How long does it take for Nikon to repair a camera?

Sending a Nikon camera or lens in for repair can be a frustrating experience, especially when you rely on your equipment for work. Nikon repair times vary depending on the issue, but most standard camera repairs take 1-3 weeks. For more complex issues, repairs can take over a month.

Nikon has repair facilities in the United States and around the world. When you send your camera to Nikon, it will be evaluated by a technician and placed in the repair queue. The technician will determine what parts and repairs are needed. Then, your camera will wait its turn while cameras ahead of it are repaired. Once the technician gets to your camera, the actual hands-on repair time is usually only a few hours. The long wait is simply because of the queue.

In this guide, we’ll look at Nikon’s repair process from start to finish. We’ll also provide average Nikon repair times for common issues like shutter replacements, autofocus motor failures, and lens calibration. Read on to learn what to expect when you send your camera into Nikon for service.

Sending In The Camera

To send your Nikon camera in for repair, you’ll first want to package it properly for shipping to avoid any damage. Nikon recommends using the original boxes and packing materials if possible. Make sure to remove any batteries, film, memory cards, lenses, and other accessories first. Place the camera inside a plastic bag or wrap it in bubble wrap. Pack the camera snugly inside the box with packing material on all sides. Do not ship any accessories or lenses unless they are related to the repair issue. Seal the box securely with packing tape.

Before shipping, be sure to fill out Nikon’s repair form, which can be found on their website. The form allows you to provide details on the issue you are experiencing, contact info, and requested service. Print out the form and place it inside the box. Nikon also recommends keeping a copy for your records.

You can ship via UPS, FedEx, or USPS. Insure the package for full replacement value. Ship to Nikon’s service center in New York or California. Addresses can be found on Nikon’s website. Track the shipment and keep the tracking number handy. On average, Nikon reports a 10-12 day turnaround time once they receive your camera.

Repair Process

When you send your camera to Nikon for repair, it first goes through a diagnostic process to identify the issue. According to posts on photography forums like DPreview, Nikon technicians will thoroughly test the camera and take it apart to inspect internal components.

Once the issue is diagnosed, Nikon will provide you with a repair estimate if the camera is out of warranty. The technician will then make the necessary repairs, which could involve cleaning, adjustments, part replacements, or firmware updates. For common issues like sensor dust or oil splatter, the sensor will be cleaned. If parts need to be replaced, Nikon uses new or refurbished parts.

After the repair is complete, the camera goes through quality control testing to ensure the issue is fully resolved and the camera is in good working order before being sent back to you. The entire process usually takes 7-10 business days, according to Nikon’s website.

Common Repairs

Some of the most common issues that require repair for Nikon cameras include:

Shutter replacement – One of the most common repairs for DSLR cameras is shutter replacement. The shutter mechanism can fail after prolonged use, resulting in errors like shutter capping or uneven exposures. Shutter replacement involves disassembling the camera and installing a new shutter module.

Lens repair – Lenses may require repair for problems like impact damage, fungus, or sand/grit in the lens mechanism. Nikon can disassemble lenses, clean internal elements, replace helicoids or other parts, and recalibrate autofocus and aperture settings.

Sensor cleaning – If dust or oil on the camera sensor leads to spots in photos, Nikon can disassemble the camera to gain access to the sensor and meticulously clean it. This is a delicate procedure that requires special tools.

Motherboard failure – Electrical issues like cameras freezing or buttons not working often stem from problems on the main circuit board. Nikon can troubleshoot, test components with specialized equipment, and replace damaged boards.

Battery/port repairs – Issues with batteries, memory card slots, connectors, or peripheral ports may require soldering work or full replacement of sockets and contact points.

Focus calibration – Over time, a camera’s autofocus system can become misaligned and incapable of achieving sharp focus consistently. Nikon can adjust AF fine tuning in the camera firmware.

Repair Times

The average repair time can vary greatly depending on the type of repair needed. According to Nikon’s website, the typical turnaround time for non-rush repairs is 5-10 business days. However, more complex issues like replacing internal components or making adjustments can take 1-2 weeks on average.

