Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Motorhead - Pricing Updates

Motorhead was founded in 1975 by bassist Lemmy Kilmister. I saw them once and it was an amazing concert... really amazing. Like, "holy crap that was amazing" amazing. This post isn't about the band.

A few of you may remember reading about my pursuit of finding a suitable new replacement motor to get your SX70 working like new again and if you've had a camera worked on by 2nd Shot in the past month, you may already have one in your camera. The SX70 motor is an essential component that drives the sequence of events within the camera... no different than the motor in a car. If the motor is sluggish, old, dirty, noisy, then your camera is not working 100% resulting in poor performance and wasted fuel (in this case film). Frustrating... I've been there.

I'm happy to announce that 2nd Shot will now be offering factory fresh unused SX70 motors available for all repairs! In some cases the motor in your camera may be just fine or needs a simple reconditioning. But if your motor sounds "sick", like it's working too hard or speeds up then slows down, etc. - your camera is a great candidate for a motor replacement. A new motor in your camera allows the geartrain to operate efficiently and assures smooth and quick film delivery eliminating the frustration of film jams and unevenly developed areas of the exposed print. Your camera will sound as healthy as ever!

Due to the change in 2nd Shot's new repair techniques and the need for more labor and parts intensive repairs, mostly with Model 1s, I'm adjusting the pricing estimate categories. With the new "Overhaul" category, your camera is fully disassembled and upgraded parts like flex circuit, motor, shutter ECM (if needed) are included along with any repairs necessary. This category is highly recommended for older 1972-1974 Model 1 cameras in poor condition that utilize fragile parts that will likely fail over time.

I'd love to hear more feedback from followers and 2nd Shot customers as well. Please feel free to drop a line anytime and as always, keep an eye out on Facebook and Instagram for more drool-worthy pics.

As mentioned in the previous blog post, I will be out of town on business from 1/26 - 2/3. 

Shop's closed!

Finishing off tonight with 2 repairs. The white Model 2 inspired "The Adventures of a Dropped Camera" cartoon I doodled earlier this month.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Latest Shipments - ***Shop Hours Update***

Thursday night already?! Cripes... OK. This week (and just about every week) has flown by. So here's a quick update as promised on Instagram.

First, a special thanks to everyone that has taken interest in what 2nd Shot has to offer... I've been getting a lot of emails and have met a ton of amazing people... it's fantastic to be a part of the drive to keep instant photo alive! For those that have cameras waiting, thanks for your patience. I'm about a week behind but gradually catching up. I'll be traveling to see family this weekend, (it's my daughter's 9th birthday!) so I'll be able to pick back up on repairs next week and a few sales (including a new SLR680 custom) are in the works. I anticipate I'll get caught up by next weekend with 7 cameras currently in the queue. I'll keep everyone posted with progress and keep watching 2nd Shot on Instagram for more cool SX70 nerd pics!

FYI... The shop will be closed from 1/26 - 2/3. I'll be traveling for my day job and need time to prepare for the trip. I'll also have very limited access to email so I won't be able to answer anyone until I get back. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Also, anticipate some new changes with 2nd Shot! New Year and new look coming in February!

Shop's closed!

This was posted on Instagram yesterday and here's the final product. This was a complete teardown and rebuild. Model 1s are very difficult to work on as they're very fragile. Fixing one part often leads to breaking another so taking it completely apart, although time consuming, makes it very easy to work on. The factory new motor works amazingly well... the camera works like new again!

Finally, here's this week's group of cameras shipping out tomorrow. In this mix you can see a beautiful Alpha 1 that has been well preserved! This one needed a new focus wheel and a new inner lens due to a little corrosion causing the outer lens element to fuse with the inner. A little inspection, cleaning, and it's ready to shoot!


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dubai City Model 3

Tonight's camera comes to the shop all the way from Dubai City in the United Arab Emirates. These are the kind of cameras that I really enjoy working on. A lot of these cameras have a story behind them... they're often used and loved and later remembered. This particular Model 3 has been in the customer's family for many years and it was owned by his father so it carries a lot of sentimental value. When I got this camera it was relatively beat up, the skins were nasty, the flash didn't fire, there were all sorts of nicks and dings in the plastic, and the shutter was acting up. Often times I'll do a general cleaning and full repair but this customer wanted to get the cameras as close to mint condition as possible. This is what I would call a restoration rather than refurbish (the process costs quite a bit more as a lot of time is involved). The camera was stripped down and parts were cleaned, some painted, new labels were applied including the rear shutter board thumb sticker, the door latch label, and the instructions label under the viewfinder. Here's what else was done to this camera:

- new faceplate
- new factory fresh motor
- removed rust and painted the rear shutterboard
- disassembled and cleaned lenses and shutterblades
- replaced the ECM and corresponding flex circuitry
- polished the viewfinder lenses
- cleaned all plastic parts
- removed taking mirror and polished
- replaced film rollers

There may be a few things I didn't list but this little camera got the whole kit n kaboodle! I really do like Model 3 cameras... although they require a bit of a learning curve to get used to finding distances for focusing, they have a lot of charm to them. They're little workhorses. Many special thanks to the owner of this fully restored Model 3 and I hope it has a safe trip back home and brings many more years of pictures and happiness! Shop's closed!

