It's Going to Be Harder and Likely Take Longer to Get Your Nikon Cameras Repaired Starting Next Year

It's Going to Be Harder and Likely Take Longer to Get Your Nikon Cameras Repaired Starting Next Year

Unfortunately, for professionals who need to have their Nikon cameras repaired and returned to them quickly, that is going to be a lot harder starting next year.

iFixit obtained a letter Nikon sent to all authorized repair service center in the United States that states that as of March 31, 2020, the company will not renew their contracts, leaving the service centers likely unable to obtain official Nikon tools or parts. This means that for photographers hoping to get their cameras or lenses serviced with authorized parts and thus, under warranty, they will need to ship their gear to one of two Nikon centers at opposite ends of the country in either Melville, NY or Los Angeles, CA.

iFixit spoke to several of the shops losing the contract, and many said the move would seriously damage their business, particularly since in addition to losing access to official Nikon parts, they also lose the benefit of overnight shipping directly from the company. While Canon no longer offers warranty repairs through authorized locations, they still sell parts to such locations. On the other hand, Nikon stopped selling parts to unauthorized locations in 2012, and with these businesses losing that status, it's unclear if they'll have access to official Nikon parts. Similarly, this is likely to significantly increase repair time for professionals, who often need quick turnarounds to get back to work. 

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29 Comments

Marcus Joyce's picture

Cost cutting services that make your products stand out. At least if you have deep pockets shops can buy canon spares locally but Nikon is calling it all home

Robert Nurse's picture

I wonder what prompted this move. Lack/Loss of trust in these centers? Profit issue?

Fritz Asuro's picture

I really won't call it "greed". Business is business, and they only have one major goal in mind - to make a profit.
Nikon is a company and not a government institute, public servant, non-profit organization, etc.

I agree that it sucks that they would go the Apple way in terms of after sales support. But it's not like you can do something about it.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I did something abou it, I have been using a repaire shop that is not authorized by Nikon. He is extremely affordable and as far as I understand it, gets his parts from old unrepairable equipment.

I pay practically less then galf of what I used to pay Nikon.

And by the way, Nikon repair in Canada was lousy in terms of quality. Probably still is.

"But it's not like you can do something about it."

Sure there is, don't buy their cameras.
Are they expanding their Nikon only service centers by 5x to absorb all the cameras that will be coming home them instead of the 15 authorized service centers? Or will the wait time go from 2 weeks to 6 weeks?

Ralph Rackstraw's picture

No, you are wrong - 2weeks becomes 3 becomes 6 becomes 10 becomes 15 and etc etc .... unless they add more service techs (as you describe). They likely have a plan... time will tell if it is a success.

Fritz Asuro's picture

What I meant there is when you are existing Nikon user. So not purchasing Nikon cameras is already not an option (unless you have purchased it recently and still qualify for a refund, so yes).

If car dealers could require you to get serviced only at dealers they would but AFAIK that is not legal. So far Nikon refuses to work on grey market cameras, stopped selling parts to repair shops and now deauthorized the indie shops. Next may be stopping service on out of warranty products.

Fritz Asuro's picture

Well cars have become essential that's why government stepped in unlike cameras which definitely not a necessity. Not sure with US law (I don't live there), but for sure there are some sort of consumer protection program.

Michael Kormos's picture

Maybe Nikon is shrinking their network of repair centers in response to slumping dSLR sales? Why maintain a nationwide network of hundreds of authorized repair centers, keep their technicians up-to-date with bulletins and technical manuals, and distribute parts/manage inventory across such a wide network when dSLR sales continue to plummet (yielding fewer and fewer repair needs). This sounds like a smart business decision to me. I've never had any issues shipping my equipment to their Melville, NY center and getting it back in a timely manner. Just my 2 cents.

Alex Cooke's picture

It's 15 service centers, not hundreds. Also, don't you live in NYC, like 10 miles from Melville? :)

Marcus Joyce's picture

See 15 centres is easy regulated. They really are cutting the juicy bits off the steak

Michael Kormos's picture

10 miles in NYC traffic is still hours behind the wheel. I ship everything everywhere :-)

jonas y's picture

That long overdue Prores Raw update is driving me up a wall.

