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Author Topic: Leaf Aptus back fails in "cold" weather. Help please.  (Read 13937 times)
torger
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« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2012, 01:40:30 AM »
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You can't say that it's expensive because you need to do XYZ and then pick any fantasy number. It is an obvious ripoff, full stop. The idea is that you should not notice because your back was initially so high cost. At the very least it is a case of extremely poor cost management passed on directly to the customer.

Before I purchased the back I was most worried about the fan, the only moving part in the back. So I checked with the deailer into what it would cost to replace the fan. It would cost 9990 SEK, that is €1158/$1500+VAT. Hmm... I knew already then that they had issues, but I thought I could take the risk. It was said that a basic checkup was included in that price. What I failed to realize is that they add up the fantasy costs if you need to fix more than one thing, and I did not realize that I was going to be forced by Phase One to use a Swedish dealer which adds 15% on top, which is not insignificant since you get 25% VAT on top of that, i e +43%, say a German dealer doing euro prices would be VAT only (19% there). And while basic checkup was said to be included in that fan exchange price, I need to pay for the 5000 SEK+VAT checkup separately here when doing repairs for 19000 + 9990 SEK.

You should think of this when backs costing less than ~€5000 is sold, they are so uneconomical to repair that it may be better to throw them away when trouble occurs. A dealer 6 month warranty adds little safety to this, 6 months pass quickly (one may not even experience cold weather in that time...) and then you must simply hope nothing happens to it. What the dealer wants to happen is that you see it is so bl**dy expensive to repair that a trade-in to a newer more expensive back does not seem that bad in comparison, and then you are in the loop.

I shall say what would have made me satisfied. 1) Phase One would let me use any dealer in the world (or even better go directly to them), so I could skip the bad dealers that add extra on top 2) the "service checkup fee" would not be added several times when you fix everything at once, meaning that this repair would be €1900 (standard repair fee) + ~€500 (glass, without the service checkup fee) = €2600 + VAT, that with say a German dealer would be €2900 for me, still expensive but a whole lot different from €5000.

In the current offering it is a better deal for me to sell my back for as little as €1000 or even less (I think it is worth more though to anyone that don't use it in cold weather, I just have to find the right buyer) and get another second hand back. I can afford make the repair as offered by the Swedish dealer, but it is 1) a stupid deal since it is so expensive that trading is considerably better and 2) there's a limit to how much ripoff I can accept, I simply don't like to give away my money to business that work this way.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 03:20:01 AM by torger » Logged
MrSmith
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« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2012, 03:16:55 AM »
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That's a crappy situation with your back, shame there's no independent ex-employee running a repair shop.

How long does it take to train as a phase/leaf repair engineer? I was thinking of retraining as an optician as their mark-up is very high but a phase/leaf repair agent seems like a better way of fleecing people.
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bcooter
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« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2012, 03:28:52 AM »
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I don't know for sure, but I think this fixed price thing is a Phase One policy since several years, and Leaf now got the same when they merged. I don't know what the policy was when Leaf was independent.

Probably the fixed price is quite good when you have a high-end back for €30,000 and the likely repair if any is a big one (dropped into a stream of water type of things), but for servicing old gear which is worth say €5000 or less and get simple errors like depleted clock batteries it is not so good.

Another thing is that they have a separate fixed price for sensor glass replacement, which is ~€900, and in that package I think a simple clean should be included. So probably your problem would be fixed if buying that package instead instead of the generic repair package.

And then there's the final strange thing, you can swap mounts for I think it is €2000 (say change a H-mount to a V-mount), but what I've heard is that you actually get the whole back exchanged since the Leaf Aptus backs cannot have mount exchanged. Not 100% sure this is true though.

Anyway I don't really think this is a good model. One problem is that the major part of the cost of a high-end back is not manufacturing/parts cost, but development cost due to low sales volumes (and maybe a large margin). If we exclude the sensor the manufacturing cost of the whole back I would guess is around €2000 or less, but I think the MFDB manufacturers want to maintain a myth that the hardware indeed is extremely expensive so repairs must not make the stuff look "cheap".


Torger,

I more than agree with you that 5000 euro is absurd.   I do understand the need for a smaller company like phase to turn a profit, but somewhere in the dealer,to manufacturer, to dealer (and tax man) process something is definitely sideways.

This process of getting a buyer in the "loop" is what I've always thought is a very poor long term business strategy for the mfd makers.

Sure, you always look for repeat business, but honest long term repeat business comes from excellent service, quality and value.  Sounds like silly talking points, but those three assets hold true for any business that wants to continue, regardless of the competition.

It's a shame, because had your back been fixed quickly and at a reasonable costs, you, your friends and associates would probably consider Leaf/Phase without hesitation.  Now you've been moved the opposite way.

It's also a shame that it seems that the process of trade in and trade up is a way for the mfd market to control used product entering the market and essentially manage the market.

We've seen this before, when a company or market segment tries to control a segment front to back and eventually some rival company realizes there is a hole in the market, i.e. the Nikon D800 and in some ways the Pentax 645 and capitalizes on it.

If Phase/Leaf/Blad had applied discounts to returning buyers and allowed them to sell or keep their existing backs rather than trade in, I don't believe it would have harmed their market, I actually believe it would have grown all medium format involvement and sales.

Also an extended warranty offering that is longer term and at a reasonable costs goes a long way with brand loyalty.

From day one medium format has had this position of people will pay more because they don't want to lose their investment in existing lenses and bodies.  Kinda of worked, but not for the long term. 

