How much would you spend ...

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by mekia02, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. mekia02

    mekia02 Member

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    ..on your favorite camera? I've been thinking of the repairs that I have had done to a few of my cameras and a post I read a while ago advising someone not to spend money on a repair but to simply "get another" camera. Some models/types are more the "work horse" type of camera and buyers need to be wary of the condition of the replacement camera due to extreme use, chances that it has been dropped, other cameras are just old and are bound to need shutters un-stuck or film advance levers repaired.

    I thought, what is the chance that you'd buy another camera only to find some hidden problem with that one? I would almost rather just spend the money to get the original camera repaired rather than take the gamble of finding a good quality replacement. Then there is trying to get a bargain buy from evil bay, which can be ok if your camera is not one that has suddenly sprung new interest and while should be going for $50-100 are being BOUGHT for 2-3X the price.

    So would there come a time or situation when you would pay 100% or 200% of the price of a camera to have it repaired? Would it have to be a real " last of it's kind" situation or would you pay if the camera had sentimental value to you?
     
  2. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Several years ago I bought a used Nikon F3 at a bargain price. After a year I had to have the shutter replaced at great expense, but I had it done, thinking: what else can break with such a sturdy camera? Well, the camera was more inventive than me :sad: and only after a few years (of light casual shooting) the next thing broke (mirror box), rendering the camera worthless (sold it for parts). Conclusion: cameras often don't just have one defect. If they are heavily used, they may well wear down evenly, so after repairing the first thing the next repair is already on the horizon.

    If you can accept the learning curve of a new camera you might as well look into getting an entirely different camera. Chances are your shooting style has changed or your camera lacked features you can now get for very little money. Don't forget that you can get a lot of professional equipment in mint condition for very little money now.
     
  3. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    It's a judgement call. I had my Contax 167MT repaired, when I could have found a replacement on eBay for very little more than the repair cost, but I took the view that a repair by a competent camera repairer would give the repairer an opportunity to look for any other warning signs, and would give me a camera back that had a repair warranty, whereas buying something on eBay can be a route to buying someone else's problem.

    I also had my Yashica half-frame overhauled and repaired for about three times what I paid for it, but in addition to repairing the broken frame counter, they also tightened the lens assembly and got the selenium meter working too. I only buy cameras to use, rather than collect (my wife has a different opinion on this, but what do spouses know?), so it's use value rather than resale value that determines whether I'll repair or replace a camera.
     
  4. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    I expect to spend 5x the cost of my Rolleicord on repair. Frankly, I should probably buy something higher end given what I'll pay in CLA but it was my first medium format and I simply love it. I've loved other cameras since, but it is special.
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have had four of my cameras and one of my lenses serviced in the last year it probably cast about the same or a little more than I could replace them for on ebay, I had them given a full service by a professional because I've had the cameras for more than twenty years and they owe me nothing, I know where they've been and that they haven't been dismantled on someone's kitchen table, I'm delighted with the results there all like new now, smooth as silk, and I hope to continue enjoying them for a long time .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Most used equipment purchased on eBay probably hasn't had the routine service that it needs. I'd rather get a bargain on an item in "non-working" condition (tempered with a certain amount of knowledge about what kinds of "non-working conditions" are easy to fix) and have it serviced by an expert repair technician in that particular item or brand, than have a "working" item that hasn't had a CLA in over 20 years. Most of my Bronica items have been serviced by Frank Marshman. My Linhofs have been serviced by Marflex, and I know they're functionally as good as new. Some LF shutters I work on myself, if they're not too complicated.
     
  7. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Posted wirelessly..

    I agree with David. Educated bargain purchase + pro CLA/repair leaves me feeling much more confident with used gear.
     
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I think David's is a sensible approach, if you want to buy equipment, but I'm happy with what I have, we don't expect our washing machines or cars etc..to last twenty years without some maintainence I would think that the vast majority of the cameras and lenses of that age have had none, yet we still expect them towork reliably.
     
