Garry's Camera Repair--Minolta X-700 Repair

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Chazzy, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I took my Minolta X-700 to my local camera store and asked them to send it out for repair (the shutter and film advance were locked up).

    They sent it to someplace in Texas, which returned it saying that the camera couldn't be repaired economically, owing to corrosion.

    The camera has sentimental value, so I asked around about other repair shops, and someone suggested Garry's Camera Repair.

    Garry's fixed the camera and did a complete CLA for $50, and I didn't have to wait very long to get the camera back. Needless to say, I was very pleased.
     
  2. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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  3. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Garys has a good reputation amongst Minolta users. He seems to do a great job. However, he does claim to have expertise he does not possess, basically claiming he can do CLA on most any camera. The one camera I sent him, a Mamiya ZE-X, came back clean, with new light seals, but as far as the "A" part in CLA, he/they did nothing. The camera was still defective.
     
  4. crabby

    crabby Member

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    Does Gary give you a guarantee?

    I'm not saying Essex Camera Service can do everything, but you get a 30 day guarantee. If you ask for an "A" and they charge you for an "A", the camera has been "A'd". Otherwise you send it back or ask for a refund.

    Essex doesn't accept jobs they know they can't handle. Estimates are free.
     
  5. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Best to ask him directly. But based on my recent CLAs, he provides a 90 day guarantee.
     
  6. jaimeb82

    jaimeb82 Member

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    I have the same camera that had the same problem, shutter/film advance locked up, and mirror locked up also. Since a coworker gave me the camera for free I felt there was no point on paying $50 or $100 for a CLA, right? So I researched for days online and found 3 potential basic problems for this camera. From problem A the easiest solution to problem C the most complicated. It turned out that by placing a butter knife into the curtain and helping it to wind in the same direction the curtain moves the whole thing was supposed to go back to normal. I did that and it worked, then it got jammed again in a different day and I tried one more time push the curtain with a finger and place a knife to reach one end of curtain and release curtain helping it to wind in position. Camera works fine (cross my fingers)
     
  7. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Where did you find the info on the butter knife trick? I have 2 X-700's that are locked up. Specifically how do you insert the knife without damaging the curtain?
    I bought both cameras 20+ years ago and they both locked up within a week of each other.
     
  8. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Could be a failed capacitor—it's a common problem with the X700. I thought that $50 was a very reasonable price to get my camera repaired by someone who knew what he was doing. The last thing that I would do would be to risk damaging the shutter with butter knife maneuvers.
     
  9. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    After doing some research on line I agree about not doing the butter knife thing. Most sites say that the capacitor is the culprit. They can be bought quite cheaply from Micro Tools (6.95 for 10) and should be an easy replacement. 4 screws on the bottom plate need to be removed and the capacitor is exposed. I'm going to order them then have at it. Hopefully this will work. Theses are great old cameras. There is also a smaller capacitor under the top plate by the wind lever but it is not as likely a suspect. Gee, I actually did my homework on this one which could save money!:wink:
     
  10. jaimeb82

    jaimeb82 Member

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    the capacitor was the other option, and I was planning to get there if other option failed. I admit this was risky, but the camera was given to me for free, I applied pressure in the middle of the curtain with my thumb, then one side of the curtain opened a tinny bit, you place a butter knife there or other object so you can help curtain moving to his natural direction, at one point when you feel the curtain is moving freely release the butter knife or object. In mine it didn't happen until I tried about 2 or 3 times.

    I have to admit that this is very unprofessional, I used the camera this weekend and tried 2 rolls of Ektar and 1 roll of Delta100 with the camera.

    I found it in a camera repair forum that had up to 4 years of messages stored and went year by year searching with Ctrl+F = minolta look up mirror.
     
  11. jaimeb82

    jaimeb82 Member

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  12. jaimeb82

    jaimeb82 Member

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    here is one of the explanations copy/pasted from forum:

    "The second curtain hasn't completed it's travel and dropped the mirror back in position. Remove the lens, grasp the shutter curtain gently between thumb and forefinger, and move it towards the rewind knob side of the camera. That should drop the mirror. That will unjam it but- then it's time to find out what kept the curtain from closing in the first place."
     