Now they seem to have a position of financially forcing a user with a mechanical issue to move up to a bigger newer back and this type of force, real or implied also doesn't work in the long term.

I know for me, my Phase backs are cost effective and continue to perform very well, but the day it costs me $2,500 to replace the watch battery, is the day I start looking in other directions.

Sorry this happened to your Torger, but something is wrong in this process.  I can understand that you bought used, took your chances, but to replace a board on a back should not cost more than the back is worth.

IMO

BC
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torger
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« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2012, 12:11:58 PM »
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The most likely scenario now is that I will try to sell the back for €2500 which I think is a fair price for a user that will not need to use it in cold weather, especially now after it has been to a €500 service check (unclear to me if they actually do anything but dust-blowing though Smiley ). I will be totally open with the defects of course. I will lose about €2500 on this, but that's only €500 a month which probably is the cheapest an MFD hobbyist has gotten away with anyway Wink. And I've got some nice pictures.

If anyone is interested let me know.

Note that I won't drop it to a very low price, even if selling it for say €1000 would actually be a better deal for me than doing this repair, I would then find it better to keep it as a nice heavy paper weight during winter and use it as usual indoors and during the summer months when it works nicely.

I'm still waiting for some confirmation that I've got the correct information from the Swedish dealer and that I really cannot use someone else that actually employs fair pricing. The strange adding up of service fees could still be a central Phase One thing, and if so I'm not really sure yet if the remaining repair is worth those €3300 (as it would be with a German dealer) and even if so if I want to support that kind of business.

I also still want to test the back myself after they've done the service check, the back is still at my dealer or Phase One.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2012, 01:15:36 PM »
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@ Doug P
Cost of repair:
The cost of out of warranty repairs on digital backs that require opening the back is high. It requires an industrial clean room and someone with enough training and experience to disassemble and reassemble the back and repair the back regardless of which component has failed.

Why is a clean room required to open a back regardless of what part has failed if the very backs are not assembled in an industrial clean room?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QOY5qy7SGY&feature=share&list=PLD22E66923E2F8D9C

It is very clear from the video that the backs are not assembled in an industrial clean room.
The backs are handled with bare hands with fingers touching the backs. Workers hair is not covered. Not industrial clean room standards.

Industrial clean room primer:

http://www.liberty-ind.com/cr-primer.html

Some clean room manufacturing here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Lkv0Sc2MxP8#t=579s
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Aryan Aqajani
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« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2012, 08:06:16 PM »
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@ Doug P
Why is a clean room required to open a back regardless of what part has failed if the very backs are not assembled in an industrial clean room?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QOY5qy7SGY&feature=share&list=PLD22E66923E2F8D9C

It is very clear from the video that the backs are not assembled in an industrial clean room.
The backs are handled with bare hands with fingers touching the backs. Workers hair is not covered. Not industrial clean room standards.

Industrial clean room primer:

http://www.liberty-ind.com/cr-primer.html

Some clean room manufacturing here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Lkv0Sc2MxP8#t=579s

Ace! 1000+
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Aryan Aqajani - Photographer in Melbourne, Australia
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torger
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« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2012, 08:43:02 AM »
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Yes of course they are not entirely truthful about clean rooms and expensive electronics etc, but I would not think they are any worse than other company that are very focused on business-to-business.

Their whole business is centered around the professional photographer who is dependent on his/her gear for the income. Always having working equipment at hand that deliver professional quality is much more important than overall cost efficiency and value for money, since all other costs like paying salaries will be much higher anyway. They don't need to motivate the cost of their gear and services in terms of how much these gear/services cost to develop and produce, it's all about return of investment. How much is it worth to the professional user to get failed gear up and running as soon as possible? Quite a lot. No camera, no income.

The situation here in Sweden is also a bit special, monopoly on dealership allows them to pump up the prices even more. If something is expensive to start with, making it even more expensive for no apparent reason is easy to get away with. I've seen this not only with the Phase/Leaf dealer, but also with the only Linhof dealer (which now has gone out of business), so I got my Linhof parts from dealers abroad of course.

This way to do business works well until an alternative appears. Even if professionals can afford expensive gear most don't throw away money just because they can (some do though). The emerging competition from DSLRs is therefore very interesting.

They way the business model works today I'm starting to think it is almost a bit irresponsible by dealers to sell old pre-owned gear, since these are so insanely uneconomical to repair, and failures do happen. The recommendation from any dealer should be that if you cannot afford to use the latest and greatest you should not use MF gear at all.

The entry level pre-owned digital backs is of the type use until it fails, and then throw it away (well, leave it to recycling).
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2012, 09:00:20 AM »
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Anders,

I just want to say that I am very sorry about your experience.

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised. I think that the backs are quite reliable, but when they have issue and you are out of warranty, you are pretty much on your own.

This story sort of reminds me of the Hasselblad zoom falling apart for Michael Reichmann in Namibia. It seems that there were at least a dozen persons affected by similar problems. Hasselblad choose to put all blame on the victims. They could say, s**t happens, we are awfully sorry, send in the gear and we fix it at no cost. That would not really helped Mr. Reichmann, but would created goodwill instead of badwill.

Best regards
Erik


Yes of course they are not entirely truthful about clean rooms and expensive electronics etc, but I would not think they are any worse than other company that are very focused on business-to-business.

