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09-02-2022, 05:28 PM - 1 Like   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by martin42mm Quote
It won't be anything electronic that may be the issue with your MX not firing-everything bar the meter is mechanical! I suspect it may just be in need of adjustment to the shutter trigger mechanism, which does have a degree of adjustment built-in to the connecting rods that go from shutter button to main trigger lever on the lower left side of the mirror cage as you look at it from the front.
Thank you for your information. I recently spoke to the repair man who said the "switch" had failed to the point that a new one was required. Even so, I will add, that the shutter would still fire at higher speeds, but not the lower. Anyway, I hope the part, which is stuck enroute in some Chinese port eventually gets here. I have three other excellent MXs, plus two KX's and a KM, not to forget my screw mounts to keep me going. It's just that I have owned my first model for more than half my life, so many memories have been captured by it. I asked for a full ground-up service as a result.

09-03-2022, 02:07 AM - 2 Likes   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
Thank you for your information. I recently spoke to the repair man who said the "switch" had failed to the point that a new one was required. Even so, I will add, that the shutter would still fire at higher speeds, but not the lower. Anyway, I hope the part, which is stuck enroute in some Chinese port eventually gets here. I have three other excellent MXs, plus two KX's and a KM, not to forget my screw mounts to keep me going. It's just that I have owned my first model for more than half my life, so many memories have been captured by it. I asked for a full ground-up service as a result.
I'm at a total loss to comprehend what part your repair guy is sourcing from China!

There is NO switch involved in the MX shutter mechanism whatsoever-it is 100% mechanical.. The fact that the shutter is firing at higher speeds, but not the slower speeds suggests an issue with the blind tensions, again a 100% mechanical issue. If the second blind has insufficient tension, it will fail to overcome the increased friction involved with operating the slow-speed escapement, which is effectively just a gear train and escapement that slows the second blind down-you can see the identical principle working in a stripped-down leaf shutter on an old folding camera. Does the first blind release when you operate the slower speeds ? Because if it does, then that is a certain diagnostic that this is the cause.
In the more than 40 years I have been repairing cameras, there have been just two instances where I have had to fit Chinese 'after-market' parts. One was a replacement plastic lens mount for a low-end Canon lens, and the other-from a UK Pentax-approved repairer- was a replacement solenoid to fix the aperture failure on my own K-S1. I can think of not a single part that the Chinese make that would even fit a Pentax MX! It was never made there, since all MXs were Japanese made. The only time the Chinese were involved with mechanical Pentax cameras was when they assembled the last of the K1000 bodies, and there are no parts from that camera that are interchangable with the MX.
I suggest you quiz your repairer a little more closely as to exactly what the issue is with your MX since I think you are being led up the garden path! To rephrase my earlier comment, even if you remove the battery from a fully-working MX, it will work 100% , with the obvious exception of the meter. 100% fully-mechanical, and why I love mine so much!
09-03-2022, 07:22 PM   #63
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You make interesting comments, thank you. For some clarification, the part comes from Moldovia, but due to the war, go by ship, via China. I hope my repairer is not leading me astray, because like you, I was surprised he mentioned a switch, and I wonder if he is getting confused with an ME Pentax. He has been in business for many years and serviced several of my cameras. One Canonet "S" rangefinder had to be returned twice after repair, so he is not perfect it seems. I picked his brains as best I could after getting a USD 300 quote for the MX, but one takes a risk of alienating, especially since I have limited understanding of the internal workings. I will withhold sending along your comments unless necessary. Regardless, I thank you for your knowledgeable input, and can only hope the final result is a fully restored MX.
09-04-2022, 01:59 AM - 2 Likes   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
You make interesting comments, thank you. For some clarification, the part comes from Moldovia, but due to the war, go by ship, via China. I hope my repairer is not leading me astray, because like you, I was surprised he mentioned a switch, and I wonder if he is getting confused with an ME Pentax. He has been in business for many years and serviced several of my cameras. One Canonet "S" rangefinder had to be returned twice after repair, so he is not perfect it seems. I picked his brains as best I could after getting a USD 300 quote for the MX, but one takes a risk of alienating, especially since I have limited understanding of the internal workings. I will withhold sending along your comments unless necessary. Regardless, I thank you for your knowledgeable input, and can only hope the final result is a fully restored MX.
I honestly think he is leading you up a very long and expensive garden path. I have NEVER done a service or repair on any camera, or lens, in my life that has reached anywhere near $300, and that includes parts! These have included Contax R/Fs, Leicas ( R/F & SLR), and Hasselblads, so not exactly low-end cameras.
They stopped manufacturing MX bodies decades agao, and I doubt if there are any original new parts in Pentax repairers' stores. The only way of replacing anything in an MX is usually to rob out a scrap body, and I have never had to scrap a single one over 40+ years. In fact I've never 'scrapped' a single mechanical Pentax camera body of any description, just those that sadly suffer ( usually) from mechanical weaknesses such as the ME/MESuper/MV electro-mechanical cameras that have an achilles heel in the wind-on mechanism that is not economically repairable. And that is where the vast majority of any repairer's spares come from, the cameras that have died. I never throw anything away, something can always be re-used at sometime on another repair. Some external parts of those Pentaxes for example will also fit the MX, but the remainder of that camera is unique.

