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Author Topic: Frustration with dealers  (Read 13181 times)
Weldon Brewster
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« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2006, 10:30:16 AM »
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Hey Graham,

I feel your frustration, I think the concept of dealers and especially dealer support is completely antiquated.  It’s impossible for any dealer or anyone on his staff to put in 50 to 60 hours a week shooting or learning the equipment and the software – they are there to sell not shoot.  Sure they know all the basics but they don’t have the pressure of ADs crowded around the monitor or thousands of files to get out by breakfast.

I would get your cash in hand and contact the top 5 dealers in Europe.  Then low ball them, offer the price YOU want to pay.  I would do this at the end of a month when their sales totals are about to come out.  If they want to do business great if not move on to the next one.  Be ruthless, this is your hard earned money not theirs.  Forget about paying a premium for dealer support, they just send things to the manufacturer to be fixed.  Most of the manufacturers are reachable directly.  As for software and equipment questions, you will know more than the manufacturer’s rep in a short time just using it and asking questions on this forum or a Sinar one.

I bought an Imacon back last year from someone in Dallas after talking to both of the major camera stores here in Los Angeles.  Their prices weren’t that great and they offered very little in the way of practical knowledge. (Yes, they knew the basics.)  I joined the flexframe yahoo forum and anytime I have question I post there. My question’s are answered quickly by pros who been there, done that.  I’ve also had very good luck with direct manufacturer support, I had rental leaf back that I had problems with – I called leaf direct and they helped me fix the problem immediately.

Peace,
Weldon

P.S.  Note to the manufacturers:  The huge virtually untapped resource is the pro photographers who are out there beta testing your equipment everyday.  I would spend more time talking to them than the marketing people.
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garytimms
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2006, 10:48:50 AM »
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Graham

I think all of the above comments make alot of sense..

Its interesting listening to the thoughts of the owners from the US and the guys in Europe.. I think because of the market size they clearly have an advantage.. yes I know what you mean by uninformative websites and unreturned calls..

it seems over here we are second class citizens.

regarding Sinar which you seem to be swaying towards.

I have to say the manufacturer as in jenoptic are immensly helpful. maybe its worth giving them a call. certainly if you have any issues regarding problems during ownership they are more helpful than the dealers.

I had an experience which also will highlight the fact that proven technology is the way forward. I ordered and recieved an emotion22 when they were first announced.. actually recieved it 7 months after ordering it..

was it the dream bit of kit I wanted.. fully untethered, versitile replacement to my dslr's... nope.

it was a headache, the software was incomplete, the noise issues were LOUD, the iso was only good at its lowest, altogether It was a nightmare... any exposures in natural/ambient light over 2 secs were pointless.

while I was trying to work it out, the dealer changed, as the name did to sinar.. were they helpful.. nope.. all the had was the sinar software which was even more incomplete. (infact I got more from help of a contributor to RG than anyone else.. it was life saving)

I explained the issues and they suggested a trade in to a sinar 54m.. with a completely unfavourable price. I went bananas.

Thats when I had long conversations direct with the manufacturer and they were incredibly helpful.. more probably than they had to be, I ended up with an M22 as well as the emotion to cover all bases. to be fair to the dealer now.. they are more helpful.

however now the emotion22 now is a much more complete unit.. countless firmware and software upgrades have made it a much more versitile machine. almost as good as the one on the pdf  ..almost but not quite! The M22 is a dream and worked straight out the box... but then that was an older developed, proven back!

I don't think this is unique in the world of digital backs.. the advice offered by all the other contributors here makes huge sense..

As for cameras and a new machine with carlos fandango lenses.. well wait till you can hold it and try it before you buy it, I wish i had done before I got the H1.. that mirror slaps harder than my wife on a bad day!

buy proven technology. and more importantly get a relationship with the man that sells it to you.. because you will need it
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2006, 10:54:04 AM »
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Thanks to everyone for the responses so far.
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Graham Mitchell - www.graham-mitchell.com
CliffSamys
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2006, 11:38:54 AM »
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Cliff of Samy's in LA comes on these forums and his tag line says, Phase, Hasselblad and Leaf dealer.

