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Thread: sell or repair

  1. #1
    Member matilda's Avatar
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    sell or repair

    well i took my d90 to the camera clinic.

    The "err" that is occuring on my camera is due to the aperture. I paid them the $50 to give me a quote on the total cost of repairs. But it is looking at at least $350.

    So i have a couple of options.

    1. sell it as is but informing the buyer that it needs repairs (i'd sell it for $350 less for what the going rate is atm).
    2. get it repaired.

    I'm not too sure if my insurance will cover it. I'm going to find that out today. If they do cover it then it will only set me back another $50 (100 x's).
    If they aren't going to cover it, then well I'm going to be out of pocket.

    They couldn't tell me how many times the shutter has operated b/c the aperture part of the camera isn't working.

    So what would you do?

  2. #2
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    A new D90 is what, $800.00 ??, these days

    I don't think I would spend $350 on a repair
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  3. #3
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    I`d check, using Opanda etc, what your last shutter actuation was and if it`s kind of low for the time you have had the camera....I`d then send Nikon a very heated email demanding they fix it for free.
    Graeme
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    I find this a little hard to follow.

    What exactly is broken?

    Please don't say "the aperture" as that really means not much when describing a fault with a camera body.

    If it is an electrical problem relating to controlling the aperture indexing arm then it is most likely a circuit board error / fault. If it is a mechanical malfunction in the aperture indexing arm it sounds a lot less intimidating than an electrical fault.

    You did ask for an exact breakdown of parts and labour required to fix the problem didn't you?

    Maybe get another reputable camera repair facility to quote you on the job?
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    Worth a try with Nikon but, it will depend of if it's had reasonable usage. Good luck.

    If the shutter is nearing it's life expectancy, I would consider a new camera. Cause if that goes soon, there's another $400 odd.
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  6. #6
    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I think you would have trouble selling it for anything near the market price for a good one minus the $350 it has been quoted to repair it. Basically the new owner will have paid what it would have cost if they just bought a working one, so there is no benefit to the new owner, they are simply doing you a favor. The only way you will get the price you noted, is by fixing it yourself at your cost and then selling it. That way a new owner won't risk paying you the market price minus repair cost only to find more $$ is needed to get it working again, as quotes can change once the repair is started, or over time...

    If the cost of repair is $350, you would be lucky to get $150 for it as is.

    All that said, we know camera repairers charge well for repairs, particularly when disassembly or parts are involved, so it may be worth getting a 2nd quote, or sourcing parts and having a go yourself.

    I suspect the margins they make are huge on repairs, I know when I used to fix mobile phones in the late 90's early 2000's, a broken screen on a Nokia would cost me $30 and take 15 mins to replace, but I could charge a customer $150-300 all day long when some phones were $800+ to replace and useless with a broken screen, a mic or speaker that failed cost under $10, but repair cost always $100+ and took 10 mins or less to replace. I used to love buying broken phones that were considered useless for $10-50, then doing a $50 (cost to me) repair and selling them for $500+

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    I find this a little hard to follow.

    What exactly is broken?

    Please don't say "the aperture" as that really means not much when describing a fault with a camera body.

    If it is an electrical problem relating to controlling the aperture indexing arm then it is most likely a circuit board error / fault. If it is a mechanical malfunction in the aperture indexing arm it sounds a lot less intimidating than an electrical fault.

    You did ask for an exact breakdown of parts and labour required to fix the problem didn't you?

    Maybe get another reputable camera repair facility to quote you on the job?
    Good point, the aperture is in the lens. I'd def get a second opinion.

  8. #8
    Amor fati! ving's Avatar
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    wheh another new d90 cost $800 its hard to justify the cost of a repair worth 1/2 the cost of a new. if your actuations arent too high try and get nikon to fix it for free.

  9. #9
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Most likely to be the aperture control mechanism.

