Extremely stiff on/off lever on Nikon D7000


Senior Member
Hello all,
As per title my on/off lever has become really stiff to operate, to the point of only just being able to move it with excessive pressure from my thumbnail. The camera is well out of warranty so does anyone know of a fix for this problem. I am reluctant to spray any WD40 into the gap around it as I'm not sure what else is inside there.

Camera Fun

Senior Member
Definitely agree with Deezy to not use WD-40; or any other such lubricant. Are you thinking the cause is from dirt, etc. or from a mechanical problem? Would something like piece of paper or dental floss be able to remove any accumulation of dirt? Have you contacted Nikon for any guidance?


Senior Member
@Deezey: Correct. In this situation, any spray, including those highly specialized in cleaning electronic contacts ("contact spray") can do more harm then good. Why? Because they evaporate very slowly (and still might leave some traces) when they are applied to "covered areas". The WD40 is even worse, since it is partially made of oil...
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Senior Member
I'm with all the others about not using a spray lubricant. I don't know about others, but mine is also extremely stiff, particularly when compared to the other Nikons I have. Not sure if it's symptomatic of all D7000's or not, but it can be frustrating. I only turn mine off to change lenses (which is almost never now that I've had it converted to IR), remove the memory card or swap batteries, so it's not that often. But when I have to do it I'm always just a little annoyed by it.


Senior Member
Thanks for the replies, as stated I was concerned about using a spray. The problem has got worse over time so I think is is dirt/dust related. I also live next to the sea so the salt water environment could be a contributing factor. I may have to contact Nikon over this one as the lever is slightly recessed making it difficult to get anything under it. Has anyone any experience of removing the lever for cleaning purposes?


Senior Member
Have you tried the canned compressed air? Don't hold it too close as some drops of fluid can fly out, but the air pressure could just clear the debris without the expense of a repair.


Senior Member
The switch on the D7000 is always stiffer than any other of my Nikons but it never got too stiff. It is likely there is dried lubricant in the collar. WD-40 would not be good on any electronics but there are lubricants that would probable do fine. The problem with spays, it is hard to control the area covered and amount dispensed. An electronics parts store would have some chemicals that would be effective. One is a deoxidizing agent named D-Oxit by Caig Labs in the US and Cramolin in Europe. It is available in spray and in liquid form. The liquid form when applied with a needle dispenser right at the shaft and collar would surely do it but the knob is in the way for access. The proper way would be to remove the back case of the camera and apply it to the shaft/collar directly.
If you are handy with tools it is not that hard. When I got my first digital camera, the D90 when it came out, I took it apart and built in a wireless flash controller I designed and it is still in perfect operational condition 390,000 frames later. My D7000 is my loaner, the camera loaned to people who beg to use my cameras for some project and no one touches my D800. D850 or Z6

It helps to have the service manual for disassembly if you are not familiar with how Nikon's are put together.
I have the Service Manual but I don't see a way to upload non-photo files.
Here is a link to a PDF https://elektrotanya.com/nikon_d7000_sm.pdf/download.html#dl
If you have opened cameras before you will notice Nikons are built really well compared to some other brands. There are also access to parts which some brands intentionally limit access because they do not want cameras repaired and expect users to buy new cameras...hint...Sony
The link about takes you to a page to down load. It will start a timer of about 10-15 seconds before the actual file is available to download, to prevent robots from downloading thousands of files, the actual button to download becomes available by scrolling down the screen. It is sort of a collective where members, mostly electronic technicians and engineers share their service manuals which are hard to find. I have about 40,000 service manuals for electronic test instruments and professional audio equipment. If you have trouble downloading send me a PM and I can send it directly as an attachment, 2.3mb pdf file.

As a general rule, anything that is labeled "contact cleaner" is usually the worst thing for contacts. The most common cause of "cleaning" of contacts, relays, potentiometers and jacks is not dirt but oxides forming on the metal. Most chemicals labeled as contact cleaners enable more oxide to build up, and oxide of a metal is an insulator. So the switch or connector might be "clean" but it will not pass electrical current. So another class of chemicals were developed that attacks the oxygen that bound with the metal surface for a few molecules thickness. Once the oxide builds up deeper, low voltages found in electronics, can't penetrate the oxide layer. Power switches or contactors with 120-230 volts however can jump through the oxide layer so electricians use it but it is horrible for electronics. The same oxide that renders volume controls and signal switches intermittent of scratchy sounding can also build up enough to freeze the shaft of rotary switches or volume controls. If you ever had a stereo where the treble control or volume control was sluggish and made scratchy static sound through the speakers, that is Oxide and a small squirt of DeOxit will remove the oxide and leave a protector film that returns normal action for at least 6-12 months or more. So getting some DeOxit into the shaft of the power switch will free it up and protect the electrical contact for a long time. Oxides build up on almost any metal exposed to atmospheric oxygen. Aluminium is grey because it oxidizes so quickly but just smelted aluminium is naturally bright shiny mirror like and to protect the metal surface they actually bath it while still hot, in oxygen to corrode the surface to grey, so other reactive agents do not corrode it. Oxide is very important in electronics, all semiconductors like transistors and ICs depend on it to function.
Good luck....The D7000 is a fine camera and I still use mine occasionally.