D7000 cracked body - how to repair?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by wade_lehmann, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. This past weekend, while wandering around in Rickett's Glen SP in Pennsylvania, I had the unfortunate experience of slamming down hard onto a slick rock. Unfortunately, my new D7000 beat me to the ground, on the end of my tripod (I can only imagine the extra force of it, even though I tried to let go as I slipped).
    The result is that the camera landed on the strap tie (the shiny metal bit) on the left side of the body as you look through the viewfinder. The impact was sufficient to pop the SD cards and the battery out (they are on the opposite side of the body). Amazingly, the only loss of function I have identified is that the bracket button is no longer responsive. My 12-24mm lens was fine too. I can easily enough re-assign the bracket button to the function button on the right front, so I won't lose the functionality.
    Slippery rocks aside: What can I do to seal the alloy body that is now cracked and open? The gap is 0.5mm or so where the metal sheared away around the strap mount in an arc.
    Will a metal binding 2-part epoxy work? I would like to seal it against moisture at a minimum. Do I need to grind away at that corner to remove the paint on the exterior first?
    I can say, in hindsight, that it is a very good thing that the d7000 is an alloy body. A plastic body would have been in dozens of pieces.
    Thanks for any input!
    PS- I will try to post a picture tonight when I get home.
  2. Very sorry to hear about your unfortunate accident, Wade.
    I would send the camera to Nikon for an evaluation and estimate for repair. After such an impact there could be internal damage such as optical alignment issues to say the least.
    If you purchased the camera with a major credit card, you may have an automatic 90 day or more damage insurance policy. Check your credit card contract.
    Only as a last resort would I try the two part epoxy repair.
  3. [[A plastic body would have been in dozens of pieces.]]
    A common misconception.
  4. Good point about potential insurance on the credit card, I will have to look into that option. The body is not repairable, so Nikon would have to offer a replacement is my guess, although I thought about it.
    I did continue taking images while on the trip and identified no specific problems - with that lens nor another other than the bracketing button. Even managed to get some decent long exposures once my adrenalin dissipated:
  5. Nice photo of the Ghost by the tree, Wade. :), Rob, I tried watching the video but did not get past the guy banging the cameras into the posts as he walked by. It was a little like fingernails on a blackboard to me.
  6. Re: Rob - while that video is amusing, it doesn't even nearly sum up the force that became my camera as it hit that rock. I would, off the cuff, estimate it at around a 2 story fall onto concrete - hence the stress fractured metal body. That said, it would have fit right into the video... it (as far as I can tell) is still fully functional.
  7. A quick side question: This past weekend, I was passing through that area and was going to try to stop in at Rickett's Glen. Unfortunately, there were warnings on the road from the NW (PA 487, as I recall) about a bridge being out, so I turned around. By any chance, do you happen to know where exactly that bridge is, ie, b4 or after the park when coming from the NW?
    Tom M
    PS - Sorry to hear about your camera. Glad you're OK.
  8. Tom - I came in from the south (driving north) on 487 (and 118) and it was open. I can't tell you any more than that, but that means that any bridges out were north of the park.
    I can say that the leaves were past prime. Most were brown and down - only the beeches still had leaves left, although they had nice color. Certainly plenty of water!
  9. Thanks, Wade. From the mileages given on the warning signs, I suspected that the problem was just before the park (coming from the north), so I gave up early. With the leaves in the condition they were, I was able to produce some fun images by cranking up the saturation in PP, but the resulting images had little resemblance to reality. ;-)
    Tom Mann
  10. Here's a shot taken just to the west of PA487, about 5 mi north of Rickett's Glen, PA. Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental.
    Tom M
  11. So I looked into coverage by the credit cardholder. Unfortunately, they do not cover loss except by theft (and not from vehicles fwiw). Mostly they tack on additional warranty. I am still going to give them a call and see if there is any possibility of coverage, but I am doubtful. Thanks again for the potential path forward though.
  12. Might want to check home contents insurance in case there's 'all risks' for personal items outside the home.
  13. Wade: If you you decide on your own repair, just about any epox or silicone will reseal ... I would avoid doing any grinding unless metal spurs are pushing outward greating possible snag points. Only bkt function button amiss?? ... hmm ... ditto on the advice of getting the whole thing checked out ... what I have seen on the take-down of the D7000, it would be a miracle if that were the only thing 'impacted' ... I've dropped a few over the years ... can never forget the SOUND they make...yeesh. Sorry, hope you get lucky with this.
