Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

Started Oct 7, 2011 | Discussions
Papasha Senior Member • Posts: 2,158
Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

(I can't pass clean language censorship control in here I guess...)

When LouReed posted his ‘my 5n click-fix horror story’ I was second one to reply, as my cam was in the same service center for ‘click’ fix repair:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1042&message=39514223

I didn’t follow the rest of the thread; looking now I guess it ended in a big brawl with no clear winners and a lot of suspicions in LouReed’s true intentions. Luckily I stayed out of it…

So, my repaired NEX-5N comes via FedEx standard overnight on Wednesday and as I was home this day, I spent full day testing and shooting as the day outside was gorgeous.

Of course first thing I did was to open the cap and quickly look at the sensor – phew, no fingerprints, I felt so much luckier and better. It WAS just a one-off accident with LouReed or he made it up completely, as some suggested…

I spent a couple of hours shooting different lenses for stills and video and then dumped them on to my machine for pixel peeping for the final verdict. What is that???

I have nasty double blob almost in the center of a sensor on every one of nearly 400 pictures clearly visible at F9 in the attached picture below. OK, I know how to handle those in PP, but it is significantly worse on movies I took, as the darn thing is recorded 60 times per second for the duration of the movie – how the he$$ do I suppose to PP that out now?? See the screenshot of one frame of birds flying by:

I was so disgusted and pi$$ed. Took the lens off, got my magnifying glass and here it is – beautiful oily spill right on brand new sensor in the middle of the cam…

I used the rocket blower to no avail. The darn thing was some sort of oil dried up or other sticky gooey substance. I grabbed a Q-tip, bended it like a hockey stick and tried to clean the spot. Nope, doesn’t want to come off…

By now I was livid. Weighing between spending a day on a phone calling them back and sending it to yet another repair (even if I convince them it was their fault) and then waiting another week, or just trying to fix it myself looked like a no-brainer to me. I got 91% alcohol my wife had in her medicine cupboard and using a pair of same Q-tips finally dissolved and removed the substance…

I shot another set of blue sky scenery in aperture priority mode stepped down to F40 and F16 and although I still had few small left-overs they wouldn’t be visible anywhere close to what I had before.

I let two days pass as I was too enraged for anything human to be said or written, so now I am sharing this with you folks.

I am at loss at explanations how something like that is possible in the repair facility.
Do they wash their hands?
Do they fry burgers while doing repairs?
Do they use spray-gun to lubricate here and there?
What kind of Quality Control is implemented out there?

It got me thinking about the sad state of affairs in US in general. We almost lost manufacturing in here, so there are fewer and fewer people who can actually create something from scratch with their tools. Now we can’t even repair something which was manufactured in better places of the world??

Call me exaggerator, but to me leaving this spots on digital camera’s sensor after repair is in line with surgeon leaving the scalpel inside of the body after the appendix removal (sadly, true stories).

Finally, the nasty cynic and conspirator in me whispers it was done on purpose to spread the word and discourage ‘idiotic’ repairs or some low paid fu$k gets creative entertainment at boring work, knowing there most likely will be no consequences or caring less about what happens tomorrow anyways. I don’t know…

As an additional insult to the injury, they accompanied package with not one, but 3 papers, one of them – ‘Careful handling suggestions to extend the life and functionality of your camera’ stating among others that:

“This camera uses delicate and precision elements. Avoid rough handling of the camera, especially around the lens and LCD screen areas.”

“Damages to the lens and LCD screen caused by external factors, such as shocks, drops and foreign objects in the interior of the camera, ARE NOT COVERED BY MANUFACTURER’S LIMITED WARRANTY’.

I also have nicely printed glossy black ‘SONY’ folded paper with:

“The professionals of the Laredo Customer Satisfaction Center are pleased to have been of service to you” personally signed by Operations Manager Arnulfo Gonzalez…

Last time for me, that’s for sure…

From Movie:

OK, once I cleaned the sensor – here are few shots. I love this cam!
After cleaning:
Sony NEX-5N, Sony SEL18200, 1/500s f/7.1 at 92.0mm iso100

Sony NEX-5N, Minolta 100mm f/2.0 AF, 1/500s f/4.0 at 100.0mm iso100

Sony NEX-5N, Sony Distagon T* 24mm f/2 SSM, 1/200s f/2.8 at 24.0mm iso200

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Some of my older work: http://www.pbase.com/papasha

 Papasha's gear list:Papasha's gear list
Sony Alpha a99 Sony a7R II Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A77 Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +10 more
Maxpilot Forum Member • Posts: 62
Re: Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

My 5N had oil spots when I got it day one from the factory. I cleaned it. I think Sony should come out with a firmware upgrade that allows for the shutter to be closed and protect the sensor when changing the lens like other DSLR's. I ordered a LensPen Sensor cleaner as I think I will need to use it often.

