Problem with new GW690, what would you do?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jeddy-3, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. jeddy-3

    jeddy-3 Subscriber

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    Hi everyone. I have a small problem and would like to hash it out with someone I know, but I honestly don't know personally know anyone who is into traditional photography...so perhaps I can explain my situation and rationale and someone can tell me if my head is straight.

    I just bought a Fujica GW690 (I) from KEH via ebay. Obviously, the camera is already around 30 years old, but it's in immaculate condition and looks nearly brand new. It arrived very quickly but unfortunately the slower shutter speeds stick at around 1/15 and slower. Sometimes they work, sometimes they get hung up, it seems to be intermttent, so I really can't say that it was overlooked by KEH.

    I contacted the seller and a manager quickly and politely responded, was very apologetic about the situation (so far dealing with KEH has been really pleasant with good communication). I am told that I have these options-
    1. Send it back for full refund.
    2. Keep it as is with a $50 refund, and have the work done elsewhere (voiding the warranty).
    3. Send it back for a free repair under warranty.

    My first thought was to just send it back and look for another, but then I thought about it some more.
    I know nothing about the internals of the shutter timer, but perhaps it's simply a matter of a shutter CLA. In this case, a used camera with a fresh CLA is way better than one that's been sitting relatively unused for the past decade....as is most likely the case for many of these cameras still in great condition.

    I am told that all shutter speeds will be checked if I send it for repair.

    So...Is it best to just wash my hands and roll the dice with a different camera, with it's own potential for problems and without warranty, or to have it fixed and most likely end up with a good reliable machine for years to come? I just want to be sure I'm not missing something here.

    Thanks so much for any insight. I really do appreciate it.
    Sincerely,
    Paul
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2012
  2. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Have it fixed.
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    send it back. would you have paid as much as you did if you knew there was something wrong with it? prolly not.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Send back for repairs and keep it.
     
  5. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    Have it fixed. Would you use the slow shutter speeds anyway? If the shutter is going to be CLAed at no cost to you, it is going to be better than you will find elsewhere.
     
  6. jeddy-3

    jeddy-3 Subscriber

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    Thanks for the replies. So far it seems my thinking is not far off.

    WildBill...I know exactly what you're saying. Your question is the reason I initially thought I would send it back. Oh, and your work is very nice, especially the Manzanita, Valleyheart Falls, and Vining Creek Swirls..which I bet is really nice when enlarged.

    Peltigera...Your rationale is exactly what I'm starting to think after sleeping on it. I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't some reason why this line of thinking is bad. Oh, I absolutely use and require the slow speeds )...no question about it.
     
  7. jeddy-3

    jeddy-3 Subscriber

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    Thanks for the replies. So far it seems my thinking is not far off.

    WildBill...I know exactly what you're saying. Your question is the reason I initially thought I would send it back. Oh, and your work is very nice, especially the Manzanita, Valleyheart Falls, and Vining Creek Swirls..which I bet is really nice when enlarged.

    Peltigera...Your rationale is exactly what I'm starting to think after sleeping on it. I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't some reason why this line of thinking is bad. Oh, I absolutely use and require the slow speeds )...no question about it.
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Option #3.
    That way, instead of having a camera in clean cosmetic condition, you will have a camera in clean cosmetic condition that has been serviced recently.
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I think the ONLY wrong choice is to keep it and get $50 AND lose the warranty. No one competent will repair it for you for that kind of amount.

    I'd choose between refund and repair.

    My choice will probably be to put a film in it and do a test run to see if there is anything else that needs attention such as view finder calibration, film spacing, light leaks, etc. Then if too many things are wrong with it, ask for refund. Or, if shutter is the only thing, get it fixed.
     
  10. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    If I were in that situation again I would ask for the refund.

    I am already having the same situation with a similar camera and the same seller.
    This is the first time I have anything from KEH with a problem, they already sent my camera back to me with absolutely no evidence of them fixing the issue even though they did, now the camera went back to KEH a second time and they said they sent it out to someone else.

    To be honest I did ask for the repair instead of refund but it seems to be more trouble than it is worth.
     
  11. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    If I were in that situation again I would ask for the refund.

    I am already having the same situation with a similar camera and the same seller.
    This is the first time I have anything from KEH with a problem, they already sent my camera back to me with absolutely no evidence of them fixing the issue even though they said they did repair it. Now the camera went back to KEH a second time and they said they sent it out to someone else for repair.

    To be honest I did ask for the repair instead of refund but it seems to be more trouble than it is worth.
     
  12. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Repair, that's the beat deal. Who can do a cla for $50 thats reputable? These cameras need tune ups when the counters on the bottom reach 500 (I think every 10 shots moves the counter by 1) anyway.
     
  13. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    How much did you pay for it?
     
  14. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    I bought a GW690 (1) on Ebay for a good price. It had a new shutter installed about 2 years before I bought it, a low count since then, and it has worked very well.

    If the rangefinder works well, etc., I would first run some test rolls through it. One roll, sent repeatedly to test the wind mechanism to make certain it is solid and consistent. If this checks out, send it in for repair. The worst that happens is that KEH sends it back unfixed. You then send it back for a refund. Second worst, they can't fix it and you get a refund. Third worst, they fix it and you have a nice camera with a recent overhaul. None of these 'worsts' sounds bad to me.

