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Two defective D700s returned within 3 months...

venusian

US
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venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sun 29-Mar-09 07:04 PM

I joined the Nikonians several months ago and am pleased to be a member of such a great group of photography enthusiasts. This is my first post as I am just now getting used to the site.

I wish I could start off on a positive note with my D700 experience. After owning a D70 and a D200, I was very excited to move up to the D700.

My first D700 was purchased towards the end of December 2008. Within 30 days, I had to return it to B&H Photo because images taken with it (1) had a fuzzy, hair-like object in the upper part of the photo and was most obvious when the lens was fully stopped down, (2) there was severe vignetting when the lens was wide open (e.g. f/2.8), and (3) there were numerous dust spots in sky scenes (when I first got the camera I put on an 85mm f/1.4 lens and never took it off). After B&H examined the camera, they sent me a new replacement.

I took several hundred photos with the replacement D700 in slightly less than 2 months until something went wrong. One morning I turned the camera on to take pictures and it wouldn't turn on. The battery was fully charged. I inserted the battery in and out several times and still nothing happened. I tried another fully charged battery and it did not turn on.

I waited several minutes, turned on the camera and it worked. I then took a picture with the camera and the back LCD was totally black where the image was supposed to be. In the upper LCD window was the "Err" message. I switched lenses, switched flash cards, etc. and still got the Err message.

I called Nikon support, explained the situation and they said to send the camera to their Melville, Long Island facility for repair. It has been in their facility for several days. I have had no feedback yet other than an e-mail saying that my camera was in the repair shop.

I feel that after paying hard-earned money for the D700 I should get a new replacement from Nikon instead of a repaired/refurbished one. I called Nikon support and told them so. The person who took my message said she would pass it on.

Am I doing the right thing by asking for a new replacement?

Thank you for reading such a long message and considering my request.

MEMcD

US
31313 posts

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#1. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 0

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Fri 27-Mar-09 07:09 PM

Hi Nick,

Welcome to Nikonians!
I understand your frustration! I hope you still have your D200 as a back-up!
Playing devils advocate here: If you purchased a new automobile and after 2 months and several hundred miles, it wouldn't start, would you expect the manufacturer to repair it or replace it?
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

venusian

US
186 posts

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#2. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 1

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Fri 27-Mar-09 07:51 PM

Hi Marty, thank you for replying. Let's assume I am a BMW manufacturer. A loyal customer purchased a 2008 model. The same customer had to return the car within 30 days because of serious defects and I give him a brand new replacement. Less than 60 days later the replacement is significantly defective and I tell him to return it.

What I would do is give him another brand new car. Why? Because of his past loyalty, realizing that his current experience is highly unusual and not a very satisfying one, and most importantly, I would want to retain him as a future customer.

Best Regards, Nick

MEMcD

US
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#3. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 2

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Fri 27-Mar-09 09:05 PM

Hi Nick,

If you have the time and the patience Go for it!
Twenty years ago, I purchased a new High Performance Sportscar. The frame rails (unibody) on the car were welded way out of square and the car dog tracked. After almost a year to diagnose the problem their solution was to drill new holes in the frame and weld washers to reinforce the connections and move the rear axle assmbly to the new hole. No Way!!! It took 5 years but the manufacture finally replaced the car with me paying the difference between the Dealer cost on my car and the Dealer cost of the new car (5 years newer) less mileage. The car had less than 1800 miles on the odometer when it went back.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

torags

US
325 posts

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#4. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 2

torags Registered since 06th Jan 2007
Fri 27-Mar-09 09:38 PM

>Hi Marty, thank you for replying. Let's assume I am a BMW
>manufacturer. A loyal customer purchased a 2008 model. The
>same customer had to return the car within 30 days because of
>serious defects and I give him a brand new replacement. Less
>than 60 days later the replacement is significantly defective
>and I tell him to return it.
>
>What I would do is give him another brand new car. Why?
>Because of his past loyalty, realizing that his current
>experience is highly unusual and not a very satisfying one,
>and most importantly, I would want to retain him as a future
>customer.
>
>Best Regards, Nick
>

Hey Nick...

Faggeddabout loyalty. the gov't recognized the problem with auto manufacturers and instituted lemon laws.

Stand your ground. You gave them a second chance..... You might have gotten a refurb

Rags

bijnil

US
28 posts

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#5. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 0

bijnil Registered since 11th Feb 2009
Sat 28-Mar-09 05:32 AM

Hi Nick,
I am with you. Shout, plead, cajole if you must, but you have every right to get a new one. This is a higher end camera, and the failure wasn't out of any fault of yours. Do tell them that you are a nikonian member, hopefully it will help stir a nerve.
- NilC

Jerry S

US
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#6. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 0

Jerry S Registered since 22nd Dec 2002
Sat 28-Mar-09 09:38 AM

Don't expect very frequent updates from Nikon's repair facility. You received an e-mail notifying you that they had received the body. From there, it goes in to a queue, and is eventually assigned to a technician for diagnosis and repair. That generally takes one to two weeks, depending on the work load. Very likely the next communication you receive will be they the returned (and working) body (I would be surprised if you received an e-mail notifying you that the body was repaired and being returned - normally you just get the body). Inside the box will be a somewhat cryptic note tellin you what was done for the repair.

Now, there is some good news about Nikon's service. I fully expect Nikon will repair your existing body. During the service process, the Nikon technician will thoroughly inspect the camera, and, to the extent possible, ensure that it is in perfect working order (they will probably clean it for you too!). When you receive the body it will be as good as new.

Over the years I have had several, if not several dozen, repairs done by Nikon. I use my equipment, and sometimes use it harder than intended. Nikon service has always come through. The longest I've waited was eleven days, and that was because I sent a very new body to them, and Nikon didn't have the part in stock yet. The day they received the part, they replaced it and sent it to me.

If you don't have the camera within another week I would contact them for an update - they may be waiting for a part.

Jerry S

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

venusian

US
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#7. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 6

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sat 28-Mar-09 10:01 AM

I thank all of you for your support and explanations.

I posted an image of the defects from my first returned D700 at my website: http://www.nickschmidtphotography.com/d700.html (have yet to master putting an image link on the Nikonian page).

I would still like to try for a new camera rather than accepting the second one that had to be repaired after several hundred iterations. Can anyone supply the name and contact information for an individual at Nikon USA who has the authority to decide that I should have a new D700 replacement (which would make it my third in three months)? If a name, etc. can't be supplied, perhaps someone can suggest the most effective approach to take.

I'd like to start the process this Monday. I will be posting updates as I go along.