I can only suggest you ask your repairer what switch he is talking about, and why any such part would need to go from Moldova via China! As for the $300-as I'm sure you realise - it will buy you a 'low mileage', fully serviced MX for less than half that sum., From what you said about the tales this repairer is spinning you I honestly think you are being taken to a very expensive cleaners! If you doubt my word, drop Rick Oleson in the US a brief line and ask for his opinion, it could save you a lot of money and grief .Rick repaired cameras for decades, and his 'Tech Notes' that he has published online are useful pointers and tips for anyone who wants to lift the lid on their camera and service/repair it. Rick no longer repairs cameras for a number of reasons, but he is always willing to give friendly advice based on his experience, which is considerable.

And one additional point regarding the puzzle as to why a part would need to go via China from Moldova. I live in the UK, and apart from the Russian enclave travel to and from Moldova is not restricted from the UK, so I would assume that applies to the postal system as well.


Last edited by martin42mm; 09-04-2022 at 03:02 AM. Reason: added information
09-04-2022, 05:58 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by martin42mm Quote
I honestly think he is leading you up a very long and expensive garden path. I have NEVER done a service or repair on any camera, or lens, in my life that has reached anywhere near $300, and that includes parts! These have included Contax R/Fs, Leicas ( R/F & SLR), and Hasselblads, so not exactly low-end cameras.
They stopped manufacturing MX bodies decades agao, and I doubt if there are any original new parts in Pentax repairers' stores. The only way of replacing anything in an MX is usually to rob out a scrap body, and I have never had to scrap a single one over 40+ years. In fact I've never 'scrapped' a single mechanical Pentax camera body of any description, just those that sadly suffer ( usually) from mechanical weaknesses such as the ME/MESuper/MV electro-mechanical cameras that have an achilles heel in the wind-on mechanism that is not economically repairable. And that is where the vast majority of any repairer's spares come from, the cameras that have died. I never throw anything away, something can always be re-used at sometime on another repair. Some external parts of those Pentaxes for example will also fit the MX, but the remainder of that camera is unique.

I can only suggest you ask your repairer what switch he is talking about, and why any such part would need to go from Moldova via China! As for the $300-as I'm sure you realise - it will buy you a 'low mileage', fully serviced MX for less than half that sum., From what you said about the tales this repairer is spinning you I honestly think you are being taken to a very expensive cleaners! If you doubt my word, drop Rick Oleson in the US a brief line and ask for his opinion, it could save you a lot of money and grief .Rick repaired cameras for decades, and his 'Tech Notes' that he has published online are useful pointers and tips for anyone who wants to lift the lid on their camera and service/repair it. Rick no longer repairs cameras for a number of reasons, but he is always willing to give friendly advice based on his experience, which is considerable.

