I finally pulled the trigger and traded my 180 to a 260 but only by having my Phase dealer help me to find a buyer for it. I was appaled by the official "trade up or cross grade" policy .
As a 160 owner you can " cross grade" to a 260 and" upgrade " to a 280 but as a 180 owner you can only " cross grade" to 280 moving to a 260 would be considered a downgrade in their eyes and therefore it's not offered.
I mean that such a bunch of crap. Why would you treat your premium customers like that and what about having choices? The 260 is truly unique in their line up of back as it offeres long exposure so why not offering a cross grade path . I was seriously appaled by that policy. So much for investment protection.
In any case I lost money in the deal but I am nevertheless happy because i believe the 260 will hold more resale value than the 180 and when it comes to the next generation of back I got 2 options to upgrade :-)
It really is utterly bonkers. Especially considering that even after the recent price reduction following the introduction of the IQ2 series, the retail list price of the IQ180 remains higher than that for the IQ260.
The concept of an "upgrade" to a less expensive product. Mind-boggling.
I'm going to share the numbers and background here just so that everything is out in the open. People can then come to their own conclusions based on the facts, rather than libelous accusations about my character and attitude towards my dealer from someone half-way across the planet.
I was after a 260 to reshoot this timelapse:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpvmnGD787k
That was shot with a Canon 5D Mk II and the 14mm lens.
The original upload of that video was just a static wide-framed shot. It got around a million views on YouTube in the first couple of weeks, but I then decided to pull it because it was getting ripped off left right and center.
A few months ago, I decided to re-visit the timelapse and use it to try to learn about key-framing in After Effects. Relatively pleased with the result, I decided to upload the new version. Surprise surprise, 400k views in the first couple of weeks.
So people find this stuff interesting and it gets reasonable exposure.
Thing is, the original timelapse was only shot in medium resolution RAW, so it's kinda limited for panning and zooming around.
Then as I investigated options further, I discovered some neat software called Panolapse, and started looking into using the Mamiya 24mm fisheye. On the IQ180 with this combo, I can recreate anything from a 13mm up to 60mm lens FF DSLR equivalent FoV at 4K resolution.
Perfect. Except the IQ180 would be useless for the night-time section. IQ260 could do it though as long as I can get clean(ish) files at 400 ISO. I'd suffer a slight drop in resolution, but I could accept that.
So. I've got a project worked out and lined up, and am interested in what Phase One can offer me for a downgrade to the IQ260.
The official cross-grade price from IQ180 to IQ280 in this region was 10000 Euros ($13250).
I've been going back through my emails.
May 19th - reminder following a meeting that I'm waiting for a price on 180>260
May 29th - gentle nudge to see if there was any news since I'd not heard anything back
May 30th - reply. Not heard anything back from Phase One yet.
June 20th - query from me as to whether any news, since no communication since May 30th
June 23rd - dealer has spoken with Denmark. In principle, Phase One are interested in helping in return for some PR opportunities. Support could be lending a back for the project, or "offering a special price for the upgrade so you can move up to the IQ260".
June 23rd - my reply to dealer - yes, PR opportunity is possible. I remind dealer about the massive publicity generated by this - http://gizmodo.com/5979456/the-first-panorama-from-the-pinnacle-of-the-highest-building-in-the-world
, which was shot with the IQ180.
July 4th. We meet to discuss.
July 8th - I ask if there's any news on cost for 180>260
July 17th - I ask again if there's any news (no comms since July 8th on this subject)
July 17th - Dealer says they've spoken with Copenhagen, who suggest the following solution:
Wait for it, because this is just brilliant.
"The upgrade offer from IQ180 to IQ280 for 10,000€ was a limited offer valid till 30.06.2013, and they have not really offered the IQ180 to IQ260 upgrade generally."
Fabulous - Phase One are pointing out to me that the upgrade offer was limited only until 30th June! This went down well with me, I can assure you.
"The suggestion is to leave the upgrade price of 10,000€ allowing to upgrade from IQ180 to IQ260, and then on top of that to add a Value Added Pack free of charge in return for using the images from the time lapse for marketing purposes (not exclusive) ."
And there we have it. After all this time - the first mention of a price. They are "suggesting" to have the upgrade price the same as that for the 180 to the 280. They'll throw in the value added pack in exchange for marketing (that bit is fine - I'm happy with that).
July 17th - I reply saying "Thanks for the update. I have to admit I was hoping for a better deal than that. Can the price be looked at again? If it were USD 10k (still including the value added warranty), it would be an easier decision."
See - that apparently is the words of someone who Doug thinks he can judge as being a guy who does not wish to build a relationship with a dealer, and who has made it very clear on a variety of occasions that they don't value dealers.
Christ. I really am such a terrible customer to have to deal with. I've waited 2 months for an answer, and my response is clearly so rude!
July 24th - Not heard anything yet, send another email.
"I would just like to take this opportunity to highlight the following -
I respect that you mention the initial upgrade period has now passed, but feel that I should highlight I have been waiting for an answer on the possibility of doing this up/cross-grade since my mail to you on May 19th.
It's not really my fault that it has taken two months to get a reply. It does seem to take an extra-ordinary amount of time to get answers out of Phase One.
Therefore, with regards the suggested price, I really don't feel the fact that the 180-280 offer was only valid until 30/6 is very relevant.
Effectively, I see Phase One's offer to me is this:
Pay the same price for a 180-260 upgrade as we were charging for the 180-280. This is despite the fact that the list price of the IQ280 is $44,000, and the IQ260 is $37,000. That's a $7K difference.
We'll throw in the VAW in exchange for publicity
Frankly, I don't think that's a realistic expectation on their part, and I really would appreciate a response to the below."
Now look, at this point I'm starting to get a little peeved. I'll admit that. But I think my communication is still pretty cordial, all things considered. I mean - I do realise as Doug has pointed out in this thread - that if you want anything out of a dealer, you have to be really really nice to them and not hurt their feelings. I mean, you're trying to establish a "relationship" with them. It's not so simple that it's like you're the customer with the money, and they're the people who hold the keys to the goodies.
No. You have to build a relationship.
July 31st - Dealer replies. He's visiting Copenhagen on August 1st and will raise it directly with Phase One.
August 6th - Email from me. Any news?
Earlier this week. Phone call from dealer - no budging on the offer.