How This Hidden Camera Repair Shop in Makati Revived My Father’s 25-Year Old SLR

Did I mention that I recently acquired a new hobby? Shooting in films.

I eluded the word ‘photography’ because it sounds very professional…and engaged, and I am not. Well, not yet. It may be the introvert in me talking, but the attempt to use the word chills down my spine to think of the pressure it comes with. I am merely an enthusiast; someone who own a few cameras and shoot random subjects at an impulse.

Yet, this is not about my sentiments about living up to my expectations in the craft; but a review of the repair shop that saved my dad’s (now mine) camera.

CHANGE OF HEARTS

Vivitar IC100 is my first functional film camera. I like its simplicity and how it produces quirky end results where your only investment depends on how you’ll play with the light and the composition of your subjects. Fixed settings. Let the surprise factor do the magic.

That is the problem, too, which gradually lured me into wanting a more intricate mechanism.

Then I remembered the camera my father gave me years ago. It is a Yashica FX-D Quartz, a Japanese brand SLR camera. Would you believe that it is old enough to pay the taxes or to get married? It is even older than me!

HUNTING FOR A REPAIR SHOP

It is my first film camera. I didn’t say it is working, though.

I brought it once to Hidalgo for  CLA services. The technicians found other issues and told me that I have to leave it overnight for further assessment. But if you are a college student with a modest allowance, you would choose to buy packs of resistors or drafting papers over non-academic stuff.

Fast-forward to 2017. I took the camera out of the plastic storage that has been its home since we moved here. I opted to return it to Hidalgo yet considering the travel time, the traffic, the fiery summer heat, the constant snatcher danger…NAAAH.

So I continued searching for a camera repair shop. And luckily, I found one in Makati, which is far more accessible. They have a fair amount of good reviews on their Facebook page and a couple of time-lapsed videos repairing lenses which convinced me to give them a try. Next thing I know, I am on my way to their shop.

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The location of the shop is easy to find, but when I arrived, the shop was closed. It was a few minutes after 12 noon so obviously, they are on a lunch break. Nice timing.

I texted the number I found on their Facebook page and immediately got a response telling me to wait as someone is going to open the shop. What I missed was that they recommend their customers to make an appointment prior to visiting them.

A few minutes later, Kuya Gideon, the nephew of the owner, came to the rescue. It was a pretty straightforward transaction. The technician who specializes in film cameras was not there to assess it. Again, I have been told to leave it and so I did; that I will get an update once they have fixed it or found some underlying issues or if a part has to be replaced, etc.

After two weeks and three follow-ups, I received a text message that the camera is already fixed. I was so thrilled, I picked it up the next day.

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I get to meet Kuya Rino, the technician who repaired the camera. We had a quick chat and he told me that they have been receiving a growing number of inquiries about film camera restoration lately. Seems like film cameras are making a stunning comeback.

As for the camera, I am thankful enough that no major haul or parts replacement was necessary to bring it back to life. The technician found a couple of minimal issues like corroded battery terminals and the stuck up film advance lever but was all taken care. He also CLA’d the camera and gave me two LR44 alkaline batteries for free. Yey!

They charged me Php 1,000 which I think is an acceptable price. It may have taken them 14 days to fix the camera but for me, it is no big deal. And other than that, I found no other reason not to trust them again.

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JOSEPH’S CAMERA & LENS REPAIR

LG20 Cityland 8, 98 Gil Puyat Ave.
Brgy. Pio del Pilar, Makati City
Contact Number: 09399239011
Facebook: Joseph’s Camera & Lens Repair

GETTING THERE:

The shop is walking distance from PNR Buendia Station and one jeepney ride from LRT1 or MRT Buendia Station.

  • From LRT 1 Buendia Station, ride a bus bound to Ayala or a jeepney going to Guadalupe/PRC, then alight at Mayapis/PNR Buendia Station.
  • From MRT Buendia Station, ride a jeepney bound to LRT 1 Buendia Station then get off at Mayapis/PNR Station. The building is on the right of the road.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • The owner lives within the compound so I think it is okay to do walk-ins (just like what I did). However, it is much better if you’ll notify them before paying a visit.
  • They accept long-distance transactions. You could send them the defective equipment through a courier company of your choice. Once they’ve fixed it and you’ve settled the bill, they will send it back through mail as well.

Note: This is not a sponsored post.

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