Nikon to stop selling Parts, Petition

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mark_fortin, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. A 1-post user? I highly doubt that this will kill the used market as you claim. I can see both sides of this debate. First, I've always sent my gear directly to Nikon, and it has never been a hassle and has never had excessive costs associated with it. On the other hand, they've always been surprisingly reasonable. A complete rebuild of my D200 last fall, from grip to LCD to shutter, cost me $250, and they also cleaned the camera while it was there. It got back to me fast. A battery door is a removable part; it isn't something that will be made unavailable. You might as well claim that Nikon will require you to send the camera in to have them change lenses. Considering the complexity of cameras and lenses today, this makes sense. For example, if someone drops their lens and breaks the mount, today they can buy a replacement lens mount. However, did the shop also take the time to adjust the barrel and the elements inside the lens? Do they even have the equipment to do so? So now, there is an inferior Nikon lens floating around, perhaps getting sold to some unsuspecting buyer. I see Nikon's decision as forcing only capable shops to be allowed to use their parts. Not willing to jump through Nikon's hoops to show that you are willing to thoroughly repair a Nikon? I don't want you touching my camera.
     
  2. A battery door is a removable part; it isn't something that will be made unavailable​
    A battery door is considered a part and is only available through the parts dept. There are many great repair shops who can do the repairs you mentioned, but don't have the cash to invest $160,000 to be part of the Nikon inner circle. Camera repair is not a get rich quick profession. You are doing an injustice to the many fine repair shops by saying that "they are not willing to jump through Nikon's hoops".
     
  3. I once made the mistake of buying the second (plasticky) version of 70-210mm AF Nikkor zoom. Apart from the optics being below-par, the zoom "trombone" started to slip after a few weeks use. It was returned to Nikon UK for repair. After a lengthy delay it was returned, and sure enough the zoom ring was a bit tighter - for a while. After another couple of weeks it became loose again and started to slip. I couldn't be without the lens for another age while Nikon UK took their time over a further repair, and decided to investigate the cause of the problem. Removing the zoom ring wasn't at all difficult once I'd found the way in - the work of minutes. It turned out that Nikon's previous "repair" consisted of packing out the felt-like friction material with a strip of paper and a dab of glue!
    So. Make of that anecdote what you will, but my opinion of Nikon UK's repair department has never been very high since that experience.
     
  4. My experience with Nikon USA service has ranged from excellent to mediocre. And, if anecdotes from worldwide customers are any indication, Nikon distributors overall have been inconsistent and sometimes indifferent regarding repairs to flaws admitted to by Nikon. For that reason alone I'd support free market competition and access to parts.
    In 2006 my D2H needed warranty work right at the end of the one year warranty. Nikon USA handled it quickly and mostly satisfactorily with no charge. They repaired the major problem but neglected to remap out a single stuck pixel. No big deal. Communication overall was satisfactory. They explained what needed to be fixed and kept me informed.
    In 2011 my experience was completely different. The $420 repair quote seemed excessive, Nikon USA never explained what exactly needed to be repaired or replaced to justify that expense, and communication overall was poor. That left me with a significantly worse impression of Nikon USA's service than my 2006 experience.
     
  5. I've kept sending my Nikon kit to Nikon UK, but mostly because I work near them. I've not been very impressed that they reported by D700's sensor is (slightly) scratched, given that they're the only people ever to have cleaned it. I do have a one-ring 80-200 that I might take to a third party, because I imagine that Nikon UK will charge me quite a bit to fix it (given that it only cost me 300 quid and it's currently a paperweight). I ought to do something about my 135 f/2, though...

    Anyway, I sympathise. There's something to be said for supporting the conveniently local camera repair industry. I hope Nikon UK don't go this route. (They've enough bad press with the D800 and D4 price rises.)
     
  6. I used to repair Nikons at an independent Nikon-only shop.
    We bought all our parts from Nikon USA. I can see how filling many small orders could be a hassle
    for them, but that's part of supporting their product and building customer confidence in it.
    I'll sign the petition.
    - Leigh
     
  7. This policy is totally unacceptable. Nikon makes excellent photographic equipment. But if this is how they are going to do business I for one will be all done with them. I am a film user and they have no acceptable film cameras sill available other than the F6.(out of my price range) I understand that film is now not mainstream and they are not going to make what wont sell. But the no parts deal will force any non authorized camera repair centers either out of business or away from any Nikon service. So that means it would be extremely difficult to get any out of production Nikon film slrs repaired. Let alone what if I need small parts for an in production camera. I am interested in a digital camera purchase to use for color capture. But if Nikon kills the chance of repair on there out of production film slrs and makes parts unavailable for in production cameras. I for one will jump ship when that purchase is made. They are good but must remember they are not the only camera manufacture out there. This is bad policy and going to make people think about the big C instead. Petition signed.
     
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    This is the third thread on this topic in as many months:
    1. The first one was started by Henry Posner from B&H: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00ZsoC
    2. http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00a38V
    As Henry points out, I too believe this is Nikon USA's attempt to discourage gray-market imports, as Nikon USA has been trying to scare people that there is no way to get those items repaired. Essentially, this policy hurts gray-market importers such as B&H and the small independent repair shops. That is exactly why those people are complaining.
     
