Nikon D3s Eyepiece Block Unit Replacement


I love the Nikon D3s.

This 12 megapixels professional Nikon DSLR from October 2009 (10+ years old at the time of writing) still has one of the highest low-light scores on the DXOMARK sensor database (

Most importantly, high ISO pictures look great on this camera.

Anytime I have to shoot in a dimly lit area (cafe, apartment, venue, etc) I take one of my D3s. I usually leverage the auto-ISO feature, cap it at 12,800 and set the lower shutter limit to 1/100 sec.

I love the D3s so much that I’ve bought multiple of them through the years. I’ve offered one to my father as a birthday present and I try to rescue additional ones when an occasion presents itself. I don’t like them (or any other camera for that matter) going to waste and being forgotten so please get in touch if you have one that you don’t use anymore and would like to get rid of, it doesn’t matter whether it’s working or broken.

Please email me to donate your old or broken camera, thank you.

The problem

One of the last D3s I purchased had a DK-17M magnification eyepiece mounted on the body (see Unfortunately, the previous owner had forced the eyepiece and broke the plastic screw thread on the block unit.

The original eyepiece block unit with broken plastic thread

Unfortunately, the Nikon D3s is not maintained anymore and most of the parts aren’t manufactured at all so you can only find second-hand ones.

The solution

Luckily my friend ‘gvk’ found a 3rd-party replacement moulded plastic eyepiece block unit on eBay which I ordered received a few weeks later.

Somehow changing the eyepiece block unit is not as simple as it sounds on the D3s (unlike on the Nikon D800/D800e or Nikon F6 for example).

I first had to remove the back LCD: The Nikon D3s without the back LCD

Then had to partially lift the left and right front rubbers to access some of the screws: The Nikon D3s with lifted front rubber

Which then allowed me to lift the top and extract the eyepiece block unit: camera disassembly

I then had to remove the little manual curtain with tiny components: eyepiece block curtain

And move it to the new eyepiece block unit: eyepiece block transfer

I then started re-assembling the camera: camera re-assembly

And finished with gluing back the rubbers (I used contact adhesive glue): rubbers being glued