G’day!


Thanks for visiting.  Use links on the right side of this page to find the more interesting stuff.

The point of this blog?  There isn’t one… honestly, this is just a collection of random topics that inspired me to document and share; usually, it’s stuff that I find myself writing about in online forums, but with more detail.  Sometimes unique, sometimes just my spin on a common topic.

Topics of interest?  Photography, micro-electronics, and woodworking get most of my attention.  I even manage to combine my interests from time to time, such as building photo sets, photographing woodworking techniques, and doing DIY camera repair.

Got a question or a topic of interest?  Drop me a note here.  I’m full of opinions!

Cheers,
Richard

29 Responses to “G’day!”

  1. Dear Richard, your replacing the shutter and documenting the tearing and putting back the camera together was outstanding. i had a question that perhaps may not be doable. could the main pcb of a d2h be replaced with a d2 id appreciate any comments you may be able to provide. thanks..

    • Hi, Carlos.
      Thanks for your comment. I can’t offer a qualified opinion on upgrading the main PCB. I’d speculate it’s possible, but that would be a pricey experiment.
      As one might expect, Nikon seems to share components across products – not every camera is designed from scratch. Especially within the same family, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find they shared the same frame and most of the mechanicals. (The D2h seems to have a lot of commonality with the D2x.) However… you may find that one thing leads to another, and more than just a main PCB would need to be replaced.
      You could compare the parts lists for both bodies to get an idea of what’s interchangeable, but that may be tough as well – e.g., Nikon seems to have several part numbers for the shutter assemblies that will work in the D2h, so just because the part numbers are different doesn’t mean they’re incompatible.
      Lastly, the cost of a replacement main PCB with sensor is ridiculous – far more than you’d pay for an entire functional camera in the used after-market. I could only see it being viable to try if you had two partially destroyed cameras and salvaged them to create a single working unit. If you decide to tackle this project, please let me know how it goes!
      Cheers,
      Richard

  2. Peter Towers Says:

    Hi Richard, wonderful article on the D2H, a question though about a D1H, I bought as my first digital camera a few months ago and was congratulating myself for obtaining it for a bargain price ($52) when the LCD screen went blank, camera would not fire, card error dislplay, but it will focus. Any immediate thoughts as to a possible diagnosis, or is it confined to being a book end? Great post!! Regards, Peter

    • Hi, Peter.
      I’ve got no special insight on that one. The “Err” code is the only diagnosis I’m experienced with – it means the shutter isn’t opening and closing as expected. Regarding the card error, what code is being displayed?
      The D70 is legendary for giving CF card errors, and it seems to be because the pins in the CF socket aren’t making good contact – removing and reinserting the card clears it up 100% of the time for me. Given the same era, I wouldn’t be surprised if the D1 series had similar socket problems. However, that doesn’t explain the blank LCD on the back panel.
      Sometimes it’s a hot smoking deal for a reason… I once bought a camera off Craigslist with a defective pop-up flash; having researched common failures, I thought it’d be a simple fix and a great deal. Boy, was I wrong. It turned out that the camera had water damage and I’d gotten the short end of the deal.
      Anyway, if you think it’s destined to be a bookend, you’ve got little to lose by trying to fix it – it’ll still make a great bookend. That was my attitude when digging into this D2h… I had no idea if I’d even be able to reassemble it, but it was already a total write-off so no big deal. Depending on what you find and if you’re up for the experience, you might be able to source another broken (or even working D1H) off eBay and cobble together one working body. Please let me know how it turns out!
      Cheers,
      Richard

      • Peter Towers Says:

        Some time later!!, thanks Richard, in the end I went for ‘pre-loved’ D2x.
        Wonderful machine, certainly a leap forward from the first generation. Will keep the D1h for parts I think.

        Cheers

        Peter

  3. Hi Richard,

    I’m french and I have a D2h and the shutter crashed after 308,260 trips.
    Can you tell me where I can buy a shutter ?
    Thank you and congratulations for your tutorial on your troubleshooting your D2h.
    Best regard.

    Bob

    • Hi, Bob.
      You should be able to buy a shutter directly from the Nikon importer for your region, or from a repair shop who can order it from them. In the US, Nikon will sell parts directly to end customers, but that may not be the policy everywhere. Try calling the phone number at this link: http://www.nikon.fr/fr_FR/service_support/Service_support_SAV.page

      • Thanks for your answer and I will ask the customer service Nikon the price for the shutter. I would want repair my D2h by myself like you.