And one additional point regarding the puzzle as to why a part would need to go via China from Moldova. I live in the UK, and apart from the Russian enclave travel to and from Moldova is not restricted from the UK, so I would assume that applies to the postal system as well.
I just got an invoice from the repairer and it added sales tax and insured post (he lives an hour away) which brings the total to $AUD 501 (350USD). I have asked him to list what he has done to the camera, as his initial quote seemed to be one that included a "standard all types quote". Your points are all valid, and as a commercial venture, this is outrageous, (I recently sold a beautiful MX for about USD$100). However, this is my first MX bought in 1977 and has recorded 45 years of my life. Sentimentality has a cost at times. The second point is, choice of people who do repairs is slim to none. I can only trust he does a good job, and lick my wounds at the cost. Even Chris Sherlock who repaired my Retina and Retinettes in New Zealand has abandoned repairing cameras. One thing that comes out of this is that repairing any more of my cameras, is no longer a realistic option. Confronting the repairer is unlikely to profit me, but I will see what he says in his report, assuming he gives me one.
09-04-2022, 06:50 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
I just got an invoice from the repairer and it added sales tax and insured post (he lives an hour away) which brings the total to $AUD 501 (350USD)
Ouch! I recently used Eric of Pentaxs.com to CLA a KX -- it was in okay shape, with a working meter, but I wanted it back to new, and for $130(US) plus shipping (around $12; he does return shipping) it came back just that way, just as I wanted. Realizing he's a long way away from Oz -- it might still be worth it to use him.

Aaron
09-05-2022, 02:43 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
I just got an invoice from the repairer and it added sales tax and insured post (he lives an hour away) which brings the total to $AUD 501 (350USD). I have asked him to list what he has done to the camera, as his initial quote seemed to be one that included a "standard all types quote". Your points are all valid, and as a commercial venture, this is outrageous, (I recently sold a beautiful MX for about USD$100). However, this is my first MX bought in 1977 and has recorded 45 years of my life. Sentimentality has a cost at times. The second point is, choice of people who do repairs is slim to none. I can only trust he does a good job, and lick my wounds at the cost. Even Chris Sherlock who repaired my Retina and Retinettes in New Zealand has abandoned repairing cameras. One thing that comes out of this is that repairing any more of my cameras, is no longer a realistic option. Confronting the repairer is unlikely to profit me, but I will see what he says in his report, assuming he gives me one.
He should certainly give you an invoice , and at that money, a gilt-edged one with a minimum 24 months guarantee. Personally I would give/want to see an intemised estimate BEFORE shelling out that money.


I'm fortunate in that I started out repairing cameras and lenses because four decades ago I was an avid collector and user of 35 mm SLRs of all makes and types, from the early Contax S, Asahiflex and leaf-shutter Japanese and German makes such as Kowa and Retina, so I visited camera fairs which were quite frequent in those days, and looked under the sales tables to see what was in the 'spares or repairs' boxes, and learned how to take them apart, and -mostly!-fix them. Repairers were becoming thin on the ground even then, and manufacturers' prices are prohibitive since they want you to buy a new camera or lens. Eventually, when I stopped 'collecting' and decided to stick to my favourite Pentax SLRs, I started putting that experience to work repairing for other people, mostly friends and fellow camera collectors in the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain. I'm still doing it, and still learning , especially where modern gear is concerned, but I have never charged 'commercial 'rates, since I don't have to make a living out of it. But I do keep abreast of modern repairer's charges, and the amount you are going to have to pay is just beyond belief. I have repaired cameras that have sentimental value, and in those circumstances I will go that extra mile and spend time repairing equipment that it is not really economic to do, but I always warn the owner that the costs may be slightly higher than normal, yet In all the years I have done these repairs, not a single charge has even reached a third of what you are being charged. I don't try and remove the external signs of use, since that is part of the personality of the camera, and its history when in the hands of it's owner, but if mechanical parts are needed because something is beyond its working life, then those parts have to come from other cameras with-hopefully-less mileage on them! In the cases of MX's repaired- and we are back to the reliability point of this thread- the ONLY item I have ever had to replace internally( apart from the odd corroded wire from the battery compartment following battery leakage), has been the thread that rotates the speed indicator dial in the viewfinder, and in one other instance the dial itself because it had become mangled somehow. Not another single part, and not even the switches that activate the meter-one when depressing the shutter-button half-way, the other linked to the wind-on stand-off angle that enables the meter to stay on after the shutter button is released. These can be problematic, but usually just need cleaning/slight adjustment rather than replacement, and do NOT cause any issues with the shutter since that is 100% mechanical.
I think this repairer of yours needs to answer some serious questions.

