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Dropped dSLR :0(

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Long story short: Our Nikon D5000 (My first dSLR) was dropped by my other half yesterday,  from waist height, lens down onto a carpeted, but hard floor. She caught the strap just after the initial impact.


It was the kit lens (15-55mm DX VR) without any filters (just been taken off for cleaning!).


It looks as if the lens has taken the brunt of it - The front glass surround is damaged and the whole moving section of the lens is now at an angle to the rest of the lens.  The zoom movement gets stuck in the middle of the range.  Doesn't appear to be any broken glass.


The body itself looks unharmed.  No scratches as it didn't touch the floor.  Still seems to be taking pictures, but haven't yet uploaded any images to check their quality.


I think the lens is shot, but at $160 it really could have been worse.


Both the lens and body will be taken back to our local shop today (a main Nikon dealer) to see what they think.  However, their repair cycle is listed at 6-8 weeks.


So for the more experienced of you, a few questions:


How durable are the bodies?

What would you check to see if it's still working OK?

Is it worth sending the body away for 6-8 weeks to be sure? (I'll miss out on most of our rugby season if I do!)

How good are Nikon at repairing lenses? or should I just buy a new one? (It is their cheapest lens after all!)




I had ankle surgery at the end of the snow season, so no sports for me this Summer.  Taking photos of my rugby team was my way of coping and getting practice for next Winter!  Thankfully it wasn't my 55-200mm DX VR that got damaged..... But still i'm not keen on losing my camera for 2 months if I don't have to.


Thanks for your advice!


post #2 of 8

I'm an experienced and avid amateur photographer.  If it were me, I'd take a complete loss on the lens and do my own quick tests with the body.  You say you've still got one working lens.  Use that to put the camera through its paces.  Try various apertures, shutter speeds, modes, ISO values.  Try the flash.  Check auto focus.  Make sure that a photo at 1/2000 f/5.6 is exposed similarly to one at 1/250 f/16, etc.  Make sure all the buttons and switches work.  Make sure lenses go on and off cleanly.  Verify VR function.


Basically, aside from the shutter and a few other bits, the camera is a solid-state electronic device and isn't likely that delicate.  Good luck.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Xela..... My thoughts = shops opinion = your comments..... gives me a peice of mind!


Gave the camera a good run this evening with the other lens and all seems ok.....

post #4 of 8



Sorry to hear of your mishap! The lens is shot--you can toss it (unless the repair cost is significantly less than the cost of a new 18-55mm VR).


The body is probably fine. Shoot some tests, preferably on a tripod. Shoot in aperture-priority, and at your maximum aperture (lowest-numerical value f-stop). Shoot something like a newspaper, or page from magazine with fine print on a flat surface, mounted vertically (just tape it to a window). Try to ensure that your image plane is parallel to the window. View images actual size on your computer. This is to test if your flange is out-of-plane (which I doubt). If it's sharp on all corners, you're good.


Like Xela said, check flash and other mechanical functions. Bodies are usually pretty resilient and it sounds like the lens' front element absorbed 90% of the energy from the fall.


Look on the bright side . . . now, you have a GREAT excuse to buy a new lens!

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Studio....


I'll give the newspaper test a go.


As for the excuse, unfortunately I didn't get anywhere near enough time to play with this lens, and i'm on a limited budget (buying a house) so it's going to have to be a like for like replacement!


No new toys for me

post #6 of 8


If you decide that another lens is more appealing, you may want to look at KEH, as they have a large selection of used  Nikon lens for sale and at some pretty good prices.

I'm not a Nikon guy, but I picked up all of my Mamiya lenses from KEH, and have been very satisfied.

Good luck with the camera,.... and the house.



post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Ray,


Thanks for the advice, however up here north of the border the US discount sites aren't that good for us!  Shipping, duties, brokerage, etc tend to kill of any savings.


post #8 of 8



Been a few years since I physically damaged a camera but I still remember the angst.  Don't 'toss' the lens!   Instead, take it to your local camera shop (a pro shop, not a chain store) and if they do repairs, offer it up to them for a small price or barter exchange.  They can make use of its parts for repair of other lenses.


A lens-down impact probably does the least damage to a body as the movable components of the lens add a bit of shock absorption.  The crumpled lip of the lens also sucked up some of the impact.   My oldest camera (Canon FTb) took several shots like that (on concrete too) and continued fine for many years before needing repair (after a bear dragged it into the woods and pummeled it).


Old SLRs have way more moving parts than DSLRs so only lens-mount and plane alignment will probably be in question.    Align the camera as perfectly as possible into a straight-on, squarely aimed shot of a rectangular structure with lots of clean lines and take a few shots.  Also try 'twisting' the camera and lens a bit (holding mild tension on it) and take a few more shots with a variety of 'twist tensions'.


If you can't find any distortion in the images, it's probably fine.  If you find a bit of distortion only when a bit of twisting is involved (between camera and body) then it's possible the lens mount is slightly out of whack (permitting play) and no longer holds the lens perfectly in alignment (something hard to fix).


In my case I chose to live with the slight misalignment for years as it didn't affect the bulk of the shot.  After the bear was done with it though it had too much play and needed a few hundred dollars in repairs.



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