Sunday, June 02, 2013

Nikon will fix grey market cameras! Broken camera, broken lens - and how to fix them (Nikon and Tokina)

NOTE: This factual blog post is about servicing and fixing your Nikon camera and Tokina lens. It includes important information about grey market cameras (those bought outside the country of residence).

My six year-old Nikon camera needed a service. My Tokina lens needed a clean, plus the helicoid (a thin plastic guide which the front of the lens runs on) was also damaged.

Finding someone to do both jobs was not easy. I received quotes of varying prices. For the lens cleaning alone quotes ranged from £80 to almost £200.


The major problem for my camera was that it was bought from Hong Kong and falls outside Nikon's UK warranty service.

On their USA website, Nikon state:

'Nikon Inc. USA cannot provide any technical support or warranty service on Gray Market items. Additionally Nikon Inc. USA cannot perform any fee-based repair work on Gray Market items. Please do not contact Nikon Inc. USA for help with any Gray Market products. Please contact the reseller or importer of your Gray Market items for warranty and service information as well as software updates and downloads'

Their European website says the same:
'Nikon European offices cannot provide any technical support or warranty service for Grey Market product, additionally they may not perform any fee-based repair work on Grey Market products. Contact the reseller or importer of your Grey Market products for warranty and service information as well as software updates and downloads.'

Basically Nikon refuse to deal with grey market cameras. However, I emailed Nikon UK and got a positive response.

I got this email from Nikon Europe Support:

'Dear Garry,

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry to learn of the problems that you have been experiencing with your Nikon D2Xs. I would like to confirm that we provide out-of-warranty service regardless of the original region that the equipment has been purchased in.

We request that you register your camera for repair via the URL listed below. Once you have completed the form you will receive an email advising you to print the return label, giving you free postage through your local postal service. The return address will be included on the label.

Please note that the Service Department will need to inspect your D2Xs before they can submit an estimate or quotation. We can therefore unfortunately not advise regarding cost at this stage. The turnaround time for professional equipment is approximately 10 days, however may vary due to part availability, testing requirements, etc.'

I promptly downloaded the repair request form and sent my camera away to be fixed. A full service cost around £100. They even left some test images on my memory card from their service tests (below).

Tokina lens

I contacted Tokina's official European service team, which their website says is Kenro. However, Kenro no longer service Tokina.

I eventually found an independent repair man called Alan Marlow ( An ex-Konica service technician, Alan has been running his business for 27 years.

With excellent email communication, Alan quoted me a low price for cleaning my lens and then also advised me on my faulty helicoid which he fixed also. Total price £85, which I was very happy with. Below is an image Alan sent to me to help explain the helicoid problem.


zhi said...

Yes, Nikon will service but not honor the warranty of a grey market item. They're a little expensive though, had a 400 quid repair on a lens a month or so ago, but they are quite good with the quality of work.

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