  9. It may well be an attempt to discourage gray-market imports. But that’s not all of the picture. In the process its also going to hurt its customers. They already don’t service gray-market products. So now they want to dampen service for out of production products they make no replacement for. Yep, its ok folks, everything’s alright, just keep moving people, nothing to see here. Its not good for a Nikon customer to have to send in there camera for small self replacement parts. To have to wait longer and go through hoops to have it fixed. To be told that model can no longer be serviced even if you are paying for the repair and its NOT gray market. If Nikon doesn’t want to fix it, we need small independent repair shops. I have been a loyal Nikon user but Canon has to be laughing this one up.
     
  10. How does the situation stand with Nikon sending out repair parts themselves? I had a very nice experience a couple of years ago when I got through to the Nikon 'pro' team in the UK because I wanted some parts for my F5. Amazingly they said they had the parts there - and would send them for a small fee. I really enjoyed taling to them. They were minor internal parts too - but as a repair tech I knew what I could do (they were the film canister clamp and the fixing screw).
    But the normal Nikon consumer line in contrast was very poor indeed - like speaking to robots who did not know what Nikon made.
     
  11. Craig, who DOES still make autofocus 35mm film SLRs? Canon makes one, but theirs is almost as expensive at $1,700 for a film body. Realistically, the only ones who deal in film photo today are the rangefinder companies: Voigtlander Cosina, Zeiss Ikon, Leica. If you want an autofocus SLR, far and away your best bet is to buy used, something from just before the DSLR revolution. Nikon at least still makes the FM10, unlike its competitors who don't really make anything cheap, although Vivitar makes a K-mount compatible intro-level camera. Out of production cameras like the F or F2 aren't going to be affected by this edict, as parts won't be available for them anyway, so you'll lose nothing by going to a third-party repair shop. Cameras like the N90s, F4, and F5 will, but as I mentioned before, Nikon service in my experience has been just fine and reasonably priced. Digital cameras for the most part won't be affected. Nikon will rebuild the D1 or D100 today for you for about $250, which means going through the whole camera and cleaning or replacing parts to bring it back to off-the-assembly-line condition, although honestly those cameras are barely worth investing in, as there have been such great technological advances in digital photography since those cameras existed. Heck, my D200 was barely worth sending in, but I decided that I couldn't get a comparable camera for $250, and it's only slightly obsolete; at the low ISOs that I shoot, it is still reasonably competitive against the D300.
     
  12. "If you want an autofocus SLR, far and away your best bet is to buy used..."​
    That's irrelevant to the concerns of most Nikon customers for the past 10 years.
    "Nikon will rebuild the D1 or D100 today for you for about $250..."​
    Does Nikon USA specify that anywhere? They quoted me a price of over $400 to repair a functional but glitchy D2H and wouldn't even specify exactly what repairs or replacements needed to be done.
    Direct, effective communication with customers is one area where repair shops other than Nikon USA can excel. Every independent repair tech I've dealt with would clearly communicate what type of work needed to be done, which parts needed to be replaced and how much it would cost. In my experience Nikon USA has been, at best, impersonal although effective - several years ago. Since then they've become impersonal and ineffective in communication.
     
  13. When buying used you might purchase a gray market camera without knowing. If you do it cannot be repaired or serviced because Nikon will not service it and the small shops are shut out.. As far as I am concerned the used market is dead.
     
  14. I really want to care about this. But the fact of that matter is that it has never been an issue for me. And, going forward, I would just got to an NASC for any work needed.
     
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    When buying used you might purchase a gray market camera without knowing. If you do it cannot be repaired or serviced because Nikon will not service it and the small shops are shut out.. As far as I am concerned the used market is dead.​
    Ross, that is not the case at all.
    First of all, if you buy used, you can ask the seller to provide proof of origin. E.g. I have the original Nikon USA warranty card for all of my Nikon USA lenses, but of course not everybody keeps records that way.
    And sometimes I buy gray-market products on purpose. In that case I can still have them repaired by the authorized repair shops, as I did in 2005: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00BxJs
    There are still quite a few of those around, outside of Nikon USA. E.g. Authorized Photo Service in Chicago that I used in that 2005 case is highly recommended by members here.
    Nikon's new policy really hurts those small one-man, mom-and-pop type small repair shops. Again, that is why they are complaining.
     
  16. Nikon's new policy really hurts those small one-man, mom-and-pop type small repair shops. Again, that is why they are complaining.​
    And why shouldn't they complain?
    They're legitimate businesses, paying salaries and taxes like everybody else.
    Nikon has absolutely no right to refuse parts sales to any customer.
    They're just trying to create a monopoly to which they have no right in the first place.
    What would happen if auto makes refused to sell body parts to independent body shops?
    - Leigh
     
  17. Ariel, yes that was kind of my thought, no one does make a decent 35mm slr that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Then I looked at B&H and there is F100s at $700.00 but wait its gray market Nikon wont fix that if it breaks. Yes there is the FM10 but its not made by Nikon its made by Cosina with a Nikon badge and not well made, hate to see were one ends up when it breaks.
    I do use an F5 and I’m quite happy with it.
    My point is not to slam Nikon cameras. The problem is that with no parts sold to non authorized or third-party repair shops. When small shops can no longer get Nikon parts they will stop working on Nikon cameras period whether parts come from Nikon or not it will become non feasible to fix that brand period. Nikon wont want anything to do with my F5.
    So my point is that the no parts from Nikon is not just a gray market issue.
    I am glad that you have had Good experience with Nikon
    customer service. I myself have never used it, others have stated things not going so well, who knows.
    Just tying to keep using film in a in a digitally dictated world.
     
