenses and I got the prompt reply that they only do it for the AF lenses and not the manual lenses. I cant understand the logic. Nikon makes manual lenses even now – so am I to assume that if you buy a manual lens then you are on yr own as far as service is concerned.!!!!   (av)


I dropped and broke a 14-24 AF-S 2.8G ED at an event recently.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009: sent it to Nikon Service in Melville, NY via FedEx
Thursday, October 1, 2009: received and signed for by Nikon Service.
Monday, October 5, 2009: received repair estimate... I approved repair for $269 (certainly fair, all things considered).
Monday, October 12, 2009: status changed to shipped.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009: received my baby in perfect condition.

Total time from my door to Nikon and back: 15 days. I am NOT a NPS member. They even removed my old identification sticker from the shattered hood, and put it on the new one.

I also sent a 70-200 VR at the same time. It is still shown as "In Shop" but after a quick call to them, it is in "quality check" will ship today or tomorrow.

Overall, this is my 2nd VERY positive experience using Melville, NY service. (bv)


I just wanted to share a positive Nikon Repair experience.  I've had my D90 for a little over six months, and a few weeks ago noticed a couple of stuck spots (I later learned they're called hot pixels - I'm new to DSLRs and hadn't heard the term before).  I called Nikon to see if they could fix it at the local authorized repair facility, but they said that I should send it in to the NY facility.  Having heard multiple horror stories of how long the process might take and that the repair may not even be done correctly, I was a little apprehensive.  Nevertheless, I sent it via UPS on 6 Oct (Tuesday), UPS tracking said it was delivered on 8 Oct (Thursday), and on 12 Oct (Monday) I received an email that it had been checked in to the repair system.  Since it was a warranty repair, I did not need to authorize the work.  I followed the status online, and on 16 Oct (Friday) at about 9:30am, the UPS truck showed up at my house with the repaired camera.  I had been on the phone told that the repair typically took 7-10 business days after I received the check-in email, so I was very pleasantly surprised to have it back as quickly as I did.  The funny part is that the same day I received the camera back from repair, I also received a letter in the mail indicating that Nikon had received my camera and that I could track its status online.  I guess their paper notifications lag a little behind the emails.

I have checked out the camera, and aside from the minor annoyance of having to reset any and all settings I had customized, I am very pleased with the repair.  I have seen no indication that the pixels are still "hot," and I'm thrilled to have it back, especially since we have family visiting this weekend.  I have read online that other camera manufacturers have allowed the user the ability to re-map hot pixels, so you wouldn't need to send it in for repair.  That would be very nice, but aside from that, the repair experience I had was very satisfactory.  The only thing that I had hoped for that didn't materilaize was that perhaps they would have decided that the D90 was beyond repair and instead replaced it with a free-of-charge D300s.  ;-) (ct)


I delayed sending in my equipment until I knew I wouldn't need them for a long period of time. Sent in a 70-200 f2.8 and the 18-200 and a SB800.  My items were received Friday 10/10/09 I was contacted by Nikon Service New York on Monday 10/13/09.  Both lenses were covered by warranty even though the 18-200 is at least 4 years old.  I received a quote on repairing the SB800 that I thought was reasonable compared to the price of a new SB800.

On Wed 10/20/09 I had both of my lenses back in my hands looking brand new----a total of TEN days including two weekends and return shipping to me!!!  I am NOT a Nikon Pro member. WOW, I am impressed! (jrm)


September 2009


I wanted to give you information about my grey market experience.
 
I think in 1998 or 1999 I bought a new 80-200 AF-S lens in the United States.  It was grey market (I was not an educated consumer at that time).  Fast forward to August 2009.  The AF-S motor blows out (I guess 10 years is pretty good for a silent wave motor).  I am currently based in Singapore and I took the lens to Nikon Singapore for repair. 
 
They took the lens and repaired it.  I did not have to bring in any papers with me (which is good since they are in storage in the United States).  Thus, I have a few possible conclusions:

  • The grey lens originated from Singapore.
  • The computer systems cannot track "older" lenses.  Of course, we have no idea if this means by date, by type of lens or a combination of both.
  • Nikon Singapore (and maybe other smaller distributors) will fix grey market lens.
  • Maybe I got totally lucky. (ws)

They've had my D2Xs with a fried shutter for over a week and it's not even been 'checked in' yet. Both my Nikon bodies are down and I'm shooting borrowed Canon gear in the meantime.

Spent another 22 minutes on hold to hear them make excuses about Monday being a holiday.

...wait...while I was typing this I got the estimate..."B2 Service Repair Rank B2"....$298.45...I'm assuming/hoping that's for a shutter replacement. (tr)


My 400 2.8 started acting very strangely, intermittent loss of autofocus, aperture would read as f/11 regardless of settings on camera. I was in LA for a shoot already, so I took it in to the El Segundo office personally. I filled out the paperwork for a non-warranty repair, and left the lens with instructions to ship it to my house in the SF Bay Area. I heard them quoting everyone else there 7-10 business days, they quoted me 5 business days due to my NPS membership. Less than an hour later I received an email with service order number and general instructions on tracking, and then one with an estimate of $350. One big problem was that the estimate listed my lens as an 80-400 rather than a 400 2.8. I called and talked to a rep who told me that they were in fact showing it correctly in their system, and a few minutes later I received a corrected email, with a lower estimate ($320) which I immediately approved.

I kept an eye on the online tracking, watching as the lens went through the various steps in the repair process for a couple days, until the third day when the system showed it going backwards in the process. I called and spoke to a rep who told me that this does happen with the online system, and let me know that it was in fact finished and in post-repair testing. I received it via UPS the next day, 6 days total/4 business days after I dropped it off. They replaced the mount, aperture ring, and contacts. It works fine now.

Overall I'm happy with the service, but their communication and online system could certainly be quite a bit better. (mc)


I wanted to buy a Nikkor AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S that was for sale on a popular website. I contacted the seller to find out if it was a US or import. He did not know so I contacted Nikon USA via email. I gave them the serial number and asked if they could tell me if it was an import or not. This was the response:
"Unfortunately, serial number alone will not verify if the lens is for the USA. The lens would have to be physically inspected by Nikon.

You can verify that the lens is for the USA if the seller still has the original Nikon Inc. USA warranty card. Also, if the seller has the original box, it will have the product number 1960 on the bar code.

Thanks for using Nikon products!
Nikon Inc. (USA) Support / Service"

The owner of the lens sent me a photo of the bar code on the box and it had the 1960 there. So I purchased the lens and of course it squeaked like a stuck pig when I mounted it on my D700. I contacted the seller and he said no problem send it to Nikon for repair. 10 days after Nikon received the lens I contacted Nikon in CA. and asked about the status. Their response:

"Thank you for your inquiry regarding the status of your Nikon repair.

Your lens has shipped back unrepaired. The UPS tracking # is: 1Z9*************.

"Gray market" Nikon products are those that were not imported and distributed by Nikon USA but were purchased by the end consumer in the USA. Nikon USA will not service gray market products under any circumstances, even for a fee.

A Nikon product purchased by a customer from an authorized Nikon dealer in another country will be serviced by Nikon USA as long as the customer provides the Nikon Worldwide Warranty that was supplied with the product and the sales receipt from the overseas dealer. This documentation must be presented for warranty and non-warranty service.

Any product sent to Nikon USA for non-warranty service is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If there is a question about the origin of a product, our factory service centers require the customer to provide documentation (such as a Nikon Inc. warranty or a sales receipt from an authorized Nikon dealer outside the USA) before any service will be performed. A non-USA sales receipt is mandatory to obtain service for a non-USA model."

I sent Nikon a message with a copy of my original correspondence and they just sent back a note that said: Thank you, once it was here it was confirmed to by non U.S.

I guess I still don’t know how to tell just by physical examination of the lens if it is a US model or not. But I guess the only way to be sure BEFORE you send a lens in is to have the original paperwork. Is it really that hard to tell a US model from an Import? (sr)

[Thom's response: now you know why I've been harping on this subject for years: there is no 100% sure way to verify that a piece of used equipment is not gray. All that wonderful "backwards compatibility" of the Nikon F mount is basically destroyed by the fact that NikonUSA won't repair any and all equipment it receives. To this day, I've never received an understandable answer to the question "why won't you repair gray market equipment for a fee?" Nikon, I know you read my commentary. Simply put: when your business gets into trouble some day--and all businesses eventually do--customer loyalty is not something you should be counting on to help pull you out.


In July 2009, I purchased a Factory Refurbished SB-800 Flash with a 90-day Nikon Warranty. The hotshoe was worn (excessive rocking on my D300), the head was loose, there were scratches all over the body, and the rubber connector covers were oxidized and smooth. Clearly, the flash was heavily used and I thought it substandard for a refurb. I sent it to Nikon Service for repairs.

8/14 - generated Packing List from Nikon's website, detailing problems
with flash, and shipped using USPS.
8/17 - USPS delivered to Melville
8/18 - Nikon sends email estimate. It's a B1 repair all covered under
warranty. Online status is "Estimate."
8/19 - Nikon updates status to "Estimate Accepted."
8/21 - Letter received dated 8/18.
8/24 - Nikon updates status to "Bill."
8/27 - UPS delivered flash to my home.
8/28 - Online status changed to "Shipped."

The statement lists "hotshoe replaced, condenser adjusted." The worn rubber connector cover was not replaced, but Nikon gave me a diffuser. The flash was out of service for 13 days, including shipping time, which didn't bother me. I rate this as a good experience overall.


[copy of something sent to NikonUSA] I am writing to complain about the recent warranty repairs on my new D3X camera body ser. # 5006888. I have sent the camera to you twice to repair a hot pixel problem and received it today, September 2, 2009, in 10X worse condition than it was originally. It is totally unusable now. Please see attached pictures. I will give you some background.
 
On August 4, 2009, I shipped you my D3X camera body to repair six hot pixels and to repair the autofocus for a back focusing problem. UPS shows that it was delivered to you on Wednesday August 5, 2009. I received an acknowledgement e-mail from you on August 10, 2009 and I approved the estimate (warranty repair) the same day. The Service order number was 5113120. I had sent in pictures of the hot pixels for the technician to view so there would be not problem verifying the problem. I received the camera back on August 18, 2009 and it had the same six bad pixels that I sent it in for. I called your 800 number and the person on the phone told me to send it back and sent me a return shipping label. I shipped it back on August 21, 2009 and you received it on August 22, 2009. I included a CF card with an image showing the same 6 hot pixels that I sent it in with to begin with, just to make sure that the technician would see the problem. I also sent in a letter indicating that this was a repeat repair and indicating that the six bad pixels were still there. I received an e-mail from you on August 21, 2009 indicating that you had received the camera and indicating that it had service order #5124320.  
 
I received the camera body back today and I took a test picture (enclosed) at ISO 100 F/22 ad 1/3 of a second. It had a hot pixel(s) that a nickel would not cover on my computer screen. I called customer service again.  They opened up case number 090828-011521 [Incident: 090902-009440]. They are forwarding me another shipping label to send the camera back yet a third time. I also forwarded a copy of the picture illustrating the problem to the customer service representative so that she could see as well. I will be shipping the camera back to your Melville facility for a third time once I receive the shipping label.
 
I have been without the use of my $7,300.00 D3X body for a month so far and have much worse problems with it now than before your 2 prior attempts to repair it. Therefore, since you seem to not be able to repair it, I request that you replace this grossly defective camera with a new (NOT REFURBISHED) camera body. I await your reply and you can contact me at XXXXX. (wb)


 

In 1964, I sent my Nikkorex F (arguably the worst camera in the world, but it was an affordable intro to the Nikon system for this high school student) to Ehrenreich Photo-optical Industries (EPOI) to cure a light-leak which I'd had since the camera was new. I sent the camera to EPOI and didn't hear anything for months, nor would they respond to my phone calls.

A friend and I happened to travel to NYC that summer, so we took the Long Island Railway out to EPOI's then-location. We weren't expected, but were able to enter. When I explained that I simply wanted to learn what was going on with my camera, we were asked to sit and wait. Soon, a middle-aged, bald man came out and was introduced to me as Joe Ehrenreich.

I wish that I could say that Joe Ehrenreich was a nice guy, but I don't recall him as being that way. He read from a piece of paper that my Nikkorex was awaiting a part from Japan-the top stamping-which had to be replaced because the camera had been dropped (the camera had never been dropped during the time I owned it, and I bought it new from the Fotoshop in Pittsburgh, unused and in its box). Thus, I'd need to pay an amount (I recall it to have been $58.00 but I could be wrong) for the repair. I tried to explain that the light leak had been present since the first day I owned the camera, but Joe Ehrenreich wasn't interested. He told me that I could pay for the repair, or not, but that if I didn't, the camera wasn't going to be shipped back to me.

I left, feeling disgusted. I never did pay for the repair--an exchange of letters followed, and though I was a high school student, I must have been persuasive. That, or Nikon and EPOI acknowledged that the Nikkorex-F was really a piece of trash and prone to problems. It was sent back to me, with its new top, without charge. I suffered with it for another year or so, until I was able to afford a Pentax Spotmatic. Though I returned to using Nikons a few years later, since my encounter with the founder of EPOI--later Nikon USA--I've never had quite the worshipful feeling about the company as I once did.

Just an interesting--to me--episode from a long time ago... (ia)

 

 

June-August 2009


Nikon Service and Repair needs to repair itself first.

My D300's change in aperture in manual mode would not affect the image at all. Also, I could see some dust through the viewfinder and the images were also blurry so I think the sensor was messed up. I send the camera in. 2 weeks later I get a letter telling me that I have to pay $236.00 for the repair. I gladly payed.

3 weeks later, I call support and they tell me that they need to order a part for the camera and that is why it is taking so long.

Another month and 1 week passes by and I finally get my camera back. This is two months... so far. I open it up and quickly test it. There is still no change in aperture. I look through the viewfinder and there is still the same exact dust particles in the viewfinder!!!! The pictures are also still blurry in some areas. I called up and asked what the heck did I pay $236.00 for and they told me that it was all fixed and that they added a firmware update. To my surprise, yes, they did do a firmware update but WTF do I need that for if I can't take any pictures? I send it back and tell me it's going to be 'free of charge' to repair again. That's ridiculous because I'm giving them $236.00 'free of charge'. So I am here now, waiting for the camera which had its problems since May 2009. It is now the 3rd of August 2009. NIKON SERVICE AND REPAIR SUCKS. (pt)


I know you've written about Nikon Service in the past.  I had a recent experience that left me shocked and I thought you may also find it interesting.  Back in June I sent a D700 body to Nikon's El Segundo office for cleaning as there was some stubborn dust on the sensor and in the view finder.  (This camera has been on hiking trips all over southwest with me in the last 15 months).  In late June I sent the well packed camera off to Nikon for a cleaning.  Four weeks later it was returned to me by Nikon in nothing more than an 8 x 8" box of peanuts(not my original packing).  The camera had settled to the bottom of the box and had clearly experienced an impact as the protective cover over the LCD was cracked.  I called Nikon service and they were unapologetic and unhelpful.  All the rep would tell me was to ship the camera back so they could look at it.  When I asked what they could do to assure me that it would be better packaged next time, all I got was a long pause and then the rep reiterated that I needed to send it back if I wanted them to take a look at it.  To me, it is unfathomable that they would simply toss the camera body in a box with some peanuts and ship it back UPS ground. (nw)


My recent experience with Nikon service in Richmond, B.C.

June 15: I walked into the service centre to drop off my D300 body. The rubberized grip was peeling off the body. Stated that parts need to be ordered in and would be repaired in 2-3 weeks time. They would contact me when done. I needed the camera before July 9 (in time for my road trip).

July 3: I place a call to the service centre inquiring about the state of the repair.

July 9: Service centre completed the repair and contacts me. Camera picked up a few days later, after I return from my trip! I am not actually certain if they had forgotten to contact me or the parts came in the day I left for my trip.

In any case, the camera was repaired and sensor cleaned to my satisfaction. They not only replaced the grip but also the rubber surfaces on the back and left-side of the camera. I guess the repair kit contained all the rubber surfaces, so they replaced them all. Good stuff. (sc)

Whilst in Canada in Feb 08, the aperture stop down on my 200-400 became permanently closed down.

I had been using it shooting wildlife in the Rockies in minus 30 Centigrade, then had a long weekend in Toronto for a family wedding. I managed to get the lens to Nikon in Missisauga on Thursday afternoon who had it repaired in time for my return to Vancouver on Monday afternoon! Sadly they insisted that I produce a receipt or warranty card - which I eventually managed but it was hard because I live in New Zealand!

Of course, like most normal people I do not travel with copies of the receipts for my camera gear!! It is high time Nikon had a standard worldwide NPS offering (we get no NPS services at all in NZ) and credit-card type membership card that was recognised worldwide. As you have pointed out, it would also be realistic to expect that the Pro-level cameras have warranties that are worldwide and at least 2 years if not 3.

I would not even mind if this was an Apple-style bolt-on. For example, my Mac Pro has Apple Care which cost me about NZ$400 on top but effectively gives me a full 3 year parts and labour warranty. Nikon could easily do the same.

As a comparison, I had the buffer upgrade done to my D3 here in NZ and it took 14 days!! We have no proper Nikon NZ though - only a distributor.

I am actually almost the only pro I ever meet in NZ that shoots Nikon (Canon are also significantly cheaper here) and I have to say that I may well swap in due course if Nikon don't stop penalising me for not living in the USA! (ma)

Short summary of my experience with Nikon Repair Center in Helsinki, Finland.
Hope it adds something to the picture.

While on a visit in FInland in 2006, I badly stained the antialias filter in my D70. Basically, it looked like a scratch.
My experience with the repair center was as follows:

1. I walk into repair center with my D70.
2. Service guy stops doing whatever he was doing, and cleans the filter for free.
3. 5 minutes later I walk out happy and amazed, with clean D70. 

They did not ask for any documents about the camera. 
I informed them that the camera was purchased in another country (Poland), and was not covered by a warranty in Finland. 
Still, they cleaned it for free.

Month later I needed another cleaning, and they again made it for free in 5 minutes.

Even today I am positively amazed by this experience. (jw)


My D300, that fell so hard to our concrete patio, has now been in Nikon's El Segundo, California repair going on two months. According to my dealer, Nikon repair has reported to him that a D300 parts shortages and a large number of backlogged D300 awaiting repairs are the reason for the extremely long delay.

The camera dealer who sent my repair in (Calumet) felt so bad about the delay, that yesterday the store manager loaned me a D300 body at no charge. I guess that's one advantage of letting a dealer return the camera for repair. It was very considerate of him to do so. (jf)


I bought a d90 4 weeks ago. 2 weeks ago, while I was out shooting and getting use to the camera, It came apart. We have a disagreement on who's fault it is, but that's not the issue. However, Let me say, I do not think the old Nikon would ever consider putting a plastic f-mount on one of their lens. There was a time when Nikon an Quality meant the same thing. Any way I overnighted it because I was in a hurry to get it back. The post office told me it arrived on time, but it was a week and a day before they found it. I got tired of hearing "When the tech opens the box then he will log it." It was found a week and a day or two after I the camera arrived at the repair facility. Anyway I dug around and found not the national number but the number to the building in which my package found itself fighing back a black hole. I was told on Monday a week after overnighting it that they were just opening packages arriving a week past, but as soon as the suction on the black hole decreased they would find my box, and "the tech when opening the box would logged it." At this point, I surrender myself to the fact that maybe my camera was lost and I needed to drive to california to find it myself or let it go and hope that they find it.