  9. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    A lot of sellers are over-optimistic so I take their statements with a pinch of salt... When buying a camera, I always include the CLA charge ($100-150) to estimate the real price I am willing to pay.

    Take care.
     
  10. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    It depends on the camera, some of my stuff has a sentimental value to it. I will go a little farther on the expense.

    Jeff
     
  11. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    I recently bought a FE on ebay for $89. It worked fine except for the DOF preview and the rear door latch was a bit stiff. I sent in in for a $120 CLA/Overhaul. I now have a beautifully functioning FE, back to factory specs. While being repaired the shop also replaced the ASA selector dial which was a bit worn and sloppy. I'm happy and confident the camera will now outlast me.

    I could have bought another on ebay, probably cheaper. Maybe I would have gotten a good one, maybe some more trouble. I would not have the confidence I have now.
     
  12. mekia02

    mekia02 Member

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    Yeah I find that I don't mind spending money for repairs on pieces that I have owned just as long if its not getting around 5x or higher than the cost of the purchase. I don't feel I am experienced enough to really weed out possible problems in a replacement camera from an online seller and I'd rather spend money with my repair guy where I know this guy does good work and guarantees his work.
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree Lyle, I was out shooting with my recently serviced Canon EF yesterday it's like new,and can't believe it was made in 1976 it's so smooth and quiet in operation and the light meter is spot on, whatever it cost it's worth it to me in the pleasure I get every time I use it.
     
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  15. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    I recently acquired a Canon F1-N, EF and A1 and a great selection of FD glass for a very reasonable trade + cash against a Bronica SQ-B I wasn't getting on with. I've subsequently got my mitts on a Hassy 500 c/m, a couple of lenses and an extension tube but the costs was no more than I could afford.

    My take is that quality pays, it doesn't cost. But, if I hadn't got the money in my pocket or my wife needed new shoes or food, my "hobby" would go on a back-burner.
     
  16. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I bought a replacement for my Pentax Super Program on eBay for $40. It was in better condition than mine was when it was working.
    I kept the original camera. If the new one stops working I will consider whether to send both cameras in for repair with instructions to use one camera as a parts donor for the other, if possible.

    Right now, I would pay $100 to get one of my cameras repaired unless I can find one on eBay, et. al., which is in good condition for less money. At that point, I'll decide which cameras to use as parts donors for the other cameras, if the situation calls for it.
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    If your newly acquired Canon cameras proved to be faulty Paul considering they are all more than twenty years old, would you have them serviced, or replace them ?
     
  18. goamules

    goamules Member

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    I can say that the few 35mm cameras I've bought I've avoided repairs on. The Canon EF was nice looking but with a stuck shutter, I paid $20 for it. Asking around it was difficult to find anyone that would work on it. Even if I could find a repairman, I would have paid probably $150, and end up with a camera body worth about half that. Same with the Voigtlander Vitessa with the sticking slow speeds. The camera commonly sells for $150.

    But I'm about to bite the bullet on a Canon VI-T. I really like the body, It has potential to last another 20 years, the CLA is less than the cost of the camera, and it should keep it's value. So I don't mind getting it working again (dragging high speeds).

    To me it's a matter of quality and potential.
     
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  19. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    Hi Benjiboy.

    My desire to keep them would probably drive me down the route of getting them serviced / repaired, especially as they are in such good condition - and especially the F1-N as it is a camera I wanted in the early 80's when I couldn't afford one. There comes a point where the cost becomes disproportionate and, as they're only tools, I don't beat myself up about letting go. Thankfully, that seldom happens.

    The chap I bought them from is a professional photographer and friend of mine who was also the previous owner / user of the F1-N. The EF and A1 were trades he took in and are, like the F1-N, in really good condition. The A1 is virtually mint cosmetically. So far, all are performing flawlessly.

    My Hassy 500 c/m came from a camera shop in London from whom I've bought equipment previously and who I trust. It has a 6 month warranty but is in really nice condition inside and out, despite its age.