  18. Nikon has absolutely no right to refuse parts sales to any customer.​
    That is utterly incorrect. Nikon can sell, or not sell, to whomever they like. It's called a free market.
    They're just trying to create a monopoly to which they have no right in the first place.​
    That's just silly. How can Nikon possibly have a monopoly with the likes of Canon, Pentax, Sony, Mamiya, etc., etc., etc. around?
     
  19. Agreed, Dan. Even if it's determined to be *technically* in violation of some trade laws, Nikon is within their rights in terms of ownership of intellectual property. Whether it's good business sense remains to be seen. I suspect this sort of policy will merely result in counterfeiting - which is also a manifestation of the free market - and further complications. Eventually Nikon will recognize the error of this policy and bend to free market forces.
     
  20. Lex, I just know from experience. Replacing a faulty shutter is repair rank B2. On your D2, I guess you can expect a higher price, since it's such a more complicated camera to open up, and parts like the shutter are much heavier duty than my D200. Considering the number of parts in a D2H, I'd bet that they just replace at least a few circuit boards and random parts; I'm not sure the list would be overall meaningful. They have service repair ranks, as in "minor problem, few parts replaced" or "major parts replaced." In addition, since the repair carries a warranty, they replace other parts as well, so that includes any worn mechanical parts for good measure, plus cleaning. For example, they replaced my bent aperture tab while it was there (I didn't even know it wasn't straight) and the LCD cover, as I mentioned, although I didn't notice any scratches on it. They seem to be of the mindset that if they fix it, they fix it as best they can to 100%. The bottom of my camera is a bit worn and scratched, and they didn't replace the magnesium shell to make it absolutely as-new, but I like the worn look anyway, so I'm not bothered. When they open your D2H, there's a good chance they'll replace more than they'd quote you at the beginning anyway. Plus, there are alignments and cleaning that needs to be done when piecing the camera back together, and I'd bet that Nikon would like control over that.
    Leigh, Nikon has every right to control the quality of repair. The automotive comparison was made in the previous threads that Shun linked.
    Craig, as Shun said, Nikon authorized repair shops will still work on gray market equipment. Also, Cosina is a just-fine company. Anything Voigtlander-branded from the last 15 years is made by them, as is all of the 35mm Zeiss glass. If Carl Zeiss trusts Cosina to make their products, then I feel I can too, without hesitation. Which doesn't matter, because as Shun said, for much less than a new F100s, you could buy a used F100s, as most photographers keep the box and papers that prove it's a USA product. Heck, you could buy a used one and have it Nikon refurbished for less than $700! Plus, they're doing more than any other camera company. I don't even see any Minolta/Sony film cameras listed, or Pentax. Canon's EOS 1 camera is listed, but isn't in stock. Independent repair shops still exist, I think people aren't getting that part of the story. I can personally vouch for C.R.I.S. and it looks like Shun can vouch for another in his linked thread. I'm sure that a little creative google searching, plus a cursory checking out the larger general photo forums (here, POTN, DPReview, etc) plus Yelp would give a great recommendation for most of these shops, if not all:
    http://www.nikonusa.com/Service-And-Support/Nikon-Authorized-Repair-List.page
     
  21. Leigh, Nikon has every right to control the quality of repair.​
    But Ariel, that's not what they're doing.
    It's my camera, and I have the exclusive right to determine what quality of workmanship and
    parts I wish to rely on for its repair.
    I worked for a Nikon-only service shop. Our quality of repair was far higher than that of NUSA.
    We never had a single recall that I was aware of.
    What we did not do was purchase all the ridiculously over-priced specialized test equipment
    that performed its function worse than general-purpose test gear.
    - Leigh
     
  22. Ross, that is not the case at all.​
    I suppose from the right party you might receive proof of origin. However I usually buy from KEH.com and they have never provided any historical ducuments on the products so far. I have never asked but they are buying the products used also so I doubt they have that information.
     
  23. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Ross, a lot of recent Nikon USA lenses have the "US" prefix before the serial number. Those are very easy to determine that they are Nikon USA lenses. Otherwise, if the seller cannot provide proof that an item is Nikon US, it is up to your judgement to buy it or not.
    As I pointed out, sometimes I buy gray-market on purpose due to the savings. And I have no trouble getting those items fixed. Just like Nikon cameras and lenses sold in the US do not have to come through Nikon USA, so are parts. There are and continue will be alternative sources for parts.
     
  24. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Nikon has absolutely no right to refuse parts sales to any customer.​


    So those "No shoes, no shirt, no service" signs are meaningless?
     