They did two days later, but I got the bill before they told me they found my package. Which was the only efficient, but cold, thing they did when it came to my repair.

P.S.
Then they sent a survey requesting that I refer someone to them.

Tell me, forgiving the obviously weak warranty, forgiving the outrageously poor and bordeline hostile customer service, as a professional photographer could anybody recommend a camera that uses Plastic lens mounts. It might not be important to alot of people, but being in the hells oven of a countryside call texas, plastic does not hold up down here. (kc)

May 2009


This is to share my recent experience with Nikon Service.  Overall I was happy with the service but there was a significant issue with one of the estimates I received that may be of interest.     

After three years of using the battery grip (MB-D200) on my D200 camera, one of the battery clips broke.  Although I had occasionally removed the battery grip to mount the camera on a tripod, this time the grip wouldn’t come off the camera no matter how much pressure I applied to the release wheel.  In order to get the grip serviced, I was forced to send the camera and grip to Nikon Service in Melville, NY.  

I asked Nikon for two estimates; one to repair the battery grip and one to check the tripod thread on the camera and repair it if necessary.  I dropped the camera off with UPS on April 15, 2009 and by the 21st Nikon e-mailed me estimates to repair the battery grip and camera.  The estimate to repair the battery grip was $93 and the estimate to check, clean, and repair my D200 was $200!  The D200 estimate seemed very high for the service I had requested so I called Nikon on their service line.  Their representative was polite but held firm on the estimate.   I then contacted Nikon in writing through their website and requested that they examine the camera’s base before they gave me an estimate.  The initial response from the technical relations representative held firm on the estimate but she offered to check with the service manager for options.  The bottom line was that they gave me a new estimate of $64 to clean and check the camera with a notation that a follow-up estimate would be provided if any damage was found.  Since Nikon checks and cleans all DSLRs that are sent in for service, I thought that their follow-up response and cost estimate was much more reasonable.  Unfortunately, I was unable to reach the technical relations representative using the phone number she had given me to approve the estimates.  When I called service/repair, the individual who answered was unable to forward my call.  However, the new estimate for the camera was up on their website within a business day and I was able to approve both estimates and get things moving.  

The camera didn’t require any repairs and I got it back on May 6th; three weeks after I sent it in for service.  I’ve taken some test pictures and it is working fine.  I also checked the tripod threads and there was no problem screwing in a tripod plate and then getting it to release.  Unfortunately there was a parts hold for the battery grip and I didn’t get it back until June 4th; six weeks after their initial repair estimate.  I tracked the status of the repair on their website and they did respond to a second e-mail I sent through their website about 4 1/2 weeks into my wait regarding the anticipated completion of the repair.  They were also responsive in notifying me of the tracking number for delivery once the repair was completed.  Although it took awhile, my battery grip was correctly fixed and I can get it on and off the camera now with no problem.    

In the end I think that I got good service but I had to work a little to get a reasonable estimate for my camera.  I hope that my recent experience with Nikon Service is helpful.   (ja)


In the middle of a weekend shoot, the shutter mechanism on my D3 failed - fortunately I had a D2x for backup. I brought the body to the Nikon Canada service facility in Mississauga on May 25. They loaned me a D3 (NPS) while the camera was in for repairs. On the afternoon of May 26, I received a call that the repair was complete. This morning (May 27) I picked up the camera and it again works flawlessly. The invoice shows that the shutter unit and the "apron lower rubber" were replaced, all without any charge. Total repair time was less than 2 days, which I consider to be fantastic! (eb)


My 50mm 1.4G was making an intermittent squeak/scrape sound when focus was racked so I had the shop where it was purchased send it to Nikon (S. Cal) for warranty repair.

The lens came back two weeks later with a note saying it had been cleaned and checked out fine. I tested the lens again and immediately noticed the same issue so I had the lens sent back to Nikon for the 2nd time.

Two weeks later the lens came back again with a note indicating repairs had been done. I verified the original sound was no longer there but noticed a significant ding on a front plastic piece that had been caused by the repair person. Unacceptable, so I sent the lens back a 3rd time.

Once again two weeks later I received the lens back and noticed two large issues: (1) There was now a prominent click sound that would occur mid speed in manual focus and (2) They had mounted the M/A switch upside down! I returned the lens for the 4th time with a request for a new lens. At this point I've been without my lens for almost 2 months in total, and I have yet to hear back.

Is this the kind of service we can expect from Nikon??? This is total incompetence and it makes me question whether I will continue to support Nikon in the future. (dg)


Received my Nikon D300 and 18-200 zoom from Amazon.com in Feb. On Saturday May 2 while taking pictures of the grandkids on there bikes, you can imagine my horror when I looked down and saw the front element of my zoom lens and 3 thin wafer type washer,o rings laying in the gravel driveway. I gathered then up and immediately got on the Nikon website to see if this was a common problem.Monday morning received a response as to where to find the information to send my lens in for repair. No mention if this has been a problem for others. After 3 days it was in there system but I would have to ok the repairs because it wasn't covered under warranty. Called the repair facility in El Segundo the next day and was told because it was impact damaged it wasn't covered by the Nikon warranty. I explained to the lady that I hadn't dropped the lens that the element had fallen out of the lens. The next day received an email that to foster good customer relations they would only charge me half of the estimated cost of repair. Felt I had no choice but to accept as graduation is approaching and have pictures to take. I am really displeased that a company such as Nikon wont accept the responsibility for a lens that came apart. Camera and lens have approximately 200 actuations and have never left my home. As a retired worker this was a huge decision to upgrade to a major company and feel as if I have been taken advantage of. Nikon can rest assured that the other members of our family will stick with Canon as they tried to talk me into. (pt)


Previously I sent you an e-mail complementing Nikon Tech Support in their handling of the replacement of a defective D70. I was impressed by their support, candor and helpfulness. So impressed  I followed my purchase of the D70 with a Coolpix 8400, five Nikkor lenses, an SB-800 and, ultimately, a D300. You could say that Nikon support won my good will.

Unfortunately that good will is now withering and may soon die. My D300 failed and had to be sent back to Nikon's repair facility in El Segundo, California. It's been there for almost a month and Nikon hasn't even offered me a repair estimate yet. It's like my prized D300 has fallen into some deep, dark hole.

Has the shortage of D300s also lead to a shortage of replacement parts? Is the El Segundo repair facility so overwhelmed with repairs that it now take weeks or even months just to get an estimate--much less a repair. Or has Nikon decided that customer loyalty is no big deal anymore?

I don't know the answer to that question. I tell you what I do know. It was a failed Canon G3 with an outrageous response from Canon technical support that was, in large part, responsible for my going over to Nikon in the first place. It may be Nikon support that causes me to look elsewhere for my DSLRs and accessories at some future date. I hope not, but it's hard to be loyal to Nikon when a repair estimates takes over a month to be provided. (jf)


 

April 2009


I wanted to share my recent experience with Nikon Service (Melville) for my 24-70N f/2.8 lens. Overall, I was very happy with the service I received, although repairs could have been more timely and communication could be improved.

My lens suffered damage after I dropped it on a wooden bench (about 1.5 feet vertical drop). No apparent physical damage, the AF was fine, but the focal length was stuck at 28mm.

I followed the instructions on the NikonUSA site and sent the lens to Melville, describing what had happened. Here's the timeline:
- March 26, AM - Nikon receives the lens
- March 31, AM - I receive an email from Nikon that they are processing the lens, with the status listed as "Estimate." The email also contained a link where I could enter my name and service order number to check the status of my lens. I did not receive any other emails from Nikon aside from this email.
- April 3 - The status of lens went from "Estimate" to "In Shop," which meant that lens was being repaired. Nikon elected to repair the lens under warranty even though I made it clear that I dropped the lens.
- April 7 - The status of the lens changed from "In Shop" to "Shipped."

I am satisfied with the repair - the lens is as good as new. Plus, kudos to Nikon for covering the repair under warranty. Nikon could definitely improve on communication, even an automated email everytime the status of the lens changed would be helpful. Time-wise, Nikon had my lens for 9 business days. Not bad, although Sigma's repair process was less than half this time.(jr)


Dropped my D300 with the 18-135 lens from my shoulder bag onto the floor going through a door.  It snapped the lens from the body breaking the tabs of the bayonet mount on the lens.  Fortunately, no apparent damage to the D300.  I took it to Classic Camera Repair in Biddeford, Maine.  Andy had it fixed in about a week for $90.  I'm sure it would have been twice that in Boston or NYC and taken longer with shipping.  Thanks, Andy for the fix on my camera. (fg)


I had an issue with my year old 24-70mm f/2.8 lens starting to grind and focus severely off in right corner.
Sent to Nikon (melville). No probem, no hassle - they fixed under warranty and kept me informed
of status. Working great now only thing was it cost me some $$ to ship to them insured through UPS (ad)


I had my D200 and 18-200 VR + my 12" Powerbook stolen during a break and enter.  Luckily the police recovered everything.  The computer had a huge crease down the backside.  Probably from the tripod mount attached to the bottom of the camera.  The laptop ran but was a write-off once I pulled my files from it.  My D200 looked fine other than the clear LCD cover being cracked and some wear marks on the lens filter.  

For insurance purposes I sent everything in to the Canadian warranty center with a letter explaining the situation and fully expecting to be billed for the checkup on my lens and body.  

Both the camera and lens were returned to me within 3 weeks.  Nikon included a new clear LCD cover and upgraded the firmware.  The lens was cleaned and check.  All was good.  

And the bill?  Free.   I paid for shipping to Nikon and they paid the return.  No charge for any services.   

Being the victim of a B&E sucks.  Having your camera and laptop stolen sucks even more.  However, having Nikon check all your gear and give you a couple of cheap freebies was probably the best thing I could ever have wished for.  Nikon just earned a lifelong customer by this simple act. (ao)


Just wanted to share with you and your readers my repair experience with Nikon's facility in El Segundo.  I'll try to keep this short and sweet.
 
Item serviced:  new Nikon AF-S VR Zoom - Nikkor 70-200mm F/2.8G IF-ED lens with USA warranty
Problem experienced:  Focus ring slips and internal focusing mechanism will seize up, limiting the camera's ability to focus accurately in both manual and automatic modes.  Problem was intermittent, and was worst when the lens was held in the vertical position.  Mechanism also sounded like it needed lubrication (light squeaking/grinding noises, and operation was not smooth).
Date of purchase:  March 11th, 2009
Date of service:  March 30th, 2009
**NOTE:  I AM NOT A NPS MEMBER**
 
Details:
Since I am fortunate enough to live within reasonable driving distance to the repair facility in El Segundo, I decided to drop off the lens in person.  I arrived at 7:10AM on 3/30 and was greeted by the clerk.  I explained to her the problems I have been experiencing with the lens (as mentioned above) and filled out my basic contact information.  After filling out the necessary paperwork, showing proof of purchase, etc., the clerk told me that it would take 7 to 10 working days to get the lens back.  They would ship the lens back to me via UPS Ground free of charge.  
 
About ten minutes after dropping off the lens with Nikon, they had already sent me a confirmation email with a PDF copy of the Service Acknowledgement/Estimate form.  Here are the details:

  • Service repair rank B2
  • Reason for Service:  TO GWO   FOCUS RING LOCKING UP - - SPECIALLY WHEN VER   INTER.M PROBLEM
  • THIS REPAIR IS COVERED UNDER WARRANTY
  • TOTAL AMOUNT $0.00

Using the service order # provided, I was able to check the repair status through their website throughout the day.  Here are the details:
 
  • 3/30/2009:  "estimate"
  • 3/31/2009:  "in shop"
  • 4/1/2009:  "shipped"     **UPS tracking number provided**
Because I live about 25 miles away, UPS Ground shipments are essentially overnight packages.  The lens arrived at my doorstep on 4/1/2009; well-packed and sealed with reinforced packing tape, the lens itself was sealed in two layers of durable plastic wrap and had at least three inches of packing peanuts in every direction.  Rubber bands held some colorful Nikon promotional stuff as well as the Repair Invoice to the lens.  According to the service report, here's what was performed:
 
Item 0010
  • b2
  • Service Repair Rank B2
  • Write Up
  • Repair   SC600245
  • LUB CAM TUBE
  • GENERAL CHECK & CLEAN
  • CKD AUTO FOCUS OPERATION
  • CKD SWM
  • LUB FOCUSING RING
  • LUB FOCUSING MECHANISM
Item 0020
  • 2139    SERIAL NO ******
  • AF-S VR ZOOM-NIKKOR 70-200MM F/2.8G IF-ED
And Accessories:
  • FRONT LENS CAP
  • REAR LENS CAP
  • NO OTHER ACCESSORIES


I got the lens back in two days and it works flawlessly.  Overall, I had a very pleasant experience with Nikon's service at the El Segundo location.  My only complaint is that they don't update their repair status webpage often enough.  By the time I find out the unit has been repaired and shipped out, the UPS delivery driver is already knocking on my front door! (bh)


Over a period of 3-4 months I've had a problem of not being able to adjust the aperture while in aperture priority with the command dial. I sent my Nikkor 24-85mm lens in first because I thought it was a problem with the lens since adjusting the command dial in aperture priority worked OK with my 12-24mm DX lens. The lens was under warranty and they found nothing wrong with it. When I got it back the problem was still there. I then shipped my D200 back to El Segundo and this was not under warranty. The estimate was $200 plus shipping/tax totaling $230.56. I explained in detail how the command dial did not change the aperture in my none of my APS lens but only in my DX lens. I didn't list any other problems including it didn't need cleaning since I do that. When the camera was sent back the problem was still there but I was supposed to pay the amount. This past weekend I went to the Nature Photographers Of the pacific Northwest meeting in Portland and a repair company named Advance Camera was there and I explained the problem the way I explained it to Nikon and the tech knew what the problem was immediately. There was an incorrect setting in the shooting menu that sent the aperture adjustment to the aperture ring and not the command dial and it was fixed in 5 seconds for free. I didn't even know one could use the aperture ring for adjusting the aperture since all Nikon manuals tell you to set the aperture ring to the smallest f stop and leave it there.

I called Nikon today and they are still going to charge me the full amount for things they did to my camera that I never asked for or said was a problem: chk white balance, chk LCD, chk flash, chk auto focus. How can a non-authorized repair facility find the problem in five seconds when "trained Nikon experts" don't understand simple problems? I will never send another item to Nikon for anything even if it under warranty. (dt)


My D80/18-200 zoom was swept off the table by a niece, cracking the housing that covers the mirror. I generated a packing slip via Nikon online and shipped them to El Segundo. As per the others reporting here, it took one week after UPS confirmed it had arrived, before I received my estimate. Because I had separated the body and lens, but packed them in the same box, I got two estimates each with $12.50 shipping. The estimate for the body was $131 and $93 for the lens. These estimates seem fine and I rectified the dual shipping costs with a phone call.

The camera and lens arrived one week later (I live two hours from the facility) and as a pleasant surprise, I was only billed $53 for the lens work. In general a pleasant process but I would suggest that Nikon service could enhance the customer experience with a short e- mail saying that the equipment has arrived and that we are currently taking X days for estimating. (jg)


I recently had a very good experience with Nikon Service. I dropped a 300mm f/4 AF-S lens on to a rock surface while attempting to mount it. The lens hood was extended and it absorbed most of the impact. The lens hood was broken in to three pieces and the lens did not seem to focus as quickly or sharp when I tried it on my D300.
 
I sent the lens to Nikon El Segundo by UPS.  Within 2 days of receipt, I received an email from Nikon with the estimate and a request to approve the repairs. It was a Rank B2 repair, and Nikon charged $179.00 for the repair. In addition they added California state sales tax and $12.50 for shipping for a total of $207.31. I approved the repair invoice online and gave them my credit card information. 5 days later I received the lens back at my home in Texas.
 
The repair was detailed on my repair invoice as follows: RPL Lens Hood, CKD aperture operation, CKD Focusing mechanism, RPR impact damage, General check & clean, CKD auto focus operation and RPR filter ring. The lens was well packed in the original box and case that the lens came with. (I sent them to Nikon when I packed it.) In addition it was packed in a very sturdy box surrounded by packing peanuts.
 
The lens, if anything, is better than ever. I know the AF is improved, as I have had to dial out the micro-adjust on my D300. It no longer needs it. It also seems a bit sharper in the corners at f/4, but that may be my imagination. The lens was sharp before the accident and it is certainly no worse for the wear now.
 
I could not be happier with my experience with Nikon Service.   (jr)


This took place about 18 months ago. I improperly checked the zipper(s) on my favorite Canon mid-size camera backpack. It was full of Nikon stuff. As I walked up the sidewalk to the house, I heard the first crash, which was my D200 with an 18-200 attached, followed by a nikon 80-400 lens. Both fell about 4 feet onto cement. Both seemed to land more or less on the lens caps. I was so sick from the experience, that after I gathered up the gear, I let it sit for four days before I had the strength to look at it.

When I did inspect it, smashed filters and scratched up lens caps. I replaced both filters, and the 80-400 seemed to come through the ordeal fine, Ditto for the D200 which was attached to the 18-200. Initially, the 18-200 seemed ok as well, but within a couple of weeks, the right side of the frame seemed to experience serious erratic sharpness issues. After close examination, I could see one of the aperture blades had come loose, The only cosmetic damage to the lens was a small nick near the filter thread, otherwise no outside evidence of impact damage.

I sent the lens to nikon for an estimate on repair. I did not state that the lens was dropped, nor did I make any claim for warranty service. I did not even supply any sales or warranty info with the lens (this was my bad, so I was prepared to pay for service). When I first purchased the lens, I did register it to get the 5 year coverage.

Much to my surprise and pleasure, nikon covered the repair at no cost. Looking at the paperwork that came back with the lens, it looks like they essentially rebuilt it, replacing the VR unit, focusing motor, zoom helical and more. Recently I moved to the Sony A900, because I need 24 mp, but I will still hang on to my nikon DX system, in part because of the support (as well as the relatively small size). (jo)


My D3 developed a fogging problem of the rear LCD (broken seal?) while under warranty.  It was received in Melville, NY on 1/5/09 according to UPS confirmation, but Nikon did not acknowledge receiving it on the company website until the 10th (it seems to have just sat unexamined for a full work week), then it took 12 days for repair (another full work week and a half).   It was shipped back on 1/22/09 and I received it on 1/23/09.   So Melville had it for 17 days for a repair that probably took only a few minutes.  It was not clear from the paperwork exactly what the nature of the problem was or what was done to resolve it, but the fogging was gone.  Just 3 months later, however, the problem is happening again! (mh)


I recently sent my 80-200 AF-S to Nikon’s El Segundo facility for repair.  I was satisfied both with the process and the result.  

