Noblex Repair Options

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by patrick_schmidt|1, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Greetings,

    I had a couple of threads going previously on a Noblex 6/150 E2 that I purchased from Adorama. Basically, I paid ~$1,050 all-in for the camera, in excellent shape with exception to the drum drive-wheel which seems to have deteriorated to the point where some of the time (say 5%) it does not rotate and the wheel just slips on the drum. A rebuild of the drive wheel is required, and adorama has offered a $400 refund to pay for the overhaul, as that is the quote from Precision Camera Works in Chicago, and also from Siggi Rhodes (Noblex Canada) in British Columbia for the same repair.

    It seems like a pretty good deal to have the overhaul (not the shipping, but no biggie) covered. Other thoughts? Can anyone contrast the services of either of these companies? I know Precision has a great rep, but I have less experience with the BC outfit, although they do have a factory trained (Kamera Werks) technician to do the repairs. Also, I'm in Ontario, and not sure how the shipping expenses to Chicago vs. BC might compare.

    thanks for your feedback!
  2. Siggi recently did a repair and overhaul of my Noblex. Price was reasonable and the work was prompt and very well done. The camera
    is working at least as well as when brand new.
  3. Patrick,
    I've used both Siggi and Bob at PCW several times each over the last five or six years, to service my three 135s. I just added a 150, too.
    I'm sure that they both check in here from time to time, so it is important to me that any reader understands that I am just sharing notes here, not making A/B comparisons. Just stuff to consider:
    • Both have the expertise (or access to it) required to do a great job. I've never been unsatisfied with either.
    • Let's face it, these are your only two options!
    • I used Siggi for several years until I realized that PCW services Noblex cameras, too. I used to think that that Siggi was the only person in the world that could help me. I live in Chicago, and one day I discovered that PCW is less than 10 miles from my house! Solely out of convenience, I switched from Siggi to Bob.
    • In reality though, both of them usually take a minimum of a month to complete any servicing or repair. Sometimes longer. In Siggi's case, the time spent is probably because he is busy picking up the camera at a PO box, then taking it to the tech for repair. When it's done, he does the reverse. He travels a bit to pick up the camera and then ships it himself.
    • In PCW's case, I speculate that the their completion time is because they sometimes have a backlog of work for other customers. They repair more than just Noblex cameras. He services my Mamiya 6MF, lenses, all kinds of gear. Trustworthy repair shops are rare here in Chicago, so I imagine that they do a good amount of biz.
    • In other words, it's just less risk of transit damage to take it to PCW myself.
    • If I understand correctly, PCW bought all of the remaining parts from the Dresden factory. I know that Bob always has the parts for my 135 models. He recently told me that parts for the 150 models are becoming very difficult to find. I don't know where Siggi gets his parts. I know that he is able to make his own, in some cases.
    • Siggi has made several diopter lens attachments for me, so that my Noblex cameras can focus closer. He even made one to meet my own magnification specifications.
    • Pricing is generally the same for both. For me, shipping to Canada added some, but not a lot, of cost.
    • Siggi uses a tech for his work. He's always in touch via email and easy to reach, and is great at customer service. But someone else actually repairs your camera.
    • At PCW, the owner (Bob) IS the technician. That means when you talk to him about your camera issues, there is much less to lose in translation. However, that also means that he's doing all of the work and is more "heads down" than being on the phone with you giving you status updates.
    Is this helpful at all? I feel like I could have written all of this in one sentence. Sigh...

  4. It just occurred to me that I never had to ship my Noblex to Canada when I was using Siggi for repairs and maintenance. I shipped it to Washington, where he would pick it up. For me, it still cost more to ship to WA than to ship it (or drive it) to PCW, down the road.
  5. Thanks for your comprehensive reply Jeff. That's a great help. In my case, although BC is geographically farther than Chicago, since I am in Canada, I suspect the shipping will still be cheaper to keep it within my country since I will not have to deal with brokerage fees, etc.

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