Great.

Now let's ask Cliff if you can come to LA test (outside of the store) a P-30, a A-65 and a H3D.

Can you shoot 1000 files with each camera.

Does cliff have a software download for each platoform and can you take those 3,000 files back to your studio or hotel room and process them overnight, by correcting color, exposure and tone to get web galleries up the next morning.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87536\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sure. Will I pay for a studio rental, models, lights and grip? Nope. Will I guarantee that you can use all 3 of these systems on the same day? No, not really. But I will make every effort to get this kit into your hands to try out. I can also have the area sales reps for Phase, Hasse and Leaf come to you with their eqpt. I do these things regularly.
I could also complain about "Frustrations with purchasers". I wish I had people come in and ask to make 1000 files to test process and deliver. This is what I recommend. I have only ever had one potential customer shoot a large quantity of files and test the processing parameters and work with the resulting files. We do rent the backs and apply the rental fee to the purchase price, but generally these customers have made their decision and simply want the rental to confirm this or need it for some job right away.

The sales reps I work with are great guys and real professionals. The Leaf guy is on our floor for an entire day every week. Phase and Hasse are in regularly as well and spend a lot of time at local studios. Lack of pre-sales support is just not something that is a problem around here.

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It’s impossible for any dealer or anyone on his staff to put in 50 to 60 hours a week shooting or learning the equipment and the software – they are there to sell not shoot. Sure they know all the basics but they don’t have the pressure of ADs crowded around the monitor or thousands of files to get out by breakfast.

I started and operated one of the largest digital capture companies here in Los Angeles. Before that I shot advertising and editorial. I know what photo shoots are like and what photographers and clients want/need. If your dealer can't offer this type of professionalism, demand better or go elsewhere. We work very hard here at Samy's to provide excellent pre- and post-sale customer service.

I think I've contributed enough to this thread now, I don't want to turn this into an advertising spot. Feel free to contact me off thread if anyone has questions or concerns.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2006, 11:39:28 AM by CliffSamys » Logged

Cliff
Samy's Camera, Pro Digital Manager
Phase One, Hasselblad, Leaf, Canon, Nikon, Epson, HP and Mac dealer
cnorton[at]samys[dot]com
Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2006, 12:36:00 PM »
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All I am saying is buying today with the hope of moving to a new camera that no one has actually shot an image with is putting a lot of faith into a pdf.
JR
http://www.russellrutherford.com/
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87536\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


My point about going for a more open back is this..

I shoot a hassy H1. PERSONALLY for me it has a problem which is a lack of multipoint AF.

I am happy with it. It works. Its firmware is probably 1990 version 1.000001 - I dont care takes pictures

I will be happy to use it way beyond when all the rubber drops off it

HOWEVER

I would quite like multipoint AF and IF a camera system comes out with this I might be interested in migrating to that system (once it has been around for a few months and been 'ironed')

At that point I will be pleased, if this system is not a Blad, that I can change system easily

I am not suggesting that persons should bank on the future

I am suggestting a way of not getting stuck in the past if the future comes right



------------------
Software.

The Eyelike software (again I am probably 8 upgrades out of date) just needs configuring properly. A process that my dealer didnt understand - but I could teach someone to be up and running in 1/2 a day

I am just warning of shooting Phase and Sinar next to each other and being amazed by the Phase

The files are about even when dealt with properly
« Last Edit: November 28, 2006, 12:55:02 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2006, 04:58:12 AM »
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You dont know what problem is! If you where living in Croatia, you would know what problem is! Here distributers don't know anything, and dont want sell anything....

PS: Sorry for my very very very very BAD English!
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mkravit
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« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2006, 05:04:30 PM »
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I guess I am jumping in here a bit late.