This is a lens I purchased used 4 years ago.  The SWM had begun making noise, and there was some play in the lens mount.  After purchasing my first FX body I decided to check all my lenses in a controlled fashion against an ISO 12233 test target. Out of all my lenses, this one clearly had some problems.  I sent it off to Nikon via UPS with a letter describing my observations.  Approximately one week later I received an email from them with an estimate.  The estimate was in line with my expectations based on user experiences related on several Internet forums and I approved the estimate.  One week after that I received the lens back from Nikon. The visible items had been fixed – the SWM no longer squeaked, the lens mount was new, and the acrylic cover over the focus scale had been replaced. I ran the same tests after the repair and the performance of the lens was now consistent with my other lenses.  

There was some latency in the repair status as reported by their web site, but they are not the only company I’ve dealt with whose systems are not perfectly integrated and suffer from that sort of delay. Obviously this is only one individual experience, but they generally got it right and I’m a satisfied repair customer.  Let’s hope they keep their streak alive. (co)


I just purchased a P6000 P&S to play around with and wanted to see if it really worked with the CLS stuff. I couldn't get it to work and decided to contact Nikon service to see what they could say. I explained what I was wanting to do and how I was doing it. (SU-800, SB-900, SB-800 in commander modes with others in remote mode. ) I couldn't get any of them to work and the response I got back from Nikon in email was almost unintelligible and didn't even come close to suggesting any answers. (That I could discern anyway.) I was fairly shocked by that. I immediately thought of all the other companies that exported their support to India. I was bummed. The answer by the way is that you can only use group 'A' and on the commander device, both groups 'B' and 'C' MUST be turned off completely. I don't exactly call that compatible with the creative lighting system. Bummed again. (cc)


I sent my less than 3 month old D90 to Nikon Service. I included all sales receipts and warranties. I also sent my 2 week old cable release and still under warranty battery pack.The e-mail from Nikon billed me $191.50 for the camera repair, $77.50 for the battery pack repair and here is the clincher. A charge of $42.50 for the cable release which is two weeks old. This bill was $10.00 more than I paid from the cable release including shipping.   Nikon customer service said the Repair Service never received any paper work. Humm.  So I fax 'ed it to them with a request for verification when they received it. So far I have heard nothing from them.
 
When we purchase new Nikon products we either send in a warranty card or do the warranty on line. Where does this information go? Can the Service Department not go to a computer and look up this information. That is why we send it in. If it is not going to be used then there is not need to send in the warranty information. (jl)

[Thom's comment: a D90 would still be under warranty no matter what. Nikon should have just repaired that without question (assuming it has a US serial number, of course).]


This time I wanted my 35-70mm f/2.8 to be checked.  KEH had told me it had fungus although I saw nothing, even shining a light inside the lens.  But it had a tendency towards poor contrast and overexposure under poor contrast conditions.  I called Melville Service and asked if the did cleaning/funges repair and they said "yes, all the time, send it in".   I did, and after a   week it went into the shop and a few days later was reported "shipped".

Imagine my surprise when I received a note saying the lens had not been worked on because they no longer could get parts.  No explanation of what parts were needed, and no apology for having me spend time and money sending them an identified lens they could not service.  They did wave any return postage, as if that was doing me a big favor.

This wsa my first "bad" experience with them; I hope it is the only one.  I now have an older AF300mm f/4 that I suspect is slightly out of alignment, but I am reluctant to send it off as I suspect it is as least as old as the 35-70.

Shouldn't a camera company that prides itself on lens continuity (or did) keep parts in stock for well regarded pro and semi-pro gear? (hl)

[Thom's comment: Nikon has a 10-year rule--when a product is 10 years out of production it may no longer be supported with parts for repair (depends upon the product and parts inventory). This is common amongst all manufacturing companies.]


I have a lot of Nikon equipment, mostly lenses of course. Over the years I have sent various lenses for repair or cleaning, always to the Melville, NY facility. For the most part, I have always had good experiences, although in at least one case (repair of a 85 mm f/2.8 PC tilt/shift Micro-Nikkor), it stretched on way too long. The major change I can report has to do with the phone staff. I used to be able to actually speak on the phone with a technician, who would literally go and physically verify that my particular lens was on the shelf, and so on.

However, those days are gone. Now it is impossible to speak directly to the repair facility. The best they will do is to email the repair facility and then blame the lack of information on the fact that the folks at the repair facility have not answered their emails. This went on for many days. and calls. for the lens mentioned above, and I never did get a response, until one day the lens shows up at my door. It is scary to be forced to speak with a phone attendant who knows nothing or much less than I do about the Nikon products. (me)


Last September, I sent my workhorse D200 in to the fairly local El Segundo center for a cleaning and to have the outside rubber glued back on.  It required parts and took about a week for them to arrive.  It cost me something like $125 (though I wouldn’t trust my memory on this), which I thought was reasonable.  

At the same time, I sent in my 18-200 Af-s for a cleaning with a note that it was feeling lose and would occasionally come off the track.  This also waited about a week for parts and oddly also cost the same.  It came back nice and stiff, like new, a couple days after the body arrived.  These were processed quickly, and aside from waiting on parts, the turnaround was good.  I’m close enough that even cheap shipping is overnight.  They were both back in about two weeks including about a week waiting for parts.  
Very recently, I sent in an SB-800 whose wide-angle lens broke off.  I had previously cracked it near the battery door so the door was a little iffy, but I didn’t request that this be repaired (it was my fault and it still worked, so I’m not going to cry about it under warranty).  I sent it in with a copy of the receipt.  Unlike the pay orders, they mulled it over a couple days after it was entered into their system before deciding to do the repair under warranty.  I kept checking the status online and one day it was approved with a cost of $0.00.  Before I knew it, it was back here.  It came back beautiful, including a new battery door.  The repair was quick too, once they decided to do it.  I think it took a week total, from shipping to receiving.  

I’ve figured out the smoothest way to deal with Nikon.  First, print up a packing list from the <nikonusa.com> support site (in the States, at least).  Then make sure to ship with tracking and keep an eye on when it arrives.  Wait a couple days for it to be processed and be proactive.  Send them an email asking the status.  Half the time they will respond that it’s not in the system yet, but they will email when it does get in the system.  Use the login and password they give you to check the status, approve and pay for repairs online through the website.  The process for approving and paying is a little confusing, but you can re-check the status to make sure that you got it right.  

Don’t wait for them to contact you by mail.  It’s very slow.  I have yet to get the initial letter from them before the repair is over. (jp)

 

December 2008 to March 2009


What a surprise I had today when I called Nikon customer service or rather customer no service. I bought a 70-200 f2.8 lens in June 2007. It never worked right from day one and I should have returned it to Adorama for replacement. In November 2007 I call Melville, NY and spoke to a tech describing my problem. He promptly had me send the lens back for repair. The repair was very fast and I was impressed with the service. The service on a new expensive lens was unfortunate but very well handled by Nikon. Unfortunately I'm having the same problems again so I called Melville. To my surprise Melville, NY is no longer in New York state or even the USA. It's been moved to the Dominican Republic. So now Nikon service is located in Melville, Dominican Republic. The customer service lady was pleasant but completely at a loss to help me. She could not find my record as a customer or the previous repair record. She could not switch me to a customer service person in Melville. She referred me to the Nikon internet site although she did not know the web address. Very poor service for a $1900 lens still under warranty. Camera equipment is expensive. It's not a small purchase for me and at the prices that Nikon ask, I expect to speak to a person that is qualified to discuss my problem and offer a solution. Instead I spoke to a 'tech' that did not even know what a DSLR or 70-200 f2.8 are. Does Nikon really expect me to spend another $10,000 with them on a D700/D3 with a couple of new lens when I upgrade to FX. Not likely. (jf)


Another one for your Nikon repair user experiences list - this time for the UK ...

I've sent 4 items to Nikon UK's repair centre in the last two years, both as warranty repairs and paid-for ones, and have rather mixed experiences.  

The first two items to be sent off were my 18-70mm DX lens (to have a hair(!) removed from the optics), and my D200 (to have some hot-pixels mapped out).  After about a 3 week wait from sending them off, I got both of them back, only to discover that there was now a very noticeable mark approximately 2mm square in the centre of the front element (it looked like someone had put a large piece of glitter on it) - a quick clean with a Nikon "lens pen", and a micro-fibre cloth demonstrated that it wasn't something on the lens, so back it went.  After another 3 week wait, I got the lens back, complete with new front element, all functioning correctly, although I didn't get any real apology from Nikon until I complained in writing (after what happened with the next item, actually).

The next item to be sent off was my 300mm f/4, which was demonstrating issues focussing, and had low contrast, when used with a TC-14EII (my 70-200mm was fine when used with it, though).  Like the previous items, the lens was returned to me about 3 weeks after sending it off.  However, it was returned without the tripod foot.  In fairness to Nikon, this was waiting for me within 2 days of me telling them, although it's not something that should have happened in the first place.

The last item to be sent off was my SB-600, which needed the contacts changing after batteries leaked in it.  As with the others, the initial repair was completed within three weeks.  However, when I inspected the unit, the plastic casing on the base of the unit had a crack across it, emanating from one of the screw-holes (I'm assuming someone over-tightened the screw when putting it back together), and the LCD display was considerably more scuffed up.  After speaking to Nikon, I was assured that it would be dealt with for free and as a priority, so back it went, with an explanatory note, and ... about a week-and-a-half later I get a repair estimate of around £45 to repair "impact damage" - it would appear the technician didn't bother to read the problem description attached to it!  After another (slightly irate) phone call, Nikon agreed to fix it for free as a "goodwill gesture"(!), which took the total round trip to ... about 3 weeks (again).  Whilst the casing was fixed, the LCD screen was overlooked.

After the 300mm came back incomplete, I complained in writing to Nikon, and got a rather long and contrite apology from the service manager (and a free CF card).  When I complained about the flash being damaged, I got a somewhat shorter apology, basically amounting to "oops ... oh well".

All-in-all, a pretty poor showing (or I'm just cursed!) ... (mc)


Thought I'd add one experience with Nikon Repair...I have a 24-85 AF-S lens that recently had gotten some dirt inside the lens (I've had it almost 6 years).  The lens had always performed solidly and I was almost afraid to see how much the estimate was going to be.  I went through my paperwork and discovered I still had 2 weeks left on the extended warranty, so I sent it in through my local Nikon dealer.
 
The lens came back in less than two weeks, cleaned, lubricated, and with a newer rubber grip as well as one of the lens elements replaced!  I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the detailed repair on the work order, all done for free.  Considering my only expectation was to have the dust removed, this was truly remarkable service.
 
If this is typical of warranty repair, then I would have to agree with the many who say it's worthwhile to make sure you buy a Nikon product with the USA warranty, and of course, the extended warranty if one is available. (kc)


My D300 was 6 days away from warranty expiration, so as has become my habit, I sent the body into the Nikon repair facility in El Segundo for a good cleaning, auto focus adjustment and hot pixel (4) remapping.
 
Shipped via UPS on Monday, 2/23.  Received by Nikon on Thursday, 2/26.  By Wednesday, 3/4, have not yet received any word from Nikon Service after 5 business days, so I submit an inquiry with technical support at .  Receive a response within 1 minute (no kidding) that service has not logged in products received on Thursday, and that I’ll receive an email when they do.  Six hours later, I get a Nikon Service Acknowledgement/Estimate email with an attached detailed service order and a price of $0.00 for warranty service.  The service order contains a coded list of each of the issues that I asked to be fixed.  So far, so good. By Friday, 3/6 Nikon’s service status page says “In Shop” and by late Monday, 3/9 the status changes to “Shipped” along with a UPS tracking number link…nice!  Total of 8 business (12 calendar) days in the shop excluding shipping, but overall not a bad experience and consistent with a previous [minor] repair experiences with D70 and D80 camera bodies.
 
My only suggestions would be to upgrade the website to make checking status a little more informative and user friendly, and to also add an automated email, for example when the camera ships so I don’t have to keep looking!
 
Incidentally, I sent my Sigma 10-20mm to their Ronkonkoma, NY repair facility on the same day.  It arrived at Sigma on Monday 3/2 and I received a service acknowledgement on Wednesday, 3/4.  It’s been lost in a black hole ever since and I have no idea what the status is since Sigma doesn’t have a nifty status update web page and doesn’t respond [promptly] to email inquiry, so clearly Nikon scores more points on the communication front. (jt)


After i send [my last] email to you, i got a call from Nikon malaysia. They told me my camera is done and nothings is being repair, other than CCD cleaning and for the lens is fungus cleaning.

Actually i'm wondering what take them so long to clean my camera and lens, as when i send in my camera and lens, i did attach a copy of letter for my contact number, address and what i want them to do.

Apparently, no part was being replace. but still they take so long to service. They only call back to me and get back to me after i send my complaint to nikon asia. (lp)


I had a similar experience to one of your other correspondants whereby my D200 camera wasn't registering any power from the battery. Foolishly I sent just the battery and charger to Nikon who duly found no fault and sent it back.

The camera started to work sporadically once more, but had now developed focus problems, whereby it really struggled to focus on any subject matter, exarcabated particularly by the cold, rendering it nigh useless in autofocus mode. Also, half depressing the fire button would trigger the depth of field preview rather than take a light reading and focus.

I sent the whole kit - battery, body and 18 - 200 lens to Nikon UK. They claimed that there was impact damage and repair (as it was two months out of warranty) would be almost £800 GBP. While I rather doubted the impact damage suggestion I had little choice but to go ahead with the repair.

The repair took them over three months, for part of that they admitted the camera sat on the shelf with nobody looking at it. With the repair, they updated the firmware for me and gave it a rudimentary service, so not all bad. Even so, neither cheap nor quick, but I'm not aware of any alternative in the UK. (nh)

My D3 began to malfunction after about 10,000 releases, while still under warranty. The shutter mechanism repeatedly jammed, and CH release mode became completely unusable, with the camera freezing after one or two frames and displaying ERR on the LCD. I sent it to Melville with a detailed explanation, and it came back last week with these notations:
 
"Replaced .aperture operation. Checked autofocus operation and shutter mechanism. Upgraded firmware, clean. CCD checked and cleaned."
 
Notwithstanding that, it took just a few minutes to discover that the shutter problem had not been fixed. The camera still repeatedly jams in CH release mode, and now I will have to repeat the whole hassle of shipping it back to Nikon, with exactly the same complaint as before. Most mystifying to me is that the cumulative frame count on the camera seemed unchanged from the day I sent it to Nikon to the day it came back. Can that possibly mean the tech didn't shoot any frames before concluding the problem was fixed? In other words, no road test?
 
I am quite disappointed with the outcome so far. I hope to be able to speak with a manager in Melville before reshipping, but whether that will be possible is anyone's guess. (rb)

I'm submitting the following review regarding my experience returning my D300 and 18-200 VR lens for repair. The lens and camera combo are less than 5 months old. The exposures I've been getting from this combination have been suboptimally sharp so I finally decided to send the camera and lens in to Melville for evaluation.

Nikon had the camera and lens for approximately 1.5 weeks. They performed a B1 service of the camera including "Firmware upgrade, general check and clean, Adj auto focus operation and cln CCD." They performed a B2 repair of my lens including "chk communication, ckd zooming mechanism, adj autofocus operation, general check and clean and ckd VR system."

I tested the camera out as soon as it arrived and I can see no difference. However, I read the documentation they enclosed regarding the version 1.10 firmware upgrade. The sheet said that the minimum value for [minimum shutter speed] has changed from 1/250 to 1/4000 S. I decided to test this "new" function. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't find that option in my menu. When I checked my firmware version I was shocked to see that it is 1.03.

Nikon DID NOT upgrade my firmware as they said they did and I am convinced they did not even attempt to repair my lens.

Disappointed would be an understatement. (bt)


I recently sent my Nikon lens back to Nikon through the shop I got it from.
My lens broke when I took it off my D40 and put it back on again. Two plastic bits fell off where it mounts to the camera and I was quite suprised at this and dissapointed that it has fallen apart so easily.

A gentleman at the shop I got it from looked at it and said that it looked like bad manufacturing and he would send it away to get fixed. I went in to the shop to day to check on the progress of it and the gentleman infromed me that they were not going to fix it under warranty fro free because there was impact damage, however I've never even dropped the lens. I got him to ring them back up but they won't fix it unless I pay 65 pounds! I think this is ridiculous, I have bought a faulty lens from Nikon and theye xpect me to foot the bill.

I am going to write to Nikon and call them myself to see if I can resolve this issue. I am very dissapointed to be called a liar by Nikon and I am disgusted at the service I have received. (jl)

I sent the following letter to Nikon USA, and multiple others today:

Nikon USA:

After many years using Canon cameras exclusively, I switched to Nikon digital SLRs in 2004. Over the past five years I have purchased well over $20,000 in Nikon equipment.

I chose Nikon over Canon, despite the significantly higher unit cost of Nikon products, because I expected a higher level of quality control and customer support from Nikon. I have been deeply disappointed.

My service records at Nikon will reveal a very high number of warranty repairs, both in camera bodies and lenses. These records understate the problem, however, since they do not include the lenses and bodies that were dead or obviously defective on receipt, and were returned immediately to the dealer.

Today, I called Nikon Customer Support to ask about the grinding noises in my brand new 24-70 zoom, and intermittent shutter/meter failures in the D700 to which it is attached (a $4,000 purchase three months ago).

After a long wait, I was connected to a non-U.S. call center. The gentleman who took my call had such a heavy accent that I could barely understand his English. Worse, he had no idea what I was talking about, or what I should do, despite the fact that both of these issues have been widely discussed in internet forums.

Nikon’s corporate strategy appears to be a race to the bottom. You give me no reason to remain a loyal customer, or to pay a premium price for your products. This strategy will prove disastrous in a global recession. (jm)

I was very pleased a few weeks ago when I sent my 70-200VR to Nikon for repair for the 4th time in just under 5 years and they replaced it with a brand new one.  The new one seems to be working fine, the way the old one hasn’t since it was about 6 months old.  I asked about the warranty (they had removed the ESC paperwork from the box) and I was told it is warrantied for whatever the remaining period of my original lens was.  I said that the original 5 years is up in Jan 09, and the reply was they would warranty for 6 months, then the woman reversed and said just the base warranty period. I never got a clear answer.  I was wondering what your experience has been or what you have heard.  I would think a replacement should be warrantied for the repair period of a paid lens, ie, 6 months. (wd)


I recently learned that Nikon in Melville, NY frequently sends lenses for repair to local camera repair people who work in the Long Island area. I found this out when I wanted to pick up a lens that was finished being repaired, and told it was not on premises. The lens was getting a new M/A ring. When I picked up the lens the ring was much too stiff and I had to leave it a few more days to have the repair fixed. I'm concerned that these repair people are not properly schooled in fixing Nikon equipment. (dw)

[Thom's comment: this is much like the frequent "but it's made in China" complaint about some lenses, I think. It really doesn't matter who does the work, only whether the work is done right and backed by Nikon. In general, many of the mechanical lens repairs can be done well by competent repair people.]


