The Broken Camera

DSC_7890Well, it happens. I have managed to break a lens once by dropping it – and it was not repairable after that. Other people have disasters with their gear and need someone to rescue them. That is why we have repair departments – I have been watching one in operation for the last 7 and a half years – and I am impressed. But the clients who bring their problems in need to know a few things:

  1. Nothing is free, except political advice on Facebook. Professional analysis and consultation in any field costs money – try going to a real dentist and asking them to inspect your mouth for free…well it is the same in equipment repair. If the tech is going to pull your broken camera to bits to see what broke – he is going to need to be paid for the time he takes to do it. If you decide not to go ahead with the repair, the quote fee pays him for his work. If you DO decide to go ahead with the work, the quote fee comes off he final charge. Fair is fair.
  2. Parts cost, labour time costs, waiting time costs. This is independent of whatever you paid someone else for the camera. If you got it for $ 50 and the fault that the private seller knew was in there will cost $ 400 to fix, you bought a $ 450 camera – not a $ 50 one.
  3. Warranty times are offered by retail sellers and are either through their own resources or those of the wholesale firms that import the equipment. If you are lucky those import forms offer extra warranty periods to gain business – in any case state law mandates an adequate warranty for new equipment. Be aware that in some cases warranty inspection must be done by the technical departments of the wholesale firms – this is not meant to be a deliberate obstacle – they do need to see whether what is claimed as a manufacturing defect is in fact so. They are not calling you a liar, but trying to determine the technical truth.
  4. Some things cannot be fixed economically. Some cannot be fixed easily. Some cannot be fixed. Such is life – ask Mr. Kelly.
  5. Some things should not be fixed – there are some cameras that are the equivalent of the hot rodder’s ‘ barn find ‘. Leave them in the barn.
  6. You may think that fungus makes you a Fun Guy. Ingested, perhaps; inside a lens, no. Expect to be told bad news.
  7. If you have already started the repair job by taking several panels of the camera off and putting all the screws into a jam jar, do not expect the gratitude of the technician and a reduced bill. If you have lost the jar, expect to learn new words in a foreign language.
  8. Our technical staff are always grateful for advice in matters that are not within their purview – Wedgewood china collecting or Inca weaving patterns, for example, and would presumably listen avidly to your knowledge over a pint of beer and a packet of crisps. Not, however, your take on something you imagine might be happening inside the microprocessor of your camera…
  9. If your sensor is dirty a week after you had it cleaned, review your activities in that week – did they include changing lenses in a paddock at seeding time? Aha.
  10. No. No, the technicians cannot convert your Nikon Camera to a Canon Camera. Nor vice versa. No matter that the internet rumour forum poster said. It is not a case of being mean to you – it is just not possible. If it bothers you that you have one brand and your friends have another, get a bottle of white paint and write the other brand name on the front of the one you have right now. You might as well – you’ve set yourself up to be dissatisfied in any case and you might as well be dissatisfied with the brand name you want.




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