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Author Topic: New Arctic Butterfly - NO upgrade policy  (Read 22754 times)
tbonanno
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« on: May 18, 2006, 12:56:26 PM »
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Hi Group,

I just came back from a three week assignment in Mexico where I used my Arctic Butterfly on several occasions.

On about half of those occasions either the brush would come
out of the metal stem or the whole assembly would detach from the handle
and fly across the room.  Not happy about this.

Not happy about having the brush land on floors and other contaminated
surfaces and then hope that it is clean enough after spinning it to put
on the sensor of my Canon bodies including the 1DsMKII.

I decided to write Visible Dust about the problem and  see what they advised.  Then I received an announcement about the new and improved Arctic Butterfly 724.

I contacted Visible Dust to see if they would let me UPGRADE my unit, which clearly has some issues.  I was willing to pay for the upgrade/exchange of course.

They advised me that they would send me another "old" style unit, but would NOT do any type of upgrade for previous users of the old unit.  They acknowledged that the old style unit had some design issues that they have addressed with the new 724 model, but if I wanted a new unit, I had to pay full price (about $100 US with shipping).

Somehow Visible Dust's response left a sour taste in my mouth.  Seems like they could do better if they want to keep former customers.

Tony Bonanno
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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englishm
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2006, 03:47:58 PM »
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Tony,

I agree 100% with your assessment of the the original Arctic Butterfly:

The brush flies off when you spin it,

the cover pops off when you even look at it sideways, exposing the brush to all manner of contaminants in your bag,

the on-off button can be easily actuated in your bag... draining the battery,

and to top off, the case is a cheap plastic affair that cracks along its seams with even careful use and storage.

Personally, I think this product was either not carefully thought out, or was released before it was ready for prime time.

I am so dissapointed with this product, I really hesitate to send them more hard earned money.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2006, 04:56:06 PM »
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I completely echo englishm's comments.  Despite very careful packing, the cover *always* (not sometimes, not mostly, but *always*) comes off during transit, and the plastic latch thing that is supposed to hold the pouch string closed stopped working on mine the first trip I took it on (something in the mechanism slipped out, and my attempts to reassemble it failed).

I was hoping for a reduced-price upgrade, too, but I'm not going to pay full price for another new one.

Lisa
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2006, 05:08:15 PM »
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I just got the new 724 model and after 2 or 3 tries had the brush & metal stem fly off. It seems you have to be very careful to insert the stem all the way into the handle but the tiny slip of instruction paper makes no mention of it. By the way the constuction and non-slip finish of the handle is very good. The plastic shield will not come off without some serious manipulation and the whole unit comes in a foam lined non-slip plastic case great for travel. Since they advise travelling with the batteries out, they should have made cut-outs for the batteries in the foam. I'll do that myself with an Exacto knife. As for customer relations, you have to realize they're in Edmonton - the land of northern oil sheiks
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Letcher
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2006, 07:59:47 PM »
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I just bought a New Artic Butterfly based upon their reputation and M. Reichmann's endorsement. I thought that I was dealing with a reputable company.

If their original Butterfly had ACKNOWLEDGED flaws, those SOB's should do whatever it takes to upgrade their loyal customers to a product that works properly.

Visible Dust: shame on you. Your credibility sucks.

Bill in Tulsa  
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2006, 07:25:57 AM »
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The original one which I have is a bad joke. The casing is far cheaper than a pocket fan, which in essense is what it is. The brush flies off, the cover falls off if you look at it and the whole thing is so fragile that it has no place in a camera bag.

Wasn't impressed when I got it, still not impressed. For that price we should have got a decent product.
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r42ogn
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2006, 08:02:26 AM »
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I agree, the company needs to have an upgrade policy, especially as they clearly knew the problems they had - the new one has most of the issues you have listed on this thread solved.

I was lucky and was looking just about the time they upgraded the design. It's nice and well packaged BUT it's still very pricey for what you get, spare brushes would be nice, you're sure to soil one from time to time.
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erichK
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2006, 04:40:46 PM »
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Quote
I agree, the company needs to have an upgrade policy, especially as they clearly knew the problems they had - the new one has most of the issues you have listed on this thread solved.

I was lucky and was looking just about the time they upgraded the design. It's nice and well packaged BUT it's still very pricey for what you get, spare brushes would be nice, you're sure to soil one from time to time.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66012\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So I guesss Olympus (and now Panasonic) should keep their automatic dust-cleaner, after all.  This does make me feel beter about the slower focussing, lower MP count, etc. that I have to put up with on my E-1.  At least there's never a speck of dust to interrupt its lovely blues!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2006, 05:22:36 PM »
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I can endorse the 724 - it's a robust product. Mine fell on the floor. Nothing broke, the brush cover did not come off the base, but the brush did fly out of the base when I turned it on. That motor is really quite powerful, so if the brush is jarred it can obviously loosen just enough to spin-off. I re-inserted it firmly, tested it several times over and it stayed put. The new product is good. But I think in principle when a company admits the new item fixes admitted flaws in a previous version, it would be good corporate PR to put SOMETHING on the table for previous owners. And by the way, that lack of commercial savvy isn't confined to Edmonton - it is live and well in Toronto (and umpteen other places) too................
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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jlmwyo
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2006, 02:59:52 AM »
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Or you could just wet clean your sensor  

I get a chuckle out of their statement that they make their brushes in a clean room. Are you going to be using it IN a clean room?  
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matt4626
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2006, 11:20:13 AM »
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The original really is junk but all of us Lemmings seem to like it.
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Slough
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2006, 01:53:05 PM »
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It is not usual for a company to give a free upgrade when they produce a new version of a product, except perhaps in the case of software. Otherwise they would lose money. Some of the complaints here seem to be dissatisfaction with the original version which is another issue. Unless it is not of merchantable quality, which seems not to be the case, I don't think you have a case. Certainly the new Arctic Butterfly looks like a clever gadget.