Steve Hendrix of PPR Atlanta is a serious, dedicated, responsive and caring dealer. Without Steve I would probably have been in deep due to the problems I had with the Leaf Aptus 75.

Steve stood behind the product he sold me, he arranged for 4 or 5 replacement units (I forget now, probably by choice as it became pretty traumatic) and finally gave me a 100% credit for the Aptus 75 and got me a Hasselblad H3D with some very creative pricing.

There are definitely good dealers around, they may be scare, but they are around.
Steve Hendrix is one of them and if anyone is considering a digital MF back or camera I would highly recommend him as one of the very best.
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pixjohn
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« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2006, 09:09:03 PM »
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mkravit, What made you choose the H3D? Why chose that over the Phase? I still don't know what to do with my Leaf Aptus 75and it list of problems?
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mkravit
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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2006, 08:59:32 AM »
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mkravit, What made you choose the H3D? Why chose that over the Phase? I still don't know what to do with my Leaf Aptus 75and it list of problems?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87779\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It was a tough decision......very tough.

After 9 months of frustration, error messages, centerfolds, etc. I had just about had it. I looked at the P45 and talked with Dave Gallagher in depth. Dave is also a very nice and knowledgeable man.

I went with the Hasselblad for a number of reasons;

1. I spoke with the President of Hassy and was left with a warm and cozy feeling with respect to committment and development of new and innovative product. He was clear that in order to produce and provide the best image quality and product companies now need to push the envelope and their products. In order to do this and not fall victim to the current rash of issues all manufacturers will be moving toward more proprietary systems.

2. I got together with some friends and we tested the Hasselblad, Phase, Leaf and Emotion backs side by side in real world conditions. Models, lighting, makeup, wardrobe, etc. Images were processed and evaluated on 30" Cinema Displays. The bottom line is that all of the current offerings produce excellent images and results. The days of people saying the Leaf is more "film like" ended with the P45, CFH-39 and Aptus 75. After shooting and evaluating many images we could not tell the difference between the files.

3. I considered the fact that the H3D would need to be tethered or need the New Image Bank to shoot on my ALPA, this was not a problem for me as I am now shooting most of my architecture with a MacBook Pro for composition and focus. For fully portable untethered work I use the H3D body and back.

4. We also compared the same images and scenes shot with Zeiss (Contax), Mamiya and Hassy HC glass, after processing and review the images were  virtually indestiguishable. In fact, a number of my friends selected the Hasselblad HC15o to have the sweetest out of focus charateristics.

5. And finally, I wanted to go into a system and get away from a camera made by one manufacturer and a back made by another. I want a system that is designed to work together from the start.

6. I thought about the AFi or Hy6, but right now and at least for the next 6-9 months they are unavailable. So for me, at this time the Hasselblad was right choice.
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howiesmith
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2006, 09:31:49 AM »
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Graham,

I do agree with you about these silly discount policies. Just discount the back, name the price, and sell it.

http://www.marktucker.com
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87470\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It may seem the same, but when it comes to raising the price back, it is much easier and customer-friendly to change (or eliminate) the special offer.  US car manufactures do this frequently with "factory rebates."  But once the price is cut, the customer wants to know what extra he getting for the higher price.
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marcwilson
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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2006, 09:59:56 AM »
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Graham,

It may seem crazy everyone here telling you to travel such far distances for your back but the reality is you may have to..if the states is to far then here in the u.k. there is robert white who have the rollei emotion 75 budle so perhaps also can get the e22 bundle you are after as well as mamiya zd/ hasselblad HD3 / sinar), teamwork for phase one and calumet for leaf...calumet and teamwork both in london and robert white a two hour train journey away.
At least if buying within europe you will not be hit by any import duties..I assume.

