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Where to Fix Your Camera in Jakarta

with 4 comments

Unfortunately, this isnt advertisement.

I still havent reach to the point where all my blog posts can reach to million viewers, that people would pay me to put their ads here.

Thankfully, I dont really care either.

So, where would you go to get your camera fixed if you have some problems with it, when you’re in Jakarta?

This is the only place I’d go to. Harpa Camera Service & Repair :

As you can see on their board, it’s located at Pasar Baru. Apparently it’s a commonly known place for photographers in Jakarta. Antara Foto School of Photojournalism and its gallery also located in Pasar Baru area.

Have no idea why they named it after a music instrument, harpa –for harp.

To go to this repair shop, from the entrance of Pasar Baru, with its gigantic welcoming gate written “Passer Baroe”, right after you crossed one of the stinkiest big gutter in central Jakarta, just go straight and enjoy the scenery of many many many textiles shops and shoes shops. Sometimes you can even spot one or two department stores displaying racks of bras. How could they actually planning to make us girls feel comfortable for lingerie shopping when they display them on the doorstep at the sidewalk?

Anyway.. after you wiggle on the sound of Hindi music or house music on the highest volume, you will reach to almost the end of the -sort of- tunnel. On your left, you’ll see shops selling hair and make up equipment. Thats where my twin sisters will go to, because they are make up artists (http://yourportraits.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/the-twins-make-up-artists/).

While on your right, you’ll see a God Knows What shops. hehe.. Sorry.. I cant really explain, for that place can be extremely messy. Just make sure that you are in Metro Atom Plaza. —–Wait, both buildings left and right are actually connected.

Errr… okay, just go to the building on your right (if you are following my previous lead). Then use that escalator (hope it’s working by the time you get there.. if not.. just pretend they are stairs..). And on the 2nd floor, go find Aneka Foto shop. I would suggest you to not immediately ask Harpa Camera, because most likely the people who sits there like they do nothing, would only think you’re going to Harpa to sell some of your shooting equipment. They can be a real pain..

So, just go to the opposite direction after you reach the 2nd floor, and you’ll find Aneka Foto on your right. Thats one of a place to go to if you want to buy batteries, cameras, lenses, lighting equipment and so on. Most of the times, they actually give good price. But make sure you know the price tag on the market for the items you planning to buy.

Hendra, the nurse

Hendra, the camera nurse

After you passed the busy camera shop called Aneka Foto, VOILA! Thats where Harpa Camera is.

If you’re lucky, you will meet Hendra ;

His face would look like this, more or less. He’s a very nice and polite guy, and extremely talkative! And no.. am not describing myself here.

Hendra will ask whats your problem is. The camera’s, of course. He’s like a nurse. He will determine if they can actually fix the problem in your camera, or just send you back home and say, “Sorry.. we cant..”.

The real doctor, would be this guy ;

His name is TITO! And he’s a super magician!

Unlike Hendra, Tito barely say a word. He’s like an autism who prefers to sit in his corner and play with his toys. In this case, they are lenses, flashes, cameras, and so on. And he doesnt treat them like toys. He treat them with respects. He cleans them with his mop by heart, gently. He always amazes me, everytime I get the chance to see him work. For me, he’s an artist.

It took years of experience, tons of patience, and a real passion to fix camera equipment. And he has it all. He is so focused, you should be prepared if he’s somehow just ignore you when he’s working.

I think… Wait, I KNOW.. that Tito isnt a professional photographer. Maybe he was. I dont know. We’d tangled in jokes if we ever actually involved in a conversation. But he doesnt always joke. It took me a while to get him to make jokes. And sadly, they’re not always funny.

Tito has been fixing cameras for — I dont know, I never asked.. But I’m guessing from the early years of camera invasion to Indonesia. And he barely have a day off!! Yes.. You can come anytime, from 11 am to 6 pm, everyday! And you’ll find them there.

“I am paid per day work. So if I dont come, I wont get paid,” said Hendra once. And since Hendra is only the nurse, he wont open the shop without the doctor. So, they’ll definitely there.

Even after Eidul Fitri!!!! Seems like, Tito always has a thing to do. A camera to fix. Piles of what I would think of junks, just sit infront of him on his desk, and he would drowned in full concentration to fix them, one by one.

***

The reasons why I always go to them ;

  1. Sometimes, I can be clumsy, that everytime I borrowed someone’s equipment, I either drop it, bang it, or spill ice tea on it. Yes.. I do that.
  2. When I still work for a daily newspaper, some of my lenses can be very dirty, and I like them to be sharp clean for out of town or abroad assignment.
  3. They ask for reasonable price.
  4. They’re not a snob or a smartypants who would act like they know everything and make you feel stupid just because you dont know what the heck happen to your camera.
  5. They would first examine your equipment, trying to figure out what seems to be the problem, and give you a rough estimation on the repair cost. You can always have your camera back, if you think they ask for a lot of money.
  6. They would say no to some camera equipment, if they think the cost for fixing it is higher than a brand new items of the similar product.
  7. I respect them and they respect me as a customer and a photographer. They know my work demands for high speed, even when it comes to repairs. So they’ll immediately tell me if they think I should wait for a little longer, whenever they think there’s a serious damage.
  8. Even though they cant afford to give me a back-up equipment when they are fixing the damaged ones (for they dont have the responsibility to do that), they will not charge me for more, if I return in a day or two, when I found out something still went terribly wrong with the equipment they’ve repaired. It’s like a post-service thing. And since Tito is the only one who fix things, he’ll still remember the items and what he has done with it to fixed it. He even still remember most of my shooting kit that I’ve brought to him, either to be fixed or just cleaned.
  9. They are funny, honest, polite and sincere. Thats the true service that I would expect from anyone I have business with.

The reason why I would be grumpy at them ;

They cant always keep their promise. So, ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure they are on schedule and ask if they already even try to fix your camera. Because Tito is like a one man show. He can be drown in fixing lens A, thus make flash B and camera C to wait until he finished. It’s a good thing for repairing quality, but not good when you are in a hurry. I always checking on the phone everytime my equipment is in their hands. They’ll let you know when it’s ready for you to take it.

The reason why they would be grumpy at me ;

I ALWAYS ALWAYS forget to bring the receipt. So they need to ask for my ID everytime I want to take my stuffs back. It’s a good thing, really. They wont give your equipment to a stranger. Once, I asked a friend to get me my flash, and they called me up first just to make sure, and still ask my friend some questions. My friend found them irritating and went grumpy on me. So that makes three people who were grumpy at me all at once.

O well.. 🙂

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Written by nickmatulhuda

April 23, 2012 at 8:00 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Hi, just wondering is there any contact for this shop (phone number or email)? Would like to have them to inspect my lens, it’s broken into two halves. Please reply me thru email if possible. Thanks.

    haoching

    May 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

  2. Thank you so much for writing about Harpa in the internet. I went there because of your recommendation and I´m so happy now that they fixed my lense for a good price and in just one day!
    Cheers, Sandra

    Sandra

    October 27, 2012 at 10:19 am

  3. Hi Nick, my Canon EPL1 does not turn on anymore and as I am doing my study abroad in Jakarta I need to get it fixed as soon as possible. As my bahasa is is really limited I would like to know if I have to bring a local or can handle it on my own. Please let me know :).

    Chrissy

    April 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm


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