I thought I should let you know that I  am in the midst of a transaction which has (so far) been a pleasure.

I had sent my 18/200VR lens in to be adjusted for excessive creep. The day after Nikon received it I received an email stating that it would be a warranty repair at no charge...and that the lens would be back in my hands by Nov 30. This means that the entire transaction will be complete within two weeks. My experience with the repair of other (non-Nikon) devices indicates that this is a pretty good performance. (pd)

November 2008


I was trying to ship my CP5700 back for a product recall so I went to the web site and downloaded the .pdf
and filled it out. The document contained a shipping label which looked like a good idea. I then took the
package to the local United Parcel Service (UPS), UPS by the way is Nikon's recommended shipping carrier,
they recommend that I not use United States Postal Service (USPS) because they said it doesn't get delivered
property and it takes extra days to show up in the data entry system. Iooks like the postal carriers will not go to the
second floor and drop the packages in the lobby which the service people don't like cause they have to walk down stairs.

Anyway UPS enters the address in the tracking system and says the the Melville zip 11747-3064 is not a valid zip code and changes it to 11747-3001. I find it interesting that Nikon has a special number setup that their preferred shipper is not aware of. I did a little research on the USPS zip code site and found out that Nikon has a special zip code for the second floor of the building. (11747-3064) (ld)


22 October 2008


On Sept 5th, I sent my 17-55 f/2.8 in (to Melville) for repair of a stuck zoom ring (as a result of it having a stupid owner who dropped it ;-)).  
On Sept 9th, I received an e-mail notification that it had been received.  
On Sept 15th I received an estimate of the repair $200, I authorized it and I was told that they were waiting on parts..
On Sept 29th I checked status & was told that it was still on parts hold.
On Oct 13th I checked status & was told that it was still on parts hold.
On Oct 24th I checked status & was told that it was still on parts hold.
This morning, Oct 27th, the repaired lens was delivered to my office….clearly it was shipped before I was told it was still on parts hold.
 
So door to door it was a little over 7 weeks.
 
Lens works perfectly. (lj)


It looks like you don't get as many replies from European people as you do from the US. So, here are my experiences with Nikon Switzerland in case you're interested.

Approximately one year ago, I brought my D100 to the Nikon Switzerland service facility because the main mode dial and continous shooting mode switch were no longer working properly, particularly in cold weather (intermittent contact issues, most likely). The service technician recorded this as "problems with left upper wheel". Wow, very precise description, I thought. Well, when the camera came back, the right top part of the camera looked like new, and turning the sub command dial felt very differently compared to what I had gotten used to (it was clearly "clicking" again, like new). However, the main mode dial still wasn't working. They had obviously repaired the wrong thing. However, they fixed the real problem for no additional charge, after a complaint.

On a second instance, I sent in my 70-300 AF-S VR because the VR was not working properly. The lens got replaced under warranty, but the new sample was a very poor performer at anything above 200 mm focal length, particularly with subjects at a distance. Not a bit soft as reported in reviews and shown in sample photographs, but really unusable (an upsized 200 mm shot looked better than one taken at 300mm). The softness was also asymmetric (left vs. right side), which according to internet wisdom indicates a centering defect. So, another trip to Nikon. After one and a half months, I've received another sample now (don't they repair the lenses anymore?), which will hopefully live up to the expectations. Looks good so far.

So, this is a bit of a mixed bag. It took me two attempts twice to get what I wanted, but I can't really complain as the problems were solved in the end, with no additional charges. (bg)


I just sent in my D200 and my 18-200 VR for various issues and the service was fast and FREE! I live near enough to drop off and I arrived just after the window closed and the person opened the window and took my stuff anyway. Kudos to Nikon service!

They repaired it quickly and without incident. I also dropped off a friends old Coolpix 5700 that was not working.  They repaired it and on the bill it said charge “0 Good will repair” How great is that! (jh)


A BIG ATTA Boy to Nikon Melville.

My much loved 80 - 400vr broke in late sept. The Vr would remain on regardless of the shutter half press or not. Lens sounded like it had marbles whirling around in there.

Sent it nxt day air, they logged it in next day and checked it on the first full day there.The lens is over 2 yrs old, I had the right paper work. They evaled it and emailed me a NC estimate for pretty extensive repair/replace. I noticed 4 days later it was on parts hold. Waited till abt the 11th and via email asked their advice as to whether I should look to renting one for the 24th of OCT. Same afternoon got reply that they noted my need by date.A couple days ago it changed from parts hold to bill. At 1030 on 21 Oct it showed up, returned to me by next day air.


Well I guess one could quibble about 3 weeks, but I am NOT going there. What I do want to mention is the GREAT way the email communication works between srv dept and customer, the next day air return, matching the way I sent it, and the fact that it appears to work superbly.

I have a LOT of their lenses in the under 2000.00 category and feel very comfortable with them backing me up. Some years back I sent in a D70 with the BGLOD sysdrom and they did good timely work there also.

Thanks and CONGRATS to them. I have worked in and supervised service and depot repair with different types of electronics, know it aint easy. They made it so this time. Thanks Nikon Melville. (mi)


I purchased a Nikon 18-200 VR lens from an authorized dealer in Las Vegas. The first time I really got a chance to use it was on a bareboat sailing charter in the British Virgins. On the first day, I climbed the mast to get a wide angle shot of the deck below. The zoom had so much creep that I was unable to get the one handed shot- the lens would zoom to full extension when I pointed it down, full retraction when pointed up (full travel in less than 2 seconds).
 
When I got back, I took it back to the dealer who agreed that the creep was excessive- we compared it to another 18-200- and suggested I deal directly with Nikon.
 
I took it to the repair center in Anaheim and explained the problem. A few days later I received it with a note saying there was nothing wrong with it- it was within tolerance!
 
I sent Nikon an email explaining that I had tested 3 other lenses that did NOT have nearly as much creep and that the dealer I bought it from agreed with my assessment. I further stated that I considered this lack of customer support unacceptable. I received no response.
 
I will avoid buying Nikon retail products in the future. I’ll use gray market/ eBay. The Nikon Warranty is worthless. (gf)


On the 22nd of September 2008 I sent by courier to Nikon in Melville together with their fully completed Nikon Packing List off their web site: Two SB800's and a D2x Camera. The package was received and signed for the following day.

Both flash units would not give me full ITTL functionality nor would they go into full remote menu. This was the first two of four SB800's I was sending in for repair. I am only able to use them in manual mode. The D2x was sent in as it was this camera and my D3 that the flashes malfunctioned so they wanted to check if it was a camera problem. The camera required a replacement rubber thumbgrip so I asked for this to be done as well as cleaning the camera and updating any new firmware.

On the 2nd of October I had still not heard anything from NIkon so I called Nikon Service and after a wait of about four minutes I was connected to a service repair man named Francis, ID 3005202. After giving my name and explaining the problem he wanted to know the serial numbers of the items I had sent in. I asked him if he could not first of all locate my file by my name and all the details would be there. I spelled my name out for him and he put me on hold. A few moments later I was cut off. I went through the whole telephone procedure again and was once again connected to Francis. He asked my name again and proceeded to put me on hold but not before I had given him my telephone number to call back if I was cut off again. Francis asked me if I had received a job number or estimate from Nikon and when I said no he said it was because they did not have my email address. When I reminded him that my email  address and telephone numbers were printed twice on his form he apologized for the oversight.

He gave me an estimate of $109 for each of the strobes plus shipping and $491.00 including shipping for the camera. As the camera was working fine and only needed a new thumb grip I asked for a revised estimate just for the rubber thumb grip,which I am awaiting.

Very disappointed with the service and the high cost of repair to the D2x. I have sent three Fuji S2's over the years to Fuji in New Jersey and their repair service was first class. (em)


23 September 2008


Off and on over the past two years I had experienced on a random basis, a situation where my D200 started flashing a depleted battery and would refuse to take a shot, even though the battery was near or at full charge.  It only happened with my 70-200 and a rental 300/2.8 (non-VR but AFS, and the same rental lens is all cases). Usually, a quick on and off resolved the problem, although once I also removed the lens and remounted it.

It did happen in cold weather as well while shooting some skiing, initially I thought it was a battery affected by cold.  However it did happen with a fresh, warm battery.

In any event, after baseball ended two weeks ago, I took my D200 with the 70-200 for a regular service (with Nikon Canada) and clean, specifically identifying that the battery showed a drain even when fully charged.

On the upside, within 24 hours of dropping off the camera I was contacted by email for a repair authorization (the camera is out of warranty) and a repair to the 70-200.  Estimated time to repair given at the front desk was two weeks, and two weeks later I received a phone call to come and pick up my camera and lens.  Service was prompt, friendly and efficient.

FWIW to your ongoing research in this issue, the work order shows “Testing and External Cleaning” for the lens, and “Repair-Contacts’.  It also indicates that the AF Contact Pin was replaced.  There is also a clean contacts on the camera body and a general clean and adjust.

I haven’t had a chance to shoot since picking it up, and the issue was intermittent (hence the ongoing saga part), however I am hopeful that the issue is resolved.

My D200, which was well out of warranty, had a little over 33,000 shutter actuations on it this past August. I had noticed the exposures were coming out either a full stop under or over exposed w/o reason.
I assumed the camera needed to be re-calibrated, etc. I sent the camera to Nikon on 8/18. I received an email asking for my approval of the service on the following Monday to which I called and approved.

Long story short, after many calls to Nikon beyond the 7-10 business days they claim, I still had no idea what the hold up was on getting my camera back to me in a timely fashion. Again, the customer service department seemed to have no direct contact with the actual technicians providing the service. I was told there was no hold up on parts, which seemed to be a big problem with other customers, and that I would receive a phone call or email from the rep I spoke with on the phone detailing the hold up.

More time passes and still nothing.

When I went to Nikon's website and wrote an email DIRECTLY to the customer service department on 9/18, I received an immediate response! The person handling the email spoke directly with the technician and told me the camera would be shipped back to me first thing Monday morning (this was on Friday of last week!)

So, I received the camera a few minutes ago via UPS and was also trying to find out what the hell the B2 service rank is that is listed on the invoice. I'm still puzzled as to what was actually performed outside of my
suggestions in the letter I sent with the camera. (fm)

16 September 2008


This is my recent repair experience with Nikon Canada in Richmond, BC (Vancouver).

D300 taken in personally on Wednesday, Sep 3. Problem was a series of cracks on the ISO/QUAL/WB button assembly. Not sure how they got there -- camera was not dropped or dinged that I can remember.

Called to check in on Tuesday, Sep 9. No estimate for repair yet. Spoke to manager, who said he'd look in to it.

Called again on Wednesday. Estimate for repair $200, most of which is labour. (Diagnosis was "impact damage." It's a mystery to me how this happened, but I didn't really have an argument.) Okayed repair, and was told by manager that camera might be ready on Friday, Sep 12.

Camera not ready on Friday, in fact parts not even ordered. Parts subsequently ordered on Friday, Sep 12.

Parts not received as of Tuesday, Sep 16. One part apparently backordered, no ETA available -- I had to call to get even this information. Manager asks if it's okay if he pulls backordered part from stock camera. Since repair is guaranteed, I okayed this, and the camera was fixed rapidly. I collected it this afternoon.

Total bill: $219 after taxes.

All in all, not terrible, but not great either. I wish they had been more proactive with communication and letting me know one part was backordered. (nv)


Thought I would send a quick note about my repair experience.  It was non-eventful—I used the web based form and shipped my D50 to the NY facility on a Monday.  It arrived on the following Wednesday, but I didn’t receive an email with the repair estimate until Saturday morning.  I promptly gave my approval (~$50 for a standard cleaning), and my status was updated online by Monday afternoon. It stayed in the shop for about a week and was shipped out about 2 weeks after they received it.  I’ve read in previous posts that Nikon seemed to lag in updating the website, but that was not the case here.  They seemed to keep the status current through the entire process, and I was able to track the shipment back to me. (ww)


I bought my D70s with the 18-70 mm kit lens in November 2007. Both were new. Despite very positive reviews of this lens, by Thom Hogan among others, I do not seem to get the same sharpness with it as I do with my new 50mm F/1.8, or the rather old n-th hand 70-210 mm F/4 and even the 35-135 mm F/3.5-4.5 of very uncertain usage and vintage. I was advised in a shop in Durban (South Africa) that it was under warranty and I should let them send it in for calibration by Nikkon in Johannesburg. I did so two weeks ago. About five days ago I received the lens back with the note that it was cleaned, checked and was found to be in fine working order.
 
Although this cost me no money, the problem is: (1) it was clean to my eye before sending, (2) I received it back with greasy fingerprints on both front and rear lens elements, (3) the thin plastic seal ring around the front element is now warped and not uniformly in contact with the lens element (there was nothing wrong with it before). If I buy a grey import Nikkor via internet, I can save up to 50% in some cases. I desisted because of warranty issues. Now I think the South African warranty is an illusion, at least when it is not just a replacement. (ee)


 

26 August 2008


This is not a Nikon repair experience per say [in the end I did the repair myself] but illustrates the quality of service we get around here in Belgium. Last July both camera and lens dropped from a loose QR shoe, small drop, the only damage being a slightly bent camera and lens bayonets [both lens and camera worked perfectly ok it just required some effort to change lens]. Both body [D2X] and lens [70-200f2.8VR] are outside the warranty period.

Contacted my shop in Brussels which in turn contacted Nikon BeLux Branch Office of Nikon France in Brussels. Turnaround time for the repair 4-6weeks! being August and all. Since I needed both the lens and body repaired for a shoot in August, I asked them if they would sell the parts and I would do the repair myself. Nikon BeLux's answer was that they do not sell Nikon parts to customers [or for that matter to my shop] and I would have to send both the body and the lens for repair. Contacted Nikon UK repair center [who does sell the parts to customers! go figure] and they kindly replied that for legal reasons they could not supply the parts to customers outside the UK and suggested me to contact Nikon's BeLux office [although we are supposed to be in a single market, have an European warranty, etc]. I ended up contacting an accredited Nikon Repair center in the UK that promptly sold me the parts I needed. In 4 business days I had the replacement parts. Total repair time: 20min. (js)


I was updating the Firmware on my D70 a few years ago and something went terribly wrong. The camera just didn’t function afterward. I send it back for repair. It waited like 2 weeks for progress report and heard nothing. So I emailed them. A few days later, I got a replacement camera. Camera works fine till now. But then I don’t use it that much anymore with the D200 and D300 added to my collection.
 
A few weeks ago, my 18-200 stop working. No AF, and zoom ring doesn’t work. I send it back for repair. I requested to have it back by last Thursday. While they failed to meet my requested date, customer service was good enough to keep me updated as where they are with the repair. Turns out the parts they need are coming from Japan and won’t get here till next week. I guess I will have to wait.
 
Overall experience with Nikon repair is good. (dc)


While working in the Gobi desert last month I was caught in a sandstorm and my 24-120, 24-70 AFS, 200-400 AFS, D3(x2) and D300 were covered in sand.  I returned to the U.S. on 8/18 and delivered all three items to Nikon El Segundo facility, the 200-400 and 24-120 were repaired under warranty (Rank A), the D3(x2) was also a Rank A but I was only charged for sensor cleaning, the 24-70 was a Rank C; all items were repaired and returned on 8/22.
 
On a side note the 24-70 seems a bit less durable than other Nikkors. The 24-70 was mounted on a D3 and 24-120 mounted on D300 during the storm, when I was able to examine the bodies and lenses the 24-70 focus ring would not move (thought the auto-focus worked while attached to camera) and the zoom action had the feel of sandpaper.  The 24-120 on the other hand was fine and performed the rest of the trip with no issue (same with the 200-400). (rs)


The following is my non-professional experience with Nikon repair.

I say "non-professional" because I have been told that the F100 is not a serious "pro" camera and that the NIKON repair service will bend over backwards for "pro" dSLR's and SLR's  but anything else has to wait 'till they're in the right mood to do.

This couldn't be true.  After all, of course NIKON would stand behind their products.  That's why I was a lifelong Nikon shooter...

Up until that time, I had had no issues at all with any of the Nikons or Nikkormats that I have used since college...

  • 07.13.07 - I sent my F100 that I purchased new in 2003 back to Nikon for repair of the metering toggle switch- ( mebbe you should advocate for a different location as the top of the prism seems prone to knocks, bangs & dings that may have knocked mine out of whack- but then again, form follows function, right ? );
  • 08.02.07 - I received a call from the repair shop that my F100 was back, with the following extra repairs ( notes from Nikon );
  1. Repaired film transport- nothing was wrong with it when I sent it out;
  2. Re calibrated the auto focus operation- I had been shooting bicycle criteriums & had no problems before;
  3. General clean & check- ok, it did look a little cleaner...
But hold on !...  What was NOT done was the repair to the metering toggle switch.  That's what I sent it our for in the first place ! I had been told this repair was out of warrantee & would cost $ 283 to repair and no, I couldn't get a "loaner" because the F100 wasn't a "pro" camera...  I asked the shop to send my baby back one more time.   This time, the repair shop "flagged" the order "FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION"- remember, the F100 is not a pro camera...  Shouldn't it go to the front of the line this time ?

  • 08.22.07 - I received a call that my F100 was back and seemed fine.  More extras ( notes from Nikon );
  1. Replaced top cover- ok, I guess they had to dis-assemble the housing to get to the problem;
  2. Replaced rubber grip- mebbe the same as # 1...
  3. Replaced LCD window- mebbe the tech broke the original bcz he was tried of working on an "amateur" slr (sic );
  4. General clean & check.
The metering toggle STILL DOES NOT PERFORM CORRECTLY !  Whether this is a poor design or you are supposed to jockey it back & forth a few times to change from Matrix / Spot / or Center Weight metering.

I'm intrigued over the whole transaction-  I was without the use of my primary SLR for a month & a half and still had to pay $ 240.00 for a repair that wouldn't pass my own QC methodology.  In this new century, haven't global companies realized that no matter how great their product line is marketed, their Customer Service department will probably make or break their balance sheet?   I've seen  car dealerships resolve Customer Service issues better than this - ie:  free car wash with servicing, loaner cars while repairs are being done, etc...  Surely, NIKON can't be that far-behind-the-times ?

At one point, wasn't the F100 billed as a "pro" back-up SLR ?

Please tell me that NIKON does not profile repairs based on their own "pro" vs: "amateur" caste system... (ml)

A nice evening in NYC tonight, so I figured I'd go into Manhattan and take some photos. I stopped in Brooklyn first- between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. There's a nice park and it's a photographer's dream spot…great views of the city. I have my camera on the tripod. There was a group of guys next to me also taking photos. They have their camera on a tripod as well…they walk down in front of it to take a photo of themselves using an infrared remote. It wouldn't work because they were too far away. So…I motion to them that I'll take it for them. Great. I look through their view finder and see that it wasn't aimed correctly. I realize that my camera is standing by itself. I first move it closer to me…. I look through the other camera and I hear someone say, "Watch…quick…" something like that. I look up and watch my camera and tripod tip over and slam onto some very big rocks.

