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04-09-2016, 07:21 PM   #1
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Non-Warranty Service with Precision Camera: Trustworthy?

Very glad I found this forum! The official website for the official Ricoh/Pentax repair facility a.k.a. Precision Camera is officially low on info and options. Perhaps my question can be helpful to others who suddenly find themselves in need of repair and find the Precision Camera website distinctly off-putting.

Not long after getting my Pentax K-50 I dropped myself while holding it. The lens mount apparatus on my 18-55mm is split apart most viciously, and I'll post another thread about that as a possible self-repair job. My camera body was also damaged, though not visibly: something is loose inside. I can hear something slide maybe a quarter-inch from left to right, in the body above the lens and/or battery compartment. Odd thing is, it still takes pictures! I haven't done a full survey of its capabilities, but several shots with another lens show me no problems with the images I'm getting (at least to my naked eye). Still, I would like to send it in for repair.

For those with experience: What am I getting myself into with Precision? Non-warranty, so I fork over $166.50 plus shipping. Send it off without any person-to-person contact (very comforting). May be delayed while parts float over from Japan, check. But what's the worst that can happen? A year's delay? Do they ever contact a customer and ask for more money?

Or should I not bother, since its still taking pictures? Maybe wait til it fails?

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!

04-09-2016, 08:47 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hjourzt Quote
I can hear something slide maybe a quarter-inch from left to right
That's just Shake Reduction. There is nothing wrong with your camera.
04-09-2016, 09:33 PM   #3
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If the lens took the fall and there was no visible damage to the mount on the camera, and if the camera didn't suffer a direct hit, it probably isn't damaged.

It's normal for there to be a "clunk" sound inside Pentax DSLRs, as the sensor floats around freely when the SR mechanism isn't in use.

I would test the camera thoroughly to check things such as exposure accuracy, shutter speed accuracy (i.e. does a 1/4000s exposure look fine), sharpness, SR effectiveness, and tightness of the lens mount. If everything checks out I wouldn't send the camera in.

If you still suspect there's something wrong with the camera, Precision should be able to inspect/clean the camera and charge you just for that. I'd recommend that you contact Precision and/or Ricoh customer service before sending anything off. Phone numbers for both can be found below:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/189-repairs-warranty-service/314175-us-pe...formation.html

Another option would be to have an independent technician look at the camera (i.e. Eric, also listed in the thread above).

Remember that a new K-50 is now only $295, which might make more sense if a serious repair turns out to be necessary.

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04-10-2016, 12:16 AM   #4
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I've had multiple experiences with Precision. Some for warranty. Some good and some bad. In my experience, they're universally slow, communication is terrible, and their operation seems to be poorly managed.
My first encounter with them, I sent my GR in for repair. They fixed it but got the sensor dusty. I sent it back and they cleaned the sensor but damaged it in other ways. Sent it back and they fixed it but got the sensor dirty again and it had a few pixel issues that it didn't have previously. Sent it back and they sent me a refurb. I think it was a refurb. For all I know it was just somebody else's camera. It had someone else's pictures on it. They didn't even warn me that they weren't going to give me my camera back nor did they tell me that the one they had given me wasn't mine. I had to enquire.
I've had better experiences with them but all have had their issues and have been far from ideal.

04-10-2016, 04:56 AM   #5
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The cost of a used k50 that is known to work is a better use of your money. I would keep using yours and Not worry.
04-10-2016, 08:06 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The cost of a used k50 that is known to work is a better use of your money. I would keep using yours and Not worry.
I agree. If your camera is working as before, why borrow trouble? If you believe there is good reason to expect failure, purchase of a new camera may be the most cost effective when you factor in shipping and the fact that you no longer have your 18-55.

BTW...Welcome to the Pentax Forums!


Steve
04-10-2016, 10:40 AM   #7
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Well twist my nipple nuts and call me "Frank"!

I never heard my camera make that noise inside before the fall. But then, I never held it up to my ear and listened carefully in a quiet setting, either. Fortunately, My wife has a one-year-older K-50 and I just checked it: Damn if there isn't almost the same loose clunking in there too!

I had actually written with this same problem to Precision. Are you surprised to learn I got no reply?

Thank you all for the excellent advice. You saved me some dough and some D'oh!

Thank you also for the experience with Precision. I have yet to read a stellar review of them, except on their own website.
04-10-2016, 11:31 PM   #8
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KEH (keh.com) provide also non-warranty repairs. Keh is a (very) well-known and reputable second-hand camera seller/buyer. They have extensive experience in refurbishing used cameras. They have flat fees: https://www.keh.com/shop/repair.
Hope that the suggestion may help.

05-03-2016, 06:27 PM   #9
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I sent my FA77 ltd in for repair. Dust, debris and what looked like an insect(?) behind the front element. Had it back in a week and a half. Cost a little over $300 to fix. Focus is much sharper than before. Very pleased.
05-06-2016, 01:55 PM   #10
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I am so unimpressed with Precision for both warranty and non warranty repair that I threatened to switch to Nikon. You don't even want to get me started! I had to send a lens back that they repaired (it wouldn't focus at infinity, which was not the original problem), and I have a flash that isn't working and I think it's the one that I sent in for repair but I need to check the numbers. They charged me for warranty work because they didn't understand the Pentax warranty. Oh, and they wouldn't even send me a shipping label to send back the lens they didn't repair properly until I called Pentax and complained about it. They do eventually correct their issues, but just don't expect any quick fixes. If something works or doesn't cost a whole lot more than their repair rest image, I don't get things fixed.
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