Thursday, October 10, 2013

Is it Safe to Buy a Repaired Nikon D600?

If you are wondering whether replacing the shutter on an affected Nikon D600 solves the problem of excessive debris/oil accumulation. I'll skip straight to the answer. Yes, it seems to be the case; there is now a documented instance of the fix 'sticking.'

DPR forum member Bobtheamateur ran his recently serviced D600 through a cycle of 4000 test shots to observe whether or not debris would still accumulate after having sent his camera in for servicing.  (Camera on a tripod, intervalometer. Look at every 1000th image to see if there is a steady accumulation of debris over time.) The results are posted here. There do seem to be some oil specks, but nothing unexpected from a newly installed shutter. Otherwise, the images appear clean throughout the progression.

As reported by Thom Hogan, some of the confusion was caused by the fact that not all D600's sent in for servicing received shutter replacements. In the early cases, units were merely cleaned and sent back out into the field only for the debris to continue to accumulate. After a certain point it seems that Nikon went straight to a shutter replacement for incoming service units; hence, the conflicting testimonies about whether or not the problem was truly fixed in servicing.

The take home message is that:

  • If you have a D600 under warranty, don't putz around. Get to 4000-5000 shots as soon as possible to know whether or or not your unit is affected and so that you can get it faxed within the 1-year warranty period. (If you live in Canada, you have a 2-year warranty.)
  • If you are looking for a bargain, then look for a used unit that has a documented shutter replacement, or buy a heavily discounted unit and quickly get to 5000 shots to confirm that it's not affected.

Update: I've come across some anecdotal reports that my local Nikon service depot is taking in all D600's so long as the camera is within the warranty period.... original owner or not This is unconfirmed, but if it's the case then it's a bit unusual, but very welcome. If you are the second owner of a suspect D600, ask the service depot nicely if they will fix your unit under warranty and see what may come of it, as ordinarily, the warranty only applies to the original owner.

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