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Photographer
Jasper Johal Photo
Posts: 89
Los Angeles, California, US


I am a Canon shooter and love my 5D Mk3. But since I make a lot of big point-of-sale prints for my fashion clients (usually in the 96x48 inch size), I was looking at picking up a Nikon D800 (with a 70-200 f2.8 G ED VRII, 24-70 f2.8 G ED, and possibly 14-24 f2.8 G ED) for the higher resolution.

But the item in my research that stopped me cold in my tracks is Nikon's deteriorating reputation when it comes to repairs/customer service. Seems like it is really bad, and getting worse. What has been your experience?

Here is a limited list of entrees from pretty reputable bloggers:

Roger Cicala of LensRentals.com: "Nikon, I love the cameras. I love the prices on the cameras. But Nikon USA’s repair and service sucks and is getting worse." The full report is quite eyeopening, and worth reading regarding durability, since LensRentals.com has hundreds of lenses and camera bodies and they send in a lot for repairs:
(http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/09 … -july-2012)

Trey Ratcliff from stuckincustoms.com: "I’ve had three negative experiences and zero positive experiences with NPS."
(http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2012/10/3 … -services/)

"HOW NIKON IS KILLING CAMERA REPAIR" from iFixIt.org
(http://ifixit.org/1349/how-nikon-is-kil … ra-repair/)

PetaPixel; "Nikon Has an “F” Rating From the Better Business Bureau"
(http://www.petapixel.com/2012/08/20/nik … ss-bureau/)

Google is rife with dozens of horror stories from lesser know individuals, such as "Nikon repair service - buyer beware" from Bill Cotter (http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00alt2)

Sounds like Nikon charges twice as much for similar repairs, has stopped selling parts to third party repair shops, so you are stuck going to them, and often takes weeks to return gear.

In contrast, Canon does almost all repairs and cleanings in two days or less, (sometimes while I go have lunch!).

For instance, I dropped off my 1Ds Mk3 and 5D Mk3 to be cleaned at the Irvine Canon Service Center last Monday afternoon. I am a Canon CPS member, so they gave me a free loaner 1DsMk3 so I would have something to shoot with in case I needed it. But I need not have bothered, because they cleaned the 5DMk3 and Fedexed it to me so I had it back by 9 am the next (Tuesday) morning!

As a full time professional shooter, I get all my gear cleaned and checked at least once a year, and before any major overseas photo trip. Hearing this about Nikon has completely dissuaded me from investing in any Nikon gear (even though I have many fond memories of using my built-like-a-tank Nikon F3 in my long gone film days).
Jan 16 13 04:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,571
Portland, Oregon, US


You're not alone in those observations...

unfortunately (as a Nikon shooter), Nikon has yet to catch on.

Honestly, I don't think they care that much about the professional market anymore.
Jan 16 13 04:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,745
Santa Ana, California, US


I guess the D800 really has Canon on the run, for the fan boys to be posting this kind of propaganda.
Jan 16 13 04:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aaron Lewis Photography
Posts: 5,082
Catskill, New York, US


That's not good. I didn't use NPS services but I've had a couple of very positive experiences with the general Nikon repair service.
Jan 16 13 04:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,745
Santa Ana, California, US


DougBPhoto wrote:
Honestly, I don't think they care that much about the professional market anymore.

Where do you come up with that assessment?
I might have agreed two years ago (as it applied to studio work - my complaint was that they had begun defining professional photography as photojournalism/sports - not that they weren't addressing the professional market), but they redeemed themselves with some pretty awesome technology recently targeted squarely at us studio guys.

Jan 16 13 04:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ChanStudio - OtherSide
Posts: 5,312
Alpharetta, Georgia, US


Jasper Johal Photo wrote:
I am a Canon shooter and love my 5D Mk3. But since I make a lot of big point-of-sale prints for my fashion clients (usually in the 96x48 inch size), I was looking at picking up a Nikon D800 (with a 70-200 f2.8 G ED VRII, 24-70 f2.8 G ED, and possibly 14-24 f2.8 G ED) for the higher resolution.

But the item in my research that stopped me cold in my tracks is Nikon's deteriorating reputation when it comes to repairs/customer service. Seems like it is really bad, and getting worse. What has been your experience?