The point is, and I am sure you know this, that wether you earn a small amount or huge amount from your photography the choice of db has to be right so once you get it..it just works and you can get on and shoot without having to make numerous phone calls, software upgrades, etc..but in case you do then having bought face to face with that dealer will be a great thing and give you confidence in your purchase..and future purchases also..especailly if you are looking to the hy6 in the future.

Good luck with it all..

Marc
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2006, 10:17:31 AM »
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I would get your cash in hand and contact the top 5 dealers in Europe.  Then low ball them, offer the price YOU want to pay.  I would do this at the end of a month when their sales totals are about to come out.

Ok, I just emailed 53 Sinar dealers worldwide
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kendal
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« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2006, 12:10:29 PM »
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Ok, I just emailed 53 Sinar dealers worldwide
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87869\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

please keep me updated with any good offer on Hy6/sinarback22mp or sinarback22pm alone  
« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 12:11:10 PM by kendal » Logged
RicAgu
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« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2006, 12:32:22 PM »
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I also left the Leaf Aptus world.  I went back to Phase with a P45 and the files are stunning.  Even at 400 which was one of my big concerns.  I always shot 400 at @ 250 and 160 @ 100.  So the P45 works fine for me.  The files are just a tad stupid big but what ever, now I have hard drives instead of shelves full of negatives.

I also had too many problems with my Aptus and H1 combo.  My P25 never failed me and was the back up to the A75 and came out to work more often than I liked.

I had a good time with Hasselblad rep but have yet to test it.  I may have a go at the P30+ when I test the 800 iso and then sell the P25.

As great as the Leaf guys are the product unfortunately coming from Isreal is not up to par.  I have not ever seen a Sinar back so I cannot comment.  But as it has been said a million times over on this forum.  Test it the best you can at a retail location or take up Samy's on his rental towrds purchase price.  I know JR doesn't like Samy's but they ahve been great to me.  As I said before I would rather shoot with a Holga the rest of my career than use Fotocare and Calumet UK and US are some of the most incompetent people on the face of the earth, with regards to photography.

Phase has been stunning and world class support.  Hasselblad has not stumbled yet on me.  Ia m waiting to try it down the line.  Their service and support with my H1 & H2 has been stellar and the IMacon support in Washington was perfect on my PII and now PIII.

Best of luck with your decision.
 

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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2006, 04:10:12 AM »
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Ok, I am starting to get some replies to my big mail out. I won't name any individual dealers at this stage - the point of this is to show how inconsistent and confused this market place is and how uninformed or dishonest some dealers are.

One dealer has a used e22 for $14,500.

Another dealer wrote to tell me that I couldn't  possibly find an e22 for under $20K. I promptly wrote back to him to tell him about the NEW e75 for ~$20,500. I wonder whether he will have anything to say about that.

A few others have replied that they have nothing.

80% haven't replied at all. Big surprise.
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Graham Mitchell - www.graham-mitchell.com
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« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2006, 08:35:47 AM »
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We live in a highly competitive market and those who win your trust will win your money, simple!

Yair

[span style=\'font-size:8pt;line-height:100%\']Yair Shahar | Leaf EMEA | Regional Manager |
mob: +44 77 8992 8199 | yair.shahar@kodak.com | www.leaf-photography.com
[/span]
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87493\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Just to add my .2 worth, I recently acquired the Leaf Aptus 75 from the Leaf rep in Hamburg/ Germany.

Time will tell how good the service provided will be in the future, should issues come up and a quick, no-questions-asked solution is needed, as it is pretty much the standard in the pro analogue world over here.

So far, my (pre-purchase) experience has been nothing but positive; my dealer would come to my studio on short notice, let me test the back and accessories for a few days, and give me no-bs replies to all my questions on possible shortcomings of his product.
As pricing seems to be a hot topic for many, let me add that he gave me a good price on the back with several ks worth of goodies thrown in for free, I didn't even have to bargain.
Not that I dared after recieving his quote   .

I agree that trust in his advice and possible support in the future - knocking on wood - played a major role in my decission process and sent my money his way.
As I only now switched to digital, and do not have much experience yet, being comfortable with my dealer is key to me.

