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04-16-2011, 12:16 AM   #1
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645D pro-grade service arrangement

My 645D has traveled from Norway to Belgium for realignment of the mirror and/or matte screen position. There was a mismatch between viewfinder focus and AF focus. The AF was correct, so it took me a while to realise there actually was a problem. It was negligable at normal focal lenghts, noticeable at 300mm, and a true nightmare for macro focusing.

According to the repair guy, mirror/matte misalignment is one of the most common problems with both Nikon and Pentax in general (those are the only brands he repairs), and that it is an easy fix on most cameras. However, he said, he was not allowed to do his magic on the 645D. The camera had to go to a contracted repair shop authorised by Pentax. Since I really trust the skills of our local repair guy, that's a downer. The good news is that he told me he has a special padded suitcase with prearranged express delivery reserved for the 645D. There is apparently also a policy to keep workshop time down to max 3 days.

To me this sounds like the kind of pro-grade service arrangement that has often been lamented for lacking. I guess Pentax would really shoot themselves in the foot if no such thing was arranged for the 645D, but it can't hurt to spread the rumor of its actual excistence either.

If the camera is back in my hands before Easter, I may even resort to being impressed.

04-16-2011, 09:24 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by alunfoto Quote
My 645D has traveled from Norway to Belgium for realignment of the mirror and/or matte screen position. There was a mismatch between viewfinder focus and AF focus. The AF was correct, so it took me a while to realise there actually was a problem. It was negligable at normal focal lenghts, noticeable at 300mm, and a true nightmare for macro focusing.

According to the repair guy, mirror/matte misalignment is one of the most common problems with both Nikon and Pentax in general (those are the only brands he repairs), and that it is an easy fix on most cameras. However, he said, he was not allowed to do his magic on the 645D. The camera had to go to a contracted repair shop authorised by Pentax. Since I really trust the skills of our local repair guy, that's a downer. The good news is that he told me he has a special padded suitcase with prearranged express delivery reserved for the 645D. There is apparently also a policy to keep workshop time down to max 3 days.

To me this sounds like the kind of pro-grade service arrangement that has often been lamented for lacking. I guess Pentax would really shoot themselves in the foot if no such thing was arranged for the 645D, but it can't hurt to spread the rumor of its actual excistence either.

If the camera is back in my hands before Easter, I may even resort to being impressed.
For early adopters, such as me, if I have a problem, it must go back to Japan, Pentax USA will not honor warranty. I was told even if I paid for the repairs (in or out of warranty), they still would not honor it. So far, so good, but I DO shudder to think if I have a problem down the road. One would think Pentax USA would welcome early adopters to "spread the word". I posted my results here and on LuLa before most people here in the states had seen any reviews/opinions, etc. BTW.... I LOVE it!
Dave in NJ
04-16-2011, 10:43 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by gurtch Quote
For early adopters, such as me, if I have a problem, it must go back to Japan, Pentax USA will not honor warranty. I was told even if I paid for the repairs (in or out of warranty), they still would not honor it. So far, so good, but I DO shudder to think if I have a problem down the road. One would think Pentax USA would welcome early adopters to "spread the word". I posted my results here and on LuLa before most people here in the states had seen any reviews/opinions, etc. BTW.... I LOVE it!
Dave in NJ
I am in the same boat. Maybe we can send our cameras together and save on postage?
04-16-2011, 12:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
I am in the same boat. Maybe we can send our cameras together and save on postage?
Lets hope it never comes to that. In the old days (mechanical cameras), there were some outstanding indepenent repair people (DAG, Marty Forscher come to mind). With all electronic cameras, there are few independent repair experts left.
Dave

04-16-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gurtch Quote
Lets hope it never comes to that. In the old days (mechanical cameras), there were some outstanding indepenent repair people (DAG, Marty Forscher come to mind). With all electronic cameras, there are few independent repair experts left.
Dave
I am not too worried. Japanese QC is very good. Now, if it were German engineering...
04-17-2011, 03:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by gurtch Quote
For early adopters, such as me, if I have a problem, it must go back to Japan, Pentax USA will not honor warranty.
So either the repair will be performed outside warranty, the Belgian workshop has an exclusive deal with Pentax for the European market, or somebody up here has been telling me less than the whole truth.

