Sunday, April 17, 2016

a camera repair short form narrative :: with PHOTOTECH of NYC

...yep, only I would write a narrative about a repair shop :)...

When the glorious sound of the UPS truck rumbles it's brilliant, brown body down your block, your heart races while your epidermis covers itself with goosebumps.

Ah, yes, finally, after refreshing the tracking number page repeatedly, your new love has finally arrived!

Your brand new camera. Holy shit. You've adorned her lines each and every time you sat on your porcelain thrown whilst fingering your B&H catalog. Hard to believe she's arrived, the new (fill in your brand of choice) DSLR is really here. Never has a delivery person looked so beautiful as on this day they proudly prance to your front door. Delicately, they embrace your package that proudly reads fragile. On this day, that brownly clad courier of cargo has a unique glow about them.

Feverishly, you greet the carrier at the door. Nearly giggling like a school girl, you thank them again and again as you shakily sign for this precious package. 

Sure, you remember that day as if it were yesterday. We all do.
 And my how you vowed up and down to never, ever let any harm come to her. Yep, like a ship, she's a she; perfectly named of course. 

Each night she was wiped with only the finest and highest thread counts. 

Then, as relationships go, you got lazy. The honeymoon has ended. The love of your life, your pride and joy, your reason for existence, now, taken for granted. 

Is the love still strong? Of course it is but the comfort zone you have entered. 

Her LCD is smeared with your old dried bodily secretions. Thread counts and microfiber? Heh. These days the crusty shirt on your back will do. 

And then in a split second, that fraction of time that seemed to linger for an eternity, you (fill in tragedy here; bust your LCD, crush the CF pins, etc.). 

Your breath is stolen. Your heart sinks. You stand there; a lifeless soul. If ever there was a time that the love between you need to be rekindled, this was it. Nothing like a good tragedy to reunite dwindling flames. 

Frantically, you scour the web to find emergent care for your baby. Unfortunately, the rest of the world, for some odd reason, is not empathizing with your situation. Fuck 'em. You'll find help, and you'll find it now. 

Sure, that place where you drop 50 bucks a pop for them to blow some air on  your sensor. Yeah. They always seem to have cameras and lenses lying dismantled on those desks behind the counter. Your certain they will revive her in no time at all. 

Cradled snugly in your arms, you hurry your better half into the passenger side of your ride. If you didn't have faith in higher powers before, you did at that moment as you seemed to catch every green light, making it to the shop in record time. 

Catching your breath, you plead desperately to the shop owner to rush your girl into the ER , um, repair shop. 

And then, like a ton of old, dirty, jagged fucking bricks, hitting your square in the face, the shop owner tells you, 
"We can't fix that here. You'll need to send that into the manufacturer."
If any were a time that it was appropriate to adolescently use the euphemism, WTF, that was it.

Then on down the line, still parked in front of the shop, you call every camera shop, and there ain't many these days, in a 50 mile radius, still ready to journey to whomever can help and help NOW.

Like a broken record, you get the same answer again and again. Is this a goddamn conspiracy or what?!

Send to the fucking manufacturer? Every resource tells you that you'll be separated from your beauty for a good 4-6 weeks.


It's just a (fill in disaster here). Should be simple enough to repair, right? In and out, right? Wrong.

Being an educated human, you know that Joe Camera Shop won't touch your uber expensive camera due to warranties, insurances, bureaucracies, whatever.

If only there was a miracle worker. Some way that you didn't have to send that DSLR, arriving with a sea of others, waiting in a very long line to have had any attention paid to her. A route that true care would be given to that camera, while also being certified across the board to bring her back to her original shine. If only.

Queue Superman jingle.

Let me forewarn you my friend, my friends, you will have a strong urge to bow before me given the bomb I'm about to drop on you.

If only? Oh, IF people, IF indeed.

Without further ado, I proudly bring to you . . . 

Yup. Phototech repair services. Certified. Qualified. Authorized. Legitimized. Awesome-ized and not compromised! 

Couldn't help myself. 

Your prayers have been answered. 

Feel like I'm in an AA meeting here, about to spill the beans on myself.  Deep down you already knew it was me that we've been talking about herein today. It's me. It's all of us and if it hasn't been yet, it will be. 

In my own tragic events with my Betsy, my Nikon D4, I felt so alone, so lost. 

It was on the Nikon website that I made the groundbreaking discovery that there were a few authorized repair facilities across the USA. Being in the states, I didn't research any overseas facilities. I mean that would just be dumb, wouldn't it? 

Anyhow, I immediately reached out to Phototech to see what's what. 

A Rose By Any Other Name. . .

My initial contact was a super terrific woman by the name of . . . take a wild guess . . . YES . . . Rose. 

Darling Rose explained that when I shipped my camera in for an estimate of what needed fixin', that Phototech would also perform a full inspection of the camera, inside and out. I'll go along with the medical analogies. Think of going to the ER for an erection lasting longer than four hours and getting a hearing test in the duration of your visit. Now that's full service!

Strange analogy but that's the service I received at Phototech

I shipped the camera from Philly to their shop in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, 360 W 36th Street to be precise. It arrived the next day if I'm not mistaken. A day later that had the full workup sent to my inbox as well as my voicemail, all via lovely Rose of course. 

