D600 cracked body

lionoliono Posts: 9Member
edited January 2013 in General Discussions
Hi all,

So I had the rather unpleasant experience last night of seeing my brand new D600 + 24-70 f/2.8 fall over on the tripod it was attached to and smash onto some concrete. Once I'd wiped the tears away, I discovered that the lens seemed fine (the hood is cracked but still usable) but the body is cracked in two places; on the front panel, top right of the lens mount and the top panel just below the settings dial. I think the damage is just superficial as I've been using it today and it's been fine, however I was to get it fixed if possible as it's now no longer weather resistant which is pretty important.

D600, broken body 1

D600, broken body 2

I wondered if anyone has had any experience with having whole panels replaced on mid/high end Nikons? In particular the top panel as this seems to hold the flash and various dials which I'm guessing will all have to be changed together. I just wanted to get an idea of cost and repair time/quality..

Any info/advice you can offer would be great.

Thanks in advance,

Ben
Post edited by liono on
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Comments

  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    I wondered how long it was going to take before this issue surfaced. In order to keep costs down Nikon did not build the D600 body with the same full magnesium frame found on the D4 or D800. Specifically the top and bottom (battery pack) are magnesium but the front panel is plastic. Look at this image:

    imageD600chassis" />

    The lens mount is metal but forces transferred from the lens mount to the body will travel through plastic and plastic is weaker than metal. In the accident you described a D4 and D800 metal body may well have been able to handle those forces but the plastic front panel of the D600 was not. It looks like the serious breakage on yours is not the top metal panel but rather is the top part of the front plastic panel. The top metal panel seems to be more like a crack which will not affect top panel strength and could be "resealed" for weather sealing with some sort of black sealant. Surely, Nikon can replace both panels but the cost is not something with which there has been much, if any, experience.

    I think we are going to see more of these front panel breakages and it will come to be recognized as a weakness of the D600 compared to the D4, D800 (and likely the yet to be released D400). Paying more money for the additional robustness of a full magensium body does provide an advantage in certain cases.
  • thomasvthomasv Posts: 2Member
    edited January 2013
    @donaldejose: Blah Blah blah; you are not helping him; and dropping a camera is not a typical use case.

    @liono: take it to a nikon repair center if you can. It's not the plastic that makes the cost of the camera is the electronics which are most likely fine: so a repair should theoretically be possible

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nikon+D600+Teardown/10708/1

    according to ifixit the front element could be replaced; look for the picture with all the parts: is it only the front element that is broken?

    edit: look for step 10: looks replaceable if only that part is broken
    Post edited by thomasv on
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    DEJ: Perhaps, but the D600 checks in at 8 oz. lighter than the D800. While weight should never be the primary concern when selecting a DSLR, a lot of consumers will prefer the lighter D600 in their hands. This will make the decision of "D600 + a piece of glass" vs "D800 body only" at the same pricepoint that much easier.
  • lionoliono Posts: 9Member
    Thanks for the responses guys.

    @thomasv Yes I saw that website, very good site indeed for things like this! Unfortunately it's also the top element that has broken slightly (you can see where it's broken just below the mode select dial). Judging by ifixit.com that will mean replacing the whole top panel including flash etc... I'm thinking this is going to be costly!
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 641Member
    edited January 2013
    DEJ: Perhaps, but the D600 checks in at 8 oz. lighter than the D800. While weight should never be the primary concern when selecting a DSLR, a lot of consumers will prefer the lighter D600 in their hands. This will make the decision of "D600 + a piece of glass" vs "D800 body only" at the same pricepoint that much easier.
    +1 to @shawnino, and I would add one of the key principles I have learned here at NRF: bodies are expendable, glass lasts. Although we talk a lot about our cameras and sensors, the optics move from one body to another as bodies are replaced.

    @Iiono: It's too bad this happened to such a new camera, but it looks fixable to me. Or, if the camera works, buy yourself a D800E (you know you want one!) and use the D600 as a backup. Take some comfort in your beautiful 24-70 is still operational. But you may want to send it in with the body to have it checked out. Nikon will tell you the cost of the repair prior to doing any work.
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • shawninoshawnino Posts: 453Member
    Aside from the crack, is everything OK? I'm not trying to minimise the situation, but if everything functions, is there a way to seal it up such that it may not look all that great but the seal will be strong enough to keep dust, water, etc. out?
  • soapsoap Posts: 28Member
    Aside from the crack, is everything OK?
    I'd be worried about subtle misalignment of the mount. And quite curious if it exists now.
    , but if everything functions, is there a way to seal it up such that it may not look all that great but the seal will be strong enough to keep dust, water, etc. out?
    I'm also curious what sealant is not going to outgas things you really don't want redepositing inside your camera.
  • lionoliono Posts: 9Member
    I think everything is OK, but I would rather have it fixed up so I can rest easy that dust etc isn't going to get in to the body. Pretty devastating seeing as I've only had it for 3 weeks!

