Rethinking the GXR lensor

Discussion in 'Ricoh GXR Forum' started by buyhighselllow, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. buyhighselllow

    buyhighselllow SC Regular

    26
    Nov 29, 2011
    San Diego
    I purchased a used A12 50mm back in September for my first Ricoh ever and I was very happy with it. It was working just fine until a few weeks ago when it started to occasionally freeze I updated to the latest firmware and that made it worse, completely unusable. I contacted Ricoh and they said send it to CRIS for repair. CRIS was going to repair the lens under warranty(so I guess it was not a users error/fault) but since I'm not the original owner the warranty is not transferable and I don't even know if it's still under warranty anyway. The cost to repair the "power" module is going to be about $450.

    So I'm out a great lens since a non lens part failed. I don't think I'm going to stick with this lensor idea.

    Thoughts and comments appreciated


    update- Ricoh has officially responded that they are not going to fix it. I was expecting to pay something when I sent it in but not 2/3 the cost of a new lens and it would be older sensor technology too.



    Am I whining too much? This is not cheap stuff.
     
  2. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I'd be quite irritated if I were in the same situation. A new module costs $650. The cost of repair is $450??

    ** warning - ranting **

    What is the legitimate rationale behind non-transferrable warranty? Leica does the same thing. As long as the camera is still within the warranty period (whether it's 1 year, 2 years or 30 days or whatever), I don't understand why warranties shouldn't travel with the item. The only thing I can think of is that manufacturers are looking for a quick way to escape having to pay for repairs. But I'm sure the standard company line will be that they provide a warranty or something that's already been opened and used by another customer.

    Sorry for your experience f12 ... Bummer.
     
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  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I guess there are upsides and downsides and you just hit one of the downsides, HARD. I feel for you. I like the quality of the APS modules that Ricoh has developed and I like the idea of being able to use separate lensors with different sensor sizes and lens configurations. And the ability to reasonably seal dust out of the workings seems like a good idea. But I hate the idea that if Ricoh wants to use an updated 16mp or 18mp Sony sensor, that I'd have to buy several new lensors rather than just buying one new body. I guess I don't fully know just how much advantage is gained by going that route. It seems it may help them keep the lenses relatively small (the GXR 28 is as small as one could hope for in a 28mm equivalent APS setup, at least of good quality. The X100 achieves a similar trick with a fixed lens camera. But the Nex lenses, for example, seem to have to be bigger if they want to maintain some quality. Their one small lens, the 16mm, is pretty widely deride for its quality - it was fine for the street shooting I did with it, but its not a particularly good lens. So I don't know how possible it is to make good APS matched lenses in a small size and good quality in an interchangeable lens system. And maybe that's a big advantage of the lensor system. Which, if true, is a substantial benefit in my eyes. But, again, there's a clear downside, and you've found one aspect of it.

    Personally, the combination of very very good (if not quite AS good) sensor quality and good, fast, small lenses is what keeps me in the m43 camp for my "system" gear. I can live with the small downside in IQ for the size and convenience of the system components.

    -Ray
     
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  4. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Not sure what you mean by "legitimate" -- it is a private company after all. It would not surprise me at all that it could be to protect the value of new sales (vs. used ones). It's one more reason to buy new. But I can think of two possible "legit" issues (i.e. risk protection):

    One issue could be a camera that's been passed around from user to user -- the next used user couldn't honestly recount the camera's history, say if it fell in water, etc. etc. They'd only know their short used history period. The company might have to repair for abuse that they can't ask the customer about. Granted, people can lie anyway, but the 3rd or 4th owner can honestly say "I have no idea if this camera has been dropped."

    Another issue could be that many receipts that I am aware of do not have a serial number on them. I think when I buy them at a local camera shop they do, but I don't think through Amazon.com, e.g. So couldn't you sell receipts to be used with out-of-warranty camera bodies?

    Just some stray thoughts.

    Sorry f12. It does stink, and you've hit on one thing I've never been comfortable with in the lensor approach. I hope your next purchase has a happier outcome.
     
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  5. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Sorry to hear about that f12. Bummer! :frown:

    That repair cost does seem pretty high - I wonder how it compares to other brands? I could see where a repair would be fairly costly as it is a one-off, though, compared to manufacturing new cameras at volume. Maybe they should instead just offer a discount on a new module.

    I wouldn't have expected to see a transferable warranty - that would be a rare find in the camera and electronics/computer world. Given this, I am surprised that resale values are as high as they are currently for used camera gear.

    I am still not sold on the lensor concept, but I love my GXR. I wasn't really looking at it as a system, though, and originally only anticipated buying the 28mm module.
     
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  6. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    Sorry about your situation, I hate to say it but that is one of the risks of buying used, no warranty. I cannot see a reason why the company should take the risk and allow the 1 year warranty to be transferable. It does not help new sales and as pointed out earlier, which each new prospective owner of the used camera the history becomes less informed.

    I am not looking at the GXR as a system camera either, for me i have two cameras one with a 50 one with a 28. If they introduce new modules with better sensors I am sure the older ones will drop in value dramatically
     
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  7. Michael Penn

    Michael Penn SC Veteran

    291
    Sep 14, 2010
    Philadelphia
    What did you pay for it ?
     
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  8. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    f12, I'll add my voice in to say that I'm very sorry that your lensor died on you.
     
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  9. adanac

    adanac SC Veteran

    386
    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    When I sell a camera still covered by warranty on the used market I've always committed to my buyer that I'll stand in for them if any problems develop during the remainder of the warranty period. Not only does this help make the sale of course, but it just feels like the right thing to do and costs me nothing but a bit of my time if a problem should develop within the next year or two depending on maker.

