*Cry* I think my D200 just broke
And just in time to leave for Road Atlanta for the Ferrari Challenge too.
I went to one of the Tea Parties here to take pictures. I was shooting around the park waiting for the crowd, when I heard a wierd crunch after taking a shot with my 70-200 2.8 VR. My heart sank a bit, and I panicked and thought it was the lens. I looked through the viewfinder and everything was dark, and the camera hunts for focus.
I swapped lenses, and both my Sigma 18-50 2.8 and my 50 1.8 do the same thing. I have the MB-D200 battery grip, and I swapped the two fully charged batteries with two more fully charged batteries. Same thing. I shut down the camera, removed the batteries, powered it back on and did the settings reset - same thing.
Once in a while, the viewfinder will brighten up and I'll get 4 or 5 more pictures out of it, then back to the problem. There is no error being displayed on the viewfinder, just the r25 when it's trying to focus. If I take the lens off and look through the viewfinder, everything is bright. It's like the camera isn't opening the aperture.
Any idea what it is? I've had this D200 for quite some time, I haven't had any issue with it and is probably the most dear inanimate object I own. The last picture I got off of the camera has a release count of 20,830.
Any D200 owners out there have anything similar happen? I'm not wealthy by any means; the D200 and the lenses were all a long time in savings and quite a bit of sacrifice, so this isn't something I'm taking lightly. I can go to the BestBuy page and get a D200 body for $599. Anyone think the repair will be more then that?
Thanks for the advice!
#1. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 0handcuff Registered since 20th Apr 2006Wed 15-Apr-09 08:23 PM
I haven't had the problem you have, but based on the description you are giving, it seems that the mirror is locking up (to my VERY limited understanding of the camera). The biggest reason I say that is the fact that the viewfinder is dark...the only thing I can think of that would cause that is the mirror cutting off the light source (of course, now is the time for others to jump in and use their much more advanced knowledge to your benefit, while telling me I'm wrong).
A couple other people have posted recently regarding this (the mirror issue, not the crunch/dark viewfinder issue), so you may gleen a little info from their posts (especially if any have had the problem fixed recently).
Good luck, and I hope it isn't too expensive.
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#2. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 1blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 15-Apr-09 08:32 PM
An alternative theory might be a problem in the aperture stop down mechanism. If the mirror is up, it will be COMPLETELY dark - black except for the LCDs. If the mirror is down, but the aperture is stopped down, you'll be able to see through the finger, a little.
You can distinguish between these theories by dismounting the lens and looking into the mirror box. If you can see the mirror, it's probably the aperture mechanism. If you don't obviously see the mirror, it's probably flipped up against the bottom of the focusing screen.
Either way it's probably a repair situation.
I had an aperture stop down problem on my D100 a couple of years ago and it resulted in a class B2 repair - about $400. You could buy a new one for $600, send off the old one for repair, and then sell one of them when it gets back.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#3. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 2Wed 15-Apr-09 09:34 PM
Thanks for the info!
The viewfinder is dim. I first thought the mirror wasn't locking up, was stuck or was off-track, but when I take the lens off everything brightens up. If I use the DoF preview, you can see the camera open the shutter, the view get brighter and then go back to the way it was.
That sounds like what you're describing blw. I'm hoping it's not that much, but if indeed it is, I'm going to have a hard time deciding between repairing this one or buying a flat-out new camera. I suppose you are right though; buy new, repair old and either have two bodies or sell one off. Ultimately, if I get *my* D200 back performing the same as it did before I sent it off, I don't think I could justify replacing it. I've had friends send off Canon gear in various states of health, and some of them never work the same again. I've never dealt with Nikon :|
As an aside, with ~21,000 shutter releases, how much life can I expect out of that mechanism? If I'm going to be charged ~$400 for the aperture mechanism, is it work having the shutter replaced too?
#5. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 3aolander Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006Wed 15-Apr-09 11:26 PM
The DOF button closes the lens aperture down to where it's set at. The shutter is something else. If the lens is set to a smaller aperture and the DOF button is pressed, the view gets dimmer not brighter.
#8. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 3simonsi Registered since 17th Apr 2003Thu 16-Apr-09 12:42 PM
>As an aside, with ~21,000 shutter releases, how much life can
>I expect out of that mechanism?
Hi Jon, the shutter mech is rated to 150,000 actuations I believe so personally I wouldn't get the shutter replaced if not needed at your usage.
