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Which compacts are repairable/serviceable in 2019?
Old 03-22-2019   #1
dpt2014
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Which compacts are repairable/serviceable in 2019?

I have or have used mid-low end compacts such as the Oly Stylus Epic, Oly XA (and its variants), Yashica T4, Rollei 35, and Nikon 35Ti to name a few. I've been interested in "premium compacts" since 2012, but I was in graduate school at the time and couldn't afford any. I can now afford a premium compact, but not sure I can justify them knowing that they may be ticking time bombs.

So which premium compacts are still serviceable (for their relative commonly known faults)? For example, I believe the Leica Minilux/CM can have the ribbon replaced to fix the infamous E02 error (correct me if I'm wrong).

Leica Minilux
Leica CM
Minolta TC-1
Fujifilm Klasse S/W
Contax T2/T3
Konica Hexar AF
Ricoh GR1/GR1s/GR1v
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Old 03-22-2019   #2
lonemantis
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The whole Ricoh GR1 series is basically done. The viewfinder and top LCDs are guaranteed to fail eventually, and even if you can find someone to perform the very difficult task of replacing one, it will also fail as well.

Hexar AFs are in a similar boat, but have much more reliable electronics. Some minor faults are fixable, such as the shutter switch issue. However, if the main board fails, it'll take another (also old) donor camera to fix. Mine is still working after 9 years, at least!

Ironically, it's the oldest compacts that are the most viable to repair. John Hermansson (zuiko.com) can fix original XAs, and Don Goldberg (yes, of DAG), is factory trained on Minox 35s and still has tonnes of parts.
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Old 03-22-2019   #3
zuiko85
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I would call the Rollei and Nikon cameras you mention premium compacts.
For my use the all mechanical (useable even without a battery) Olympus 35RC has, despite some quirks, met all my needs. But, then again everyone has different opinions and requirements. The Minolta TC-1, there are quite a few on ebay now around the $800~$900 price range.
Yikes!
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Old 03-22-2019   #4
Huss
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Why not the Rollei QZ35 series on your list? The most premium out of premium P&S cameras.
Oh wait, you said compact..
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Old 03-22-2019   #5
Ko.Fe.
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If you use those once a year, they will give highest reability.
Once Minox 35 or Oly XA are getting in use every day they don't lasts for long.
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Old 03-22-2019   #6
Archlich
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Most are repairable, but not completely curable. A broken lens cable wire (the Minilux's E02 error) of a Contax T2 can easily be fixed today, but my last one also developed uneven spacing and overlapping. Of which a cure as far as I know hasn't been found yet.
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Old 03-22-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
If you use those once a year, they will give highest reability.
Once Minox 35 or Oly XA are getting in use every day they don't lasts for long.
Minox 35s break if you put film in them.
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Old 03-22-2019   #8
RObert Budding
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Premium P&S cameras have gotten insanely expensive. I'd rather carry my Nikon SP, even though it won't fit in a pants pocket.
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Old 03-22-2019   #9
dpt2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonemantis View Post
The whole Ricoh GR1 series is basically done. The viewfinder and top LCDs are guaranteed to fail eventually, and even if you can find someone to perform the very difficult task of replacing one, it will also fail as well.

Hexar AFs are in a similar boat, but have much more reliable electronics. Some minor faults are fixable, such as the shutter switch issue. However, if the main board fails, it'll take another (also old) donor camera to fix. Mine is still working after 9 years, at least!

Ironically, it's the oldest compacts that are the most viable to repair. John Hermansson (zuiko.com) can fix original XAs, and Don Goldberg (yes, of DAG), is factory trained on Minox 35s and still has tonnes of parts.
I've always wanted to try the Hexar AF and still plan to, but it doesn't "fit" into my definition of compact (it's a relative term, I reckon). Thanks for the tip on the XAs and Minox 35s (I have a 35GT that I forgot to mention).