Holy titty city was I floored as to their discoveries. Just when you thought your were treating your camera like your first born, you may have hurt her a bit more than met the eye. 

I know what your thinking. Like that mechanic who tells you your old Taurus needs a new Flugal Binder. Obtusely, you just agree to have them fix it.

Nope. The fine folks at Phototech were so awesome they even sent me high res images of my baby on the operating table, educating me on what exactly needed to be done and why. 

To boot? Yeah, man, the warranty! 

All in all, I think from the time I shipped out to the time it arrived back on my doorstep was maybe ten days. None of that 4-6 week bullshit. 

And you know what one of my favorite experiences was with Phototech? Call me sentimental, but it's always the little things that tickle me pink. 

Upon opening the package and lemme say something about thread count, they included an awesome microfiber carrying bag for the camera. Further, that Nikon sparkled like it just came off of the assembly line. Ole Betsy was sexier than ever. 

In case you've been wondering, I sent the D4 in to fix a busted CF pin as well as cracked auxiliary LCD screen cover. They also fixed a seal or gasket of some sort, lol, not the Flugal Binder type. Actually is was the weather sealing rubber thingy around the card door. 

Photo tech totally performed above and beyond my expectations. Which leads me to this :: 

SIDEBAR :: I know there may be a few of you reading this with a bit of skepticism, seeing the PHOTOTECH logo posted high and proud at the upper right of the blog's pages. My friends, you know I'm as transparent as a hooker's high heels. Were deals made and hands shaken? Of course. I'm the last person to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. BUT, do you really think I would be praising their awesomeness or have even considered getting in bed with a business that was anything less then superb? ME?! Come on! People, you know me better than that by now and if you don't? Sheeeiiittttt. Mark my words. I would not have shipped that $6000.00 USD Nikon D4 body to Hell's Kitchen unless there was 1,000,000% trust between both parties. 

Some of you may have lived through the aforementioned experience. Some of you my swear it will never happen to you. Fuck no, you say. That stuff only happens to the other dude. Guess what homey, your mind's playin' tricks on ya.

When you tragedy occurs, here's what my peeps got going on over there in The Big Apple.

Located in Hell's Kitchen AKA Midtown West, Phototech's addy is :: 360 W 36th St, New York, NY, 10018, USA. The link takes you to the Google Map coordinates. You're welcome :)

Photo Tech is one of the oldest and most reputable sources for camera repair in the North America.
Servicing hundreds of cameras and lenses of all types every day.

Customers are consumers, professional photographers, dealers and manufacturers from all over the United States.
  • Convenient locations on 360 west 36th Street
  • Same day or Quick turn around time for professionals and tourists
  • Loaner equipment available for select models while you wait
  • Same day service on some broken LCD screens, CCD cleanings, battery door replacements, bent memory card pins, broken lens mounts and other minor repairs
  • Messenger service available within Manhattan for the busy executive or juggling assistant
  • Trusted reputation within New York; members of BBB, City search 2009 electronics winner
  • Peace of mind with guaranteed workmanship
  • Playstation, Xboxes and broken mobile devices also repaired 
  • Lost data on your media cards? No worries, they are serviced as well
Give them a ring and tell that lovely Rose that Murphy sent ya! 212.673.8400

Oh shit. Almost forgot the . . .


I've written damn near a novel here today so I'll keep it short and sweet. Famous last words, right? LMAO.

In case you were wondering, that brilliant abstract at today's opening is a ratchet. Hey, couldn't short change this literary genius with subpar photography. I mean, that is why we are here right? Photography?

I crack myself up.

Where were we? Ah ha. The abstract-ish ratchet. Excuse the digression.

To the left here is my iPhone snapshot of the studio set up.

Frequent fliers of this blog know that I've recently been having quite the affinity for that seamless roll of Thunder Gray from Savage. Yo. Thunder Gray is sooo clean, classy and versatile! And it beats the hell out of trying to turn white paper gray by way of The Inverse Square Law. I'm no dolt, don't get me wrong. I use the law frequently for different lighting scenarios but when working in tight quarters, protons bouncing off of bright walls, turning white to gray is a pain in the balls.

The set up is almost totally accurate. The only thing askew is the reflector over there at camera left. I actually held that just out of frame, camera left, about a foot from the ratchet. If you were wondering it's a Westcott 40 inch 5-in-1 reflector.

Boomed overhead is the key. The Westcott 28 inch Apollo softbox; my most used and abused mod. creating the beams inside is a Canon 430EXii speedlite.

Ole Betsy is perched atop the super duper awesome FEISOL carbon fiber tripod. I can't remember the model number for shit. Love that beast.

Communicating between Betsy's brain and the strobe are Pocketwizard Plus ii transceivers.

If you take a close peek, you can see the ratchet A-clamped atop a lightstand.

What you can't see is the chunky Nikkor 24-70 2.8. No other reason that I used it as it was the first one I grabbed out of my sack.

I think that's....oops....just a few more specs.

Shutter :: synced at 1/250
Aperture :: f/9.0
ISO :: 400
WB :: Somewhere in the 5700°K vicinity

Post production? Not a ton. All in ACR. The heavy vignette was done in post as well.


Fuck. I'm sick of me so I know you gotta be sick of me by now.

Time for a beer.

Adios amigos.

And don't forget ::

Hugs and Kisses lovely Rose! 

Until next time . . .