    @symphotic I agree, I think I probably should send off the lens as well. Although it's showing no signs of damage the piece of mind would be good. Do you know if Nikon charge to examine equipment?
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    " Do you know if Nikon charge to examine equipment?"

    In the UK, only about £13 ($20).

    Regarding your broken body, I think you should brace yourself for a big bill. I was just quoted £90 + tax (20) labour to rebuild a lens so I would be surprised if you get away for less than £300 ($450) to change your body parts.
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    edited January 2013
    Something similar happened to another D600 user (old forum) and they had the entire lens mount snap off, so you're in a little bit better shape. If I recall correctly it cost $300-400 for that repair, so expert something in that price range.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited January 2013
    If its only 3 weeks old you may have some coverage with your credit card; it's worth a call to them to check.. Otherwise if Nikon "totals" the camera, you can make a homeowners insurance claim (if you're not a pro). Most homeowners policies have coverage for "misc electronics". In any case you will need Nikon's estimate for repair to make a claim.

    Going forward you may want to consider a specific insurance rider which are usually inexpensive and will cover theft, loss, and damage with a minimal deductible. There are also companies that you can buy damage coverage from specifically for your gear such as Mack Camera, or Square trade.

    Perhaps we should create a thread just for the various ways people cover their gear and experiences with various methods. I recall that @msmoto has covered some of this in the old forum. Maybe here is a good place ;-)

    http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/196/epic-destruction-or-celebrated-survival

    Edit: if I were in your situation, I would ship the lens and body off to Nikon, and grab a second used or refurb body. Ultimately you will want a 2nd body anyway, or you can sell it when you get your D600 back. Its either that or pay the shrink for all of the treatment you will require for the mental anguish and post traumatic stress disorder. I feel your pain :-(
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    Not helping him? There are only two choices: try some sort of glue to seal up the cracks or send it to Nikon and pay whatever the repair costs.

    But there is a larger issue here applicable to us all. The Nikon D90 had a polycarbinate body. The D7000 switched to a full magnesium body like the D300s. We don't know yet whether the new D7200 will continue with the full magnesium body or adopt a mixed plastic metal body as found in the D600. With the D600 Nikon has introduced a hybrid body construction. I think we will see that construction used on other Nikon bodies. Does that make any significant difference? Will it be seen as a weakness or flaw in the design? If you never drop your camera the hybrid design is unlikely to be an issue. Most likely the new D400 will be full magnesium because it will be a "pro" body. This is just something we need to be aware of because cameras are dropped. How many of us have ever had a tripod fall over or accidentally droped a camera? Liono's experience is a warning to those who will be wondering if Nikon's new hybrid body construction is "good enough" for them.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    "The D7000 switched to a full magnesium body like the D300s."

    That is news to me, I thought the D7K was the same as the D600.
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    Correct, there are images of the D7000 frame online, and it has the same mix of mag alloy and plastic as the D600.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    It is tragic when we drop a camera, lens, etc. To refresh, State Farm has a home owners rider to cover "all-risk" and the rate is about $10 per $1000 of coverage and I think there may be a minimum. Of course these may also have deductibles, so the repair in this particular situation may not be covered.

    I think I would do a few tests on this body. For one, with a long lens mounted, place some pressure on the lens to see if the crack opens up more. This may indicate a crack in the lens mount structure, an ominous indicator. On the other hand, if no distortion of the body occurs as a result of side pressure on the lens, it may be only a superficial crack.

    One can place the camera on a tripod, do some focus tests to see if the AF still functions properly, maybe using various AF points. If all is well, again this would suggest mo obvious internal damage.

    So, in summary, if the camera passes all the tests and does not seem to have internal malfunctions, and if it were my body, I would do a study of industrial glues to determine which is best for the body material. If it can be determined a proper glue for the polycarbonate body exists, I would be inclined to use this, clamp the crack tightly upon gluing and see if this works. This must be accomplished with great caution for as to allow excess glue into the crack and on to other components, could spell disaster. The idea is to repair the crack and nothing else.

    My best to you...
    Msmoto, mod
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    Ok, I was going by the DPReview comment:

    "The D7000 sits above the D90 in Nikon's current lineup, and as befits its new position in the range, the D7000 combines elements of the D90 with elements of the D300S - Nikon's current APS-C flagship. The most obvious physical clue to its new position is a magnesium alloy body shell, which up to now has been reserved for Nikon's top-end APS-C and full frame cameras."