Here is a limited list of entrees from pretty reputable bloggers:

Roger Cicala of LensRentals.com: "Nikon, I love the cameras. I love the prices on the cameras. But Nikon USA’s repair and service sucks and is getting worse." The full report is quite eyeopening, and worth reading regarding durability, since LensRentals.com has hundreds of lenses and camera bodies and they send in a lot for repairs:
(http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/09 … -july-2012)

Trey Ratcliff from stuckincustoms.com: "I’ve had three negative experiences and zero positive experiences with NPS."
(http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2012/10/3 … -services/)

"HOW NIKON IS KILLING CAMERA REPAIR" from iFixIt.org
(http://ifixit.org/1349/how-nikon-is-kil … ra-repair/)

PetaPixel; "Nikon Has an “F” Rating From the Better Business Bureau"
(http://www.petapixel.com/2012/08/20/nik … ss-bureau/)

Google is rife with dozens of horror stories from lesser know individuals, such as "Nikon repair service - buyer beware" from Bill Cotter (http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00alt2)

Sounds like Nikon charges twice as much for similar repairs, has stopped selling parts to third party repair shops, so you are stuck going to them, and often takes weeks to return gear.

In contrast, Canon does almost all repairs and cleanings in two days or less, (sometimes while I go have lunch!).

For instance, I dropped off my 1Ds Mk3 and 5D Mk3 to be cleaned at the Irvine Canon Service Center last Monday afternoon. I am a Canon CPS member, so they gave me a free loaner 1DsMk3 so I would have something to shoot with in case I needed it. But I need not have bothered, because they cleaned the 5DMk3 and Fedexed it to me so I had it back by 9 am the next (Tuesday) morning!

As a full time professional shooter, I get all my gear cleaned and checked at least once a year, and before any major overseas photo trip. Hearing this about Nikon has completely dissuaded me from investing in any Nikon gear (even though I have many fond memories of using my built-like-a-tank Nikon F3 in my long gone film days).

If you are Nikon professional, then things will get quicker but Nikon repair service still behind some of others. 

  Here is my opinion.  If a product is that reliable and durable, one wouldn't need servicing as much.

Jan 16 13 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,571
Portland, Oregon, US


John Allan wrote:
Where do you come up with that assessment?
I might have agreed two years ago (as it applied to studio work - my complaint was that they had begun defining professional photography as photojournalism/sports - not that they weren't addressing the professional market), but they redeemed themselves with some pretty awesome technology recently targeted squarely at us studio guys.

I've used Nikon's for 20 years and been an NPS member for the past 10+ years.

I come up with that assessment based on my personal interactions with Nikon and decreasingly professional customer service experiences.

Not only have I experienced multiple instances where issues conclude without any resolution from Nikon, but we've all heard and read about the issues they have had with their recent bodies.

My experience with their service/repairs has been getting worse.

Failures to repair/fix lenses after 4 tries, screws falling out of other lens when getting it back from repair (still not fixed), taking a couple of YEARS to have a body repaired,  I'm sorry, I don't consider that doing a good job.

You may think that they have done great for PJ/sports while ignoring Studio, they are actually doing a great job of ignoring a lot of sports/wildlife shooters too, in fact, over the past 4 years, they have released more products for studio shooters than wildlife/dx sports shooters.

Bottom line, I am very dissatisfied with Nikon on many levels, especially in recent years, at the same time as watching so many shooters that I follow move to Canon, and it does not come as a surprise.

Jan 16 13 05:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jasper Johal Photo
Posts: 89
Los Angeles, California, US


John Allan wrote:
I guess the D800 really has Canon on the run, for the fan boys to be posting this kind of propaganda.

Canon fan boys? Propaganda? Really, John Allan! Really?

Highly popular HDR blogger Trey Ratcliff is a straight up Nikon and Sony shooter. Calling him a Canon fanboy make about as much sense as accusing Obama of being a republican.

LensRentals.com buys/rents hundreds of Nikon bodies and lenses, and Roger Cicala is considered one of the most respectable sources of unbiased info in our community. Accusing him of being a Canon fanboy is just plain absurd.

Better Business Bureau is a Canon fanboy?!!!

Look John, I am not interested in getting into a pissing match with a person who is obviously a Nikon fanboy himself. I am simply sharing with other working professionals some research that truly surprised me.

