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18-08-2011, 07:10   #1
CabanSail
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The Hamster Clinic (or the Repair Advice Thread)

This is a thread for anyone having technical problems with Cameras and/or Accessories. Post your problem here and others with technical expertise, or those that may have had similar problems, can post solutions and advice.

Please format your requests in the following manner;

Make: (ie. Canon, Nikon, Fuji etc)

Item: (Compact Camera, DSLR Body, Lens, Speedlight, etc)

Model: (ie 5D MkII, D300, X 100, etc)

Fault: A description of the fault.

When/how it happened:


To make this work we ask;

  • that posts are kept strictly on topic.
  • that information be as detailed and precise as possible.
  • you read through the thread first to see if an answer has already been given.

To those giving advice, we appreciate your involvement. It is realised that it may be recommended that items be taken to a workshop or business for repair/service. To keep within the policy of the site, the offering of a service must not be seen as Shilling or Advertising. The Moderators will keep an eye on this and apply discretion.

Lastly, while advice will be offered in good faith, the posters, Moderators and Boards.ie take no responsibility for any damage or losses incurred. It is the responsibility of those receiving this advice to assess the merits of the information and to act accordingly. If in doubt seek other opinions elsewhere.

Hopefully this will be a useful service to this community.

Last edited by CabanSail; 19-08-2011 at 04:47.
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19-08-2011, 04:45   #2
CabanSail
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OK - To kick things off .....


Make: Nikon

Item: Speedlight

Model: SB-900

Fault: Broken/displaced case

When/how it happened:

I was shooting at an event recently. Had the SB-900 mounted on the Camera, which in turn was on a mono-pod. This was left across a chair for a short while to give assistance elsewhere. The chair got bumped and the whole lot fell. The case came apart and battery door fell off. I was able to push these together and the flash worked fine.

What I need to know is;
  • How do I disassemble the flash to repair it?
  • Is this a job that I should attempt myself?
  • If required, would the case be available/expensive?

Last edited by CabanSail; 19-08-2011 at 04:50.
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19-08-2011, 10:52   #3
zerohamster
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Hi Tony,

Sounds like an unlucky one there!

When you say the case do you mean the bottom half of the flash rather than the bounce head?

First things first you would need to discharge the main condenser (a huge capacitor) through two holes on the right hand side of the head when you remove the rubber round hinge cover.
WARNING: If you cannot discharge the main condenser then I would not continue as you have a very high risk of giving yourself a serious shocking and at the same time damaging the flash circuitry.

If it is the bottom cases that needs replacing then first remove the four screws you can see holding the foot mount on and very carefully removing the connectors as you take the mount off, what ever you do dont try to yank them as they are pitifully weak and tear easily.

Then you turn the flash head sideways so that it would be facing the roof but rotated so the beam would be infront and behind rather than to each side of you. you should see some more screws (4 screws, 2x on each side) then open the battery lid, press the bounce head lock pin and seperate the cover paying attention to two hooks at the top front.

That should give you a start on getting inside it but unfortunately the back cover is much further on and needs a lot of parts to be taken out to get to.
The front cover also needs about 12-15 parts taken off to be put on a new one so as far as repairs go it wouldn't be a case of pop each case off unfortunately.

As for the parts the front cover is available on ebay (literally just the black plastic without even the red clean plastic cover) for about €25-6 with shipping but the back (not sure of price but would probably be ~€30 judging by the front) is not available there and Nikon will most definitely not supply you with one even with the correct part number as they are very strict on the parts front to everyday peopel and also being a flash will not "be responsible" for supplying a part with the risk of shocking or damaging the flash. The same goes for any circuitry pretty much on the bodies and lenses.

I would very much not recommend doing this yourself an getting it repaired as there is such a high risk of causing injury as well as damaging the flash more apart from the procedure not being straight forward just removing the plastic and popping a new one on.

If you didnt want to get someone to repair it could you post a picture of the damage perhaps as if not bad you could possibly epoxy cracks if they weren't too bad and just use the flash (even if it looked battered) if it is operating correctly.

Hope that helps!
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19-08-2011, 19:30   #4
CabanSail
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Thanks. That helps a lot.
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19-08-2011, 20:21   #5
Kbeg3
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Make: Sony

Item: DSLR Body

Model: a100

Fault: Bent Compact Flash pin

When/how it happened: Not my camera but a friend's. He says he was just putting the card into the slot and it wouldn't go in. He took a closer look and one of the pins was bent.

Should he try and bend the pin back himself or will he risk breaking it off altogether? If he needs to get it repaired how much would it cost?
Thanks in advance
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20-08-2011, 17:36   #6
zerohamster
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Very common fault with cameras that take CF cards.

There are a few ways to bend it back of which the best is to use a syringe needle (preferably reinforced so it doesn't bend) put over the pin and bend it back being very careful not hold as clost to the CF pin as possible so the needle doesn't just bend. You would have to be accurate enough with where you bend it to or you will just end up bending it again when you put the card in.

Failing that you could try use a single jumper from a pc motherboard (normally found where the case power switch wires connect to the motherboard pins etc...).
It would be the metal part that clamps to the wire inside the black cover at the bottom if this picture that I refer to.
They could be strong enough to give leverage and bend the pin back but obviously don't have the connector attatched to something whilst doing so and make sure the camera is off with the battery removed in case you short two pins.

Be careful not to bend other pins when trying to straighten the bent one which is why it is important to use a small implement to straighten the pin.

If the pin is seriously bent out of place then it may break or cause damage to the PCB (printed circuit board) it is attatched to requiring the PCB to be replaced. In that case it is common practice for techs to desolder the pin and replace with a new one.

