Author Topic: A77 tougher than it looks... 16-50mm; not so much.  (Read 1767 times)

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Offline CHOLLY

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A77 tougher than it looks... 16-50mm; not so much.
« on: August 06, 2014, 02:37:33 PM »
More Adventure  Sony Customer Service. PLEASE forgive me if this goes long; it was quite an experience.

A couple of months ago I was about to take a picture of my sleeping wife. I grabbed my A77, put on the HVL-F58AM flash and the 16-50mm f/2.8 lens. I then set the rig down on a kitchen counter top... much too close to the edge. Unfortunately, I think I must have hit the neck strap while walking away, as before I could stop it, the camera was sliding off and onto the floor....

A fall of about 3.5 feet onto solid wood flooring.

It hit the lens first and bounced. The flash mounts on both the camera AND the flashgun were broken. The hood mount on the lens was severely dented. Both the rails on the camera hot shoe had pieces break off. The receiver on the flashgun had one side fracture and bent to the point of breakage. When I turned the camera on, the lens did not focus OR communicate with the camera. The camera refused to fire with that lens on it, even when set to "Release without lens". ALL the camera functions were extremely sluggish... VERY slow. ALL of them. Additionally, an error message came up and the camera stopped working each time I depressed the shutter button. I would have to turn it off and back on to reset.

So I put on another lens and tested the camera to determine if it was functionally damaged. The answer was no... it worked without any problems with all my other lenses. Autofocus and metering were unaffected. So next I tried the flash. First I put my HVL-F36AM onto the A77 and fired; flash worked perfectly. Then I VERY carefully put the 58 on my A350 and clicked the shutter; it worked perfectly also. So then I put it on the A77 and thank goodness it fired flawlessly, but was of course, VERY loosely mounted.

Next I took the 16-50mm and put it on the A350. Camera didn't even recognize it, and would not function.

So I knew the lens was severely damaged, but the camera and flash were salvageable.

When I called my usual repair shop and told them what happened, the tech gave me good news and bad. It seems parts for the camera and flash are readily available. The hot shoe for the A77 would run my $150.00 U.S.D. parts and labor to replace. The Foot for the HVL-F58AM would cost $175.00... but he told me he would NOT be able to get the parts OR perform the repair for the lens... a shame because the 16-50mm is one of my favorites and is second only to the 70-300mm G in the amount of time it spends on my cameras. He told me I'd have to send it off to Sony repair.

Well I was saving up for the new A77II, but hadn't anticipated buying or replacing the 16-50mm for it, and a new 16-50mm runs between $700-800 brand new and between $550-600 used in excellent condition. So I decided to ship the lens off, but repair the camera and flash myself.

Epoxy, sandpaper, 2 pair of tweezers, a Jeweler's loupe, and 24 hours of cure time later, the camera and flash were as good as new... though not as pretty as they used to be. But it took considerably longer for the lens.

I'm not sure what the process for Sony repair is where YOU are, but this is what I had to do: I called my "local" Sony Store and was re-directed to Sony repair. I set up the work order over the phone and got a confirmation number. They told me it would cost $157.00 just to do an estimate, but that cost WOULD be applied to the repair if I authorized it. I told him to have the repair folk notify me by both email AND telephone prior to any work being done, then promptly sent off the lens using Priority Mail (2-3 day delivery) with tracking. The facility in Laredo got it 2 days later.

I did not hear from them. 3 weeks later I went to the Sony website, punched in my number, and got the message "Awaiting customer approval for repair". 2 days later I got a voice message on my cell phone from Sony saying they were ready to repair the lens. When I called them back I was told the total cost would be $517.56. When I asked for specifics the tech could not give them to me... so I decided to go ahead with the repair, figuring I really wanted the 16-50mm and it would be cheaper to fix the one I had than buy a new one. 12 days later I got it back.

The paperwork showed that the lens was a total loss. The had to replace the SSM, the electronics, the front AND rear assembly and the hood mount. In fact, I had to check my serial number to be sure they didn't just give me another lens.

Took it out after work yesterday for some sunset on the lake pictures. Seems to be OK... but I'll really need to SERIOUSLY test it to be sure.

The moral of the story? DO NOT PLAY TRICKS ON YOUR WIFE BY PHOTOGRAPHING HER ASLEEP WITH A RAG ON HER HAD AND HER MOUTH OPEN!

Oh yeah, and when you set your expensive camera down, try to keep it away from the edge of the countertop. :(
There are people who actually think LENS stabilization is better than sensor shifting!

Offline chappo1

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Re: A77 tougher than it looks... 16-50mm; not so much.
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 12:18:41 AM »
Thanks for the story and an interesting read.  When we take the camera out in the car, it always travels on the floor of the backseat- just in case a sudden stop causes it to fall off the seat.
A hard floor- ouch ....john
“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."

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Offline AScot

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Re: A77 tougher than it looks... 16-50mm; not so much.
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 04:05:13 AM »
That is a real PITA. I don't know if other makers do what Sony did, make you put up $157.00 whether they fix the lens or not. Seams like an unfair arm-twister to me. When I had to take my 7D in for first frame black, they insisted on having my Visa number in case it was not FFB.

I notice in B&H they are selling the A77II for $1098.99, body only and $1,698.99 for the Sony a77II with the 16-50mm Lens. In Canada, Henry's is selling it for $1749.99 CAD which at today's exchange rate is $1603 US. It's a pity you have not saved enough yet as they may have been better alternatives, considering that the fixes you made to the A77 and HVL-F58AM may reduce their used value.


All are invited to enter the August Challege Here
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline CHOLLY

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Re: A77 tougher than it looks... 16-50mm; not so much.
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 04:26:43 AM »
^^^I know... but I almost ALWAYS keep my gear and don't use it for trade purposes. Had I gotten them repaired professionally that would have been an additional $300+ out of pocket JUST to get back where I was before the drop.

AScot, the REAL killer for me in this deal was just how inconvenient Sony makes it to repair a camera or lens. And yes; I had to give my credit card number BEFORE they would even take my request. >:(

EVENTUALLY I'll get my A77II... it'll just take longer.
There are people who actually think LENS stabilization is better than sensor shifting!

Offline CHOLLY

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Re: A77 tougher than it looks... 16-50mm; not so much.
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 04:28:35 AM »
Thanks for the story and an interesting read.  When we take the camera out in the car, it always travels on the floor of the backseat- just in case a sudden stop causes it to fall off the seat.
A hard floor- ouch ....john

^^^Smart.

I usually don't have the neck strap on; I use the BR-7 shoulder strap when I'm out in the woods. Don't know WHY I had the neck strap on that night. :(
There are people who actually think LENS stabilization is better than sensor shifting!