  25. "No shoes, no shirt, no service"​
    That policy does not constitute "restraint of trade".
    - Leigh
     
  26. Otherwise, if the seller cannot provide proof that an item is Nikon US, it is up to your judgement to buy it or not.​
    Shun,
    It's not as simple as that.
    I have a large collection of very nice Nikon gear from my deceased father-in-law.
    I'm sure he had all the paperwork for that stuff.
    I'm equally sure the paperwork was tossed out when the estate was liquidated.
    - Leigh
     
  27. There seems to be a gray area on Nikon gray market products. My understanding is that Nikon does NOT repair them. There have been many posts that state such. There is no obtainable information on what serial numbers are Nikon USA or gray market, you have to send the camera in and they will tell you. What if an older cameras no longer has any paper work or reciept? Why must this be so difficult ? If I am wrong in thinking this someone please set me straight.
    As far as the Nikon FM10 is concerned have you ever held one its not a nice piece of equipment very cheap and not well made a very basic plastic camera hence the cheap price I have read post with people stating Nikon not accepting warranty issues on this camera.
    Again I am not slamming Nikon cameras. Its there customer service contingents and lack of support that I am questioning. If I am going to make another purchase and Nikon is going to make repairs a problem this is not going to make them the camera to consider. Withholding parts for purchasing and turning there backs on gray market cameras does not seem to be an issue with the other big dog. I am familiar with the Nikon system like it and want to stay with it. But this is does not fly well with me and plenty of others have the same opinion.
     
  28. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Folks, please stop suggesting that once Nikon USA stops supplying parts to those small independent repair shops, you will not be able to get your gary-market items fixed.
    You can still get them fixed at the larger, authorized repair shops, such as Authorized Photo Service (APS): http://nikoncamerarepair.com/
    There are still quite a few of those shops around, but APS is perhaps the most well known and they do a fine job.
    In fact, a lot of us never use those small, independent shops anyway. In the rare occasions that my Nikon products require repair, I either send them back to Nikon or to APS.
    I have several gray-market lenses and I have absolutely no concerns about getting those fixes, if necessary. The problem here is that both sides of this "parts" debate want you to think otherwise. The small repair shops want you to help convince Nikon to change their policy since that affects those shop's survival. Nikon USA want you to stop buying gray-market products because such products affect Nikon USA's survival.
    P.S. As I mentioned in one of those previous threads, it puzzles me why Canon USA is not as hostile to gray-market Canon products. If I were them, I would be. I am hostile to anything that threatens my survival.
     
  29. it puzzles me why Canon USA is not as hostile to gray-market Canon products. If I were them, I would be. I am hostile to anything that threatens my survival.
    Nikon Japan owns Nikon USA. Nikon USA doesn't have to survive on its own - it sells a huge proportion of Nikon's worldwide supply of products and it'll still be there even if it makes a net loss (which is unlikely) since its owners are making money on every Nikon product sold irrespective of gray or USA import.
    What Nikon is doing here is making it difficult for small repair shops to survive and for local small-town photographers to get their gear fixed in a timely manner. People will now have to ship their products for repairs and wait potentially weeks to get it back instead of a repairs overnight or in a few days. Canon will no doubt take full advantage of this and get many new professional photographers as customers who appreciate the availability of options.
     
  30. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Ilkka, I always send my Nikon eqipment to either Nikon or APS for repair because they are trained and are well stock in parts. If one is in a hurry, overnight shipping is common in these days. The local little repair shops cannot afford to stock a large number of parts and mostly don't have the knowledge to fix complex problems, such as the vibration reduction mechanism. Unfortunately for them, the days when cameras were all mechanical so that just about anybody can repair are over.
    Nikon USA is making these changes to help themselves, not to hurt themselves. They are not stupid. It is those who are actually hurt by this new policy want you to think that the new policy hurts you so that you would help them to get Nikon to reverse the policy. 2 out of the 3 threads on this topic are started by such people. Everybody is looking out for themselves; that is human nature.
     
  31. "Can you image , having to send your Nikon DSLR in for a Battery door. It will cost $$$$." You mean, you know of a service center that will do it for FREE?


    "you have to send the camera in and they will tell you" (referring to USA or Gray) Actually, you can use your phone to give them the serial number over the phone. I did it a few months ago and they were happy to assist me.


    "Nikon's new policy really hurts those small one-man, mom-and-pop type small repair shops"
    Since other brands do break on occasion, I guess they will have to make a living servicing those and not Nikon.
    I have had the need to use Nikon Melville more times than I care to admit. On each occasion, they quickly and properly corrected the issues I had at a very, very fair price (I checked with independent shops on a couple of occasions). On 3 instances, they repaired out of warranty gear at n/c (major repairs that would have cost about $500 each through Nikon). Independents would never have done this.
    Nikon can do whatever they want. It is their company. You can do what you want. Nikon is not the only company selling cameras. I think I will stick with Nikon for the moment...
     
