View Full Version : Recommendations for repair shop in Cleveland?
Sadly, I have been forced to deadline my Ricoh 500G (for those of you who are not familiar, it's a military term meaning "remove from service until repaired"). Some of you may remember a thread about a month ago where I was complaining about vertical banding appearing inconsistently in my test photos from this camera. I had initially chalked it up to poor lab processing but after running a second, higher-quality roll of film through the camera and developing it elsewhere for a controlled test, I can now confirm that the banding seems to be due to the camera itself and it is in fact showing up on all frames, although to a greater or lesser degree depending on the light conditions. On the plus side, mechanically the camera is buttery smooth in operation and that lens is definitely sharp.
I'm not against sending my camera away to a trusted source for maintenance, but I was really hoping to take it on my vacation to Florida over Thanksgiving. I'd like to keep the repairs either local or with the lowest turnaround time possible.
In case it may help anyone with diagnosis of my problem or affect their recommendations, I've attached one of the pics from the test roll. The first couple of pictures on the roll were almost completely washed out, the rest exhibited the following to a greater or lesser degree:
Sorry about the messy post above folks. This problem is really bugging me, as there are a couple of shots on the roll that are perfectly exposed with that artifact barely visible.
Sorry - no direct knowledge of Cleveland repair shops. Perhaps popping into a decent camera pro shop will send you in the right direction.
Most via-mail camera repair shops offer a pro rush service at an additional cost. I've used it at CamTech and I think it added $30-40 to the bill. Essex might turn the camera around in a short enough period where you won't even need a rush service.
Doug, I have used KEH.com and literally have had my cameras returned to me within 7 days. Take a look at the repair section on their website, complete the online order form and include some shots with the camera as examples of what is going wrong. Their pricing includes return shipping.
Others have used Essex in New Jersey with similar favorable results.
I hate to sound obvious, but have you tried checking the light seals on the inside of the rear door, hinge side. Should be a very fine strip running up the inside of the door. An easy way to check is to place a strip of black tape over the hinge side of the door and run a film thru to see if you still get this effect. Might not be a cure for your problem, but I'm guessing here.
The light seals SEEM to be in OK shape, but I'll probably just take it in for a complete CLA and have them replaced anyway.
Essex has turned around jobs as quick as two weeks door-to-door if parts were in stock. My M2 is there now waiting on a part from Germany. They did not ask for more money after accepting the pre-paid job on a phone quote and then discovering the part was required. I would E-Mail them and ask if they are bogged down.
Thanks all! I had a conversation with a friend of mine who sells pro equipment down at Dodd Camera, he's going to talk to the repair guy and see if they can help me out and give me an estimate.
Be CAREFUL with Dodd's repair guy. Be quite specific what you want from him, and get a good estimate beforehand. He once cleaned an Elmar for me on a camera I hadn't yet bought and tried to charge me for the work, even though the counter folk assured me that they wouldn't. Big mess.
I used to recommend "Pro Camera" on the SW side, and they've done just about all the work to all of my cameras, but earlier this year they lost a couple techs and the Leica was in there for 5 months before I gave up and retreived it. I have a shutter I need work done on and I don't know now to whom to go.
I got my first film back from my 'new' 35RC yesterday and have the same problem as you. I have checked the camera and it does seem to be the seals that are causing the problem.
I am based in the UK so can't recommend a repairman for you. My own repairer has decided not to work on the older models now having enough work on his books with the newer gear. Shame, as he has done some nice work for me. So I am in a similar position to you.
If anyone can recommend a reliable and affordable repairer in the UK I would be most grateful.
JD, thanks for the warning about the repair guy, I'll definitely be careful if I decide to take it in.
Paul, I'll definitely make a light seal job the first thing I try with this camera. That is what I initially suspected as all shutter speeds sound OK when fired and why it's less obvious from picture to picture - I changed my hold a lot during the test roll and squuezed tighter for som, etc. Glad to have my first suspicion tentatively confirmed as a good diagnosis.
Does anybody know what the positioning of the light seals inside a Ricoh 500G should be? I hate to sound silly but I'd like to check what's in the camera currently against what the spec is and see right off if I'm missing something.
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