Drama with Nikon Australia repair dept. (warning, long rant)

May 17, 2017
So currently, I've been with no camera for 2 months now. 2. Months.

It all started when i decided it was time to send my d600 in for the service advisory. i knew this was an issue, and what the hell, why not get it fixed for free. Little did i know that this was the start of a big headache.

The camera was received the next day, email confirmation etc etc. all good. They said turn around time would be approx 10 days. Great!

3 weeks later, they email me and say, the LCD needs replacing, its not displaying anything but lines..... Hmmm, that's a bit odd, but sure, go ahead and repair it, maybe it got damaged in transit, i didn't think i should be liable, but whatever, i just want my camera back, so I'll pay the $260 to replace the LCD. (even though a replacement can be bought for less than 50 online, AND they had the camera open anyway to perform the service advisory).

so i wait, and wait, and wait. 6 weeks later, the camera turns up on my doorstep, after poor communication from them. I eagerly open the box. put a battery in, slap a lens on, and fire her up. IMMEDIATELY i knew something was wrong. It would not lock focus, on anything. Keep in mind it is about 7pm at this point, so I'm shooting in lightbulb lit rooms. i try several lenses, and nothing.

(excuse the terrible video quality, i was just recording it for myself at this stage.)

I say to myself, I'll try again tomorrow in better light.

I wake up, walk outside, and try again. Several lenses, All modes, focus types, everything. SAME result. it just racks through focus, back and forth, never locking, even in daylight.
Switch to live view and it works fine. not an issue, so.... an issue with the phase detect?
switch it to manual focus, and the rangefinder arrows are BOTH blinking, as though its confused, great.

again, excuse the video quality.

So i send it BACK to nikon australia, they say, they cant find an issue with it, did i set it to AF with the little switch on the front of the camera.... etc etc... speaking to me like im a moron.
I say i have videos of what i mean, get the service reps nikon email, send him the links, and wait for a reply..... and wait, and wait. i email them a new form, i email to the normal service email. no reply. 2 weeks later, i call, wait on hold for 20 minutes, get told ill hear back in 15 minutes after they speak to a technician. 3 hours later.... no call. so i call again, same thing. and again. and same thing. one more time.... and then, they assure me they will call me before closing time, they don't.

Needless to say i'm frustrated by this point. Come this morning, i get a call back, YAY!!!
he says, the reason you couldnt autofocus in dim light, as per video, was that there wasnt enough available light. And the reason you cant lock focus in the daytime video is because there is TOO MUCH LIGHT, NOT ENOUGH CONTRAST FOR PHASE DETECT TO WORK! sorry, but we have found no problem and are sending it back to you. so now after sending the camera in for a routine service advisory. Im out of pocket 260 dollars, and have nothing but a paperweight coming back to me.


not really sure what my options are from here. they probably won't touch it again, i feel like throwing it at the guys head to be honest. It sounds like the AF module is buggered to me, but what do i know, i try to shoot photos during the day with too much available light.

I feel better for ranting, and I hate for this to be my first post here. But i've been a long time member of MU-43, and i didn't know this forum even existed, I'd like to go back to shooting again soon, but can any aussies point me in the right direction? from a legal standpoint? since they have essentially broken my camera and won't admit to it?
Mar 16, 2017
I assume you recently bought this 4 year old used camera with unknown history, and issues started showing up.

Your videos definitely indicate a problem -- it should AF on those subjects and lighting without racking to min distance first -- but cause is unknown. I understand what they saw that made them say too light/too dark, but they misunderstood the video -- it should be working as used on the videos.

Not sure why you have so many issues with cameras in such a short time. Broken EVF glass on your OM-D EM5 (clumsy). Malfunctioning LCD and PDAF on your D600. OM-D EM10 died. All in a few months. Weird. It's like you are shopping too cheap and getting bottom-feeder, suspect-history gear. I don't know -- just a thought.

The lesson I take from your experience with Nikon Aust is that you really should have walked the camera into a local camera store that sells Nikon, and handed it to the guys over the counter to confirm that there really is a problem, before sending it back. It gets tricky with any repairer when you are long distance, trying to describe a problem that they say they can't replicate. It is difficult for both sides, even with best intentions.

Poor access to repair technicians is not unusual -- employers like to keep them away from customers so they can get on with the repair work that pays the bills, and their personalities are not always ideal for customer contact. Notoriously crap at answering phones and emails, as you noticed. But the long delays and taking longer than promised is not great.
Feb 4, 2006
On a Big Island Down Under...
Have to agree with you, all the dealings I've had with Nikon Australia sucked. That's why I buy everything straight from Japan, plus most of it is so much cheaper. I've found it quicker to send it back to Japan for any work than Nikon Australia. Had a SB600 flash go bad on me once and from the time I sent it to getting it back from Japan was just under 10 days...
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