Thanks for the sobering information, folks. I'll post an update when I know more. This could get interesting either way...

BTW, Norway didn't get its first 645D camera until January, so even if I was the first buyer here I was not an early adopter.
04-17-2011, 10:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by alunfoto Quote
So either the repair will be performed outside warranty, the Belgian workshop has an exclusive deal with Pentax for the European market, or somebody up here has been telling me less than the whole truth.

Thanks for the sobering information, folks. I'll post an update when I know more. This could get interesting either way...

BTW, Norway didn't get its first 645D camera until January, so even if I was the first buyer here I was not an early adopter.

I think you should be OK, as Pentax officially imported into Norway. In my case Pentax USA was not yet importing, and I bought mine from Japan.
Dave
04-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #8
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Some more info to add on this.

If you bought in the USA from the offical USA dealership network (i.e. you didn't grab one early from Japan) - Digital Cameras and Accessories - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site
That page states "PPS membership is limited to PENTAX professional photographers who derive 51 percent or more of their annual income from photography" .... but this page PENTAX 645D Announcement | Pentax Support states that if you buy a 645D you'll have "Automatic enrollment in the PENTAX PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Program offering access to various medium format lenses and accessories."

When I found out about this I asked what the go is for us Aussies that bought through the authroised dealer network and I got this info back:
"Initially, Pentax USA were very reluctant to handle the 645D due to the fact that it is considered to be a high-end "professional camera". Pentax USA felt that they did not have the experience on the service and support side of things to adequately meet the demands of 645D users. In fact they were very close to not handling the 645D in the US at all! As such they have set up these additional service you have mentioned below.

Here in Australia we never had such hesitations. You may not be aware of this but we distribute many professional photographic lines such as Hasselblad, Zeiss, Bowens lighting, etc. We already had in place a dedicated Industrial Division and technicians who have been servicing and repairing medium format digital cameras for a long time. We have a long history in servicing professional photographers and industrial clients; and our sales ratio of 645D here in Australia is much higher than the US
."

So due to there already being an established repair network in Australia (and by the sounds of it, Norway/Europe is the same), no PPS for the Aussies.

04-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #9
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Hmm, I have a USA version'of the 645d and as far as I know pentax USA does not have service tech people to work on the camera and they just send it to japan
Steven
04-20-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by alunfoto Quote
My 645D has traveled from Norway to Belgium for realignment of the mirror and/or matte screen position.
That is a surprise to me, since I would expect that if there was European service that would be in Hamburg.
04-27-2011, 06:51 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
That is a surprise to me, since I would expect that if there was European service that would be in Hamburg.
Very interesting, since Pentax sold off its workshop assets in Hamburg in 2009. But that doesn't mean that you are wrong, of course. Do you happen to know the name of the service company there?
04-27-2011, 06:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by alunfoto Quote
If the camera is back in my hands before Easter, I may even resort to being impressed.
Since Easter has been and gone, I suppose I should not be impressed. But I picked up the camera today, and the issue has been fixed. Considering the holidays and transport time involved, I believe the service workshop must have done their job in 3 days or less.

I also tried to get some more info on who is actually doing the repairs, and the info this time pointed not to Belgium as I was first told, but to a German company called Tritec. I got no info about where in Germany they might be located, or whether it actually is the same company that do other Pentax service jobs.
04-27-2011, 07:01 AM   #13
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Must be this one - TRITEC GmbH - Home

Kolpingstraße 5
Vechelde
DE 38159
04-27-2011, 09:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Must be this one - TRITEC GmbH - Home

Kolpingstraße 5
Vechelde
DE 38159
That is one of the sertified repaircentre's.

In Hamburg there is:

fotomaerz.de - Aktuell

Rüdiger Maerz GmbH
Süderstraße 75a (Eingang Haus 77)
20097 Hamburg

Anfahrtskizze

Telefon 040 - 731 40 77
Telefax 040 - 732 68 38
E - Mail infohamburg@fotomaerz.deDiese E-Mail-Adresse ist gegen Spam Bots geschützt, Sie müssen JavaScript aktivieren, damit Sie es sehen können
04-28-2011, 11:35 AM   #15
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So Germany it is then.
Wonder if we can conclude that Tritec has the contract for 645D all by itself...
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