Very simple D3 questions

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
Douglas K Fejer
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Very simple D3 questions
5 months ago

1.How long can I expect my D3 to last. It currently has 130,000 clicks.

2. I just noticed my firmware is old. I upgraded it. Will I notice a difference with the new 80-400 vr? I was going to send the camera in for service after this weekend because the images just seem to be a little off.

3. What exactly does Nikon do if I send the camera in for cleaning, etc. If I think the focusing is off, will they do anything to correct it?

Many thanks.

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Doug Fejer,
Dallas, TX

Nikon D3
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coronawithlime
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to Douglas K Fejer, 5 months ago

Douglas K Fejer wrote:

1.How long can I expect my D3 to last. It currently has 130,000 clicks.

I saw one the other day with 190,000 on the current shutter, which was installed when the original shutter hit 170,000.  I think the replacement was mostly because the owner was in a position where he couldn't afford to have a shutter go TU during an assignment.

2. I just noticed my firmware is old. I upgraded it. Will I notice a difference with the new 80-400 vr? I was going to send the camera in for service after this weekend because the images just seem to be a little off.

I wouldn't think so.

3. What exactly does Nikon do if I send the camera in for cleaning, etc.

Not sure exactly what items are cleaned, but at best guess I would expect CLA would include at the very least sensor, mirror box, and focusing screen.

If I think the focusing is off, will they do anything to correct it?

If you make some images demonstrating the focus problem they may be able to make an adjustment.  The better guidance you can provide the better off your are.  Unless you have some obvious problem they may respond that it is "in spec".

Many thanks.

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Doug Fejer,
Dallas, TX

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chlamchowder
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to Douglas K Fejer, 5 months ago

Douglas K Fejer wrote:

1.How long can I expect my D3 to last. It currently has 130,000 clicks.

A very long time. It's rated to 300,000 clicks, and camera shutters often last well past what they're rated to take. Even if it does blow, it shouldn't cost that much to replace the shutter.

2. I just noticed my firmware is old. I upgraded it. Will I notice a difference with the new 80-400 vr? I was going to send the camera in for service after this weekend because the images just seem to be a little off.

Probably not? What do you mean when you say the images seem a "little off"?

If they're consistently back or front focused, you might want to look into AF fine tuning.

3. What exactly does Nikon do if I send the camera in for cleaning, etc. If I think the focusing is off, will they do anything to correct it?

Maybe if you send the lens in with the camera and say there's a problem (and you're specific about what that problem is), they might try adjusting it. But why not try fine tuning it yourself and seeing if that fixes the problem?

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MPA1
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to chlamchowder, 5 months ago

chlamchowder wrote:

Douglas K Fejer wrote:

1.How long can I expect my D3 to last. It currently has 130,000 clicks.

A very long time. It's rated to 300,000 clicks, and camera shutters often last well past what they're rated to take. Even if it does blow, it shouldn't cost that much to replace the shutter.

2. I just noticed my firmware is old. I upgraded it. Will I notice a difference with the new 80-400 vr? I was going to send the camera in for service after this weekend because the images just seem to be a little off.

Probably not? What do you mean when you say the images seem a "little off"?

If they're consistently back or front focused, you might want to look into AF fine tuning.

3. What exactly does Nikon do if I send the camera in for cleaning, etc. If I think the focusing is off, will they do anything to correct it?

Maybe if you send the lens in with the camera and say there's a problem (and you're specific about what that problem is), they might try adjusting it. But why not try fine tuning it yourself and seeing if that fixes the problem?

+1

130,000 is just about run in. In the hands of the average amateur user, I would say that it would last well over 5 years and see no reason why 10 ought not to be a reasonable expectation. 300,000 shutter clicks is over 8,000 rolls of 36 exposure film...!

Fine Tune the AF - it solves most problems. Nikon will check it and fix it if there genuinely is an issue but if you are not in warranty they will charge you.

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Grevture
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Agree with chlamchowder
In reply to chlamchowder, 5 months ago

chlamchowder wrote:

Douglas K Fejer wrote:

1.How long can I expect my D3 to last. It currently has 130,000 clicks.

A very long time. It's rated to 300,000 clicks, and camera shutters often last well past what they're rated to take. Even if it does blow, it shouldn't cost that much to replace the shutter.

I have two D3 bodies, one is at 314000 images, the other is at 141000, and both are working just fine

The rating for 300000 can be interpreted as "this is the least you should expect unless something was wrong with the shutter from the start or something bad has happened to the camera". Or in other words, a majority of the cameras will meet or exceed this number.

I have seen plenty of cameras going long, long past their ratings. Like a poor old Eos 350 (cheap consumer camera with a unrated shutter/mirror) who chugged along for over 250000 clicks before it packed in. And I have seen several D3, D3s, and various Canon Eos 1D bodies well over 500000 clicks and still going.

And, replacing a shutter/mirror mechanism is not that expensive.

2. I just noticed my firmware is old. I upgraded it. Will I notice a difference with the new 80-400 vr? I was going to send the camera in for service after this weekend because the images just seem to be a little off.

Probably not? What do you mean when you say the images seem a "little off"?

If they're consistently back or front focused, you might want to look into AF fine tuning.

3. What exactly does Nikon do if I send the camera in for cleaning, etc. If I think the focusing is off, will they do anything to correct it?

