Cheap Camera, Expensive Repair

Discussion in 'Australia' started by mick0x, May 17, 2011.

  1. mick0x

    mick0x Member

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    Hi all,

    I finally found a cheap rangefinder (Minolta Hi-Matic 9 with 45/1.7) on the weekend but the blades are stuck (so I realised at 9pm when the film came out of the tank transparent). Great camera but repair cost is $150 and replacement value is $60.

    I lack the patience and fine motor skills to try fixing it myself, but feel a nostalgic obligation not to dispose of it! So what do you do with a camera needing a repair that exceeds its value?

    Cheers,

    Mick.
     
  2. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    You repair it.

    Why?

    Because the money you spend is not really for the REPAIR of the camera. It's for your subsequent joy in then being able to USE the camera after it's been repaired.

    One of the most unfortunate aspects of the eBay mentality these days is that all things in life end up being assigned a monatary value, which is then assumed to equate to their life value. The true value of your repaired camera is in its ability to bring you happiness via its use. Not in its monetary value sitting unused on a shelf.

    Most of the time functional and broken cameras look identical. But they don't act identical.

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2011
  3. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    dump some lighter fluid on the blades and work it for awhile. thats only if the camera doesn't have any sentimental value, you might find one in brand new excellent shape for the cost of your repair.

    I actually have one of these at the place where I work, but the alignment is broken/off in the viewfinder. So i never got a chance to use it.

    I have two classic rangefinders (VT and Retina 3c) I've been wanted to get repaired and CLA'ed professionally at Nippon camera (NYC) but I'm very afraid of the price as well. I'm guessing starting price for just a CLA would be $150 for each for me.
     
  4. R gould

    R gould Member

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    Look at it this way, for the cost of a cla you have a camera that will give you a lifetime of pleasure shooting it, and that way the cost does not seem so great, same thing applies to a Retina IIIc, at the price they ae going for, and the price of them seems to be increasing, think of the years of pleasure you will get for the cost of a cla,
    Richard
     
  5. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    yea the Retina is in 100% perfect shape cosmetically, the never ready case is even perfect, all original. Everything is spotless inside including lens. the shutter is will not fire though. It was my grandfathers so it has very high sentimental value. but they go for about $150 on Keh. I want to get it working but I probably would never really get use out of it, as I'd worry about it to much to bring it around. I only work part time with free lancing on the side, so most of my money goes into film, paper, and chems. I guess I'll bite the bullet after the next paycheck and do the Canon VT first and see how that goes and try to get a quote for the retina.
     
  6. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    Very well said (and I know what it means, I had my AE1-Program Cla'ed for twice what a "new" one would have cost me !)

    Another aspect is that, once the camera has been repaired, you know that it's been checked. When you replace it by a cheap one, the replacement may well break after a few months use.
     
  7. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Don't underestimate how nice Retinas can be. My Retina IIIc (little c) has one of the sharpest lenses of any of the cameras I use. It floored me. I take this camera out over others if I'm shooting 50mm, want something sharp and compact.

    Check these out at full resolution to see what I mean. The lean easily out resolves the films I've been using:

    [​IMG]
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4941740123/

    [​IMG]
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/4941698653/

    If yours is in salvageable condition and has sentimental value, its worth saving in my humble opinion.
     
  8. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Minus any sentimental value, it's a cheap, busted, mass-produced camera. Get another cheap, mass-produced camera that works. The film doesn't know the difference. It can be a hard reckoning but ask what matters most: making a film image or fussing with gear?
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The really nice better than consumer entry level stuff gets gifted to anyone willing to get them repaired. The cheap stuff gets dismantled and parts go into bins for "projects" that usually never materialize.
     
  10. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    I'd agree with you IF you could make sure the "new" one works. Of course, this depends on the value you give to your photographs, but if you are to discover later on that the camera failed on you, then you'll be fussing with gear when what you want is make a film image.

    This was the reason why I got both my AE1-P and my Rolleiflex CLA'ed. For both I could have found a replacement for the price of the CLA, but I want my cameras to be reliable.
     
  11. CGW

    CGW Member

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    [QUOTE=Laurent;1183209]I'd agree with you IF you could make sure the "new" one works. Of course, this depends on the value you give to your photographs, but if you are to discover later on that the camera failed on you, then you'll be fussing with gear when what you want is make a film image.

    This was the reason why I got both my AE1-P and my Rolleiflex CLA'ed. For both I could have found a replacement for the price of the CLA, but I want my cameras to be reliable.[/QUOTE]


    My only point was to suggest drawing a line between nostalgia and practicality. With so many good quality, inexpensive, late model 35mm cameras around, I can't see coddling a busted oldie--or replacing it with yet another relic--if you're really interested in shooting film, provided fondling old cameras isn't the priority.
     
  12. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    Sorry, I missed your point. I fully agree on this, but drawing the line isn't always easy.
     
  13. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I would have it repaired if it really means a lot to you. As stated below ...

    It reminds me of a camera a friend gave me. He had dropped it, and it worked for a few months until it completely failed on me. I spent $230 to repair a camera I got for free, and even though everyone thought I was stupid, that camera has taken some of my favorite photos, and I have no regrets.
     
  14. R gould

    R gould Member

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    Sorry don't know the web address, but google Chris's camera pages, he is an expert on Retina cameras in New Zealand, your shutter most likely needs a for service, and if you send it to Chris Sherlock he will check, and if needed replace the one weakness in the retina, that is the shutter cocking rack, for a reasonable price, and with that and using the camera gently, you should not have any more problems, if my personal experience of using Retina's is anything to go by, It could even be that the shutter cocking rack is worn out and not cocking the shutter properly, so take a look at Chris Sherlocks site, and send him an Email and see what he has to say,
    Richard:smile:
     
  15. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I just found out the Retina IIIc cocking rack is sold at micro tools for only $25... now if I only had the guts to rip it apart... It doesn't even look like too complicated a repair. I probably wont send it all the way to New Zealand, maybe to New Jersey.
     
  16. mick0x

    mick0x Member

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    Thanks all I'm convinced. It was the "ebay mentality" comment that got me.

    I'm going to get it repaired for the certainty of having a camera that will work well into the future.

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
     
  17. R gould

    R gould Member

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    If you check on Chris Sherlock's site he gives you step by step instructions on how to fit a cocking rack
    Richard:smile: