Nikon Begins Self Service

In an interesting development, the Nikon download center now has a section for Self Service manuals. The first Z System component that now has a PDF self repair manual is the recently launched 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens. 

While Nikon doesn't currently sell parts to users that I know, the 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens repair manual includes not just a full list of parts inside the lens—some are a unit with subassemblies—it also identifies the tools, glues, and lubricants needed for a repair. The manual also gives a better description of how the lens is sealed against weather (doesn't quite work the way you'd guess, and involves sponges as well as seals). Simple instructions for verifying focus are also given, using a tool similar to the old Lens Align one.

Right to Repair laws have been popping up in the US for some time now, with differing variations across states. Many of these laws specifically target auto makers, who were among one of the earliest to establish "certified" repair standards. The first state to establish a Right to Repair law for consumer products was New York, back in 2022 (Digital Fair Repair Act). The New York law specifically mentions right to manuals and diagrams, and it might have been the trigger that started Nikon down the line of producing self service manuals. Since then, we've had four other states enact various legislation that affirms a right to repair. 

Probably the most watched bill was California's SB-244 (Right to Repair Act), which goes into effect this summer (July 1, 2024). But it, like several other recent bills is watered down in ways that limit the overall impact. That said, the trend is clear that regulators are looking carefully at "captured repairs", manuals, and parts availability.

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