The problem first surfaced in Prague, and has happened a couple of times since. The display shows F0 (as shown), the lens becomes fully stopped-down and autofocus stops working. Poking around the web, it seems this is a far from uncommon problem with Nikon D300s (see for example here,
here, or here).
Now, the fault is intermittent – it generally happens after a good few minutes or hours of shooting and then mysteriously clears several hours later. So, when it last struck I took the above picture. Today I had a chance to lug the D300 into Cambridge to return it to Jessops. Knowing a bit about the Sale of Goods Act I was expecting to get a new unit, or an equivalent loaner while the D300 was repaired. With a family holiday coming up I don’t want to be without a camera!
Sure enough, the fault refused to show itself at the camera shop. So - lucky I took a picture, I say. There’s no verifying serial number on it they say. Jessops insisted they would have to send the camera away to verify for themselves that it was faulty. And no, they weren’t going to replace it; and no, they don’t ever loan replacement cameras. What about my consumer rights? Jessop’s seem to think it is okay to take the unit away for independent testing before those rights come into play, and that a photograph of the fault isn't sufficient evidence: that is company policy. Needless to say, as somebody who has spent large sums of money with Jessop’s over the years, this “no can do” attitude caused distinct irritation, and I made my displeasure felt before taking my £1,000 of new faulty camera away with me, hoping it won't misbehave too badly on holiday.
Well, to anybody contemplating buying a Nikon D300, I say – be aware of this potential problem.
To anybody contemplating buying photo equipment from Jessop’s I say – cross your fingers it doesn’t develop an intermittent fault that you can’t prove beyond doubt, otherwise you’re going to find yourself, like me, in an unhappy place.
Meanwhile I have contacted Jessops' Customer Liaison; let's see what they say ...