  4. Hi Richard,
    Nikon FR don’t sell me a mechanic shutter or other pieces. They want to propose me un estimate for repair by themselves.
    And now, where I can buy a new shutter ? Nikon US ?
    Thanks.

    • Hi, Bob.
      I’m not surprised that Nikon France won’t sell you the part; some importers are overly protective. I’d suggest to first try buying the part through a local repair shop. You could also try buying from NikonUSA (or perhaps Nikon Japan), but they are likely to refer you back to Nikon France.
      Another alternative is to watch eBay for the part number you need and buy from a private seller – you take some chance that the part may not be new, but I’ve seen them available often.

      • Thanks, In US, do you know this seller ? http://myworld.ebay.com/procamerarepair/
        In france, the local repair shop are not many ;-(

      • Hi, Bob.
        No, I don’t know that seller, but with their volume of business and high rating I would have no issue doing business with them.

  5. If D2H Shutter unit can be replaced by a D2X(s) shutter unit ?

    • I think , it’s not the same when we read the D2H and D2X documentation repair.

      • Hi, Bob. Try giving NikonUSA a call and asking them about the part numbers – Nikon routinely revises certain parts and the original part number you’re looking for might have been superseded by a newer version.
        I seem to recall that when I was researching costs, Nikon told me the D2H shutter part number I was looking for had been superseded by a new part number, which was the same as D2X.
        NikonUSA’s parts department phone number is at the bottom of this page. Beware that their hold times can be long if you call at a popular time: http://www.nikonusa.com/Service-And-Support/Service-And-Repair.page

  6. I purchased (2) D2h shutters on eBay a while back to try and drop into a D2x. The shutter that was advertised as a D2h shutter, was the same part number as the D2x parts diagram listed. Went in and worked great for me. I bought two because of the deal I got, and would sell the remaining one if someone needed it. But just to clear it up, it seems as though the D2h shutter part number has been revised to match the D2x part number.

    • Hi, Cody. Thanks for the info. As I recall, that was my experience as well – that the replacement D2X shutter is the same one for the D2H.

  7. Hi,

    I just read your article about the D2X repair. Great.
    I have a question: I’m having an issue with my D2H.
    The aperture-sense ring doesn’t give any information to the cameras electronics when using a non “G” type lens. It seeams O.K. mechanically, as the spring works fine and the lever isn’t bent. So I suppose it’s an electrical problem.
    I would like to take the front faceplate off, to see if the wiper contacts need cleaning or so, but I’m a little afraid, that when I loosen the screws, springs and stuff pop out and I’ll never get it back together… Any advice you could give me on that?

    Thanks, Tom

    • Hi, Tom.
      The only springs are on the aperture sense ring, and those are attached (and loosely stretched, not compressed), so you should be safe. But if I recall, you’ll have to remove a total of 9 screws plus the metal lens mounting ring to remove the faceplate; most of the screws are just behind the edges of the grip rubber, so you might be able to do it without peeling it back too far. (There’s a photo of the D2H “skinned” near the top of the post and you can see all the screws – one of them is under the CSM switch cap.)
      But first I would ask what kind of lens you are using. I believe lenses with a “D” (e.g., AF-D) should be signaling their aperture and focal distance through the electrical contacts, while the aperture sense ring would apply to older “non-D” lenses. (Newer “G” lenses don’t have an aperture ring at all and are controlled entirely by the aperture stop-down lever inside the lens mount.)
      Cheers,
      Richard

      • Hi Richard,
        thanks for your quick reply!
        If AF-D lenses worked, it would be allright. I know, that all “G” lenses work, since i have two. but would like to use older AF-D lenses such the 80-200 2.8. I like their ruuged design even though their autofocus isn’t as fast.
        Problem is, I don’t have an AF-D lens to test that. Are you sure, they communicate the aperture sttings to the camera electronically?
        Tom

      • Hi, Tom.
        Your question led me to do a bunch of research, and what I’m finding so far is sketchy. It appears that aperture data from the lens should be coming into the camera via the electrical contacts that were introduced at/around the time AF was introduced. AF-D just added focal distance to the signaling for improved 3D metering. The aperture sensing ring of interest is apparently only useful for “AI” era manual focus lenses – it was an improvement on the prong coupler, but before the electrical contacts were added. So… I’m not sure if you’ll gain much by tearing into your camera. What leads you to believe it isn’t working? (You mentioned you don’t have an AF-D lens to test with.)
        As an aside, G lenses wouldn’t have a need to communicate their aperture setting to the body, per se, because they are wholly controlled by the body’s aperture arm inside the mount – how far it gets moved determines the aperture size. Most (all?) AF lenses also support this mode of operation by setting the lens on the smallest aperture, which is colored orange and usually has a pushbutton to lock it there.
        I hope this helps! Cheers, Richard

      • Oh, another thought… I believe most of the consumer bodies don’t have the “AI” aperture sensing ring, yet they’ll meter fine (i.e., read/control aperture) with all the AF lenses. Just another data point to suggest the aperture sensing ring shouldn’t be a factor for using AF-D lenses. If you find out otherwise, please do let me know!

