D90 Focus Problem? Please help!

Started Apr 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
cerberusjf Regular Member • Posts: 350
Re: A Long and Winding Road . . . My Nikon Repair Story

Dear Lori,

I was very sorry to read about your experiences with Nikon technical support. I can understand very well how frustrating it is and how easy it is for this sort of problem to have a big impact on your life.

I had a similar experience with Nikon with my D5100, but with a slightly different focus problem. My camera would freeze intermittently in auto mode, I couldn't understand why. Talking to Nikon, the problem was narrowed to my body as it occurred with all 3 lenses. I narrowed the problem down to the top middle sensor myself by going through each one of them.

The first time the camera body came back, it was exactly the same.

The second time, I sent the body with the 35mm 1.8 lens. They promised me priority service because the camera had been in already and it was getting near Xmas. They did not even acknowledge receipt of the camera until 3rd January and I didn't get the camera until the middle of January. They blamed the lens motor and replaced it, but said nothing about the body. When I received the camera back, the first thing I did was try it with the top sensor and it immediately froze. By this time I'd had enough and I threatened to take legal action if it wasn't fixed properly. They said that it would be inspected by a senior technician.

I sent it in with the 18-15 lens and a simple set of instructions about how to replicate the problem and photos showing exactly what the camera was doing. The third time thankfully it came back working properly, but without any clear indication about what had been done. I phoned up and they told me that the firmware had been replaced, but with no apology what so ever. Then I discovered that the 35mm lens that had been "fixed" wouldn't focus manually any more due to their "repair", so it had to be sent back to be fixed.

So it was 3rd time lucky for me with the camera body, so I hope it's the same for you.

Nikon customer service in Dublin were helpful. Every time we spoke, it was clear to them with the few tests we did over the phone that there was a problem with the camera. Nikon technical support head office in Kingston were the unhelpful and pretty arrogant. The company that was responsible for the warranty repairs were dreadful. I found doing all the test shots, all the thinking of "how can I prove to them it's not working" and all the energy I put into it was very draining and because it was all for nothing twice in a row, I found it very stressful. Nikon weren't fixing my camera and it looked like they weren't going to.

If your car develops a problem, you don't have to know exactly what the problem is with it, the mechanic will fix it. If your computer develops a problem, an I.T. technician will find out what the problem is and fix it. If you get sick, the doctor will diagnose what is wrong with you. If you have a Nikon camera, it seems to be that you have to be a better DSLR expert than the technician and be able to identify the problem, otherwise it doesn't get fixed.

Ironically, one of the reasons I bought Nikon was because their 2 year warranty and high shutter rating gave me confidence in their build quality. And one of the reasons I got the D5100 over the D7000 was that it used the more mature and what I thought would be the more sorted focus system and I didn't want focus problems.

With my camera, there was a very clear problem when it happened. My biggest challenge was to find a condition where the problem would occur reliably. With a problem like yours, it must be much more difficult to prove, so I admire your tenacity.

Good luck!! Once the camera is working, you can put this all behind you and start enjoying it.


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