As a full time shooter for over two decades, I just go out and buy any equipment that will help me deliver better results to my well paying clients. My loyalty is to results, not brand.

From my film days I have happy memories of using the Nikon F3 for a decade. I still have the F3 plus three other Nikon bodies and a dozen+ Nikkor lenses on my shelf. So I was quite willing to go buy a D800 and some top lenses. But customer service is an important point in my evaluation process, and Nikon appears to be falling down in that area. I hope they listen to the complaints and get their act together.

Jan 16 13 05:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,254
Atlanta, Georgia, US


John Allan wrote:
I guess the D800 really has Canon on the run, for the fan boys to be posting this kind of propaganda.

Nice attempt at deflection but no; Nikon service is not as good as it could be and this isn't new, talk about fan boys damn.  If you are a Nikon shooter you should demand more for your money.

Jan 16 13 05:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,745
Santa Ana, California, US


Just seems like you (as a Canon owner) went to an awful lot of trouble to collect multiple references to Nikon service problems and then post them with the title you used.
Not a Nikon fanboy - I almost switched to Canon a few years ago, as I was getting fed up with Nikon's seeming non-interest in the needs of the studio photographer.

But, I'm not spending my time gathering information to bash Canon's whatever and posting it on the forums. Why would I? I have no investment in what Canon does.
Jan 16 13 05:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J O H N A L L A N
Posts: 9,745
Santa Ana, California, US


AJScalzitti wrote:

Nice attempt at deflection but no; Nikon service is not as good as it could be and this isn't new, talk about fan boys damn.  If you are a Nikon shooter you should demand more for your money.

I haven't had a lot of interaction with Nikon service. That's the way I like it for companies of which I own products. I have difficulty understanding the thinking behind people saying they bought a shabbily built product because they have 'great customer service' (not referring to Canon or Nikon here).
The few times I sent cameras in for repair with Nikon I had a good experience. Sometimes didn't have to even pay. But I'll admit I have a net account with Calumet for years and it all vectored through them.

Jan 16 13 05:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L Cowles Photography
Posts: 831
Corona, California, US


AJScalzitti wrote:

Nice attempt at deflection but no; Nikon service is not as good as it could be and this isn't new, talk about fan boys damn.  If you are a Nikon shooter you should demand more for your money.

I feel the California repair center has gone down hill.  Had  a D300 in repair but had to go back 3 times under the repair warrenty.  Since they moved to Wilshire in LA, it is taking way longer to get things back.

Jan 16 13 05:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R Michael Walker
Posts: 11,960
Costa Mesa, California, US


11 years of Nikon digital and I've never needed repair. 27 years of Film Nikon use and only one needed repair under warranty and it took 2 weeks. The others, as shutters and winding mechs wore out, were handled by local 3rd party repair houses. THAT'S where Nikon had been taking steps that will screw the customers. They are no longer selling repair parts to these places so now it's Nikon or replace. I am a NPS member and am supposed to get preferential repair service and loaners if needed. But again, I've never had to use it. The person who takes care of repairs at the Local Samy's Camera has told me on several occasions that it speeds up repairs substantially having the NPS membership. But again, the equipment is so well made and I'm very careful with my equipment and that has served to keep me out of the loupe on repairs to date. Now that I say this I will likely have my D800 implode tomorrow. LOL!
Jan 16 13 05:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Escalante
Posts: 5,367
Chicago, Illinois, US


I've been a Canon CPS member for yrs and I wouldn't give it up!!!
I got my member ship back in the day when you actualy HAD to show tear sheets , letters from Editors , Yearly Profits etc.
Still Top notch Service , Amazing People (like Frank up in Jersey) or the guys in Irvine , I use to go over to the Southern Ca. location and those guys would clean my sensor during lunch hour for me .
Wonderful service , amazing costumer care , prompt and quick turn around.

I am not sure what more I could ask for ?
Jan 16 13 06:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Clancey
Posts: 68
Colorado Springs, Colorado, US


I am ending week 4, soon to start week 5 of waiting to get my D800 back from Nikon service for a repair of the rubber skin pulling off near the battery grip.  It does torque that this type of repair isn't something that a local professional shop couldn't turn around in a couple of days.  Lesson learned, get another body.
Jan 16 13 06:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Innovative Imagery
Posts: 2,815
Los Angeles, California, US


John Allan wrote:
Clip ...  I have difficulty understanding the thinking behind people saying they bought a shabbily built product because they have 'great customer service' (not referring to Canon or Nikon here).