  8. Hi Richard,

    I’m getting an AF-D lens today, so I can test it and let you know.

    Tom

    • So, I’ve got the AF-D lens now, but it’s really funny.

      Sometimes it works and sometimes not.

      I have tried all kinds of settings (Non CPU, M, A, etc.), but whatever i do it comes down to this.
      Once I turn on the camera, I immediately get an FEE error message in the top display. Then, suddenly after a while (somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds, it varies), everything works fine. even in P Mode wth no Non CPU values entered in the Menu – just as I’d use a regular “G” lens. I can then take pictures, the resluts are perfect.
      But then, after I release the shutter for a while and the camera goes in some “standby mode”, everything start from the beginning. I slightly press the shutter release and the FEE error comes on and the camera blocks. Then after a while, it works perfectly again. Same thing when I turn the amera off and on again. When I’m working my way through the menue, the aperture and shuttersped digits also stay, so that means, as long as the camera is not turned of or in sleep mode, it’ll work.
      So I’m convinced it has nothing to do with the aperture sensor under ther front face plate.
      What do you think this could be? A software fault, an electronical problem? Remember, this does not at all occur with my other “G” type lenses.

      I’m stunned…

      Tom

      • Hi, Tom.
        I don’t know what to tell you on that one. I haven’t dug deeply into the lens-body signaling yet, but this fellow has: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&message=10974743
        My understanding is that there is no difference between an AF-D lens and a G lens except the G lens has the aperture ring removed, and thus no AI “stub” to move the aperture sense ring. But I believe they both fully signal via the electrical contacts, and their apertures are equally controllable by the body via its mechanical aperture arm.
        I always find that the fEE error is caused by poor electrical contact with the lens. (It’s possible the G lens uses fewer of the contacts – I haven’t checked this.) I’d recommend using a De-Ox-It pen (or just a soft cloth) on both the lens and body contacts. Also, check the physical fit of the lens mount on both parts – I run into this more often with rental lenses that have loose (bent?) lens mounts.
        Cheers,
        Richard

  9. Final result:

    Finally, I have found a solution, I can live with… .
    Actually, I can attach any Af lens. If it’s a “G” type lens, it all works without any flaws. If it’s an older non “G” type lens, I close the aperture at the lens and lock it. Then of course, I get the FEE error message in the top display of the camera.
    But after a while – somewhat between 20 and 60 seconds – without me doing anything – the FEE error disappears and the normal figures for aperture and shutter speed are displayed and I can work absolutely normal with the camera and take perfectly exposed pictures.
    Once I turn the camera off or it stops measuring (e.g. if I set the menu so that it stops measuring after some seconds after releasing the shutter release, which I can change to indefinetely) and turn the camera back on, the FEE error comes up again and I have to wait again for some time till it works.
    At least, this way I can work with non “G” type lenses after a certain “warm up” time. Better than nothing.
    I don’t think it has something to do with poor electrical contacts since it works fine with the “G” type lenses. I rather think it’s another electronic issue somewhere inside the camera. And because of that (not knowing where to look for a defect) I think it’s no use to open the camera and try a repair… .

    Tom

  10. Rod Andrews Says:

    H! I have a D2H for sale if anyone is interest. It was upgraded by Nikon Canada two year ago under the ancient warranty that has now expired and it works perfectly. (They even added the mechanical lens motor drive dohickie/thingy on the lens mount that was not there before).

    I just got a D7100 today so I will likely not be using the D2H since I have other bodies around.

  11. Hi Richard. I have just found your page for repairing a nikon sb-800 speedlight. I have a quick question for you. I bought one of these flashes. the keys light up and the lcd displays all of the info, however the lcd doesn’t light up. i checked the settings which is showing the light as on. but i have no illumination. is this an easy fix?

    • Hi, Mark. It’s hard to say – in my case, I’d made an error re-assembling the unit and something wasn’t connected, so it was easy to fix the backlight. If it’s just a loose connection, the fix should deb easy; if it’s a failed part (e.g., the chip that enables it), it’s not fixable by most folks.

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