Nikon USA sent out a letter to all camera repair shops in the USA stating that parts will only be sold to the handful of Nikon Authorized Repair Centers in the future. This would be like Ford forcing you to take your Ford back to one of their “Authorized Dealers” for service. There is one heck of a lot of people out there who are very capable of replacing minor parts on their cameras not to mention the numerous independent repair shops out there. Nikon uses the excuse of technology, hasn’t your car also change in technology but you can still buy any part you want for it. Talking with others in the camera service industry, it is the general consensus that Nikon wants to bring more service dollars in house and is only using “Technology” as an excuse. Last time I checked there is a law in California that requires parts to be sold for up to a period of time after it an item was discontinued. So I’m sure this isn’t the last we will here of this knowing that there are letters already drafted up to the states Attorney Generals Office.
As a Certified Photographic Consultant and camera repairman, I constantly get asked what brand of camera I would recommend. Even though I shoot Canon, I would regularly recommend Canon and/or Nikon. Getting frustrated with Canon letting Nikon kick their butt in areas, I had even considered going to the dark side. Nikon’s actions today changed everything, no more recommendations and I sure the heck wouldn’t buy anything Nikon for myself.