April 3, 2004

why walter rules

I just took my second camera (henceforth known as “two eyes”) to Walter’s Camera Repairs and I have to relate to you point by point how cool Walter is:

  1. First off, this place has been in business fifty years and the guy who does your repairs is still named Walter.
  2. He appreciates a good deal. Both times he asked how much I got my camera for, and both times he let out a low whistle when I told him. This makes me feel good about my purchase, and more comfortable in spending money I don’t really have on my cameras.
  3. He has the most hideous website ever.
  4. He’s an immigrant. Somehow the German accent makes him more credible and adds that extra level of mystique.
  5. He’s the Camera-Repair-Man-Father you never had. He actually lectures you on taking care of your camera. Once you bring a camera into his shop it’s HIS baby and if you mess with it you’re going to hear from him. Every time I go in there, he tells me through his thick accent, “There are three things that should never touch camera: Water, Sand, and Girlfriend.”
  6. Walter is the one true deity of camera repair. He told me about a customer who brought in a camera like mine in and wanted an 8 leaf shutter system instead of the 5 leaf shutter system that comes standard. If that doesn’t mean anything to you it’s about equivalent to driving into a mechanic’s and saying you’d like to have your new Jeep be seven wheel drive. It’s a little more than just a bolt on. And Walter did it.
  7. He knows his stuff. I’d looked up the serial number on Two Eyes and thought the camera was made in the late 50’s. It turns out the camera was made in the 30’s. Why do I trust Walter? He took me in the back of his shop and showed me a version of my camera from every decade that they were made. He had about sixteen on hand. And that’s just his personal collection.
  8. Walter is CHEAP. When I went to get the Tank repaired, two well known Camera shops said it would cost a _minimum_ of $160 to repair my camera, as some wiring needed to be replaced. Walter did it for $60 and cleaned the camera for free (normally $50 in itself.). Also, Two Eyes needs a mirror to be replaced. The cheapest cost I could find online for this procedure is $200 (Over twice what I paid for the camera), and that’s an estimate for JUST the mirror. Walter’s replacing the mirror, cleaning it, and re-calibrating the shutter speeds for $75.

It makes me sad that there aren’t more businesses like Walter’s. Until I met Walter I’d never really known what it meant to do business with a person instead of a conglomerate.

No Comments

  1. walter makes me want to start photography just so i can save money on maintenance and repairs.

    Comment by ug — April 3, 2004 @ 11:07 am

  2. Can you just use a digital camera to take photos with? I’m thinking about starting photography but I’m one of those “romantics who just points and clicks and knows nothing about technology” kinds.

    Comment by joanna calls me t — April 4, 2004 @ 10:46 am

  3. “Can you just use a digital camera to take photos with? I’m thinking about starting photography but I’m one of those “romantics who just points and clicks and knows nothing about technology” kinds.”

    The kind of camera you need depends on what you want to use it for. If you’re taking pictures for magazines or newspapers, digital is the one true way. Print sizes aren’t very large and it’s easy to store a lot of pictures. If you’re taking pictures for yourself and you want to get prints made, you have to be aware that unless you get an insanely expensive digital camera, you won’t be able to make prints as large as you can with 35mm film, which might not bug you if you don’t plan on making 8 by 10 inch or 11 by 14 inch photos for an exhibit.

    The reason I bought “Two Eyes” is that it uses medium format film. This film is approximately 3.5 times as large as a 35mm negative, which means I might be able make enlargements of up to approximately 24×24, which is great for nature shots and portraits. There just isn’t a digital that can match this capability right now (At least under the $20,000 mark.).

    Does this mean I don’t think I’ll ever use digital? To the contrary, I really LOVE digital and the ease of getting a usable image and I believe digital is the future of photography. That said, I don’t think the technology has reached the point where a reasonably priced digital can outpace film in most aspects. However, as soon as I can get a digital camera with an 11 megapixel sensor for under $500 dollars I’ll be knocking the door down with a battering ram to get to it.

    As this reply almost warrants it’s own blog entry, I’m going to stop now. For more information on different types of cameras, check out What Camera Should I Buy at photo.net.


    Comment by Red/Brian — April 4, 2004 @ 11:30 am

  4. thank you. I’ll stick to a digital. I alreadly have a 35mm camera.
    Next question. I want to build a website and I’m not sure how to go about it. I would like to have a regular website to advertise my work but at the same time have a blog for personal reasons.
    But mainly the website would serve as a business type deal.
    Have any suggestions for me?

    (Yes! I am the jock with the little brain.)

    Comment by joanna calls me t — April 4, 2004 @ 12:13 pm

  5. tashabay.blogspot.com

    I feel so immature…….

    Comment by Anonymous — April 4, 2004 @ 1:17 pm

  6. damn…that is an ugly website…

    Comment by nicole — April 7, 2004 @ 2:11 pm

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