What to Expect in a Nikon Lense Repair Process and How to get the Best Repair Rate

Nikor 18 - 105 FrontI currently shoot all of the photos for the Meet the Magic website using a Nikon D7100 SLR camera.  I had researched hard before purchasing the camera.  When I arrived at Disney World on a vacation and saw that the photographers at the park were using that camera, I was sold.  I reasoned if Disney was going to have their photographers using the camera to take guest photos day in and day out, it certainly would be a great camera to shoot website photos.

When the camera was purchased, I also purchased the VR Nikkor 18 – 105 lense.  The lense shot much better than the lense I had used on a previous camera.  In the years of using the lense, the plastic housing had come unglued.  Below that housing was a metal ring which had been held in place by that plastic ring.  After using the lense several more times, the movement of that plastic ring up and down on the lense caused it to begin to crack.  You can see the plastic housing on this photo here, the ring being discussed in the one that can be seen below the white dot.  Here is a closeup of the crack on the plastic

Cropped Nikkor

With that plastic cracking, i decided that a repair must be done on the lense.  I found that Nikon offered repairs on item as it was still under warranty.  I filled out the information needed to start the process from the Nikon Repair website here.  I then took photos of the front and back of the lense before I boxed it up in bubble wrap and placed it in a box to be mailed back.  The cost to get the product back to Nikon was about $10.

After approximately 2 weeks, I heard back from the company.  I was told that it would cost $192.50 to have the lense repaired.  Nikon stated that the lense had suffered from impact damage and could not be repaired for free.  The company sent back this photo showing that the plastic housing was broken.  I explained to the customer service representative that the plastic ring was not broken when I mailed it in.  Luckily I had taken those photos before I sent in the lense so I could prove that it had only been cracked and not broken.

Nikon's Photo of the Broken Lense

Nikon’s Photo of Broken Lense

Even with that photo, the customer service representative stated that the company would not repair the product without charge.  She stated that she would work to see if she could get the cost down.  I did not hear from the company for over 2 weeks on the repair.  Then one day, I found a package on the front porch and inside, I found my lense repaired!  The lense looked brand new and did not cost me a penny!  I was so very excited, even yelling “wooo hooo”!

So, overall, my advice is as follows:

  • Know your warranty window and if there is something wrong with your product, send it in before the warranty expires.
  • Send in the product before it breaks because you will likely not be able to get it fixed for free if it is already broken.
  • Take many photos of the product before mailing it in.  Taking the photos only takes a few seconds.  In fact, on my mailed item, I had already packaged it and was taping the box when I remembered I should take the photo.  I certainly am glad I took the time to do it.
  • If you are going to have to pay to get the product repaired, wait to see if you can get the repair done for a less expensive rate.

In the end, the Nikon warranty service was a great benefit.  I am proud to be able to shoot my Nikon D7100 SLR camera again using the newly repaired VR Nikkor 18 – 105 lense.

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