Just to expand on the mirror spring, if this is the problem then you may find the mirror sometimes rebounds back into its normal position by luck and/or gravity assisting it. If you take the lens off and fire the shutter with the body on its back you should see if the mirror motion is unstable and/or hear the unusual/irregular noise it will make.
The other option is the aperture mechanism, if this is the problem then the viewfinder view should only ever go dark but not disappear as it would if the mirror isn't in the right place, if this is the case it looks like aperture. If the viewfinder image ever goes completely (as it would if the mirror isn't letting you look through the lens at all, then it looks like the mirror is the issue.
As above, either is a trip to the repair shop but at least you can fill in the form more meaningfully and know what you are sending.
A UK Nikonian
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#7. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 0
Try a charged battery in the camera without the grip. The AA batteries in my grip acted similar to this. So it may be a grip issue.
If you think it is the aperture and not the mirror try cleaning the contacts and tightening the mount screws.
#9. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 7Thu 16-Apr-09 02:00 PM
Thank you all for the suggestions and the information!
It was mailed off last night next-day to Nikon in New York. However, after doing some soul searching and thinking hard about how old the camera is, I've scrounged up some of my savings and I'm going to pick up a D300 this afternoon.
My biggest hold-back when thinking about it yesterday was that I'd have two cameras once the D200 comes back. Quite frankly, if I decided to upgrade I'd have two cameras anyway, regardless of the amount of duress I'm under. It's about as good a time as any to upgrade, I think.
Doing quite a bit of research on the D300 looks like it will improve the high ISO performance of my D200 (I shoot at night at races and drag strips), but it will also work a bit better with the lenses I own, among many other advancements.
This also relieve a stress I have about my D200 - I don't take it many places for fear of it being stolen, scratched, dropped, rained on, soaked....
Quite literally, the camera looks brand new. It's cleaned religiously (never the sensor, but everything else), its never seen rain, dusty conditions, the beach or any other environment I could possibly envision catastrophe in. It's never been dropped, nor even set down anything more then gently and with extreme care. In other words, I can bring my D200 all the places I've wanted to, and I can keep my D300 at home, safe and sound in my safe next to the 70-200 2.8 VR and not worry about it anymore.
My father and I love to go to auto races together, and our biggest shared hobby is motor sports and photography. He graciously allowed me to borrow his D90 for the Ferrari Challenge this weekend, but I've felt really bad about taking him up on it. He's got his own collection of lenses and a new 80-300 VR I just bought him, and it would be a shame if we weren't shooting together.
At first I thought I was being punished for something. Now I think I'm being given a reason to upgrade!
Thanks for listening, and as always, thanks for this great resource!
#10. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 9ScottChapin Charter MemberThu 16-Apr-09 02:15 PM
Next time you might consider Camera Service Co Inc in Smyrna on W Atlanta road. They are Nikon authorized and do exceptionally good work.
About three years ago they replaced my D100 card slot for $250 and some around here have reported $650 on a D300 at Nikon.
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member
#11. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 9blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 16-Apr-09 11:01 PM
I think you've done the right thing. If you're shooting night races, the D300 is a better tool for the job, and if you are sufficiently careful about the gear that it's keeping you from using it, having a backup / spare is a good thing.
Moreover, if you're traveling to the races a lot, as it sounds like you do, I think that a backup is a good idea. You're investing a lot of time and money to go, and you would definitely regret not having a camera if one failed. Nikon gear - particularly the pro stuff like the D200 and D300 - are pretty durable, but they're not bulletproof. I always take two bodies when I travel to races etc, and honestly I've needed the backup in more than one situation. Canon isn't any better, either. I have a lot of friends who shoot Canon, and overall the experiences are pretty similar.
As for Nikon repair - usually, although not always, when you get it back, the repaired bits are like new. Cosmetically nothing changes unless it's required, but I have always had confidence in stuff that's come back from them.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#12. "RE: *Cry* I think my D200 just broke" | In response to Reply # 11Tue 21-Apr-09 01:33 PM
Again, thank you all for the help!
The estimate juts came back, and it's a "B2" service, and the total is $200.00. Which is just fine by me. The finding is "RPR APERTURE LEVER".
The world, however, conspired against me with regard to acquiring the D300. It's in my brain, which means I'll probably do it shortly, but on my way to pick up the body, a piece of sheet metal was kicked up by the car in front of me and put some nice accent marks on the bumper of my Mustang. Priorities being what they are, and me being who I am, I took some of the D300 money and put it towards a Saleen front bumper and paint work.
Thank you all!