Nick

Len Shepherd

Yorkshire, UK
12722 posts

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#8. "RE: Some observations" | In response to Reply # 0

Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003
Sat 28-Mar-09 10:24 AM

First welcome.
Second what are reasonable expectations?
>(1) had a fuzzy, hair-like object in the upper part of the photo and was most obvious when the lens was fully stopped down,
A sample picture might help. Showing more at smaller apertures implies it was something on perhaps the back of a lens, or (more likely)on the sensor rather than a camera fault. The camera instructions advise cleaning the lens or sensor if this type of problem occurs.
2) there was severe vignetting when the lens was wide open (e.g. f/2.8),
This is normal with several lenses on FX digital.
Lenses like the 85mm f1.4, 24-70 and 70-200 have around 1.5 stops optical vignetting in the frame corners on film.
Digital sensors have reduced light gathering efficiency the further you go from the frame center - so the extra digital darkening effect is stronger on FX than DX.
I do not own the 85 f1.4 but the combined optical and digital shading with my 70-200 and 24-70 approaches 3 - 3.5 stops shooting wide open on my D3.
If it is any consolation the darkening effect with similar lenses is even stronger on the Canon 1Ds III and 5D. As yet I have not checked the 5D II out for corner darkening.
As yet none of the fast full frame camera makers lenses avoid FX corner darkening issues - though Sigma recently introduced a 50mm f1.4 with a massive (for the focal length) 77mm filter size to reduce the problem
>(3) there were numerous dust spots in sky scenes
This is dust on the sensor - which can get into the mirror box without changing lenses if a lens is not airtight when focused or zoomed.
Often use of a rocket air blower removes all the dust without resorting to an Arctic butterfly or full sensor clean.
> After B&H examined the camera, they sent me a new replacement.
I did not see the first camera before it was returned but 2) and 3) are not camera faults and 1) may not have been so perhaps "well done" to B&H.
>Am I doing the right thing by asking for a new replacement?
Possibly not
Nikon's warranty is additional to your rights against B&H and is for repair rather than replacement.
Whether B&H would have provided a second replacement cannot easily be established now.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

venusian

US
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#9. "RE: Some observations" | In response to Reply # 8

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sat 28-Mar-09 10:39 AM | edited Sun 29-Mar-09 01:56 PM by venusian

Thanks, Len, for your comments.

Len, please see my post just above yours. It has a link to an image that shows the defects with the first camera. Using the in-camera cleaning feature did not remove the hair-like object.

Note that this image was taken just before I sent the first D700 back to B&H. I put on a new 24-70mm lens without a lens hood and filter to take the picture. Also note that when I received the second replacement camera from B&H, I took an identical photograph, using the same lens. The amount of vignetting was minimal and easily removed by DxO.

As far as the 15 or so dust spots on the first D700 are concerned, there were none in the second replacement camera. Fifteen dust spots in half an image (sky with clouds), taken the second day I used a brand new camera seems unacceptable. I am very careful when changing lenses and am a stickler for being equally careful with all my equipment.

I don't know how the below "visit my Nikonians gallery" statement got into my message, It's not mine, please ignore, I can't seem to remove it.

Nick (Roxbury, Connecticut Nikonian)

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
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#10. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 7

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Sat 28-Mar-09 10:46 AM | edited Sat 28-Mar-09 10:52 AM by walkerr

It's strange that the "vignetting" would have the exact outline of the lens hood for the 24-70mm 2.8 when not turned to the locked position. Are you absolutely certain you didn't have the lens hood attached and in the wrong position? I can't imagine any camera defect that would result in an pattern identical to an improperly-mounted lens hood. I'm pretty sure I know what Nikon's reaction to this would have been.

DSLRs will get dust spots and hairs on them periodically, even though you are fastidious with lens changes. Using the camera sensor cleaning feature, combined with a dust blower and less frequent wet cleanings solves this problem easily. The larger the sensor size, the more likely it is to gather dust. Sometimes it takes a while for dust to pop up and sometimes it happens very quickly. Sometimes the backs of lenses have dirt that becomes dislodged and drops in the camera - it happens.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#11. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 10

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sun 29-Mar-09 04:58 PM

Thanks for posting the a link to an example.

>It's strange that the "vignetting" would have the
>exact outline of the lens hood for the 24-70mm 2.8 when not
>turned to the locked position.

That's how it looks to me as well.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

venusian

US
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#14. "RE: Some observations" | In response to Reply # 9

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sun 29-Mar-09 05:18 PM

Thanks once again for all your comments.

I was hoping to get some more feedback as to whether or not I should ask for a third new D700 or accept my 2nd one as repaired/refurbished by Nikon after just a few hundred iterations in less than 60 days.

The first D700 was sent back to B&H for evaluation. They must have determined something was wrong be because they sent me a brand new camera. Nikon Service requested the second D700 because of the problems it was exhibiting.

Nick

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#15. "RE: Some observations" | In response to Reply # 14

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sun 29-Mar-09 07:30 PM

To provide a bit more detail for earlier posts, here is an example of a quick shot taken on a D700, using the 24-70mm f/2.8G Nikkor at 24mm and maximum aperture, with the lens hood positioned about 45 degrees clockwise (viewed from behind the camera) from where it should be.

The shape and position of the shading looks very similar to the shot you linked to...

Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

venusian

US
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#16. "RE: Some observations" | In response to Reply # 15

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sun 29-Mar-09 07:42 PM | edited Sun 29-Mar-09 08:15 PM by venusian

Thank you, Brian. I stand corrected. The lens hood was on.

However, B&H looked at the camera and sent me a brand new one. I assume they found something wrong with it. Maybe it was the hair-like object that wouldn't clean off or something I'm not aware of. Perhaps that "hair' was a scratch on the sensor. Another picture of this object is at http://www.nickschmidtphotography.com/d700.html

It would be more helpful to me to address the current issue I face. My second D700 was recently sent in at Nikon's request after several hundred images were taken within 60 days(please see my first post for details).

The question I'm really trying to get help with here is... do I ask for a new one from Nikon or accept my second camera as a refurbished/repaired one.

Thanks, Nick

Nick (Roxbury, Connecticut Nikonian)

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16917 posts

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#17. "RE: Some observations" | In response to Reply # 16

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Sun 29-Mar-09 08:29 PM

As I mentioned before, I don't think your first camera was defective. B&H sent you a new one because it was probably the quickest and easiest path for them to take. After two months of use with your current camera, it's normal for something to be repaired as opposed to the camera being replaced. It will be under warranty, so you're protected if things aren't correct. As it's already in the process of being fixed and Nikon is typically quick, I'd simply see what you get back and go from there.

Be prepared for other hairs or dust spots to show up over time and then learn how to get rid of them. The camera's cleaning mechanism works for some things, but not every thing. Dust spots will be most pronounced at small apertures and wide focal lengths, but they're extremely easy to touch up in post-processing.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

agitater

Toronto, CA
4527 posts

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#18. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 0

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sun 29-Mar-09 09:26 PM

I agree with Rick and Brian about the misaligned lens hood. Tried it myself just now and got the same 'vignette'.

As for the "Err" message, it sounds like you got caught by the dreaded and infamous Nikon "CSM" focus switch user malfunction. Simply put, the C/S/M focus mode switch on the front of the D700 body can be easily and inadvertently bumped to a position between the S and the M. It can happen when shooting (especially when wearing gloves using the most common left-handed lens grip) or when drawing or stowing the camera in your bag.

Sensor dust is an unfortunate and irritating reality during DSLR use. FWIW, I only clean my sensor when it reaches the point where post-processing spot removal takes more than a short minute. Then it's out with the Rocket Blower, Arctic Butterfly and/or the nifty Pentax sticky-wand sensor cleaning thing (which actually works quickly and well).

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Howard Carson

venusian

US
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#19. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 18

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sun 29-Mar-09 09:49 PM

Thank you for the two previous comments.

Howard, I have already stated in a previous post that I stand corrected re the lens hood. However, the hair-like object I described could not be cleaned off with in-camera cleansing or with several blows of the Rocket. I explained this to B&H tech support and they sent me a return authorization.

