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Veeery pricey camera repair in Nikon

27 Sep 2012 9:38PM
Hi guys,
I would like to ask whether someone has got the same experience..
On my holiday i slipped down and knocked my D90. Not much, the camera was hit on a softer side I would say.. From the outside, all seemed fine, no cracks, anything, but the camera doesnt focus (therefore no possibility to take pictures), displays error r-16 in any mode except of M-mode. It is still possible to look at the pictures.
I sent it to Nikon to give me an estimate and the price of the repair is 255 GBP!!!!
They charge me 54 GBP for Main PCB and 32 GBP for top cover FPC unit. I had no idea what this meant, so I googled it and the main PCB means they want to change the whole "mother board".. This seems to me inaccurate and as they just want to strip me off some money..
Have you got the similar experience?
I know I can refuse an estimate but to be honest I am not sure whether this repair can be really this pricey? I counted with 150-170 pounds, but 255? too much..
Any help or any recommendation of another service?
Thank you!

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User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
27 Sep 2012 10:13PM
This Glasgow firm has a good reputation:


They will not necessarily be cheaper but, if not, you are at least getting confirmation of a realistic cost.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
27 Sep 2012 10:23PM
The questions you have to ask yourself.

1. Am I qualified to decide what part of my camera needs replacing/repair.

2. If I could buy just the parts, Would I take on the job of repairing it myself.

3. Why would a company the size of Nikon rip you off, They make millions of bucks, 255 GBP is loose change on the workshop floor.....Grin

4. Do I expect the camera to be returned and working, WITH a guarantee on the parts and work carried out...!!!

5. The motherboard is the heart of the whole camera, Hence a very major and complex component, Its not going to be cheap, It would also require a major strip down to replace this.

In conclusion 255 is probably a fair price for the parts & labour, Not far of what you had already thought it might be.

As a rule I find Nikon's repair department ( The Richmond UK based one at least ) Extremely good to deal with for overall price & turnaround, Often being a lot cheaper than " 3rd party " repair specialists.

27 Sep 2012 10:36PM
No, I definitely am not qualified to decide what is wrong with the camera. Also, this also is not the first time I m having something repaired/checked (but lenses only, in Kingston branch) but before at least I understood from the estimate the work they were carrying.

This time it is not clear at all so I do have doubts that for them it might be easier to change the main part, have it done (or simply to move onto another camera) and not to have a proper look at it.

I will speak to them about it but I would appreciate help from others that I have few opinions, that is all..

And thank you for the contact for the Glasgow company, I will have a look, too!
KevSB 14 1.5k 5 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2012 11:01PM
Sounds about right, when lehmans looked at my canon it was over 200 pounds just to look at it, I believe that they service them as standard. In my case they found it uneconomical to repair so returned it with no charge.
kodachrome 6 703
28 Sep 2012 7:53AM
I know this doesn't answer the question of repair costs, but it might be worth considering looking for a second hand D90 body for similar money. Have a look round the ads.
Nikon repairs are good + not cheap but the work is guaranteed.
For 255, you get a camera in very good condition and you know how it's been treated. When you buy secondhand, you don't know how the previous owner looked after the camera.
User_Removed 8 299 4 France
28 Sep 2012 9:11AM
Way over the second hand trade in value of the d90 I think and pretty near the cheapest s/h ones you may find if you look hard, but the trade off is a piece of kit you know and should have some sort of guarantee...as for the price of the work I would say about right in todays market...I doubt its the parts as much as the time and re calibration but im no expert. A local dealer in France quoted approx 400 euros to repair my squeaking focus on a 17-35 nikon zoom at nikon france!
thewilliam 9 6.1k
28 Sep 2012 10:38AM
You have to remember that the assembly of a D90 is by mass-production using semi-skilled labour in Thailand. The Nikon repair technicians at Richmond are very highly skilled and work from premises with high overheads so their hourly rate will be into 3 figures.

In many ways, a camera is more complicated than a car and takes just as long to fix. For the work needed, the charge is certainly within reason.
timbo 15 596 United Kingdom
28 Sep 2012 10:56AM
I had a damaged lens, sent to nikon and got a whopping estimate of around 200 which i decided to put through insurance.
When i got the lens back it was better than before, far sharper, and the cost was 57! Didn't use the insurance as the excess would have been higher. I wonder if they over estimate to keep the workload down.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
28 Sep 2012 8:18PM
Nobody likes the bill to be higher than the estimate so I suspect that they give a worst case estimate.

Timbo was happy to pay out 57 but if the estimate had been 25, he'd feel gutted.
30 Sep 2012 3:50PM
When I had the lens repaired, the estimate was higher than the actual repair but only of about 8 pounds difference..
Well, you are right at least I will get the guarantee with the repair and I had 3 days to "breath it through" so hopefully it will be Timbos scenario and next time I need to hold the camera even higher when slipping Smile
Thank you, guys!
3 Apr 2013 5:11PM
Well, inside a DSLR a camera looks like this:

It's nuts, plus there is a lot of measurements that need to be perfectly calibrated, so I would expect that a fix for this would be expensive. My advice is: don't drop your camera.

I think the Main PCB and the other thing may not be the cause of the problem, but the reparation will cost that amount anyways.
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
3 Apr 2013 6:39PM
Is the camera worth repairing?
The estimate is about 60% of the new UK tax paid prices.
If your camera is well used you might get a secondhand one with a lower shutter count and a six month warranty for about the same money.
Goggz 11 2.3k 72 Wales
3 Apr 2013 8:46PM
My one experience of Nikon's UK repair facility in Richmond was not great - damaged the side of the D3 pentaprism when it fell over while on the tripod. The estimate included a full service including "cleaning the sensor" and replacing the top plate in it's entirety, quoted 400.

The job was done 50 cheaper than that and in good time, but they did not quality assure the process. The diopter correction knob was really loose and the sensor was absolutely filthy - much worse than what it was when it was sent in.

I complained and the camera had to go back to them for the work to be completed properly, which it was, but I did feel that if only they'd asked someone to check the work properly before dispatch it would have saved me and them a load of hassle and inconvenience. Got a grudging and minimal automated apology as well.

Not what you'd expect from a world class camera maker...

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