Nikon D100 Broken Lens Mount

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by justin_pearson, May 12, 2006.

  1. The unthinkable finally happened. :( I figured that someday the time would come when I would have an accident and damage a piece of my camera gear. That time was this afternoon. Three shots into a college softball game, my main camera, Nikon D100, mounted with my favorite lens, Nikon 80-200mm f2.8, fell from my shoulder 5 feet to the grass. I had my photo vest on, which has a loop on each shoulder with a snap on it to keep the camera strap from falling off your shoulder. Guess what? The snap came undone causing my worst nightmare to come true! The lens mount ripped completely off the body. The metal ring mount was still firmly attached to the lens, the protective cover over the LCD display was ripped off the back and now the display sports a hefty scuff across the corner. The lens now makes a very slight grinding noise, though it doesn't seem to have affected the ability to focus, as I finished up the rest of the 2 games with it on the wife's Nikon D100. I have to take the body in on monday to see if it is even economically feasible to fix. I am going to guess that it's going to be $400+. If it's that much, I will have a really different looking and expensive paper weight. I have been shooting for nearly 15 years, and in that time, I have never made as much as a scratch on any of my equipment, let alone drop any of it.
  2. If it's THAT expensive to repair...maybe you look at this as excuse to upgrade to a D200 ;-) .
  3. One D200 or three D50 bodies. What a choice!

    The repair estimate from Nikon will be a whole lot or the D100 you have may be considered beyond repair.
  4. This is no news. There were others went through the same unthinkable accidents you just did (not D100 specific). The problem is that the camera mount is being fixed on a plastic structure. It doesn't matter how tough the mount itself is, it is the screws and the structure behind that hold the mount, the plastic mirror box in this case. Unfortunately, replacing the mirror box is a major repair which requires a complete disassembling of the camera, recalibrate the pentaprism and everything. I suspect any camera with damage like this is considered beyond repair because it will be too labour intensive. Consider most DSLRs are built this way now (even though they might have magnesium shells which fool some to believe their cameras were tough, but they are not), we will be seeing more and more damages like this. Plastic cameras like this works super sweet with wide to short-tele lenses. But with something heavy like 2.8 zooms, you just have to be careful.
  5. Alan: even if this had been a metal mount, it would likely be unrepairable. In fact, it would probably be worse, since the frame likely would have been twisted and bent by the impact. Falls like that, with heavy lenses, are death to cameras. My F3 MIGHT have survived, a lesser camera, even an FM2n, definitely would not have.
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As a D100 owner myself, I would say it is a fairly out of date DSLR. I suggest look at this as an opportunity to buy an up-to-date DSLR. It is almost certain that your D100 is not worthwhile to repair from a cost point of view.

    If you suspect that the lens has damage as well, I would get that fixed quickly also, as any problem can worsen over time.
  7. Shun wrote:
    As a D100 owner myself, I would say it is a fairly out of date DSLR

    Really? My D100 still takes great pictures. Not sure what happened to yours. No, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles some of the newer cameras had, but mine will still take the same great 11x14 print as it did the day I bought it.
  8. As a D100 owner myself, I agree with Justin that the camera, "outdated" as it is, is still a good performer definitely worth carrying--IF it's in working condition. But I think the overall thrust of what Shun and other people are saying (in addition to giving our sympathy) is that the odds are overwhelming that the cost of repairing the D100 at this point is prohibitive as compared to the option of buying a newer camera with more "bells and whistles."

    Of course, if Justin really is happy with the D100, it's likely he can find a good, working used one for an attractive price at this point in time. On ebay there seem to be units in good working condition going for as little as $350.00, which is almost certainly less than the cost of repairing Justin's damaged D100.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    J.C., once upon a time when I was young and not so wise, I thought my Nikon FE2 from the mid 1980's was the "best" camera I would ever need. It was merely a few years Nikon showed me that I was dead wrong.

    Exactly nothing has happened to my D100. The problem is that the bar has been raised for my preference. I too used to think that my D100 was capable of "great" images under suitable conditions, but once you have used and seen something even better, it is hard to go back to second best.