Maybe if you send the lens in with the camera and say there's a problem (and you're specific about what that problem is), they might try adjusting it. But why not try fine tuning it yourself and seeing if that fixes the problem?

I recommend to send in camera + your AF-S lenses (like the 80-400) and ask them (aside from cleaning) to check focus. Then they will adjust potential consistent focus errors which mean you will get consistent behaviour across your lenses.

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Douglas K Fejer
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to Douglas K Fejer, 5 months ago

As a follow up, I just seem to be getting more than my usual out of focus shots.

I took some shots of a softball game recently with my old as dirt D2h along with my new 80-400 vr. I did not have a single shot that was out of focus and the shots just looked better than those taken recently with my D3. The D3 shots are not bad, just don't seem to have the usual "snap."

I will send the D3 to Nikon next week for service.

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Doug Fejer,
Dallas, TX

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Wahrsager
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to Douglas K Fejer, 5 months ago

Douglas K Fejer wrote:

1.How long can I expect my D3 to last. It currently has 130,000 clicks.

2. I just noticed my firmware is old. I upgraded it. Will I notice a difference with the new 80-400 vr? I was going to send the camera in for service after this weekend because the images just seem to be a little off.

3. What exactly does Nikon do if I send the camera in for cleaning, etc. If I think the focusing is off, will they do anything to correct it?

Many thanks.

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Doug Fejer,
Dallas, TX

As far as durability, maybe you've seen this post on a D3 being frozen, dropped and set on fire!

http://camyx.com/fun/2013/05/nikon-d3s-extreme-tests/

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calson
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to Douglas K Fejer, 5 months ago

Have you done an autofocus fine tuning with the 80-400mm and your D3? I would start there and also test it with another lens. If you find something with strong vertical and horizontal lines to photograph you can examine the images on your monitor and look for problems side to side or top to bottom that may be from alignment issues with the camera's AF components.

If you have sample shots in RAW that you can burn to a CD and include when you send the camera to Nikon they may be able to adjust the AF mechanisms for you if that is the problem. I have not heard of this problem with the D3 but that does not mean it cannot happen.

In general usage I found the AF for the D2x to be better than that of the D3. The D2x as a DX camera has better coverage of the viewfinder with its autocus sensors and in particular the cross type ones.

Nikon has a couple of excellent download PDFs that cover the autofocus system in the D3 and best setting for different action shooting situations. Worth a read.

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Al Giordano
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to Douglas K Fejer, 5 months ago

Douglas K Fejer wrote:

As a follow up, I just seem to be getting more than my usual out of focus shots.

I took some shots of a softball game recently with my old as dirt D2h along with my new 80-400 vr. I did not have a single shot that was out of focus and the shots just looked better than those taken recently with my D3. The D3 shots are not bad, just don't seem to have the usual "snap."

I will send the D3 to Nikon next week for service.

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Doug Fejer,
Dallas, TX

It may not be the camera.  I had purchased a new 80-400 AFS and could not get a decent hit rate on focus with the specimen I had.  As a matter of fact, there are a few of my threads on the Nikon Lenses board regarding my troubles with the lens which I purchased when it was first released.   In my case, I think the VR was off or something because even at high shutter speeds, I was getting out of focus shots.  My keeper rate was very low around 60% which I felt was unacceptable.   I returned the lens to the seller as defective.  They couldn't send me a replacement since it was now back-ordered so I moved on to other choices.

You may want to do some testing with other lenses.

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Grevture
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to Al Giordano, 5 months ago

Al Giordano wrote:

In my case, I think the VR was off or something because even at high shutter speeds, I was getting out of focus shots.

Why were you using VR at high shutter speeds?

My keeper rate was very low around 60% which I felt was unacceptable. I returned the lens to the seller as defective. They couldn't send me a replacement since it was now back-ordered so I moved on to other choices.

Maybe you have extensive experience with long lenses, but if not, just getting used to a lens like a 80-400 takes a while. In my experience, the hit rate is always low at first, and then gets significantly better as one get used to the lens. Some people of course adapt faster to new gear then others, for me it sometimes takes a while

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Al Giordano
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to Grevture, 5 months ago

Grevture wrote:

Al Giordano wrote:

In my case, I think the VR was off or something because even at high shutter speeds, I was getting out of focus shots.

Why were you using VR at high shutter speeds?

Because I didn't know any better???  Seriously, with a new VRIII lens, you have to try it under all conditions.  I used VR on non BIF subjects and SS's not nearly as high and still had VR anomalies.

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Grevture
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Re: Very simple D3 questions
In reply to Al Giordano, 5 months ago

Al Giordano wrote:

Grevture wrote:

Al Giordano wrote:

In my case, I think the VR was off or something because even at high shutter speeds, I was getting out of focus shots.

Why were you using VR at high shutter speeds?

Because I didn't know any better??? Seriously, with a new VRIII lens, you have to try it under all conditions. I used VR on non BIF subjects and SS's not nearly as high and still had VR anomalies.

Ok ... It just struck me as a bit odd.

I love VR, I really do, but just as AF it is something which behave quite differently between lenses, and takes some time to learn to get most effect from.

My impression from using the AF-S 80-400 for a few thousand images is that the AF is very, very fast, while the VR is not that fast (at least compared to the big fixed telephoto lenses) and the combination can be a bit tricky.

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By the way, film is not dead.
It just smells funny

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