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond7000/

    and by its listing of the frame construction as magnesium alloy body just the same as it describes the D300s (scroll down the page above to see the comparisons between the D7000, D90 and D300s. DPReview did not post a photo of the frame in this review. So the correct description of the D7000 frame is partial magnesium alloy body?
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    Looks like this is a more accurate description of the D7000 frame:

    "2) Camera construction and handling
    In terms of construction, the Nikon D7000 sits between the Nikon D90 (all plastic) and the Nikon D300 (all magnesium alloy) – the top and the rear of the camera is made of magnesium alloy material, while the front and the bottom parts are plastic. Nikon wanted to make the camera tough without adding too much weight, which is why only the most used part of the camera got the extra protection. And it was certainly a good decision, because the D7000 is only 70 grams (2.5 ounces) heavier than the D90. Here is an illustration of the D7000 frame (front and back):"

    Photos of the frame are found at http://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-d7000.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    So in terms of construction and control layout we can say the D600 is essentially an FX sensor put into the D7000 body design and therefore a "bridge" type camera. Now we will see if the D400 is essentially a DX sensor put into the D800 body design for a "bridge" type camera in the opposite direction. It will be interesting if Nikon offers both an FX "bridge" and a DX "bridge" between their DX and FX lines at about the same price point. Do you want the extra robustness and speed and don't need FX? Get the D400. Do you want FX more than speed and robustness? Get the D600. Will a DX and FX body at the same price point both succeed? We will see if it happens.
  • lionoliono Posts: 9Member
    Thanks again for all your responses... they are making the pain of dealing with this a little better ;)

    With regard to insurance; I do have complete cover for up to £4,000's worth or equipment outside of my home which I would have no hesitation on calling on should I need to completely replace the camera, however it's just a question of how much would the claim have to be for to make it worth while. I can just about swallow a repair bill of £300 and put it down to a harsh lesson, but any more than that and I'll have to give the insurance company a call.

    @ironheart I did also buy this on a credit card, so I will look into whether they offer purchase protection, thanks for the heads up. Also, I think that's a nice idea for a thread. I've had contents cover for years and (luckily) have never had to call on it so I have no idea how hard/easy the insurance companies make it. Would be interested to hear some peoples stories on this.

    @donaldejose I think it's a valid point to raise; It would be nice for any body costing £1k+ to include a full magnesium body, and I think the amount you save on weight is negligible, especially when you're strapping a heavy 24-70 + battery grip to it! It's so typical though. I've had my D90 for 3 years and it's not got a scratch on it. I have my 'much tougher' D600 for 3 weeks and this happens. Right outside St. Paul's Cathedral as well. Someone wasn't looking down on me favourably..!

    I'll be giving Nikon a call tomorrow and will let you know how I get on.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    It isn't immediately obvious why the D7000/D600 is magnesium everywhere except the lens mount - in fact it is kind of counter-intuitive and I would have preferred the back to be the part that lacked magnesium if any of it had to. Actually I would rather have a complete magnesium body and pay £20 more. There are enough other differences that separate it from the pro line.
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    I agree. We may see this hybrid construction of the D7000/D600 become a point of criticism if more people have breaks in the front plastic part when pressure is placed on a lens. One would think a sideways blow to a long lens, such as when a camera with mounted telephoto lens falls off a tripod, would create significant pressure on that plastic plate. A blow to the front of a long lens creates leverage on the plastic body.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    But let's be fair here Donald - if that kind of impact happens to a D300s or whatever, the camera would need to go back at least for a check-up and I would expect a bill.
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,199Member
    Yes, I am surprised the lens glass didn't break or crack and I am a bit skeptical that some parts are not now out of alignment. One could even argue the repair bill would be greater if the body were full metal. Why? The plastic did absorb some of the impact forces when it flexed and cracked. What if the plastic had not been there to do that absroption? Those same forces would have been transmitted to the internal parts of the body like the mirror and shutter and sensor. If the body is 100% rigid the impact forces do not disappear. They are just transmitted on and absorbed elsewhere. As an example, let's take energy absorbing bumpers on modern cars. They often contain a honey comb of plastic to absorb impact forces. If they did not absorb a force it would just be transmitted on to the rest of the car and be absorbed elsewhere, maybe by your body.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    +1 We absolutely agree on that Donald.
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    edited January 2013
    @donaledgose here is another image of the D7000's frame,.

    image

    D300/D300s frame
    image
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
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