    But do some shooting and testing in the next couple of days just make certain that you want the GW690. This particular one or another one, it is not for everyone (which can be said for all cameras, eh?).
     
  15. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    Let KEH fix it for you.... no better choice
    Logan
     
  16. jeddy-3

    jeddy-3 Subscriber

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    Well thanks everyone. I shot one roll with the camera yesterday and two more today. I love the way it feels, the way it handles. I rode around this morning on my bicycle with the camera strapped and hanging from my back.
    It felt great, no heavier than my Nikon F really. It's easy to focus and the viewfinder is big!

    I'm going to send it for repair. I really appreciate the kind advice from everyone who has replied. It makes me feel better knowing I'm thinking rationally about the situation. I can't even get the shutter to hang up today. It's back to working fine again. I'm still going to send it in, but this has me thinking that a little bit of TLC will be all she needs to consistently fire properly.

    Mwdake's reply is the one that concerns me. Mwdake, would you care to perhaps give a link to a forum tread (If you've posted one) about the specifics of your problem? The gentleman that I write back and fourth to states that they are capable of setting shutter speeds in house....and it would seem nuts otherwise. He assures me that whatever decision I make he will gladly accommodate. The customer service really seems 110% at this moment. I'd like to know about your situation. If you have the time to PM me I'd like to know what happened.

    What I've noticed a lot now that I'm really searching and looking around is that everything I read about the GW690 says that Fuji abandoned the "B" shutter setting in exchange for "T" only when they created the GW series, yet this camera has the bulb setting and it works quite nicely...I did some shooting this morning before sun-up using my release cable. Does anyone know about the B setting on the GW690? Was it used for a while, then stopped early in production? It was a nice surprise for me. I've been wanting a Fuji 6X9 for a while now and the T-only setting didn't quite sit well with me. While this may not be a big deal to many people, I enjoy low light photography and I'm used to carrying my cable along with my tripod.

    Rich815, I paid $460, shipped. I know it's on the high side at the moment, but I have to admit that knowing I could send it back within 3 months was very appealing, especially considering the age of the equipment. The body looks like it was owned by an amateur. There is a scrape near the tripod socket but it's otherwise very clean with a counter of 349, for what it's worth (nothing).

    Thanks folks, I am going to take most everyone's advice and perhaps shoot the camera for a few more days to make sure that the speed is the only concern, then I'll send it off as long as everything else seems good. Does anyone else here have the B setting on their GW690 or know about this? I know that mine isn't the only one but still I can't find info online about it.
    DSCN1778.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2012
  17. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    I did not create a post about my issue. I would not do so anyhow unless I had a really bad experience.

    Basically I bought a Fuji 645, when it arrived one of the spool release buttons was defective which required a paper clip to release. Not wanting to carry a paper clip with me to use the camera I sent it back for repair. Two weeks later it came back but exactly as it was before, no paperwork from the repair but customer service said it was repaired. I sent it back again for repair and just found out they have sent it out to one of their vendors and I should wait another two weeks.

    So, 2 months and I have yet to use the camera for it intended purpose.
    I really wanted a lightwieght compact medium format for travel.

    To be honest KEH customer service have been very responsive and offered a refund all along.
    So, if I were to do it over I would probably get the refund then find another camera without a problem to begin with.
     
  18. jeddy-3

    jeddy-3 Subscriber

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    Man, I'm sorry to hear that. It's funny because travel is what made me really decide it was time for something along the lines of the 690. I recently hauled my Mamiya TLR on a 5 day hiking/camping trip to the Cascades. That got old really fast but I ended up with some nice shots and have no regrets. I appreciate what you said about not posting something unless you had a bad experience. My intent was surely not to trash KEH. On the contrary they have been extremely easy to deal with. Hopefully your experience was a miscommunication problem ( a really inconvenient one). It does suck that you still don't have your 645 and I can definitely understand your point of view. Thanks for sharing.
     
  19. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    Me neither as I have always had good experiences with KEH before and I am sure they will work it out.
     
  20. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    My GW690-1 has the B setting on the shutter. It is serial number 9125147. I have no idea of its year of manufacture or such.

    Its shutter was rep[laced by Fuji Canada about three years ago, based on a receipt from the previous owner. No mention if they 'upgraded' to a B setting shutter or not. I think I've read of other '1's with the B setting, not the T setting. If oyu like long exposures, an answer for the T issue is to use a lens cap as your shutter for ending an exposure.

    If the shutter counter count seems high to you, just undo the three screws on the bottom, pull the bottom off, unscrew the counter, and spin it to whatever number you want! You can operate the shutter without the counter in place, even remove it for good or until you go to sell it. You'll find that the shutter clunk has nothing to do with the counter.
     
  21. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Option No. 3 for me... although you appear to have already decided to go down this route!


    Steve.
     
  22. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    I'd go for #3, without hesitation.

    :smile:
     
  23. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    #4: see if it blends.