To me, it would not make sense for B&H to send me a second new camera without trying to at least clean the sensor of the camera I sent in to remove the object. What would they do with it after sending me a replacement… clean the sensor and sell it as refurbished, repaired? Why would they send it to Nikon for replacement if all it needed was a sensor cleaning? I still believe something was wrong with it.

Also, Howard, it would be helpful to me if you could address my real concern. Given this unusual experience with two D700s, do I ask Nikon to replace my second D700 (several hundred iterations in about 60 days) or should I get it back refurbished/repaired. Also, how would you feel if you went through this experience? Of course this assumes my camera was not in an in-between focus setting… which I would hope was the problem.

Nick (Roxbury, Connecticut Nikonian)

agitater

Toronto, CA
4527 posts

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#20. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 19

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Mon 30-Mar-09 01:54 AM


>Also, Howard, it would be helpful to me if you could address
>my real concern. Given this unusual experience with two D700s,
>do I ask Nikon to replace my second D700 (several hundred
>iterations in about 60 days) or should I get it back
>refurbished/repaired. Also, how would you feel if you went
>through this experience? Of course this assumes my camera was
>not in an in-between focus setting� which I would hope was the
>problem.

My (perhaps poorly made) point was to lightly illustrate a common problem with the C/S/M switch which is sometimes the cause of an "Err" message in the top LCD. If that's what happened, there's no reason to replace your D700. Nikon should test the body, and if nothing is found wrong, clean it and send it back to you accompanied by the work order. However, if Nikon determines that the "Err" message was thrown by a defective module (or some other serious failure), the terms of the warranty state that it's up to Nikon to decide whether or not to repair or replace the body. Frankly, Nikon is apt to replace it if there's any suspicion, after bench testing, that some other problem (or the same problem) might appear again. I'm suggesting that Nikon has better things to do than repair the same camera twice. Bad for PR, hard on the tech support budget and all that. A new body for you in that case.

My thoughts about how I might feel in your situation are irrelevant. You're the only one, being the customer affected in this situation, who can decide what will make you most satisfied.

It's highly likely (because it's a reality of DSLR use for all of us) that some other bit of hair and/or dust and/or detritus of some sort will pollute your focusing screen and/or sensor filter shortly after your new or repaired body is returned to you. There are several Nikonian members who've posted that they're more comfortable sending the body to Nikon for service when the inevitable sensor dust or focusing screen pollution occurs, simply because those camera owners are not confident about rooting around in the box using one of the various sensor cleaning tools in order to drag/wipe/pick out really tenacious detritus. Many other Nikon shooters decide to embrace sensor filter and focusing screen cleaning as part of their camera body maintenance. It's up to you to decide which approach to take. Zoom lenses pumping in and out suck in dust eventually - internal lens elements gradually acquire specs and bits. Changing lenses on a DSLR eventually allows dust and other bits to get into the box, invariably sticking to the focusing screen and the sensor filter. There's no escaping it and it shouldn't be viewed as a knock against the excellent care you evidently take with your cameras.

You're fully justified in sending your camera to Nikon for sensor and focusing screen cleaning, especially considering that the D-series user manuals all state clearly that poking around inside the box might cause damage which will void your warranty. Unfortunately, Nikon charges real money for cleaning service. Nikon doesn't actually sell a consumer cleaning tool of its own either. Third-party sensor cleaning tool vendors tout their products of course, but a lot of people struggle to use the tools effectively. Plenty of other people use these tools successfully, but the tools are certainly not for everyone.

I hope your camera was merely in an unswitched mode because of the C/S/M switch issue. The first time it happened to me was with a D200. I went to see my dealer, tried to show him the problem (which of course had disappeared when I put the camera back into the bag for transport to the store), he shrugged his shoulders, I put the camera back into the bag, then thought better of the situation and decided not to give up quite so easily, drew the camera again (thereby deselecting the C/S/M switch), roared "AH-HAH!" and handed the camera back to my dealer, whereupon he reached out and flicked the switch to S and roared "AH-HAH!" right back at me.

You and I are different sorts of customers, and the two of us are in turn different from so many others. So I think you have to do whatever you feel is right in these situations. I've owned two D700 bodies. The first one contained an autofocus module which died after about a week of use. I still own and use the replacement almost daily without even a sniff of trouble. Because the autofocus death happened so quickly, my dealer replaced the body over the counter at his store.

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Howard Carson

venusian

US
186 posts

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#21. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 20

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Mon 30-Mar-09 11:16 AM | edited Mon 30-Mar-09 11:33 AM by venusian

I received an e-mail from Nikon Tech Support this morning stating that my camera was repairable. I then called Product Service at Nikon USA, asked about the request I made last week for a replacement camera, and was told it was denied because the camera was serviceable.

I was also told that my repair was ranked "B1" meaning it was "Moderate Repair : Minor Parts Replaced," Tech support referred to it as a minor situation (there are 3 categories of repairs that are more complicated). I have to say that made me feel better.

I was also told that if a camera had to be sent back several times while under warranty because of defects, they would replace it.

Finally, tech support explained that when I receive the camera a listing of the repairs and part(s) would be included.

Quite frankly, I'm just relieved it's a B1 situation. I really love the camera and all that it can do to bring me enjoyment.

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to respond to my posts. If there is no reason to do so beforehand, I'll make a final one listing the repairs made and the parts replaced to put closure to this drama.

Thanks again,

Nick

(The "Visit my Nikoninas Gallery" link below is not mine. I don't know how to eliminate it.)

Nick (Roxbury, Connecticut Nikonian)

agitater

Toronto, CA
4527 posts

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#22. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 21

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Mon 30-Mar-09 07:30 PM


>(The "Visit my Nikoninas Gallery" link below is not
>mine. I don't know how to eliminate it.)

Go to the "My User Menu" (top right corner of this page), then click "Edit Preferences" in the list on the left. Click the "General" tab at the top of the worksheet which appears. Scroll down to find the "Signature" field and delete the gallery message or change it to something more appropriate.

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Howard Carson

MEMcD

US
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#23. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 21

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Mon 30-Mar-09 07:36 PM

Hi Nick,

I am glad that Nikon Service has put you more at ease!
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

venusian

US
186 posts

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#24. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 22

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Mon 30-Mar-09 07:37 PM

Thanks, Howard, I appreciate it.

Nick (Roxbury, Connecticut Nikonian)

Len Shepherd

Yorkshire, UK
12722 posts

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#25. "RE: Some observations" | In response to Reply # 9

Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003
Tue 31-Mar-09 07:21 PM

>Len, please see my post just above yours. It has a link to an image that shows the defects with the first camera.
The small hair like object slightly out of focus is a hair on the metal frame surrounding the sensor projecting above the sensor recording area.
The sensor clean facility will not remove it because it is not on the sensor surface.
With a hair like this when you lift the mirror for cleaning if the hair is at the top in the image it will be at the bottom of the sensor.
NX 2 and many other software programs can be used to remove this type of image imperfection.

Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

mshi2008

US
46 posts

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#26. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 0

mshi2008 Registered since 31st Mar 2009
Tue 31-Mar-09 11:35 PM

my first d700 has AF problems that it can't focus correctly and it was exchanged to the second one which has no such a issue.

venusian

US
186 posts

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#27. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 26

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Wed 08-Apr-09 05:05 PM | edited Wed 08-Apr-09 05:37 PM by venusian

Today I received my Nikon D700 from the service group in Melville, NY. Overall time to ship, fix and receive back was about 2 weeks. I had to log into the nikonusa.com web site to track the status of my camera. It went from "in shop" to "billed" to "shipped." The day I saw the first "shipped" notice, the camera actually arrived.