  32. Nikon USA want you to stop buying gray-market products because such products affect Nikon USA's survival.​
    No. Nikon wants you to stop buying used equipment.
    Yes, you can still get it repaired at exorbitant rates if the independents can't get parts.
    The policy is shameful, unethical, downright fraudulent, and probably illegal.
    BTW, they can certainly refuse warranty repairs on a gray-market product, but they can't
    refuse to repair any product that they made. The fact that it was sold overseas does NOT
    mean that it was imported into the USA in contravention of any law or tariff. The current
    owner may have purchased it overseas while on vacation. Nothing wrong with that.
    - Leigh
     
  33. Shun,
    Based on many of your previous posts, including product previews and statements regarding
    company policy, you seem to have a rather close association with Nikon.
    What exactly is the nature of that relationship, and why are you playing cheerleader for them?
    - Leigh
     
  34. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Leigh, what you are posting is simply flat out wrong information.
    Nikon USA has a clear policy that they will not repair gray-market imports, even though you are willing to pay. The definition of gray market is that someone else other than Nikon USA imports the product into the US, for example B&H imports it, and you buy it in the US.
    If you go overseas, on vacation or otherwise, and buy something and bring it into the US yourself, it is not gray market, but you need to produce a receipt from overseas. As long as you can do that, Nikon USA will repair it, probably for a fee.
     
  35. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    What exactly is the nature of that relationship, and why are you playing cheerleader for them?​
    I have no particular relationship with Nikon. They know that I write fair reviews: I praise Nikon products when they are good and I don't hesitate to point out the shortcomings. I think that makes my reviews believeable. As far as I can tell, Nikon USA does not seem to mind my criticism. I think my reviews are better than reviews from those who receive financial payment from Nikon; those people may be famous photographers but have an obvious conflict of interest.
    As I posted earlier in this thread, I myself buy gray-market Nikon products when the price is cheap, and I make it very clear that Nikon USA is misleading when they try to convince people that they can't get gray-market products repaired in the US. I am sure Nikon USA is not happy that I point out such facts. Suggesting that I am playing cheerleader is quite far from the truth.
    Again, I posted the details on this thread, which I already provided a link earlier: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00BxJs
     
  36. Well I guess I don't know what to think. Everybody has been saying gray market camera's are shut out and now they are in fact allowed to be repaired. Just no warranty. However Nikon does not support small business and I do. We just have to part ways. I was trying to decide between the P7000 and G12 for my son's birthday. Canon gets the sale.
     
  37. One underlying factor is how complex these cameras and lenses have become. Most of the independent shops must have become incompetent at working on them, and even service manuals and training can't fix that.
    There are no legal issues here. Nikon can do whatever it wants to. They don't even have to offer any service and support at all. If you don't like it, go buy another brand.
     
  38. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Ross, it is not that complicated:
    1. Nikon USA will not knowingly repair gray-market cameras, even though you are willing to pay for such repair. They make most of their profit from importing Nikon products into the US; gray-market is their competition.
    2. Outside repair services such as APS, which is not part of Nikon (at least not any more), are willing to repair gray-market products (and Nikon USA products) as long as you pay.
    Those two facts are not changing at all.
    The small, mom-and-pop type repair shops used to fall into category 2 above. But I always question their ability to fix the modern, complex cameras anyway, so I don't use them. With Nikon's new policy, they will have difficulty getting parts so that they will fall out of category 2. Therefore, their survival will be in question, and clearly we should not take that lightly.
    But unfortunately, that is part of the changing world. In these days large, mail-order firms are highly successful, such as Amazon.com, B&H, etc. while a lot of small local camera stores are now out of business. So are huge bookstore chains such as Borders. Instead of buying hard copy books, people buy electronic books from Amazon and read them on Kindle, iPads, etc. And Apple is suddenly highly profitable again.
    It is a changing world. Oh, I already said that before. As usual, changes benefit some people and harm some other people.
     
  39. Thanks Shun, you have made it clear as to how it works. As far as I know I do not have any gray Market gear. I shop local and small business when I can and BHPhoto otherwise. My D200 and some of my lenses were bought from BHPhoto and are not gray market. I have bought used gear also such as my F100 from KEH.com. They did not provide any history with this camera so it could be a gray market camera. Some lenses I own fall into that category.
    I send my camera gear to a shop in Portland for servicing when needed. I am sure they will continue to service my F100 unless Nikon topples them due to their new rule. They do service modern camera's very well and Nikon obviously is a huge part of their business. Being a small shop I can see them going under and those people that work there will be out of luck. That is not OK with me.
    Basically I will just throw out the D200 when it breaks. The F100 I plan on maintaining using independent repair services if possible. If not then I will buy a Leica M6 and go with that.
    It would seem that major corporations such as Nikon, Apple, Kraft, McDonalds, Monsanto etc, etc are going to decide what we buy, what we eat and how we spend our free time. I just boycott with my spending dollars as well as I am able to. My savings is looking good because of it so that is a benefit for sure.
     
  40. But I always question their ability to fix the modern, complex cameras anyway, so I don't use them.​
    So Shun, tell me...
    1. Are you an electrical engineer?
    2. Have you earned your living designing electronic circuitry and products?
    3. Have you spent a significant amount of time troubleshooting digital electronics?
    4. Are you a Certified Electronic Technician (ISCET)?
    5. Are you a trained camera repair technician?
    6. Have you earned your living repairing cameras?
    I can answer Yes to all of those questions and more.
    Perhaps I should ask more generally...
    Upon what expertise do you rely for passing judgement on repair shop competence?
    Your assessment of relative competence between company shops and private shops
    is just plain wrong. Private shop techs are much more proficient at troubleshooting.
    Company techs have a chart of symptoms for each camera, with a note of which
    parts to replace to correct the problem. That's it. No troubleshooting nor any
    other skills required, other than how to use a screwdriver.
    - Leigh
     
  41. I just went to the web site of the camera repair place I use. Advance Camera in Beverton Oregon. They also have a petition to send to Nikon. They said that July 13th is the end of their parts supplies. Also they say that some of the repairs are farmed out to Mexico by Nikon (out sourced repairs).
    Anyway I have no doubt that this camera shop is capable of repairing modern equipment quickly, and with a warranty. But without parts it is bad news for them.
    I suppose Nikon can do what they want, but so can I. We can make an agreement that they will not sell me anything and I will agree to not buy anything. Now we are in perfect harmony.
     
