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05-07-2015, 08:35 AM   #1
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Precision repairs

So in February my K3 got broken, the lens mount on the camera got ripped off and stuck on my lens. I sent the lens to Sigma and got it back in a week, cleaned with a new lens cap for free and shipped UPS or Fedex I don't remember which. The camera took a month, came back loose in the box with no cap and oil on the sensor even though they claimed to have cleaned it. I paid them over $300 and they shipped USPS. I called them about the dirty sensor and they said I'd need to ship it back at my cost and they'd clean it but they had no idea how long it would take. So I sent it to my closest camera shop 4 hours away and they got it back quickly.

After a couple weeks of use the mount on the camera got looser and looser and my 70-200 would no longer connect to the camera. I tried putting lighter zooms and primes on it but finally it pulled free at a session.
I had to send the camera back to Precision but I'm really not happy about it. I called Ricoh and they did at least send me a shipping label so I didn't have to pay for it to be shipped but I have 7 weddings in 8 weeks starting the 23rd. I need my camera back!

I do thankfully have the k5II for a backup but I'm really not sure what to do. It feels like Ricoh doesn't care about their customers or they'd get a better service center. I love pentax cameras and I don't want to switch brands but man, I don't feel real confident with the service if I need to have something fixed.

05-07-2015, 09:00 AM   #2
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I have sent my 16-50 for repair as zoom is stuck. It took a while as parts were not available and eventually returned as fixed. It was repaired not to original condition but usable. Right after 90 days it is broken (continuously hunting to focus). Sent out to repair again. After 3-4 weeks, it was returned as repaired. As I opened the box and mounted to realize that it was not at all fixed (continuous hunting for auto focus still exists) but also zoom is stuck again and i can see small smudge on the lens. Upon calling them immediately, they have agreed to repair it for free of cost. It took 3-4 weeks again. This time the zoom issue is fixed. But, the auto focus hunting issue is intermittent. It works sometime and it does not work other times and when focused (auto focus double chime) picture is not sharp. I am not motivated to send it back to them and trying to find alternatives which does not seem to exist. Been a long time Pentax user (most of my lenses are Pentax) and this is not a great experience and now I hesitate to invest in Pentax lenses. BTW, the 16-50 was repaired for SDM failure more than a year ago before Ricoh moved to precision for their service partnership.
05-07-2015, 09:00 AM   #3
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Complaining here feels good and you will get lots of sympathy but no help from Ricoh.

Go here: Home - RIAC Community and post a factual account and ask specifically for customer service to help, note that you are a working photographer and the need is time sensitive.

Precision is a complete mess IMHO and they are not going to do anything to help you unless Ricoh calls them and tells them to quit jerking you around and fix your camera. Been there - done that. Plenty of other bad Precision stories here and elsewhere and I won't waste anyone's time by repeating mine. But I can say once Ricoh got involved the problem was fixed. The difficulty is in getting Ricoh's attention to the problem. Post on the Ricoh site, that is what I did and eventually I got an email from and then a phone call from Ricoh. Once that happened the problem got taken care of.
05-07-2015, 09:21 AM   #4
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The incredibly lousy repair service that Ricoh is providing to its customers is making me reluctant to invest in more Pentax equipment. I'm not switching yet, but if this doesn't get sorted out in the next year I'm going to think about it.

05-07-2015, 09:42 AM   #5
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When I sent my 16-50 by USPS to Precision they received it 5 days (including a weekend). It was repaired in 4 days and it's on its way back home by USPS.

To the OP, it seems to me that Ricoh should have replaced your K-3 with a new one. Back when Pentax had its in house service department I think the service was much better. I had my 16-50 and 50-135 SDM fail at the same time and they were out of warranty. I sent a letter to the then president of Pentax USA and explained in detail the failures and they sent me new lenses! Now that was service! Now I'm hoping my 16-50 comes back clean and working properly.
05-07-2015, 10:43 AM   #6
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At the risk of sounding morbidly curious, how does one 'rip' off the lens mount from the camera body?
The lens plate is secured to the body with five screws. It would take quite a blow to rip all five screws
free in one shot, assuming they were not already loose, (perhaps from previous blows). Presumably
a sharp blow at right angles to the lens might do it, particularly with a large/long lens attached. Quickly
panning and then smacking the lens into a pole or wall might do it, but again I imagine it would still
have to be quite a forceful knock, not just a bump, to actually rip the lens and mount free of the body.

I also imagine such a knock would cause quite a bit of collateral damage: stress to the frame, mis-alignment
of mirror, sensor, AF drive shaft, etc. Possibly the screw holes in the frame were stressed and I see no
way to fix that without gutting the camera down to the frame; thus the mount getting 'looser and looser'
after you received the camera back from repair.