    There are two parts to the aperture mechanism. One part is the PCB, or the brains of the mechanics of the aperture control system, and then there is the actual aperture control unit, the servo motor that operates the levels and prongs.
    They do require a lot of camera pulling apart, and basically break down the camera to it's basic bits. Nikon replace the rubberized parts of the outer shell with new ones, so they also factor this into the price quoted(or at least this is supposed to be standard Nikon repair procedure), and your camera will come back like new.
    Just inside the mirror box is a smal lever on the LHS as you're looking into the camera(with the lens removed). this little lever is operating the lens's aperture lever and hence the aperture itself on the lens. If the servo motor on the camera is not working, either of it's own fault or due to the PCB not sending signals, then of course the camera will not operate properly.
    Does it not work at all, or is it not working in your usual mode of operation?
    That is, does it work in any way if you set it to M(manual) mode.
    If you look into the mirror box to view this aperture lever, it should be in the 'up' position. Very little pressure is required to push it down with a finger.
    (NOTE!! other people with fully working aperture levers do this at your own risk. if the aperture control system is not working, then manually pushing the aperture lever will not break it any more than it already is!)

    Matilda, I recommend that you at least have a quick peek into the camera to see if this lever is moving freely at least. There is a little bit of resistance to the lever, but if you can push it down to it's lowest stop and then it moves itself back upwards, then at least you know that nothing has jammed the levers up.


    I'm with what Wayne said.... I doubt you will get close to 'market value - $350' .. which is probably something like $150 in the end anyhow.

    .. market value? .. $500!? .. who really knows.

    is it grey market, or legit Aussie stock.
    if legit Aussie stock, then at least try to push the fact that it's hardly been used(once you confirm your shutter count).
    if it's grey market, drop the issue and look at a D7000 now .. it was probably time to update anyhow!

    I say hold onto it for a little while if you can .. unless this $100 is a make or break situation as to whether you can afford another camera or not.

    There is also the possibility that something has jammed the aperture lever mechanism inside the camera(and that all electronics and electrics are actually working).

    As someone already noted, the camera's shutter count is in the exif of the image. The last image you captured will reveal this, but you need to make sure that your software does not distort the exif in the image(which on the whole, Adobe software does, if you are not careful!).
    If you have any last few raw images(or better yet, jpg's straight from camera, just resize it(even if it's an underexposed black image).. as long as the exif is intact, the shutter count will be legible.

    What would I do? (me personally, and because this is simply what I do) .. I'd pull it apart. If it's broken, then you can't really break it any more can you!
    You need to be really good with a set of jewellers screwdrivers and at keeping a track on the screws and where they all go!

    For normal people, I tell them to send it to me .. I love old broken junk!<see above>

    I'd say that there is going to be a fair amount for labour charges in that quote and hence the $350 price range.
    I can't find the link to the parts people I'd once found a long time ago.

    In summary, this failure(if it is electronic/electrical) sounds very rare.
    Shutter mechanisms are known to slowly fade out till eventual failure.. most people probably wouldn't know it(or care about it) but there is apparently a high likely hood that your consumer grade Nikon camera(as I guess with almost all camera manufacturers).. that your shutter mechanism is already not 100% spot on in it's timing.

    A recent thread on another forum, has recently revealed that Nikon now have an IR system implemented on some of their new camera bodies, and this IR sytem is a method of verifying the accuracy of the shutter mechanism. This is not user serviceable item, and as far as anyonen is currently aware is a system for the service people to know how to use. But the pointer is there that Nikon appear to be interested in the durability of the shutter system in their cameras9or at least certain models).
    The two cameras confirmed to have this shutter IR LED system are the D700 and D7000. I don't know of any other camera's that also use it, and the D300's don't have it(but I suspect that the D400 will).
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  10. #10
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    Matilda, I recommend that you at least have a quick peek into the camera to see if this lever is moving freely at least. There is a little bit of resistance to the lever, but if you can push it down to it's lowest stop and then it moves itself back upwards, then at least you know that nothing has jammed the levers up.
    This was one of the things I also did, but it did not solve the problem. When you press the shutter release button you can hear that it jams. You can hear it trying to do something but not following through with it.

