My Thoughts

How I got my lens repaired today

With the Auto Expo just around the corner, I needed to get my Tamron 17-50 f2.8 back on duty (it had been infested with fungus).

Even though my lens is still under warranty, Tamron India wanted me to pay to get the lens cleaned. They would have also kept the lens for at least one week! So I decided to take it to Pritam Studio in Chandni Chowk and get it repaired from there.

Since finding safe parking at Chandni Chowk is difficult, I decided to take the metro instead. It has been several years, since I last took the metro, because I hate using public transport inside city.

Thankfully, metro wasn’t that crowded today. And even though at Rajiv Chowk, I was greeted by a sea of humanity, I swiftly managed to leave it behind in a not too crowded metro to Chandni Chowk. As I walked past parking lot at Chandni Chowk and saw scores of cars waiting outside to get an entry, I started feeling proud at my decision of not bringing my bike here.

Soon I was at Pritam Studio. Showed him the lens, and was told to pick it up on Monday. Now there was no way I was going to ride the metro again, so told him, no way, fix it today if possible. Thankfully, he agreed and asked me to come back couple of hours later.

Now I was in a fix. I was alone and had no other work in Chandni Chowk. To top it all, even though I had my Canon 1000D with me, I hadn’t brought any other lens!

I saw McDonalds across the street and thought of having lunch. With MTNL 3G network failing to work once again, I managed to finish my Rs. 95 meal in less than 20 minutes, despite deliberately eating slowly!

I decided to head towards Red Fort, with an aim to photograph it with my phone’s camera. Since I had a DSLR body in my backpack and no lens, I was quite sure I wasn’t going to make it past security. So I took a snap from across the barriers, and headed back.

What I did in 25 minutes

What I did in 25 minutes

After almost reaching camera market, I thought of doing some shopping, as cheap as possible. So I started looking for flash gels. Sadly even after scouring almost every shop in camera market, I couldn’t find the gels I want and the ones I did find weren’t that great.

Since I had managed to spend almost one and a half hour, I decided to head to Pritam Studio and try my luck. Sadly, lens wasn’t ready yet, and I was told to wait for another half an hour.

By now I was almost out of ideas, so I decided to call a friend, well two. Salil and Rajiv were at the receiving end of my call and thanks to the duo, next forty minutes just flew by.

By the time I returned to the shop, my lens was receiving the final touches, in one of the dustiest workstation I have ever seen! But at the end of it all, lens was clean (surprisingly) and seemed to work fine as well.

Total bill?

Rs. 700 and another 250 bucks for the eyecup of my 1000D, which had broken off a while back.

Happy with relatively inexpensive bill, I headed to the famous Jalebi Wallah and got some delicious jalebis and rabri packed for home.

By the time I reached Chandni Chowk Metro Station, I was greeted by a large crowd. To make matters worse, all the ticket counters were closed! So I had to climb all the way out to the other side (nearly three stories) to get the token!

After a lot of jostling, I went past the security check and boarded the metro to Rajiv Chowk. Where another sea of humanity was waiting for me and even though I got the metro easily enough and it wasn’t all that packed. For some reason, it was stopped at Ramakrishna Marg station for over 10 minutes.

By the time I reached Tagore Garden Metro Station, I was exhausted.

Worst still, when I went to the parking lot, I encountered a big scratch on the side of my bike’s petrol tank.

Now I was kicking myself for taking the damn metro and remembering why I don’t rely on the godforsaken public transport system, when it comes to traveling within the city!

In the end, getting that fungus infection cost me Rs. 700 in repair cost, Rs. 250 in eyecup cost, Rs. 400 in food, Rs. 38 in metro tickets, Rs. 15 in parking and at least Rs. 5-8 in fuel cost + a big ugly scratch on my bike’s tank.

On the plus side, I can now finally start using my lens again, had delicious food and got to write this stupid blogpost to waste yours and my time :P.

9 Comments

  1. Aniket Santani says:

    Ha Ha.. Happens.. But somehow, I love Delhi Metros!!! Loads better than Pune’s PMT buses and Mumbai Locals..:)

    • Aniket, Metro is usually better than buses. But then again, I stopped commuting in buses around 12 years ago, when I bought my motorcycle. In fact I don’t even like traveling in autos or taxis. Personal transport is much better, in spite of all the traffic and pathetic condition of roads.

  2. YS… fungus infested lens is any photographer’s nightmare… but as i understand fungus infestation is most likely to occur if you don’t use the lens for long and keep it in humid area which definitely is not applicable in your case. Then why did it happen..

    BTW, how much Tamron India wanted you to shell out….

    • Rahi, while I rarely don’t use my camera for more than 2-3 weeks, my room is quite humid. Even these days humidity levels hover around 70%, so you can imagine, what it would be like in monsoon season, when I discovered this problem. That was the reason, why I went for this setup http://www.yogeshsarkar.com/blog/2013/10/19/keeping-photographic-equipment-safe/. Since then my equipment is safe, since the humidity inside the case is around 40-45%.

      Don’t know how much Tamron India would have charged, since they refused to give a quote, without first seeing the lens (I had spoken to their service center over phone), but they did mention it will be a paid service and it will take a minimum of 1 week and usually it takes 2-3 weeks.

  3. Abhijit Singh says:

    Ha ha haa… Well it was a nice experience to share yogesh…. Loved reading it..

  4. I also had a similar experience with my Canon lens and Pritam Studio at Chandni Chowk. During my Diwali vacations last year, I took my 55-250 along with my 600D to Rishikesh. I spent almost one hour on one of the Ganges ghats there and took couple of shots using my 55-250. On returning back to work after vacations I forgot the fact that I have used my lenses & camera body in a moist environment. They remained in my camera bag unused for more than a month. When I opened my camera bag after one month I found molds in my 55-250 (One mold on 2nd lens of group-1 and 4 molds on the last lens of group 4). I took it to Pritam Studio at Chandni Chowk and got it cleaned for Rs.450. He gave me the same instructions..to come back after one hour…luckily he managed to do it within that period.

  5. Interesting writeup there, YS !! With your mention of Pritam Studios, I remembered that I have a Nikon L26 P&S at home which has not been working after it fell from the first floor. No external cracks are visible, but on taking to Nikon service center that informed me that both the lens and monitor is damaged which will need replacing. I was surfing for reliable camera repair shops in CC and the name Pritam Studio cropped up a number of times. My questions are:
    1. Do you think the camera can be repaired; or if new parts are fitted, would it be worth it in comparison to buying a camera of the same level? [Camera was barely a month old]
    2. Hows the repair work of Pritam’s? Do they provide warranty if they fit any part?
    3. How is their pricing policy? Do they try to extract from you as much as they can or they quote reasonable price at the first place? Is bargaining fruitful?
    4. Trust/ reliability factor. Can you leave your equipment behind with them without any worries? Any other place you would recommend in CC for repair? Heard about this Golu ji too? How is he in comparison to Pritam?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    – SJD

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