Shutter life

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Willy Eckerslyke, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. My back-up DSLR, a Nikon D70 died yesterday. It started displaying "Err"
    and refusing to get up, regardless of what I tried (different battery,
    lens, card, firmware upgrade and even full factory reset). Local camera
    shop service chap spotted that one shutter curtain is jammed - the metal
    blades are visible while they should be hidden. Repair will cost more
    than it's worth.

    A websearch threw this up:
    "Average number of actuations after which shutter died: 52,925"

    It had never occured to me before that DSLR shutters have a finite life
    Worryingly, my D80 comes out even worse at 42,860.

    The good news is that I've had the go ahead to buy a D700. The above
    site only reports one death, at 380,000, with the average still alive
    after 104,000.

    No idea if the sample sizes are sufficient for these to be truly
    representative, but it still makes interesting reading.
    Willy Eckerslyke, Dec 3, 2009
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  2. Willy Eckerslyke

    Chris H Guest

    Worry not. These sort of things either die early (well within
    warrantee) or last a LONG time. Unless something external intrudes
    (dust, water etc).

    Most of those stats say something like "35K and still alive"... so if
    you disregard those that die in "infant mortality" ie the sub 10K
    numbers you know that the *minimum* you can expect is the average of the
    still alive numbers. But this is a moving target as those who record a
    "still alive" number will have a number that increases.

    However the more interesting number are the high end failures.... most
    were around the 80-100K mark. SO assuming you don't change lenses in a
    dust bowl or live in Alaska or a rain forest you can probably expect
    around 80-100K shutter operations. Which I think is what Nikon suggest
    is the average life?
    Chris H, Dec 3, 2009
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  3. Good point, as you say I was being overly influenced by the dead ones,
    whereas the same figures suggest a D80 has a greater than even chance of
    surviving past quarter of a million images - which is a much more
    optimistic way of looking at it.

    I'd guess my D70 had shot around 30-50K, not in dusty conditions, but a
    fair bit of aerial work, pointing out of the window in strong and cold

    The worrying aspect is how it died so suddenly, with no warning at all.
    I tend only to carry a spare when absolutely critical, but will now be
    inclined to keep at least a compact in the camera bag as a minimum.
    Willy Eckerslyke, Dec 3, 2009
  4. Willy Eckerslyke

    Rob Morley Guest

    I'd be inclined to hit it hard to see if it dislodged anything. :)
    Rob Morley, Dec 3, 2009
  5. Already tried that! I was amused to see the camera shop chap giving it a
    measured bang on the counter too after he'd been through all the same
    steps as me.

    No, I've successfully pronounced it dead and had the funding approved
    for a D700 to replace it, so it's better if it stays that way.
    Willy Eckerslyke, Dec 3, 2009
  6. Willy Eckerslyke

    Rob Morley Guest

    Ah, an ill wind with a silver lining. :)
    Rob Morley, Dec 3, 2009
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