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Nikon’s about to make it way harder to repair your camera

Nikon is axing its third party repair program, so anyone with one of its camera will have to send it to one of the two facilities placed strategically at opposite ends of the country, instead of nipping into their local independent to fix up their snapper, according to reports.

In a letter obtained by ifixit, Nikon wrote to authorised US retailers and let them know that it wouldn’t be renewing any of their authorisation agreements from March 2020. The company’s reasoning for this is fairly opaque – apparently “the climate in which we do business has evolved, and Nikon Inc. must do the same.”

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Nikon had already stopped providing independent shops with repair parts in 2012, which drastically cut down the number of places where you could drop-off your goods for repair. At the time it said that its products were too “complex” for humble independent repair shops to handle, which seems a little snooty to us.

The latest move will undoubtedly cut-off revenue streams for the handful of remaining authorised shops that are scattered through America. Speaking with ifixit, one shop-owner said “If I have to tell a customer it’s a couple weeks just to get the part, and I can’t offer a discount on the repair…I don’t know why they wouldn’t go to Nikon directly.”

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You can still get in-warranty Nikon products fixed by the company itself, and there’s even free postage when you’re sending your camera to one of the US-based facilities – but that’s not really the sticking point here. It takes a lot of effort to pack up something as delicate as a camera and it would take a lot longer to receive the repaired item via this method too.

In the UK, there are only three authorised Nikon repair spots, so it would seem very miserly to deprive them of authorised parts. At present, it’s not clear if this authorised repair stop will apply to UK shops as well – we’ve reached out to Nikon for comment.

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