Their whole business is centered around the professional photographer who is dependent on his/her gear for the income. Always having working equipment at hand that deliver professional quality is much more important than overall cost efficiency and value for money, since all other costs like paying salaries will be much higher anyway. They don't need to motivate the cost of their gear and services in terms of how much these gear/services cost to develop and produce, it's all about return of investment. How much is it worth to the professional user to get failed gear up and running as soon as possible? Quite a lot. No camera, no income.

The situation here in Sweden is also a bit special, monopoly on dealership allows them to pump up the prices even more. If something is expensive to start with, making it even more expensive for no apparent reason is easy to get away with. I've seen this not only with the Phase/Leaf dealer, but also with the only Linhof dealer (which now has gone out of business), so I got my Linhof parts from dealers abroad of course.

This way to do business works well until an alternative appears. Even if professionals can afford expensive gear most don't throw away money just because they can (some do though). The emerging competition from DSLRs is therefore very interesting.

They way the business model works today I'm starting to think it is almost a bit irresponsible by dealers to sell old pre-owned gear, since these are so insanely uneconomical to repair, and failures do happen. The recommendation from any dealer should be that if you cannot afford to use the latest and greatest you should not use MF gear at all.

The entry level pre-owned digital backs is of the type use until it fails, and then throw it away (well, leave it to recycling).
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 09:59:45 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

torger
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« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2012, 02:00:10 PM »
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Thank you for your support Smiley

Reliability is very hard to say anything about. The major parts of the backs are used in studio only, and the high cost of the gear makes the users extra cautious, and many of the professional shooters have backup equipment with them all the time. If there is any camera gear that could have worse reliability than others and few would notice/care it is MFDB.

In my specific case I do get support, I'm free to repair the back. My problem is that it is unreasonably expensive, and dealt with in a way that shows that they do not really care about cost efficiency for the customer. Let's make good money on currency exchange, who cares anyway. Let's stack service fees over and over again, who cares...

All it would have taken to make me happy is to 1) let me use any dealer I want so I don't need to get the one with the worst pricing in the whole world, 2) not stack service fees 3) show some bl**dy interest and understanding of amateur users.

I can understand that it is the way it is, as said their model is business-to-business, hobbyists like me is probably just an annoyance. What's a bit puzzling is that even dealers sell second-hand gear and not only high-end pre-owned €15,000 type of gear, but also old low end backs in the €2000 - €6000 range and thus expect price-sensitive users to get into the game, despite that the whole loop is designed for big spending.

Anders,

I just want to say that I am very sorry about your experience.

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised. I think that the backs are quite reliable, but when they have issue and you are out of warranty, you are pretty much on your own.

This story sort of reminds me of the Hasselblad zoom falling apart for Michael Reichmann in Namibia. It seems that there were at least a dozen persons affected by similar problems. Hasselblad choose to put all blame on the victims. They could say, s**t happens, we are awfully sorry, send in the gear and we fix it at no cost. That would not really helped Mr. Reichmann, but would created goodwill instead of badwill.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2012, 02:54:47 PM »
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Hi,

Just to offer some perspective. I had two repairs in 42 years. I had bayonet replaced on a Minolta 80-200/2.8 APO after 20 years of use, cost me about 1500 SEK (including VAT), something like 170€ . The other was a lens repair on a Dimage A2 that was on warranty.

Best regards
Erik

Thank you for your support Smiley

Reliability is very hard to say anything about. The major parts of the backs are used in studio only, and the high cost of the gear makes the users extra cautious, and many of the professional shooters have backup equipment with them all the time. If there is any camera gear that could have worse reliability than others and few would notice/care it is MFDB.

In my specific case I do get support, I'm free to repair the back. My problem is that it is unreasonably expensive, and dealt with in a way that shows that they do not really care about cost efficiency for the customer. Let's make good money on currency exchange, who cares anyway. Let's stack service fees over and over again, who cares...

All it would have taken to make me happy is to 1) let me use any dealer I want so I don't need to get the one with the worst pricing in the whole world, 2) not stack service fees 3) show some bl**dy interest and understanding of amateur users.

I can understand that it is the way it is, as said their model is business-to-business, hobbyists like me is probably just an annoyance. What's a bit puzzling is that even dealers sell second-hand gear and not only high-end pre-owned €15,000 type of gear, but also old low end backs in the €2000 - €6000 range and thus expect price-sensitive users to get into the game, despite that the whole loop is designed for big spending.

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Anders_HK
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« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2012, 03:19:21 PM »
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I can sympathize with your problems, however are you not going way over the board in what you are posting... ?

If there is any camera gear that could have worse reliability than others and few would notice/care it is MFDB.

Above is nonsense. My prior Leaf back drop hard on hardwood fall once and rolled and bounced like a ball. It made my heart stop. I picked it up and it worked as good as day one. Amazing. My first travel with Leaf back was to dusty India it has been in heat and humidity and stellar performance and durability. Make a search and other will state similar. That said I do care for my gear, as tools.

hobbyists like me is probably just an annoyance.

Contrary at least in Asia a large if not a major part of owners of digital backs are amateurs. In Sweden Huh

Being Swedish who live overseas I can well sympathize with your problems, because I know Sweden. Sweden is a small country and any digital back dealer/agent is bound to be small, and as result will know less. Likely also of how to fix and what price to charge (perhaps above all they do not want loose any money on one customer). Not to mention salaries of labour are very high and they work f... slow. Take a guess, out of 9 million people, how many in Sweden own digital backs, or even Leaf backs???  Add to that the very high Swedish tax. In short I would not service my back in Sweden and rather fly out to Hong Kong to get my agent there deal with it. Of course... I live overseas so that is perhaps a tad different story, but...

