Nikon defends decision to stop supplying spares to independent repairers
Nikon USA has defended its decision to stop supplying spare parts to companies outside its authorized service network. Its intention is to deliver 'the best service experience to the customer,' says David Dentry, General Manager of Customer Relations at Nikon Inc, explaining that the complexity of modern cameras and the need for specialist analysis and calibration tools meant that repair attempts by ill-equipped retail or unauthorized repair shops could end up causing delays, increase the cost and risk voiding the camera's warranty. However, an independent service center we spoke to said its statements misrepresented the situation and is likely to mean small repairs take longer.
Nikon's Dentry says the move comes to ensure cameras are repaired properly with the right parts: 'Cameras are now far more technically advanced, and require testing equipment for a proper diagnosis and proper tools for adjustment and calibration. Years ago, you could look at a camera and diagnose a worn gear or some physical issue. Now cameras are advanced microcomputers and require skilled technicians and specialized tools to fix a camera and calibrate the focus of lenses to properly assure adherence specifications.'
'The benefits for the consumer were top of mind when implementing this policy. A consumer’s products are repaired properly in a timely fashion, often times with less waiting time and less cost to the consumer. Consumers can also have confidence in their cameras service, as authorized dealers receive factory training, tech bulletins for recent products, and possess proper tools for diagnostics and adjustments.'
Dentry suggests using independent servicing is something of a lottery: 'Often times, a retailer or unauthorized repair shop would attempt to repair a camera even though they were not able or equipped to make such repair and thereafter would have to send the camera to a Nikon authorized repair facility for proper repair, at the cost of increased wait times. Overall, this led to many delays and in the end increased the cost to the customer. Additionally, as with most consumer electronics, if there is evidence of improper repair, a camera warranty would likely be void.'
The mention of warranties is odd, an independent service center told us: 'most of our business is post-warranty work. Why should people be paying us for work if it's paid for under the warranty?'
He also dismissed the idea that damage during repair is commonplace: 'there are literally thousands of pieces of Nikon equipment being serviced by independent stores. We've been in business since the 1950's and there are plenty of businesses that have been here for 30, 40 years. 'They're lumping everyone together. Yes there are some places that are one guy working out of his house who thinks he can repair a camera, but that's not the all of us - we've had guys here working for 20 or more years. These are people who have trained at the Canon factory or the Nikon factory or the Sony factory.'
|Modern DSLRs feature complex electronics as well as traditional precision engineering|
'There are some tools and pieces of equipment that are too expensive for us to buy, or that we wouldn't use often enough to make it economic, and in those cases we send the cameras back to the factory. But this move means even small things will have to go back to the factory,' says the independent business.
Dentry points out that independent service shops can apply to join the 20 centers authorized to repair its DSLRs in the US, and says they can contact their local Nikon rep or the Nikon Inc. repair department for an application and Nikon tool requirement list and training information.
But the cost of becoming a Nikon authorized service center is prohibitive, the independent service center claims: 'There's an item on that list that costs $32,000. Overall you need to buy equipment costing over $160,000 and you sign a contract agreeing they could cut you out tomorrow. The cost of equipment, that only works with their products, is more than the cost of what every other manufacturer requires, put together.'
'We have a relationship with all the manufacturers - if it requires a specialist piece of equipment for the work, we send it back.'
'Independent servicing allows quicker repairs'
'It's odd to be someone's customer for 40 or 50 years and then be told 'we don't want your money anymore. The majority of businesses like ours are family owned. This takes business out of the local economy.' Ultimately, though, the option of turning to independent servicing is in the customers' interest, he says: 'Independent servicing allows small repairs to be done quickly'
'We're not sure what happens next - we haven't yet heard officially it they're completely cutting us out or if they'll allow their service centers to re-sell parts, or if some people will self-import components. We won't go down that route but I'm sure some will.'
|2014_1211_140657AA by old shutter bugger|
from The Bride
|Overloaded by NZ Scott|
from Your City - Delivery Boy
|Petals by Flor Tempra|
from Petal Portraits
|Barley by Will B Milner|
|APPLE & ROACH by TX Photo Doc|
from Delicious - Unpalatable
Take a quick tour of Nikon's new D850 in our 'First Look' video and find out what makes this new pro-level DSLR so exciting. Hint: a lot of things.