Nice veiled dig here John.  Funny thing is, I don't think they are shabbily built.  Sure some of the accessories are not as robust, but my main lights work just fine for decades.  Yeah, if I was grinding out thousands of pops a day, I may need to use a different system, but for the 200-600 pops a day, they are just fine.

Jan 16 13 06:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,262
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


DougBPhoto wrote:
You're not alone in those observations...

unfortunately (as a Nikon shooter), Nikon has yet to catch on.

Honestly, I don't think they care that much about the professional market anymore.

Sorry, I don't think they care about their customers ... period.

And I am a Nikon shooter, who regrets owning Nikon. Not because of the product, but because of the service. If you use your equipment, it is not a question of whether, but when it will need repairs.

Jan 16 13 06:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,262
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


DougBPhoto wrote:

I've used Nikon's for 20 years and been an NPS member for the past 10+ years.

I come up with that assessment based on my personal interactions with Nikon and decreasingly professional customer service experiences.

Not only have I experienced multiple instances where issues conclude without any resolution from Nikon, but we've all heard and read about the issues they have had with their recent bodies.

My experience with their service/repairs has been getting worse.

Failures to repair/fix lenses after 4 tries, screws falling out of other lens when getting it back from repair (still not fixed), taking a couple of YEARS to have a body repaired,  I'm sorry, I don't consider that doing a good job.

You may think that they have done great for PJ/sports while ignoring Studio, they are actually doing a great job of ignoring a lot of sports/wildlife shooters too, in fact, over the past 4 years, they have released more products for studio shooters than wildlife/dx sports shooters.

Bottom line, I am very dissatisfied with Nikon on many levels, especially in recent years, at the same time as watching so many shooters that I follow move to Canon, and it does not come as a surprise.

Pretty much my story, and that of many others that I know. And none of us shoot on a pro level (I am retired pro).
And we are talking pro quality gear. 70-200VRII, D3, 500mmf4, etc. Prosumer use. Not getting a pro beating.

Jan 16 13 06:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,262
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


John Allan wrote:
Just seems like you (as a Canon owner) went to an awful lot of trouble to collect multiple references to Nikon service problems and then post them with the title you used.
Not a Nikon fanboy - I almost switched to Canon a few years ago, as I was getting fed up with Nikon's seeming non-interest in the needs of the studio photographer.

But, I'm not spending my time gathering information to bash Canon's whatever and posting it on the forums. Why would I? I have no investment in what Canon does.

But I have a big (for me ) investment in what Nikon does.
And if they get bashed badly enough, and lose enough market share due to poor service, despite some great product, then perhaps they will clean up their act.

If you sit back and say nothing, then that means you consider their behaviour to be acceptable. And if nobody complains, and they do not lose current and potential customers, then why the hell would they spend any money fixing their repair problem.
Basically Nikon management needs to be replaced. Their designers and engineers are doing their job, the bean counters are cutting the wrong corners.

Jan 16 13 06:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
You Can Call Me Pierre
Posts: 738
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


I just had my first repair order resolved today and the service at the Montreal facility was delightful throughout the whole process.
Jan 16 13 06:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,262
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Innovative Imagery wrote:

Nice veiled dig here John.  Funny thing is, I don't think they are shabbily built.  Sure some of the accessories are not as robust, but my main light work just fine for decades.  Yeah, if I was grinding out thousands of pops a day, I may need to use a different system, but for the 200-600 pops a day, they are just fine.

Could that have been a dig at a certain maker of studio lights?

Jan 16 13 06:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,262
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


gl-amour wrote:
I just had my first repair order resolved today and the service at the Montreal facility was delightful throughout the whole process.

Not so much for Toronto facility. Vancouver does not seem to repair anything anymore. And be careful that they did not break something that worked before you sent it in.

Jan 16 13 06:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KMP
Posts: 4,667
Houston, Texas, US


DougBPhoto wrote:
You're not alone in those observations...

unfortunately (as a Nikon shooter), Nikon has yet to catch on.

Honestly, I don't think they care that much about the professional market anymore.