What I very clearly would resort to is to be in contact with Leaf directly to get help to resolve the problem, rather than write in these forums to magnify it. That would perhaps give me better support... ?

Step one I buy my backs from a reputable agent/dealer and as such they do come with service agreement. Not only that, at least with my agent in Hong Kong, they even help me out when my back is out of warranty. That was smart business move from them... because that is why I upgraded, because I know they WILL be there for me.

Perhaps contact Leaf further directly? Obvious they will charge you as you already understand, since you purchased used without any warranty. Yet perhaps they can help you out on what is best way? I doubt they will do it as charity, since after all same as any company they are running a business. Question is what business you bring to them? After this back, you will sell it off private and buy another lowest price from private party ? Works same way with cars... does it not?? If you want best service of a car, you buy from authorized dealer, service it there during its life and buy another from there. Right?

What is different??

B.t.w. did you think a Nikon is tougher? http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d200/drop-test.htm

Best regards,
Anders
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 03:35:45 PM by Anders_HK » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2012, 04:20:56 PM »
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Hi,

Ken got his D200 repaired for 285$US, I guess Anders (Torger) would regard this as a decent cost.

I have been using Minolta and Sony for about 40 years. I did not use to drop them but I had them soaking wet and used them at -20 , Fahrenheit. I don't stand heat well myself, so I can say nothing about high temperatures.

I would say it's hard to draw conclusions about reliability from own experience. Some of us are lucky and some are not.

My experience is anyway two devices sent for repair, total cost 1500 SEK in forty years. That is of course not the whole truth. I have had at least a dozen cameras. No camera I bought new ever has failed me. The 1500 SEK repair was for replacing the bayonet on a 80-200/2.8 APO lens. Then lens was working fine, but tripod mount was loose. THe other repair was on a Konica-Minolta A2, macro switch was not working. That was repaired on warranty.


The only camera I had issues with was a Minolta XD7. It was bought used and developed a lot of problems, some of which I fixed myself.

I also have a Pentax 67 with 5 lenses I had for something like 15 years, no problems at all.

Best regards
Erik




I can sympathize with your problems, however are you not going way over the board in what you are posting... ?

Above is nonsense. My prior Leaf back drop hard on hardwood fall once and rolled and bounced like a ball. It made my heart stop. I picked it up and it worked as good as day one. Amazing. My first travel with Leaf back was to dusty India it has been in heat and humidity and stellar performance and durability. Make a search and other will state similar. That said I do care for my gear, as tools.

Contrary at least in Asia a large if not a major part of owners of digital backs are amateurs. In Sweden Huh

Being Swedish who live overseas I can well sympathize with your problems, because I know Sweden. Sweden is a small country and any digital back dealer/agent is bound to be small, and as result will know less. Likely also of how to fix and what price to charge (perhaps above all they do not want loose any money on one customer). Not to mention salaries of labour are very high and they work f... slow. Take a guess, out of 9 million people, how many in Sweden own digital backs, or even Leaf backs???  Add to that the very high Swedish tax. In short I would not service my back in Sweden and rather fly out to Hong Kong to get my agent there deal with it. Of course... I live overseas so that is perhaps a tad different story, but...

What I very clearly would resort to is to be in contact with Leaf directly to get help to resolve the problem, rather than write in these forums to magnify it. That would perhaps give me better support... ?

Step one I buy my backs from a reputable agent/dealer and as such they do come with service agreement. Not only that, at least with my agent in Hong Kong, they even help me out when my back is out of warranty. That was smart business move from them... because that is why I upgraded, because I know they WILL be there for me.

Perhaps contact Leaf further directly? Obvious they will charge you as you already understand, since you purchased used without any warranty. Yet perhaps they can help you out on what is best way? I doubt they will do it as charity, since after all same as any company they are running a business. Question is what business you bring to them? After this back, you will sell it off private and buy another lowest price from private party ? Works same way with cars... does it not?? If you want best service of a car, you buy from authorized dealer, service it there during its life and buy another from there. Right?

What is different??

B.t.w. did you think a Nikon is tougher? http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d200/drop-test.htm

Best regards,
Anders
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 04:23:20 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2012, 04:44:03 PM »
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Hi,

Ken got his D200 repaired for 285$US, I guess Anders (Torger) would regard this as a decent cost.

I have been using Minolta and Sony for about 40 years. I did not use to drop them but I had them soaking wet and used them at -20 , Fahrenheit. I don't stand heat well myself, so I can say nothing about high temperatures.

I would say it's hard to draw conclusions about reliability from own experience. Some of us are lucky and some are not.

My experience is anyway two devices sent for repair, total cost 1500 SEK in forty years. That is of course not the whole truth. I have had at least a dozen cameras. No camera I bought new ever has failed me. The 1500 SEK repair was for replacing the bayonet on a 80-200/2.8 APO lens. Then lens was working fine, but tripod mount was loose. THe other repair was on a Konica-Minolta A2, macro switch was not working. That was repaired on warranty.


The only camera I had issues with was a Minolta XD7. It was bought used and developed a lot of problems, some of which I fixed myself.

I also have a Pentax 67 with 5 lenses I had for something like 15 years, no problems at all.

Best regards
Erik

And HuhHuhHuh??