The camera came back with an Invoice Repair sheet. After calling Nikon Service for some explanations I could not understand, I learned that the two items replaced were the printed circuit board and the shutter mechanism. Other things were checked, sensor was cleaned, and firmware upgraded.

I have to say that I'm glad to have the camera back and ready to use. However, after having the first D700 replaced in less than 30 days, and then 60 days later having to send the new replacement in for repairs took some wind out of purchasing a new camera.

I realize this experience is the exception and not the rule. I wish all new D700 owners or those considering purchasing one the best of luck with your experience.

Thank you for all the responses.

Nick

mshi2008

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#28. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 27

mshi2008 Registered since 31st Mar 2009
Wed 08-Apr-09 06:32 PM

>Today I received my Nikon D700 from the service group in
>Melville, NY. Overall time to ship, fix and receive back was
>about 2 weeks. I had to log into the nikonusa.com web site to
>track the status of my camera. It went from "in
>shop" to "billed" to "shipped." The
>day I saw the first "shipped" notice, the camera
>actually arrived.
>
>The camera came back with an Invoice Repair sheet. After
>calling Nikon Service for some explanations I could not
>understand, I learned that the two items replaced were the
>printed circuit board and the shutter mechanism. Other things
>were checked, sensor was cleaned, and firmware upgraded.
>
>I have to say that I'm glad to have the camera back and ready
>to use. However, after having the first D700 replaced in less
>than 30 days, and then 60 days later having to send the new
>replacement in for repairs took some wind out of purchasing a
>new camera.
>
>I realize this experience is the exception and not the rule. I
>wish all new D700 owners or those considering purchasing one
>the best of luck with your experience.
>
>Thank you for all the responses.
>
>Nick
>


imho nikon's strategy has been choosing production quantity, and time-to-market over product quality in recent years, which helps to explain a number of quality issues on their brand-new products, including D3X, which reminds me of GM's. my friend's new D3X has quality issues too, and he's got one replacement and one fix already in less than two months! can you imagine that on their flagship body?

venusian

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#29. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 28

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Wed 08-Apr-09 08:50 PM | edited Wed 08-Apr-09 08:57 PM by venusian

This may be hard to believe, but it's true.

An hour or so after receiving my repaired D700 today from Nikon Service, I set up the new firmware using the same spreadsheet settings I found in this forum and successfully used with the camera before it malfunctioned.

With an 85mm f/1.4 lens on the camera, I took a picture @ 1/80 of a second and the shutter opened and closed in about 1-2 seconds. It sounded slow to me so I increased the ISO to take a picture at 1/1000 and got the same shutter response.

I called Nikon tech support. The fellow I spoke to took me through various things and, while on speaker phone, had him listen to the same shutter open/close speed regardless of ISO settings.

He then had me change lenses and I put on a 24-70mm. I was then asked to do a "reset" of the setup settings to get the software to factory default. At various shutter speeds that ranged from 1/20 to 1/1000 of a second, the shutter opened and closed in 1-2 seconds.

I am now being sent a mailing label to have the camera shipped back for evaluation.

I have owned a D70 and D200 since 2004 and never had one problem.

If anyone can suggest something that might solve this problem before I UPS the camera back tomorrow (04.09.09), I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thank you,

Nick

mshi2008

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#30. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 29

mshi2008 Registered since 31st Mar 2009
Wed 08-Apr-09 08:58 PM

you're supposed to copy the firmware file to a CF card, and then flush the body from the card. what do you mean by going thru a spreadsheet? can you flush the camera from a cf card again?

venusian

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#31. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 30

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Wed 08-Apr-09 09:14 PM | edited Wed 08-Apr-09 09:19 PM by venusian

The new firmware was installed by Nikon Service. I assume they did that before it went through their quality assurance checkout before sending it back to me.

The spreadsheet that contained suggested camera set up settings was posted several months by Mr. Hussam Qasem, which helped many people set up their in-camera software.

Nick

robsb

San Jose, US
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#32. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 29

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Wed 08-Apr-09 11:10 PM

Nick you have to be the most unlucky person. Since Nikon had you reset to default, it sounds like your shutter mechanism is somehow defective.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

mshi2008

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#33. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 31

mshi2008 Registered since 31st Mar 2009
Thu 09-Apr-09 12:22 AM

they replaced the shutter unit with a refurbished one that wasn't fully tested in the first place. i heard rumors a few years ago that they only use refurbs as replacement for the warranty service. and i am afraid your experience just confirmed my suspicion.

robsb

San Jose, US
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#34. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 33

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Thu 09-Apr-09 04:33 AM | edited Thu 09-Apr-09 04:35 AM by robsb

Why would you make such an unsubstantiated comment based upon rumors? I very much doubt it has any validity. I do think it is time to elevate the request for a new camera.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

venusian

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#35. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 32

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Thu 09-Apr-09 07:49 AM

Thank you for the comments and suggestions.

Bob, I'm going with your recommendation for a new camera. I've lost confidence in this one even if it was repaired for a second time.

Can anyone suggest the most effective way to approach getting a new replacement in the U.S.A.? Also, does anyone have contact information for a Nikon representative who has the authority to approve a replacement? I would prefer to deal with such an individual.

Thanks
Nick

venusian

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#36. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 35

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Thu 09-Apr-09 12:37 PM | edited Thu 09-Apr-09 12:47 PM by venusian

I just got off the phone with Nikon tech support. I explained my total D700 experience: (a) an exchange for a new one with B&H, then (b) the exchange malfunctioning, and (c) the repaired exchange not working when I received it yesterday… all of which has happened since December 20, 2008.

I told tech support I would include a letter with the camera I now have to return once again. It would state that I will not accept the same one if they ship it back repaired, and would send it back to them unopened. Simply, I have lost confidence in the camera and the quality of any repair they might do again.

Trying to deal professionally with Nikon has been a major disappointment. Tech support has been trained to stay within certain limits. As soon as a question is asked like "Whom do I speak to who can go beyond policy? Or "Who will talk to me as a loyal customer since the early 1990s, who has had a very disappointing experience with a D700, and open some meaningful dialogue about a possible replacement?" All I got was company policy gibberish. And to top it off, the tech's manager was too busy to speak to me.

Many corporate managers today are walled off from the real world by such individuals. Professionalism is rare and the personal touch is hard to come by. When I was in the corporate world years ago in top management positions, this was unheard of. The professionalism that I once knew and practiced does not seem to exist at Nikon. I guess I expected better since Nikon makes such great products. How naive of me to think that the same quality would extend to some of their other corporate policies and services.

Sorry for venting in this really great forum.

Nick

briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#37. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 35

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Thu 09-Apr-09 02:26 PM | edited Thu 09-Apr-09 02:26 PM by briantilley

Hi, Nick.

You certainly seem to be having a series of bad luck! Let's remember, though, that your first D700 may not actually have been faulty (as discussed earlier in this thread).

Reading your description of this latest problem - the shutter opens then closes a second or two later - I'm just wondering whether you have Exposure Delay Mode activated. This is controlled via Custom Setting d9 (check page 302 in the D700 manual).

