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Recently I got a good deal on a used Nikon D3. Before purchase I looked at it very carefully and tested it. A few weeks later I recognize that it has a small crack at the front.

crack

I would like to know if this makes a big deal or not. Is this something that someone should take care of? Is the camera in danger to break apart or should I be aware of using it in light rain? Does this affect the weather sealing? What would you do?

However if you tell me that it is not a big deal I could live with taping it up. I need the camera to work. Not to look great.

  • Personaly I would not worry that much, if you want to wether seal the crack a thin coat of superglue is probably safer than tape. – lijat Jan 19 at 16:07
  • If that crack was caused by a mechanical shock or stress, then there could be other damage inside the camera where you can't see it. If there's other damage then it could be inconsequential, or it could affect the alignment of optical components. If it has any detrimental effect, then it could be always, or it could be some times, or it could be that it's just waiting for one more, smaller shock or stress that would not have harmed a camera that was in like-new condition. Buying used gear is always risky. That's why we pay less for it (except maybe when it's a "collectible" item.) – Solomon Slow Jan 24 at 16:17
  • How good was the "good deal"? If we're talking like half price or better - I wouldn't think twice about it. I believe the crack is not the main part of the body, but a bolted on part. I've dropped and cracked an entry level D3200 on marble floor from above waist height - it still works flawlessly several tens of thousands of photos later (granted, I was very fortunate). D3s are fully magnesium alloy bodies right? One of those rubberised camera body covers will help relieve any strain on the crack and reduce ingress of moisture etc. – wally Jun 22 at 15:31
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    Re. the crack not being the main body: kenrockwell.com/nikon/d3/images/d3-frame.jpg – wally Jun 22 at 15:32
  • It was about 350$. Since the post I had no issues what so ever. I glued the crack. I dont think there will be a problem in the future. – Arjihad Jun 22 at 15:36
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I would like to know if this makes a big deal or not. Is this something that someone should take care of?

That's up to you.

Is the camera in danger to break apart...

I'd expect the crack could get worse with normal use. If you use the camera as intended by the manufacturer, it shouldn't be in any immediate danger of falling apart. If you throw it out a third-story window or drive over it with a truck, it probably will "break apart".

or should I be aware of using it in light rain?

Even without the crack, you should be "aware" when doing anything in the rain. The ground could be slippery. You should take care not to slip so you don't hurt yourself or drop the camera.

Does this affect the weather sealing?

Probably.

What would you do?

Maybe...

  • Leave it alone and use the camera normally.
  • Convert the camera to infrared.
  • Sell the camera for funds to buy more lenses for another camera.
  • Clean the debris out of the crack and try to seal it up. I'd consider an elastic-polymer-based adhesive because they're easy to undo. I'd avoid cyanoacrylate and resins because those can make it worse.
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