285 usd is near price of a mint D200 on Ebay..., and... in Sweden how much to repair???

Point of D200 was actually compared to my Leaf that bounced several times when dropping from ~1.5m onto hard wood floor, but did not break nor damage (apart from battery). Casing of Leaf backs are made of air craft grade aluminum (a.k.a. strong). Wink
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 04:46:35 PM by Anders_HK » Logged
torger
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« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2012, 04:50:39 PM »
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Leaf = Phase One. I've contacted Phase One directly, they redirect me to the Swedish dealer. I've specifically asked if it is possible to bypass the dealer, it is not. They are very protective concerning their dealers, and it is understandable since their model is to sell through dealers. A bit disappointing though that they do not make sure the dealers maintain central pricing. Prices I get reported by other users and even employees are much lower than the prices I get from "my" dealer.

I have no problem with paying Swedish VAT, it is 25% which is high, but not extremely much higher than other European countries, in Germany it is 19% for example. However, it becomes a problem when the seller has significantly higher prices to start with since it becomes percent on top of percent, which in this case leads to +44% rather than +25...

There are stories about gear failing and about gear surviving tough conditions. If you have varying quality out of the factory, for example in soldering, some can be robust, others can fail, and you'll find stories about both things. We cannot really know. That's all I say. My back has failed, and it can be due to poor manufacturing, but it could also be misuse by previous owner. But really it does not matter, when warranty is out customer pays anyway. Maybe you think it is unfair to even suggest that it could be a manufacturing quality problem when I cannot be sure that it is. Well, maybe it is, but I don't think I'm obliged to be a fanboy just because I use the gear. Smaller hand-built things like these seems to be are actually higher risk of having varying quality than large scale mass-produced products, so I don't think it is a strange thought to get.

It's a huge difference if you are an amateur prepared to spend €30,000 on your gear, than if you are an amateur spending €5000 on second hand stuff. When I said hobbyists are an annoyance I meant those that you cannot make a lot of money from. If you stay in the loop and buy the latest and greatest then you behave like a professional user and will be treated like one. This is business-to-business -- service is of key importance, price is not. One can even have yearly support agreements with replacement backs and stuff, great service. But it is all bound to a cost which you either need to be a wealthy amateur that like to spend, or a professional that makes money from using the gear.

The problem here is that ~€4500 gear is so uneconomical to repair that it is not really meaningful to do so, and seemingly uneconomical from all the wrong reasons.

If you're in for gear up to €5000 I'd actually still recommend friends to not use a dealer but try to get a good second hand deal. A dealer will give you 6 months warranty tops and in VAT-heavy countries like in Europe they cannot match private market prices and they don't bother to try even, and after those 6 months you are still in for the impossible repair pricing. You must simply hope that you are lucky, and calculate with the risk that you are not. Always check them out first though, you never know, and I sure did. €6400 for a P25+ did not seem like a great deal...

In the US the case buying from a dealer looks much better, more competition between dealers and smaller difference from private market prices. The advantage of starting off with even a short warranty period is that if it works in 6 months in your conditions it is quite likely that it will continue to work for quite some time.

While I look upon my tech cam and lenses as an "investment", meaning gear I can use for a long time and is worth repairing if something goes wrong, digital backs are more like buying a huge bulk of film rolls. Unfortunately my roll was rather short Grin
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 05:13:11 PM by torger » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2012, 11:59:01 PM »
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Hi Anders,

I find your comment slightly ignorant. For most people 285$ is an affordable repair, but 5000€ is for most people serious money. Of course, what is affordable is much a question of where you live and what you do.

285$ is 1900 SEK something like 5% of the repair cost of the Leaf. That camera had some obvious physical damage, Nikon replaced the LCD and the top cover. In addition I'm pretty sure they check bayonet alignment, readjusted AF and so on. I don't think there is any reason for cost of camera and cost of repair being related. You think that a Phase one IQ180 is ten times more expensive to repair than a P25?

The back has essentially no moving parts. Next time you drop it you may drop on one of the rocks or it hits ground with the LCD side or even worse the sensor side. You know that could happen. That is of course the advantage of shooting with your back on an SLR, you don't need to remove the back from the camera for focusing.

I once dropped a 20/2.8 lens on a stone floor from about one and half meter, it survived with a crack in the lens shade. I guess the lens shade took most of the impact.

This video demonstrates that sometimes s**t happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFnQVnMY3Co

This reminds me, Michael Reichmann was shooting in Africa with Hasselblad and a sole zoom lens. The zoom lens fell apart, leaving him with no MFD. Everything was working fine, except the only lens he had had a loose front group. Something like fifteen other owners had similar issues with their lenses, but Hasselblad essentially denied responsibility.

The video above illustrates the solution. Have two. Although I never really had equipment failing on me hard, I generally carry two cameras. A lightwight body adds some extra weight. But allows you to shoot even if that fatal accident happened.

Of course, this doesn't help if you take a salt water bath with all your equipment, I once did but was fortunate enough to avoid damage, due to my LowePro bag being almost water proof.

Best regards
Erik




And HuhHuhHuh??

285 usd is near price of a mint D200 on Ebay..., and... in Sweden how much to repair???

Point of D200 was actually compared to my Leaf that bounced several times when dropping from ~1.5m onto hard wood floor, but did not break nor damage (apart from battery). Casing of Leaf backs are made of air craft grade aluminum (a.k.a. strong). Wink
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 02:06:52 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Anders_HK
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« Reply #55 on: October 28, 2012, 02:34:29 AM »
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Leaf = Phase One. I've contacted Phase One directly, they redirect me to the Swedish dealer.