With Exposure Delay Mode on, when you press the shutter release the mirror rises, then a second or so later the shutter opens, closes and the mirror returns. This would make a series of sounds much like you are hearing.

When this problem happens, what does the resulting image look like, and what shutter speed does the EXIF data record?

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

robsb

San Jose, US
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#38. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 37

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Thu 09-Apr-09 02:52 PM

Brian if you do a reset to factory defaults is that setting not reset also? I was going to suggest similar things to look at until Nick said the tech had him do a full reset.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

briantilley

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#39. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 38

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Thu 09-Apr-09 03:34 PM

>Brian if you do a reset to factory defaults is that setting
>not reset also?

I think it's only reset via a Reset Custom Settings, not the 2-button reset, but I'm not sure. I'd say it's worth checking just in case

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

mshi2008

US
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#40. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 36

mshi2008 Registered since 31st Mar 2009
Thu 09-Apr-09 04:13 PM

>I just got off the phone with Nikon tech support. I explained
>my total D700 experience: (a) an exchange for a new one with
>B&H, then (b) the exchange malfunctioning, and (c) the
>repaired exchange not working when I received it yesterday…
>all of which has happened since December 20, 2008.
>
>I told tech support I would include a letter with the camera I
>now have to return once again. It would state that I will not
>accept the same one if they ship it back repaired, and would
>send it back to them unopened. Simply, I have lost confidence
>in the camera and the quality of any repair they might do
>again.
>
>Trying to deal professionally with Nikon has been a major
>disappointment. Tech support has been trained to stay within
>certain limits. As soon as a question is asked like "Whom
>do I speak to who can go beyond policy? Or "Who will talk
>to me as a loyal customer since the early 1990s, who has had a
>very disappointing experience with a D700, and open some
>meaningful dialogue about a possible replacement?" All I
>got was company policy gibberish. And to top it off, the
>tech's manager was too busy to speak to me.
>
>Many corporate managers today are walled off from the real
>world by such individuals. Professionalism is rare and the
>personal touch is hard to come by. When I was in the corporate
>world years ago in top management positions, this was unheard
>of. The professionalism that I once knew and practiced does
>not seem to exist at Nikon. I guess I expected better since
>Nikon makes such great products. How naive of me to think that
>the same quality would extend to some of their other corporate
>policies and services.
>
>Sorry for venting in this really great forum.
>
>Nick
>

if you purchased it with a major credit card, you need to check the card issuing bank's policy to determine whether you're still allowed to dispute the purchase. because normally you can't dispute beyond 30 days of the purchase date.

if not, you need to decide whether you want to take nikon to the county's small claims court where nikon(usa)'s headquarter is based in the us. you don't need a lawyer for small claims court and all you need is just to go to the court and file. the court will schedule a date for you and nikon(usa) to appear in the court and hear your case. normally the filing costs less than $50, and if you win nikon(usa) will have to pay you back the filing fee plus either refund your purchase or give you a brand-new replacement and associated costs of coming to the court, such as flight tickets, rental cars and hotels.

i would first write a concise one-page letter outlining the happenings in a very brief way, but you need to firmly request the replacement. in the letter you also need to state if the matter is not resolved in number of days, such as 14 business days, you will go to the court. in the letter you also want to tell nikon(usa) you want to call some major consumer money-savings talk radio gurus (clark howard, fill in the names here) to give nikon some good publicity. let them know you will need to web to publicize your sufferings as well. send your letter by both regular first-class mail and registered mail.

if you can do all of the above, i am 75% sure nikon will send you a replacement as fast as they can. because if they're not dumb, they can figure it out that replacement is the least expensive option for them. if they are dumb, you win in the court and still get what you want.

venusian

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#41. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 39

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Thu 09-Apr-09 04:57 PM

Bob and Brian,

Thank you for the thoughts.

Regarding the first D700, I still believe it was defective. Why would B&H take it back and send me a brand new one if it was not defective? By keeping the original, they then owned a used D700. B&H is smatter than that. Also, their customer service rep told me they have 30 days to return it to Nikon, I assume for a credit. Why would B&H send a perfectly good camera back to Nikon if it was not defective? Doesn't make sense to me.

Regarding the reset, this morning I got tech support on the line again with one last hope of solving the problem. Last night I did the 2 button reset, was able to take a picture, but with the 1-2 second shutter delay. This morning, the tech had me do a "Reset Via Custom Settings" step. This time I could see in the monitor that the factory settings returned. While taking a picture at 1/800 shutter speed, the 1-2 second delay occurred.

Finally, after taking the last picture this morning, I set the camera down, left it on, and noticed that the top LCD panel was lit and blinking on and off every few seconds. In addition, the Memory Card Access Light" was also blinking on and off.

At that point I decided to shut the camera off, pack it up and send it to Melville, NY.

Nick

Len Shepherd

Yorkshire, UK
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#42. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 41

Len Shepherd Gold Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2003
Thu 09-Apr-09 06:21 PM

>Regarding the first D700, I still believe it was defective.
Bob, Brian an myself tend to recognise what you described sounds unlike camera faults.
Between us you have significant hands on Nikon experience.
Also we have no connection with Nikon, other than owning Nikon products.
***
Regarding the shutter delays, camera resets do not change some user applied settings, like focus S, C or M, or delayed action shutter release
The 1-2 second shutter delay you describe fits exactly with delayed shutter release (at minimum timing) still being set on the top left hand dial on the camera body.
If delayed shutter release is still set changing the top left dial setting to "S" will remove the delay.
***
Regarding the flashing top plate it might be warning the light is too low for a picture (perhaps due to a lens cap being on a lens), or the aperture lock not being set on a "screwdriver" AF lens.
***
I am sorry you are encountering all these issues, but unfortunately some of what you have describe does not sound like camera faults to me.


Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.

Len Shepherd

venusian

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#43. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 42

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Thu 09-Apr-09 07:38 PM


Thank you, Len.

Regarding the first camera, and whether it was defective or not, it would be helpful if you would answer several of the questions I raised in my reply just before yours about B&H tech support and returns, etc. I've already posted a picture of the hair-like defect, it would not clean off with in-camera cleaning, B&H tech support was made aware of it, and they sent an exchange. Since they evaluated the problem first hand, I have to assume the camera was defective.

During my first conversation with tech support last night, I was asked, amongst other things, to take pictures with the Release Mode Dial set to "S" for one set of tests and then set to "Ch" for another test. The ISO setting was set to 3200 to ensure a fast shutter speed. The shutter responded as before… 1-2 seconds per image.

As far as the blinking lights are concerned, I never witnessed this before. I was able to take pictures with the lens mounted as I usually do, and that might not have been possible if the aperture lock was not set properly.

Nick

Nick (Roxbury, Connecticut Nikonian)

briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#44. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 41

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Thu 09-Apr-09 07:39 PM | edited Thu 09-Apr-09 07:44 PM by briantilley

It's probably just me, but after your posts today I'm less sure I've understood the problem you are describing. Are you saying that the shutter opens when you press the shutter release, then closes 1-2 seconds later (whatever shutter speed you have chosen), or that there is a delay of 1-2 seconds after pressing the shutter release before the shutter opens?

The answer to my question from reply #36 above would help clarify this:

"When this problem happens, what does the resulting image look like, and what shutter speed does the EXIF data record?"