To be very honest, I would expect the camera to NOT be easily repaired to original spec and tolerance.
It sounds as if photography is a vocation for you, either full-time or part-time. Tools break, simple as
that. Why not take it as a business right-off and purchase a new camera? Surely a working camera
will serve you better for those upcoming weddings than a worn body of questionable reliability? I do
appreciate your desire and willingness to keep this body in service, but there does come a time when
you just have to call it broken beyond repair and replace the tool.
05-07-2015, 10:52 AM   #7
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I've sent in my Ricoh GR to Precision three times over the last six months for warranty work. I'm actually supposed to get it back today. I find them unpleasant, slow, and unprofessional.
05-07-2015, 11:06 AM   #8
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I will just say that I sent a DA 40 to Precision in the middle of December. They finally sent it back two days ago (it had been "waiting for parts"). The lens no longer focuses to infinity, but at infinity it is focused about ten feet away. It is frustrating to have to send the lens back to the same place that messed around the first time and apparently didn't check that the repair was really done correctly.

They assured me that the repair has a 90 day warranty so I should be fine.

On the other hand, CRIS was a lot more reachable, would respond to e mails as well as phone calls and gave good service. Maybe they were just too expensive...

05-07-2015, 11:19 AM   #9
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From your description, it appears that you had Precision do non-warranty repair on a badly damaged (dropped?) camera. Ricoh/Pentax is only coincidentally involved in the matter. Normally I would consider a sheared mount to be a fatal condition* and I am surprised they agreed to accept your camera for repair. I would expect that they will likely refund your $300 and ship your damaged K-3 back to you. If that is the case, you may wish to consider having your local shop attempt a fix. There is nothing magical about Precision except that they have contracted for Ricoh/Pentax warranty work. There are other Pentax-authorized repair shops.


Steve

* The lens mount is anchored directly into the camera chassis. Best case for a separated mount would be sheared mounting screws which can be extracted and replaced with new screws. Not so good is a broken casting with compromised screw holes. That case may be addressed with epoxy cement, but will likely fail. In either case, any impact severe enough to pull the lens mount off will likely screw up the viewfinder optical alignment and who knows what else. A call to the insurance company might be the better solution over a cobbled together repair.

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-07-2015 at 11:30 AM.
05-07-2015, 11:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
On the other hand, CRIS was a lot more reachable, would respond to e mails as well as phone calls and gave good service. Maybe they were just too expensive...
My understanding is that they lost the contract due in part to customer complaints regarding turnaround time and quality of repair. FWIW, I have friends who have sent non-Pentax cameras to C.R.I.S. and who waited months for parts and had to send the camera back due to poor repair. I also have a friend in the camera repair business who rolls his eyes when C.R.I.S. is mentioned.

I am appalled that Precision returned your lens to you with the infinity stop poorly calibrated. After all, we send our Pentax stuff to them because they are supposed to have the equipment and training to properly reassemble and calibrate to factory standards. OTOH, the industry standard seems to be pretty low with rework being deemed preferable to quality out the door.


Steve
05-07-2015, 11:36 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
To the OP, it seems to me that Ricoh should have replaced your K-3 with a new one.
According to the OP, it was a non-warranty repair (cost = $300) due to severe physical damage that resulted in the mount being separated from the body. This would not be a Ricoh/Pentax concern.


Steve
05-07-2015, 11:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
There are other Pentax-authorized repair shops.
These no longer are listed on the Ricoh sites. It used to be if you hunted around you could find the listing but they seem to be gone. If you know the URL for the current list could you post it? Warranty work is supposed to go to Precision but non-warranty work can go to one of the authorized service shops - but they may end up sending it to Precision.
05-07-2015, 12:02 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
If you know the URL for the current list could you post it?


Steve
05-07-2015, 12:34 PM   #14
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I called 3 camera repair shops and they all told me that they could no longer service Pentax because parts and test equipment were no longer available from Ricoh.
05-07-2015, 12:45 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
Maybe they were just too expensive...
I posted last year about the woes of my 16-50 I had sent to CRIS which was then forwarded off to the pit of despair known as Precision. I had a great experience having my 50-135 repaired at CRIS and they gave me an estimate before moving onto the repair. Precision required (still do?) an upfront cost of $200 to open the box on my 16-50. I am not sure what they did with it. It still has focus hunting issues whereas none of my other lenses do. I think what they did was lube the barrel to make it "faster" - actually, I shouldn't even speculate. I can point the lens down and it just extends on its own. I point it up and it collapses. I always liked how my pictures came out, and still do, but it is such a frustrating thing to use now it is little more than a paperweight. Precision will never see it again. I've been talking with a local guy to see if he'll break it down and see if he can in some way fix it. So far he has been reluctant.

I think we need a Kickstarter campaign to get Eric to fix all these 16-50s!
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