Thursday, September 4, 2008

Disaster and the D200

L to R: Rick Nevels, Don S. sitting Rick L.

On a recent trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula I had the privilege to shoot in beautiful and interesting surroundings with two good friends (Canon shooters nonetheless, see we all really can  get along) for ten fantastic days. Despite the mosquito swarms which lasted for approximately an hour each AM and regularly ran us into our tents each PM, we had a great time and captured some beautiful images. However, on 8/29/08 at 8:04:59 AM I took what may end up being the last image ever taken with my beloved D200. The D200 is a substantial, well built camera, my first DSLR, that I have taken many images with. If I were to replace it with a newer model, I would want to keep it. Not only are the images it produces impressive, but the handling characteristics and ergonomics make it a joy to use. The spider web photo below was taken at the time listed above just before my D200 was seriously damaged.

I was shooting with a MF 200mm f4 Nikon macro lens, a lens I have written about before on this blog, a lens that is renown for it's contrast and sharpness, and works on the Nikon D100 - 300 and D1 -D3 series cameras. The camera and lens were attached to the tripod via the Arca-Swiss screw release on an Arca-Swiss Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 Single Pan Ballhead to the lens mount and a custom Kirk plate on the Nikon 200mm f4. In attempting to readjust my tripod for another shot the quick release allowed the camera and lens to slide backwards out of the mount. The back of the D200 took the brunt of impact resulting in a badly damaged lcd (see photo below). Initially, the on/off switch on the camera did not work, but then I was able to shut down the camera. I then attempted to turn the camera back on, but to no avail. I placed the camera and lens in a plastic bag, due to the shattered glass, and placed it in my camera bag. I could not bear to look at it further. Without a backup camera body, my Canon shooting buddies graciously loaned me Canon cameras and beautiful L series lenses (see we all really can get along) to photograph with for the remainder of our trip.

Upon returning home, I opened up the plastic bag and looked at my camera. After further examination and a new battery I discovered the camera was operable, after all. Amazingly the camera still produces an image, autofocus, and metering still works. Autofocus modes work, but the multi selector on the back of the camera does not work, hence auto focus points cannot be manipulated and all other functions dependent upon the multi-selector are inoperable. However, the camera still takes a reasonable image. (Below)

Returning to Louisville, late, on Sunday 8/31/08, I set about determining where to get an estimate on repair. Initial inquiries about local repairs seemed to indicate possible delays due to a history of back ordered parts from Nikon. Also, I have a shoot scheduled for 10/4/08 and need a camera ASAP. Consequently, I shipped the D200 to Nikon's repair facility in Melville, NY. The camera was shipped UPS on 9/2/08 4:36 PM and arrived at the Melville NY repair facility on 9/4/08 at 10:13 AM. At the time of this writing, 9/4/08 2:25 PM, no word from Nikon regarding repair status. I will continue to post my experience and progress on this repair.

1 comment:

Johnny said...

Wow - that is truly a very sad sight. I'd never seen a D200 with such damage before. Hope you didn't cry too loud - I'm sure I would have as my D200 is very special to me, even though I shoot mainly film. Good luck on the repairs.