Rob Davis's picture

The conclusion that this is likely going to make repairs take a lot longer doesn’t have a lot of merit. We live in a world with increasingly sophisticated and inexpensive shipping options. If rather than taking a body to my local shop, who often would send things into Nikon anyways, I just get a return mailer it’s not going to be much different.

Alex Cooke's picture

It's not just an issue of shipping speeds. There are a lot of anecdotes out there from pros who say that the Nikon centers' turnaround times are often slower.

The shipping time is not the question, how will they handle the work from the 15 shops that are not doing Nikon work anymore?

Most professionals that use Nikon, like myself also have and use NPS. Which means Nikon's Service Center in Los Angeles for me. I've never used any outside authorized repair places, ever in 18 years as a professional. Even when I was with Canon over the years I used CPS at Canon in Irvine, C.A. So I'm not sure really how this effects anyone, especially professionals who have or should have NPS. I once accidentally set a Canon 400mm f2.8 IS and 1D Mark III down too fast or hard and bent the camera and lens mount, they were literally stuck together. I brought the new "pairing" to Canon in Irvine, CA and they had both back to me and looking like nothing ever happened in just two days. They didn't even charge me a dime, which was completely shocking as I thought it might be $1000 or more for that kind of repair. Maybe they felt bad for me and thought it was enough of a scare and panic to see my gear looking like that lol. I dunno what to say other than it was truly amazing service and I will always remember how important it is to have Professional Services membership and always buy their highest tier service! I do feel bad for the mom and pop shops that rely on their parts and that Nikon Authorized logo on their website, etc. However Nikon is suffering and if they think they can pick up the slack and they can handle the amount of repairs, why let a middle man make money off of you?

Jerry Norman's picture

I have used Nikon's repair center in Melville for my D750 recall. It took over two weeks which seemed excessive to me at the time. I have never used an authorized repair center so nothing to compare there. I am a bit surprised at the short notice Nikon is giving their authorized centers - it may make future small business partners wary of working with Nikon.

Motti Bembaron's picture

It's already the case in Canada with only one Nikon repair location. Stupid move.

Deleted Account's picture

Not all of us live in the US of A. Shocking as that might seem.

Ansel Spear's picture

A bit of a misleading, scaremongering headline for those not living in the States. I'm happy to say that Fixation in the UK presently has not had its contract terminated. So business as usual.

This seems to be more of Nikon reacting to its dire financial results and looking at every possible source of income, which is understandable but maybe not the best move from a marketing perspective.

Also, Nikon may be forced to undo this decision in the states with right-to-repair legislation.

A previously staunch Nikon fan, I am currenty in the process of abandoning them and going for Fujifilm insdtead — I may still live to regret that … who knows?

To me this and other moves nikon are making seem to be so they will lose customers, not gain them. NPS, do not qualify for; individual shipping a camera is probably not cheap.

Jon The Baptist's picture

I sent in two lenses to Olympus Pro Advantage two weeks ago. They were so fast, my lenses were out of my camera bag for only 6 days.

I’ve shot Canon, Nikon, and Olympus. After this, and sending my M1X for a sensor cleaning, I’m convinced that every camera manufacturer’s repair program is a joke and a half compared to OPA.

Mutley Dastardly's picture

It's sad to read about this. I'm not using a Nikon body - but we do know people that exclusively use Nikon - just because they receive good service from Nikon. It's not good for the competition when support is dropped or diminished. No matter what brand we're talking about.

It's only sad for the store's that hold the coveted "Authorized Nikon Service" badge or credential. You'll still be able to get great service directly from Nikon or chose a closer 3rd Party Repair place and honestly the two most recommended or best outside Nikon repair places I've heard about may not even be "Authorized!" One is MidState Camera Repair and the other is a local guy here in SoCal you can get ahold of through calling OC Camera, guy used to be a Nikon Tech. Anyways most professionals like myself have NPS and I'm lucky to live about an hour away from Nikon Los Angeles so I'm certainly not worried.