09-05-2022, 04:56 AM   #68
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I just priced out a "CLA" for my Rolleiflex with one of the well-regarded repairers of the brand.

$700 US (with a caveat that anything noticed during the cleaning might incur additional charges)

At some point, as the pool of experts dries up, what are the alternatives?

There are likely loads of self-taught folks who can do lubes and tweaks and such, but where will the specific expertise come from to do major repairs?

And I just sent my Retina off to a guy in Oregon Chris Sherlock recommended... since I missed him... if it goes even half as long as the 70 years it's already had, it will not likely be my concern to do the next repair...

-Eric
09-05-2022, 05:44 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I just priced out a "CLA" for my Rolleiflex with one of the well-regarded repairers of the brand.

$700 US (with a caveat that anything noticed during the cleaning might incur additional charges)

At some point, as the pool of experts dries up, what are the alternatives?

There are likely loads of self-taught folks who can do lubes and tweaks and such, but where will the specific expertise come from to do major repairs?

And I just sent my Retina off to a guy in Oregon Chris Sherlock recommended... since I missed him... if it goes even half as long as the 70 years it's already had, it will not likely be my concern to do the next repair...

-Eric
For $700 I would have expected ANY parts required to be included in that price!

The Rolleiflex is not a complicated camera, but spares are no longer available-as far as I'm aware-from Rollei themselves, so the only parts are any held by repairers as new old stock, or taken from cameras damaged beyond repair. Body parts can be costly, as can lens elements, although suitable shutters can be culled from other makes of camera. The other parts are not that expensive.


Having had a late friend who was the main distributor for the Rollei marque in the North of England for many years, I was asked to look at many Rolleis to access their condition, so have quite a lot of insight regarding their construction, which is excellent with regard to engineering and longevity. Because of these qualities there is very little than NEEDS doing in a 'full' CLA., and even heavily used 'pro' examples rarely need one unless used under less than ideal conditions, such as in very sandy or humid climates
.Regarding cleaning, the only areas that might possibly require this are the mirror under the screen, the screen itself, and the lenses. Not difficult, and not a long job. Regarding lubrication, the only things that could require some grease are the shutter-wind mechanism under the side-plate, and the focus gears. However since Rollei used high-quality greases in these areas, I have never found a single camera that even after decades of 'pro' use developed a fault because of an issue with the grease. So by all means clean it out and put in new grease, but neither task is really required, and is not difficult to do if it is required ,the only tricky part being removing the side and front leather without damage, but usually it comes off without any problem..There are no other parts that require lubrication, and I include the shutter mechanism, although a drop of oil in the shutter release is good practice, first checking it is not binding because there is grit in it. . As for the 'A' part, short of checking the focus for infinity accuracy , there is nothing else that can be adjusted! The leaf shutter, assuming it is fully working-i.e. all speeds are free-running, has no adjustments that can be done to it. If the speeds are checked and within-tolerance that is the best you can hope for, and only wear can impact that accuracy. Even so, the latitude of modern films means you are not likely to notice any issues with the exposures unless the shutter is VERY worn. If there is a meter, there is little that can be done to adjust the accuracy, short of replacing the selenium cell assuming it is a selenium-metered model.
.But $700-no way can I see that as justifiable. Granted the repairers will probably have far greater overheads than I ever had, and know the market capable of bearing those prices, but even so......still it is a free market,and if customers are willing to pay that sort of money, then that is their choice. Just be aware of what you may, or may not, be paying for.

Reckoning I might be out-of-touch with Rollei servicing prices, I've just done a brief sweep of the 'net . including UK and US service guys specialising in Rollei, and as well as more general repairers. The general ball-park starting figure for a Rollei CLA in the UK was £200, with postage and parts required extra.It was more difficult to pin down an exact figure in the US, but I can see little reason to believe it would be so much different, certainly not $700. I have also noticed a decent Rolleiflex T, just professionally serviced , for sale at Harrisons in Sheffield, a reputable dealer of long standing -for £450. Which suggests replacement would cost less than a CLA! However, as I said before, you're the customer.....

