Medium Format Adventures 2

I had an abortive attempt at talking to camera repairers. I know of one company in Liverpool and after a chat with them, I rang later to speak with their technician. It was like something out of a comic parody of dealing with workmen. There was the intake of breath, the audible sigh, “I’d really like to but…”, “I’m snowed under, I’ve got so many Leicas to sort out…”.

Long story short, he wasn’t interested in even having a look at it. His main point being – which is fair – that it would be 4 – 6 months before he could look at it.

I’m at a loss to understand why he’s buried in Leicas though.

I’ve had to do an internet search for alternatives. They do handle medium format cameras, I am not sure the others I’ve looked at do, but I won’t know until at least tomorrow when I get to speak to them.

The only benefit of the conversation is that the chimney on the viewfinder might be an easy fix for me to do. He also suggested it was worth just getting a second film back – easier said than done. There are very few for sale in the UK, typically around £150: there are loads in Japan for half the price…

I have an assignment to get on with which is taking ‘ambient video’. I’ve been working on filming the light reflected off the canal and onto the wall of the bridge over the canal. Obviously, I was using my Nikon equipment for that, but I did have the RB67 with me so that I could use up the film and get it processed as I need to know if I’ve got any light leaks.

My old Nikon SLR camera is not functional as the PCB in it has failed and it’s not worth getting it repaired. I do have a little pocket Olympus 35mm camera, which I’ve dug out and put fresh batteries in. I’ll put some film in it and see how we go.

This post was been written over a number of days, so things had moved on a little. 

The heavy-duty tripod has arrived and it’s a beast. It’s designed as a ‘light-weight’ video broadcast tripod. The tripod itself weighs in at over 4kg.

I have bitten the bullet and ordered a second film back for the RB67. The only realistic source was Japan and it is now en-route and it should be here in about a week’s time. 

The second repair company I referred to earlier has not responded to the e-mail I sent via their web site. I’ve had this before with companies: they set-up a contact method via their web site and then either they totally fail to monitor it, or somehow your enquiry – through their own web site – ends up in a spam/junk folder and never seen. I don’t have much time for such companies.

The Royal Liver Building, Liverpool 

I happened to be in Liverpool, so I went and visited company #1 to size them up. I wanted to see what used equipment they had in anyway. The real-life experience was as head banging an experience as the phone call. Quite how they survive, I don’t understand.

Serendipity struck and there’s a fairly new business nearby which specialises in used photographic equipment. That was a much more sensible experience. Not only was I able to have a sensible discussion about buying equipment but also about repairs to the RB67.      

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