Torger, Leaf is not Phase One. Leaf is owned by Phase One but a separate company. I have no idea how set ups are in Scandinavia, but I can imagine Phase One Denmark to not have much interest in a used Leaf back having problem in Sweden. Mamiya-Leaf do not have a partner listed in Sweden on their website... My suggestion is for you to make sure to be in contact with Leaf directly.

I find your comment slightly ignorant. For most people 285$ is an affordable repair, but 5000€ is for most people serious money. Of course, what is affordable is much a question of where you live and what you do.

Not meant ignorant, mere attempt straight to point. Both repairs are about same of used purchase cost. If you buy a used BMW you cannot expect the repair cost of a Volvo, right? 285 usd was the repair for D200 in USA, in Sweden higher??

Yes, different damages can happen, and also to digital back. Though having followed forums over many years it is very very rare for digital back. My point is that MFDBs are not built to lesser standards than a Nikon, rather certain the complete opposite. No moving parts? Think sensor adjustment arguably more precise. Nikon is made in high volume in a factory, while digital backs are not. That effect the cost and cost of components, also error checking prior leaving factory.


The advantage of starting off with even a short warranty period is that if it works in 6 months in your conditions it is quite likely that it will continue to work for quite some time.

Exactly. Plus a good dealer is likely to look after you also when warranty is out.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 02:49:36 AM by Anders_HK » Logged
torger
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« Reply #56 on: October 28, 2012, 03:00:19 AM »
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Torger, Leaf is not Phase One. Leaf is owned by Phase One but a separate company. I have no idea how set ups are in Scandinavia, but I can imagine Phase One Denmark to not have much interest in a used Leaf back having problem in Sweden. Mamiya-Leaf do not have a partner listed in Sweden on their website... My suggestion is for you to make sure to be in contact with Leaf directly.

Thanks.

The dealer in Sweden has indeed stopped selling Leaf because they think it is too similar to Phase One, so it is true that their Leaf interest does not seem great, but they still manage supports, and you can still buy Leaf if you ask them to get hold of one. After a while I actually got an upgrade deal too, which was not possible from an other dealer I asked, for €9600 I can upgrade to a 33 megapixel Aptus-II. This was possible despite a defective back, so that's good. However, that's too high a cost for my hobby, and going from an Aptus 75 to an Aptus-II 7 which has the same sensor and very similar GUI is not really feeling like a €9600 upgrade for an amateur user like me.

Anyway, I'll make another attempt. All I need is confirmation from a credible Leaf person that this is what the cost should be and that there is no way around it so I can decide if I should dump it or keep it. I haven't managed to get hold of one yet though, maybe during next week. But so far I have always got directed to this dealer and/or Phase One support. It does not seem like Leaf has its own support organisation. Maybe Leaf had other policies when they were not owned by Phase One, I don't know, but nowadays the pricing I get is straight from Phase One's price lists, with some extra on top Smiley

There is no idea to go directly to Phase One again since when I did last time they seemed a bit upset that I had rounded the dealer. I didn't say I had but it was of course quite easy for them to identify that guy from northen Sweden with an Aptus 75 not working in cold weather... it feels a bit strange though that they have a support web if you are not supposed to talk to them directly.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 03:53:34 AM by torger » Logged
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« Reply #57 on: October 28, 2012, 03:50:42 AM »
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Hi,

I don't necessarily think a BMW is more expensive to repair than a Volvo. Labour costs are the same. Here in Sweden you can buy used Volvo parts, but that is not you would expect a Volvo shop would put in your car. Of the cars I had the Citroλn was most expensive to repair.
Mostly, I had Toyotas, maintenance service costs for Toyota are high, I guess higher than for BMW, but they are reliable and seldom break down. Don't know about BMW, tough, I never had one. One of the reasons I would not have one is they are quite popular amongst the criminal. The other and main reason is that I want something that works, each day, all the time. In Sweden we have roads and speed limits, the roads have potholes. Any car you can buy can exceed the speed limit.

I don't know about repair costs in Sweden. The only repair I had was replacing bayonet and tripod mount on a Minolta 80-200/2.8 APO lens something like three years ago. That was 1500SEK including VAT. But I don't think repairs are that expensive in Sweden, at least not if you don't go trough a dealer. A lady friend of mine had aperture serviced on a lens and that was about 350SEK, but that was many years ago.

Regarding your statement on Nikon having lower tolerances than MF, i don't think you have any data supporting that. I believe that case is the other way around. Nikon has a few f/1.4 lenses and the cameras essentially need to work with those lenses. Nikons have also smaller pixels, DSLR technology is simply more demanding. There are of course issues with Nikons, too.

Have you seen this post: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=71433.msg567983#msg567983 ?!

Regarding your back, you have been lucky with nothing being broken. Duraluminium is very stiff, so dropping your back on a hard surface causes a very large internal G-load. Metal parts usually don΄t deform permanently onless they are bent. How do you know that your back is still within factory tolerance?

Let's assume that your back had a 70G internal load. That happens the be the limit on many hard disk drives (not operating)  and it is easily exceeded just by tipping a unmounted hard disk on a hard surface.

If your sensor assembly weight 200g, the sensor points would be subject to 150 N force. The shims don't flex, The mounting point may be affected.