The camera is not working right now. The shutter button isn't making a good connection so it will only work with the remote. Also, since that connection isn't good, the autofocus isn't working now either. The lens amazingly, seems to be fine, although the manual focus ring feels a little loose.

And here is the repair story:
 
On Monday, August 18th, I took a ride out to Melville, Long Island (I live less than an hour away) and dropped the camera off at Nikon to be fixed. Here's my review. The powers at Nikon should be pleased. I was given an estimate on the spot of $131.00- plus tax and shipping back to me, a total of $155.52. That was for the body, the camera lens seemed okay, but they would check that out as well at no charge. I was told it would take seven to ten days.

Within an hour of leaving Nikon, I received two emails with the official estimate for me to approve. I did that later in the day when I got home.

By last Wednesday, the camera showed up as "In Shop" on the repair tracking website. It remained that way until yesterday when the status changed to "Bill". I checked my Amex card, and sure enough, there was the charge for the repair. This morning, the status changed again to "Shipped" with a link to a UPS tracking number.
The camera arrived at my house about 15 minutes ago. (Today, August 27th)
The body and lens were in tightly wrapped plastic bags with rubber bands in a small box with styrofoam peanuts.
On the Repair Invoice they listed what was done. For the lens, just general cleaning and check out. I guess all was fine there. The body however...

They had to replace the top, grip, bottom, and front covers, and the pop-up flash. They also cleaned the CCD, checked the auto-focus , and general check and clean. (The viewfinder was filthy...it isn't anymore.)

So the camera looks as good as new. It also seems to be working as good as new as well. So here's a cheer for Nikon Repair in Melville! The price was right. The service faster than I ever expected, and all was done just as promised!

Now I can get back to taking photographs. :) (cc)


4 August 2008


I recently purchased a used SB-80DX over the Internet and when I received it from the moment I opened the box I could tell that it had issues with the charging circuit... Therefore, I contacted the seller and they agreed to pay Nikon's Melville service center to evaluate and repair the unit (up to a reasonable cost).  Therefore, I sent the unit to Nikon, USA for repair along with a very detailed description of the exact problem and packaged in its original box and plastic sleeve with all accessories other than the manual and carrying case.

After two weeks, I contacted Nikon to see what was going on with my flash because UPS had confirmed delivery after 3 days and yet I had not received any response back from them on my repair.  When I spoke with them, they initially denied ever receiving my package…but after providing them with the UPS tracking information and the name of the party that had signed for it, they called me back an hour later to inform me that they had lost my unit somewhere in the warehouse!

Three days later I called Nikon, USA again and was informed that they had located my flash and that it was slated to see a tech that day (encouraging) but that they needed me to provide a new description of the problem because they had lost my description that I typed in online :( Luckily, I included a copy in the box with the flash).
When I received the flash back, I opened the box put it back on my camera and found it to have the exact same problem as before (BTW I tried it on a D3,D200,D100, and off camera with a Pocket Wizard with the same problem in each case)… So again, I called Nikon, USA about this issue.

When I contacted the tech line and asked what was repaired on my flash…they looked up the ticket and said that the tech indicated that everything worked fine and that it was merely "cleaned and adjusted…" So After all of this crap, when the tech finally looked at the unit…he decided that nothing was wrong with the thing and set it back to me unopened with a charge on my credit card for $135.00!

I asked them where they get off charging $135.00 for doing nothing, and they told me that they estimate repair charges based on what you tell them is wrong with the unit! That is correct, they do not actually tech the unit to see what is wrong… they rely on YOU the customer who presumably has no technical knowledge to tell them what is wrong with equipment that THEY built!  

What especially infuriates me is that I sent this flash in to have a problem repaired BEFORE it failed completely!

Yes, the unit still functioned but anyone that could see and hear could tell that a failure was imminent in the near future by the very loud noises it was making.  For $135.00 they could have just replaced the charging circuit and capacitor (which they confessed to me is a modular plug and play part) just to make me happy if nothing else…even if they did not think that it would fail in its present state.

You might ask how I know that they did not do just that? Well, before I sent it in, I took a bottle of my wife's clean nail polish and put a few small drops on the seams of the unit that would be broken off if it was opened for service.

Guess what, they were still there when I got it back! (Cleaned my A**!)

In order to rectify the situation Nikon USA has offered to let me send the flash back to them for another look at no cost to me, and while I guess that is the best I will get from them… I would warn others about using them for Out of Warranty service issues,  IMHO they should have charged me no more than about $40 + Shipping for an hour of tech time to determine that nothing was wrong and just sent it back unopened.  If nothing is wrong, it should not cost the same as if it was actually broken and if I as the customer send the unit in to have the charging circuit replaced then just replace the darn thing like I want and send it back out rather than charging me for nothing and ticking me off! (mg)


After 4 months of usage with my D80, my photos starting getting a consistent dark spot. Contacted Nikon and rep told me to send it in for inspection. I sent it in and was contacted 6 business days later that my sensor is defective and it will be repaired/replaced under warranty. 3 days later I contacted Nikon for a status report and they told me it was going to ship in 2 business days. I requested for them to hold it, since I lived less than 20 minutes away from the service center. I got my camera the next day.

I also had 2 dead pixels on the images taken with my D200. Contacted Nikon and discussed with them that I don’t have my receipt or proof of purchase and how much it was going to cost me. They told me it needed to be inspected in order to find out the cost. I sent it in and received it back fixed less than 2 weeks later at no cost. By the way, I received the mail approval 3 days after I received my camera back, haha!

Great service, best of any company I’ve ever dealt with. (ni)


I just received my repaired 18-200 f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX lens. I sent it in to the Nikon Melville, NY repair facility after it was knocked into a wall and the impact caused the lens to not function properly.


The lens was received by the Nikon repair facility on June 27, 2008 and they e-mailed me a repair estimate of $137.50 (including shipping and handling). I received the repaired lens on August 1, 2008.
Although the turnaround time was not speedy fast, the repair was done very well. In fact, I don't believe the lens handled as well as it does now when I purchased it. In addition I believe the price of the repair was reasonable. I will certainly continue to use Nikon to help me maintain and repair all of my Nikon gear. (js)

 

26 July 2008


Just received by my D3 which I sent in to Nikon Melville two weeks ago.  I had managed to blow dust into the prisms, resulting in a finder that resembled the game Space Invaders.  Nikon cleaned it no charge, and everything is in working order, for the packing slip claimed adjustments, along with firmware upgrades.  I have used the service enough to know that the online tends to lag, but this time the online information was within 24 hours of the actual events.

I have had various bodies and lenses repaired over the years, usually operator error, and often Nikon has taken care of them no charge.  I did send in a 17-35 that the focus ring was grinding.  I was surprised by the estimate ($375), for I had asked or cleaning, and in the end they replaced every external part and it works and looks like new.  In the end I was extremely please even though it was not what I expected.

Through all of the repairs except the last one above, the online information has been lagging well behind the service, to the extent that several times I received back the item (when under warranty) before I received the mailed approval.

I have to say my experience with Canon equipment has been far less satisfying.  I just had my daughter's S800 sent in, estimate of $165 for a locked up zoom (almost punted and bought a new one, being the third time this has happened on three different S600/S800) and it took 4 and a half weeks, with no communication.  After this time frame, I received a email that it was being returned, at which point it showed up several days later.

In this age of electronic communication, I can not imagine it would be difficult to implement a responsive system by either manufacturer.  It would certainly reduce stress on us lowly photographers, as well as endear us to the company who renders this responsive system first. (tt)


RE: Repair Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8
Shipped July 1, had confirmation the first of the following week. The lens was in NY a week and back to me on the 15th. My initial call to Nikon regarding the lens’ function was very professionally handled. I have nothing by praise for their great service! And, I just called this past week regarding sending a new 24mm PC-E back to have the Tilt/Shift placed on the same axis, again the call was handled most professionally. A year and a half ago I sent my D2X in for some rubber replacement. My memory isn’t exact but I believe the turnaround was about three weeks. I’m most pleased with Nikon’s Service. (js)


Had focus failure problem with 70-200 on D300. First time any of my Nikon products had failed. Contacted Nikon service via email and was advised to send both to Nikon (NY). I included a note that the 70-200 had not been registered, but I gave an approximate purchase date. Both had parts replaced under warranty. Was able to track progress on line. Total time 12 working days. I was satisfied with the service. (cw)


I took my D80 and 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 DX lens to the Mississauga (Canada) Nikon location for service. The body needed to have the rear right hand rubber grip replaced as it was starting to peel; the lens was having difficulty focusing at 18mm at or around infinity, also made odd noises while focusing.

The customer service agent was very friendly and extremely helpful. They noted, my lens showed absolutely no damage (not even a wear mark or scratch) would likely be fixed under warranty, while the grip was caused by wear  and would be fixed for a nominal fee. This is totally fine with me, I expected as much. I was told that I would be contact in approximately 3 days with the results of the assessment.

6 business days later + a weekend  I was advised via an automated email that 1) The grip would be replaced… no charge (Sweet!)    2) The lens would be $100 to repair due to "external damage" (wtf?)     I called directly to the service department and requested that to speak with a rep.  I explained that there was no damage to the lens, and requested an explanation. The rep,  physically reviewed the lens and couldn’t see any damage and said they would "Give me a one time only 'grace' repair"  I replied that since the lens was not damaged Nikon should repair it while the warranty was valid.  The rep, had no response and said he would advise as soon as the repairs were complete.

I would like to note that I received nothing but respect from my Rep, my guess is (at least with non pro gear) Nikon will try to grab a little cash if you don’t complain about it.

Body should arrive tomorrow via overnight shipping (9 days turn around), Lens is waiting on parts (9 days and counting).   (sf)


 

14 July 2008


One of my D2X bodies suffered a complete metering breakdown. Camera was operational in manual mode but the metering would wander all over the place in real time randomly.

My local dealer managed sending the camera to Melville for repair and I got the camera returned within two weeks or so. Nikon replaced the metering circuit, lens mount, recalibrate/test and did a CLA under warranty.

Great service, no issues and the camera came back like new. Probably better than new. (gw)


NikonUSA; D80 & 18-200mm

Fourteen months after I bought the D80 I sent it in for sensor cleaning. With it I also sent my 18-200mm lens for 'lens creep' tightening. The lens was sent back no charge in about seven days, the AF was adjusted, too. The D80 was sent back no charge after a sensor cleaning and general check-up. I had sent both packaged in their original boxes, scrawled all over with the RMA and my name and address. Both were sent back with my original boxes (and more packing)in immaculate condition. No charge for return shipping on the D80. Very satisfied, will use again. (eb)


My only repair experience with Nikon (New York) was a very good one!

In the summer of 2007, I noticed that my D200 body was taking "crooked" pictures. I first noticed the problem when pictures that I took on a level tripod turned out with horizons dipping to the left. After more testing, I concluded it was not "Error #1" ("Photographer Error"); indeed I was not seeing things. I called Nikon and they agreed there was something wrong. Unfortunately, the camera was 2 months out of warranty and it cost me $225 to get it repaired. I sent the camera in on a Thursday overnight express, Nikon received it Friday morning, and by Monday night of the following week I already had an email telling me the repair work was done and the camera would ship soon. Two days later on Wednesday afternoon my D200  was "knocking on the door", so to speak! The Nikon repair information on-line was way behind in updates (the camera was already home and it still showed something like "repair work complete, will ship soon", as I remember). But, overall, a fast repair and I was very happy with the repair work.

As an after note, when I tried to buy an extended warranty for my new D300 earlier this year (because of my experience with the D200 warranty running out on me above). I found out that Nikon Mall will not sell an extended warranty to residents living in Florida. An email from someone at Nikon explained to me that the laws in the State of Florida are such that Nikon does not offer extended warrant coverage to Florida residents. So much for living in paradise! (am)


I broke a tab of the cover that holds the batteries in the battery compartment of my CoolPix 950.
I contacted my local Ritz Camera in January, 2008,and advanced them $65 to handle sending it to Nikon for repair.
In March, they called me and said that Nikon said they must replace the ENTIRE battery compartment - revised price for repair $191. I agreed. In April, I called to find the status of the camera (expecting it should've been repaired by then). They told me, after two days checking into it, that Nikon was never authorized to do the repair. I again
confirmed my authorization... In early June, I was called and told by Ritz that the camera was back and ready for pickup. I drove again to the store and, when I picked it up the repair sheet, I found it said, "not repaired - parts no longer
available".

I was flabbergasted that Nikon so completely mishandled this repair situation. Why would they quote a price to repair and, reconfirm two months later, without checking whether parts are available for this greatly overpriced repair!? Some may blame some of this on Ritz Camera and it's hard to determine exactly where this was mishandled. A pox on both their houses! After 40 years with Nikon, this position on a 10 year old camera in otherwise perfect condition is unacceptable. For anyone interested, my Nikon F, Nikon F4, and my Nikon D300 are now up for sale. (pm)

[Thom's response: A couple of points. First, Nikon usually only promises 10 years for holding parts. Because of the way the consumer electronics world works, some parts simply can't be obtained after the initial run, so once that stock runs out, there is no alternative source. Second, it generally doesn't pay to use an intermediary to get Nikon service. This simply adds communication and shipping points that increase the likelihood of a problem arising. Since Nikon's service forms are available on the Web, use them! Third, if you do have a product that's past the 10 year rule that needs repair, there are plenty of places that will still repair it. Generally they do this by scavenging parts from non-working cameras (Nikon won't scavenge because they can't warranty the part). The back of Shutterbag usually has plenty of repair services that advertise repair on older equipment.]


My D3 failed with the battery problem syndrome – top notch real Nikon EN-EL4a batteries but the D3 just flashes the dead battery indicatory and none of my batteries made any difference. Had to use the Nikon EH-6 AC Adapter to start the camera, downloaded and installed the 2.0 Firmware upgrade – but it made no difference. Camera still won’t start. This is clearly more than a firmware problem. (fb)

[Thom's response: not likely the DBS everyone else is talking about. DBS is a temporary syndrome. A complete power failure would likely need real repair, not a firmware update.]
 



Then the ultimate cruelty joke. You go to www.nikonusa.com which says something to the effect that Tech Support can be reached 24/7. So you call the number and step through all the menu selections to route your call and finally – “we are closed and please call back on the next business day”!!!  I’ll post again when I know how they’re going to handle this. Just don’t believe what it says on their web site! (fb)


I recently had the well known weird sensor problem on my Coolpix 5700 which I hardly use these days. Nikon sorted it for free quickly and efficiently. Great service. (bh)


I thought you may want to remind your subscribers(?) that most VISA ans American Express cards offer free extended warranties which double the Nikon 1 yr time period.

My 22 month old D80 recently failed. A number of CHA "writing to the card" errors. This error prevents the camera from being turned off in the middle of an attempted write but ultimately locked the camera in the "on" position  for at least 10 minutes before I removed the battery.  The camera never powered up again.

Since it was clearly out of warranty I sent it to Authorized Photo Services. Estimate the same day it was received, back ordered parts (power FPC board and image control board) delayed the repair 4 weeks and caused the camera to miss a trip to Yosemite but the communication with APS was very good.

American Express reimbursed the $296 repair bill, with copies of the repair invoice, and purchase invoice. Had I recalled the AMEX service earlier I would have sent it directly to Nikon. I wonder if the parts would have been back ordered? (ja)


I recently sent my D2x for repairs to the Nikon Melville, NY facility using the form and shipping label that I generated from the Nikon website.  Nikon received my camera on a Thursday and sent me an e-mail with an estimate that morning.  I accepted the estimate the same day and received the camera back one week later.  The Nikon website provided me with a status report during the repair period and an link to the shipper when the lens was in transit.  In addition to the work that I requested, Nikon identified other issues (autofocus adjustment and bayonet mounting repair) and addressed them.  I found the repair process to be quick and easy to accomplish. (jl)


Not good. I purchased a D300 to add to my Nikon stable in June 2008. I encountered the Dead Battery Syndrome during the first shoot losing a couple of thousand dollars because I shoot canine agility where each run only last about 35 seconds on average. I was elated to see the firmware fix from your website and tried to download it. That is where the problems began.

The Nikon support database doesn't recognize my password but accepts my login ID until I ask Nikon to send a password to my email. Then the system doesn't recognize the email account. So, I tried to create a new account thinking I was really going senile except for purchasing the extended service plan. Maybe I didn't create the account. However, I tried to create an account only to have the Nikon system tell me that the email account already existed in the database. So, here is the final tally. Nikon sells me an expensive camera that doesn't work, charges me another $170 for the extended service, and then refuses to acknowledge that I even live. All of this without a single human being touching the process.

I may have to switch to Canon simply to have someone to talk to regardless of how superior I think the camera maybe for my job. I can't afford to stay with this situation. (cp)


At Niks Thailand (Nikon Thailand), I got my D300 and my D3 there:

I brought in my D300 as the front dial did not work anymore, and inbetween all that friendly Thai people smiles I was politely reminded that they have a 24 hours replacement policy and that I could pick up the camera the next day! Not only that, they also replaced the front rubber grip for free.

I call that a very good experience! (ms)


I found your e-article on Nikon USA service from a few years ago and just wanted to report that the experience is still a nightmare. Speed and efficiency isn't there, and Nikon USA customer service is an absolute joke. That's one reason I'm writing to you instead of emailing Nikon directly, and easily seen as I describe my Nikon experience. They can't, or don't want to, deal with their complaints or properly service their customers.
 
No I'm not a 'professional' in the sense of primary occupation, or an NPS member, but photography has become an important part of my business. Before making a larger investment I thought I'd do a test drive and purchased a D40 kit with 18-55, and added a 55-200. The products performed wonderfully and the quality images produced were impressive. After about 5 months, and as I was ready to shop for bigger and better and to use the D40 as my back-up, I started to experience occasional 'lens not attached' errors. They could be 'fixed' by releasing either lens and re-seating without removing it from the body, but of course missing shots in the process. This was frustrating, but compared to what I'm experiencing with Nikon service, it seems like a very minor annoyance now.
 
Even though I am very careful with lenses and body, the dreaded and unavoidable CCD dust bunnies also began to appear. Nikon service seemed the best bet for both...and another little test of what I could expect from them. After all, cleaning is considered normal maintenance around the time frame of 6 months to a year, so a regular occurrence. Without local authorized service, or the lack of cleaning kits and instructions as furnished to Japanese customers, the factory appears to become the option.
 
6-10-08
I had used the online form, filled out the info and printed the packing slip. I detailed both issues and had the initial impression that Nikon was efficient and tech savvy. I assumed (incorrectly) that this would be a painless experience with good contact, and a speedy service. I shipped the body out to El Segundo, a short hop from Vegas. I expected it to arrive by no later than Thursday. Checking their online status on late Thursday, that didn't happen according to Nikon.
 