    I found the quote/repair details from what was done last time and it was

    CAMERA REPLACE THE SHUTTER UNIT AND APERTURE
    CONTROL UNIT. ADJUST THE SHUTTER SPEEDS. CLEAN THE IMAGER AND THE OPTICS AS
    REQUIRED. REASSEMBLE AND TEST THE COMMUNICATION, IMAGE QUALITY AND THE
    FOCUS.
    I don't know if it's a 'grey' camera. The camera was purchased in Hong Kong in 2008, it's sister camera (which was purchased at the same time, and has done roughly the same amount of shots), has had no problems with it.

  11. #11
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    No you almost certainly won't have any problems with the sister camera. It's a very rare problem to have happen(even tho it can happen).
    Bought in HK makes it a grey camera.. or parallel import. That is, irrespective if you purchase it from an international based company or for yourself whilst on an OS trip, you imported it 'yourself' and not through an Nikon approved retail channel.

    In this case Nikon will most certainly not help you, and if you do approach them, it'll only add fuel to their rhetoric of garbled noise(that grey imports pose a durability threat to the national balance of trade, and that the world of protectionist national retail practitioners will collapse.. thus sending the country to the brink of destruction and starvation).

    Replace shutter unit as well!.. AHHH! that kind'a changes the perspective a little. If the shutter unit is also a problem... then well ... time to look for a new camera.

    On the other hand tho!!! having the camera repaired(even for $350) and even tho this sounds like a fairly high cost, basically results in a new camera again anyhow.

    How much is a refurbished D90 worth on the net?

    I wouldn't make a hasty decision just yet .... I'd mull it over for a while.
    unless you have access to the necessary funds to update to a D7000 that is! If you do, then you will be impressed with the D90 -> D7000 upgrade path.

    A new shutter mechanism can be had for approx $50 or so(then you add the cost of fitting it), so $350 isn't sounding that much in reality.. I know the aperture actuator (control unit) is more expensive, and probably in the $150 range at least .. but I can't find the Nikon parts store link to confirm this.

  12. #12
    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Arthur, I think she mentions that the shutter and aperture actuator were done "last time" meaning has been done before...

    Maybe it has a shutter like a taxi, been round the world. If it has high actuations, the definitely time to start looking at new bodies IMHO

  13. #13
    Ausphotography Regular Tommo1965's Avatar
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    ...sounds like you wouldn't be able to sell it as is..if the body is in good condition..and your still happy to shoot with a D90..for $350..Id repair it

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    Quote Originally Posted by ving View Post
    wheh another new d90 cost $800 its hard to justify the cost of a repair worth 1/2 the cost of a new. if your actuations arent too high try and get nikon to fix it for free.
    I disagree. Find another camera as good for $350 is the way I'd look at

    Insurance will not cover it unless its been broken by accident, if you are covered for that.
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  15. #15
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    I still am undecided on what i will do.

    I still have to talk to the insuance guys, I have no idea if they will cover it.
    If they wont, then I might count my losses.

    I would love to upgrade to full frame (d700), but I just do not have those funds, and will take me another year and half to save up for.

    I still have it's sister camera that I can use in the mean time.

  16. #16
    Ausphotography Regular Tommo1965's Avatar
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    if you dont repair it and it will spend the rest of its days in a drawer ...send it to me for free ...a $350 D90 will do me fine

  17. #17
    Member Ben's Avatar
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    If you're insurance won't cover it, i think it's probably still worth it. It's worth nothing if it doesn't work, and then you've got no camera.

    I would also consider maybe sending it somewhere else for a quote, maybe Nikon's own service centre? It may not be the first time camera clinic pad out a quote to repair something... i've heard it before.

  18. #18
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post

    I would also consider maybe sending it somewhere else for a quote, maybe Nikon's own service centre?
    Ben, camera clinic IS Nikons service centre in Melbourne.

  19. #19
    Member Ben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Ben, camera clinic IS Nikons service centre in Melbourne.
    I'm aware of that, but they are a separate entity to Nikon as well.

    Put it this way, i received a quote from them for a sticky zoom on a 24-70 2.8, it was a staggering $1200.

    I spoke to Nikon service in NSW on the phone then sent it there.

  20. #20
    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    What exactly is your Insurance ? ur not clear what cover you have.
    any excess + loss of NCB may negate the $350 you save...

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