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Is it worth it to fix a sentimental favorite? If so how much?

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds' started by tanngrisnir3, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Regular

    Nov 11, 2010
    I finally ordered an LX5, after having lived and learned with a now beloved (albeit stupid) FS7. Part of the reason that I've done so is that I've grown as a photographer, and really like it, and I love my little powerhouse, but there specs on either the inside of the glass/lens, or on the sensor. I don't know enough about the mechanics of cameras to be sure. When I zoom out, at the 4x limit, they start to show up; otherwise, it's just fine, w/no visible effect.

    Here are two examples of the "non speck view".....



    And here's up close and speckish



    I have never had a camera repaired before, so I have no idea what to expect for a ball park sum of how much a cleaning/repair might run, or if it would even be worth it for a camera that originally likely cost around $160 or so. But I love this thing.

    Anyone have any ideas about this? I live very close to a Samy's in L.A. (on Fairfax). Would they be able to do this, or would it have to be shipped off?

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.
  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    tanngrisnir3, first let me say welcome to the site. I am afraid I can't help you with regard to the specks or cleaning, but I hope someone else here can. Why not take it into the camera store and talk to them, get a quote on how much it could cost and see if maybe they can even clean it for you without sending it out?

    Beautiful beach and love the light reflecting from the water that's left from the waves washing in, the shorebirds...the foot prints... All quite lovely.
  3. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Regular

    Nov 11, 2010
    Yes, I think I'm going to go to Samy's and sort of off-handedly bring it up, "Hey, while I'm here, I've been having this issue w/this camera....." and see what sort of reaction that brings. More often then not, at a lot of places like camera shops, musical instrument stores, etc.... one can get a surprising amount of help.

    The only thing I'm afraid of is that some places have certain reputations for immediately falling back on, "Oh, we're going to have to open her up, and that starts at $100....".

    I may try other stores around here, as well.

    Glad you liked the shots. I've had more than a decent education at being forced to back off telephoto and compose a different shot because of the materials showing up on the lens.

    I get the impression that cameras are like guitars; no two give the exact same pic, and there's something about this little number in how it reproduces greens and blues and a certain amount of grit, for lack of a better word, that I just like more than I've seen in other P&S compacts. Maybe it's the tiny Leica in there.

    • Like Like x 1
  4. deirdre

    deirdre Top Veteran

    Sep 26, 2010
    I think it's always worth asking about fixing a sentimental favorite even if you don't decide to go through with it.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    It seems to me that there is some dust on the inner lens elements. It's not in focus so that almost eleminates the sensor.
    I would try to warm the camera with a hair dryer to around 100 degreesF.
    Then use Dust Off and try to get the air in the barrel so it circulates inside. Then, lightly tap the camera against your palm.
    That should dislodge the dust. When the camera cools, the dust will hopefully stay against the inside barrel.

    Just a thought.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. I agree this is a dust issue in the lens not on the sensor since you only see it when you zoom in that means it is on the lens. If it were on the senson it would not matter what focal length the zoom was at. Do you shoot at the beach alot? If so it could also be salt deposits inside of the lens which would be much harder to clean out than dust
  7. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Regular

    Nov 11, 2010
    Actually, no, I don't shoot at the beach a lot, but first started noticing this a while back smack in the middle of Owens Lake, where I've shot a lot, as my g/f is currently doing a documentary project on it. I don't even want to know (although I can pretty much guess) all the crap that gets blown around and off the surface of that basin.

    I'm taking Streetshooter's advice tonight, but after having called around L.A., the closest authorized (in this case, owned by Panasonic) service center in in McAllum, TX, 1386 miles from here, and it's generally agreed that the price to open the camera starts at $150.

    I could probably by a new one, from old, unsold stock, for less than $150.

    * sigh *

    Thanks for the advice, everyone.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Veteran

    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    This is likely a Panasonic factory repair IMO, these cameras are not made for easy maintenance.

    You might be able to find a repair shop online that may be able to do it and give you a cheaper quote.

    That is the nature of mass produced electronics these days. I don't necessarily mean it in a bad way, its the mass production of consumer electronics these days that make the cameras inexpensive to begin with (and make corresponding manual repairs seem so expensive.)
  9. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Regular

    Jul 11, 2010
    My laptop monitor is too dirty to see the problem :smile: ...
    - But dirt inside lens sounds bad, the advice to have the dirt stick to the barrel genious!!!
  10. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    all they are these days is plastic and a bit of glass, (maybe), surrounded by computer software etc., "image takers and processors"

    Most are "out of date" after a few years, (maybe months) as our far eastern friends develop the latest and best that we move onto to

    I used to keep all this old electronic stuff, but in the end I had a loft full of computers, televisions, computer screens, telephone, power units, wire, cables, fax machines etc., etc., - I kept them thinking that some day they would be of some use

    We "moved house" a few months ago and out they all went with lots of stuff

    IMHO - Don't waste your time and money - buy the latest whatever P & S if that is what you use - a used (later model - one year old), off Ebay will be a lot cheaper than a repair if you are on a budget

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