Ask any pro why they choose the body they use and one of the first things you will hear is durability. Before I ever shot my first paid gig, I treated my gear like it was fine China. Well, after awhile you realize that the difference between getting a shot and letting one slip away is just “being there.” That means sometimes your gear gets banged up. However, I never expected my Nikon D3 to survive getting driven over by a car! …I cannot say the same for the lens
Let me preface this by saying that I was 50% dumb, which is why I was only reimbursed 50%. That said, read on…
I was recently shooting a wedding and someone accidentally drove over my gear. They destroyed my 70-200 f/2.8 (what a horrible sound). My D3 was pulled and dragged under the car as the lens was trying to tear off the body. I caught the tail end of the incident, only to watch in horror as I lost over $4,000 worth of camera gear. The lens is now a sad looking paper weight. To my shock and surprise, I picked up the D3 and it still worked. Sure, it is pretty banged up, but it was actually able to limp to the end of the night and allow me to finish the wedding with both camera bodies.
D3 Damage Report:
1. Nasty Road Rash, I mean chunks of Magnesium Alloy are still left on the ground.
2. The F-Mount has slightly torn away from the body on the right (causing slight blur on that side shooting wide unless I compensate with an aperture of around f/7.1)
3. The Shutter Release/on-off system is a little whacked. I can tap it and it turns on. Thankfully, it stays on!
4. The Aperture wheel is a little tighter than before.
Other than that, it can still be used…at least until I have Nikon repair it. I mean, it works, but that is a loose definition.
Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 Damage Report:
Overall, this is a testament to Nikon’s professional gear. Any other camera body would probably be in pieces. Sure, it has some serious battle scars. But, it will live to fight another day! Yes, I did lose over $2,000 and I still have to pay Nikon to repair the D3 so it is operating at 100%. But, the important thing was that I was able to finish the wedding. I was paid to do a job and, as a pro, you are expected to complete the shoot. The Bride and Groom deserve nothing less. The D3 allowed me to complete the job. This is why I will remain loyal to Nikon, even more than before.
Did I get a little lucky? Sure. But, would a lesser body have allowed me to finish the day? No way.
Thank you Nikon.