Df Grip Replacement
I bought my Df a couple of years ago. At the time I had just broken up with Sony and wanted to get back with my beloved Nikon. I could've sprung for a D750, but back then it was almost as much as the Df that I found. And the Df that I found included the kit lens (that odd 50g with the silver ring) and an 85mm f/1.4D. It was a deal I couldn't pass up. So I sprung for it and didn't think twice about my decision.
A few days later everything arrived in very nice shape. However, the rubber for the rear thumb grip was bulging and the front grip had some scuff marks. They didn't really bother me and I didn't see a need to replace them. Fast forward two years and that rear thumb grip was becoming a pain. It was peeling at the edges and didn't quite sit properly in its place. Ditto for the front grip. It had developed a bulge (a bubble of sorts) where the tips of my fingers held the camera, plus the scuff marks had begun to tear and made the camera look dirty and old. It was definitely time to swap them out.
Unfortunately, when I decided to swap out these parts, Nikon parts online was sold out. I looked on Ebay for some alternatives and was shocked that some vendors wanted over $120 for an entire set. I said forget that and I patiently waited till Nikon parts in the US had stock and promptly ordered my replacement parts. Below I detail the work I did to remove the old grips and how I replaced the new ones. I hope this helps others out there who are having issues with their grips on the Df.
The peeling, bulging thumb grip.
After removal there was quite a bit of adhesive left. I massaged most of it out, then used alcohol to remove the rest.
The top is the old grip, which is larger than the new one. I reckon that's due to oils and pressure on the rubber.
They are definitely not the same size or shape!
At first I used some Eclipse solution I had handy to remove the left-over adhesive, but then switched over to 95% Isopropyl alcohol when I realized how much easier it was to use. Either option is safe to use on the plastic/metal fusion that is the Df!
DO NOT USE WD-40 since it has petroleum-based chemicals in it. From what I read that can have an affect on the carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic that Nikon uses. I was actually quite surprised at how much plastic was under the grips. It doesn't bother me. It's still a fun camera to use.
The new rear thumb grip looks great.
The rubber actually sits properly in its places.
Love those straight edges!
The front grip came next. The image to the left shows you the areas where I had problems. The area in the rectangle is where the leatherette had bulged/come loose. The arrows point to sections that peeled and looked like someone's skin peeling after a terrible sun burn. This replacement was more involved and a lot stickier than the rear thumb grip, but it's totally doable.
Removing the front grip left a ton of adhesive. Most of it can be massaged and then peeled off, but alcohol is much quicker.
Is that a Penguin beneath the leatherette? I bestow upon thee the name of Pablo!
Isopropyl alcohol cleaned it up. For the more difficult to reach areas, I used a non-marring tool and a Pecpad.
It's a perfect fit. Wait!?! The leatherette is a little too long. See the arrows?
Yup. It's a little too long. Run your nail along that bad boy and make a crease.
Then use a razor blade to trim off the excess. Be careful and don't cut yourself. The plastic will be fine.
That's much better.
A much cleaner and better fitting grip.
Now you're talking. That's how the grip should fit.
Looking hot and like a much younger model.
It's nice to see straight lines instead of bulging love handles.
And that's how this puppy rolls!
I hope this mini tutorial helps out others who are finding their grips getting a little loose or bulging above the lines. Till my next tutorial, review, ramble, or post, this is, hey, hey