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04-05-2012, 08:06 AM   #1
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(UPDATE)The 60cm that changed everything..

Hello everybody!
i have a rather sad story to tell and the right place to do so, is here at the pentaxforums! Everything starts in november when I decide to follow a photographer's career. So I invested in pentax equipment. A k5, a few lenses and here we go! Last February I was in Holland (my girlfriend is Dutch) and at a point we were passing with the car next to a big park in Amsterdam.I decided to take some pics.The weather was misty, ideal for winter shots. We park, go to the trunk take my k5(with grip), which at that point had the 50-135 on it, put it around my shoulder(I had the sun-sniper pro strap) walk 10 steps and, then I hear the the sound my k5 with the 50-135 made when it hit the asphalt street from 60cm height! I look down I see my k5 on the ground and I freeze! The seconds to bend and pick it up felt like minutes!The camera hit the ground with the grip first, at the corner where the AE-L button is.The 50-135 was opened in 2 places.Not fully open, but the rubber sealing rings where hanging out at 2 points.The sun sniper strap still hanging from my shoulder. I saw that it had somehow unscrewed from the grip.The k5 looked intact. Anyway, I brought it straight to a photo store I knew.I decided to leave the k5 for a check up and the lens with the grip for repair, because I knew that in my country there is no support or service. They also send it abroad (France).The employee said that it had to be sent to Belgium, where a pentax repair center is, and he will have a reply in two weeks(!) about the cost.

Two weeks later I get the costs. 818euro(!)(1063$) for the k5 145euro(188$) for the grip and the lens had to be sent to Germany because they are qualified for this. So I would get those costs from Germany. I have to mention here that I payed 880euro(1144$) for the kit(18-55) brand new! Why 818e? Because the sensor had to be replaced!! I decided to request my gear to be returned to me, because that was simply ridiculous. It took two weeks(!) for the stuff to return to the Dutch store. I didn't get the cost for the lens because I was already furious with the whole thing, so i just told them to send it back. I called the Belgian repair centre, which is actually an authorized repair centre called "De Beukelaer" and they informed me: 'yes the sensor needs to be replaced and costs 500e(650$) plus fine tune.The charge per working hour is 70e(91$)without tax'!! They also told me that if one wants to replace everything on a k5, the costs are three times the value of the camera! Also that the lense will be very expensive to be repaired....

So here I am now, thinking what I am going to do. Already 980e(1274$), which I payed for the lens, down the drain.
Shall I sell everything and quit the photo career before I even start? Buy again the k5? Is it worth it, because I'm really disappointed by the pentax support.
And now with the prices increased? Maybe it is worth it to send to Canada where the costs are lower?

I dont know guys...

Ps. I will include some photos from the damaged lens next week when I get my hands on it

09/04/12
Ok! Now this is really weird!! I got my gear back from Holland today, along with the new k5 body. So first I started testing my damaged body. Well it's working! The only thing I noticed, is compared to the new one, in start up the "damaged" one makes a more squeaky noise. It takes photos like it use to do..perfect! Now this is confusing!Why they said they had to replace the sensor? Do they see something that the rest of us can't see??Really weird stuff!!When the camera fell I took one photo fast and rushed to the store.That moment I wasn't thinking straight, I admit.I left the body for a "just in case"check up!Now I have two body's.Well not bad because especially for wedding shooting I need a back up.I post some pics tomorrow from both body's.I also have to add that the grip is working perfect too!!!


Last edited by dinos; 04-09-2012 at 09:06 PM. Reason: UPDATE
04-05-2012, 08:18 AM   #2
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Sad story, and I feel for you, you must be gutted. But, in truth, sounds to me like the strap which you attached, somehow failed. Perhaps it was the way you attached it, or you loosened the attachment things. I'm not sure that this is 100% clear cut Pentax' responsibility. Crazy though about the repair vs. new cost.

Last edited by Nass; 04-05-2012 at 08:24 AM.
04-05-2012, 08:21 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I'm surprised the sensor needs to be replaced...
04-05-2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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It really sucks to hear this... feel your pain!
If you just buy the K5 and now it is broken.... isnt the credit card have some sort of insurance for this type of thing? Check those first?

The repair cost is pretty ridiculous....
But don't let it stop you from getting into photography.... Buy another camera and lens and start over (either Pentax or Not), and buy insurance. =(

04-05-2012, 08:36 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Wow this is a very tough situation.

I'd say the initial problem sounds like strap failure. And then I'd try to determine how it could have been avoided. Personally, I've never had a strap/connector fail on me, though I do try and inspect them whenever I can because I've read too many reports of them failing. Other than that, the only possible way to protect ones gear in the field is with some form of insurance. Granted, I don't know what services exist across different countries, though here in Canada there are a few options that people can explore ranging from dedicated camera insurance too home or renters insurance, each having it's pros and cons.

Aside from that, I can't think of anything else that one could do to protect himself from loss as a result of a mishap other than prevention. Otherwise, the risks likely apply to every brand, place and person. ie. I once lost a camera body(Canon) to water damage while shooting from along the seashore. It was a terrible tragedy and didn't money to replace it at the time and so I took it really hard. However, when the time came to replace my camera, I vowed never to place or leave my case anywhere when I'm shooting again. And so from that point-on, I put my pack back on my shoulder again before looking through the viewfinder. And you know what.... I can't count the no. of times I found myself saying... "whoo man, I sure am glade my pack wasn't on the ground(or rock)"

Anyways, I guess what I'm trying to say is that though mishaps like these are terrible tragedies, they can also be dreadful reminders that prevention is the only way to truly protect oneself from them.

In closing, I'd try and speak to someone at Pentax to see if you can't find a better repair price if that's possible. Though something tells me that you may not be able to escape the initial costs quoted to you unless that repair facility was trying to take you for a ride(you never know right?). Either way, it could very well leave you with a big enough bill to rethink your entire system.