6-13-08
Friday I checked online again and it now indicated my camera had finally arrived, one day longer that everything else I've sent to So Cal. I hadn't received an email about this, but assumed I had just beaten them to it. The online status indicated 'Estimate', and coded to CLN CCD which I understood, and to GWO, which isn't explained on their site. I instantly paid the $14 charge and $12.50 return shipping by credit card, a minimal service charge that unfortunately is dwarfed by the to / from shipping costs. After a little hunting elsewhere on the net I found GWO meant 'To good working order' which I assumed included my lens error issue. Later that day I did receive the email of the estimate with attached PDF file of the paperwork requiring the work to be authorized. It explained that I may have to wait 30 minutes for the estimate to appear in their system, but by this time it already indicated 'Estimate Accepted'. OK, so no worries...yet.
 
The email mentioned that they would send a hard copy by regular mail, which as you'll read on, you'll notice brings new meaning to snail mail. It also stated that while my camera was actually being serviced it would indicate 'Shop'. When service was complete it would indicate 'Shpd', for shipped, of course. Being that this was a Friday, I didn't expect my camera to get into the shop until Monday. BOY, was I wrong! Try the following Wednesday.
 
6-18-08
Yes, online my D40 was now indicating 'In Shop'. According to their email, this meant my camera was being serviced. How long could it take to clean a CCD? That day?
 
6-19-08
Nope, the online and most up to date and accurate status still indicated 'In Shop'.  I received my mailed copy of the service estimate, 6 days after I approved and paid for it. The estimate was generated on the 13th, but the postmark is from 4 days later on the 17th, so obviously not an issue from the USPS, that can even deliver plain old mail between Vegas and So. Cal. in 2 days.
 
6-20-08
All day Friday it was still there 'In Shop'. 3 days to clean a CCD? Yes, it must take that long, by late Friday evening the status had changed. Was it changed to 'Shpd' when service was complete, as stated in their email? NO. Now it had 'Bill'. Bill for what? I already paid the estimate. Are there new charges? If so, why not coded re-estimate as it says in their online description of codes? Unfortunately I had business obligations and wasn't able to do even a quick online check until Monday, and it still indicated 'Bill'... and no other contact.
 
6-24-08
'Bill' status was still showing by Tuesday, and still no contact from Nikon. Now that I have a moment, comes the how many buttons can you push to actually reach 'Customer Service' for an explanation. After having to give name, address, phone, email, service order number (all my information from my online packing slip or estimate), and everything but a retinal eye scan, I could finally ask about my camera. When questioning why my camera has been listed as 'Bill'... The response? That meant the service was complete, but now it's being 'tested', "to make sure the camera is in perfect working order." Oh, and after all, they are upgrading the firmware at no charge. Golly, what a lucky guy I am to have 3 business days of cleaning and at least 2 days of testing and firmware upgrades!  I was then told that my camera should be shipped "in the next day or so."
 
At this point one begins to sniff the air for that pungent odor of bulls in the pasture. Later that evening I checked again, and it now indicated 'Shipped', making me wonder if the camera would have remained in limbo if I hadn't called. Also, no email sent to inform me that I should be expecting a delivery or a tracking number, but yes it was available at the bottom of their online status page, if you looked hard enough.
 
6-26-08
After more than 2 weeks of door to door, my D40 arrives. It's well packaged and the body in a plastic bag sealed with a rubber band. I insert battery & card and attaching the 18-55. It powers up and I take a few test shots with a little surprise. Plugged the card into the computer for the big screen results and low & behold, my 2 week ordeal paid off! The spots on the images were gone!
 
One little problem... they had been replaced with multiple new, although lighter spots, in other locations. These same spots appeared even when changing lenses, so once again obviously an issue with the body's sensor. I should also mention that as an added bonus there were new dust specks and even a smear or scratch when looking into the viewfinder. How impressive after all this time cleaning and testing to make sure this camera is in 'perfect working order'.
 
I then attempted to use the email form on the Nikon USA site to contact service. I wanted to include before and after images to show them the caliber of the service I received. Their email contact form implies you can do just that. I entered my email and all the other information, and the first image attachment in the form's box went smoothly. The second attempt for the after shot brought me to an account sign up screen. Again entering my email, and information they had from my online packing form and my contact by phone. After filling out that form and clicking submit, I come to find out that my email is 'already in their system'. OK, so let's try requesting my account password by email since I'm 'in the system'. I enter my email in that form, only to come up with an error message that my email ISN'T in their system. Trying the original contact form again with no attachments...same deal. After all this spinning in circles, looks like I can't contact service or ANYONE at Nikon by email. This is just more of the continued Nikon technology breakdown that doesn't allow for much in customer contact other than their call center with the reps that produce the pasture smell.
 
After again going through the multiple button push and establishing my identity, I explained my little issue of 2 weeks of 'service' time, and the issue I have with my D40 worse than when it went out. The rep's response was very apologetic. I was told that they would send out a pre-paid shipping label to return to have this corrected. When asked how long this trip would take, I wasn't given a direct answer, only that my camera would be marked for 'rush service', cleaned properly and returned ASAP.
 
6-27-08
The next morning I find that late in the night I received a blank email from 'MyName'. One could easily assume this was SPAM, if not noticing the subject 'Shipping Label for SO ######'. Oh, and when I say blank email, I mean BLANK. Nothing written in the body, or attachment indicated in the inbox or when opening the email itself. I've been on the net since there was a net to be on, and send and receive email, online faxes, files, contracts, and various attachments worldwide without an issue, so I think I've got a handle on whether or not an attachment is indicated.
 
This of course prompted yet another call to customer service. After the multiple button push to reach a human, and again ID screening, I explained the lack of attachment. Was I sure there was no PDF? Yes. Funny, I was able to get the PDF of the original estimate. Well....another would be sent out within 24 hours, so more wait time. It did come in, again late in the evening, too late to be shipped out that Friday. Oh, and again, same as before, totally blank.
 
I decided to look at the full header to see if I could spot any issues. I used forward to catch a large view. Low and behold now the forwarded message had a PDF attachment with the UPS 2nd day air shipping label. Again, I send and receive multiple attachments on a daily basis and this obvious glitch in their mail system is most likely from using an antiquated 3rd party setup that was able to be corrected many years ago. I'm sure I can't be alone, so a heads up for anyone else that may encounter it.
 
6-28-08
It's Saturday and my local UPS store has a 2 day air pickup by 3 PM, and fortunately it's not far. UPS furnished the sleeve for my printed label of my once again repackaged D40, which by the way, isn't headed back to California next door, but headed to Melville, NY for this 'rush repair'. Maybe they offer better service? Bigger staff? Corporate wants to check out this ridiculous blunder?
 
I ask for a receipt and tracking number for my now coast to coast traveler, and being familiar with UPS air shipping I was well aware it should be delivered on Monday. The UPS tracking system showed several other Nikon prepaid shipments heading to Melville. Of this batch about half were not yet in transit, making me wonder if they too had also had the mystery blank emails.
 
6-30-08
Without surprise, tracking showed that my D40 was delivered to their location on Monday at 10:15 am and signed by Hammel. No email from Nikon, though. Using the online status tool with my previous service order number it only showed it had been shipped from El Segundo. Well, maybe since this was going to be a 'rush', they were speedily correcting their mistake and returning it to me, and the system entry would have only bogged down the process. Yeah, right.
 
Oh, and yes, now 2 days later there were still some from that batch of prepaid shipments to Nikon Melville that had yet to be shipped. Wonder why?
 
7-01-08
No contact from Nikon, no change in online status.
 
7-02-08
Email Contact from Nikon Inc. !!!! Yes, only 3 days after arrival for my 'rush' service, I had CONTACT!
 
Oops, wait...it's just an ad for my free 2 GB storage at Nikon's myPicturetown.com. They'll be happy to sell me more space, with 20GB of storage only $2.99 a month. If I only had my Nikon, maybe I'd have some pictures to upload. It's been MIA for 3 weeks now. Considering their online communication and tech issues for their own company, would I want to consider experiencing more of the same from their picture storage site?
 
7-03-08
Yippie! After having my D40 for only Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and now Thursday morning, Nikon has now acknowledged they've received it! No, not repaired it in those 4 days they've had it. Now THIS is RUSH SERVICE! Yes, and I have an actual PDF attachment visible on the email, with no charges. The email gives a new service order number, and looking online it says 'Estimate'. This is the day before the 4th of July holiday.
 
I must give credit where credit is due, by evening status is now upgraded to 'In Shop'. They must have 'rushed' it there. Wonderful, just in time to sit for the long holiday weekend. Hmm, and for an average consumer, wouldn't a holiday with family get togethers, parades and fireworks displays be a good time to have a fine camera...to use. Instead mine is still on vacation over 2000 miles away somewhere in Long Island, NY.
 
7-08-08
I type this on Tuesday, after 9 PM in Melville and well beyond quittin' time and the 30 minutes 'lag time' for online status to be updated, if it was going to be done. My order STILL shows 'In Shop'. After 4 business days at their facility, and now over 2 full business days and counting "In Shop" to re-clean a CCD. This is Nikon's 'Rush Service'? Then one has to wonder, if and when my camera is ever returned....Will it be to 'GWO' as originally promised, or will it again be returned in worse condition than when it went out, and the beginnings of yet another round of Nikon USA BS? I guess my 4th call to Nikon's 'Customer Service' will be coming again soon. My next shovel full of excuses and false promises, mixed with a blend of how thankful I should be that they're treating me so well.
 
After all, I did get the extra days of supposed testing for perfection on the first trip, and the considerate break of 'free shipping' for them to fix their poor service. Plus great acting, like upgrading firmware for 'free' is some kind of bonus, and such an elaborate and time consuming procedure. That last one is an added insult. I have any number of electronic products that offer free firmware upgrades, even delivered to my inbox for quick download as they become available. These other companies want their products to perform their best as soon as possible for their customers, not waiting until the item goes in for service. Plug it in, install and done in moments, not days. Nikon apparently considers their customers stupid if they expect them to fall for this, and these idiotic dodges for their inept service only builds distrust.
 
Add the ludicrous system they have in place for online 'contact', like my being unable to use their email form. 'Customer Service' brushed it off with no offer to correct it. Then all these lame excuses made up by phone service reps, and fruitless promises of rush service unkept, creates the perception it's intentional, to avoid dealing with their customer's problems. Nikon has left these reps as whipping boys for their incompetence. Yes, this pure aggravation Nikon USA caused, over what should be a simple process. Sure, for them it does make their problems, and customers, go away.
 
If I gave this kind of customer service I would have been out of business years ago. I can't say what level the pros get with their NPS service, but if this is how they treat the average consumer, they shouldn't be in the consumer market. I can just imagine a typical purchaser that has a special moment they hoped to capture, that is waiting to have this normal maintenance performed, that's taking a month (or now longer). This is only to perform a simple cleaning....correctly. I can only imagine if the problem required actual repair, or egads...parts!
 
Nikon USA has lost or ignored a basic business principal. You can build even the highest quality product, but if it can't be serviced or is serviced poorly, or in an unreasonable amount of time, you will fail. It doesn't take much to imagine the results of a Lexus owner waiting 2 weeks without the use of their car for an oil change, and when done incorrectly, pushing another 2 weeks or longer with 'Rush Service' promised to remedy the mistake.
 
If Nikon USA can't handle providing this monopolistic maintenance service, then they need to authorize local centers to perform it, or provide cleaning kits and instructions as they do in Japan. Obviously they made no money in this transaction, and lost money and a customer in the process. I know that after this experience I surely have no interest in investing in much more expensive equipment with Nikon, and am more than happy to spread the word. Seems the least I can do for their intentional lack of concern for their customers. They don't value my business and appear to be living off a former reputation for quality and service and an presumed ethic of their Japanese parent, that as you point out with your article from 4 years ago Thom, died some time back.
 
Thanks for the opportunity to vent, and to give a clear unbiased heads up to those considering Nikon USA.
 
(TS)


I thought I might share a couple of thoughts about my Nikon Customer service experience and recent Nikon announcement.

First the customer service experience:
Since I live in Southern California, I use Nikon service at Torrance.

In October 2006 I sent Nikon my N80 with a broken metal bracket (the one that holds the focusing screen). Three weeks later I got my camera back. The broken plastic was replaced, but apparently the person who worked on my camera did not bother to check if they have everything working fine. I had some focus point indicators in my viewfinder not working. Probably just misaligned electric contacts but still, they should have looked through the viewfinder to make sure it was fine after the repair. Not such a big deal, but I had to spend more money on shipping and wait for one more repair.

One year later, I sent my D200 for some minor stuff (sensor cleaning of some tricky spots) and I got it back in 2-3 weeks. Everything seemed fine. They even upgraded my firmware for free. No problems this time.

In both cases though, I noticed that the Status web page is being updated with some delay.
My camera was almost at home at the time they had status updated with UPS tracking number. (mh)

Spring ’08 had CF card slot pin go bad on D200 body. Camera would not accept any card. I live on Maui. Took camera to local Nikon dealer. They promptly accepted, shipped to El Segundo. Estimates were 3-4 weeks. Within a few days I received a call with diagnosis and cost estimate (approx. $250). After giving the go-ahead, they said 2-3 weeks to repair, service & return. Camera was back in about 10 days. They serviced entire camera and body. It looks and feels like new throughout. I would give Nikon high marks for the service itself and their exceeding expectations for turnaround relative to their own estimates. (ca)


When I look at Thom Hogan’s web site and he talks about receiving good Nikon repair service and then look at some the comments from some of his web site readers, if find that their experience does not agree with my experience.
 
My experience with El Segundo Nikon repair was very poor.  Nikon El Segundo service facilities do not appear to read letters, they don’t do a good job of cleaning a CCD and they don’t give priority to re-does.  I initially sent my D300 to Nikon in El Segundo on May 19, 2008 to get the CCD cleaned.  It was finally returned to me with the CCD cleaned on July 8, 2008 after two re-does (three shipments).

In each of the three shipments to Nikon I called Nikon and read the letter to a customer service representative before shipment and I was told by the customer service people that the service department would priority process re-does.  My experience is that re-does are not given any priority.

I expect that some of my poor experiences may be that I wrote a letter rather than printing out the form that Nikon has on-line and that I did not give a ship to address on the first letter.
 
My conclusions are that the El Segundo Nikon people do not read letters and the customer service people do not know that they don’t read letters.  The Nikon customer service people are located in Canada and most can’t talk to the people in El Segundo.  The Nikon customer service people give logical answers but not knowledgeable answers.

As an amateur photographer I do not need the stress that Nikon repair caused me.  My option is to sell my Nikon equipment as getting it repaired is too much problem - the benefit cost relationship is just not there.  I currently own – F100, D200, D300, 12-24mm lens, 17-55mm lens, 70-200mm lens, and a 600mm VR lens plus other Nikon accessories.  In other words I have a lot of money invested in Nikon equipment.  If the equipment can’t be repaired without a lot of problems in a reasonable time frame, trying to get the most out of photography is not worth it.

Initial shipment
My letter that accompanied the D300 on the May 19th shipment requested that I was to be called for the ship to address.  In the same letter I gave them my address of record for Visa charge which is Livingston, TX and told them not to ship to the TX address.  Nikon shipped to the TX address and the D300 was re-directed from TX to Ely, NV where I was located.  I received the D300 on June 9.  The CCD was in worse condition than when I sent it to Nikon.

2nd shipment
When I returned the D300 to Nikon on June 9th my letter stated by sure to return to Ely, NV.  Nikon continued to show the ship to address as the TX address.  I called and had the ship to address changed to Ely, NV.  I received the D300 on June 25th.  The CCD was much better but still had a number of problems.

3rd shipment
When I returned the D300 to Nikon on June 9th my letter stated by sure to return to Ely, NV.  I again had to call change the ship to address to Ely, NV.  I received the D300 on July 8, 2008.

(cw)


I am an INPS member and sent my D200 in to Melville on April 9th of this year for rear focus problems. I got an estimate back quickly, but the online database listed the camera as "waiting for parts". After 2 weeks, the camera was still not fixed. I called, and the rep said that the parts were backordered. I finally received the camera back on May 9th, although it still seems to have the same problem- since they sent it back the very same day that the parts were received I'm wondering if they even worked on it! Although I had a loaner from NPS, I am disappointed with the service I received, and will have to send the camera back. (ja)


Nikon Canada - D80

Bought new D80 in August of '07. A few months later starting getting both "f-EE" and "E-rr" error messages on a far-too-regular basis. Took it to Nikon HQ (I am fortunate enough to work 20km from their head office). Camera was ready for pick-up a week later, service report said lens contact assy replaced. Come the Christmas holidays, the mirror/shutter started sticking, camera would only take an actual photo every second time I press the shutter. Back to Nikon again (and they managed to return it again within the (short) between Christmas New Years -as I was leaving for 2 weeks in California on the 5th.Got it home, and discovered the programmable "function" button no longer functioned at whatever you wanted it to do.

Back to the camera store (Henry's) where I had purchased their additional "three strikes and it's out" warranty -they replaced the body with a new one, no problems since. Happy with the service overall (prompt and professional) from Nikon, perhaps slightly disappointed in the build quality -previous 35mm F601 ran for 10 years without a hiccup.

(at)


2 July 2008


My recent repair experience is a big improvement over earlier experiences. In 2006 and 2007 I waited three to six weeks for D200 repairs ande a repair to my 10.5 fisheye and my 12-24mm DX. In contrast, I shipped two lenses to Nikon for repair last Wednesday under 5-year extended warranties (70-200mm VR sometimes failed to focus, 18-200mm VR suffered from zoom creep), and both are on the UPS back to me as I type, exactly a week door to door. (I live in Brooklyn, close enough to the Melville repair center that UPS ground is the same as overnight shipping here, so that improves the numbers somewhat.) Both were fixed free under the extended warranty. (jh)


Nikon Canada; D200.

Background: Replacing the CF card one day I noticed that the available images on the camera was staying at -E-, though the light on the back of the camera was flashing. Trying another card, or two the error stayed the same, whereupon I noticed the distinct smell of hot circuit board.

Resolution: Emailed Nikon Canada, who promptly gave me the necessary information to mail it to their depot in Missassauga, Ontario (just west of Toronto). They received the camera, and via email kept me up to date, informing me that a pin on the CF card socket had collapsed, shorting the circuit board. The camera was under warranty, so they replaced the board/plug, cleaned the camera, and returned it, all under a two week period.

Conclusion: The service was excellent, and my only observation is that it was faster to get updates via email than it is via their website, something which, from reading, seems to be the same as NikonUSA. (dk)


These are the 2 experiences I have had with Nikon USA repair within the last 12 months.  Both involved the Melville, NY facility and the 800 number for service (when I refer to “I called”).

The first experience was in Jan 08, when I sent my 70-200VR lens in for the third time.  Problems were the same as previous trips, random failures of AF and VR and VR jittering wildly.  Failures noted with numerous bodies.  When I called, I was pushing for replacement, given that the lens was still under the 5 year warranty and the fact that this was the third time in for the same issues.  Other than a lack of contact (no one ever called back when I was told someone would call me) and not getting a replacement, the repair was covered and I had the lens back in just under 3 weeks.  I was pleased that the work estimate was sent via e-mail as well as snail mail, and the website info seemed up to date, more or less.

