I recently sold my Nikon Z9 and picked up the new Z8 to take its place. The two cameras have relatively few feature differences, and the smaller form factor of the Z8 suits me better. Knowing the Z8 would be hugely popular, I followed my own advice and pre-ordered it on launch day to ensure I could get it into my hands as quickly as possible. My Z9 had been sold, so until it arrived, I was left without a Nikon camera. It’s not a huge deal, as I have other Sony and Canon cameras. Still, I wanted to minimize this period.
there are cases in which the lens release button on their Z 9 cameras when pressed does not function as it should and does not allow for rotation and removal of a lens or mount adapter from the cameraNikon – RE: Nikon Z9 mount issues
By the time the camera started to ship, there were already rumblings that several early Z8 users were experiencing issues with the lens mounts. Strange, I thought. In December 2022, Nikon issued a service advisory for the Z9 that dealt with a lens mount issue. I know there is much in common between the Z8 and the Z9. Still, surely they can’t have put more poorly-manufactured lens mounts on a new camera after admitting there was a previous issue with the Z9?
in some rare cases, a lens cannot be mounted on the camera because the lens cannot be rotated to the locked position.Nikon – RE: Nikon Z8 mount issues
As it turned out, the issues were a little different. The Z9 mount issue caused lenses to get stuck on the camera body, while the Z8 mount issue prevented lenses from locking onto the camera body. Just a day or two after my Z8 arrived, Nikon issued a service advisory. With my breath held, I entered my serial number into Nikon’s form to see whether my camera was affected, and with a sigh, I saw that it was. I hadn’t even peeled the protective covering off the LCD nor fired a single shot, and it was already heading back to Nikon.
I can’t say I was best pleased with this, but Nikon isn’t the first camera company to issue service advisories and recalls after a product launch. We’ll never know why they didn’t pay more attention to the Z8 mounts after suffering an already embarrassing issue with the Z9 mount.
After getting over my initial annoyance at having to return a brand-new camera, I resigned myself to the fact that at least I’d get to see how good (or bad) Nikon’s customer support and repair facilities are in Canada. Having never dealt with them before, I was certainly curious. A good service experience can wash away a lot of frustration. I dutifully filled in the online form I was directed to after confirming my Z8 was in the bad batch. After submission, I was told that a shipping label (Purolator for Canadians) would be sent to my email within 48 hours.
48 hours came and went. I left it another day, and when I still hadn’t heard anything, I picked up the phone and called the service center. I was pleased to see that it didn’t take long to speak to a real human being, and they were incredibly helpful. They acknowledged that 48 hours had passed, but it seemed like they were getting slammed with requests after the recall was announced. A label was promised that day, and indeed, it did arrive in my inbox.
Not long after shipping the camera, I received an email stating that my camera had been received at the Nikon service center. I’d previously enquired how long they expected the mount repairs to take and had been told 3-4 days. A service number had been provided, and I could look up my service order on the Nikon website to see its current status. Good stuff. So far, so good.
With my camera having sat for five or six days at the Nikon Canada service center, I was getting fidgety. Around this time, the internet was awash with new reports of Nikon Z8 issues, with several new owners relaying alarming stories of their cameras dropping to the ground after their shoulder strap attachment eyelets ripped clean out of the camera body. It seemed only a matter of time before Nikon would issue another service advisory for this second issue, and I could only hope that my camera was not affected.
Sure enough, a day later, it became official. The Z8 strap eyelet issues were the real deal, and Nikon was once again forced to issue an official product advisory asking Z8 users to check their serial numbers. On the plus side, Nikon already had a page for Z8 product advisories, so they combined the two issues into one page. At least they could be efficient about it, but what does it say about a company when their most important camera in a decade is hit with two recalls right off the bat? Was the Z8 rushed out the door? It certainly seems that way.
Moreover, it then came to light that the strap eyelet issue was far more prevalent than the previous Z8 mount issues. While newly produced cameras would not be affected, as far as anyone can tell, it did affect every single Z8 that had shipped before the strap eyelet issue was made official. Only Nikon knows how many cameras that is, but it’s certainly many thousands.
At this point, my camera was still in the Nikon service center, so I picked up the phone and had a chant with them right away. I hoped they could take care of the strap eyelet issue while it was there rather than being forced to ship it back to them again. Once again, they could not have been more friendly and helpful on the phone. I have to give Nikon kudos here because this certainly hasn’t been my experience with Canon Canada in the past. Nikon was proving to me that they are just as friendly to deal with as Sony’s Canadian professional services center, which was great, considering I’m not yet an NPS member.
Thankfully, the answer to my question was yes, they could deal with the strap eyelet issue while my Z8 was there. In fact, they had been checking for the issue on all cameras that were in for the mount recall that week. Mine was up for repair that afternoon, and I was told it would be shipped back by air the next business day. Interestingly, they were clearly made aware of the issue and given a procedure to fix it quite a few days before the official recall was announced.
I got lucky here. I have no doubt some people sent their Z8 in for the mount repair, only to receive it back and then find out it needed to go in again for the strap eyelet repair. Had this happened to me, I would have been most frustrated. Due to the to-and-fro shipping times from Ontario to the Yukon, my Z8 was gone for two weeks.
My current understanding for those affected by the strap eyelet issue is that Nikon is not accepting all Z8s simultaneously. Doing so would completely overwhelm their service centers. Things will likely differ from country to country, but a repair will likely be scheduled for you at a future date. In the meantime, I recommend using a camera strap that attaches to the 1/4′ 20 thread on the bottom of the camera. Don’t risk using the strap that comes with the camera!
I can’t say I’m too thrilled to spend over CAD 5400 on a camera and find it affected by two serious manufacturing issues before I’d even fired a single shot. As I mentioned, Nikon isn’t the first to have a recall-worthy problem after a camera launch, but perhaps they are the first to have two. It isn’t good enough, and Nikon should be embarrassed. I don’t need to buy a new Nikon camera as soon as it comes out, and this could very well affect my desire to do so with future releases.
That said, Nikon did the best it could do in the situation: it owned up to the problems and offered a seamless, friendly service experience. At least, that was my experience dealing with Nikon Canada. Sure, they ran a little long on their estimation of the service time, but I suspect that this was caused by the fact that right as my camera arrived at their facility, they began fixing the strap eyelet issue on all cameras that were in for the mount servicing. This would have been unexpected and certainly added to the per-camera service time. They should have adjusted their estimations by now.
Through this whole process, my frustration was greatly alleviated by having the ability to quickly pick up the phone and talk to a friendly human being about the status of things. I can’t state this enough. I’m increasingly sick of automated phone services that want me to explain my issue to a robot and then, when it inevitably fails to deliver an answer I need, move me on to a remote call center with only a basic understanding of what’s happening. That was not my experience when calling Nikon. They were fantastic to deal with. Take note, tech companies. The human touch is still worth something.
Is You Z8 Affected?
- Check your Z8 serial number here to see if it is affected by the mount issues or the strap eyelet issues.