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11-07-2012, 08:10 AM   #1
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In India and my lens just fell apart...


As the title says, I have an urgent problem with my 77 ltd. I have been in India for some months now and India is no country for old men ... or cameras. I am riding around on a bicycle. And it is tough! Today, my lens simple came apart. I grabbed it from the bag and noticed something was loose. And sure enough, it is in 2-3 pieces - all still connected and nothing seem bent or broken.

The lens has a history. I recently had it cleaned in Bangalore. I suppose it hasn't been tightened properly. It hasn't been dropped or anything but roads in India are apalling and i am even being pushed off the habitually by truck- and busdrivers. So it is rattling around in the bag a lot.

So now what? Pentax have no service centers in India .. of course, there is only +1 billion trigger happy people living here, so why bother? So tomorrow I have to see if I can locate someone to take care of it. And hope it is not another incompetent.

I travel a lot and it seems to me I have to educate myself to be my own service center. I am not afraid of messing with things. What's the required tools?

Any chance, you guys know of a place in Jaipur (where I am now) or Delhi (where I did not plan to go, but now have to) that could deal with it?

11-07-2012, 08:43 AM   #2

Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 530
re-evaluate what you're using for a camera bag while you're at it.
While working in the arctic, I found the toughest, cheapest, least likely to get stolen camera bag was a 5 gallon plastic pail (used for pickle's oddly enough)....
I lined it with closed cell foam and had two compartments. I also find coolers (both soft and hard) are great when used to store camera bags inside....
all of the above seal yp nicely with duct tape for shipping....

but your travels, I'd think a case like Pelican would be worth the investment.

after all, fixing your lens only adresses half the problem... the other half of the problem is figuring why it fell apart and preventing it from happening again.
11-07-2012, 08:51 AM   #3
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I can't do anything to help you, but good luck with this. Maybe this will bump the thread and get you noticed by someone who knows India better. I have seen a few posts suggesting there are a few Pentax users there.
11-07-2012, 10:09 AM   #4
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Original Poster
Well, I just had dinner and while I still hope to find some quick solution here in India - looking at the lens it seems it might be an easy job - I came to the conclusion that perhaps I should just forget about it ... I mean, send it home or forward it to some place where they can fix it and I can pick it up later. I already have more RAW Gb that I need to sort, stuff to write and a blog that needs a redesign.

I know my way of travelling is hard on the gear. It is kept in a normal Tamrac bag. No matter where I keep it while on the road, it will be rattling around as long as the asphalt is as even (ahem!) as here. It doesn't help that you are often being pushed off it by bus- and truckdrivers that think they own the road. Maybe I send the repair bill to the Indian Road Authorities.

Edit: The other part of the reason why it fell apart is probably because it was not put together properly when it was serviced some 2-3 months ago.

Last edited by H. Sapiens; 11-07-2012 at 10:15 AM.
11-07-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
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I hope you find someone in Jaipur who can direct you to a camera repairer.
Local knowledge is almost a necessity in India's cities
I was recently in Pune India and a member of another camera forum who lives there directed me to a good film processor.
I was able to get the taxi driver to take me straight to the shop.
11-08-2012, 10:53 AM   #6
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No luck in Jaipur. I found a repairer in a hole-in-the-wall shop that kept the lens for the day, but could not fix it. He found the loose screw, though.

He directed me to a shop in Delhi. The good thing about India is such shops are often next to each other, so there might be options.

Nearest official Pentax Service Center is ... oh, I don't know how far away, Hong Kong or Bangkok, so I just hope they will not need any special parts. Then there might be hope that I can snap a portrait or two in Nepal.
11-12-2012, 09:14 AM   #7
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I had the lens fixed in Delhi. I had recommendations for a few repairers and decided to go to a place called Papaji Camera Repairs. They went to work on my lens immediately and also took another lens of mine for cleaning. Today, I went back to fetch them, and while I haven't taken any pictures they seem to work fine. All in all, a top class experience: The time I spent there I was treated to cookies, chai and dal moong :-) I paid 2000 Rp for the 77mm job - not sure about the current exchange rate but that's in the ballpark of 40 $, I think.

Another thought: I suspect it paid off that I deliberately have avoided SDM, because I wanted as simple a design as possible. I am not sure if they could have fixed an SDM lens as quickly. I am not saying this to bash Pentax and it is not a QC issue with the lens.
11-14-2012, 05:06 AM   #8
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In these conditions you need to change your bag. Buy something which holds your camera firmly.

11-14-2012, 07:55 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoinc Quote
In these conditions you need to change your bag. Buy something which holds your camera firmly.
I have a Tamrac Adv. 7 bag like this Tamrac which is in one of the panniers (I think, they are called).

I used to take the camera and lenses out of the Tamrac when on the bike and just keep them in the pannier wrapped with my clothes. Is that a better solution? At least, they then can't jump around in their compartments. I did that mostly because the gear was definitely much easier to fetch when I wanted to take a pic.

I need Pentax to make some rumble resistant lenses. WRR on the roadmap, please! I'll even offer to do free real world testing.

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