People regularly ask how I got started in camera restoration and repair. Sometimes, they ask out of plain interest. Other times, they ask out of concern for their cameras. Either way, here's some history to help you understand who's behind Factory Cameras and how it works.
I'm Kevin. I'm a lifelong, and sometimes professional, photographer. I have backgrounds in multiple fields, including journalism, where I got formal photography and darkroom training.
Today, I shoot both digital and film, and I primarily work on personal photography projects—when I have the time.
A few years ago, after a long break from working with film, I wanted to try restoring my late father’s Olympus OM-1—the same camera he taught me to use when I was a kid in the ‘70s—so I could shoot film again. It was daunting, but with persistence, I did it. Then I turned to another SLR he had and tried restoring it, too. But I ruined that one.
Despite the split success, the adventure in camera work had begun. In the following months, I bought cheap cameras (“broken” as advertised), repaired and sold them. People I met began asking if I offered repair services for others. My replies were always dismissive; I just couldn't imagine a demand for it.
The pandemic arrived in 2020, and I dove in deep with camera repair and carried on. I read several books on camera maintenance. I found troves of repair resources. I worked on many cameras.
Eventually, though, I became curious about the viability of offering repair services. I created a website, stole the name and aesthetic of a business I owned years earlier, and launched the service on a whim.
It started quietly, but people began to inquire. In the first weeks and months, I had a small number of monthly requests, which became a few per week. Today, my work slate fills up for weeks in a matter of hours. I repair hundreds of cameras a year and help almost as many photographers.
I have no accreditation, just some years of experience.
While the work makes me happy, I’m also frustrated because it is, by nature, quite slow. That means I can't always return people’s cameras as quickly as I’d like to. I work at a measured pace to ensure it's done to the highest standard possible.
Sometimes, it takes weeks to work through my backlogs. There are people I can't help because I have to close intake when I get overwhelmed, which is much of the time.
Despite the name, there is no factory. There isn't even a kiosk. I can't afford one. I'm just one guy in a well-equipped attic who loves photography, cameras, and helping the community.
I have an Instagram account, but I don't care how many followers I have. It's just a reference for people to see what kinds of cameras I've worked on. It represents a small percentage of the repairs and maintenance I perform.
I meet clients by appointment on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver.
I hope I can help you. Please get in touch if you have questions. Or just to say Hello. I always enjoy that.