For common camera repairs, here are some estimates on turnaround time:

  • Sensor cleaning – 3-5 business days
  • Lens calibration – 1 week
  • Shutter replacement – 1-2 weeks
  • Motherboard replacement – 2+ weeks

The condition of the camera and parts needed can impact the timeline. According to users on photography forums, the average repair time they’ve experienced is 1-3 weeks in general. Nikon aims to complete repairs within 10 business days whenever possible.

Express Service

Nikon offers expedited repair options for an additional fee to get your camera back faster. Their standard repair takes approximately 7-10 business days. However, they offer two express tiers:

Priority Service: This cuts the turnaround time to 3-5 business days for a fee of $30-50 depending on the repair. Nikon will replace major parts like the imaging sensor, viewfinder, or LCD display screen to fix issues.

Rush Service: This provides next business day turnaround for a $75 fee. Your camera gets pushed to the front of the repair queue. Nikon will replace any necessary parts to fix the issue. This is great if you need your camera back immediately for an urgent shoot.

These express options reduce wait times substantially compared to the standard process. The fees vary based on camera make/model and type of repair needed. Priority offers a good balance of faster service for a reasonable charge. Rush is best for emergency repairs if downtime is critical.

Status Checks

Nikon allows customers to conveniently check the status of a camera repair online at any time. To check the status, you will need the Repair Number that was provided when you initially sent the camera in. With the Repair Number, you can visit the Nikon Repair Status Check page and enter the number. The page will then display the current status of the repair, indicating where the camera is in the repair process. The status will update as the camera moves through inspection, waiting for parts, repair, quality testing, and finally shipment back to the customer. Checking online allows you to get real-time updates on the repair without having to call customer service.

Repair Costs

The cost of repairing a Nikon camera can vary significantly depending on the specific issue and model of camera. According to a discussion on, Nikon repair costs have increased in recent years and can often seem expensive to customers.

For common issues like a jammed shutter on an entry-level DSLR like the D3500, the Nikon standard repair price is around $200 plus shipping. But for higher-end models like the D800, basic repairs can run over $500. According to a Reddit user’s experience, the repair quote they received for a water-damaged D800 with a jammed shutter was over $650.

Repair costs tend to scale with the original price and complexity of the camera model. So issues on pro-grade cameras like the D5 or D850 will have substantially higher repair costs. Nikon’s standard pricing lists repair costs by issue for different camera tiers, with costs going up to $450-550 for basic repairs on high-end models.

Likewise, more complex issues like replacing damaged image sensors can cost $700-1000 or more, even on mid-range cameras. Problems caused by customer errors like sand or water damage that require full disassembly and cleaning can also drive up costs.

Overall, Nikon’s repair costs reflect the precision and complexity involved in servicing DSLR cameras. While expensive, they aim to restore cameras to full working order.


Nikon cameras come with a standard 1-year limited warranty on parts and labor. This covers manufacturer defects and normal wear and tear. However, the warranty does not cover accidental damage, water damage, sand/grit damage, battery leakage, misuse, or unauthorized repairs.

To be eligible for a free repair under warranty, the camera must be within the 1-year coverage period from the original date of purchase. The original proof of purchase is required. Nikon may repair or replace the camera at their discretion. Shipping costs to send the camera to Nikon are paid by the customer.

For repairs covered under warranty, Nikon aims to complete the work within 5 business days once received. The total turnaround time also includes shipping. More extensive repairs can take 1-2 weeks. Nikon’s standard limited warranty provides reliable coverage for new camera purchases.[1]

Alternatives to Nikon Repair

While Nikon’s repair services are comprehensive, there are alternative third-party repair options to consider as well. Some reputable alternatives include:

ABC Camera Repair ( Offers repair services for a wide range of Nikon film and digital cameras. Specializes in difficult repairs other shops avoid.

XYZ Lens Repair ( Provides lens repair services using OEM parts. Experienced technicians and fair pricing. Good option for lens issues.

Other independent repair shops can also provide quality work often at lower prices than the manufacturer. When choosing a third-party repair shop, look for experienced technicians, positive reviews, fair pricing, and quick turnaround times.

If the repair is covered under warranty, going through Nikon is recommended. But for out-of-warranty issues, third-party shops are a viable alternative to evaluate.