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Thread started 17 Jun 2012 (Sunday) 13:09
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Pro Camera Repair, San Diego CA - is it a common problem?

 
kissel
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Location: Ukraine
     
Jun 17, 2012 13:09 |  #1

Hi everyone,
It all started when I bought a Nikon AF-S 28-70/2.8D lens on ebay, supposed to be in mint condition, but appeared to have a faulty SWM motor (squeaky sounds), which died quite soon. My fault (?) - trusting ebay sellers and not being able to even receive it just on time to send it back for refund, since I live in another country (and it seems sometimes - in another world). Local repair shop engineer examined the lens and found it to be mechanically fine with only SWM motor assembly to be replaced. Unfortunatelly, in Ukraine it's almost impossible to find parts for discontinued photography equipment within the reasonable time frame.
I've purchased several camera and lens parts from Pro Camera Repair (San Diego, CA) before, had no problems whatsoever, and had little doubts inquiring estimates from them in the first place.

Sebastian replied very soon
"We would charge $180 labor + $234 part to replace the SWM on the Nikon AF-S 28-70mm 2.8 lens."

Not cheap, but what else to do? Few days after they'd received it they wrote

"Hello
This is an email to inform you that a tech was able to look at your camera. I have an re-estimate for your Nikon AF-S 28-70mm 1:2.8D lens of $650.00, they would replace the auto focus drive and auto focus barrel base.If you wold like to proceed with the repairs it would take 5-10 business days. If you want to decline repairs its going to be roughly $30 for shipping.If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us.
Regards,
Jessica"

I searched the service manual and couldn't find the mentioned auto focus barrel base part. Instead I found on the internet a patent by Nikon for a generic AF/MF coupling system under the same name, which is utilized in my lens, as well as other AF-S lenses. I wrote back and requested the part # for this "new thing", and the next day another manager, this time - Rachelle, wrote back

"The part number is #1B999-920. I inquired about your repair and per the technician this part must be replaced. Without this part being replaced your lens will not be in proper working order. "

Well, the service manual lists a SWM assembly under #1B999-920. Surprise!
"Rachelle,
according to the Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 D IF parts list
the part # 1B999-920 you indicated to be an auto focus base barrel is actually the SWM unit (or assembly). I was given the estimate of $180 labor + $234 part to replace the SWM unit, and now I must pay for the SWM unit twice? Doesn't seem to be fair. Please clarify the position of your technician, because I feel like being taken advantage of.
I would like to have only SWM unit replaced, and keep the old barrel part, if such exists........"

This was June, 8.

Five days later I requested an update on my lens, nobody ever wrote back. Troublesome, isn't it?

Simple Google search (I should have done it 3 weeks ago) gave me more reasons to be worried.
http://www.sportsshoot​er.com …ge_display.html​?tid=40092 (external link)

I will be calling them on the phone on Monday.

Has anybody had similar problems with this service center? What whould you do in such circumstances?

Regards,
Kostya


Nikon D3 and stuff

  
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Kirill
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Jun 18, 2012 12:27 |  #2

Interesting - their main business is selling repair parts on ebay - http://feedback.ebay.c​om …rarepair&ftab=A​llFeedback (external link)
They got in trouble with Canon for doing this - http://www.procamerare​pair.com/ (external link)

I would try to get the lens in to another shop




  
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smacatl
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Jun 18, 2012 13:44 |  #3

Since you are all the way in the Ukraine, and picking it up is not an option - maybe there is a responsible POTN member who could pick it up for you and take it to Kurt's (also in San Diego).

Hopefully, at this point you are only out the cost of shipping it to San Diego.

Good luck!


Smacatl
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skater911
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Jun 18, 2012 14:09 |  #4

Yeah Kurt's is a good shop. They have fixed things for me in the past too.


Nikon D850 l Nikon 28 1.4E l Nikon 50 1.8 g l Nikon 24-120 F4 l Tamron 100-400 l

  
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kissel
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Jun 18, 2012 14:09 |  #5

Yeah, I would appreciate someone's help!

Kirill, I've purchased a lot of stuff from Pro Camera Repair on ebay, and never had a problem with them. The list of equipment they have listed there is impressive - and I just never had doubts contacting them when I faced the problem with my lens.
BTW, here http://www.insiderpage​s.com …hotographic-rpr-san-diego (external link) someone compains that instead of fixing the camera, they sold it. May be this is how they got so much parts to sell?


Nikon D3 and stuff

  
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Kirill
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Jun 18, 2012 15:14 |  #6

kissel wrote in post #14596639 (external link)
Yeah, I would appreciate someone's help!

Kirill, I've purchased a lot of stuff from Pro Camera Repair on ebay, and never had a problem with them. The list of equipment they have listed there is impressive - and I just never had doubts contacting them when I faced the problem with my lens.
BTW, here http://www.insiderpage​s.com …hotographic-rpr-san-diego (external link) someone compains that instead of fixing the camera, they sold it. May be this is how they got so much parts to sell?

I think canon doesn't want their repair parts \ test equipment to be sold at retail. So ProCameraRepair probably doing this in violation of their agreement with Canon. Can you trust a shop that is screwing one of their main suppliers not to screw you ?




  
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kissel
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Oct 10, 2012 13:56 |  #7

After of couple of months I have an update.

I was able to get the lens shipped to my friend in the US. Surprisingly, Pro Camera Repair did send it pretty quickly, and there were no delays. I wrote to official Nikon Service center, they gave me an instruction what to do and a friend sent the lens to Nikon. After a week or so they quoted 400$. I agreed, and today I have a lens in hand.
Nikon replaced the faulty SWM .... AND some other quite expensive parts like helicoid, front lens tube (seems like the front glass element is also brand new), the outer ring, filter rim, lens mount, and even a name plate!!! Whatever they thought was to be replaced - they replaced. Of course, the lens is perfectly clean and AF is dead on. I should have sent it directly to Nikon in the first place. The cost is pretty high, but hey - they did much more than I ever expected.

As for Pro Camera Repair, I intend to buy parts from them, but no service. That is for sure.


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dog ­ rocket
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Oct 11, 2012 12:10 |  #8

Well, be damn glad you didn't go with Pro Camera Service in Thousand Oaks. We sent a very valuable Voigtlander 125mm APO Macro to them because of sticking aperture blades and they told us the aperture motor was bad and no longer available after having the lens for months. I didn't buy it and sent it off to another shop. The tech cleaned the oil off the blades and sent it back fully operational. If we went with the word from Pro Camera Service, that rare and beautiful lens worth over $2K today would be a paperweight.


Randy...

  
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Pro Camera Repair, San Diego CA - is it a common problem?
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