I'm not sure what sort of experiences you've had.  I've been a Nikon shooter for over 20 years.
I've never had an issue with the quality of their repairs, the price or the fact that I get loaner gear with in 2 days of requesting it...

I've also never heard of anyone else having any negative issues either..

Jan 16 13 06:59 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
GPS Studio Services
Posts: 34,660
San Francisco, California, US


Nikon service isn't perfect, although I have never had a problem with them.  I have to agree with John though.  What is the point of this thread?   The OP seems to have gone to a lot of trouble to flame Nikon service when he has no experience with them himself.
Jan 16 13 07:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,571
Portland, Oregon, US


KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:
I'm not sure what sort of experiences you've had.  I've been a Nikon shooter for over 20 years.
I've never had an issue with the quality of their repairs, the price or the fact that I get loaner gear with in 2 days of requesting it...

I've also never heard of anyone else having any negative issues either..

You might want to talk with more people then.

My personal repair issues:

D1 - in for repairs 4-5 times, could not fix, Nikon replaced it with a D1H.   Not an ideal situation, but it was handled professionally through the Calif NPS.

D2x - multiple repair attempts, could not fix, had to live with errors until sold body.

D300s - multiple repair attempts, ongoing errors.   After errors its whole life, rebuilt at 250k clicks and no error since.  I guess 5th time is the charm.

80-400 VR - Sent in for cleaning - I was informed it had sustained impact damage. I bought it new and it had never been dropped, so not sure how that was possible.

80-400 VR sent in again at NPS request due to errors with D2x, 2 more repair attempts.

80-400 VR sent in again at NPS request with D300s.  Experienced same exact errors with loaner 80-400 lens AND on loaner D300s body.

80-400 VR came back optics looked off, now charged $400+ for repair.  3 more repair attempts, STILL never worked right. Nikon gives up, refunds money and says "Sorry, we can't fix it"

70-200 f2.8 VR - sent in with gear at NPS request.   Lens is missing screw on AF switch panel, Nikon wants me to spend $400 to have them put in a screw, and would not send me the screw with my D300s, against their policy, they won't do it. They just want $$.

Loaners - 2 consecutive D3 bodies, sensor so dirty they were unusable, 3rd body finally clean enough to use.

D700 - brand new in box, no actuations - giant sensor snakes.

This is actually only a partial sample, I've omitted issues with a kit lens, WT-2A, refusal to accept product/feature suggestions/feedback.

Given the reported issues with D800, D600, closing NPS in Calif, lack of a D400..

yeah, can't imagine why I'd have any reason to hmm

Jan 16 13 07:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
7imaging
Posts: 751
Tampa, Florida, US


Ive been a NIkon shooter since day one (20yrs)...when I have had repairs, they have always been quick (usually within a two week turn around), and their costs have been fair.
Jan 16 13 07:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,524
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


GPS Studio Services wrote:
Nikon service isn't perfect, although I have never had a problem with them.  I have to agree with John though.  What is the point of this thread?   The OP seems to have gone to a lot of trouble to flame Nikon service when he has no experience with them himself.

As a primarily Sony shooter, should I go google Canon repair horror stories to even things up?

(for Sony service bashing just go find the Flickr groups, there's plenty to copy paste).

EDIT: google gave me 1,320,000 hits for "Canon DSLR horror stories"

Jan 16 13 07:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Innovative Imagery
Posts: 2,815
Los Angeles, California, US


Herman Surkis wrote:

Could that have been a dig at a certain maker of studio lights?

I believe so.  smile

Jan 16 13 08:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bob Helm Photography
Posts: 18,104
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US


I shot with Nikon film cameras for 20 years, F, F2, F3,FE's ,all but the F with Motor Drives never had a problem with any of them. BTW I owned two of each and always shot with multiple cameras and still had my original F. Switched to Leica and one week out of warranty had a camera failure.

When I went digital I went back to Nikon, I have owned 6, presently have 4, still shoot with multiple cameras. Had one problem with D70 (meter went wild) and fixed two years out of warranty at NC

43 years, 12 35mm cameras, 2 repairs.