On a non-related note, if only Leaf got his 10.x software straight ( and dump Java... ) , and granted me access to their forum, I'd be one happy camper   .

Best,
Tom
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khwanaon
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2006, 09:33:33 AM »
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Ok, I am starting to get some replies to my big mail out. I won't name any individual dealers at this stage - the point of this is to show how inconsistent and confused this market place is and how uninformed or dishonest some dealers are.

One dealer has a used e22 for $14,500.

Another dealer wrote to tell me that I couldn't  possibly find an e22 for under $20K. I promptly wrote back to him to tell him about the NEW e75 for ~$20,500. I wonder whether he will have anything to say about that.

A few others have replied that they have nothing.

80% haven't replied at all. Big surprise.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88016\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Graham,

I am not surprised that 80% didn't reply: do remember that most what you call "Dealers" are in fact exclusive distributors. They won't reply to such an email sent-out, wthout knowing you and yourself taking more direct contact with themand being more specific. They are bound with contract issues which limits their selling to the country where they are based. And they are getting hundreds of such "email demands", with most being nothing other than a price comparison. I think there time is precious to answer all these demands.

As for price: you forget also that different countries have different distributor structures, with different distribution channels and different costs and therefore different gross margins. That some distributors are ready even to sell one product with less margin and then take a bit more and compensate on another. So don't put them all in the same bag: some are doing their very best to only be able to survice, i'm sure.

Aon
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yaya
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« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2006, 10:15:29 AM »
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Graham,

I am not surprised that 80% didn't reply: do remember that most what you call "Dealers" are in fact exclusive distributors. They won't reply to such an email sent-out, wthout knowing you and yourself taking more direct contact with themand being more specific. They are bound with contract issues which limits their selling to the country where they are based. And they are getting hundreds of such "email demands", with most being nothing other than a price comparison. I think there time is precious to answer all these demands.

As for price: you forget also that different countries have different distributor structures, with different distribution channels and different costs and therefore different gross margins. That some distributors are ready even to sell one product with less margin and then take a bit more and compensate on another. So don't put them all in the same bag: some are doing their very best to only be able to survice, i'm sure.

Aon
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88248\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I am sorry, but responding to an email has NOTHING to do with price policies, distribution channel/ structure etc.

This has a LOT to do with proper and honest business practice...even if the answer is "Sorry but I can't help you"...

Yair
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marcwilson
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« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2006, 10:29:34 AM »
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I am sorry, but responding to an email has NOTHING to do with price policies, distribution channel/ structure etc.

This has a LOT to do with proper and honest business practice...even if the answer is "Sorry but I can't help you"...

Yair
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88252\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Too right.
If a dealer can not be bothered to write a 15 second email to reply to an email from a prospective customer of a $20k back with all the future business that may entail then I would not feel very positive about that dealer for a purchase and / or future help.

I am very lucky here in the uk with some really good dealers covering most needs..even if some are better than others and some may need a few phone calls to get to the right person!

I think this is why someone in Grahams position may end up having to travel many miles to get the product he wants with good back up...be it the manufacturer or the dealer..we all need the reassurance that as well as good upfront service we can rely on good after sale service when things go wrong.
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khwanaon
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« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2006, 10:30:33 AM »
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I am sorry, but responding to an email has NOTHING to do with price policies, distribution channel/ structure etc.

This has a LOT to do with proper and honest business practice...even if the answer is "Sorry but I can't help you"...

Yair
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88252\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yair,

you seem to take plaisure each time to slash on all who are not on your side and using different products than yours, and this plaisure makes you sometimes answer to fast!

Please read precisely what I was writing, before answering: I did not say that price policies or distribution channels have something to do with answering an email, BUT with the final price of a product to its enduser!

As for answering emails: you are certainly right that it has to do with respect, agree! I did not deny this.
Aon
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