  42. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Upon what expertise do you rely for passing judgement on repair shop competence?​
    I have brought some I thought was fairly simple lens repair to my local shop, and they told me that it has to go back to Nikon, but they could help me ship it. Upon checking with additional repair shops, they reluctantly admit that they have no experties to fix, e.g. VR issues.
    Fortunately, my Nikon equipment has been quite reliable, but the few times that I have used Nikon USA repair, everything comes back fine. Their ability to fix things properly generates confidence.
    Now it is my turn to ask you a question: how many Nikon repair person and local repair person have you had experience with to make the following judgement?
    Private shop techs are much more proficient at troubleshooting.
    Company techs have a chart of symptoms for each camera, with a note of which
    parts to replace to correct the problem. That's it. No troubleshooting nor any
    other skills required, other than how to use a screwdriver.​
     
  43. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Ross, it sounds like the shop you are dealing with is too small to meet Nikon's guidelines. You are absolutely right that if you are not happy with Nikon, by all means switch to another brand.
    However, if Nikon indeed sends some repair work to Mexico, I don't see what the problem is. My last few TVs with Japanese and Korean brand news are all made in Mexico. A lot of Nikon cameras are now made in Thailand instead of Japan, and they are very good. Occasionally Nikon USA cannot fix a problem, they might send that to Japan.
     
  44. 'Nikon USA has a clear policy that they will not repair gray-market imports, even though you are willing to pay'


    Ignoring warranty work..I understand that...but...errrr..

    I'm just curious, does this simply mean the 'cash' will go to 'authorised repair shops', not Nikon USA? Does their accountant agree to this kind of cash-flow madness? How much do these 'repair shops' pay for this monopoly on referral repairs?
     
  45. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I'm just curious, does this simply mean the 'cash' will go to 'authorised repair shops', not Nikon USA?​
    Well, I can keep explaining the same thing over and over.
    For Nikon USA, cash is mainly from importing and selling cameras, not from repairing cameras. By projecting the impression that if you buy gray market, you will have no way to repair, they are hoping that they can sell more cameras thru their import. In other words, by rejecting the cash from making gray repairs, Nikon USA is hoping that they can make even more cash from selling cameras.
    The tightening of the supply of parts to independent repair shops is part of Nikon USA's effort to discourage people from buying gray.
    However, from my point of view, my Nikon cameras are reliable enough that even though I indeed have no way to repair my cameras, I am still willing to buy gray if the saving is sufficient. I currently own 6 different Nikon DSLRs purchased from the last 10 years. Those 6 have had exactly zero repair. But maybe my experience is not typical.
     
  46. Nikon has repaired Grey Market items for me - a 500m F4 AIP lens; a 200mm F4 AF micro...and the repairs have been done in the last couple of years. They took about 7-10 days to do...I had to drive out to Nikon USA on Long Island to get work done.
    I much prefer to bring my equipment to Nippon Photo Clinic in NYC (Manhattan). They have been doing repairs on Nikon equipment since the 1960s. They are NOT an authorized Nikon repair shop because it costs too much to have all the equipment Nikon tells them they must have (and inventory of parts). They will repair my Nikon anything in 1-2 maximum.
    Nippon Photo Clinic tells me that Nikon USA charges them full price for parts - the owner, who lives on Long Island, stops in at Nikon USA practically every day to pick up parts directly from Nikon. He tells me that Canon charges his repair place a discounted rate for parts - so it costs much less to repair a Canon camera/lens etc.
    If Nikon implements this policy, it will drive up repair prices even further - and bring more business to Nikon. Having read through Nikon USA repair horror stories of high prices and sometimes shoddy work done, I want the option of as many third party repair places as possible. They are not only mom and pop places, they can also be staffed by highly trained professionals as in the case of Nippon Photo Clinic in Manhattan.Leigh B. also makes this point again and again.
    Reading the posts of others in this thread, I think Leigh B. is hitting home runs - his is the voice of experience and knowledge on this matter.
     
  47. Ross, it sounds like the shop you are dealing with is too small to meet Nikon's guidelines. You are absolutely right that if you are not happy with Nikon, by all means switch to another brandHowever, if Nikon indeed sends some repair work to Mexico, I don't see what the problem is. My last few TVs with Japanese and Korean brand news are all made in Mexico. A lot of Nikon cameras are now made in Thailand instead of Japan, and they are very good. Occasionally Nikon USA cannot fix a problem, they might send that to Japan.​
    I have no problem with sharing some work with our neighbors in Mexico. I just have a problem with shutting out small business and the people that depend on it. I have many things made in other countries as well. We all do, however I try to buy in the US. For instance, Domke camera bags, Tiffen filters, Titleist golf balls, Park bicycle tools, and Kodak film is partly made in the US I guess. Actually most of the reason I shoot film is to buy US products and to support small business such as Bay Photo labs in Santa Cruz. I enjoy the hobby and I spread money around locally.
    My camera repair center will still be able to service my F100 most likely. If not I have always wanted a Leica M6 or 7 anyway. I can just switch over to that. At this point in life I no longer run around looking for landscapes or nice photos. I just take pics of the family, our trips and such. The Leica will do that very well. I do like to fool around with long shutter speeds a bit. I like movement in pictures.
     