If he isn't confident to do it himself or the pin is really bent out of place then I would be happy to have a look for him if you wanted to PM me? (also a picture would help determine what needs to be done if that was possible to get).

Hope that helps!

Last edited by zerohamster; 20-08-2011 at 20:08.
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24-08-2011, 23:04   #7
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Lumix Repair

Make: Panasonic

Item: Compact Camera

Model: Lumix DMC-TZ9

Fault: Cracked Screen

When/how it happened: The camera is in a case in my pocket and the screen cracked. It did not receive any considerable knocks or bumps. The screen has cracked in spider-web formation.

Can this be repaired cost effectively? Can i do it myself? Would this be covered under the warranty?

Any help or advice would be appreciated
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24-08-2011, 23:38   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No, you're a... View Post
Can this be repaired cost effectively? Can i do it myself? Would this be covered under the warranty?
TZ series screens are notoriously easy to break, so you might have
a good case for making a warranty claim.

Replacing a camera screen is similar to replacing a broken screen
in a mobile phone. There is some dismantling involved. DIY repairs
are possible, but it would help if you had some experience at this
kind of work. This video of a TZ7 repair might give some guidance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxSLIWaSHgk

I think the TZ9 was a special model for the Dixons/Currys group.
You need to find out which screen you need. Hopefully it is the
same one used in the more common models like the TZ10.

Published specs say: 3″ screen (460k pixels)

The TZ10 screen has identical specs. Prices are around €40
on eBay. Maybe someone can confirm that the TZ10/ZS7 uses
the same screen?
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24-08-2011, 23:40   #9
zerohamster
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1. Yes, getting the camera should be cost effective rather than buying another getting it repaired by someone or doing it yourself provided you can actually repair it without doing damage and can find the correct parts online.

2. Yes, although depends on many factors such as your experience in doing it before, an understanding of electronics enough not to damage the camera, mechanical understanding/problemsolving skills to get the camera apart without damaging it and your patience which would come into it if you had a lack of the other skills/wanted to rush everything.

Worst case with doing it yourself is that you end up with a semi dismantled paper weight and frustrated, best case you save yourself some money at the expense of time so it's up to you to weigh out if it's worth the risk.

3. No, not a chance unfortunately.
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24-08-2011, 23:54   #10
zerohamster
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As brittle as the screens may be there isn't a chance that warranty would cover it as really a screen cracking doesn't happen by itself even if only a little pressure is involved and they simply won't cover it.

The TZ9 is basically a TZ10 with GPS and AVCHD removed and yes it was a Curry's/Dixon's special as you said. From what I have read it seems the TZ10 screens are the same as the TZ9's LCD so it should work in replacement but not 100% on that as there could be subtle differences between the two that would render them incompatible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbr View Post
TZ series screens are notoriously easy to break, so you might have
a good case for making a warranty claim.

Replacing a camera screen is similar to replacing a broken screen
in a mobile phone. There is some dismantling involved. DIY repairs
are possible, but it would help if you had some experience at this
kind of work. This video of a TZ7 repair might give some guidance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxSLIWaSHgk

I think the TZ9 was a special model for the Dixons/Currys group.
You need to find out which screen you need. Hopefully it is the
same one used in the more common models like the TZ10.

Published specs say: 3″ screen (460k pixels)

The TZ10 screen has identical specs. Prices are around €40
on eBay. Maybe someone can confirm that the TZ10/ZS7 uses
the same screen?
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25-08-2011, 19:37   #11
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Thanks for all the responses.

I had a quick look at replacement screens online and they were all coming in around €40 before postage. I phoned the panasonic ireland support centre today (and like zero said) it probably wouldn't be covered under the warranty but to replace the screen would between €60-70. I don't think that's too bad as I really like the camera.

I would feel confident enough to try to repair it myself but at that price I think i'll get a professional to do it.

Cheers
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28-08-2011, 22:56   #12
kfish2oo2
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Make: Canon

Item: Lens

Model: 50mm f/1.8 Mark II

Fault: Impact damage - front element has come out. The lens is effectively in 2 pieces, the main mechanism inside the lens and the front glass element along with some of the mechanics (plastic) in the other piece.

When/how it happened: Honestly no idea. I just took it out of its pack and when I tried to autofocus, there was a slight crunch the front popped out.

I sent it back to the retailer (DigitalRev) and they sent it off to a repair centre. Their reply, eventually, was that it was impact damage and therefore not under warranty.

What I'm wondering is, is it worth paying for the shipping to get it sent back to me? Is there any use for it, or should I just leave it?
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28-08-2011, 23:08   #13
zerohamster
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It really depends on the shipping costs involved to be honest.
I mean if its something like €10-20 then it would be well worth it. I would be happy to have a look at it for you as sometimes it can be a very simple fault that causes the front to seperate from the main body.

Being an all plastic lens it has its weak points of which the front element clips breaking are the most common fault but it is repairable, just depends on how the rest of the inside is. PM me if you want more details anyway and I can describe it better to you.
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31-08-2011, 08:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerohamster View Post
As brittle as the screens may be there isn't a chance that warranty would cover it as really a screen cracking doesn't happen by itself even if only a little pressure is involved and they simply won't cover it.
Got some good news and the camera was covered under the warranty. The fault was classified as compression damage. Happy days.
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31-08-2011, 11:37   #15
zerohamster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No, you're a... View Post
Got some good news and the camera was covered under the warranty. The fault was classified as compression damage. Happy days.
WOW! That is great news and I'm really surprised they didn't pull a runner on it to get extra cash! Glad you got it sorted for free.
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