    Wherever possible, I buy from known and reputable sources. If I buy "blind" then it's usually an accessory or something that isn't going to break the bank if it falls to bits and needs replacing. I suppose that's the key; don't spend over the odds on a pig-in-a-poke without a warranty from a stranger.
     
  20. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    Too much :wink:
     
  21. Shaggysk8

    Shaggysk8 Member

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    If we don't repair them soon there will be none left, lets think about the film shooters of the future.

    I will always repair them, I think its good to put money a side for this.

    Paul
     
  22. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I like you Paul have always bought from reputable sources, I bought the large majority my stuff before The Internet existed and bought them from retailers that gave a warranty. I have a 2 F1N-AE, A1, EF, 2 T90s and and have had them so long that I can operate them without thinking, and as the old adage says, "The best camera is the one you're most used to", I prefer them to any of the subsequent models that Canon have made the T90 is about as high-tech as I wish to go, and if they need servicing I get it done by a professional, I'm not interested in their market value if I sold them because I have no intention of ever doing so, to me their value is in the pictures they make..
     
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  23. Ria

    Ria Member

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    "It depends on the camera, some of my stuff has a sentimental value to it. I will go a little farther on the expense.
    Jeff"

    I agree.
    Years ago I took a 35mm camera to a local camera repair guy who, without even diagnosing the problem, informed me that it was not worth fixing.
    Well, first of all nobody likes to hear that a piece of equipment they own is "not worth fixing" and admittedly, the camera was not a Nikon or a Leica, (it was, in fact, a lowly Ricoh, my first SLR). However, whether or not something is "worth fixing" is a decision that can only be made by the person who will pay for the repair.
    Subsequently I had some one else repair the camera. It was not particularly expensive, certainly less than the cost of a replacement and if I should require service on something else in the future you can guess who I will use. Particularly since guy #1 is now out of business. Coincidence?
     
  24. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Good Point

    Very good point. I like to tell myself that I'm saving the camera from the junk pile and landfill, but I like this argument even better!

    They are so cheap to buy today, relatively speaking, that they are "worth" getting repaired while we can. I don't consider the price I can get when I sell the camera as it's "worth". I like using these older instruments.

    When I returned to film a while back, I thought I wanted an autofocus due to my less than perfect vision that I now find myself with. I found out how cheap these cameras were going for, and have purchased a number of them, both fully manual and fully automatic. I find that most often, I'm taking the manual bodies out. I just like the process of working them. I haven't had all of them serviced, and won't, but the classics are worth it to me.
     
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  25. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Warning: a bit off topic

    Reminds me of my first repair experience with Nikon. I had an FM2 that I had purchased new. While backpacking with it, I dropped it onto some rocks. The re-wind knob and back locking mechanism popped off. I was left with a small handful of loose parts including springs, the crank, various washers etc. There was also a small dent in the top plate.

    I returned the camera and parts to the shop where I purchased it, and they packaged it up and sent it to Nikon Repair for me. A couple of weeks later, I got word that the Repair shop had determined that the camera was "uneconomical to repair" and that they would be returning it to me. I was very disappointed, as I could not afford a new camera at that time. When the camera arrived back from Nikon, I was pleasantly surprised to find it back in one piece, fully assembled with a note that it had not been repaired, so no charge.

    I tried it out and it worked flawlessly. The only part that did not function, was the back door lock. Just pulling up on the rewind crank would pop the back open - I could live with that. I used that camera without problem for another decade until it was stolen.

    Sometimes not getting something repaired works out greatl :D

    Back to the topic at hand...
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I think it is misleading to use the price of a used replacement camera as a measure of a camera's value, unless that used replacement comes from a trusted source, with a meaningful warranty.

    Many prices for used cameras are illogical - they are more likely to represent vagaries in the market than objective factors.

    When considering repair costs, I find it useful to think of the cost of rolls of film. If a repair is going to cost me less than X rolls of film, and I'm likely to shoot X rolls of film with the repaired camera in the near future, it seems more clear that the repair cost is worthwhile.