70-200mm Lens Foot Failed and my D800E and lens fell to the ground....

Started Aug 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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rpo
rpo
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70-200mm Lens Foot Failed and my D800E and lens fell to the ground....
Aug 17, 2012

I had my D800E and 70-200mm VRII attempt to bounce on pavement after the lens foot failed. I explained the situation in detail to Nikon Support, so hopefully they own up to the defect that caused the camera to be destroyed. I sent it off for repair today to El Segundo. My insurance company is planning to sue Nikon if they do not take responsibility, so this should be a fun situation!

Just so everyone knows what happened, I was carrying my D800E and 70-200mm on my Black Rapid strap that was connected to the lens foot. I am always checking the screw knob on the 70-200 to make sure it is not loose since the button to release it has seemed loose. So, after all that, I am walking with the camera last week with my hand loosely on the lens foot (as I always do as a precaution) when it suddenly becomes much lighter than normal. A split second later, I hear the sickening crunch of it landing on pavement. The hood on my 70-200 goes bouncing away and the camera/lens stay exactly as they landed, upside-down. The right-side strap connector on the D800E hit the ground first. It crushed into the camera which caused the top LCD to shatter and metal frame to split wide open. The mode, compensation, record, and power buttons quit working. Despite this, the shutter button continued to work fine. The camera and lens do not have any other damage. Not even a ding or scratch. The lens hood shattered on impact, but appeared to protect the lens from any visible damage.

After the shock wore off, I tried to see how the lens foot could have disconnected from the lens. I could NOT get the lens foot back onto the lens without unscrewing the tightening knob a few turns. It was still locked down tight. I actually had to use my shirt to get the knob to twist open. I put the foot back on, tightened it as tight as I could, and then pulled on the foot. It slid completely off with only light pressure. I was stunned. I had not pushed the release switch at all. After more testing yesterday, I realized the switch was falling open when the camera was upside-down, which would allow for it to slide off over time even when tightened without anyone touching the switch. If the lens was right-side up, it could not come off as the switch would stop it. I do not have another 70-200 to test this on, but everything looks fine as far as I can tell, so this could be a design flaw.

So, what are everyone's thoughts? Should Nikon be responsible for this design/manufacturing flaw? Everything is covered fully by my insurance, so it will be repaired/replaced either way. Has anyone had a camera with frame damage repaired before?

Nikon D800E
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