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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 19 Jan 2015 (Monday) 09:33
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Camera repair career?

 
Biffbradford
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Jan 19, 2015 09:33 |  #1

Sorry if there is a thread on this already, if so, I can't find it.

Input and thoughts on getting trained in the camera repair field?

I've fixed everything from my toaster, to my car (rebuilt the engine), radios (ham radio op for 30+ years), computers, what haven't I fixed?

I currently work in healthcare and while the money is good, you can have it! Pfffft! :^p

Post those stories and links, I'd love to check 'em out!

:-)


My pictures: John Wilke Photography (external link), Flikr (external link) , Facebook (external link), Fine Arts America (external link), Canon 1D MkII N, 1D MkIII, various Canon and Tokina lenses. :D

  
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HappySnapper90
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Jan 19, 2015 15:00 |  #2

At this point camera repair here on out is more on an electrical gadget technician. And many new cameras these days are so cheap, and labor and overhead are so high, and broken cameras simply don't get fixed because you'd be better off buying a new camera. We live in a disposable world.

You'll make more money working in an industry if you have 30 years experience in it rather than jump ship to something you think would be more interesting. In the end you do the job you can make good money at. It's work after all!




  
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phantelope
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Jan 19, 2015 15:05 |  #3

I think to repair modern cameras you'd need quite a setup, since so much is electronic, I doubt you'd be able to beat the cost at Canon/Nikon etc. But maybe there's a market in repairing old film cameras? Definitely a niche thing, but those cameras can be found cheap and some people like using them. Maybe even look at medium and large format cameras.

I'd guess you'd need a source or setup for making tiny custom parts that are no longer made and/or a good collection of broken cameras for parts and I don't see any riches coming your way, but it could be something fun to just start on the side and see what happens?


40D, 5D3, a bunch of lenses and other things :cool:

  
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WaltA
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Jan 19, 2015 18:37 |  #4

Maybe with a 3D printer you could build all the little parts needed for cameras. I'm not sure what the copyright issue would be if you created a copy of a Canon part.

I guess depending on your location, there might be a value in repairing cameras after they are off warranty. Some special tools will be required.

I know here in western Canada there are very places to fix cameras after warranty is over.


Walt
400D, 5D, 7D and a bag of stuff

  
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Biffbradford
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Jan 19, 2015 21:07 |  #5

Thanks for the input. Think I'm going to setup a nice little anti-static work bench, start collecting small tools, and start picking up busted stuff. The more I tinker the more I learn and we'll see where it leads. :lol:


My pictures: John Wilke Photography (external link), Flikr (external link) , Facebook (external link), Fine Arts America (external link), Canon 1D MkII N, 1D MkIII, various Canon and Tokina lenses. :D

  
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ZoneV
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Jan 20, 2015 08:17 |  #6

For digital cameras you likely need some special calibration tools, for mechanical cameras there are some special tools too.
Here a link to a Canon DSLR calibration software - donĀ“t know what you need for other brands:
http://www.spt.info/sp​tstore.php?crn=312 (external link)

With only the same knowledge and portfolio of other camera workshops it is probably hard to earn enough money.

We have here (in Germany) for example a femal repair technican who repairs the old east German lenses with a lot of knowledge and many spare parts. The company exists since many years, and I think she does her work as well as her predecessor. I think now with all the people who adapt old lenses she has a lot to do. Here prices are relatively cheap too.
Or another DSLR and AF lens expert who did a lot of experiments, sells a special wet cleaning solution he found and optimized, and as far as I know he could service older Canon EF lenses who Canon techs would not touch (EF 200/1.8 and such).


DIY-Homepage (external link) - Image Gallery (external link) - Gear List

  
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Snafoo
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Snafoo.
     
Jan 20, 2015 15:58 |  #7

Some random comments:
I recently had a couple of classic film cameras refurbished that I inherited when my father passed away - a Contax RTS and an Asahi Pentax ES. One of the local camera shops directed me to someone who many people here in Kansas City told me is the last working camera repairman in town. He recently retired after owning a repair shop for 40 years. When I asked him why didn't sell the business rather than just close his doors, he said that he could never find anyone with the right combination of technical skills, business sense, and love for the craft. Those few apprentices that showed talent didn't stick around long enough to become craftsmen, which according to him takes at least 10 years (for film cameras, at least; not sure about digital). He has a spare parts bone pile of about 1,000 cameras, which I'm sure would be hard to duplicate for someone just starting out.

I suspect that the best repairmen have a steady business and nationwide clientele. When I was looking for someone to service my Leica, only a couple of names kept repeatedly coming up, so it appears to be a very small community.

I'm not trying to discourage you, just sharing my recent experience.


http://www.jonstot.com​/ (external link)

  
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Biffbradford
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Jan 21, 2015 01:01 |  #8

Hey, a guy's gotta start somewhere. Right?

Great input folks. Much appreciated. :-)


My pictures: John Wilke Photography (external link), Flikr (external link) , Facebook (external link), Fine Arts America (external link), Canon 1D MkII N, 1D MkIII, various Canon and Tokina lenses. :D

  
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banquetbear
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Jan 21, 2015 02:59 |  #9

...over here in NZ you either get your camera/lenses/etc repaired at the officially with Canon, etc, or you sent it to "that guy." There are only a handful of " that guys" in the country, they've spent literally decades building a reputation and their names are mentioned in hushed tones. In Wellington, that guy was Phil Jacobs. He spent 40 years as a camera repair tech, and if any photographer in Wellington was looking for a repair guy Phil was the guy that got recommended. Phil was a tinkerer who figured out how things worked.

http://www.stuff.co.nz …-support-one-of-their-own (external link)

Sadly Phil got struck down with a terminal illness a couple of years ago, and he passed away in September 2013.

If things need fixing now: I send them to Timaru, which is on another Island to the one I'm on. I'm in the capital city with a population over 300,000, and there isn't a camera repair shop here with a rep for any of the professionals to trust.

As suggested by Snafoo, this is the biggest thing your facing. There is a demand for this sort of work. (When I sent my lens down south, it took him a week to be able to simply look at my lens he was so backlogged.) But you've got no track record, no reputation, no experience. It takes years to learn this craft. It takes longer to build a reputation. I'm not going to send thousands of dollars of mission critical equipment to someone who isn't proven.

So if you are serious about this: then I would suggest that you settle in for the long haul. Its doable: but it isn't something you can do half hearted.


www.bigmark.co.nzexternal link

  
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Camera repair career?
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