Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK

Started Mar 21, 2018 | Discussions
kittykat23uk
kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,147
Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK
11

Hi

I thought I might mention this, as it came as a bit of a shock to me. In the past, when my Olympus 50-200 took a tumble and broke, I was able to get this fixed by Luton Camera repairs.

I had the misfortune of falling down a hole in Japan last month. I snapped the lens mount on my Panasonic 100-400, the camera also gained a dented hotshoe.

On return to the UK I discovered that, although Luton Cameras would most likely be able to conduct a repair to the lens, Panasonic do not supply replacement parts and instead you have to use their only authorised repair centre, DKAVS, to replace the lens for a new one. This is at the cost of £850 plus VAT. Thankfully it looks like our home contents policy will cover the cost, but my travel insurance would not have covered this high a claim.

I thought I should make people aware of this as it seems a bit extreme.

Regards

Jo

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windmillgolfer
windmillgolfer Forum Pro • Posts: 15,734
Re: Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK

A worthwhile post. Sorry to hear of your mishap and glad to hear you had it covered. Buying the G80 and then the 100-400mm prompted a review and increase in insurance cover. Hope never to need it but...

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pdk42
pdk42 Contributing Member • Posts: 697
Re: Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK
10

One of the members over on the e-group UK forum broke his nearly new 8-18 and has had exactly the same experience. Basically, Panasonic seem to have given up on servicing - all they'll do is replace it. We've reached the point now where a £1000 piece of equipment simply gets thrown away since the manufacturer has deemed it uneconomical to offer a repair service. Shameful IMHO.

I have the 8-18 myself, but I think it might be the last Panasonic lens I buy.  It's a pity since the new Pana 50-200 looks really nice, but I'm definitely not going to shell out £1600 on a lens if the manufacturer offers zero after-sales on it.

Olympus have a superb European-wide service centre in Portugal and will repair the majority of their gear. The turnaround time is usually fast and the charges are not unreasonable. That's a much more customer-friendly approach (and not to mention better for the environment).

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td_100 Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK
5

I have had a similar experience with the 100-400 and I have escalated this issue within Panasonic Europe, all I can say is it is being addressed.

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jalywol
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 9,674
No, they do not THROW IT AWAY.
3

pdk42 wrote:

One of the members over on the e-group UK forum broke his nearly new 8-18 and has had exactly the same experience. Basically, Panasonic seem to have given up on servicing - all they'll do is replace it. We've reached the point now where a £1000 piece of equipment simply gets thrown away since the manufacturer has deemed it uneconomical to offer a repair service. Shameful IMHO.

They DON'T throw them out! They repair them in Japan and send them back to replace ones that are either in warrantee or have out-of-warrantee damage.

All of the Panasonic lenses that need significant repair go back to their single refurb facility in Japan, where they are refurbished (if they can be) and then used as replacements in situations just like you are describing. This was told to me by the USA Panasonic head engineer several years ago when I contacted him about a weird problem I was having with my 100-300mm at the time.

I know this sounds extreme, but I think it's a way that Panasonic feels it has better control over QC with lens repairs than if they left them to their local service centers, AND enables them to get a working product back out rapidly to the customer, (not to mention saving on the training and equipment cost to do these repairs correctly at each service center).

You may not like the way they do this, but there's no reason to think this is an inherently bad method.  Doing it this way allows more control over the final product, too, so just because it's not the same thing Oly does does not mean it's inherently wrong....

-J

kittykat23uk
OP kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,147
Re: Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK
1

Yes I completely agree Paul! I was really shocked by this policy myself as I had assumed that given the nature of the breakage it would be a simple repair!

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Bengeo
Bengeo Regular Member • Posts: 357
Re: No, they do not THROW IT AWAY.
15

jalywol wrote:

You may not like the way they do this, but there's no reason to think this is an inherently bad method. Doing it this way allows more control over the final product, too, so just because it's not the same thing Oly does does not mean it's inherently wrong....

So you get some minor damage or a fault and they sell you a different broken one that they have repaired for almost the cost of a new one. And we are supposed to "like" that ???

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kittykat23uk
OP kittykat23uk Senior Member • Posts: 1,147
Re: No, they do not THROW IT AWAY.

Oh right, but that approach would be fine for repairs under  warranty but doesn't seem a fair approach for accidental damage,  I assume that this sort of damage isn't covered by the warranty -correct?

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Dutch Newchurch
Dutch Newchurch Senior Member • Posts: 5,465
Don't rely on travel insurance
1

That's an important point about insurance.  UK travel insurance is mainly intended to cover health overseas.  Camera gear is better insured on a household 'all risks' policy.  But you need to check the cover works for a planned trip.  (We used to drive across Europe and found few insurers who would cover my kit properly when it was in the car.)

