How to fix loose rubber on Nikon cameras
I make no secret of it that I’m not overly thrilled with Canon in general. I was stung badly over the years by their poor quality control. However, I will concede one point to Canon where they are immeasurably better than Nikon – Canon makes a glue that sticks! Not like Nikon where the rubber parts of the camera grip eventually will peel away. It’s a Nikon thing. The latest is this rubber peeling loose from the memory card door on my Nikon D810.
I love Nikon, but this is tedious. Catch up with Canon! Do some industrial espionage and figure out the Canon glue recipe!
And you may well ask why not send it away for repair? Because it will cost me more to ship it to Nikon USA and pay for the out-of-warranty repair. Also the spare part that you order from nikonusa is for the rubber … which doesn’t include glue or sticky something to hold it to the CF card door. I suppose you could order the entire door, but that’s even more spendy. You can buy them on eBay from a Chinese vendor. $38 but it is always a bit dicey buying off-brand stuff from eBay.
Someone gave me this hardy suggestion – to buy 3M double-sided adhesive tape (Amazon) – and stick the rubber down properly again. Better (and less messy) than glue. You cut the shape that you need, and this double-sided tape will hold the rubber securely … for at least a little while.
Double-sided adhesive tapes or sheets using 3M’s 300LSE adhesive are the strongest and most versatile ones commercially available.
The most important advantage of this triple-layer construction is that it allows the sheets to be cut by knife or scissors without the edges along the cut sticking together – a problem commonly found with tapes or sheets that employ only a single layer of 300LSE. The triple-layer construction of 9474LE sheets also increases stability when the two bonded objects are subjected to shear forces.
11 Comments, Add Your Own
1BIll Motzing says
Indeed, my D-700 had the rubber grip peel off. I tried double-sided tape but because the rubber had actually stretched the tape would not hold. I had to buy a new part and used an aftermarket product from ebay that was flawless. I’m not affiliated with them in anyway, just a fan.
2Voorhees Joell says
Hi Neil, my rubber grip came off, but I ignored it. But when I got fungus on my sensor, I sent the camera to Nikon to be cleaned. The camera came back to me with a new grip and a new contact plate for the lens and they also replaced the hotshoe which was bent from a fall. After a few weeks the grip came off again. I used Gorilla glue to reattach the grip. No problems since.
FWIW: The rubber grip on the back of my D700 was coming apart a couple of years ago at the upper corners so I got online to ask about a solution in one of the Nikon forums I’m in. I got several responses saying to get “Indian Head Gasket Shellac Compound” from the Auto Parts store. I did. It’s worked great! A little bit goes a long way so this stuff should last me through any rubber grips coming off of my Df, or D810. :)
Oh, it’s inexpensive too! It was less than $5.00 USD.
4Augie De Blieck Jr. says
Man, I wish I could have read this article a couple years ago. All the rubber fell off my Canon 60D. I replaced it with electrical tape/gaffers tape. It’s black and grippy, but even that falls off after a little bit of use. I lost the original rubber parts a while back now. I’ve given up. It’s time for a new camera anyway. ;-)
A commonly known problem for Nikons so far. I’ve never experienced it with any of my Cannons. A solution could be as well an elastic glue (for example Pattex 100% repair gel). I’ve repaired my snowboard shoes with it and it is still holding.
You need the glue that’s used for windshields on vehicles, polyurethane. Go to a contractor supply store, not Home Depot or Lowes. The material comes in a caulking cartridge, if you don’t have a caulk gun just cut cartridge open and apply. It takes 48 hours to cure. I use BASF polyurethane.
Nikon grip rubber stretches. That’s really the big problem. And it has been a problem ever since the F5 20 years ago. But it’s a problem Nikon seems to have decided is worth it for the grippier rubber they use. I have my doubts personally. You can replace the tape, but the rubber will stretch to the point where it really doesn’t fit properly. If it’s adhered directly to a really strong and rigid surface….let’s say the metal shell of an MB-D12 accessory grip….it will last longer (and that particular grip is really nicely done by the way). But with most of even the high-end cameras there’s plastic either around the battery compartment or at least a layer of plastic between the metal and the rubber.
The worst implementation of this is on the D800, where, for whatever reason, Nikon decided not only to make the grip shallower than on its predecessors and successors but also shallower than the vertical position on its own accessory grip, and then to compound the mischief, made it a package part that requires disassembly of the camera to replace. I’m assuming this was probably some well-intentioned exercise in making it less likely to stretch but the grip on the D800 is poorly designed enough that I think it just puts more tension on the rubber. For the D810 and D500 they’ve gone back to user-replaceable rubber….and a deeper grip. For the D800, if the camera needs to be serviced and cleaned, just have them swap out the grip rubber at the same time and then you avoid the labor charge and you’re basically just on the hook for the $60 for the part.
Have same problem with the rubber on bottom of mbd10 when attached to my monopod, not sure if any adhesive will hold it…
Hi Neil,I had the same problem like you with my D810…this is all you need: The memory card lid rubber is $2.80 and the original double stick tape ) is $0.50:)
I replaced it a year ago and since then my D810 has been with me from the hottest to the coldest places on the planet with no problem at all:)
Good luck and Cheers
10Denis J Kucharski says
3M Black Super Weather Adhesive. It is used for gluing rubber car fixtures. It is the only thing that seems to work for me. The double sided tape that came with the replacement thumb grip, although made by 3M, lasted no time at all.
11Fotograf Nunta says
This was really helpful. Thanks for this tips!