The latest experience was in Mar 08 when I sent my D300 for repair.  Problem was intermittent failure to AF which would correct by shutting the power off and cycling back on and a tendency to front focus with all lenses.  I sent the camera UPS and Melville rec’d it the next day.   2 working days later, I called for a work order number. It has been my past experience that these are generated a day or two after receipt. I was told there wasn’t a number yet, they were probably “busy”. After a week of daily phone inquiries, I finally got a gentleman at Nikon who admitted that something seemed wrong.  Promises to check into the situation might  have been fulfilled, I don’t know as no one ever called me back (as I was told repeatedly someone would).  After 8-9 working days I finally got a work order number.  For the next 10 days, status showed in-shop.  Phone inquiries got me nowhere.  I placed a call to my dealer, who contacted his Nikon rep.  My D300 was returned 5 days later, total trip time just over 3 weeks.  Invoice showed they cleaned the lens mount contacts and the sensor (the sensor was fine when it went in) and checked all functions.  It still has the FF with all lenses, thankfully adjustable through the AF fine tune.   (wd)

[Thom's Comment: the D300 almost certainly had DBS, for which there is now a firmware update to fix (1.03).]


This is my first user experience with Nikon Service Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, after owning Nikon DSLRs since 2004. Last year in November 2007 my 18 months old D200 suddenly totally died, without anything working at all.

I'm a NPU member but not a NPS member, so I haven't access to NPS high priority service. The 12 months Nikon warranty period was expired. We have a consumer law in EU giving us up to 24 months of protection with faulty electronic and mechanical consumer goods, if we can presume a manufacturing fault with a product. After a few e-mail exchanges with the Nikon Service Centre (NSC) the next day, with both of my two e-mails answered within half an hour (very impressive), NSC said they would probably repair it under warranty, if my D200 didn't look like a camera that had been "thrown in a concrete mixer" :~).

I send my D200 to the Nikon Service Centre the same day with a brief description of the symptoms of the problem.

NSC received my D200 the next day, confirming through e-mail the same day that they would repair it under warranty, even though the Nikon warranty period was expired after 12 months. With a turn around time of impressive 3 days, they exchanged the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and the Main Board (PCB), and did the common camera exposure and autofocus checks and cleaning of the sensor and cpu-contacts. NSC shipped the camera to me after the 3 days, and I received the camera the next day.

The camera worked perfectly again after a total repair time of 5 days including 2 days of transport by Post Denmark. That's darned effective and excellent service in my opinion. (ot)


I'm based in Singapore. There is a Nikon Service Centre here.

This January I had to send the 17-35mm/f2.8 lens in after I knocked the lens (while still attached to D200) by it side, and quite immediately both camera and lens dropped on the ground. Besides 2 scratch marks, no other visible damages on the lens. However, the zoom ring became very tight between 24 to 28mm.

After some examination, I was informed that certain ring (I cannot recall the name of the ring) inside the lens was cracked and the focus would be a bit out. I was also told that the repair & calibration would cost S$480 (US$350) for repair because the lens was already beyond warranty for more than a year. However, after some discussion, Nikon was very nice to offer me a discount.

The repair took 3 weeks, just as what the service staff told me. The lens was given another 6 month warranty. The lens was back to its prime condition again. I am quite pleased about the whole experience.

(po)


I sent my D70 in for the infamous "BGLOD" meter-board problem, and Nikon had the camera on its way back to me in about 5 days.

About 9 months later, the camera began to meter "paradoxically", showing greater exposure in dark areas, and lesser in brighter areas. On sending the unit back to Melville, I received an estimate notification of about $230.00. When I called to check on the camera's status a day after I ok'ed the estimate, I mentioned I thought it should be a warranty repair, as the new meter-board was so new.

The Nikon service rep told me there was no charge. the repair was done as a courtesy warranty repair. Great service! (ja)


I used the Nikon Repair Request form that Thom includes on his CD's to send in an in-warranty 200mm f/2 lens that needed adjustment. Although this form is based on the one used for NPS members, I am not an NPS member and did not include a member number on the form. The lens was adjusted and returned to me within 10 days. The case was returned with several NPS stickers on it. It is possible that Nikon assumed I was an NPS member because of Thom's form. Regardless, the adjustment was exactly what I needed. Very pleased. I'm keeping those NPS sticker just in case
:-) (wa)

[Thom's comment: Another hidden Complete Guide benefit ;~]


I recently (three weeks ago) sent in my D80 as I believed that I had a focusing problem (focus seemed to actually take place under the focus marker). It came back in less than two weeks. Nikon stated that they found no problem with the focus system, but that they did make sure everything was back in factory spec and suggested I send in the lens with the camera so they could check the lens. While I didn't really have a problem with the camera, it was checked in a timely manner and instead of just chalking me up to being crazy, they suggested sending in the lens with the camera to check the lens and see if there was any problem with either the lens or it's use on the camera.
(ck)


I sent in my DX2 for a routine service after receiving a D3 and confident that I had a worthy camera to be getting on with. Although sent special next day delivery, it took Nikon ten days to acknowledge receipt. When I called, the staff had a hard time tracking it down. Ten days later I still had not received it. I called. Service was showing complete on the system and I received a credit card receipt for £231 (460 dollars) the next day. Strange? This was a lot for a service. I called back. They had replaced some of the rubber cladding. They used a much better glue now, they promised, and this time it would not fall off. I did not like being charged for something that Nikon admitted was due to their poor materials, but never mind. I would get my camera back. One week later, no camera - thank good for the D3! The upshot- Nikon admitted that they could not find the camera, and offered me a second hand replacement of a loan DX2S, claiming this was adequate as it was an upgraded model. I refused this. Eventually, after 6-8 weeks I received a brand new DX2S, but no refund for a repair never completed to my knowledge. SO impressed was I with the new D3 by now, that I had no intention of ever using the DX2 again, and so I put the camera straight on ebay. It went for half the amount I had originally paid for the DX2.

This is the third time Nikon UK has lost a camera of mine, the first time they failed to eventually find it. Also, they have yet to clean a sensor adequately. Being a pro member, I find this disgraceful, also their poor customer service (refusing to refund for a repair never received). I shall never send them anything again EVER. I now go to a specialist camera repairer through Calumet who is cheaper, and excellent, and local. My sensor is now much cleaner as I am able to get in cleaned on the spot and go on my way.

If I had all my equipment stolen, I would move to canon for these reasons and the fact that their technology is not advanced enough to persuade me to stay with them. (sd)


I recently had my 18-200 mm VR lens die. The VR mechanism failed to operate.  The lens was purchased in July 2005 and luckily I had sent in the extended warranty card. The lens was packaged and sent UPS ground from Utah to the Nikon repair facility in El Segundo, CA on 06-18-08. They showed receiving the lens on the 24th of June. I received an email the same day. A “B2” repair problem was diagnosed and there was no charge for the repair. The lens was repaired and shipped on the 27th. I am currently tracking it on UPS and it is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday the 1st of July. So far I am really impressed with Nikon’s response. I’ll let you know if the lens wasn’t repaired correctly once I receive it.  Thanks for your great articles and reviews. I always research them prior to any purchases I make. (jc)


In February 2005, I sent my D70 to Nikon Melville for back focus issues. The camerawas returned two weeks later and died from BGLOD syndrome within a week. It was returned to Nikon, repaired, and back to me in two weeks. All work was warranty.

I purchased a refurbished D200 from Newegg.com on 7/25/2007.My 15 year old 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor did not want to communicate with the D200. Onthe top LCD and in the viewfinder, the"fee" message began rapidly flashing, alternating with the current aperture. I had selected for the lens with the camera body. I tried cleaning the lens contacts and the camera contacts, changing from Auto focus to Manual on the lens, rotating the focus ring, all the old methods. But nothing seemed to work. Sometimes the lens would operate and sometimes not. I found the same thing happened with my e 50mm F/1.8D AF Nikkor lens (4116178) of about the same vintage.

The 28-70 f/2.8 AFS produced the same results. But I had no problems using my Nikkor 12-24mm f/4 or the 80-200mm F/2.8D ED AF. I queried Nikon Tech on 13 August 2007 and got a reply the next day that suggested the lens mount might be out of alignment and that I should send the body in for testing. On 15 August 2007, I sent the D200 body, the 105, 50, and 28-70 lenses to NPS/Melville after going through a process of discovering that Newegg does not do returns on their refurbished items. Nikon gives the purchaser a 90 day warranty. So I wrote a detailed description, enclosed a CD with images of the flashing "err" message, and a request to insure the camera would function with the three lenses.

I received an acknowledgement of receipt on 20 August 2007. On 27 August 2007, the camera and all lenses were returned. The electrical contacts were replaced and the body was cleaned and checked. But unfortunately, the D200 was behaving exactly as it did before I sent it in. I sent numerous inquires to Nikon Tech but received no reply. So I returned the D200 to NPS/Melville on 5 September 2007. On 6 September 2007 I received a notification of receipt and entry into the Nikon System.

On 17 September 2007, I received my D200 from NPS/Melville.It now performs as it should. This time Nikon replaced the power PCB and the DC/DC converter. My only real concern when I got the D200 back was that the diopter adjustment was so stiff, I could not turn it with my fingers. After a brief call to Nikon Service and a very tender turn using medical hemostats, all was well. All service except the two FedEx trips from Georgia to NY was done under warranty. The D200 has performed excellently since. (mh)

 

1 July 2008


I have a 50mm F1.4D lens that I bought used in my town here in Japan. I noticed that in the portrait position, if I tilted the camera down it would make a grinding noise. It wasn't anything bad, but I figured I should have Nikon take a look at it.

I took it to the Nikon shop in Ginza, Tokyo and dropped it off for service. The service people were very friendly and helpful. After about a week, I got a phone call saying that the lens had been fixed and I could come and pick it up. Again the service people were very helpful and friendly, and I got my lens back.

The repair slip said that they replaced a glass element inside the lens, but didn't really do any other checks or anything. I paid about Y7000 (around $60), which I thought was a bit high for a lens that costs Y30000 ($280).

The only bad thing is that the lens is starting to do the same thing (after about 18 months). I'm going back to the Nikon shop to have it fixed again tomorrow. I'm going to ask them to do a full check and figure out what's wrong with it this time, and hopefully they will do it free of charge (that might be wishful thinking though). (ss)


My repair experience is several years old. I experienced a well documented problem with the d70 (flashing green light of death). Sent the camera in and got it back fixed in a week with a new battery (I didn't send the old battery in so I got a free battery out of it). The also cleaned the sensor. Only fault was website was slow to update - I had camera back and the website hadn't reported an update since problem was diagnosed. (km)


I recently bought the 50mm, F1.4. About 2 weeks later it basically stopped auto focusing.

I don't know whether this makes it a Nikon repair issue as such, but I took it back to the retailer in the first instance.

They gave me another one from stock on the spot and said they would simply return the original one to Nikon.

So, all in all, pretty bad to have a new lens die within 2 weeks but a great response from the retailer. (wl)


I damaged the LCD on my Nikon D80 and brought it to Mack Camera in NJ.
They have had it since March! It took them a week or two to open it up and figure out what parts they needed but they ordered the parts in April. They claim that Nikon is impossible to deal with and that they are told that the parts are arriving but then they don't. I am absolutely outraged and don't know what to do. (pd)


I've been nothing but pleased with Nikon service at their El Segundo (CA) facility. I live about 90 minutes driving time away, and always deliver/pick up my equipment in person.

I had the D2X in for a precautionary look-see after dropping the body about four feet onto asphalt (the camera seemed to be fine and continued to function perfectly) and both the D2X and D200 in for routine tune ups/sensor cleaning on another occasion.

Turnaround times always were quicker than the "5 to 7 business days" estimate - the sensor/tuneup jobs were back in 3, the D2X crash job (which did do some impact deformation to the body) in 5, even after Nikon had to re-contact me to get approval for additional repairs.

Plus, they give me ten pin connector and flash synch caps for free. (jk)


New 24-70 f/2.8 lens purchased from B&H on April 14, 2008. After some testing, determined that the lens had some focusing issues. Decided not to return the lens to B&H since this lens was in short supply. Rather I sent the lens to Mellville, NY on May 2. Was received by Nikon on May 5 (next day - over a weekend). Posted by Nikon for repair on May 7 (the date of their letter acknowledging my request for warranty repair service.) A few days later Nikon service web site showed lens being held for repair awaiting parts. I called two weeks later for an update and asked about whether lens could be returned to me by Tuesday, June 3 (was leaving the next day for a work-related assignment in San Diego during which I would need the lens). I was told that the service department would email me an service estimate when lens would be serviced. That was never received. Departed for San Diego on June 4; a new, replacement 24-70 f//2.8 was sent to me at no charge, arriving at my home four hours after leaving home for the airport. Frustrating. No explanation given as to why old lens was held for four weeks and then replaced with a new one. New lens checks out OK. I cannot complain about the outcome, albeit it was an inconvenience at the time and the communication was not as good as it could have been.

One other repair experience with NIkon in early December 2007 - I sent a D200 in for a checkup and some heavy duty sensor cleaning (still afraid to do it myself). Nikon promptly cleaned the camera, adjusted the focusing (at their own initiative) and sent the camera back to me. That took about a week and a half. Good service and done at no cost to me (just prior to warranty running out). (jf)


My experience is in South Africa (with a camera bought in the Netherlands). It is a D70 and a few years ago.

It developed a fault (can't remember what). Send it in for repairs, paid R1100 (almost US$200 then) to get it fixed. As I remember, the repair was quick. A few weeks later someone mentioned to me that this fault was common on D70 models and Nikon would fix it for free. I contacted them and they said they would refund the R1100 if I gave banking details. That took almost a year and a lot of me reminding them (but they did pay the money back in the end).

Before that, they also did a free sensor clean for me. Not too unhappy with their service therefore. Now the camera needs another clean - or replacement, anybody with a D80 for sale? - and also need my VR80-400 fixed (manual focus is not working). (dg)


Both my 24-70's needed AF calibration - sent them in at different times of course. The first one came back perfect within 2 weeks, the 2nd one took a little longer, around 2.5 weeks. A friends D200 body crapped out twice and both times Nikon got it back to him in 2 weeks. FWIW, this is the Melville repair location. So, right now, I've been very pleased with their service, as has my friend. (mn)


I sent my SB-600 in for minor repair about a year ago.  While in the mid-east the little rubber button on the flash head came off.  Upon returning to the states, I sent it to the Califronia repair facility to get it glued back on under waranty.  It was repaired, under warranty, and returned approx two weeks later.  The website did give me a few status updates and did inform that it was being shipped back.  I can't remember if they gave me a tracking number, I don't think they did and I had call for it.   As for quality of the repair: They did re-glue the button back on but the tech used an "excessive" amount of glue.  Not a big problem, the little glue buggers all rubbed of fine.  However, the button came off again about 4-5 months later.  This time I just glued the sucker on with some gorilla glue I got at Home Depot!  Hasn't been an issue since. (jk)


Situation:  

  • 70-200mm would sometimes not AF.  Reseating didn’t help.  After a few minutes, would start again.
  • I broke a filter and couldn’t get the ring out of the lens.  Wanted Nikon to replace the thread.
  • 28-70mm aperture spring popped out so the aperture never stopped down.
  • D200 – nothing particularly wrong, but I didn’t know whether the AF problem was the lens or the camera.  Nikon advised to leave it.
I walked everything into Nikon.

Issues:
  • Nikon is either unable or unwilling to look up warranty info even though I had registered online and sent in the warranty cards.  They wanted to see sales receipts, which I didn’t have with me, but I had copies of the warranties, which they accepted.  However, the clerk still filled out the forms incorrectly (and why are they still using paper forms?)  Even after that, I had to Fax them the warranty copies and sales receipts again.
  • Nikon tried to claim that the broken filter indicated that the 70-200 “took a hit” and therefore they wouldn’t repair it under warranty even though there wasn’t  a scratch or dent on the lens body or glass.
  • They tried to charge for both the 70-200 AF repair and the D200 body repair but would not answer my question as to how it could be both the body and the lens.
  • They tried to charge $375 for the 70-200 and $200 for the body and until I convinced them that the 28-70 was a warranty repair, a fee (probably around $200) for that as well.
  • It took several weeks for them to come up with the estimates.  Every time I called they said “tomorrow”
  • Even after I agreed to go ahead with the repair, it took well over a month to get the 70-200 back.
  • There were also some issues looking up the order status on their website, but I no longer remember what they were.  If I remember correctly, I think there was only way to search that actually worked.

Resolution:

  • After numerous phone calls and letters, they agreed to fix the 28-70 spring issue under warranty and to fix the D200 and the 70-200 for a total of $230, a price that I thought was fair.
  • Quality of work was very high – camera performed better than when new.

Other issues:
  • When I got everything back, it seemed like I was missing a battery.  I admitted to Nikon that I wasn’t 100% sure that I had left the battery (it wasn’t on the service order), but I asked them to check the benches and see if there was a battery lying around that they might have forgot to pack.  A few days later, a brand new battery showed up in the mail.


Summary:
I didn’t appreciate the initial attempt at a rip-off, the delay in evaluating the repair and the long time period to get the 70-200mm back, but once I found the right manager to talk to, they were extremely responsive and helpful.  I think there’s still room for improvement, but in the end I was very satisfied. (mb)

[Thom's comment: The presumption on Nikon's part is that evidence of physical abuse (broken filters, dents, dings, scratches, etc.) will always result in repair charges to the user. It's very easy for there to be unseen damage from bumps and bruises, usually at the mount where it will impact focus, but in other areas as well (the aperture activation arm is another key element that can get damaged with impact, or in this case, the thread rings on the lens and possibly the front element alignment).]


My 70-200VR was 'loose-mounting' on my D100, D200 and D300. I had intermittent AF failure and it would also sound at times like the VR was stuck and chattered excessively as well. Finally got off my duff and sent it in early March. I received it back 5/7 from Nikon Service NY. It now mounts totally rock-solid to the D300 - like it was superglued. AF/VR issue is gone too. My 70-200VR is 4.5yrs old.  Like you, website wasn’t updated to say it shipped.  Very satisfied with the end result, but not with 2 months on parts-backorder.
Here a list of their maint:
repair heliocoid
modify other electrical part
replace rear lens protector
replace filter ring
adjust communication
adjust auto-focus operation
adjust VR unit
adjust SWM
adjust aperature operation
general check and clean (cs)


Bought one of the first Nikon D70s, but sold it to a friend over two years ago when I got a D200.    Around the first of the year, I got a call from him and he finally had the  "Green Light of Death."   Recalling at one time Nikon would fix it for free, I checked the web site and they still offered the free fix.  He sent the camera  to Nikon under his name not mine.  They did not care and quickly fixed the camera and cleaned the sensor.   Excellent  service. It was well beyond the original one year warranty and not the original owner.  It makes you feel real good about Nikon. (gc)

[Thom's comment: Nikon's warranty is not transferable. However, in those few cases where Nikon Japan has admitted to a part or design failure that did not meet their standards, Nikon usually repairs any and all equipment that has that defect for free, and usually well past the warranty expiration. However, be forewarned that if at the same time Nikon finds some other problem with your equipment, they very well may charge for that repair. Note what I said in my repair articles: Nikon attempts to bring any equipment they receive for repair back up to full manufacturing standards. For example, if you submit a D70 with BGLOD syndrome for free repair but say, the top plate of your camera is cracked, Nikon will fix the top plate and probably charge you for that. It's an "all or nothing" thing. Nikon can't fully verify and guarentee an individual repair unless the camera is fully repaired.]