If you were paying for repairs from your own pocket, I'd suggest you contact Newton Ellis in Liverpool.

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pdk42
pdk42 Contributing Member • Posts: 697
Re: No, they do not THROW IT AWAY.
6

jalywol wrote:

pdk42 wrote:

One of the members over on the e-group UK forum broke his nearly new 8-18 and has had exactly the same experience. Basically, Panasonic seem to have given up on servicing - all they'll do is replace it. We've reached the point now where a £1000 piece of equipment simply gets thrown away since the manufacturer has deemed it uneconomical to offer a repair service. Shameful IMHO.

They DON'T throw them out! They repair them in Japan and send them back to replace ones that are either in warrantee or have out-of-warrantee damage.

All of the Panasonic lenses that need significant repair go back to their single refurb facility in Japan, where they are refurbished (if they can be) and then used as replacements in situations just like you are describing. This was told to me by the USA Panasonic head engineer several years ago when I contacted him about a weird problem I was having with my 100-300mm at the time.

I know this sounds extreme, but I think it's a way that Panasonic feels it has better control over QC with lens repairs than if they left them to their local service centers, AND enables them to get a working product back out rapidly to the customer, (not to mention saving on the training and equipment cost to do these repairs correctly at each service center).

You may not like the way they do this, but there's no reason to think this is an inherently bad method. Doing it this way allows more control over the final product, too, so just because it's not the same thing Oly does does not mean it's inherently wrong....

-J

Well, that's not an unreasonable approach, but the price they're expecting customers to pay for this replacement service is something like 80% of the new price.  That doesn't compare well with a repair bill.

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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 15,538
Re: Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK
3

Not the first time I'm reading about impediments to repairing the top-line Panny lenses. Now that they're entering the $3000 territory I would hope they take steps to improve service and repair.

Good luck!

Rick

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Wasabi Bob Contributing Member • Posts: 566
Re: No, they do not THROW IT AWAY.
1

jalywol wrote:

pdk42 wrote:

One of the members over on the e-group UK forum broke his nearly new 8-18 and has had exactly the same experience. Basically, Panasonic seem to have given up on servicing - all they'll do is replace it. We've reached the point now where a £1000 piece of equipment simply gets thrown away since the manufacturer has deemed it uneconomical to offer a repair service. Shameful IMHO.

They DON'T throw them out! They repair them in Japan and send them back to replace ones that are either in warrantee or have out-of-warrantee damage.

All of the Panasonic lenses that need significant repair go back to their single refurb facility in Japan, where they are refurbished (if they can be) and then used as replacements in situations just like you are describing. This was told to me by the USA Panasonic head engineer several years ago when I contacted him about a weird problem I was having with my 100-300mm at the time.

I know this sounds extreme, but I think it's a way that Panasonic feels it has better control over QC with lens repairs than if they left them to their local service centers, AND enables them to get a working product back out rapidly to the customer, (not to mention saving on the training and equipment cost to do these repairs correctly at each service center).

You may not like the way they do this, but there's no reason to think this is an inherently bad method. Doing it this way allows more control over the final product, too, so just because it's not the same thing Oly does does not mean it's inherently wrong....

-J

You are spot on! The 100-400 is a multi element lens that requires an extreme amount of mechanical alignment and calibration. Droping a lens, or falling, which resulted in breaking the lens mount can do a lot of internal damage. From a service standpoint, replacing it is the only way to insure its done right. I applaud them for taking this approach! Most likely, the equipment required to correctly repair such a lens would not be available in most independent service facilities.

pdk42
pdk42 Contributing Member • Posts: 697
Re: No, they do not THROW IT AWAY.
3

Wasabi Bob wrote:

jalywol wrote:

pdk42 wrote:

One of the members over on the e-group UK forum broke his nearly new 8-18 and has had exactly the same experience. Basically, Panasonic seem to have given up on servicing - all they'll do is replace it. We've reached the point now where a £1000 piece of equipment simply gets thrown away since the manufacturer has deemed it uneconomical to offer a repair service. Shameful IMHO.

They DON'T throw them out! They repair them in Japan and send them back to replace ones that are either in warrantee or have out-of-warrantee damage.

All of the Panasonic lenses that need significant repair go back to their single refurb facility in Japan, where they are refurbished (if they can be) and then used as replacements in situations just like you are describing. This was told to me by the USA Panasonic head engineer several years ago when I contacted him about a weird problem I was having with my 100-300mm at the time.

I know this sounds extreme, but I think it's a way that Panasonic feels it has better control over QC with lens repairs than if they left them to their local service centers, AND enables them to get a working product back out rapidly to the customer, (not to mention saving on the training and equipment cost to do these repairs correctly at each service center).

