Old Friends in Good Places

Death of an icon

I’m deeply saddened to report the demise of my wonderful D800. It would appear that no other camera since my Nikon D1x has suffered so much at my hand as this camera in the three years I’ve owned it. Thanks to the fact that I’ve placed most of the spray-and-pray wildlife burden on my DX cameras, it turns out that I actually only shot 28,402 images on the D800 before it eventually gave out on me.

The D800, which I bought second-hand with 48,504 actuations, has broken with just 76,906 shutter actuations under its belt. This is rather disappointing, but it’s not entirely the fault of the camera. The culprit is actually the Lexar SD card which delaminated and wedged its electronic innards firmly inside the SD slot of my camera.¬†

The cost to replace the SD/CF card assembly exceeds the value of the camera itself, and so in common parlance, the camera is a write-off.

Truth be known, the camera has been on borrowed time for the last year, ever since I broke off the AE-L/AF-L button and metering mode dial with thick gloves on, while on a boat on Kielder Water, spotting nesting osprey.

You can see plainly that the D800 had quite a hard life. To be fair, it was not the best conditioned D800 available to buy when I got it. I got it for a pretty low price, but it was a fair price for what it was. I wouldn’t say that my camera equipment is mistreated, in fact quite the opposite – body caps are never left off, nor rear lens caps – but it does go everywhere with me, whether it sees use or not, and that will certainly take its toll over time.

But, as I said, the fault this time was not the camera but the Lexar media that I put inside it. It’s still inside it, or at least a component of it. The CF slot, however, is a mystery. When the SD slot failed, I decided to move to the CF card slot instead, but the CF slot is not working either. I’ve pressed as hard as I’m willing to try to insert a CF card but the slot is not accepting it. If I press any harder, I’m likely to damage the CF card and there’s nothing to be gained by doing that.

So with my D800 dead, my full frame experiment appeared to be over. Just as I was getting back into street, astro and abstract photography, too. To quote my mum, I was sloughened (pronounced: sluffened).

Enter Glenn, hero of the moment

Glenn has a D800 that he doesn’t use these days, and it was just gathering dust (including on the sensor! That really took some cleaning, lemme tell ya!) on a shelf. He’s been gracious enough to lend me his D800 while I figure out a replacement for my own. I spent a couple of hours setting up Custom Settings Bank B to my own preferences and I’m back up and running again, and immensely grateful to Glenn for the help. It’s quite a nice bit of symmetry in a sense because,¬†many years ago when the shutter in Glenn’s D70s died, I was able to lend him my D1x that, for me, had become redundant as I’d moved on to the D2x by then. I can only hope that I’m able to get Glenn’s D800 back to him in a timely fashion!

D800 & Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro gallery

Below is a brief gallery, now that I’m back up and running, to show off the D800 with one of my favourite lens pairings, the Sigma 105mm macro.