  48. Now it is my turn to ask you a question: how many Nikon repair person and local repair person have you had experience with to make the following judgement?
    Private shop techs are much more proficient at troubleshooting.
    Company techs have a chart of symptoms for each camera, with a note of which
    parts to replace to correct the problem. That's it. No troubleshooting nor any
    other skills required, other than how to use a screwdriver.​
    Over the 4-5 years that I worked in that field, I was an active member of SPT, including writing articles for the SPT Journal.
    During that time I attended most of the two-day repair training seminars that were offered in the Mid-Atlantic area (Pennsylvania through Virginia), about every two months. I got to know a number of technicians, both independent and company-shop varieties, some pretty well. We had long talks at meals and in the evening, since there's nothing else to do at a motel.
    My comments about company-shop troubleshooting guides and procedures are based on gripes I heard from several of their techs, given as a reason why they were brushing up their skills on other cameras so they could change jobs and go to work for independents. They were quite unhappy with their current work environment and lack of real repair activities. They were told to open the camera, fix what the book said to fix, and put it back together as fast as possible.
    Since I had very substantial expertise in electronic troubleshooting, particularly of digital electronics, I was often called upon to give impromptu presentations to clarify issues in various courses.
    I should clarify my previous comment about troubleshooting skills. Many (perhaps most) of the company-shop techs came out of the military, particularly the Navy. Navy ETs are extremely good! This is why they were looking for other jobs... because they were not permitted to use their skills and knowledge, being required to simply follow guidance in the book and do only those repairs dictated by that document.
    Hope that answers your question.
    - Leigh
     
  49. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Over the 4-5 years that I worked in that field​
    Leigh, so exactly which years would that be? E.g., 1980's, 1990's?
    I find it strange that someone so deep into that field is totally unfamiliar with Nikon's policy with gray-market products and Nikon products purchased outside of the US.
    And clearly my experience with small, local repair shops is very different from what you described. The way you used a broad brush to paint every technician into the same category is much to be desired. As usual, some independent repair shops are excellent as Robert DeCandido points out and some not so much. E.g. APS in the Chicago area is highly recommended by members here over many years.
     
  50. Hi Shun,
    Roughly 1977-1982 or there abouts.
    Gray market existed then but nobody paid much attention to it.
    - Leigh
     
  51. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Roughly 1977-1982 or there abouts​
    That was 30 years ago. Thank you.
     
  52. Somehow it doesn't make much sense [to me] to send late model high tech camera gear of any kind worth thousands and in many cases many thousands of dollars to a mom and pop repair facility.
     
  53. Mark (the OP) has been a client and a friend. He is a highly skilled technician and the owner of a small repair shop. Shops like his service professionals from around the country. I know his clients include some famous institutions, NFL team photogs, and countless other groups of professionals and amateurs. I believe the promise of a business like his is personalized service, generally lower pricing than Nikon for repair, and fast turnaround. Now, this may sound like an advertisement for Mark but it isn't intended to be - it's just the basis of his business.
    I think it is important be aware that small repair shops offer a unique product to professional photographers - they can save time and money and offer great service.
    I don't have a horse in this race - except that I am a professional photographer so having a local shop like Mark's is very important to me. Of course I'm a Canon shooter so this doesn't hurt me... yet. I shoot Nikon film though.
     
  54. The shop where I worked in DC was one of several that repaired Nikon equipment.
    We serviced probably 80% of the serious pros in the metropolitan area because
    we provided the highest quality service and did it with short turn-around times.
    - Leigh
     
  55. Nippon Photo Clinic in NYC is exactly this kind of business - a mom and pop shop of about 5 Japanese guys who have been repairing camera equipment in NYC since the 1970s. Look them up...: http://www.yelp.com/biz/nippon-photo-clinic-service-new-york
     
  56. I'm wondering how - if at all - this may affect specialty shops offering IR conversions for older Nikon dSLRs? I haven't really kept up with comments from other independent techs. Any indication from them about whether they'll be affected at all?
     
  57. Nikon has absolutely no right to refuse parts sales to any customer.​
    Total nonsense.
    They're just trying to create a monopoly to which they have no right in the first place.​
    Nikon is not doing anything restraining the trade of any of its competitors so, this too, is nonsense.
    What would happen if auto makes refused to sell body parts to independent body shops?​
    They would lose money Since its own shops can't perform that volume of repairs. Nikon has the capacity to make more repairs, per capita. So yes, more nonsense,
     
  58. It's my camera, and I have the exclusive right to determine what quality of workmanship and
    parts I wish to rely on for its repair.​
    That's nice. Of course, your choice is limited to those that can meet your criteria. IOW, You have a right to seek it, but not the right to get it.
     
