Hopefully you never need to think about what to do when you break your camera lens in Turkey. Believe us when we say, it’s not as straightforward as you may think (unless you’re in Istanbul).
“Lens error. Contact a Nikon-authorized service center”.
That moment that Mandy and I realised that our lens was broken was one of disappointment and frustration, followed by fear. Disappointment that our images for Almost Landing would not be as good as they could have been. Frustration at the thought of needing to source another or have it repaired, then there was fear. Fear that we would not be able to replace it for another 4 weeks until we were in Athens. We are here to not only sympathize with your emotions but to hopefully provide that flicker of hope that gives your camera a second life. Hopefully we can help you figure out “What to do when you break your camera lens in Turkey”.
A day after we left Istanbul was when our lens failed. When looking into where to fix or replace it, we found that 99% of all sellers and all the authorized service centers were in Istanbul where we just left, and Izmir where we had also already passed through. This is when we had to assess our options.
What To Do When You Break Your Camera Lens In Turkey: Our Options
Get it at any of our next destinations:
Kusadasi, Pamukkale, Marmaris and Fetiye. None of these destinations had what we needed.
Buy from anywhere and have shipped or delivered to a future destination:
Here is where we started getting creative and if you are in the same situation you need to too. The only place in Turkey that we could find that had our lens in stock was in Istanbul. The problem with this is that private courier was the only way they would send it and was hundreds of dollars for delivery within the time we would be in Turkey. Out of our price range. It was also really difficult to talk over the phone with the language barriers, to make sure we got what we specifically needed.
We also looked to have one from Athens sent to both Fetiye, our last stop in Turkey, and also Rhodes, our first stop in Greece. This could be done but was risky whether we would miss the delivery, but mainly really expensive again.
Look at other online shops:
We even looked at buying one off eBay as the shipping was cheaper and quicker than some, but still not quick or reliable enough.
Search for camera and electronic shops online and physically asking around the area you are:
A combination of internet searching and asking anyone from hotel staff to where you have lunch, all helps in the quest to replace your camera lens in Turkey. For us a breakthrough came in Kusadasi. After we had searched ourselves and visited the shops without success we went back to the hotel. We had a talk with the reception staff and managed to get them to call a few places for us as we were having problems with the language barrier. It’s quite hard explaining you need a “Nikon Nikkor V1 10-30mm lens” even with what you need in your hands, broken.
The reception staff called around and managed to find a place where they made note of saying if they didn’t have what we needed they would help us find it. Perfect. Just what we wanted, a glimmer of hope after a very disheartening fruitless couple of days. He did not have it. But he knew what we needed. He called and spoke with his contact in Izmir, where there is a Nikon dealer and Authorized repair center.
Cut a long story a little shorter, there was a new delivery in which our lens was inside arriving in Izmir the next day, he could have it in Kusadasi the next afternoon. Problem. We were leaving in the morning and spending the next night it Pamukkale. No problem. He would have it delivered to the Pamukkale hotel for us!
Was this too good to be true?
It was waiting for us when we arrived in Pamukkale! Unbelievable. Delivered at 2pm the next day for only 20 TL ($10). Bear in mind that Pamukkale is about 3 hours from Kusadasi and Izmir is 1.5 hours from Kusadasi. Yes there may be a quicker way to get there that the couriers use but still incredible. We ordered at 7pm and received at the tiny bnb hotel in a small town hours away the next afternoon.
Not that I would ever rely on any delivery system in any country, but this experience not only told me a lot about how helpful Turkish people can be towards others but also that most of the time it takes the local knowledge to have the best experiences with anything. If you cant sort something out yourself, ask the locals.
Thank You Murat!
A big thanks to Murat from Photo Port, who was incredible in helping us get our beloved camera back healthy and back taking some great shots for Almost Landing! He is based in Kusadasi and has a few shops here. If you have any camera issues here, he is your man. Speaks English and knows what he is talking about, which was a massive bonus for us as nobody else we encountered had his product knowledge. The actual shop we went to is small and does not stock much variety, but Murat knows who to call and how to organise parts and cameras that you may need. Thanks again Murat, see you next time we are in Kusadasi!
Address: Scala Nouva, Kuşadası (the shopping centre at the port).
Tel: +90 256 614 65 06
Have you ever had a camera problem overseas? Or been to a place that you’ve found it hard to find a solution?
Let us know in the comments below…