PS. I changed systems three times in my life, and the two first times were prompted by repair issues. The first was due to my Canon mishap and the second was due to the sheer incompetence of Nikon repair who was never able to adjust my Nikon camera and lenses to focus properly no matter what.

Having said that, I think the choice ultimately comes down to you and whether or not you feel it's worth moving ahead or moving one. Though if it were me, I'd likely move on.
04-05-2012, 08:39 AM   #6
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I didn't say that Pentax is responsible for my damage. I find the costs for the repair a joke and also that my gear has to go around Europe to be fixed. Not by Pentax, but by authorized companies.The costs are so high that you are forced to buy new, as is it cheaper than having it repaired. It's also weird that the sensor can be damaged by a fall from that height.You will say the shock can cause this, like the repair centre said, but how will I be able to use my gear professionally if I have to treat it like a porcelain vase?
04-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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all i can say s i would hate to test any one's repair capability with a dropped camera that in the process took out the lens and sensor.

I am not sure anyone else would be better at this, and this type of esperience is why you should insure gear, however all of this is too late for the present.

What I am much more curious about is the failure of the strap or attachment point. Maybe, the question should be are pentax responsible for the consequences of the strap attachment coming unscrewed? While they may have some generalized statement about consequential damage and loss in their warranty, it is worth a try because anyone with an ouonce of common sense should be able to understand that failure of the strap attachment will lead directly and almost certainly to dropping the camera
04-05-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
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Ah well, time to look into a used d700? Assuming you don't have any other investments in Pentax.

04-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dinos Quote
I didn't say that Pentax is responsible for my damage. I find the costs for the repair a joke and also that my gear has to go around Europe to be fixed. Not by Pentax, but by authorized companies.The costs are so high that you are forced to buy new, as is it cheaper than having it repaired. It's also weird that the sensor can be damaged by a fall from that height.You will say the shock can cause this, like the repair centre said, but how will I be able to use my gear professionally if I have to treat it like a porcelain vase?
Were you able to take images to check the sensor?
I've never had to treat my Pentax camera's with any special care. In fact, my previous Pentax bodies proved to be much more rugged than other bodies though I haven't had any mishaps with the K-5 to date to compare with.

The one thing I will add is that I've gotten into the habit of inspecting my gear both before and after every shoot. Which is something I started doing since my first Pentax almost 7 years ago.

  • Check for rust and corrosion on screws, contacts and metal(I live next to the ocean). Clean or lube as needed.
  • Clean and inspect viewfinder, mirror box and screens for grit and grime.
  • Check camera features and buttons for any signs of problems, loose items etc. - as it stands, my own K-5 mount release button is quite loose. I've requested a replacement part from Pentax Canada for when the day comes if it actually falls off.

Anyways, I guess what I'm trying to say is that though most digital SLR's can handle the abuse of everyday use, that regular maintenance will likely be your best line of defense against mishaps such as the one you've encountered.
04-05-2012, 09:27 AM   #10
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Do you have home inssurance? I know here in Canada my home insurance covers accidental drop of my cameras...
04-05-2012, 09:44 AM   #11
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They say Digital changed everything...
I remember a story in a photo magazine from the late 1960s, about a skydiver who dropped his Leica M3 when the strap broke as his parachute opened. He found the camera in a grassy field, removed a clump of mud from the lens, and finished the roll of film. Even the photos after the 4,000 ft drop were fine.
The pressure plate had to be replaced, as these early M3s used a glass or ceramic plate.
04-05-2012, 09:49 AM   #12
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Never use a strap or hang my camera around my neck, made up a HD wrist strap from a nylon cat collar and
keep the camera in a courier bag unless taking a pic. Room for the Kx with a 300mm lens.
Had an accident a long time ago when a camera swung into something and luckily just smashed the filter.
04-05-2012, 09:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
Do you have home inssurance? I know here in Canada my home insurance covers accidental drop of my cameras...
that was what i was going to ask as well

As for sending it here in the hopes of service costing less, in reality it is also expensive to do this work here. outside of warranty many reapirs just aren't viable. It's unfortunate you had the accident. However the repair cost with Canon Sony and Nikon will not be any better Compared to a car this is kind of reasonable actually ( a car would cost easily 10 times retail to produce from parts)
04-05-2012, 09:49 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Were you able to take images to check the sensor?
I've never had to treat my Pentax camera's with any special care. In fact, my previous Pentax bodies proved to be much more rugged than other bodies though I haven't had any mishaps with the K-5 to date to compare with.

The one thing I will add is that I've gotten into the habit of inspecting my gear both before and after every shoot. Which is something I started doing since my first Pentax almost 7 years ago.

  • Check for rust and corrosion on screws, contacts and metal(I live next to the ocean). Clean or lube as needed.
  • Clean and inspect viewfinder, mirror box and screens for grit and grime.
  • Check camera features and buttons for any signs of problems, loose items etc. - as it stands, my own K-5 mount release button is quite loose. I've requested a replacement part from Pentax Canada for when the day comes if it actually falls off.

Anyways, I guess what I'm trying to say is that though most digital SLR's can handle the abuse of everyday use, that regular maintenance will likely be your best line of defense against mishaps such as the one you've encountered.
I didn't take photos after the fall.they k5 looked ok.I rushed to the store for the lens and the grip and there I thought "oh well let's send the k5 for a check up just in case".thanks anyway for the advises..
04-05-2012, 09:57 AM   #15
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no guys no insurance..I had it for three months.I didn't know I could do that.Anyway probably I will buy a new one.Offers now are at 730e(950$).But I don't think I will replace or fix the lens..although i must say the lens is superb!I will miss it!!
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