Now if you look at an SLR, you have several critical assemblies. To begin you have the mirror, underneath the mirror there is another hinged mirror for the AF. All that needs to be aligned with sensor and focusing screen and to lesser extent the lens.

So I think that it is more probable a back survives a fall than an SLR with a MF back.

I would add that I'm not a Nikon fanboy. I don't use any equipment from Nikon. But if you can buy a 36MP digital SLR at 2800€ with an excellent choice of lenses I would regard it as an alternative hard to ignore. A way to see it, you can buy a Nikon D800 with two year warranty and a Zeiss 21/2.8 and a Zeiss 50/1.4 for the price of an MFDB repair.

Best regards
Erik


Not meant ignorant, mere attempt straight to point. Both repairs are about same of used purchase cost. If you buy a used BMW you cannot expect the repair cost of a Volvo, right? 285 usd was the repair for D200 in USA, in Sweden higher??

Yes, different damages can happen, and also to digital back. Though having followed forums over many years it is very very rare for digital back. My point is that MFDBs are not built to lesser standards than a Nikon, rather certain the complete opposite. No moving parts? Think sensor adjustment arguably more precise. Nikon is made in high volume in a factory, while digital backs are not. That effect the cost and cost of components, also error checking prior leaving factory.


Exactly. Plus a good dealer is likely to look after you also when warranty is out.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 08:42:57 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

sanzari
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« Reply #58 on: October 28, 2012, 05:14:11 AM »
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Torger thanks for sharing your experience, after all that is what we are commenting on. Everyone has stories about drops and heat and humidity on all electronics and some have success and some end up in posts.

What we need to note from this 3 pages of discussion is that your eyes in the MF world need to be more open when you enter than in the 35mm world. Mine certainly were a lot more closed in the excitement of returning to MF after a 20 year absence. This discussion has really highlighted what dealers do not during the sales cycle.

1. The price of after care is beyond reasonable regardless of business or amateur type. Great short term gain, long term policy I am not so sure. Look at the car industry who would have bought a Korean car even a few years ago. Now 7 years warranty, service included that says this car just works. BMW, Merc etc 3 year warranty, it will break so insure against it. We will sell you extended warranty.
2. Phase/leaf are a B2B company. Period. They have no interest in the prosumer, currently they have no need. They have no competition. Hasselblad is turning to jewellery, Pentax is lost in the noise, Leica will play while they make money as a company and then like the R series, gone.  However the tides are turning. 3 years to bring out a DF+ and what happens a recall on all of them. So it begins.

Don't get me wrong only this weekend I starred longingly at a Phase One DF with an Aptus ii 10 back. It's perfect for what I want to do. Except the price so I was considering getting on the rung in a cheaper way like Torger.

3. Buying second hand can be derisked as describe by probably one of the most active and useful dealers in the market capture integration - I'm in the UK and would still consider buying from them. However de-risked or not, these things go wrong eventually and if you do not have a write down capability then the idea of spending £5k every couple of years to upgrade seems like an expensive hobby, which is fine but we need to look at it that way.

4.if you are amateurs consider MF like buying a car, nothing more, nothing less. All will do the job some better than others, eventually if you spent $30k or $5k you will have to do that again in about 3-5 years whilst paying a little service on the way or if you are unlucky a serious service bill during that period also.

5. The problem MF have now is we are living more and more in a 'good enough' culture. Canon 46meg Nikon 36meg they are pretty good. And amateurs will not mind good enough. Interesting how over on the Capture One 7 post most of the testing has been from D800 owners. I know that the Pros are out there working and only amateurs are on the forum, however I would have thought that eventually the pros being pushed more and more for video and lower costs will consider good enough for the job as the norm rather than best for the job. I think this is where we will see hassleblad die first and then the market will change again.

6. 5 years to develop a new MF camera while 35 mm does 2 per year. Hmmm the D800 I used recently on my trip to Africa survived everything from -8 in the mountains to dust devils traversing through the car on the plains. It got me thinking I would love to use an MF however this post has got my thinking otherwise.

So I conclude after my few points above and little rant, thanks for posting Torger you may have saved me a lot of money and perhaps provided a little heart ache deep down knowing my MF return may still only be a romantic dream. Photography is slowly becoming a place that good enough is getting a lot better and monopolistic activity will be punished by the masses eventually.

MF has a look, and it certainly is nice, but it has a price and in a world where most things stay on 30in screen or 60 in plasmas these days I am worried that a few more exits from the market will happen this coming couple of years. 
That said most of the Leica S are sold to amateurs with money, PODAS is booked solid each year so maybe it's just the pro-Sumer like myself who is aspirational that has to reset his expectations.

Those with money and no cares about service will buy, working pros left that prefer MF will buy and the rest will contend themselves with 35mm on steroids.

Thanks for the epiphany, I still will believe I can get a phase back with 30meg pixels and my dream will stay alive, but I just don't know......as I really need the 54meg pixel wide one and so I will continue to stitch my 35mm sensor using my Pentax 67 lenses and hope that some thing might just change.

