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Thread: Shutter life & replacement on Nikon professional bodies

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    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    Shutter life & replacement on Nikon professional bodies

    I've noticed a few well-used D3 bodies around for sale with high shutter counts (eg 270,000 plus). Also the odd D700 as well that was obviously a workhorse. .

    Is it worth paying a relatively cheap price for a high shutter count professional body & replacing the shutter when it dies, or are you better off paying a premium for a body with much lighter use?

    Has anyone replaced a D700 or D3 shutter recently? - Just wondering what sort of costs are involved.
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    I would get a quote direct from Nikon in Syd about the shutter replacement cost. Chances are they will give the whole unit a checkover at the same time. I don't believe that a new shutter is all that big a repair job as it is relatively close to the surface of the camera.
    The balance of things to me would be to pay a cheaper price for a D3 or D3S if a shutter replacement was inexpensive enough and the rest of the camera was in reasonable condition.
    On the other side of the coin I wouldn't be so tempted with a D700 unless it was very very cheap as they will lose value faster than the top of the line bodies.
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    A d3 with shutter counts approaching 300k do need to be careful with. They have a 300k rating but are known to start failing anywhere over 100k in some cases. To replace it you would be looking at around $500 give or take. If purchasing one like that, definitely factor in $500 to the purchase price as a replacements shutter will be on the cards.

    Personally I'd go for a body with less use. Don't forget the shutter isnt the only thing that can wear out so you could be up for more in the near future too
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Sensor tech and overall improvements since the D3 came out (I have one and still use it) has jumped quite a bit. I reckon save a few more cookies and look at a D600 or D800.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Thanks for the info guys.
    I am hoping to finally get a 'proper' body towards the end of the year, so just checking out what is around , new & used. I think I'd prefer professional build quality.
    My cheapies have been pushed well beyond their limits I think and had a hard life (and survived miraculously well) - I like down & dirty angles, so they have been bumped & bounced, splashed with salt & fresh water , dust, mud splashes, bait juices etc etc I am careful to dry & clean them afterwards, and they still keep turning on. But that will catch up with me I'm sure.

    Ultimately I need a robust weathersealed camera that is great for landscapes but that can also shoot night-time sports. I'm thinking the mythical 16-24Mp 8fps high ISO D400 would suit me perfectly I reckon Not holding my breath though !

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    The D3 is a robust design, and many a pro-sports guy from the USA have put 200k+ on them without issue. They are rated but not guaranteed to do anything, so with anything that has had even moderate use, there is risk, it's just how much risk you are prepared to assume...

    You will struggle to get even a high count body much less than $500 below the cost of a good one, so if the shutter does cost as much as that, you would be better off to pay more for a better model IMHO.

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