I upgraded to a full frame DSLR late last year, a very significant expense for my photography business but a good decision base don my needs- mostly for larger prints of fine art landscape work. At first it was a fantastic piece of gear, one small ergonomic balls-up on the tips of your right fingers- they get pinched ever so slightly by a non rounded curve, but otherwise it’s a wonderful camera.
Until it isn’t. Shooting at a 49ers game for fun I found my 20mm AF-D f2.8 lens wasn’t auto-focusing anymore, wiggled, jiggled and no luck. Went to manual mode. Weird. Later I put on a 80-200mm AF-D f2.8 Nikkor lens and it wouldn’t focus either. Messed with switches from M-A, no luck. Put on a 300mm AF-S f4 and it was all candy. Strange.
Tested it more at home the next day and realized that all my favorite AF-D lenses (between 7-10 years old) would no longer auto-focus on the body. But they did work fine on my D7000 still. Crap. They all work manually only. Not so great for shooting weddings or sports but fine for landscapes I guess?
So, send it off to Nikon less than 45 days old. Not a great feeling. This is a big investment for anyone and to have out of the box failure is bad, worse if you use that product to make money from.
Two weeks go by and Nikon sends it back into the third week, repaired. Major Repairs according to their ticket. Major part replacement. Comforting. But repaired by Nikon experts. So all good.
Except it wasn’t. First wedding after getting it back, slap on a 50mm for some portrait shots and bam, no focus. At a wedding. Luckily, oh so luckily I wasn’t the official photographer at this one – obviously I would have checked all my gear first if I was. But the “repair” was not so much a repair as I’d expected. Now thoroughly pissed and not ok with the thought of such an expensive bit of equipment spending another 2+ weeks with Nikon and not able to be used.
I asked Nikon to issue a shipping label as this was not just a warranty repair but a repair caused by their own negligence and failure to perform. After back and forthing it took them over a week to issue a shipping label. Process apparently. I should have eaten the shipping cost myself and not lost the extra week with no camera working. Lesson learned.
I told Nikon that a repair at this point was completely unacceptable, that I have no faith that they can and will do the job properly or that the camera can indeed be fixed as they supposedly did this job last time and resulted in a dead camera afterwards. In this situation you have to acknowledge your customers and they fact that they rely on your products to make a living or to work effectively. If your products require more time in the factory than in your customers hands being used then you have a serious problem, one that affects your customers goodwill and income. One that drives them to Canon or Olympus. But instead of acknowledging these basics of customer relationship, Nikon is refusing to replace or refund my purchase.
So obviously now I’ve gone from a big fan of Nikon gear for over 15 years to a seriously disappointed and angry customer desperate to get a working body for his $2,000. If this had happened a tad sooner I could have simply returned it to Adorama, but that option of relying on good customer service is gone, and now I’m at the mercy of Nikon and their promise that they are able to fix what they failed to fix once before, and I’m left with a $2,000 hole in my business account and no working product to show for it again. Oh, and that bad taste in my mouth.
Thanks Nikon, way to not respect your customers.