Brian
Welsh Nikonian

venusian

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#45. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 44

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sat 11-Apr-09 03:23 PM | edited Sun 12-Apr-09 09:24 AM by venusian

Brian,

In response to your question..."Are you saying that the shutter opens when you press the shutter release, then closes 1-2 seconds later (whatever shutter speed you have chosen)...?" That is correct.

The same 1-2 second shutter speed also applied when the camera was set to "S" or set to "Ch" (5 images/sec) at high ISO settings. In fact, whether a "2 button reset" or a "Reset Via Custom Settings" was done, or anything else for that matter, the shutter always opened and closed in 1-2 seconds.

You question about image and EXIF data is a good one. I have some images left over from the testing that was done the morning of 04.08.09, while talking to tech support.

EXIF data from six NEF images taken after the two button reset, and before the "Reset Via Custom Settings," show that at ISO 3200 and f/1.4, the EXIF shutter speed registered 1/1000 second. In all instances, the shutter opened and closed in 1-2 seconds. EXIF data for Adobe RGB, uncompressed NEF files, contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc. confirmed that my custom settings were still in effect. This set of images was taken with the camera next to a speaker phone so that the Nikon tech person could here the shutter opening and closing in 1-2 seconds.

At that point, the tech had me do a "Reset Via Custom Settings." I then looked at some menu items and could see that the camera was now set back to factory defaults. I subsequently took a picture at ISO 200 and f/2.5. EXIF data shows that the resulting shutter speed was 1/25 second. The shutter opened and closed in 1-2 seconds. I then brought the ISO to 3200, took a picture of a brighter scene, the f stop recorded was 3.2, and the shutter speed for this test image was 1/250 second. Again, the shutter opened and closed in 1-2 seconds. EXIF data for these images verify that the camera was set to factory defaults because the camera was now in sRGB mode, the images were JPGS instead of uncompressed NEFs, my typical sharpness setting was different, etc.

The other thing that continues to confuse me is that after taking these images I set the camera down. It was still powered on. That's when I noticed that the top LCD was blinking on and off every few seconds and the Memory Card Access Light was doing the same. I don't recall ever seeing this simultaneous event before.

Finally, on Thursday I was able to contact management at Nikon corporate headquarters. I was treated very courteously and professionally. I was asked to fax in a cover letter explaining my experience beginning December 2008, the two invoices from B&H Photo (first new camera and the second new exchange), the recent Service Invoice, and my current request for a new replacement. The camera arrived at Nikon Service yesterday, and I suspect I will be hearing something next week.

Nick

briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#46. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 45

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sat 11-Apr-09 04:48 PM

>EXIF data from six NEF images taken after the two button
>reset, and before the "Reset Via Custom Settings,"
>show that at ISO 3200 and f/1.4, the EXIF shutter speed
>registered 1/1000 second. In all instances, the shutter opened
>and closed in 1-2 seconds.

Thanks!

And did the resulting images seem correctly exposed, or 10-11 stops (the difference between 1/1000th and 1-2 seconds) overexposed?

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

venusian

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#47. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 46

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sat 11-Apr-09 09:04 PM

Two comparable images taken with the 2-button reset have shutter speeds that range from 1/15 to 1/500 of a second. Both histograms show similar, proper exposure.

Two different images taken after a Reset Via Custom Settings have shutter speeds that range from 1/25 to 1/250 of a second. Both histograms are normal.

Visually inspecting all four images, one would feel they are properly exposed.

Any thoughts on the blinking lights?

Nick

robsb

San Jose, US
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#48. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 45

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Sun 12-Apr-09 01:31 AM | edited Sun 12-Apr-09 06:37 PM by robsb

Nick since you already sent it in, I guess what we think no longer matters. But I am still curious. Have you taken the lens off and looked at the shutter curtains when you press the shutter? The reason I ask is if you had set a shutter delay, it would I believe act just as you state. Since your EXIF data is showing something other than on or 2 sec, and you pictures are properly exposed, it seems that you are hearing more than the actuation of the shutter. I have been a long time customer of B&H and have only had to return one item. My experience with B&H is that they will always do what it takes to keep the customer happy. I had what I thought was a defective card reader. They replaced it no questions asked and the second one also had trouble being recognized by my computer, but before I sent it back again, I found a thread on line where people were having the same trouble and after a few tries the reader worked fine. That is what I did and I have not had any problems with it. So what I am saying is your first problem in my opinion was not really a malfunction, but rather some dust and dirt that got on your sensor. Your second problem was obviously real, and a few other Nikonians had similar problems with their new D700. Why I think we are unsure right now is that it is highly unusual for a camera to come back from Nikon and fail again so quickly, although I do remember a case or two. Just for the record, neither my D200 or D700 have ever had any sort of service problems. Neither have any of my lenses, some of which date back to the 1970's. I did have one repair to my Nikon F3, because I put my thumb through the focal plane shutter, but that was my fault not Nikon's. I am pretty sure if they find a real problem, you will get a new camera. You will have to come back and tell us just what the diagnosis is.

Good Luck.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!
Old age is a special gift that very few receive. Be thankful if you get it.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#49. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 47

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sun 12-Apr-09 09:28 AM

>Visually inspecting all four images, one would feel they are
>properly exposed.

That doesn't really fit with your earlier thought that the shutter is staying open for 1-2 seconds. It still sounds more like a delay in opening the shutter to me, either because of the camera settings or a fault in the electronics. If Nikon agree to your request for a replacement, I guess we're never going to know for sure.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

venusian

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#50. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 48

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sun 12-Apr-09 10:24 AM

Bob,

Thank you for your comments.

I returned the second/repaired D700 several days ago because two different Nikon service techs, after doing a number of tests with me over the phone, told me to do so.

I could clearly hear the shutter delay as did the two techs when I held the camera next to the speaker phone. Neither suggested looking at the curtains. Why, I don't know. Furthermore, the D700 manual clearly states that the default setting for Exposure Delay Mode (d9) is "off," which would have been the setting in place after I did the Reset Via Custom Settings… and still had the 1-2 second shutter delay problem. I invite comments to this point.

In addition, you and others have not addressed the two blinking lights question associated with the repaired camera, which I would appreciate. To repeat this for the third time…the other thing that continues to confuse me is that after taking the last set of images prior to sending the repaired camera back to Nikon service I set it down while still powered on. That's when I noticed that the top LCD was blinking on and off every few seconds and the Memory Card Access Light was doing the same thing. I invite comments to this point.

Also, you and others have intimated that my first D700 was not defective, but still have not dealt with the questions I raised about the return of that camera to B&H. I will list these questions again. Keep in mind that the tech people at B&H had first hand/hands on experience with that returned camera, which carries a lot more weight than second hand speculation. Here again are the questions:

(a) Why would B&H take the camera back and send me a brand new one if it was not defective? By keeping the original, they then owned a used D700. After dealing with B&H for many years I know that, businesswise and tech-wise, they are much smarter than that.

(b) You suggest that the first returned camera may have had dirt on the sensor. B&H tech support knew of that possibility because of my discussions with them and the letter I included with the retuned camera. Don't you think they would have tried to clean the sensor before sending me a brand new camera?

(c) During one of my conversations with B&H, a Customer Service rep told me they have 30 days to return a defective camera to Nikon, I assume for a credit. Why would B&H send a perfectly good camera back to Nikon if it was not defective?