You may not like the way they do this, but there's no reason to think this is an inherently bad method. Doing it this way allows more control over the final product, too, so just because it's not the same thing Oly does does not mean it's inherently wrong....

-J

You are spot on! The 100-400 is a multi element lens that requires an extreme amount of mechanical alignment and calibration. Droping a lens, or falling, which resulted in breaking the lens mount can do a lot of internal damage. From a service standpoint, replacing it is the only way to insure its done right. I applaud them for taking this approach! Most likely, the equipment required to correctly repair such a lens would not be available in most independent service facilities.

So are most modern Olympus lenses, but they have an excellent repair facility in Portugal that offers value for money repairs that are of a high quality.

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drj3 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,709
Re: No, they do not THROW IT AWAY.
2

Wasabi Bob wrote:

jalywol wrote:

pdk42 wrote:

One of the members over on the e-group UK forum broke his nearly new 8-18 and has had exactly the same experience. Basically, Panasonic seem to have given up on servicing - all they'll do is replace it. We've reached the point now where a £1000 piece of equipment simply gets thrown away since the manufacturer has deemed it uneconomical to offer a repair service. Shameful IMHO.

They DON'T throw them out! They repair them in Japan and send them back to replace ones that are either in warrantee or have out-of-warrantee damage.

All of the Panasonic lenses that need significant repair go back to their single refurb facility in Japan, where they are refurbished (if they can be) and then used as replacements in situations just like you are describing. This was told to me by the USA Panasonic head engineer several years ago when I contacted him about a weird problem I was having with my 100-300mm at the time.

I know this sounds extreme, but I think it's a way that Panasonic feels it has better control over QC with lens repairs than if they left them to their local service centers, AND enables them to get a working product back out rapidly to the customer, (not to mention saving on the training and equipment cost to do these repairs correctly at each service center).

You may not like the way they do this, but there's no reason to think this is an inherently bad method. Doing it this way allows more control over the final product, too, so just because it's not the same thing Oly does does not mean it's inherently wrong....

-J

You are spot on! The 100-400 is a multi element lens that requires an extreme amount of mechanical alignment and calibration. Droping a lens, or falling, which resulted in breaking the lens mount can do a lot of internal damage. From a service standpoint, replacing it is the only way to insure its done right. I applaud them for taking this approach! Most likely, the equipment required to correctly repair such a lens would not be available in most independent service facilities.

Are you sure of that?  Do they send all their other lenses to Japan or only the 100-400?

Lens rentals quote when testing the Olympus/Panasonic/Voigtlander 25mm lenses

"Micro 4/3 lenses, in general, have a lot of sample variation. Why this is I can’t say. What I can say is it’s not the fabled “QA check” that people imagine happens. Optical tolerance is done during the design of the lens and the assembly line, not by running a test at the end of manufacturing. Micro 4/3 lenses, as a rule, don’t have any compensating adjustable elements, so what you get at the end of the assembly line is what you get unless something is broken inside."

US Imaging Systems Inc. in NJ repairs the Olympus lenses in the USA for Olympus.  They repaired both my 12-60 SWD (4.9 years old- extended warranty) and the 50-200 SWD (6+years old) and both are like new.  Their other facility is in Japan, so maybe they also repair them for Olympus in Japan.

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samtheman2014
samtheman2014 Senior Member • Posts: 4,571
Re: Don't rely on travel insurance
1

Dutch Newchurch wrote:

That's an important point about insurance. UK travel insurance is mainly intended to cover health overseas. Camera gear is better insured on a household 'all risks' policy. But you need to check the cover works for a planned trip. (We used to drive across Europe and found few insurers who would cover my kit properly when it was in the car.)

If you were paying for repairs from your own pocket, I'd suggest you contact Newton Ellis in Liverpool.

Dutch, I insure my gear with Photoguard and they have a worldwide travel option . I have never had to claim {yet ,  fingers crossed I am a clumsy git at times  } and as you suggest I would never want to rely on a typical travel insurance package.

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selclene New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK
5

Sadly i  also need to add to the list of Panasonic 100-400mm owners who have had a mishap.  My lens parted company at the lens flange with my EM5 Mk2. a drop of 12 inches was enough to crack and pull apart the flange of the lens and also distort the flange on the camera. My all risk policy has arranged both items to be couriered to Fixation Camera repairs London. I can see what will happen next.  I suspect the Olympus body will be repaired - Previous repairs from Olympus Portugal have been good. I also suspect the Panny is not going to be coming back to me !. So i will perhaps be getting a refurb Panny from Japan !.  I accept this lens is a complex piece of kit but somehow i do not like the idea of owning top end kit and not being able to get it repaired as Panasonic will not release spares.   I have owned Canon pro lenses in the past and found them repairable without bothering my insurers. So my next M43 lens purchase is to be restricted to Olympus as i just feel slightly discomfited about the situation.

