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05-25-2015, 01:14 PM   #1
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I tried to support my local camera store...

Hi All:

I'm a relatively new photographer who picked up a K-3 a couple of months ago, and have been having lots of fun with it. I managed to get some what I presume is pollen on the sensor--it's been an insane season for it around here. So I tried the Pentax OCK dust remover--no luck. It just wouldn't grab the stuff, which appeared to be welded on.

I went to our local high-end camera store, which has been in business for decades, and is well regarded. I asked about purchasing a wet cleaning kit. They said that no, they wouldn't sell them to consumers but would be happy to charge me $60+ for their service people to clean the sensor.

As someone who REALLY likes to do his own maintenance on everything, I said "No thanks", and bought a wet kit from Amazon, which arrived this morning. ( On Memorial Day even--how does that happen? )

Five minutes with the kit, and the unholy mess that was my sensor is now pristine--not a spec of the grunge to be found anywhere even at F32 sky shots.

So anyhow, is this kind of attitude common among camera stores? i.e. Do they really refuse to sell basic cleaning supplies?

05-25-2015, 01:21 PM   #2
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Some, but not all. It depends on the shop.

Just an aside, Pentax sells the extended warranty for $19.95 that adds an additional 2 years on to their basic warranty, along with a free cleaning and check up. It's the best deal around - (K20 - noisy sensor replacement, along with all the body's guts; K5 - mirror motor replacement, since it was depleting batteries in 50 shots).

05-25-2015, 01:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Some, but not all. It depends on the shop.

Just an aside, Pentax sells the extended warranty for $19.95 that adds an additional 2 years on to their basic warranty, along with a free cleaning and check up. It's the best deal around - (K20 - noisy sensor replacement, along with all the body's guts; K5 - mirror motor replacement, since it was depleting batteries in 50 shots).

Yep! I purchased the extended warranty when I bought the camera, figuring that even though I tend to shy away from them it was such a relatively small percentage of the purchase price that it was reasonable.
05-25-2015, 01:47 PM   #4
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rocket blower does a pretty decent job unless wet is necessary.............they hafta eat and pay for their kids college somehows but yeh pretty lame

05-25-2015, 01:59 PM   #5
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$60 seems pretty high. Was any other service included with the $60?
05-25-2015, 01:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
rocket blower does a pretty decent job unless wet is necessary.............they hafta eat and pay for their kids college somehows but yeh pretty lame
Sure, absolutely--I'm happy to support local businesses even when it costs more than, say, ordering from Amazon, which is usually the case--these are my neighbors after all. But I've never encountered a brick-and-mortar store for my other hobbies ( cycling, etc. ) that outright refuse to sell or order basic maintenance supplies and instead go right into high-pressure attempts to sell service.

---------- Post added 05-25-15 at 05:02 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
$60 seems pretty high. Was any other service included with the $60?
All I had mentioned was the need for a sensor cleaning, but it may have included other service as well--we never got that far into the conversation. It didn't seem out of line for bench rates for a minimum hour service in other industries, but I have zero familiarity with camera store service rates. :-)
05-25-2015, 02:03 PM   #7
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agreed.....weak approach to business
05-25-2015, 02:05 PM   #8
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Hmmm.. I don't mind local businesses charging more. You are paying a premium for the price of "now". That has to be worth something. Above that, I think the business should offer something extra. For example, suppose I can buy a lens online for $100 but a local store charges $200 due to MAP, MSRP rules, etc. I'll happily pay the +$100 if I received coupons or vouchers of that same (or near same) value for prints, accessories, etc that I can redeem over time.

05-25-2015, 02:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Hmmm.. I don't mind local businesses charging more. You are paying a premium for the price of "now". That has to be worth something. Above that, I think the business should offer something extra. For example, suppose I can buy a lens online for $100 but a local store charges $200 due to MAP, MSRP rules, etc. I'll happily pay the +$100 if I received coupons or vouchers of that same (or near same) value for prints, accessories, etc that I can redeem over time.
Personal service is really where the local shops can shine ( and hopefully survive ). My bike shop, for example, simply can't sell parts for less than 1.5 to 2 times the price of Amazon. But Amazon, on the other hand, won't throw in "freebies" like spare tubes, water bottles, etc. when I come in for something I can't do at home, or push me to the front of the queue when I really, really need something unexpected at the last second. There's a lot to be said for the kind of mutual loyalty you can get at a local shop.
05-25-2015, 02:55 PM   #10
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I think the $60 included the idea of " if we break it we will make it right ". I understand the idea of minimum charges. I also am a person that does quite a bit DIY.