Like you, I have owned other digital and SLR Nikon cameras and lenses over the years and never had a problem with them or my use with them. That's why I am a long-term Nikon customer. Why I'm having this experience is a complete surprise to me.

Nick

briantilley

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#51. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 50

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sun 12-Apr-09 11:13 AM

We are all just speculating here, but it could well be that B&H chose to replace the first camera because of your complaints about "severe vignetting", not because of the dust/hairs on the sensor. Perhaps they could not reproduce it (which is to be expected, since we have since established that the vignetting was in fact caused by a mis-aligned lens hood) but chose to take the easy route.

Regarding the repaired replacement camera, since you did not check how Custom Setting d9 was set before sending the camera back, I'm afraid we will never know whether what is apparently a shutter opening delay was caused by this control, or (as I mentioned in my last reply) by faulty electronics.

The "blinking" problem that you mention could well also be caused by faulty electronics, or by something completely different. It's going to impossible for us to diagnose right now since you no longer have the camera with you to check out any suggestions.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

agitater

Toronto, CA
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#52. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 50

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sun 12-Apr-09 11:42 AM | edited Sun 12-Apr-09 11:52 AM by agitater

>I could clearly hear the shutter delay as did the two techs
>when I held the camera next to the speaker phone. Neither
>suggested looking at the curtains. Why, I don't know.

Removing the lens for a few minutes while attempting to trigger the shutter would expose the sensor to a lot of atmospheric dust. The subsequent cleaning effort is something which the technician may have already realized would not help make you a happy customer.

>Furthermore, the D700 manual clearly states that the default
>setting for Exposure Delay Mode (d9) is "off," which
>would have been the setting in place after I did the Reset Via
>Custom Settings� and still had the 1-2 second shutter delay
>problem. I invite comments to this point.

In these situations, with all possibly balky electronics, I always try the opposite setting ("On" in this case), then perform the related action. If the shutter delay problem persisted, which it should have (or even if it stopped), I'd have then set it back to "Off" and re-tried the shutter. My point is that service technicians occasionally encounter such problems which aren't resolved by any sort of reset. Only a physical change in the retained settings, forced by a back & forth change of one setting, cures the problem in some situations. If the technician was smart, he would have realized you'd still be less than confident about the camera after any such successful 'repair' of the problem. Technically speaking, such problems on logic boards/chips often occur when the firmware on a chip set has not been properly installed. In other words, that part of the firmware installation which governs the shutter delay setting was not properly registered during firmware installation. The usual service method, I think, is to re-install the firmware while the camera is connected to a monitoring device which can track the installation progress. If the technician discovers that there is a problem with the chip set, the camera will be replaced.

If the technician discovers that the installation goes smoothly, the camera will be tested. If it works properly and well within spec, the technician should re-install the firmware yet again, and re-test the camera. If it still works properly, then the original firmware installation fault was a bit of an anomaly, much like the occasionally flaky installations of software which we install on PC computers. Sometimes the only cure is to re-install the software.

>In addition, you and others have not addressed the two
>blinking lights question associated with the repaired camera,
>which I would appreciate.

If the firmware in your camera was not installed properly at the factory, it's possible for a wide variety of problems to appear. There is no way to provide a definitive answer to your question until such time as a Nikon technician re-installs the firmware.

>Also, you and others have intimated that my first D700 was not
>defective, but still have not dealt with the questions I
>raised about the return of that camera to B&H.

It's probably fair to say the B&H frequently makes decisions about the type of response that will provide a particular customer with a sense that he is being properly treated and that his concerns are being fully addressed. When I walk in to my local camera dealer - someone with whom I've been dealing for over 20 years - with a complaint about some tenacious piece of dust on the sensor filter or focusing screen, he just looks balefully in my direction and says, "Come on Howard, go home and clean the thing properly!" But I have certainly seen some other customers, much less comfortable with sensor filter and focusing screen cleaning, from whom my dealer will immediately take the camera and hand it to a technician for cleaning on the spot. My dealer knows me well enough, on the other hand, to not even bother trying to sell me a Nikkor lens of any kind without also including a very good Hoya, B+W or Rodenstock clear filter at no extra charge (or including a lens hood and a filter at no extra charge for one of my son's Canon lens purchases). He's learned what bothers us and what keeps us coming back year after year after year.

>(a) Why would B&H take the camera back and send me a brand
>new one if it was not defective? By keeping the original, they
>then owned a used D700. After dealing with B&H for many
>years I know that, businesswise and tech-wise, they are much
>smarter than that.

See above. B&H can and does make whatever decisions it deems appropriate for different customers. The flip side is that I have on several occasions over the years purchased lenses and bodies from my dealer who told me clearly that the items had barely been used and then returned for reasons that I would personally find inconsequential. Of course a full warranty was provided with each and every item. I've never had a problem with any of those items, each of which was moderately discounted. Frankly, the volume of such items at B&H (and any other reputable camera dealer) is quite low. The balance of good customer relationships combined with some (essentially brand new) inventory that can be discounted for long-time customers like me is good for business.

>(b) You suggest that the first returned camera may have had
>dirt on the sensor. B&H tech support knew of that
>possibility because of my discussions with them and the letter
>I included with the retuned camera. Don't you think they would
>have tried to clean the sensor before sending me a brand new
>camera?

I think this might be a bit of over-analysis. Any answer is pure speculation and takes us, I think, too far from the this Forum's theme.

>(c) During one of my conversations with B&H, a Customer
>Service rep told me they have 30 days to return a defective
>camera to Nikon, I assume for a credit. Why would B&H send
>a perfectly good camera back to Nikon if it was not
>defective?

See above. B&H did what it thought would make you happy. It might be pure guesswork to assume credit status or indeed anything else about B&H's business relationship with Nikon in this situation.

>Like you, I have owned other digital and SLR Nikon cameras and
>lenses over the years and never had a problem with them or my
>use with them. That's why I am a long-term Nikon customer. Why
>I'm having this experience is a complete surprise to me.

A camera being sold to you has no idea about how long you've been a Nikon customer. Nor does the camera in the box have any way of communicating to a salesman, "My firmware installation if perfect! Pick me! Pick me!" I'm not making fun here - don't misunderstand - rather, I'm merely trying to suggest that, as complex as they are, digital SLR bodies are still mass produced items and, as such, can be incorrectly assembled or programmed. That you've been a Nikon customer for so many years without previously experiencing any such problems is testament to Nikon's ongoing high standards. Hopefully, some of the suggested technical explanations for your camera problem will reduce your degree of surprise and add to your general knowledge. Every active photographer will experience some sort of technical problems with their gear as time goes by. Believing otherwise, or worse, believing that because a problem has occurred Nikon is somehow suddenly on a downward spiral toward the depths of depredation (as some people have from time to time intimated in other threads in the past) is unrealistic.

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#53. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 51

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sun 12-Apr-09 11:53 AM

Brian,

The techs at B&H could have easily tested for the severe vignetting, just as you did. I give them more credit than that.

As far as the D9 setting is concerned, I never connected that possibility to a delayed shutter action until you pointed it out, which was a good one. I now assume that the "Reset Via Custom Settings" would have changed the d9 to default "off." In spite of this, the camera still took pictures with a 1-2 second delay at various shutter speeds. As I stated previously, I did check other menu settings after doing the "Reset Via Custom Settings" with the tech on the phone, and they were set to default, factory values. If the d9 default setting was not reset after this procedure, the camera/software would be malfunctioning.