So please please check you have your top end Panasonic Leica glass adequately insured !.

rob

HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 3,806
Re: Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK

selclene wrote:

Sadly i also need to add to the list of Panasonic 100-400mm owners who have had a mishap. My lens parted company at the lens flange with my EM5 Mk2. a drop of 12 inches was enough to crack and pull apart the flange of the lens and also distort the flange on the camera. My all risk policy has arranged both items to be couriered to Fixation Camera repairs London. I can see what will happen next. I suspect the Olympus body will be repaired - Previous repairs from Olympus Portugal have been good. I also suspect the Panny is not going to be coming back to me !. So i will perhaps be getting a refurb Panny from Japan !. I accept this lens is a complex piece of kit but somehow i do not like the idea of owning top end kit and not being able to get it repaired as Panasonic will not release spares. I have owned Canon pro lenses in the past and found them repairable without bothering my insurers. So my next M43 lens purchase is to be restricted to Olympus as i just feel slightly discomfited about the situation.

So please please check you have your top end Panasonic Leica glass adequately insured !.

rob

At least your 100-400 fit on your EM1.2 !

Speaking of my experience in the US ...

Of the three replacement copies of the 100-400 I had, all had boxes that had been cut up (for the warranty rebate). And the serial number of the box matched the lens. While I wouldn't expect to get a new lens in lieu of warranty work, I'd at least expect to receive a  lens that had been inspected and was "good as new".

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td_100 Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK
1

selclene wrote:

Sadly i also need to add to the list of Panasonic 100-400mm owners who have had a mishap. My lens parted company at the lens flange with my EM5 Mk2. a drop of 12 inches was enough to crack and pull apart the flange of the lens and also distort the flange on the camera. My all risk policy has arranged both items to be couriered to Fixation Camera repairs London. I can see what will happen next. I suspect the Olympus body will be repaired - Previous repairs from Olympus Portugal have been good. I also suspect the Panny is not going to be coming back to me !. So i will perhaps be getting a refurb Panny from Japan !. I accept this lens is a complex piece of kit but somehow i do not like the idea of owning top end kit and not being able to get it repaired as Panasonic will not release spares. I have owned Canon pro lenses in the past and found them repairable without bothering my insurers. So my next M43 lens purchase is to be restricted to Olympus as i just feel slightly discomfited about the situation.

So please please check you have your top end Panasonic Leica glass adequately insured !.

rob

I have been advised that this lens will become repairable in the UK soon.

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 3,806
Re: Panasonic 100-400 and repairs in UK

td_100 wrote:

selclene wrote:

Sadly i also need to add to the list of Panasonic 100-400mm owners who have had a mishap. My lens parted company at the lens flange with my EM5 Mk2. a drop of 12 inches was enough to crack and pull apart the flange of the lens and also distort the flange on the camera. My all risk policy has arranged both items to be couriered to Fixation Camera repairs London. I can see what will happen next. I suspect the Olympus body will be repaired - Previous repairs from Olympus Portugal have been good. I also suspect the Panny is not going to be coming back to me !. So i will perhaps be getting a refurb Panny from Japan !. I accept this lens is a complex piece of kit but somehow i do not like the idea of owning top end kit and not being able to get it repaired as Panasonic will not release spares. I have owned Canon pro lenses in the past and found them repairable without bothering my insurers. So my next M43 lens purchase is to be restricted to Olympus as i just feel slightly discomfited about the situation.

So please please check you have your top end Panasonic Leica glass adequately insured !.

rob

I have been advised that this lens will become repairable in the UK soon.

Source? A person selling this lens?

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phil from seattle
phil from seattle Senior Member • Posts: 2,870
Re: No, they do not THROW IT AWAY.
1

Wasabi Bob wrote:

You are spot on! The 100-400 is a multi element lens that requires an extreme amount of mechanical alignment and calibration. Droping a lens, or falling, which resulted in breaking the lens mount can do a lot of internal damage. From a service standpoint, replacing it is the only way to insure its done right. I applaud them for taking this approach! Most likely, the equipment required to correctly repair such a lens would not be available in most independent service facilities.

That may indeed yield a higher quality replacement service for lenses under warranty. However, out of warranty "repair" becomes so expensive that I will bias against Panasonic lenses in future purchases. I'm still thinking about sending back my recent PL 8-18mm purchase.

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