Personally I am turned off by the prices charged by Visible Dust, and the hard sell. But that's just a subjective opinion from someone who has never used their kit.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2006, 02:30:32 PM »
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I bought one despite the price, because it performs a useful service in a unique and practical way. I find it hard to evaluate the price, except to say it's about at the limit of what I would spend for such a gadget no matter how clever, but I doubt that is how they approach the pricing. One needs to think of everything involved: product design, materials, prototype testing, manufacture (custom moulds etc.), inventory, marketing, overheads and taxes to be spread over what volume of sales?.........it becomes a question of what they must charge to at least break-even on some volume of estimated sales. I don't pretend to know that equation, so at the end of the day the price is the price - one either thinks it is worthwhile or not.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
LeifG
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2006, 01:51:30 AM »
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I suspect the pricing is based on a simple argument that someone who owns an expensive camera and makes their living from it will consider ~CN$100 a small price to pay for a clean sensor and not having to waste time spotting images. Photographic accessories are usually expensive, perhaps because the cost of optics and bodies gets us used to paying a lot. I recently bought a Nikon remote cord which is a very simple plastic device but it cost a small fortune given what it is.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2006, 05:55:50 AM »
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I don't think this is correct in principle. Firstly, products these days tend to be light on materials but embody technology that costs more to develop and market than the visible materials would suggest. Secondly, unlike Nikon, Visible Dust is a small company taking an undiversified business risk entering into a venture producing a very narrow product range. Pricing is an important part of that risk. If they over-shoot the market (and I think they may be at the edge) they will fail and they must know that. I think it's more likely they've done their arithmetic on what they need to charge and they're on pins and needles waiting to see if the finances will come together. As for Nikon charging a fortune for a remote cord - yes, I've had that sticker-shock too. But again, how many such cords do they sell, and what overheads get packed into the pricing? Have you ever bought spare parts for a Toyota, or many other cars for that matter? I'm not trying to defend some of this pricing, but I think there is more to it than meets the eye, because pricing takes place in an environment where long-term survival in a market means enlarging market share and maintaining good PR, neither of which are helped by developing a reputation for gouging customers unnecessarily. (I guess that means I'll tolerate being gouged if it's necessary?   )
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2006, 06:10:37 AM »
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But I have no doubt that however simple, the nikon cable release is well made, of sturdy materials, something that you would be happy to take into the field.

Lets face it, the original butterfly featured the simplest motor ever invented, encased in plastic far more cheap and fragile than a typical $2 pocket fan whose motor it shares, my toothbrush travel holder is far tougher than it (they had the cheek to say in their emails that it was designed to look fragile so as not to upset airport officials!), the brush 'neck' is super thin and flimsy metal (what would be wrong with plastic? personally I don't like sticking anything metal into my mirror box!) and the brush..... it was overpriced when first brought out and now there are many cheaper competitors all using the same very basic technology.

They screwed up. I wouldn't put that thing in my trousers pocket because if I sat down I might be picking bits of plastic out of pocket minutes later. It's just simply not a professional tool that a pro would trust though the price is very much so. I wrap it in a sock to put in my case, I would never put it in my backpack and for something that is supposed to clean something as fragile and expensive as a camera sensor - how did you feel last time the damn brush flew off mid spin onto the dusty floor?

That butterfly lost me as a customer.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2006, 07:15:53 AM »
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Ben I hear you. Yes, they may well have screwed-up on the first model, but remember, the materials they used are probably a small fraction of the cost of putting the product on the market. Quite accidently I discovered that fortunately the new model is ROBUST. As well, in case we needed to be reminded, they tell us in the instructions NOT to turn on the motor while cleaning the sensor.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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r42ogn
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2006, 07:42:31 AM »
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Quote
It is not usual for a company to give a free upgrade when they produce a new version of a product, except perhaps in the case of software. Otherwise they would lose money. Some of the complaints here seem to be dissatisfaction with the original version which is another issue. Unless it is not of merchantable quality, which seems not to be the case, I don't think you have a case. Certainly the new Arctic Butterfly looks like a clever gadget.

Personally I am turned off by the prices charged by Visible Dust, and the hard sell. But that's just a subjective opinion from someone who has never used their kit.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66284\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Noone suggested a FREE upgrade, just a better deal if you'd suffered from the first product, say 10% reduction if you can show proof of purchase, or wiave shipping anything.  This won't kill them but it would show they'd thought about it...
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Slough
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2006, 11:53:43 AM »
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Quote
Noone suggested a FREE upgrade, just a better deal if you'd suffered from the first product, say 10% reduction if you can show proof of purchase, or wiave shipping anything.  This won't kill them but it would show they'd thought about it...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66344\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

FYI I recall seeing someone selling the AB at 45. I think it was SpeedGraphic.

Incidentally according to their web site other brushes damage sensors. I would have thought that statement was actionable since it knocks competitors.

Leif
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jlmwyo
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2006, 01:25:49 PM »
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I could never get past the psuedo scientific mumbo jumbo on their website, and the outrageous prices as well.

If you need a brush, just get one from Copperhill.
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