I've had two positive repair experiences with the Melville facility on Long Island.

The first was when I receied a used 80-200 with a broken auto/manual ring.  Sent it in via web RMA and also asked them to check the focus.  They sent me an estimate (took a week, rather it had been a phone call), but then did the repair and completely cleaned, aligned, and tested the lens.  I was as if I had a brand new lens.  Total time til back in my hands -- a day shy of two weeks.

The second happened this spring, when during a visit to Washington DC I dropped my D300 body and smashed the upper left back corner, jamming the review button in the process.  As a result, while the camera could still take pictures, all review and menu functions were inoperable.  I sent it again via the web RMA with a note asking them to estimate repairs two ways....internal button fix (obviosly) and with/without external case damage repair.  I received the estimate online the day before I received it in the mail...as requested, both ways.  I gave the online go-ahead for the complete repair and had the camera back four days later, working and looking perfectly.  I know this wasn't a routine repair for them, as they indicated they had discussed the situation with Nikon Japan.  I was pleaed that the whole process was completed in about two-and-a-half weeks, and that the service charge ($200) was so reasonable for the severity of the damager.

At least based on my experience at Melville, Nikon rates an "A" for service. (hl)


Yesterday I sent two lenses in for servicing a 70-200 that is creating the DBS (Dead Battery Syndrome) on my D200s and a 85 1.4 that is over exposing. I took the lenses to my local pro shop to have them forwarded to Nikon Canada, Estimated time that Nikon Canada gives for all repairs is 6 -12 weeks. In talking to the lady who handles repairs and has been for years said it will be closer to four. In the many years of being a photographer this has always been the slow turn around time of Nikon Canada. Having a NPS number means nothing up here.
 
For those in the US you should feel very lucky for the quick turn around times I read about, in Canada quick turn around times from Nikon Canada is only a dream.
 
We can take some solace in this turn around time; according to the repair lady Canon Canada is even worse. (ge)


Over the years I've sent four items to Nikon repair in Southern California. All have been repaired correctly and none took over ten days. I'm shooting Canon at the moment and my experience with Canon repair is only OK while Nikon has been great. (jg)


I had to send my D3 in twice. (Melville, NY)  First a week after I got it for mirror raising issues in cold weather.  Nikon repaired it and had it back within a week and a half.  Two weeks later I had the same mirror issues and a missing focusing sensor. Nikon sent me a prepaid shipping slip, replaced the entire mirror mechanism and had it back to me in a little over a week.  I had to say I was impressed as I was still waiting for my NPS membership to be approved and knew that I probably wasn't on the top priority list. (tt)


I've had to send two different D200 bodies in to Nikon Canada for service in the past year. One was for a basic check and clean after a year of use, although I did mention to Nikon that there was a single stuck pixel on the rear LCD; the second one had a wonky LCD right out of the box.

In each case, I sent the camera to Nikon Canada's Vancouver service centre, by mail. In both cases, Nikon replaced the rear LCD panel and in both cases I had the cameras back in my hands a week later, with no charge for any of the work or the shipping. That means they turned the cameras around within 24 hours of receiving them!

I'm not an NPS member, so this would appear to be Nikon's normal, and I would have to say, excellent service. I am, however, a Canon CPS member, and they best they can do on a "pro rush" service (lens calibrations, for example) is typically six to eight weeks turnaround, and that's with me dropping off the gear and picking it up again from their regional CPS service centre here in Calgary. (cl)


I took my D200 in to Nikon Service in Mississauga prior to its warranty running out for general maintenance check and sensor cleaning.
 
While at the counter, the rep advised me to just request a general check, as the clean would probably be automatic, and I might be able to avoid the $80.00 sensor cleaning fee.  So I did.
 
Camera was returned with completely new rubber and a cleaned sensor a little faster than the time frame quoted and for the quoted price. (mb)


I've had uniformly good service and uniformly bad
communications with Nikon in So Cal. My d200 and lenses have not been there, but my D70 was there three times. Each time, the camera arrived back at my house before I received confirmation that they had received it (all repairs were no charge).

I delivered the camera in person each time, and the people at the counter were friendly and efficient. Twice, the camera came back focusing better, even though it was claimed no problems were found. The third visit was after the "blinking green light of death" failure, and the camera worked fine after that.

When I noticed cracks in the plastic around the contacts on three of my older lenses, I made the mistake of going to an independent repair shop because it was much closer than Nikon. I panicked and approved the work for two of my everyday go-to lenses. I let them "fix" my fifteen-year old 80-200 2.8 and 85 1.8, but it cost me $500. I decided to fix my 60 micro myself, using a dab of superglue. It worked fine, and now I feel like an incredible fool.

These are never easy decisions for us amateurs, but in the future I will rely on Nikon. They have treated me really well, even if their communications systems are a little slow. (dz)


I sent a 17-35 2.8 in to Nikon El Segundo a few months ago to get a squeaking focus motor repaired. I received an email 3 days later with the work order. Since it was a warranty repair, they didn't need approval. It took 3 days for the repair and the lens was shipped back UPS ground which took 4 days. Never having dealt with them before I felt the time was reasonable and was happy with their response. (dd)


I took an F100 and an SB-80 to Nikon El Segundo for CLA and repair of an intermittent flash problem, prior to selling the whole rig to B&H and going Canon. I think this was around late 2004 - 2005.

I was a bit out of warranty, as I recall, but they still did the work well, promptly and for free. My happy impressions are one of several arguments that eventually could lure me back to Nikon. (ta)


Last year, my 6 month old D200 developed a weird AF problem. It would get stuck in focus lock for long periods, effectively disabling the LCD, rear control buttons and more. Turn off the camera, remove battery, replace and power on -- still in focus lock. Problem consistent with multiple batteries, CF cards and lenses.

I spoke by phone with a (very professional) tech support rep and we worked through an exhaustive checklist concluding the D200 body needed to go back for repair.

I packed and shipped off the camera and it was delivered back to me in about 3.5 weeks including travel time from Northern California to Southern California and back again. The repair was completed successfully and under warranty.

I was satisfied with everything but the time taken. I continue to be amazed that DSLR users are willing to put up with these extended repair times. For me, being without my 6 month old camera for almost a month is simply not acceptable. As an amateur, I cannot afford or justify a back up body to cover such eventualities.

Automobile owners certainly wouldn't (and don't) tolerate these repair times. Most issues are resolved the same day and heck, if I really need to get somewhere while the car is in the shop, the dealership will give me a loaner.

Similarly, I paid a very modest price to purchase next-day, in-home service for my computer system.

My "beef" is not just with Nikon here -- it seems to me the whole industry could and should restructure their service operations around the needs of real users. Currently, the whole system seems to revolve around the needs and convenience of the manufacturers.

Call me old fashioned, naive, or even unreasonable, but I'd like to see the Customer Service systems designed around the needs of the customer! Other industries have been able to do so quite successfully. (mh)


26 June 2008

....less than a five-day turnaround on "repairing" a focus problem on my D80....I cannot complain on that....It was just under warranty.... (tl)


I too had a very good experience recently. My D3 went kapoot on me a short while ago. My exposures were severely over and I would get ERR messages after every shutter release. I sent the body into the El Segundo service center on 06-09-08, they received on 06-11-08, "in shop" shortly after, and the D3 was back in my hands on 06-19-08. The D3 needed B2 service: "RPL Shutter Mechanism". Thank goodness the body was still under warranty!

Anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the whole process. Web status seemed to match each step of the way, even the "shipped" status was right on the money. The last Nikon I had serviced was an F3HP, back in 2001...that was not a horrible experience but it took 3 weeks to be completed. (sk)


My experience with Nikon's service was infuriating but worked out OK in the end. I sent in my D70s last summer because it was having a vertical banding issue. Basically at anything above base ISO, a pixel would get stuck on and corrupt all the info around and below it, so there was a red streak down the frame. Most of the photos from this camera go to a newspaper, so these images are pretty much worthless.

As directed, I sent it in with some printed examples and a letter expalining how to recreate it. They gave me an estimate for a sensor replacement and charged me around $250, exactly how much I forget. This information came almost immediately from the website where I OK'd the repair and paid for it by credit card. This information also came few days later in writing.

I got it back in a week and the problem was still there. Instead of a sensor replacement, they gave me a sensor cleaning, and I had a deadline looming. I had two days left to cover an important trade show, which is indoors, of course, and would require at least 400 ISO for most of the shots. I was absolutely furious.

After taking a couple hours to consider my options, I upgraded to a D200 just in time to get my article done. I was expecting another six months or year on the D70s before a replacement, which isn't good for business. Plus, I was still out for the repair that wasn't performed, also not good for business.

I waited a day to calm down before calling and explaining how thoroughly awful my experience was, and how much money I had actually lost in the deal. Since I'm an English professor by trade, I don't qualify for NPS. Even so, I have publication deadlines like clockwork and depend on work getting done as promised when promised because I have both a publishing and teaching schedule to uphold, especially after I had prepaid for work to be done that wasn't. The argument must have worked, especially about being charged for work not done, because they refunded most of my money, charging me for a sensor cleaning, and then replaced the sensor on a re-repair for free. I was OK with that, but such issues have lasting impacts.

Ok, I admit, I like the D200 a lot more (as an old F100 user), but still, it's not good for the bottom line. (jp)


I just this day received my 17-35 back from El Segundo.
 
The Problem:
The lens would chatter/squeak when it had to crank the focus a long way.  Didn’t seem to hurt anything but after a few months it was getting annoying.  Besides which I had heard that symptom usually meant a problem with the motor or a dying motor.
 
Experience:
They received it on a Monday (16th).

It was in their online system Tuesday (17th).

Repaired and shipped back the following Monday (23rd) and the online status was updated that day.

Received it today (Wednesday the 25th), 9 days after they received it.

I bought the lens new a year and a half ago.  Did not send in the extended warranty card.  Was not charged for the repair.
 
Overall a very positive experience and better updates than the last few times I’ve used them.
 
 
What they did:
B2
Write Up
Repair SC 201117
RPR SWM
ADJ INFINITY FOCUS
ADJ AUTO FOCUS OPERATION
CKD EXPOSURE
CKD FOCUSING MECHANISM
CKD ZOOMING MECHANISM
GENERAL CHECK & CLEAN

I wonder what “CKD EXPOSURE” means on a lens? [probably means that aperture activation arm linkage was checked for consistency -thom] (lw)


Last summer I sent my D200 to Nikon, El Segundo for the following repairs: Replace the "shedding skin", repair command dial that would no longer rotate, and adjust autofocus. The repairs were covered by the Nikon extended warranty ( camera was 1 1/2 years old). I sent the camera via US Postal priority mail from Honolulu, and had it back less than two weeks from the day I sent it. Everything was fixed, the camera was cleaned, and I was very happy with the service. Quite a contrast from the 6 weeks it took to fix my D70 a couple of years earlier. (sm)

I had my 70-200VR repaired and my D200 repaired.
 
Both B2 ranked repairs.
 
Lens cost $375.00
Camera cost $212.00
 
Almost 3 weeks to get my lens back and almost 4 weeks for the camera.  That includes shipping time from Portland Or. To El Segundo CA.
I sent them in the same package.  I finally had to call down and get them to ship my lens back that I needed, it seems they were waiting on the camera to be repaired so they could send them back together.
 
The customer service by phone was very good.
 
It would be nice if they gave an estimate on time as well as the repair estimate.
 
I thought the repair list on the invoice was a little hard to understand, it should be more clear on what they repaired.  I have some idea what they did but I have no idea on some of the repairs.  I guess I could call, but why not have it on the invoice? (sr)


Dropped my 70-200 (out of an unzipped backpack) this year.  Substantial damage to front ring (bent), autofocus would not settle, etc.  Sent it in to NikonUSA in mid-April.  Waited until early June -- on "parts hold" all that time.  Inquired several times about status; always received a response within a day, but not always with much information ("still waiting on parts" was typical).  After three weeks they discounted the repair by 30% without me asking, which was very nice.  When parts did arrive, the repair was done and the lens was back within a week.  I had the same experience as you -- the web site showed the lens still in the shop when it arrived at my door.   (dw)


I had a pleasant Nikon (Melville) repair experience to report....

My 70-200 has, from the start, been problematic on my D300.  I shot all last year w/ it on my D200 (>30k clicks), but on my D300, it would initially work after mounting and taking a few shots, but then, AFS would stop working.  Nothing new in this regard, based on all the boards.

For example, one night I was at my daughter's concert.  Took some pics for exposure, put the camera/lens on my lap and when my daughter's class entered, it wouldn't AFS.

Cleaned the lens & camera contacts w/ DeOxit, seemed to help a bit.  Then, tried it again and after mounting, it wouldn't even AFS.

Sent it to Nikon Melville w/ your service request form.  It was out of warranty (I had bought it used) and so the estimate came back at $387.  Very quick turnaround (sent from the Boston area to Melville via USPS standard, but tracked & insured).

Approved the estimate, and got the lens back w/ in 2 weeks.  Nicely packed, etc. But, no service info...just my estimate and original service repair request.

Called Nikon, and they apologized, it's supposed to be in the box.  They replaced the VR unit, and 'something electrical'....not sure what that was, and they didn't have any additional insight.  Presumably, something WRT the D300 issues?

Have used the lens twice, first time for about an hour, and second time for a couple of hours, no issues whatsoever.  The zoom action seems a little 'firmer' too. (cw)


I'm just a regular Joe Schmoe, not NPS. Sent in my Nikon 24-70mm lens for adjustment, ended up being a B2 Service. It was sent to the El Segundo, CA, location. Here goes:

Received by Nikon June 13, 10AM.
Service Order entered/email received June 16, 4:30PM
Shipped by Nikon June 19.

The lens was checked and tested, but nothing was fixed. I'm still of the opinion that my D300 is fine (no other lens I have is this soft anywhere but the center circle shooting a flat surface (newspaper) wide open. Stopped down it works fine, and using AF Fine Tune, ~+10 is the optimal setting for wide and tele sharpness. They told me to check the body instead. The turnaround was very fast and, assuming my lens needed repair, it likely would have been equally as quick.

A side note -- I received someone else's Service Order Estimate to my address set as both the Ship To and the Bill To. It sounds like I could have gotten a free body (if it were under warranty or if I'd simply declined the service charges). Nikon shuffled around for a while trying to figure out what to do, and ended up saying that they'd send the service order back to the Service Dept, and to "destroy the Service Order Estimate." Hope the body finds it back to its rightful owner...

All in all, my NikonUSA experience was pleasant. However, it sounds like someone else's experience may not have been quite as good.


I have had the opportunity to use Nikon's repair service earlier this year. I have a 18-200mm VR lens with zoom creep that was driving me crazy. In spite of reading on multiple web sites that Nikon would not repair this problem, I sent it to them with an explanation of the problem. In less that 10 days they had repaired the lens under warranty and returned it to me. This is the first opportunity I have had to use Nikon's repair service, and I am impressed. Incidentally, the lens works great following the repair with no creep at any setting. (hb)


My story about Nikon Repairs is a funny one.
My 55-200 kit lens partly froze, it would zoom but it would not focus. I sent it to Nikon, as it was under warranty.
I got an e-mail and a call from Nikon within 24 hours of it arrival date, I was told it would cost $ 150 - 175 to repair as the damage was due to "user error", I told them the lens wasn't worth it, send it back.
I received the lens 3 days later, it works just fine and Nikon never charged me the repair or for the return shipping!
(at)


My daughter has my old Nikon D70, my wife has a D200 and I have a D200 & D300.  The only one that has not been in the shop within the last year is my D200.
    I can't remember what he D70 had wrong with it, but they fixed it within 10 days for $Zero.
    My wife stepped on some loose dirt, went down, and, though she tried to save her D200, the navigation button was knocked out and the LCD cover was throughly scratched.  They replaced the button and the LCD as well as the plastic cover and gave it a through cleaning.  I authorized $400 with a credit card, but again they did the work for $Zero!
    Two days before going on a trip my sensor cleaning exercise turned into a sensor greasing exercise <ARRRRGH!>  I took it to Nikon Repair Monday morning and picked it up Wednesday morning  - again $Zero.
    Ahhhh, yes....  Did I mention that their El Segundo, CA repair site is down the street on my way to work? <grin>  Needless to say, I am on a first name basis with Sendy, the young lady at the front desk! (tb)


My recent experience with Nikon Repair has been excellent to above average. I agree that the repaired item arrives before the website has been updated...but who cares as you have the item back in service (and that is probably the way Nikon feels too). All we really care about is fast turn around, proper service and a decent price and for all of these I give Nikon an A+. (ws)


I just read your note on Nikon repair in the USA and thought I would send you some recent experiences in Europe. I've recently turned 'semi Pro', (I earn most of my money from writing).

Anyway I recently returned my old 17-35 f 2.8 for a service. It was still fully functional, but the manual focus ring was grinding a bit. I dropped it in to my local pro dealer in Brussels who trans-ship for free to Nikon in Paris (in Belgium we don't have a pro repair centre apparently). After a lot of return visits and calls on my behalf I got an estimate after 6 weeks for €360, with a 2 week turn-around time. That was 3 weeks ago (incidentally I was told that the initial estimate took so long because Nikon France staff were busy at the French Tennis Open).

This seems to be par for the course here with Nikon. I had to send back a 3 week old D300 after it started behaving erratically with AFS 2.8s. That took 5 weeks under warranty. D2h a couple of years back was the same story (had to have that fixed *twice* for the same problem, once by Nikon UK, once by Nikon France, each of them took their sweet time about it).

I'm not entirely sure what the issue  is. My experience has been limited to Belgium and Ireland, neither of which have their own dedicated service agents and Pro gear has to go to France or the UK for servicing.  Pro-accreditation for repairs is a bit cryptic here. Nikon UK seemingly regard you as 'pro' if you have a 'pro' camera (Dx00 or above), but they took their sweet time repairing my D2h. Registering with Nikon in Belgium has so far gotten me one invite to a trade show that was anyway open to the public, and not very much else. I assume that Pros attached to agencies and papers are served better, but those of us who are really independent and a bit stuck...

Anyway, just thought you might add that to your 'list of things Nikon should improve' file. I was going to jump ship after 17 years with Nikon and then the D300 and D3 came along. I'm glad I stuck with them. If only they could make a lens like the Canon 135 f 2... (cc)

 

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