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Thread: shutter repair fee

  1. #1

    shutter repair fee

    Several weeks ago I sent a shutter in need of repair to S K Grimes. I was informed by them that my repair had been farmed
    out to a second party for the repair . Today they called me and stated , in so many words, cost wise, it was not worth fixing
    and my bill was $40.00 for , what they called a bench fee My question is,is this a common practice in the industry? If so
    I will suck it up and send them a check It just sounds weird to me I was at one time a gunsmith and never charged a client
    for telling him it is not worth fixing

  2. #2

    shutter repair fee

    But most of the time a gunsmith can look at an action or a barrel without disassembly and give you a pretty good assessment for a go/no go decision nearly on the spot. Shutters however, need to be opened up and evaluated internally to diagnose the problem before such a determination can be made. Considering that a modern shutter replacement for a lens can be $400-$600 and up depending upon the machining to get it to fit into a shutter and the f stop engraving, $40 for a professional assessment of the problem may not be that bad.

    If I could make a recommendation to Adam at SK Grimes is to provide you in writing with what was wrong with the shutter in detail. At least you would feel better about getting something for your money.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    shutter repair fee

    My car mechanic charges me for telling me that something can't be repaired and will have to be replaced so it seems o.k. to do the same thing with a shutter for the same reason (time spent diagnosing the problem). I'm surprised though that Grimes farmed it out. Doesn't Grimes repair shutters?
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  4. #4

    shutter repair fee

    Howdy again The cable release connection on the outside of a compound shutter was broken off .I should have included
    this info with my first posting

  5. #5

    shutter repair fee

    Does not change a thing.

    If the cable release was broken off during shipment, (which is the most probable result) then you have a claim with the carrier if you purchased the insurance. If SK Grimes or their subcontractor broke it, then they are liable. I would think that they would have brought this to your attention.

    Reality check - pursuing liability without shipping insurance is an exercise in futility. Pay the bill and either start looking for another shutter or unloading the lens as is.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    shutter repair fee

    In my former life as a radio tech, if i declared an item DOA I didn't charge, even if i opened it up. But I understand the opposing view. OTOH, if I fixed it, no matter how simple the fix was, if the covers came off it was an hour's labor. Everyone is welcome to decide these issues, as long as the terms and conditions are understood up front.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA

    shutter repair fee

    Robert, The problem of the shutter release entry socket breaking off is common with Compounds and the old time shutter repair places would simply put a replacement on that was held with 4 little rivets. I don't think they even had to open up the shutter to do it. I've had lots of Compounds come and go with this repair. The fact that nobody has the parts or know-how to do this simple repair is a distressing sign of where we're at today. Doubly sad that the folks "in the know" at Grimes had to waste $40 of anybody's money sending it somewhere else to find out nobody on earth knows how to do this anymore. I hate to say it but when the "old man" was around it would have been handled in 5 minutes and returned. Ce la vie. Does anybody know where to get those repair sockets. Maybe I'll go in business.

  8. #8
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Honolulu, Hawai'i

    shutter repair fee

    S.K. Grimes fixed precisely that problem and did a CLA on a Compound shutter for me about a year ago, and it works really well. I wonder if they have a different person doing it now.

    For the record, I've sent items to Frank Marshman--who is a fine shutter technician--and he hasn't charged me for things he couldn't fix, even when he's spent some time on them. Once he did a full CLA on a Rollex rollfilm holder that had a frame registration problem, concluded that it was a design problem with the old rollfilm holder (doesn't work with all modern films because of differences in film/backing thickness, and could only be repaired by changing the gearing), and didn't charge me. I suppose it cost him some time in the short term, but we both learned something, so that will save him some time if that problem comes up again with another client, and he knows that with that kind of policy, I'll be sending more work his way in the future.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Besanšon, France

    shutter repair fee

    French photo repair technicians who accept to deal with old cameras usually proceed as follows

    - they make a repair estimate in writing

    - upon receipt of the estimate, the customer accepts or declines the offer

    - if the customer declines he is charged a minimum fee

    - if the customer accepts he his charged for the amount of the repair estimate.

    My opinion is that the customer should decide himslef whether it is worth doing the repair or not. So it is fair in those conditions that the technician actually charges a nominal working fee when the customer declines the offer. An expertise is a service that should be paid for.

    Now assume that this coupound shutter is my grandfather's. I've seen my grandfather using it for decades. No matter the cost, to me it is a precious collector's item and a family treasury. I insist that it should be repaired. The actual cost of the repair is irrelevant to the replacement cost for a new shutter, but I need to know an estimate of the price and I'm ready to pay the xepertise fee if I decline the offer.

    Technicians who accept free repair estimates do it as a service to their customers and take this into account in their annual balance of revenues and working hours. I prefer to pay for the work I've asked for than indirectly paying for free estimates made to other customers who decline the offer ; when I actually have something to be repaired, logically, the work will be charged slightly more, if the technician spends a substantial part of his working time doing free expertises for other curstomers. Now in a free market I would of course choose the technician who is the best expert, who offers free repair estimates and who charges the cheapest bills to me ;-);-)

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    shutter repair fee

    S.K. Grimes notes the $40 fee in their repair section. It is in no way hidden.

    I second the opinion of Frank Marshman. When the local repairman thought that one of my Yashica's was beyond repair, Mr. Marshman listened to the problem, noted that I had worked on my older 35mm Minoltas (replacing baffles, adjusting resistance for modern batteries), and told me that the solution would be obvious as soon as I opened the side panel. He was correct and his knowledge has impressed me enough to send him more difficult work (for me anyway).

    So, cheap as I am, I would consider the $40 to be well spent. You now know that experts don't think the shutter is worth fixing.

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