  59. We all have the right..... but by Nikon's choice, we have no choice, what-so-ever..... :-(
     
  60. Shops like his service professionals from around the country. I know his clients include some famous institutions, NFL team photogs, and countless other groups of professionals and amateurs. I believe the promise of a business like his is personalized service, generally lower pricing than Nikon for repair, and fast turnaround.​
    Agreed on all fronts...these guys are really good. I've done a bunch of business with them this past year, and will probably be sending in a Nikon lens next week. While it's too cost prohibitive for me to switch entirely to Canon all at once, I really don't think I'll be buying any more Nikon bodies or lenses after this. One issue is that I still have older bodies. If the manufacturer refuses to work on older bodies after a certain period of time, and parts aren't sold to independents, then where do we turn to get these things repaired? Might you be forced to throw out your F5 when it breaks down, for instance? There are only so many film bodies out there, and this number will decrease if we can't repair them.
    And lot of people think they will still be able to buy rubber grips, battery doors, and terminal caps from Nikon as SLR users. They don't understand what this policy is about. If Nikon isn't going to sell to repair shops, they won't sell to SLR customers, either. Also, people don't understand that it costs like hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to be an authorized repair center...and Nikon may not even want any more of those regardless, even if somoene like Mark were willing to pay for it.
     
  61. I really don't think I'll be buying any more Nikon bodies or lenses after this.​
    It is defiantly on the mind of many who know about this move from Nikon. It’s a shame that a good camera corporation has let greed dictate its future. Instead of building a better customer service its going to give that part away. (Its sure not having a hard time handing over that part.) A move like this will certainly cause a loss in sales. How much who knows. A big corporation like Nikon is not going to care if a few sales are lost and that is what there banking on, a few. So they are going to play hard ball. But Canons not playing this game and they have got to be loving this brain storm of an idea from the Nikon competition.
     
  62. I had a good experience with Nikon Canada. Of course, I drove 500km (300mi) and dropped my lens off, but that wasn't the purpose of my trip. The repair was done relatively quickly ;-)
    Nikon is probably following the 'locked down' Apple model. Nikon isn't Apple. The Moms and Pops are entrepreneurs who will figure this out. Wrecking yards provide lots of car parts. If you have expensive Nikon stuff, it may be a good time to re-evaluate your theft insurance. Sometimes both Mom and Pop have tattoos.
    Like all good boy scouts, have 2 bodies/lenses and be prepared. Redundancy is great, although expensive. If my livelihood depended on it, I'd always have plan B (Canon?).
     
  63. I just went to BHPhoto and looked at Canon camera's. All of their models are in stock, and Nikon camera's from the D90 up are not in stock (backordered).
     
  64. We all have the right..... but by Nikon's choice, we have no choice, what-so-ever....​
    I certainly have the right to stop using Nikon and start using Canon,
    which I definitely will do if this policy is actually implemented.
    That's a pity, since I've been a strong supporter of Nikon for many decades.
    - Leigh
     
  65. I was under the impression that "Under Fair Trade Practices" such denial of spares and parts would be illegal. Times change and it's possible this no longer is a law. Considering the way Financial houses and banks can flaunt the law and be rewarded by bail-outs, Nikon's poor attitude to after service, is possibly an outcome.
    The truth though, as I have experience with service in another trade/profession, that repairing a modern DSLR never mind a solid-state-one-piece throw away point and shoot, are NOT made to repair. I think they are adjustable. Larger repairs entail massive "units" being replaced. An outside workshop would have prohibitive costs in these units. The asking price making service and repairs impossible.
    Nikon destroyed all the parts for the original Nikon-F (in my country) including the meter head parts, soon after the introduction of the F3. The original "F" however except for the meter bits still work perfectly well..
    This is not a happy thought for more sales! I have a system with 10+lenses all original Nikkor, that cannot be used on the NEW DSLR systems.
    Simple answer, I still shoot film. I support outside technicians. Nikon is going down a bad road, too many new models, too many things abandoned in quest for profit. Customer loyalty is not being rewarded.
    Consumers are regarded as suckers.
    My answer is use film and where i use digital, it's cheap throw aways.. The quality on prints up to 11 x14 certainly up there with the "top of line". I have printed an 8 x 10 book. A lot of images were from 640 x 480 image size!
    My pro-work is for internet. I have not needed hi-resolution. If I do, there are hi-resolution scans. Only a little more cost than a usual scan at local stores.
    Nikon answer is the service center runs at loss. Of course! So many new cameras have problems, not being thoroughly tested before manufactured. The customer therefor is to blame.
     
  66. Its a moron act.
    Here in Sydney, Nikon outsource their warranty and other repairs to the very same three Nikon repair businesses that they claim they will not supply parts to now. Local management are ignoring the edict.
    Here local dealers do not do repairs anyway. If you left your camera or lens with them, it just got shipped to Nikon and then it was on shipped to the repair shops, who incidentally held repair parts inventory on consignment for Nikon.
    If you drove out to Nikon's facility here you would find some offices and a warehouse full of stock. Its just a wholesaling operation. There may be more to the issue than what we know. It also may be for just the USA which seems to do things differently than the rest of the world.
     

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