    Justin, the only way not to damage any equipment is to lock them up in a safe deposit box. Accidents happen; just accept that as part of life. Again, view this as an opportunity to update/upgrade.
  10. I personally would recommend going out and getting a mint D100 off Craigslist or that other auction house. Don't turn your unfortunate accident into a $2000 penalty if you don't really need the D200. And afterall, why not stay a couple more years in the dark ages:)
  11. Ouch.Sorry to see that happen. At this stage, if you totally give up the idea to have Nikon repair it, you may just repair it youself. It's just the mount and all Nikons have the same mount. Find a old body from ebay and see if you can match the parts if you're handy. I guess the threads on the body is gone too. That part needs to be replaced too. You can also check out the an ad on for digital IR )to see how they disassemble D100. But that totally depends on how handy you are. Watch out the capacitor!.
    (you do at your own risk).
  12. >since the frame likely would have been twisted and bent by the impact

    That depends on how much impact we are talking. However, in the case of Justin, there was no impact. What happened was the camera was held by the strap, but the momentum of the lens ripped the mount off. That means there was never any impact. If the inner structure of the camera was cast aluminium alloy, the camera probably would have survived. The metal simply can withstand more mass than plastic in this case. Find an old metal body from the 80's or early and do the same test and you will see what I mean.

    >you may just repair it youself

    Unfortunately, it's not that simple. The way modern DSLRs are constructed is that the mirror box is a one piece moulded plastic which is also connected to the focus screen and the pentaprism. Having the mirror box replaced will require precise calibration of the viewfinder path which cannot be done without the proper instruments.
  13. I should have said "only if you know how, and have enough background". Otherwise, forget it. Sell it on ebay for "parts or repair".
  14. > However, in the case of Justin, there was no impact. What happened was the camera was held by the strap, but the momentum of the lens ripped the mount off. That means there was never any impact.

    Actually Alan, yes there was a BIG impact, as it hanging from my shoulder and snapped into the loop of my vest. The snap came unsnapped and I wasn't quick enough to grab the strap as it fell off my arm. I was standing on the top of a 2-step ladder (To shoot over the fence at the softball game) and I'm 6'1" tall. So it was probably a 5 or 5 1/2 foot fall to the grass.

    I'm not sure what hit first, but I am going to guess that it was the lens as it was pointed down when it fell off my shoulder.

    After looking at the camera a bit more, the big scuff on the back rubbed off with a little pressure, leaving no marks on either the monitor or the cover.

    The lens mount is destroyed. I pondered using some JB Weld and trying to "weld" it back together, but I figure that is not going to hold the weight anyway, so I gave up on the idea.

    After sleeping on it, and talking with the wife, we've decided that we are going after a D200. :) Now all I have to do is convince her that we should pull the $$$$ from savings rather than put it on credit.
  15. This is why I make my camera straps extra long and sling them across my chest. There's
    very little chance of it getting away from me, and the camera is held low along my left side,
    where my left hand can hold onto it and keep it from swinging around and smashing into
  16. Don't know if it's worth trying. You may try some slightly larger helicoil inserts and retap the holes, assuming everything else is still ok. I don't know how hard it will be to find the right size though. you can use different screws if you have to. They are just screws. JB Weld may not work cuz it will misalign the mount.
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Since when that a new D200 is Justin's only option? For the sake of argument, if buying a replacement D100 costs $400, a new D200 is $1300 more and you get a much better DSLR, and that is an upgrade a lot of D100 owners would have done, anyway. If that is too much, there are always the D70s, whose viewfinder is probably not as good as the D100's. Otherwise, almost every other feature is a (slight) improvement.

    The worst option is probably to repair the damaged D100. Repairs are frequently not 100%. With such a major damage to a DSLR whose current value is so low, repair simply doesn't make sense.

    The biggest risk to Justin is that if they end up with one D100 and one D200, there will likely be competition for the D200.
  18. Just buy a D200. It's not worth repairing the D100 from a performance point of view. The D100, D70 and D50 are all handicapped by a poor viewfinder and autofocus system, both of which problems were solved in an excellent manner in the D200. Plus, you get metering with manual focus gems.
  19. Oh, well, forget it. A D200 is way too attactive. I've heard someone was just happy he lost a D70.
  20. I didn't lose my D70 - I got some green for it, but I was elated when I no longer owned that camera. :)
  21. Alan: even if this had been a metal mount, it would likely be unrepairable. In fact, it would probably be worse, since the frame likely would have been twisted and bent by the impact. Falls like that, with heavy lenses, are death to cameras.
    Maybe, maybe not. I've busted two cameras in about 40 years. Both involved drops from height with long lenses. The first was an F3 with a 400/5.6 EDIF. The mounts on both camera and lens were severely bent, but repair was simple and cheap: buy replacement mounts and screw them on. The second was a Canon 1D on a 500 mm lens. Here, the lens was undamaged but the body of the camera was cracked and split around the lensmount. I thought it was history but the repair was about $440 -- a hell of a lot less than a new camera. So Justin's D100 might be fixable, although the damage does look pretty ugly...
  22. Justin, I can imagine how you feel. My D70s is at Nikon with a bent lens mount and stripped screws, but not completely ripped off. The Bill is confirmed at $200 plus S&H. I picked up a D50 in the interim and I'm pretty happy with the D50. Fewer features, but the one I miss is that it doesn't have wireless flash interface and depth of field preview. Good luck with whatever you choose. Paul
  23. From your picture, it looks like the the mounting screws stripped out out of plastic mirror box. If neither the mirror box nor the rings bent, and Helicoils are available in the right size, that has a reasonable chance of working. It looks like the alignment is provided by contact between the finished front surface of the mirror box and rear surface of the mount ring.

