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10-31-2018, 05:09 PM   #1
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A hilarious lens service experience. Pentax (Ricoh) is helpful, Precision is doomed!

My DFA 150-450 had a strange focusing issue: it works great on all my cameras (K1, K3II, KP, K5II) from 160mm-450mm, fast and accurate. But at 150mm, it changed focusing very slowly, only step by step and wasn't able to lock focus in most case. Even when it locked focus, it focused a lot closer to the objectives. I tried to dial AF adjusting on camera and found -10 is not enough. Interestingly, with -10 on camera, the rest part of FL (160-450) was still accurate. So I ignored the issue since I don't need 150mm on this lens.

Warranty is going to expire. So I decided to send the lens in for service. I called Precision Camera and confirmed with them what should I do if I want to send the lens with my camera, so they can calibrate the lens using my K3II. I followed their instructions by writing clearly on the form what I wanted and what I did. In case they miss the note, I made a copy and put one on the lens and one with camera. Packed them carefully and mailed them together in one box to Precision... kept checking shipping on line and finally found package was delivered. OK. Good, I thought.

2 days later, I found two emails from them, each had a service tag #. One for lens, one for camera.... Not that good. Something is wrong, I thought.

I called in, explained that the camera did not have any problem. I sent it with lens only for them to calibrate the lens. And also I reminded them not to reset the camera, but please remember change individual AF adjust from -10 to 0. I was confirmed them got it and notice was sent to repair group.

Both camera and lens went into repair process anyway, as I found online.

I called again, told the same story again, got confirmation again. I also sent emails, explained same thing.

2-3 days later, I got another email, with the invoice of my K3II repair. They found my K3II's AF block needed to be replaced and billed me ~$360!

I called and left message. Online repair status still showed "repair delayed, please call"

I eventually contacted Ricoh and they contacted Precision Camera. I finally got another email from Precision this morning that the camera and lens are on their way back to me. I am not sure what they did to my K3II. Will see on Friday.

Pentax (Ricoh) was very helpful this time. Precision Camera is doooooomed!

10-31-2018, 07:37 PM   #2
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I don't understand. Did Ricoh refund you the 360 dollars? Did Precision charge you another fee for the lens repair? Are they sending both lens and camera back? Was the lens not faulty but the AF block was on the camera?
10-31-2018, 07:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Did Ricoh refund you the 360 dollars?
Precision didn't charge me eventually after Ricoh talked to them.
I called and emailed many time, didn't work at all. Ricoh helped eventually.
10-31-2018, 07:52 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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That is not funny to me. This is a true Halloween story of terror.

10-31-2018, 07:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
This is a true Halloween story of terror
Yes, I was horrified when they told me my K3II's AF block needed to be replaced and sent me a bill of $360. -- How can I trust them in the future?

I am lucky this time the service was covered by warranty.
10-31-2018, 08:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
Yes, I was horrified when they told me my K3II's AF block needed to be replaced and sent me a bill of $360. -- How can I trust them in the future?

I am lucky this time the service was covered by warranty.
You can't trust them. Flat out, it sounds like they were trying to scam you out of some money.
10-31-2018, 08:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigdavephoto Quote
You can't trust them.
But they are the only Pentax authorized repair store in USA

---------- Post added 10-31-18 at 10:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Are they sending both lens and camera back? Was the lens not faulty but the AF block was on the camera?
That is what was said in the email. I believe they shipped both back.

I don't believe my camera has AF issue, because the lens did same on all my cameras, and my K3II and KP have no AF issue with most of my other lenses.

Now I only hope they didn't mess up my K3II. It is one of few Pentax cameras I own that don't have AF issue with most of my lenses. I sold K1 but still keep K3II and KP.

I replied the email and asked if they have changed anything on my camera. They didn't reply, as usual

Last edited by grahame; 10-31-2018 at 08:34 PM.
10-31-2018, 08:43 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
But they are the only Pentax authorized repair store in USA
Yes, they are the only authorized Pentax repair store for warranty repairs. They are NOT the only authorized Pentax repair store. If your lens had been out of warranty though, you wouldn't have to go to precision.

