About Me

Wells, BC, Canada
Richard is a working photographer and writer in B.C. His camera focuses on natural history. archeology, travel, and documentary photography. His photography blog may be found at: http://richardtwright.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 20, 2014

D800 Viewfinder repaired

My trusty D800 is back in my hands after being repaired by Fixation in London.

It turns out that the likely cause was a small set screw located just behind the flash shoe that holds the viewfinder assembly in place. A poster on LinkedIn suggested that air travel's high vibrations can work the screws loose.

The Digital Photo Academy: <http://www.digitalphotoacademy.com/DpaObjects/viewTip/18169>
suggests the following:
"Airplane Vibrations and Heat: Cameras are subject to high frequency vibration from airline engines. A camera repair technician told me they see this all the time. The vibrations loosen all the screws etc. Cameras should never be placed loose on the floor of an airplane and there should be lots of padding in the bottom of the case if it goes under the seat. I add a layer of high-density foam (extra computer mouse pads) to the bottom of my camera bags for this reason. I once boarded a small island hopper twin prop plane that had virtually NO carry-on baggage space. I stopped the baggage handlers as they were about to put my camera bag in a stowage space located in the wing directly above the engine. The cameras would have been shaken apart. I hung the cameras around my neck to avoid any problems. If you are ever on a small island hopper flight that is full and has too much luggage make sure yours is not the bag left behind. They will sometimes do this and ship the excess baggage on the next flight. It’s better to grease the guy $20 than to risk never seeing your equipment again. I had to do this in the Australian outback."

Years back when I was doing a lot of helicopter and fixed wing flying for wildlife filming I used the trick of putting a dab of nail polish on screws. This fixes the screw in place but is easy to snap loose should a repair be necessary. However, I don't know how this might work on today's plastic lenses and bodies.
It is a good idea however, to carry a set of jewelers screwdrivers and check camera and lens screws periodically.

Fixation made the repair in four days, though we had some issues with my phone and email in the UK so it took a week total turn around. Fortunately I was able to borrow by son's D800 for a few days so did not miss out on shooting.
Fixation is one of the most interesting camera shops I have been to. First of all it is hard to find and there is no address posted and no signage.

They are in the Vauxhall region of London - interestingly just a few blocks from where my grandfather was brought up. But, a little hard to find. To be fair their online direction do lead you to the mysterious "Unit C".
Evidently the reasoning is that they want to deal only with professionals so want to be low key.
Well, they are indeed.
Once there we are let in through a security door by a receptionist who then directs us to the showroom. At one end is the repair and rental counter. Spaced though out the modest showroom are four desks where customers are greeted and served. They have a good stock of used equipment, a great selection of tripods and gear bags and a stock of Nikon and Canon new equipment.
Look them up at:

Add them to your list of where to get a camera repaired in London.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sir! Thank you for a nice story about the viewfinder. I have a question about the inside of the viewfinder; is it normal that when looking into the viewfinder of the D800 you can see a few small black dust particles located somewhere inside the viewfinder. I noticed this lately and I was wondering if it is something to worry about? I have checked a few cameras and all of them seem to have some small dust inside the viewfinder ( this does not affect the image quality ) but .it seems dust can occasionally get inside without hampering the image quality. Please sir. if you can check your viewfinder to see if there are some few small black dust particles. Respectfully Yours, Richard Fuentes