Nikon appears to have pulled out all the stops for its D850. It combines high resolution and speed: a full-frame 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor capable of 7 fps bursts. The D5's 153-point AF system, a tilting touchscreen and 4K/24p video are also on board. It arrives in September for $3300.
The Nikon D850 is a 45.7MP full-frame DSLR that can shoot at seven frames per second. Supporting this is an autofocus system lifted wholesale from the company's pro-sports D5 model. Add in a bigger viewfinder and full-width 4K capture and you've got a lot more than a warmed-up D810.
Cinema equipment powerhouse Arri has introduced a new line of full spectrum neutral density filters that drawn on its years of experience creating internal filtration systems for its ALEXA Mini and the AMIRA movie cameras.
The 'pocket powerhouse' Godox Wistro AD200 flash just got a new accessory. Now, you can swap out the speedlight or bare bulb heads for a 3.6-watt LED lamp.
Photographers Andrew Studer and Ted Hesser captured some of the most iconic images of this week's eclipse, showing a climber standing in the middle of the glowing corona. This is the story behind those images.
Intrigued by those ultra-cheap, fast lenses coming out of China? This video review of the $550 Sainsonic Kamlan 55mm F1.2 lens points out some of the performance you sacrifice to save an almighty dollar (or $800).
Canon has expanded its PIXMA TS-series Wireless Inkjet printer lineup with five new models, two of which contain an improved ink system that adds a sixth color ('Photo Blue') to help reduce graininess and improving overall quality.
Oprema Jena is on a roll. After a wildly successful Kickstarter to bring back the legendary Zeiss Biotar 75mm F1.5 lens, the company is sweetening the pot by resurrecting the Biotar 58mm F2 as well.
Nikon has issued a delay and apology regarding their 100th Anniversary D5, D500, and Triple Lens sets. Due to a logo issue, the company is being forced to delay shipments until October.
Yet another reason to always shoot Raw. These two shots are actually the same photo, photographer Dan Plucinski simply pulled up the shadows in post.
The Galaxy Note 8 is the first Samsung smartphone to feature a dual-cam setup. The 2x tele lens allows for a background-blurring portrait mode and comes with optical image stabilization.
Cloud backup service CrashPlan has announced that it will permanently shutter it's "for home" service by the end of October. If you use CrashPlan to back up your photos, you'll want to find an alternative ASAP.
Equivalence is much-discussed, but still often misunderstood. Here's a simplified explanation of the concept of equivalent apertures, which is just another way of talking about light received by your camera.
Try your hand at this blind portrait shootout between the Canon 1DX Mark II, Nikon D5 and Sony a9. With all bias removed, you might just rank your favorite camera brand worst.
Photo sharing site 500px has just added support for wide-gamut color profiles such as AdobeRGB and ProPhotoRGB, even allowing users to filter their searches by color profile.
DJI just released a mandatory firmware update for the DJI Spark. If you own a Spark and don't update your firmware by September 1st, DJI will remotely ground your drone.
Affordable flash manufacturer Godox has updated its smartphone app so that it can be used to control all of its wireless X flash units, not just the A1 smartphone flash.
Western Digital's new My Book Duo external desktop storage system offers up to 20TB of storage capacity, and comes with RAID-optimized WD Red hard drives.
Version 1.04 of the Sony a6500 firmware can be downloaded from the Sony Support website now.
Not sure how to choose your first drone? In this article, the second of a 3-part series, we discuss what factors you should consider when deciding what drone is right for you.
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.