With what you described though, I would be sending a letter to the VP of public relations of Ricoh with copies of all correspondence to show Ricoh what Precision Camera tried to pull. You sent your lens in (in warranty) so it could be adjusted and the focus problems fixed. You also sent in a camera with NO PROBLEMS (that was out of warranty) to use for the lens adjustment and they broke into said camera and said the aperture block was bad and needed to be replaced. That is a scam.

Even though Ricoh took care of them trying to scam you out of some money, I would also contact the Attorney Generals office of the state that precision is located in and report them. Even though precision ended up not scamming you, what about the next person that sends in a camera that is out of warranty so they can use it to adjust a lens?

10-31-2018, 08:52 PM   #9
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I've not had good luck with any lens repair shops lately.

I've got a Zeiss lens with a rear element that needs replacing. It's a do it yourself project that I could easily do at home. I called Zeiss USA to see if they'd sell me just the rear element. They said they sell no parts. I would need to send it in for them to do it. This is maybe a 15 minute job at most. I was quoted a price of around $500 - Ouch!!!!!
10-31-2018, 09:07 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigdavephoto Quote
I would be sending a letter to the VP of public relations of Ricoh
Ricoh knows what happened. I called them and they generated a case for that.

I will inspect the K3II after I get it back. If it comes back with any problem, I will try what you suggested.

K1, KP and DFA 150-450 are the only three NEW pentax items I bought in the past a few years. I will limit my new Pentax gear purchase and will acquired more legacy old MF lenses to use on A7II. At least I can try to fix them myself if they go wrong.

---------- Post added 10-31-18 at 11:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
This is maybe a 15 minute job at most. I was quoted a price of around $500 - Ouch!!!!!
I know your feeling. Be patient and look for another damaged one probably
11-01-2018, 12:55 AM   #11
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Isn't it standard procedure for them to issue a repair estimate and then verify that the warranty will cover it, rather than the other way around? The only issue I see here is poor communication of their process and repair status with the customer. It should be clear without needing to go back and forth with the manufacturer.
11-01-2018, 01:12 AM   #12
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But did they do anything with the lens?
11-01-2018, 03:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigdavephoto Quote
Yes, they are the only authorized Pentax repair store for warranty repairs. They are NOT the only authorized Pentax repair store. If your lens had been out of warranty though, you wouldn't have to go to precision.. . . I would also contact the Attorney Generals office of the state that precision is located in and report them.. . .
where and who are those companies?

I currently have my HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW somewhere between Precision and Japan and are waiting on the estimate of the cost of repair

it was sent to Precision Oct 1

D FA* 70-200mm repair information needed - PentaxForums.com

I bought it from a forum member, so no warranty and now it won't focus, mf or af.

so what are my alternatives if I don't like the quoted price

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Precision is in CT

Contact Us
In keeping with Precision Camera's business philosophy to provide top quality service, we will respond to all inquiries in a timely manner.
Contact, Drop-Off and Shipping Info
Contact Information:
Customer Service Phone: 860-272-2100
Customer Service Phone Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM ET – 5:00 PM ET


Shipping and Drop-Off Address:
Precision Camera
7 Anngina Drive
Enfield, CT 06082


Repair Drop-Off and Pick-Up Hours:
Customer Lobby Business Hours
Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM ET – 5:00 PM ET

I have always been able to contact a person via the phone but the problem is they don't seem to know much about my lens
11-01-2018, 06:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
I've got a Zeiss lens with a rear element that needs replacing. It's a do it yourself project that I could easily do at home. I called Zeiss USA to see if they'd sell me just the rear element. They said they sell no parts. I would need to send it in for them to do it. This is maybe a 15 minute job at most. I was quoted a price of around $500 - Ouch!!!!!
That's a different case. I can understand why a company wouldn't want to allow every DIY fan to mess with their products. Maybe you know what to do, but they can't be sure. Plus they'll certainly be testing the lens thoroughly before sending it back.

500$ is overcharging, however it's not a 15 minutes job when the company does it. They'll do an "As Found" status evaluation, confirm your opinion that the rear element (and only that) will need to be replaced, perform the replacement, test the lens just as if it was a new one, generate an "As Left" report, then ship it back.
11-01-2018, 06:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
where and who are those companies?
Pentax Repair Facilities (Wordwide listing) - PentaxForums.com

World wide list. Scroll for the United States.
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