My Contax G1 winding is kaput - Melbourne membes, please help!
Woe is me! The winder on my beloved Contax G1, owed since virtually new and often used with the four (28mm - 90mm) lenses I have had to count my one and two dollar (Aussie) coins to purchase, has passed away, and I am in a terrible emotional state. I want to get it repaired, even if I have to mortgage my other cameras and the cats to pay for it - but where?
I live in Melbourne, and since I bought the G1 in 1999, it has been once for a CLA and a minor repair to the focusing system, by a highly competent Contax trained technician (Vic, formerly of the Camera Exchange) who has now, I believe, retired. What to do?
On a somewhat limited income (part pension, part time work in a community agency which provides me with much fulfilment, but very little spare dosh) buying another G model even swould be ore than I could afford, not to overlook perhaps risky, given the advanced age of the G cameras. Will a repair be worth while in cost terms? And if yes, who would be the most qualified person, not necessarily here in Melbourne but it would be preferable if I could take the camera to the repair person myself? Or will the cost be so expensive that the time may well have come, o horror! for me to bite the bullet yet further into the lead, and go d*g*t*l? I believe it is now possible to adapt the wonderful Carl Zeiss lenses to some DSLR systems. The only stumbling block, for me, at this time is cost. Presumably (someone please correct me on this if I am wrong) it would still be cheaper for me to get the G1 repaired and use it for a few more years til I exhaust the mega stocks of frozen film in my freezer (I probably have more Kodak Panatomic and Technical Pan safely stored in Antarctic conditions, than Kodak would have!) at which time I will consider maybe going d*g*t*l, pardon the term, if by then I am still able to hold a camera... The images I have had without fail from my G1 are so good, the thought of losing this beloved and oft used part of my photographic arsenal, makes me want to.. cry. Not yet go d*g*t*l.
Anyway, any advice from Australian members will be most welcome. Due to my limited means, cost is a factor, but not time - I do have a Rolleiflex E2, a Kodak Retina I and a Nikkormat EL to console me while I wait for the G1 to be brought back to full functionality, even if the work takes a few months.
Please let me know. I am anxious to follow this up and get my beloved G1 back on the road to recovering its full health. Everything else on the camera functions A1++ and other than the winding, I believe the G1 would be good for a few more years of loving use.
Aussie members, many thanks in advance for your good advice.
Last edited by ozmoose; 03-12-2011 at 12:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: minor corrections to clean up terminology
Not being an aussie, I can't help you with a source for repairs, or a price for it, but I would encourage you to fix it. The lenses are the key to that cameras' brilliance, and they're not adaptable that I'm aware of to any digital camera because they're rather unique in their mounting and focusing design. If you can't find a good repair shop, at least you can replace the body for not too too much money- KEH Cameras (granted, they're in the states) has G1 bodies on their website (www.keh.com) for $225 USD, and they'll be in grade-A condition.
Ooooooops! I double posted, I know, I know. Sorry! First time and last time. Admission time, I have lurked on these wonderful pages for a few years, but I now intend (as my nonexistent budget allows) to become a subscriber, the fee for which is already on the spreadsheet for our April budget. My conscience would not allow me to do otherwise, given the so far excellent several responses I have had on both posts. Thank you all for being so helpful, I hope in future to return the favor by the thousandfold.
My two previous dealings with KEH Cameras go back to a few years when I traveled across the USA on my way to visit family in Eastern Canada - I bought several long-cherished Rollei bits for my E2 and was truly satisfied in all ways with the prices, quality and service I received, their store policy seems to be based on very conservative descriptions and valuations of excellent items, if I of all people can say such a thing, as hard to please as I am in most things, they HAVE to be good. So I will keep them on my possible list. Silly question: Why no KEH in Australia? The US$/A$ exchange rate being so good, in fact the Ozbuck is worth slightly more than the Greenback just now, an unusual and, alas, likely very temporary situation. So I may act quickly, if the G1 repair is too expensive and I can come up with enough $1 and $2 gold coins for the purchase... Anyway, to put all this in two words, thank you.
You might also try contacting KEH about repairing your G1 - they have a repair service themselves. I would think that a repair, if the camera is in otherwise good working order, would still run you less than the replacement cost. At least they could provide you with a baseline value for getting your camera serviced, to know if it is worth doing or not.
You could try the "Camera Clinic" in Collingwood (9419 5247) or "Shutterbox" in Camberwell (9809 4711)
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TOCAD in the USA will service it:
And here is their UK agent:
Perhaps they could reccomend a service agency nearer.
Hopefully you have fixed your camera by now, but I was under the impression Vic was still at camera exchange at least on Fridays?
A late response to my original posting - thank you, everyone, for your most useful information. Let me add by way of passing on information, that the Camera Clinic in Collingwood do NOT, repeat not, repair Contax G cameras, for reasons they prefer to keep to themselves, non-availability of G parts perhaps, but then who knows? As well I contacted Vintech, a nice lot of friendly young experts, but the price they quoted me was enough to turn my already grey hair a shade lighter. In fall fairness, I doubt I would do better here in AUS. But I am exploring other local options to get my G1 back into working condition again. And BTW, I also checked and found out KEH will not accept overseas repairs at present due to government postal problems. Which ended one possible plan.
Plan B will be to buy another G1 body as suggested by at least one respondent - this may in fact be the best option given the current high value of the Ozbuck against the Yankee dollah, while it lasts.
I will consider all options, and decide in the next week or so.
Again, to all who came to my assistance, a very loud and sincerely meant THANK YOU.
PS I hereby promise to never ever double post on APUG again. I also promise to become a subscriber as earlier indicated, next month.