I also believe that two different Nikon techs, working independently, reached their conclusions to send the repaired camera back again after good and useful thought. Or are you saying they misdiagnosed the situation?

I realize the blinking lights can't be diagnosed now. I was hoping others might have experienced the same problem and would share that information.

Nick

briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#54. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 53

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sun 12-Apr-09 12:11 PM | edited Sun 12-Apr-09 12:16 PM by briantilley

>I also believe that two different Nikon techs, working
>independently, reached their conclusions to send the repaired
>camera back again after good and useful thought. Or are you
>saying they misdiagnosed the situation?

The telephone support folks at Nikon (or anywhere else) can only go by (a) what the customer tells them, and (b) what their support system tells them. I very much doubt that they are as experienced, knowledgeable, or capable of lateral thinking as some of the members at Nikonians. Much the same applies to the guys at B&H. If they did not have the benefit of seeing an image showing the vignetting (I can't remember now - did you send them one?), it would perhaps not be surprising if the lens hood idea didn't occur to them. It didn't hit us until we saw the image, after all.

Getting back to the latest issue, I'm not sure how productive it is at this stage to speculate on why Nikon said what they said, but the fact that they did not specifically ask you to check how Custom Setting d9 was set suggests they had not considered it as a possibility. If you were describing the problem to them as "the shutter is open for 1-2 seconds", then it's reasonable that they did not think of it as a delay in the shutter opening. They are probably not trained to identify exactly what is happening by listening to the sound of your camera over the telephone.

Hopefully, once the techs get their hands on your camera, they will be able to diagnose what is actually wrong, and either fix it for good or replace the camera

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

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#55. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 52

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Sun 12-Apr-09 12:21 PM | edited Sun 12-Apr-09 12:45 PM by venusian

Howard and Others,

Thank you for all your good thoughts.

Aside from some very helpful comments, I feel we've reached the point where, for the most part, we're going around in speculative circles and opinions. The facts are the facts:

(1) I had to return my first D700 to B&H who sent me a brand new one. After examining it, they either sent it back to Nikon within the 30-day limit, or took ownership of a used camera.

(2) The second camera lasted about 60 days, malfunctioned, was sent in to Nikon Service, and came back with a replaced printed circuit board and shutter mechanism.

(3) After receiving the repaired camera, it malfunctioned for whatever reason. After interacting with two different Nikon Service reps, both told me to send it back for service a second time.

(4) After explaining this combined experience to Nikon corporate, I was asked to send in a cover letter, the B&H invoices, and the latest repair invoice, which I did.

Now we'll see what comes of this. Until that happens, I see no useful need to continue with the speculation. Mind you, I still want to be a happy D700 owner. I love the camera and wouldn't consider moving to another brand. All I've ever wanted out of this experience is a new camera that works and one that I can have confidence in. Hopefully, there will be a happy ending to all of this.

Thanks again for all your help.

Nick

agitater

Toronto, CA
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#56. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 55

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sun 12-Apr-09 02:42 PM

I think a number of us are as fascinated as we can possibly be about the outcome. Even the fussiest amongst us (myself included) tires of having to do sequential 'battle' with two or three cameras of choice before finally getting one which feels and acts as stable and reliable as it should.

More particularly though, my most pointed interest in hearing about the final outcome is to find out if my suggestion about factory mis-installed firmware was correct. Do tell, please, when the matter is resolved. Inquiring minds would like to know.

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Howard Carson

briantilley

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#57. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 55

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Sun 12-Apr-09 03:12 PM

As Howard says, please do let us know how this turns out.

Brian
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#58. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 57

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Tue 14-Apr-09 05:56 PM

Today I received an e-mail from the Nikon Photo Service Department notifying me that my D700 has been evaluated. The Service Repair Rank is now "B2," which is worse than the "B1" rank it was given when sent in for repair several weeks ago. No other details have been provided at this point.

I've contacted corporate management again to refresh the situation and am waiting for a response regarding a new replacement. To date they have acted very courteously and professionally and I have no doubt that will continue.

As new information becomes available, I'll post it.

Nick

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#59. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 58

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Wed 15-Apr-09 08:28 PM | edited Thu 16-Apr-09 07:26 PM by venusian

I just checked with the Nikon USA website to see if there was any change with my D700 repair status.

Yesterday the "Order Status" was "Estimate" with a Service Rank of "B2," which translates to "Moderate Repair: Major Parts Replaced."

Today the "Order Status" changed to "Replacement." The official explanation for that is "Nikon is to replace the product."

I have yet to receive any official message. However, I'm jumping for joy, and I'm pleased that Nikon handled this in a very professional and common sense way.

When I have the replacement camera in hand, I will confirm this post. Just as importantly, after 4 months of ups and downs I can't wait to start shooting again with a camera I'm so excited about.

Nick
www.nickschmidtphotography.com

Update: Today, (04.16.09) I received written notice from Nikon corporate that the camera will indeed be replaced.

briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#60. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 59

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Thu 16-Apr-09 07:17 AM

That's good news, Nick. I'm glad you have received satisfaction in the end

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

robsb

San Jose, US
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#61. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 59

robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his enthusiastic and repeated support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006
Thu 16-Apr-09 04:47 PM

Isn't it nice when a company does the right thing. At least you now know you were not paranoid.

Bob Baldassano
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#62. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 61

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Tue 21-Apr-09 12:43 PM | edited Wed 22-Apr-09 08:05 AM by venusian

Yesterday I received my replacement (new) D700 from Nikon… the 3rd I've owned in 4 months. I reprogrammed it, put it through some paces, and so far it works like a dream.

The repair invoice that came with the camera does not describe what the latest problem with the 2nd D700 was. All it said was that it was a B2 category event.

This week I'm going to Cape Cod to do some photography and take it for a serious spin, along with my 70-200mm, 24-70mm and an 85mm f/1.4. I can hardly sleep.

For informational purposes, I purchased an extended 2-year warranty from Nikon when I bought the first D700 this past December. I e-mailed Nikon support yesterday to ask them how to transfer that warranty through all 3 cameras. They told me to send a copy of the current replacement invoice and a copy of the original extended warranty to their Melville, LI headquarters for their records.

When I come back from the Cape, hopefully I'll have some nice images to share.

Nick
www.nickschmidtphotography.com

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
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#63. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 62

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Tue 21-Apr-09 12:48 PM

Great news. Sounds like it's time to end this thread.

Rick Walker

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#64. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 63

venusian Registered since 17th Dec 2008
Thu 07-May-09 06:39 PM

I returned from Cape Cod about a week ago with over 1400 images. I have the say that the third D700, a Nikon replacement, performed flawlessly. What a pleasure. The low light images up to ISO 800 are remarkably free of noise.

For informational purposes, Nikon Marketing contacted me after I sent in the extended warrantee information, invoices, etc. for the two previous D700s and was told that the extended 2-year warrantee for the first camera would now pass through to the third one. A written conformation is expected any day in my mail.

I am also pleased to say that I was just chosen "photographer of the month" for the June 2009 issue of Cape Cod Magazine and am proud to say that this was achieved using Nikon products.

Nick
www.nickschmidtphotography.com

briantilley

Paignton, UK
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#65. "RE: Two defective D700s returned within 3 months..." | In response to Reply # 64

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Thu 07-May-09 07:10 PM

Well done!

This sounds like a happy outcome all round

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

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