ZoranC Veteran Member • Posts: 5,569
Re: Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

Papasha wrote:

I grabbed a Q-tip, bended it like a hockey stick and tried to clean the spot.

VERY VERY bad idea.

Joseph T Lewis III Veteran Member • Posts: 3,535
Re: Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

I just sold my GH1 and two lenses, planning on using the money to buy a NEX-5N. However, stories like this are not encouraging, to say the least. I may just "make do" with my A55 and Panasonic LX5 for the next few months and see how all this plays out.

Like someone on another thread said, one really should not be put in the position buying a brand new $700 camera, knowing up front that they are likely to have to send it in for "an adjustment" as soon as they get it. That's bad enough; being worried about the service center causing further problems while in the process of fixing the original factory defect is even worse.

Just muttering in frustration...

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Tom

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Tom Hoots
Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,073
Re: Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

Heck, we should be able to hose down the shutter with a spray of WD-40, with better results than that!

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomhoots/
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/4330317199/albums

john inglis Regular Member • Posts: 446
Re: Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

Papasha,
Thanks for the update,
giving many of us room to pause before jumping,
gad,
John

 john inglis's gear list:john inglis's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM
Brad Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

I posted a warning regarding the Laredo service center 7 months ago. If possible I highly recommend to anyone returning their NEX to use a different service center.

The Laredo service center has a quality control problem. I suspect they have a few competent techs and a few that are not. You will be gambling with your camera.

Here is a link to my previous post:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1042&message=37948878

 Brad's gear list:Brad's gear list
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Alupang
Alupang Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
Re: Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

Sorry to see what happened to your fine camera here. You have to consider the possibility of a human error when taking a delicate instrument apart. Lesson learned.

Slynky Senior Member • Posts: 2,434
Re: Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

This is exactly the reason I'll live with my "click". You see, these couple of examples show obvious problems when returned. And though that worries me, too, I also worry about things that could have been done to the camera that affect the calibration (etc.) in a way that's not absolute--like it doesn't focus quite as well as before, or compute the exposure quite as well as before...
--

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life".

(...from the generation that still uses capital letters and punctuation...)

 Slynky's gear list:Slynky's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +3 more
Schwaeble Regular Member • Posts: 364
Re: Laredo’s service center – double-u-tee-eff...

Papasha: So sorry to hear. Thanks for posting. I would not have dared (and still would not) going at the sensor with a Q-tip and alcohol, but I understand how you would not want to entrust your camera into inadequate hands.

It's a shame really. The damage done easily could be quite worse than the clicking in the first place (but that in itself should not be there of course (with reasonable motion), - I am not suggesting it's a non-issue. It would be an issue to me).

This is not helping just lamenting:

I am now left wondering if there might be a bigger issue and what it might be. I.e. is there a design issue that allows some lubricant or dampening fluid of questionable purpose in a camera in the first place to migrate to areas it definitely shall never be --- or is it just that Sony has no handle on how they qualify and continuously control and monitor their service centers? This should be a repair (nah, it does not deserve to be called that) / modification / mending procedure / band-aid that procedural should be specified to the i-dot such that such a mishap cannot even happen --- if the procedure is any good, if the employees of the repair center can follow a procedure precisely without improving it with their own ingenuity... (both of which I see going wrong frequently in my profession (amongst many things that is).

Anyway, I hope your sensor is alright with no remaining damage and / or traces --- and I sure hope you don't have a slow leak / drip going on somewhere in your camera... scary stuff... If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere...

In a way I now am increasingly glad I get to wait around until "my" Nex 7 is available and reviewed, although, if it wasn't for these "kinks" the 5n starts to grow on me...

OP Papasha Senior Member • Posts: 2,158
Sony's follow up...

Just a quick update. After posting this thread here I decided to also send a link to it to the service repair feedback email address provided in the documentation which accompanied the camera. I was ready to leave for a day when I received a follow up international phone call at my work number regarding this email. I feel so bad that I didn't catch the name of a person calling and I only had few minutes to talk, but he sounded genuinely apologetic ands sincere and assured me they are looking at the feedback like that very seriously and will follow up with internal investigation.