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
I would call the Rollei and Nikon cameras you mention premium compacts.
For my use the all mechanical (useable even without a battery) Olympus 35RC has, despite some quirks, met all my needs. But, then again everyone has different opinions and requirements. The Minolta TC-1, there are quite a few on ebay now around the $800~$900 price range.
Yikes!
Yes, "premium" compacts are rising in price by the minute. I've never handled a 35RC, but always imagined it would hold similar to a ql17 giii (which is bigger than I'd like). It may be something I have to revisit, but it still is not compact enough for me (I live in San Diego where the weather is usually warm and I never have a coat pocket, just my pants/jeans).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Why not the Rollei QZ35 series on your list? The most premium out of premium P&S cameras.
Oh wait, you said compact..
Honestly, I've never heard of this camera. And my list was not meant to be exhaustive. I was just naming a few off the top of my head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
Most are repairable, but not completely curable. A broken lens cable wire (the Minilux's E02 error) of a Contax T2 can easily be fixed today, but my last one also developed uneven spacing and overlapping. Of which a cure as far as I know hasn't been found yet.
I know all electronics will fail at some point, even the most reliable. But I can't be an expert in every camera (I don't have the time or desire to be). However, I do know the Leica Minilux/CM are infamous for the E02 error but that can be fixed with a replacement ribbon cable. I am interested in knowing what premium compacts have common faults that are also serviceable/repairable (as in the Minilux/CM example).

Quote:
Originally Posted by RObert Budding View Post
Premium P&S cameras have gotten insanely expensive. I'd rather carry my Nikon SP, even though it won't fit in a pants pocket.
Pocketable is important to me. I don't mind the price of certain cameras as long as I am well aware of its most common faults and that those common faults are repairable.
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Old 03-22-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpt2014 View Post
Yes, "premium" compacts are rising in price by the minute. I've never handled a 35RC, but always imagined it would hold similar to a ql17 giii (which is bigger than I'd like). It may be something I have to revisit, but it still is not compact enough for me (I live in San Diego where the weather is usually warm and I never have a coat pocket, just my pants/jeans).
If you haven't handled one, I would see if you could try one before you rule it out completely. It's surprisingly compact, lightweight, and very fully featured as zuiko85 mentioned. Here's a comparison photo (not mine) between the 35RC and the QL17iii:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5766490014/

Another size comparison photo in this review of the QL17iii:
https://filmadvance.com/2012/03/favo...t-g-iii-ql-17/

Given the premium compacts' current prices and propensity to crap out, the cost difference and mechanical reliability may very well outweigh your size concerns.
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Old 03-22-2019   #11
Phil_F_NM
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I like buying the second tier (not quite premium) compacts from charity shops for a couple bucks then fixing them if possible. I've fixed a few Pentax PC35AFs, a Nikon AF600 (which is like a plastic version of the 28ti), XAs, and just had fun. I'm never going to put down money on an all electronic camera from the 80s or early 90s that costs more than $50. Period. I don't like wasting my money on paperweights. But I can buy five to ten of the cheaper bodies mentioned above and get several working samples out of that lot. I love my AF600 but the shutter button is getting a little too hard to press. This just means that the flexible board underneath is getting gaps in the circuit. I can work around this by scratching some of the copper across the cracks but it won't last forever. It only cost what two rolls of TriX cost so no big deal. The 28mm lens is cracking good and the camera is extremely small. When it dies, I find another and put an hour into it for a few more months or longer, of fun.
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Old 03-22-2019   #12
dpt2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dourbalistar View Post
If you haven't handled one, I would see if you could try one before you rule it out completely. It's surprisingly compact, lightweight, and very fully featured as zuiko85 mentioned. Here's a comparison photo (not mine) between the 35RC and the QL17iii:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5766490014/

Another size comparison photo in this review of the QL17iii:
https://filmadvance.com/2012/03/favo...t-g-iii-ql-17/

Given the premium compacts' current prices and propensity to crap out, the cost difference and mechanical reliability may very well outweigh your size concerns.
You may be right about the price and I will certainly see if I can handle a 35 RC before dismissing it. But I might just stick with my Oly Stylus Epics for my pocketable compact. I bought 3 between 2011 and 2013. $17...$58...and$75 (black). Never going to sell them!
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Old 03-22-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpt2014 View Post

Honestly, I've never heard of this camera. And my list was not meant to be exhaustive. I was just naming a few off the top of my head.
Rollei QZ35W and 35T
Porsche design, titanium build, meter reading EV1-19, shutter speed range 16 secs to 1/8000 available in M, S, A and P modes. Full manual focus control if needed.

It's the size of a film Leica. But my film Leicas - M7 included - do not have that kind of shutter speed range! Or AF. Or multimodes. And I tested the lens vs my Leica 28 Asph wide open, and the sharpness is about equal.

Anyway...
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