  14. I had a similar situation occur with a Canon Rebel G (film body). I had the camera in my backpack while skiing. A lift operator was a bit careless and let the chairlift slam into me when loading. The camera took the brunt of the impact, cause a crack around the pop up flash. I covered the crack up with black electrical tape and never had a problem with the camera. If all else is OK with your camera, you could give this a try. Also, if you try caulk or other sealer, it may get inside the camera and cause all types of problems should repair of the camera internals become necessary. Electrical tape will peel off without leaving junk inside the camera.
  15. A side comment: John, for your own safety, I presume you are aware of the rule at almost all ski mountains that when riding the chairs, backpacks must either be removed and carried by hand, or worn "reversed" (ie, on your frontside) to prevent incidents like these:
    As I recall, there was also another death several years ago at a New England ski area where a girl died after being choked to death by her backpack.
    Tom M
    PS - I taught skiing on and off for 30+ years and have assisted the patrol on far too many occasions.
  16. "that it is a very good thing that the d7000 is an alloy body." - yes.
    It would be even a better thing if the D7000 was a solid metal body like D200, D300, etc..
    I suggest you find and watch the D7000 disassembly video that was shown/linked here several times. Have a look at what you think is your D7000 metal body, as below:
  17. I build and fly RC plans. I would not use epoxy for a sealant. I would look into using E6000 glue from a craft store. It adheres very well to most surfaces but can be peeled away if given a lot of effort. Like epoxy it will settle or flow slowly by gravity. Apply the glue to the crack, wipe any extra off, put tape or plastic over the crack and hang camera so the glued crack is down. Gravity will keep the glue from entering the body and the tape or plastic can probably be removed leaving a smooth surface. Test first of course.
  18. You might be surprised at what is repairable. I managed to do quite a lot of damage to my D700 on a couple of occasions - on one occasion the bottom of the camera was badly deformed such that the battery was wedged inside. All of that was easy and relatively cheap to repair I am glad to say. What you want to avoid is damaging zoom lenses - the helicoids out of some of those are expensive.
  19. The thing that would concern me the most would be the alignment of the lens mount and the CCD. If this were mine I would send it to Nikon for an evaluation before making any final decision.
  20. Send it in for an estimate. If too expensive to have fixed, buy another (always easy for someone else to
    say) and use this one as a spare.
  21. I hope it's not too late to suggest...gaffer tape. You can fix anything with gaffer tape! :-D
    Erm, please forgive me, Wade. And best of luck with getting the camera repaired/replaced. (Although, seriously, I am using gaffer tape to hold in place some of the rubber bits which have swollen up and are no longer fitting flush to my D300.)
  22. Gaffer tape, 400 mph tape, etc. were always part of the kit on location, but never meant for the long term fix.
  23. Exhibit A)
  24. That doesn't look as bad as I thought. My concern would be what might have happened inside. I would guess that the broken part could be simply replaced. If there is not internal damage, it should not be too expensive. Your mention of the inoperable bracket button is of more concern to me as an indicator of internal damage.
  25. That "part" is actually the entire top metal casing. It would require (near as I can tell) a complete tear down of the body.
    At this stage, I will send it back to Nikon and see if they can do anything for less than half its native value. While I believe I can seal it with metal binding epoxy sufficiently and without risk of drip into the mechanics, I may as well see what can be done for it.
  26. If you have seen the youtube teardown video of the D7000, removing the top piece should take less than a minute. Most modern bodies are very modular. I don't know the cost of the parts and service. If you bought a Volkswagen Beetle part by part it would probably cost over $100K.
  27. I'm pretty confident Nikon can fix this with relatively little effort. Needs a new top cover, and probably some internal repair.
  28. Send it to Nikon.
    You want your camera working perfectly. Other things inside might be damaged.
    I have slipped on wet rocks also and wrecked a 24-70 f2.8 and bent the lens mount on a D3X.
    We rocks are very tricky! I feel lucky my camera was injured and I was not.
  29. Update: I wound up sending it back to Nikon. The cost was $165 including return shipping. It took only about a week to turn it around from approval of the estimate to being back in my hands. Very worth it!
    It looks, at a glance, like a brand new camera with the top replaced. All buttons are fully functional again.

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