Here's what it looked like when it came to the shop...

A few progress shots including masking for paint.

And the final product with a few test shots!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A 2nd Shot Story

I doodle during meetings. Here's what I came up with today. TO THE SHOP!!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy 2015! - 2nd Shot Updates

Hey Everybody! Happy New Year, Happy belated Holidays, and a very belated Merry Christmas! I was very busy the last few weeks traveling and spending very quality time with my family so I greatly apologize for late email correspondence and the lack of posts here - I've been hanging out a lot on Instagram though :). I hope everyone had a fantastic Holiday and I'm sitting here slunched over the computer all bummed out it's all over. I go back to my day job tomorrow... I don't wanna. I refuse to take down my Christmas tree. It's only been up for like a week and a half. I blinked and everything is done... everybody's gone. All the good food is gone... all the salty snacks and killer drinks. Back to regular routine. It's gonna be tough to sleep tonight but I keep reminding myself that I have a lot to look forward to in 2015. Especially with 2nd Shot cameras and my family!!

My last post happened during what is now known here in Buffalo as "Snowmageddon"... I think we set a US record for the most snowfall in a 24 hour period. That was absolutely crazy! The first few days everybody was all "YAY! SNOW DAY!!" but the third day when it kept going it was more like "dude... is our roof gonna cave in? Are we out of beer?". All is good now but it did back up quite a bit in the shop.

So here's a new post for a new year with new ideas and new... stuff. First, I need to go over some housekeeping. I am currently crazy booked through January. I will not be accepting any new repairs or builds until February 5th. The shop will be closed from Jan. 28 - Feb 4 due to business travel regarding my day job. So I need to get all repairs and orders, I think I'm at 13 right now, before I leave. I'll make an announcement when I get back. Thank you for everybody's patience while I get the rest of this group finished.

OK, now for the cool 2nd Shot business-y stuff. There's some changes planned for 2015 for 2nd Shot... all good but will affect repair pricing but I believe it will be worth the increase. I've learned a lot this past year regarding the business, where instant photography is headed, and with actual repairs. So here we go:

- 2nd Shot will be offering an electronic modification of the SX70 camera's metering system to accept 600 film. This goes for all SX70 models (C/R values are based on ECM model numbers). I'll update the price list next month but the mod will be priced around 35.00.

- 2nd Shot is now offering a factory fresh replacement motor upgrade service for all repairs! I have identified several new production motors that are suitable for all SX70 and SLR680 cameras and the results are fantastic!! The motor is the heart of the SX70 and with a strong new motor, the camera's mechanical functions are amazingly improved! The new motor option will add 20.00 to each repair.

- Model 1s are very popular cameras. A lot of people are buying them because of their iconic appearance but cameras pre-1976 can have a LOT of problems. They are extremely fragile, the electronics are old and outdated, they've been greatly used and worn out, rusty, fungus, etc. I highly believe that there is really only one way to repair an older Model 1 if performance is a concern and that is to upgrade mechanical and electronic parts entirely but to do so takes a LOT of time and patience. There's a reason the Alpha 1 is such a good camera... Polaroid used parts that had been redesigned and upgraded. Starting in 2015 all pre-1976 Model 1 repairs will carry the option of a "performance upgrade" repair fee of 150.00.  This is basically "The Works" repair option which includes replacement motor, ECM upgrade if needed, and upgraded flex circuitry. The general repair/reskin option is still available at 95.00 but the more involved electronics/mechanical repair option at 125.00 will be omitted.

- Stickers and shirts... I love em and so does everyone else! 2nd Shot will be offering both this Spring!!!

- Look out for more sales through the blog. Ebay is fun and all and gets a lot of traffic but now that each sale requires close to 15% of fees that's becoming a difficult amount to deal with, especially with high priced items. I'm not trying to get rich but that fee is worth a trip to the grocery store in some cases.

- Finally, I pledge to post each month at the bare minimum! Seriously... I mean it!!

I can't thank everyone enough for their support and correspondence and I sincerely hope that 2015 brings bigger and better things with instant photography! I hope that larger companies like The Impossible Project and Mint are successful with new products and developments and also smaller businesses that are dedicated to keeping our cameras filled with film thrive. I hope 2nd Shot keeps going strong (at least as much as I can handle) this year and that customers find that their cameras work better than ever after a trip to the shop. It's been heard over and over again, but here's to much love and peace for everyone in 2015!

I'll leave you all with pics of a few treats that were left by Santa Dubbs... ;) Shop's closed.

Such a valuable tool... great for testing at various voltages. No more shuffling to find a film pack with a strong battery.

Slowly been building up a stash in 2014 but a few extra packs for Christmas loaded up the fridge! Think I'm finally good with 3000 film. :)