My Sony Z1 fell victim to dust while filming in Niger and was probably not helped by an earlier trip in Djibouti. With dust inside the lens producing black spots against light conditions I thought the only solution was to replace the lens - an expensive exercise. I've read a lot of camera forum posts that describe the lens in Sony Z1 as 'sealed' unit.
A little web searching and I stumbled upon photos referring to www.camcorderservice.nl via the DVUsers forum and gave camera technician Nico Wegkamp a call.
Nico surprised me by saying he was more than willing to have a look inside the lens and could clean it. Camcorder Service is located in IJmuiden - just 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam.
It was a 4 hour train trip from Bonn, but well worth it. I would recommend Camcorder Service to anyone in this part of the continent - you can also courier your camera to Nico.
Nico worked with Sony in The Netherlands for 10 years and has run his own camercorder service workshop for the past 12 years. Your camera will be in good hands with his team and you can even watch the repair in action. Compared to the officially licenced Sony repair service in Cologne, Camcorder Service was a dream. In Cologne I could not speak to a technician on the phone to discuss the problem or repair options and the repair service section did not even bother to reply to my email.
Not only did Nico clean the lens, but he also repaired the lens cover barn doors and the camera's tape mechanism. I feel like I have a new camera, repaired and serviced at a fair price.
Slideshow of the repair. Nico, thanks mate - I'm back in action.