As an example I had my furnace fixed it was the computer board at $400 installed. I could get the board for $150. I considered I was laying the guy the extra for his experience making sure all the natural gas safety stuff ( about 20 ) were in place.

My company charges 3.8 times what they pay me hourly. It's how it is.

But for sure the $60 included them assuming all the risk. Unless they break it come on the back end and say x y z was bad to cover themselves. Which is the main reason I diy
05-25-2015, 03:11 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I had the same experience last year. No wet kit selling, but would charge me $70 to do it. It's not hard, and theres little risk, really not a skilled job. Especially not on a $400 camera at the time! And its not just a one off cost, if you change lenses a lot in the field, i.e. use a dslr (its what its designed for), it will happen again. And that 20 bucks I spent on the sensor pen will continue to work. They just don't cater to the hobbyist/enthusiast, only the pro's who can write it off.
05-25-2015, 04:32 PM   #12
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They probably think that people are afraid to clean the sensor by themself. But with a little more, 99$, anybody can buy this

SensorScope DSLR Camera Sensor Cleaning System

I have a cheaper version, without sensor scope, but with everything else, and cleaning is very easy, fast, and good. I have used it three times in two years, so, I think will have it for another 10. And the sensor vacuum cleaner is also good for computer and other things with tight spaces.
05-25-2015, 05:47 PM - 1 Like   #13
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It could be more of a case where they've sold someone a wet kit in the past and the idiot completely destroyed the camera, and they had to then go through the hassle of dealing with getting blamed for wrecking someone's gear by selling them the tools of their own destruction.

Charging $60 is most likely easier than eating the cost of the customer bringing their gear back in for a warrantee claim and/or shipping back to Pentax because they borked their gear up past the point of rescue.

A good rule of thumb in life: If someone seems to have a strange, wacky and utterly arbitrary rule in place, in all probability its because someone at some point was a moron and caused that rule to be put in place to begin with.

See also: Coffee cups with the words "CONTENTS MAY BE HOT" and plastic bags stamped "DO NOT ALLOW SMALL CHILDREN TO PLAY WITH THIS."
05-25-2015, 06:03 PM   #14
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^ That sounds right.
05-25-2015, 06:30 PM   #15
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Thats the problem with trying to support your local camera store. It almost always costs you money. In a case like this you can look at it two ways. If you give them the $60 and everyone else does, it might make a difference. If you give them $60 and no one else does, they go out of business anyway and you just paid $60 for what you could have done for a lot less with a sensor cleaning kit.

I'm all for supporting my local stores, but I'm experiencing the other thing right now. I've made a point of visiting Henry's and buying whatever I can off the shelf, but they've taken Pentax gear out of most of their stores, and they never had anything I wanted on the shelf since my K-x years and years ago. The "buy everything I can from Henry's" thing didn't work out because, when I bought a tripod from Henry's, they didn't realize they were selling that tripod because I was a Pentax user, along with any other non-Pentax gear. And they believe I would have bought that tripod from them anyway. Well their wrong, now that they don't carry anything Pentax, why would I drive all the way to one of their stores?

In the end, I'm going with best price for on-line stuff, and since I do get around the province a bit, I'll drive to the store that has what I want in stock. My whole store loyalty is kind of out the window at the moment. The closest camera store to me has told me I can order anything Pentax from them, I can order anything Pentax on line without going through them so where's the fun in that? It's coming down to, is there someone out there who is actually able to do anything for me the on-line guys can't do? My store loyalty is at an all time low.

If I find a store with a DA*200 ƒ2.8 a DA*300 ƒ4 and an FDA 150-450 in it, they will be my new store, no matter where in the province they are. But I'm guessing the days when any store would have that kind of stock are long gone. So I may as well go with the eBay guys and go for the best price. It's the only thing being offered these days.

Last edited by normhead; 05-25-2015 at 06:37 PM.
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