Footnote:- we all wanted Hasselblad to bring out an XPAN digital, well Fuji to build it for them. Instead we got leather and wood wrapped around a Sony NEX. I think this is the mindset of the successful these days. Ivory tower development. I hope PhaseOne management see some new markets, they are a brilliant little company and most likely to remain, but its fine to be a luxury niche product with expensive goods, but they need aspirational to enter the market for their future. Just look at Nokia and Motorola, who needs a smartphone? Look at compact camera and watch sales to the new generations.
Come on PhaseOne do something for the high despossible income aspirationals like Nikon have done for the full frame fan boys. Get your secondhand market active and cost effective, we all want MF !!!!
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #59 on: October 28, 2012, 07:33:26 AM »
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Hi,

I think that Anders Torger was pretty clear that he wants an MFDB because he needs it for use on a technical camera. So he did not buy it because of the image quality but for movements. The problems he has is that the camera doesn't work below 5 degrees C, and that is a major problem if you are living in Sweden and doing outdoor photography. Shooting studio in Cairo you would never notice.

I guess that Anders assumed that if the MFDB had some issue it could be repaired at reasonable cost. What he found out was that repairs are much more expensive than he expected, and also that he needs to go trough a dealer, with the dealer having very significant markup.

I would also say that Anders is very civilized about this, he tells about the experience.

Sweden may be a bit special, I guess that Hasselblad has a very strong position here, which probably makes the market smaller for Phase.

I'm actually puzzled a bit by Phase's policy on repairs. I'm not familiar with repairing Phase One stuff, but it seems that changing IR-filter, which definitively needs clean room and sensor readjustment is much less expensive than replacing a circuit board.

Best regards
Erik


Torger thanks for sharing your experience, after all that is what we are commenting on. Everyone has stories about drops and heat and humidity on all electronics and some have success and some end up in posts.

What we need to note from this 3 pages of discussion is that your eyes in the MF world need to be more open when you enter than in the 35mm world. Mine certainly were a lot more closed in the excitement of returning to MF after a 20 year absence. This discussion has really highlighted what dealers do not during the sales cycle.

1. The price of after care is beyond reasonable regardless of business or amateur type. Great short term gain, long term policy I am not so sure. Look at the car industry who would have bought a Korean car even a few years ago. Now 7 years warranty, service included that says this car just works. BMW, Merc etc 3 year warranty, it will break so insure against it. We will sell you extended warranty.
2. Phase/leaf are a B2B company. Period. They have no interest in the prosumer, currently they have no need. They have no competition. Hasselblad is turning to jewellery, Pentax is lost in the noise, Leica will play while they make money as a company and then like the R series, gone.  However the tides are turning. 3 years to bring out a DF+ and what happens a recall on all of them. So it begins.

Don't get me wrong only this weekend I starred longingly at a Phase One DF with an Aptus ii 10 back. It's perfect for what I want to do. Except the price so I was considering getting on the rung in a cheaper way like Torger.

3. Buying second hand can be derisked as describe by probably one of the most active and useful dealers in the market capture integration - I'm in the UK and would still consider buying from them. However de-risked or not, these things go wrong eventually and if you do not have a write down capability then the idea of spending £5k every couple of years to upgrade seems like an expensive hobby, which is fine but we need to look at it that way.

4.if you are amateurs consider MF like buying a car, nothing more, nothing less. All will do the job some better than others, eventually if you spent $30k or $5k you will have to do that again in about 3-5 years whilst paying a little service on the way or if you are unlucky a serious service bill during that period also.

5. The problem MF have now is we are living more and more in a 'good enough' culture. Canon 46meg Nikon 36meg they are pretty good. And amateurs will not mind good enough. Interesting how over on the Capture One 7 post most of the testing has been from D800 owners. I know that the Pros are out there working and only amateurs are on the forum, however I would have thought that eventually the pros being pushed more and more for video and lower costs will consider good enough for the job as the norm rather than best for the job. I think this is where we will see hassleblad die first and then the market will change again.

6. 5 years to develop a new MF camera while 35 mm does 2 per year. Hmmm the D800 I used recently on my trip to Africa survived everything from -8 in the mountains to dust devils traversing through the car on the plains. It got me thinking I would love to use an MF however this post has got my thinking otherwise.

So I conclude after my few points above and little rant, thanks for posting Torger you may have saved me a lot of money and perhaps provided a little heart ache deep down knowing my MF return may still only be a romantic dream. Photography is slowly becoming a place that good enough is getting a lot better and monopolistic activity will be punished by the masses eventually.

MF has a look, and it certainly is nice, but it has a price and in a world where most things stay on 30in screen or 60 in plasmas these days I am worried that a few more exits from the market will happen this coming couple of years.  
That said most of the Leica S are sold to amateurs with money, PODAS is booked solid each year so maybe it's just the pro-Sumer like myself who is aspirational that has to reset his expectations.

Those with money and no cares about service will buy, working pros left that prefer MF will buy and the rest will contend themselves with 35mm on steroids.

Thanks for the epiphany, I still will believe I can get a phase back with 30meg pixels and my dream will stay alive, but I just don't know......as I really need the 54meg pixel wide one and so I will continue to stitch my 35mm sensor using my Pentax 67 lenses and hope that some thing might just change.

Footnote:- we all wanted Hasselblad to bring out an XPAN digital, well Fuji to build it for them. Instead we got leather and wood wrapped around a Sony NEX. I think this is the mindset of the successful these days. Ivory tower development. I hope PhaseOne management see some new markets, they are a brilliant little company and most likely to remain, but its fine to be a luxury niche product with expensive goods, but they need aspirational to enter the market for their future. Just look at Nokia and Motorola, who needs a smartphone? Look at compact camera and watch sales to the new generations.
Come on PhaseOne do something for the high despossible income aspirationals like Nikon have done for the full frame fan boys. Get your secondhand market active and cost effective, we all want MF !!!!
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 10:45:50 AM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

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