I need to get a grip – Really I do on my Nikon D810

A very low wing flap from a Western GrebeA very low wing flap from a Western Grebe – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

As a bird photographer I am constantly picking up and putting down my camera or gripping it for long periods of time while I wait for my subject to take flight or to catch interesting behavior. My camera is in my hands more than I hold cups/travel mugs of coffee each day which says a lot since I love coffee. It is in my hands so often that I know every curve of its body.

Nikon D810 memory card door rubber gripNikon D810 memory card door rubber grip

Yesterday I noticed that the rubber grip on my Nikon D810 memory card door has loosened up on a camera that is only 13 months old. It might not seem like a big thing but to me it is because I feel that with my hand when I lift my camera up to photograph birds. And the loose rubber just gets worse over time.

The problem? I have to box it up and send it to Nikon in California to get it fixed and that means I will be without my Nikon D810 for more than a week, more likely about 10 to 12 days including shipping time. The Nikon D810 is new enough that I can’t just order the memory card door rubber grip directly from Nikon. They don’t sell it on their site as a replacement part… yet.

I can use my Nikon D300 or a D200 as a backup in the meantime, I just hate being without the D810 for so long. If Nikon’s Service Center was in Sacramento instead of Los Angles I would drive over there today!

Now I need to figure out when to send the D810 to Nikon and trying to decide that is difficult with migration ramping up and more birds coming in and going through northern Utah. Decisions…decisions.

Life is good.



  1. Jane Chesebrough September 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I can empahsize with you over having to be without your camera for a few days, but I know it opens doors to new opportunities.The photo of the Western Grebe is lovely!

  2. Heather September 22, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I had a similar thing happen to me with my mirrorless camera and as it was no longer under warranty I took it into a local repair shot. They said the problem was cause by me handling it so much (I always have my hand on the grip) and the oil from my skin had eventually caused the rubber to lift.

    There was a long and involved process to fixing it and even then they said that it might happen again. So, like you I hated being without my camera and came home, got the gorilla glue out, sealed it up and it’s been working fine ever since. Has been well over a year.

  3. Mary McAvoy September 22, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I love your description of the camera in your hand – that you know every curve of it.
    I feel the same with my cameras. I’ve stood for an hour many times, frozen and waiting for a bird to catch a fish or take flight with one in its mouth or to return to the nest to feed its young.

    I had only one Nikon for years. Like you, I just couldn’t imagine being w/o it for a week even though it desperately needed to be cleaned.
    Solution? I bought another Nikon! A little overboard I suppose, but now I have two and though I prefer the newer camera, I have my old workhorse handy for the day I have to part briefly with the new one while it’s cleaned!
    (Ironic truth….since buying the second camera two years ago, I now find myself living two blocks from this region’s camera buff’s preferred store for cleanings and repairs. I can now walk either camera to “the shop” for a tune-up!)

  4. Deborah September 22, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Love the photo Mia.
    That is a drag about the camera. But; remember this . . . it’s not the camera that makes these gorgeous pictures.

  5. Cindy September 22, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Beautiful photo, as always Mia. So many things beyond our control but the birds will be waiting either way. Sending good thoughts. 🙂

  6. Dennis September 22, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I would ‘tag’ Nikon in this and see if they came up with a solution for you….

  7. Patty Chadwick September 22, 2015 at 7:36 am

    What a frustrating pain in the fisteris! Must feel like sending your right arm away for a week or more! For something that shouldn’t even happen in the first place….a pox on Nikon’s quality control!!!
    Love your photo of the Grebe…an unusual pose to capture…once again, surprised by how short their wings look in relation to the size of their bodies…

  8. Liz Cormack September 22, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Decisions, decisions…..you will make the right one. Wonderful shot of the Western Grebe.

  9. Bob mcpherson September 22, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Tough decisions require deep thought and forward thinking.
    You got this.

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