    Non transferable warranties bug me just the same though. Maybe all used camera buyers should be declaring that they received their camera as a gift. Perhaps that might work with some vendors, but not all, so know-your-seller may be the best and only advice we can give and sadly is not retroactive.

    edit: Camera bodies and kits I only sell locally if they are under warranty. Old stuff... eBay has worked well for me and buyers are informed everything is as-is.
     
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  10. buyhighselllow

    buyhighselllow SC Regular

    26
    Nov 29, 2011
    San Diego
    Paid $499 for it.
     
  11. Michael Penn

    Michael Penn SC Veteran

    291
    Sep 14, 2010
    Philadelphia
    While I feel your pain you should have known what you could have been getting yourself into when buying used from someone unknown. $499 has to be the lowest price I've ever seen for one but it's still not low enough to persuade me from getting a new one. You can't fault Ricoh for having a no warranty transfer policy, most electronic companies do. But even if they did accept transfers there is a very good chance that the module is out of warranty. So I really fail to see how Ricoh is at fault here.
     
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  12. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    The other thing f12 mentioned was their perception that the repair estimate was excessive relative to the price of a new module. I would be interested as to how this compares with other vendors. I have never sent a camera in for repair, so I have no idea what is typical. I suspect that it is a bit ugly all over... does seem like the focus is selling new gear, particularly with the short product cycles on electronics.
     
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  13. buyhighselllow

    buyhighselllow SC Regular

    26
    Nov 29, 2011
    San Diego
    I know the risk of buying used I was not expecting Ricoh to fix it for free but the fact that they would have if it was under warranty seems to me like a it must have been a faulty part. I'm more upset at the cost to repair it. I should look into that before I buy used again.

    If I was a professional photographer I could maybe say "it's a great lens, this lens made me money so it was worth it, I'll get another one and move on". As an enthusiast I just lost $500 and it sucks :doh:
     
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  14. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    My EP1 hit the wall. I could see the image (so the sensor was working), but it would not write to the card. It cost $140 to repair. No idea how these two compare, but that's the only datapoint I have.

    Oh, one other -- My friends Canon XTi got a bent pin on the CF card slot. I think that also was about $150 to repair.

    I have heard that repairing the EP1 LCD is $125-175. Somewhere in there.

    Don't know if that helps at all.
     
  15. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    This is one of the things that has fueled my buy/sell habit. A year out of warranty, and I get nervous. I've had 4 cameras act up on me. An EP1 I repaired for $140 (two years old), a Canon SD300 where the lens decentered, and I threw it out (it was about 3 years old at that point). A Panny ZS7 (something like that) which died, but Panny replaced under warranty (so, <1 year old), and a Canon SX200 with an E18 lens stuck error, also <1 year old, and replaced under warranty. I've also had plenty of CD player and other electronics die on me. It's one reason I won't buy things like X100s used. It's too much money exposed in electronics (vs. say a CV 25mm/0.95 -- which isn't likely to break).
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Just so everyone reading this thread won't get confused - f12 has changed screen names and is now "buyhighselllow".:wink:
     
  17. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Hehe, just like the rest of us camera-buying folk, then :wink:

    I think a fair point was raised earlier in this thread. What does happen to the value of an existing 12MP 28mm module if, say, a 16MP module with the exact same lens is released?
     
  18. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I feel the pain of the original poster and totally understand the user id name change. Those repair costs are outrageous. I would think the cost would be lower than that. If they had stepped up and taken care of the customer, they MAY have sold some more lensors (God, I hate that word) and certainly they would have accrued some forum-posting goodwill. These occasional costs should be factored into the cost of the cameras so they can take care of the occasional instance like this. I'm not normally one to rally around the rights of the consumer, but a camera that is less than one year old ought to be backed the manufacturer...regardless of price, really, but especially once you leave the world of point and shoots.

    I often think people pay too much on the used market to save a few bucks (myself included). This one will stick with me for awhile and make me more willing to pay a bit more to get something new. I just wish the early adopter fee for cool new cameras wasn't so high. When I see what new cameras sell for when released and what they sell for used 1 year later......well....
     
  19. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    I too think this is an interesting point. I was fairly surprised that a new M mount module was coming with the 16MP sensor, but it makes a bit more sense now that I understand that the previous sensor is no longer available.

    I hope they would first release modules that are not currently covered, for example, a 35mm prime and a 90mm-ish portrait. That said... if they came out with an updated, improved 28mm module I would probably pretty close to the front of the preorder line, just like I would probably buy an updated m4/3 20/1.7 lens.

    I know this has been discussed a bunch, but I do wonder how much of a cost penalty there is with buying a new sensor each time you buy a module. I would be willing to be the sensor as an individual part is less than most people would assume. Yeah, they still have to integrate it each time (software/hardware), but maybe this overall cost penalty is overstated.

    I said before, I still am not totally on board with the module concept; however, I wonder when someone else will be able to give me an APS-C sensor in this small and discreet of a package. My GXR with 28mm if roughly the same size as my E-P3 with 28mm equiv. Panasonic pancake.
     
  20. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    I hate to tell you this but for most of the gear covered under the title " serious compacts" if there is anything majorly wrong with them, it is usually not worth fixing. Things are not what they used to be with the old mechanical cameras, where you just replaced some parts, now there are no single parts, everything is electronic and interconnected. Most of the time with a lot of these cameras, replace them just makes more sense,

    For reference sake my repair bills on my pro equipment can run pretty high but he original cost is more. Example we have a couple of lenses that originally cost something like $ 9,000, they get repaired now maybe twice a year at about $1000 each, why not replace them, they are not made anymore and honestly if I did not still need them they would be on my photo collection display right now, broken