I really feel better now as it didn't sound like a regular lip service, so maybe they are listening and will follow up with some quality control changes, so for next guys out there sending cams for repairs, changes will be in place.

As I said - I love this cam, I like innovation Sony’s trying to bring to A-mount, so I really don't want to black-mouth anybody here, but for me that was an experience I'd rather avoid...
--
Some of my older work: http://www.pbase.com/papasha

 Papasha's gear list:Papasha's gear list
Sony Alpha a99 Sony a7R II Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A77 Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +10 more
craign Regular Member • Posts: 389
Re: Sony's follow up...

that certainly sounds better than Lou's experience post-disaster.
How did you clean your sensor? Mine comes back Weds so I need to prepare ...

Schwaeble Regular Member • Posts: 364
Re: Sony's follow up...

Good to hear, thanks for posting.

Slynky Senior Member • Posts: 2,434
Re: Sony's follow up...

Good news. Hurray for Sony.
--

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life".

(...from the generation that still uses capital letters and punctuation...)

 Slynky's gear list:Slynky's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +3 more
OP Papasha Senior Member • Posts: 2,158
Re: Sony's follow up...

I am going to investigate but will probably follow Maxpilot’s advice (above in this thread) and get one of the LensPen Sensor cleaners; don’t know which one yet – probably one with dry pen and loupe. I actually asked Sony guy for advice what would be a good cleaning tool/process one can use at home, so hope he will email me something back. I’ve never used anything more than a racket-blower, but I see that my NEX-5N sensor is still kind of dirty after my hastily operation with a Q-tip. This time around I want to get prepared and do it right, so have to learn what’s the best tool first. As you have some time, maybe do the same?

craign wrote:

that certainly sounds better than Lou's experience post-disaster.
How did you clean your sensor? Mine comes back Weds so I need to prepare ...

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 Papasha's gear list:Papasha's gear list
Sony Alpha a99 Sony a7R II Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A77 Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +10 more
sean lancaster
sean lancaster Veteran Member • Posts: 7,411
Re: Sony's follow up...

Mine went overnight yesterday, so I hope they saw your note before starting work on my 5N.

I hope.

I really like this camera. I want to like it more. I think I'll contact the place where I bought my camera and ask to exchange it. I have until October 12 to request an exchange (too late to return for refund). If everything goes really well at the service center then I'll just not exchange the camera. But if things don't go well then I have 10 days from the date of the RMA being issued to exchange my current camera.

What a mess.

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craign Regular Member • Posts: 389
Re: Sony's follow up...

I bought the eclipse kit when I got my d700 but have never used it so will have that to try first

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/sensor-cleaning.shtml

craign Regular Member • Posts: 389
Re: Sony's follow up...

I have to say that I'm pretty dismayed by this entire ridiculous experience. This is the 3rd Sony compact I've had and loved, after the h5 and R1, but the company overall has really turned into a low-rent, trashy operation.

The repair process unaccountably took just under 2 weeks to complete. Getting the shipping label took 2 web form completions and 2 extended conversations with repair staff, since the authorization kept being repeatedly denied. Then the return fedex tracking number had its first 0 missing, requiring another lengthy phone call.

I got the camera, the viewfinder, and the 18-200 lens, meaning $2000 in toto. The lens came with no bag; the camera came with no body cap; and all of the packaging looks like refrigerator parts, or something at the checkout counter of a car wash.

When you compare all of this with what customer service is like at American Express or Apple or any other blue chip company, it is clear why Sony has lost its way and is doing so poorly.

ZoranC Veteran Member • Posts: 5,569
Re: Sony's follow up...

Papasha wrote:

I am going to investigate but will probably follow Maxpilot’s advice (above in this thread) and get one of the LensPen Sensor cleaners; don’t know which one yet – probably one with dry pen and loupe.

To my knowledge using dry method with oil smudge would be another bad idea, it would just spread oil even more around ruining the pen along the way. Google for sensor cleaning methods. Even better yet see if Sony will clean it for you, and if not have local camera store professionally clean it. Keep in mind mess up the sensor and you messed up most expensive part of the camera ... and here is to a hope that your QTip attempt didn't already do that.

Nell27
Nell27 Senior Member • Posts: 2,708
Re: Sony's follow up...

Well, I'll admit I had to laugh when the kit came with the lens mounted and no rear lens cap or body cap.

That is about the cheapest thing I've seen in awhile.

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