Last edited by martin42mm; 09-05-2022 at 07:12 AM. Reason: added information
09-05-2022, 08:10 PM   #70
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Given the topic of repairs and what not, would purchasing an MX with a faulty frame counter be wise if it can be at a discount?
Apparently it's erratic, inconsistent, doesn't work. Could this part failing be indicative of more failing parts down the line, sort of a catalyst that can cause other parts to break or deteriorate?

I'm seriously looking at entering the MX world and this one has come up locally for sale. This, or Japan fleabay sellers and all that entails!
09-05-2022, 10:10 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by grimnicholas Quote
Given the topic of repairs and what not, would purchasing an MX with a faulty frame counter be wise if it can be at a discount?
Apparently it's erratic, inconsistent, doesn't work. Could this part failing be indicative of more failing parts down the line, sort of a catalyst that can cause other parts to break or deteriorate?

I'm seriously looking at entering the MX world and this one has come up locally for sale. This, or Japan fleabay sellers and all that entails!
Given how easy and affordable it is to purchase a MX in good (even serviced!) condition, why bother?

---------- Post added 09-06-22 at 03:13 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I just priced out a "CLA" for my Rolleiflex with one of the well-regarded repairers of the brand.

$700 US (with a caveat that anything noticed during the cleaning might incur additional charges)

At some point, as the pool of experts dries up, what are the alternatives?

There are likely loads of self-taught folks who can do lubes and tweaks and such, but where will the specific expertise come from to do major repairs?

And I just sent my Retina off to a guy in Oregon Chris Sherlock recommended... since I missed him... if it goes even half as long as the 70 years it's already had, it will not likely be my concern to do the next repair...

-Eric
Is that from Fleenor? If so, the man is a legend with a huge wait list. He can essentially charge what he wants…

Fwiw I had a full overhaul done on my 2.8D two years ago and it cost $300aud. That was with a factory trained tech and a camera that had likely been in a cupboard for a few decades.
09-06-2022, 12:54 AM - 1 Like   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by grimnicholas Quote
Given the topic of repairs and what not, would purchasing an MX with a faulty frame counter be wise if it can be at a discount?
Apparently it's erratic, inconsistent, doesn't work. Could this part failing be indicative of more failing parts down the line, sort of a catalyst that can cause other parts to break or deteriorate?

I'm seriously looking at entering the MX world and this one has come up locally for sale. This, or Japan fleabay sellers and all that entails!
The frame-counter on an MX is a very simple mechanism under the top-plate, and can be adjusted to work correctly when it becomes intermittent. It is not operated by anything other than the wind-on mechanism, and has no bearing on any other part of teh camera, so it will have zero effect on the reliability. It could be as simple as a piece of deteriorating foam from the rear upper light seal in the film chamber jamming or fouling the reset lever that protrudes into the upper film guide, and it might be possible to effect a repair without dismantling if that is the case. If it is a question of going under teh top-plate, it is a relatively straight-forward job to remove that ( remember the trim over the wind-on lever is left-handed threaded-can be removed with a piece of rubber pushed down hard at the same time as teh screw-trim is loosened CLOCKWISE) You will not disturb anything else by removing the top-just note the shutter speed dial setting is as well as the ASA dial when removing the shutter-speed dial since it ges back on exactly as it came off. You may find the attached screenshots from the MX repair manual useful-the C100 part in the second shot is the section that contains the frame counter.