    More than JB weld, one of the Loctite thread repair adhesives might be appropriate. Stripped threads happen to enough machinery that most auto parts stores carry repair kits. They work as well as they claim on metal, I've never tried with plastic. The polycarbonate that some Nikon bodies are made out of turns brittle if certain kinds of epoxy are used on it, as well, but if it's irreperable anyway...

    There are still a few uses for a body broken this way. Heck, I'd buy it for a special project if you decide to junk it :)
  24. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    In case one wants to at least attempt the repair route, I would stress to get that done properly by professional repair techs. Otherwise, in case your mount comes apart again while you have some heavy and expensive lens on it, and that lens falls onto the ground, that would merely add insult to injury.
  25. I love this place! Thanks for all the comments and suggestions!

    I got a call from the Photo-Tronics in Seattle, a Nikon Authorized Repair Shop this morning. The damage bill is $249 labor, $34 in Parts, plus sales tax , and the added benefit of a 90 day warranty and a sensor cleaning. I certainly didn't need to upgrade to the D200 at this point, but I was going to do it if the damage was TOO extensive.

    Thanks again!
  26. i have the same problem also, but is not drop my me but

    1 like natural photograhy, like brids and etc in the forests. so i got the setup the 50-500mm sigma lense to my camera and headed into the forest trail with out tripod. Took me before long to find someone who seem to have the same interest in photograhy, but he is more to micro photograhy, old and retire person.

    before long, he saw a bird in the distance, and told me. this where it begain, the bird was block by a few branches, so i put the camera on a wood benches and carefully move in. within reaching distance. i request him to pass me my camera. short distance less then a meter, but very good view of the brids itself. i turn back my head and saw his movement in horror. first- he pick up the cam, about 2 cm from the bench. second i heard the brid fly off. third- he attempt to put back the camera without looking, and the camera drop to the wood ground.

    and it break from the lense mounting. Not even saying sorry, he chance his topic to buying a second hand model of a different brand.

    i told him, fine maybe he could pay part of the cost for a second hand body. and he just turn me down. he add on, " i just touch the camera and it drop, and is not my problem and i amd just doing a favor." very irresponsible behavior for the photograher, and formore he is very senior(age) to any one. and may i ask who will be so blur as in, someone handing over a 3 kg plus items without looking back at the total action and event.

    i am not here to spam anyone, but look at his action that tell the word-

    look at the way he speak to me before and after. before that, he was saying about how i should take the photo i want. and advise me to stick to what i have till i master that body and lense. and after, he is promoting me to buy other brand of camera and not back to the old body. worst he said, he will not have gone down to the ground to take the photo because you will make noise and get the bird to set off. "sience is golden in forest" everyone should know. and yet he was talking so loudly during this event.

    so guys any advice and commen for me. At least, my heart pain is for a lesson for everyone.

    "photograhy is a very expensive hobbies, before you know it. you are spending out more then you through. so trust only you and yourself, even if on the road."

    lense and camera body. camera is gone for good. i hope there is nothing wrong with the lense.

    and what should be my correct action for him. i am more then happy to tell everyone who he was, since he gave me his name card. the joker part is, do not tell me that, he do even know how to hold up the camera.

    there are sentence make by him, which i wanted to share with you guys. unless the club adm allow me too.
  27. My Nikon camera is brand new but fall down when I was taking a photo. the lenses have bent a bit. it is small camera 3x zoom6.3-18.9mm lenses(coolpix s220).
    I try to swich it on but lenses cant move and it tells me in red letters lens error !
    what can I do? Shall I take it back to a manufacturer? Please help as I am in US for only 5 days!
  28. Yahya, it would be more effective to start a new thread rather than adding your unrelated question to a thread that's more than a year old.
    You should contact an authorized Nikon service center for repairs. What area are you in now? That would help narrow down the recommendations for a service center nearest you.

Share This Page