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09-24-2019, 03:42 AM   #1
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14 month old 645z loose USB connection

Hi all

I am a full-time photographer that relies on my cameras to pay the bills. I have always been a Canon user and I am always impressed by the CPN (Canon Professional Network) support and repair service. I recently invested in the Pentax 645z as I was looking for that little bit extra in image quality.

The camera has been OK, however as I tend to shoot tethered 90% of the time in the studio I have noticed that the USB port is becoming looser and looser... I have always used a jerk stopper from Tether tools but unfortunately this has not stopped this from happening.

I today contacted the listed repair centre on the Ricoh website for the UK to be informed by the chap answering the phone that "we don't really deal with the 645z, they have to be sent to France.' When I asked how long I should expect the require to take he replied 'we can't really say, however we have a few 645z's with them and the parts are hard to come by and can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months, 2 weeks being very optimistic!"

As a full-time professional (as I am sure most 645z owners are) this is simply unacceptable. Has anyone else experienced 1) The same fault? (If so how did you resolve it?) 2) This shoddy lackadaisical approach Ricoh seems to have for the clients? 3) The Total lack of support and care towards the 645z camera?

I am bursting point with this camera and company now and if the resale value wasn't so crappy I would have ditched the kit months ago!

Come on Pentax/Ricoh pull your fingers out!

Any sensible suggestions gratefully received.

09-24-2019, 04:05 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by RMP645Z Quote
As a full-time professional (as I am sure most 645z owners are) this is simply unacceptable. ...however we have a few 645z's with them and the parts are hard to come by and can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months, 2 weeks being very optimistic!"
Depends who is taking the call and if you try to negotiate or just accept their "lazy" answer and then complain in Pentax forums. When I called the German service center for my K1, they also were not motivated to repair it, but, I didn't care about their feeling about repairing or not repairing, I ordered them what to do (like if I am their boss) to order the parts in Japan and ship directly to my address. I had the parts 10 days later, and I had to pay 100 euros of shipment cost, but the parts came directly from Ricoh Japan. You have to be bold enough to order what you want.

---------- Post added 24-09-19 at 13:12 ----------

BTW, it doesn't take two week to ship a camera from the UK to France, it take 48h by Fedex, UPS or such carrier, some even do 24h. So you don't accept BS answers.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-24-2019 at 04:24 AM.
09-24-2019, 05:46 AM   #3
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Just send it in. My K-5 is suffering from the same issue, but It was my fault for walking away with it still attached. So far it still works, but is a little unstable. So no touching while downloading images. In general these issues are best resolved through the dealer where you bought the Camera. So if you are going to use it professionally you have to take care where you buy it.
09-24-2019, 05:58 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums, and sorry to hear about the issue with your 645Z.

I assume, since you're a professional user, you bought your 645Z through SRS Microsystems or another Pentax Pro dealer. If this is the case, go through your dealer... They have strong relationships with the UK and European service facilities. SRS, in particular, has been excellent for me.

Good luck, and do please let us know how you get on...

09-24-2019, 07:13 AM - 1 Like   #5
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You may find this article from the Lensrental Blog interesting. This is a common problem among various makes.

Lens Rentals | Blog
09-24-2019, 08:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RMP645Z Quote
I have always been a Canon user and I am always impressed by the CPN
I used to be a Canon shooter until I switched to Pentax back in 2014 or so. I used to walk into CPN in Irvine California and get immediate service on minor stuff and 2-day turn around on major work... and it was all for free! I think Canon stopped the freebie stuff a few years ago. You get spoiled when you have that kind of support. Luckily I have not had any issues with my Pentax gear but the horror stories about service are disheartening. I hate to say this but as a pro you need a system that is properly supported. As much as I like my K1 and other Pentax cameras and lenses, if I shot full time again, I will be looking at other systems.

QuoteOriginally posted by RMP645Z Quote
if the resale value wasn't so crappy I would have ditched the kit months ago!
I feel the same way for my Pentax gear. I have not invested in 645Z type prices but I hate to let a perfectly good and functioning K1 and my beloved FA Three amigos go for nothing. So I have hung on to my Pentax gear (for the warm feeling) and use another system to get my work done. I will always look at my K1 (a marvel of a camera) and wonder why a legendary camera company, the original, the innovator fell sleep behind the wheel and did not keep up with the times.

Not being with your main gear for months?! might as well close shop and move to a different line of business. Totally unacceptable.

As far as a solution for the loose USB, I am not techie enough to offer any DIY solutions. I do not know where you are located but if you have a local camera repair shop, they might take a shot at it and try to fix the problem. In Boston Sanford Camera might do it. Sanford Camera Repair, Inc.: Film/Digital Camera Repair: Nikon Canon Olympus Pentax Minolta Fuji Hasselbald Mamiya Bronica Bolex & more I have known them for 40 years. They fixed my Nikon F3 when I jammed the shutter and they have recently done some work on my friend's Pentax gear. I don't remember if it was a camera or lens issue he was having.

Sorry to hear about your trouble. Good luck. Hope it all works out for you.
09-24-2019, 09:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
I feel the same way for my Pentax gear. I have not invested in 645Z type prices but I hate to let a perfectly good and functioning K1 and my beloved FA Three amigos go for nothing. So I have hung on to my Pentax gear (for the warm feeling) and use another system to get my work done. I will always look at my K1 (a marvel of a camera) and wonder why a legendary camera company, the original, the innovator fell sleep behind the wheel and did not keep up with the times.
Shifting off topic a little here, but it's sad you feel this way.

For what it's worth, you could sell the K-1 and three amigos for decent money - not "nothing" (unless your definition of "nothing" is very different to mine) - and invest it in the system you're shooting for work.

I don't think Ricoh offers a particularly good service network, but nor do I feel it has fallen asleep behind the wheel. I think its level of activity is wholly planned and, in the current market, pretty wise. Most of us here seem reasonably satisfied with the company's products, whether Ricoh or Pentax branded...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 09-24-2019 at 10:19 AM.
09-24-2019, 11:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RMP645Z Quote
the USB port is becoming looser and looser...
Is it literally the entire USB plug-in port assembly? If so, some well-placed epoxy might anchor it down (if you, or anybody) can get to it.

If it is the guts of the plug itself, then not so simple....

09-24-2019, 07:17 PM   #9
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Unfortunately cable connectors are always going to be a weak spot. They are subject to wear and external stress from being pushed in pulled in all sorts of direction.

Not that it is any comfort or use to you but Ricoh US offers and Silver and Platinum service/warranty program which includes equipment loans. There used to be a Pentax Professional Service program which also included loaners but the program was phased out a number of years ago. Ricoh launched a Professional Service Program in Japan but I have no idea if they will eventually offer it in other countries. I'm surprised that Ricoh UK does not have a similar program for the 645z.
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