I've had my D700 for slightly over three years, during which time the two exterior rubber panels on the same end of the camera as the shutter release button have been progressively peeling over the past few months. I finally got fed up with dealing with these peeling panels. It wasn't a convenient or inexpensive solution, but yesterday I drove 90 miles to my nearest approved Nikon repair facility where they replaced all three exterior panels. The cost was $45 for materials and $45 for labor for a total of $90. To the best of my knowledge I have never exposed this camera to overly hot conditions, but the adhesive bond of the panels failed anyway. It bugs me that this should be happening on a high-end camera like the D700. Fortunately I have not had this problem with my D200 which I bought almost five years ago.
Other than the adhesive bond failure the operation of my D700 has been exemplary. It makes me wonder how Nikon got so much right about the D700 but yet fell short of the mark on the design of the body exterior. I didn't need subject-to-failure exterior rubber panels on my older Nikon F and F2A film cameras.
Thanks for the opportunity to blow off a little steam.
I also thought about fixing it myself and even bought a tube of Pliobond to do the job. However, I read some caveats about that sort of remedy and finally decided to let it be done the best way.
I'm curious when Nikon decided to apply these rubber panels to the exterior of their camera bodies. This dubious practice must have commenced sometime between the time I bought my F2A in 1979 and my D200 purchase in 2007.
Bob, Pliobond works like a charm on Nikon bodies to make this repair. Many here at Nikonians have had this problem with the D700. It's generally a heat problem. For example, leaving the camera in a car, especially in the passenger area of the car in a hot summer sun will do it after a number of days that way.
Two caveats in using Pliobond.
Keep it away from ignition sources, as it has a very low flash point (23ºF (-5.00°C) using the standard Tag Open Cup method). Part of the solvent which is drying out as the Pliobond sets is Methyl Ethyl Ketone so the low flash point isn't surprising.
After the repair, while the solvent in the Pliobond is evaporating, you need to keep the camera away from ignition sources too.
Also, Pliobond is an eye and skin irritant, not too bad but an irritant, nevertheless. So you want to prevent getting it on your skin while using it, which isn't very hard (I wore surgical gloves when using it.) and only use it, and let the solvent evaporate as the glue sets on your camera, in a well ventilated area.
Nikon had a similar problem with the N90. The rubber on the back disintegrated. They replaced every back upon request. All you needed to do was call them with the serial number and they sent a new back by overnight mail.
I'd heard about this happening with the D700 at least once in the past, and I'd hoped it was a rare phenomenon with cameras more recent than the D200, but it seems not!!!
So far my lightly-used D700 isn't showing this symptom, but the rubber panels on my D200 failed badly, with no obvious 'provocation' except my appropriately-firm grip while using and carrying the camera.
So ... to make my main point here, and to join you Bob in venting some steam ... I am frankly amazed that Nikon hasn't yet adopted a far more durable 'interface' between the camera body and our hands!
Besides our use of the viewfinder, our grip on the camera is after all the most intimate contact we have with these otherwise wonderful instruments. When that grip becomes uncertain and/or uncomfortable, it has a major negative impact (speaking for myself at least) on my confidence and assurance while 'deploying' the camera from rest, up to my eye.
(I could go on .... )
C'mon Nikon ... please make this a non-issue in future cameras. These 'creeping' rubbers are distinctly UN-classy, and they're out of kilter with our cameras' high specifications in every other respect!!
Thanks for your support! Why Nikon would desecrate their great dslrs by applying dumb problem-prone rubber panels to the body exterior is beyond me. Some Kamikaze pilot left over from WWII must have been the one who dreamed up these rubber panels!
I'm planning to take mine in for grip replacement next week. The left and right side are both coming loose (next to lens release button on left and in front of card slot on right). A screw seems to have pulled out on the right side.
I had to replace a few panels on a D300 a few years ago.
Thom Hogan has many complaints about the way Nikon does things. Sometimes they take heed and take corrective action. He should add peeling panels to his list of complaints. I'm going to e-mail him to request that he do so.