When I worked in retail I found no difference in Canon or Nikon as far as customer service although I did find Nikon more ethical on certain situations than Canon (product recalls at NC v hidden extended warranty, omission of limitations in instruction books etc)

Yes service is important but if you are a pro you need to have Back up equipment.
Jan 16 13 08:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,254
Atlanta, Georgia, US


John Allan wrote:

I haven't had a lot of interaction with Nikon service. That's the way I like it for companies of which I own products. I have difficulty understanding the thinking behind people saying they bought a shabbily built product because they have 'great customer service' (not referring to Canon or Nikon here).
The few times I sent cameras in for repair with Nikon I had a good experience. Sometimes didn't have to even pay. But I'll admit I have a net account with Calumet for years and it all vectored through them.

I have Canon and Nikon bodies both and both brands are well built professional cameras.  Nikon just needs to step up their game.  It's not that they are poor, it's just not as good as others in the space.

Jan 16 13 08:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
fullmetalphotographer
Posts: 2,679
Fresno, California, US


Jasper Johal Photo wrote:
I am a Canon shooter and love my 5D Mk3. But since I make a lot of big point-of-sale prints for my fashion clients (usually in the 96x48 inch size), I was looking at picking up a Nikon D800 (with a 70-200 f2.8 G ED VRII, 24-70 f2.8 G ED, and possibly 14-24 f2.8 G ED) for the higher resolution.

But the item in my research that stopped me cold in my tracks is Nikon's deteriorating reputation when it comes to repairs/customer service. Seems like it is really bad, and getting worse. What has been your experience?

Here is a limited list of entrees from pretty reputable bloggers:

Roger Cicala of LensRentals.com: "Nikon, I love the cameras. I love the prices on the cameras. But Nikon USA’s repair and service sucks and is getting worse." The full report is quite eyeopening, and worth reading regarding durability, since LensRentals.com has hundreds of lenses and camera bodies and they send in a lot for repairs:
(http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/09 … -july-2012)

Trey Ratcliff from stuckincustoms.com: "I’ve had three negative experiences and zero positive experiences with NPS."
(http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2012/10/3 … -services/)

"HOW NIKON IS KILLING CAMERA REPAIR" from iFixIt.org
(http://ifixit.org/1349/how-nikon-is-kil … ra-repair/)

PetaPixel; "Nikon Has an “F” Rating From the Better Business Bureau"
(http://www.petapixel.com/2012/08/20/nik … ss-bureau/)

Google is rife with dozens of horror stories from lesser know individuals, such as "Nikon repair service - buyer beware" from Bill Cotter (http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00alt2)

Sounds like Nikon charges twice as much for similar repairs, has stopped selling parts to third party repair shops, so you are stuck going to them, and often takes weeks to return gear.

In contrast, Canon does almost all repairs and cleanings in two days or less, (sometimes while I go have lunch!).

For instance, I dropped off my 1Ds Mk3 and 5D Mk3 to be cleaned at the Irvine Canon Service Center last Monday afternoon. I am a Canon CPS member, so they gave me a free loaner 1DsMk3 so I would have something to shoot with in case I needed it. But I need not have bothered, because they cleaned the 5DMk3 and Fedexed it to me so I had it back by 9 am the next (Tuesday) morning!

As a full time professional shooter, I get all my gear cleaned and checked at least once a year, and before any major overseas photo trip. Hearing this about Nikon has completely dissuaded me from investing in any Nikon gear (even though I have many fond memories of using my built-like-a-tank Nikon F3 in my long gone film days).

I never had an issue with NPS. In the distant past I did have issue with their standard repair services. I have done business with independent repair places and learned quickly to use their authorized repair places.

The BBB is as reliable as Ken Rockwell. They gave both Disney and Apple Ds. The BBB is more of a shakedown racket at this point ,if you pay them off you get a better rating. So does anyone want to guess Steve's reaction to that.

Nikon in some way reminds me of Apple lite they are doing it their own way. Apple has been making it more difficult to repair their gear to be repaired by a third party. This is becoming more of a business trend.

Jan 16 13 08:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jasper Johal Photo
Posts: 89
Los Angeles, California, US


John Allan wrote:
Just seems like you (as a Canon owner) went to an awful lot of trouble to collect multiple references to Nikon service problems and then post them with the title you used.
...
But, I'm not spending my time gathering information to bash Canon's whatever and posting it on the forums.
GPS Studio Services wrote:
...  I have to agree with John though.  What is the point of this thread?   The OP seems to have gone to a lot of trouble to flame Nikon service when he has no experience with them himself.