Any fault is a negotiating point!
Attached Images
   

Last edited by martin42mm; 09-06-2022 at 12:57 AM. Reason: wrong attachment
09-06-2022, 07:34 AM - 1 Like   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by martin42mm Quote
The frame-counter on an MX is a very simple mechanism under the top-plate, and can be adjusted to work correctly when it becomes intermittent. It is not operated by anything other than the wind-on mechanism, and has no bearing on any other part of teh camera, so it will have zero effect on the reliability. It could be as simple as a piece of deteriorating foam from the rear upper light seal in the film chamber jamming or fouling the reset lever that protrudes into the upper film guide, and it might be possible to effect a repair without dismantling if that is the case. If it is a question of going under teh top-plate, it is a relatively straight-forward job to remove that ( remember the trim over the wind-on lever is left-handed threaded-can be removed with a piece of rubber pushed down hard at the same time as teh screw-trim is loosened CLOCKWISE) You will not disturb anything else by removing the top-just note the shutter speed dial setting is as well as the ASA dial when removing the shutter-speed dial since it ges back on exactly as it came off. You may find the attached screenshots from the MX repair manual useful-the C100 part in the second shot is the section that contains the frame counter.

Any fault is a negotiating point!
I've just discovered there is a thread on the Pentax forums discussing the MX frame counter and its repair-this is the link to the detailed repair outlined in the thread. Pentax MX counter stuck
09-06-2022, 12:29 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote

And I just sent my Retina off to a guy in Oregon Chris Sherlock recommended... since I missed him... if it goes even half as long as the 70 years it's already had, it will not likely be my concern to do the next repair...

-Eric
I have been "listening" to this discussion, as I do whenever pricing for repairs, in particular, cla's, come up.

So Eric,
The gentleman your sending your camera to that lives in Oregon. Is that in the Portland area, and does he also work at one of the shops that are local? I am asking because I live in Newport, have heard members recommend a certain shop in Portland quite a few times, and is relatively close by (135 miles)

Reason I'm asking is that I have seen posted, prices for cla's( I believe his name is also Eric,) that everyone sends their Pentax to, have cost. There have been other shops recommended as well, and what they charged. One of which breaks down what all their cla entails. Long story, shorter. I called the shop in Portland that was recommended and asked how much a cla would cost on my wife's ME super. It was still in good working condition, just had not been used in 20 years. I was quoted $250, which is much much higher than the others.

I honestly believe that these repairmen dont really want to take on the job, and quote an exorbitant price just for that reason. I have worked with different businesses in the past that have done that same thing. When someone does pay the price, I have heard them say "I need to raise my price again". They really just don't want to do the work.
09-06-2022, 12:47 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sam_I_am Quote
I have been "listening" to this discussion, as I do whenever pricing for repairs, in particular, cla's, come up.

So Eric,
The gentleman your sending your camera to that lives in Oregon. Is that in the Portland area, and does he also work at one of the shops that are local? I am asking because I live in Newport, have heard members recommend a certain shop in Portland quite a few times, and is relatively close by (135 miles)

Reason I'm asking is that I have seen posted, prices for cla's( I believe his name is also Eric,) that everyone sends their Pentax to, have cost. There have been other shops recommended as well, and what they charged. One of which breaks down what all their cla entails. Long story, shorter. I called the shop in Portland that was recommended and asked how much a cla would cost on my wife's ME super. It was still in good working condition, just had not been used in 20 years. I was quoted $250, which is much much higher than the others.

I honestly believe that these repairmen dont really want to take on the job, and quote an exorbitant price just for that reason. I have worked with different businesses in the past that have done that same thing. When someone does pay the price, I have heard them say "I need to raise my price again". They really just don't want to do the work.
As I said in an earlier post, a few years ago I was informed by a friend of mine who trades 100% on ebay that the Pentax service department was buying working models from him so they could return them in place of items sent in for repair. Firstly parts can only be culled from non-working cameras because they rarely have any stocks of decades old camera bodies left, so it makes sense to buy in working models rather than attempting repairs. Whether they passed on the saving in labour costs I cannot say!
So I can well believe some repairers bid high in the hope of NOT getting the job. Personally I just say no, but not often because I like a challenge-even some of the modern repair departments have told me they would not even attempt a repair I am in the middle of that I have contacted them to discuss! But then my time is my own-I don't need to make a 'profit'- just cover costs. Sigma, for example, charge more than £50 plus VAT per ELEMENT to clean a lens..........so sometimes it pays to do your homework and shop around for a repairer at a sensible price, or learn to do it yourself as I did many decades ago.
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