  13. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    My Mamiya C330f was running about a 1/2 stop slow so i searched for someone to clean it. I tried International camera in chicago but didnt want to pay $33 for parking so i went on to the next shop (Helix) in Chicago and they said it would be up to an 8 week return time ... I cant wait that long! I searched the local Chicago forum here on Apug and found a post about Garrys Camera Repair and sent them an email. They emailed 3 days later and stated they cant service that model. ( THIS LINE IS EDITED) ( THIS LINE IS EDITED ). I dont know if that is true but that is what is was told. I searched the forum again and found a post for Daves Camera Repair in Chelsea MI and gave him a call. He called be back the same day and told that he had all the parts for my Mamiya that could be needed and explained what my issues most likely would be and quoted me a price over the phone. I was worried about shipping my camera to a stranger in another state but he impressed me with his knowledge of my shutter so i sent it off to MI. I was waiting for a call from him thinking hes was going to say the shutter is trashed and the repair would be allot more that originally thought but that didnt happen. When i spoke with him again he told me what he did to the shutter and he was fine tuning it and it was almost ready to be sent back. To end the story it was 2 weeks and 1 day from when i sent it until i received it back. My shutter runs like a Swiss watch! The price was as stated in our first conversation! Turn-around time was to my satisfaction! The only down side to the whole deal is he no longer accepts credit cards or Paypal payments so you have to mail him the payment. If anyone wants a repair guy that knows what he is doing and has fair prices.. give him a call.

    Dave's Camera Repair
    Dave Easterwood
    77 Cambridge Court
    Chelsea MI
    48118
    734-433-2640
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2009
  14. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    J,

    Thanks for the post. He's practically right around the corner from me and I have some work for him if he can do it. I plan to give him a call.
     
  15. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I assume Gary of Gary's Camera works out of his home. He does appear to specialize, focus, or limit himself to specific makes/models. That in itself certainly doesn't mean he "is not a skilled camera guy". With fewer storefront repair shops, specialization is becoming the norm. Some specialize in types of repair (i.e. leaf shutters) others in specific makes/models (Olympus, Konica, Pentax, etc).

    You are certainly entitled to hold and even state your opinion that "If you cant CLA a twin lens Mamiya then i dont think you should service any camera". But to relay a comment that he is not a skilled camera guy is unfair unless you have some basis for that comment. Did he screw up a repair of your friend's camera - if so, be specific.

    That doesn't take away from your positive and informative comments on Dave's Camera Repair. And here's the irony - it appears - according to google maps - that his mailing address is a residence.
     
  16. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    I never said he was unskilled! I said that i was told that and if your read the next line i said " I dont know if that it true, That is what i was told" Dave had a shop for years and moved it to his home. I just replied to a post about camera repair and mentioned what i went through to get a CLA done. I didnt set out to trash Garrys at all, I just felt that a CLA on a Mamiya should not be brain surgery. Maybe i shouldn't have inserted the ( he shouldnt work on any camera ) comment and i will edit that if Apug allows. The unskilled comment wasnt from me and i clearly stated that! Should i not tell of an experience i had and what i have been told by others? What am i allowed to say? Do i need court records to state my opinion?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2009
  17. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I don't know Garry or Dave but IMO if Garry doesn't want to service the Mamiya that's his right.
    If it were my binness rather than say it's not serviceable just say I don't work on those and let it go. There are no similarities between a leaf shutter and a focal plane shutter and the number of Mamiyas going to service in any non-specialty shop is minimal. Garry may be able to work on four or five SLR's in the same time it takes for him to do one Mamiya or he may not have spares. Other techs may do the opposite. Still comes down to it being his choice.
     
  18. brian d

    brian d Member

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    Did Garry's put in new light seals during the CLA ?
     
  19. Jayd

    Jayd Member

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  20. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Alot of repairmen moved their business to their homes or retired n keep themselves busy. Digital has almost killed the reapir business for many. It takes alot of repairs to justify a comerical spot's rent where out of the home overhead is nill.

    With the price of a film cameras today, you'd think twice if I said the cost of a CLA was $200 on a camera you picked up for $25? It keeps the price down and you still get the same care you would have gotten years ago.

    Specializing is how I can afford to maintain a parts inventory. It's expensive and space consuming to stock parts for every camera where once upon a time I could get em directly from the manufacturer as I needed em.

    .