As I mentioned in my first post, I was about to drop ten grand on a Nikon D800 and a set of top lenses. Like any sensible business owner I did some due diligence before making that investment. All those links above showed up on the first two pages of google. I specially took note of Roger Cicala's observations since he has a respected voice in the community.

Having had a positive decade of experience with Nikon gear back in the 80s, I was surprised at the large number of complaints about Nikon customer service, and the degree of frustration being expressed. I am sorry if you feel I bashed a brand you like, but I believe sharing information that helps the community as a whole is a good thing. 

Blind allegiance to a brand is detrimental to everyone in the long run, including the  brand. Shedding light on problems hopefully helps to alleviate them.

Rob Galbraith famously blogged about the problems he was having with auto focus on Canon 1D series. The photo community shared those findings widely, creating a huge furor that some saw as Canon "bashing". I am sure that feedback from the community had something to do with Canon spending money to develop the superb auto focus system we now enjoy on the 5D Mk3 and 1Dx.

Jan 16 13 10:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GCobb Photography
Posts: 15,886
Southaven, Mississippi, US


John Allan wrote:
Just seems like you (as a Canon owner) went to an awful lot of trouble to collect multiple references to Nikon service problems and then post them with the title you used.

It looks to me like he just backed up what he said with supporting facts.

Jan 16 13 10:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Yingwah Productions
Posts: 1,341
New York, New York, US


I shoot with both systems, have decent experiences with service from both companies, similar wait times. Most recently sent in D300 for shutter replacement, came back not working, I brought it back and they put a rush on it. I got it back under a week. I bring it into the service centers rather than mail it, that might be the cause of some delays.
  Over the long run I've saved more money with nikon's extended 5 year warranty. I use my gear so much that the rubber rubs smooth and the glue comes off. I bring it in under warranty, fix, clean and re-tune to factory spec no cost to me.
Over the same period I spend around 1/3 to 1/2 of the canon lens' cost on repairs/maintenance
Jan 16 13 10:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Yingwah Productions
Posts: 1,341
New York, New York, US


Jasper Johal Photo wrote:
Rob Galbraith famously blogged about the problems he was having with auto focus on Canon 1D series. The photo community shared those findings widely, creating a huge furor that some saw as Canon "bashing". I am sure that feedback from the community had something to do with Canon spending money to develop the superb auto focus system we now enjoy on the 5D Mk3 and 1Dx.

Off topic but canon STILL has problems with continuous focus. There was a thread about it on here about a week ago

Jan 16 13 11:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R Michael Walker
Posts: 11,960
Costa Mesa, California, US


Herman Surkis wrote:
Sorry, I don't think they care about their customers ... period.

And I am a Nikon shooter, who regrets owning Nikon. Not because of the product, but because of the service. If you use your equipment, it is not a question of whether, but when it will need repairs.

Well..I've been a part of 2 Nikon PAID focus groups in the past 1 1/2. They got together "industry Pros" (I know..how did I slip in there. LOL!) and asked questions and listened to us. One had 4 different VPs in attendance as well as the Marketing people and a couple R&D guys. They paid us $500 to be there for a morning. They fed us too. And I KNOW they listened because several new products have come out that addressed several of the issues. One was specifically on Filmmaking. The other on their DSLR line. Nothing came up there about repair except the requirement to be sponsored to get into NPS. It's well known they pull their photographers they use for everything from classes to sponsorships from there as well as the more famous. Therefore, sponsoring someone is like adding to the competition. I mentioned I had run into that and even got ZERO response asking here on MM. One of the VPs came up after and took my info and said he'd be my sponsor. a week later I got a call from his secretary about it and 2 weeks after that my membership package arrived.

Aside from this I have alway found them to be very approachable at PMA (and now CES). I never failed to walk away from a photo convention they were at without info, handouts, swag and a several Nikon Business cards.

Jan 16 13 11:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,262
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


DougBPhoto wrote:

You might want to talk with more people then.

My personal repair issues:

D1 - in for repairs 4-5 times, could not fix, Nikon replaced it with a D1H.   Not an ideal situation, but it was handled professionally through the Calif NPS.

D2x - multiple repair attempts, could not fix, had to live with errors until sold body.

D300s - multiple repair attempts, ongoing errors.   After errors its whole life, rebuilt at 250k clicks and no error since.  I guess 5th time is the charm.

80-400 VR - Sent in for cleaning - I was informed it had sustained impact damage. I bought it new and it had never been dropped, so not sure how that was possible.

80-400 VR sent in again at NPS request due to errors with D2x, 2 more repair attempts.

80-400 VR sent in again at NPS request with D300s.  Experienced same exact errors with loaner 80-400 lens AND on loaner D300s body.

80-400 VR came back optics looked off, now charged $400+ for repair.  3 more repair attempts, STILL never worked right. Nikon gives up, refunds money and says "Sorry, we can't fix it"

70-200 f2.8 VR - sent in with gear at NPS request.   Lens is missing screw on AF switch panel, Nikon wants me to spend $400 to have them put in a screw, and would not send me the screw with my D300s, against their policy, they won't do it. They just want $$.

Loaners - 2 consecutive D3 bodies, sensor so dirty they were unusable, 3rd body finally clean enough to use.

D700 - brand new in box, no actuations - giant sensor snakes.

This is actually only a partial sample, I've omitted issues with a kit lens, WT-2A, refusal to accept product/feature suggestions/feedback.

Given the reported issues with D800, D600, closing NPS in Calif, lack of a D400..

yeah, can't imagine why I'd have any reason to hmm

Worse then any individual I know, but sums up 2-3 people.
D700 came back worse then sent in. Took 4 shipments back and forth to get fixed what they broke.
70-200 VR returned no better then sent in.

From now on I will send stuff to the local 3rd party repair shop. And when they cannot get parts from Nikon , I will take my loss and move to Canon or Sony.

And I so badly want a D800e.
They make good stuff sometimes, but if they cannot keep it working, what is the point. And they are trying to shut down 3rd party repairs. It is almost as if they were taken over by Sony and Canon, and want everybody to go to the other guy. Corporate suicide is not nice to watch.

Jan 17 13 02:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Richard Nolan
Posts: 113
London, England, United Kingdom


In my experience Nikon makes excellent cameras (F3, F90x, F6, D700, D800) and some excellent lenses.  Amongst others I have the 70-200 f2.8 that you do and also a 400mm 2.8.  Let's not get into software (Capture NX2 anyone), but I will come back to an analogy.  I have not had any issues with any of the camera's listed.  However, the 400mm had a loose mounting with my F6 but not the F90x.  I shipped the 400mm to them which is no small thing to do.  They said it was with in original manufacturing tolerances.  A few conversations later and I shipped both the F90x and the F6.  They apologized and fixed and returned.  All good.  OK, this is a UK experience and a few years ago.
I too have heard issues with repairs.  So now getting back to software.  Most of us have different software even though Nikon has a suite which is OK.  I do the same now with most repairs...I go to someone who can do the job as good or better than Nikon.

Perhaps not a perfect solution in all cases, but I cannot afford to switch over to a new system just for after market support when there are others who can do it and the reason I bought the camera was because it was great to start with.
Jan 17 13 03:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Snape
Posts: 9,442
Paris, Île-de-France, France


Is the Nikon service localisation dependent?

As when I worked with HP, some places were really good, others horrible.

For example I heard back that HP Canada was a nightmare.


That said I cannot say if Canon is good in France, yet. My 5DMKII is in for a repair.
They have no idea what the CPS site says, and do seem to have their own idea of how things work.  The estimate was sent very promptly, and the rates are acceptable as are the delay on returning the camera, well picking it up as the do not honour the UPS return included in the Gold+ Platinum card holders.

After this thread it looks like Nikon have spotty service, and since the left focus issue needs a service on site, perhaps the D800 would have been a problem for me.
Jan 17 13 03:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
In Balance Photography
Posts: 3,370
Boston, Massachusetts, US


I've had a D7000 and D90 in for repairs - the d7000 was warranty, the d90 was my issue (water damage).

The turnaround was about a week for each. Neutral on the D7000, positive on the D90. Not nearly as bad as what a number of people describe here.

I did read at one time that the East coast Nikon repair facility was better (whatever that means).
Jan 17 13 03:36 am  Link  Quote 
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