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Thread: Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    75

    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    I have made several purchases to expand my large format gears recently, but I really could not praise the quality control of these brand new gears. Two months ago, I specially ordered several Schneider lenses from Badgergraphic, and they came to me factory sealed. However, I found the rear element of the 72XL was terribly dirty; As for the 150XL, there was lots of oil on the glass, and there were several deep scratches on the lens barrel. Badgergraphic exchanged them very quickly without any auguments. I also ordered a new Arca Swiss B1G monoball for B&H two weeks ago, it came to me with many scratches as well. I don't know if these cases are quite general today. As long as they don't have any impacts on the image quality, I don't care them much. However, as the Dollar is getting weaker everyday against Euro and I am paying much more for these stuff, I hope their build quality won't get worse.

  2. #2

    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    In my experience, new-new stock is built with plenty of cosmetic defects, especially the German makes. I prefer to look for new-old stock of lenses as they seem to be more conscientiously made. Have no experience with the Japanese lenses. I believe that anything you buy which is new should have NO cosmetic problems whatsoever. These products should never have left the factory and it is I think a sign of the times.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    As the importer of German cameras, lenses and filters we don't quite know what you are calling "cosmetic" defects.

    We do sell thousands of new cameras, lenses and filters and do not have this complaint. We also distribute German luggage to high end luggage shops and they don't have this complaint either.can you be more specific? What are these "cosmetic" defects? can you see themn with the naked eye or only with some kind of magnification? If magnified how much? etc.

  4. #4

    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    I did not buy any of my Schneiders from the US. I bought my first two in the UK sometime ago and when I unpacked them that first time I noticed, looking closely around the front and back rim (i.e. where the lens cap rests) tiny marks (two in one and three in the other) resulting from either mishandling at the factory while packing or perhaps someone fiddling around aggresively with wrong-sized lenscaps (I am speculating here). I did not return them because quite frankly a man on a galloping horse can't see them. But they are VISIBLE to my naked eye and although they are fantastic lenses they were not "cosmetically" NEW when I got them. I sort of expected to see nothing like marks or nicks or scratches, however tiny, on anything new that I buy. I own 8 schneiders bought "new" from different authorised dealers in Europe and these 2 have those tiny marks.

  5. #5

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    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    It's my understanding that some retailers (almost certainly not Badger but B&H maybe) will repackage and sell returned equipment as new so scratches and other cosmetic defects may have been "installed" by the original purchaser (or the retailer in the course of repackaging) rather than the factory. My last experience with B&H was terrible and I no longer deal with them so it wouldn't shock me to learn that they do this kind of thing.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  6. #6

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    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    Well that perhaps why we don't get those reports - since we primarily distribut Rodenstock. However we also do distribute Linhof selected and tested lenses from Rodenstock, Schneider and Nikon. These are lenses that not only were handled and inspected at the lens factory but then handled and tested at the Linhof factory and, in some cases, then mounted to lens boards or helicoids and then packaged for distribution. We have yet to see what you are commenting on on a German lens.

    However we have seen something akin to your comments on a camera series. Linhof changed the way the packaged one of their monorail cameras when they hired a new shipping manager. With the earlier shipping method the bellows was left on one standard and a rubber band heldthe bellows compressed on the standard.

    The new man decidided to not mount it on the standard and just put it in a bag with a rubber band around it and then place it in the box against, but not attached to, the standard.

    Unfortunaately while in shipment the bellows could move around a bit and make a small scraath or abrasion mark where the bellows frame touched part of the front standard.

    Once this was shown to us by an owner we found that it had occured on 5 of the 50 cameras we had in stock.

    Now the bellows is not packed that way on that model and there have been no furher complaints and the factory took back the 5 with a mark.

    Yes you might have called this a "cosmetic" defect. We would have simply called it poor packaging and it was promptly corrected.

    Have you notified Schneider of what you found?

  7. #7
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    At B&H I've often seen items that look like returns as well as demos and new equipment that has been discontinued in their Used department, and they also advertise some open-box specials, so I suspect they are not repackaging returns and selling them as new.

  8. #8
    Beverly Hills, California
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    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    I agree with David regarding B&H,

    To the credit of B&H, they will allow you to return merchandise if you get something, and simply don't want it after a very brief and delicate trial with it. So in their case, I have in the past accepted a slight cosmetic defect or two in new products as part of the overall deal.

    I can be a real stickler, but in my experience so far, B&H has been cool about allowing me to return an item, so I'm cool with them if they send me something another customer has returned. But on a big ticket item, it had better function perfectly, or it's going right back to them.

    PS Mr. Zing, you should have bought your Arca Swiss monoball from Robert White as a cost saving decision.

  9. #9

    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    It's my understanding that some retailers (almost certainly not Badger but B&H maybe) will repackage and sell returned equipment as new so scratches and other cosmetic defects may have been "installed" by the original purchaser (or the retailer in the course of repackaging) rather than the factory. My last experience with B&H was terrible and I no longer deal with them so it wouldn't shock me to learn that they do this kind of thing.

    I had the same experience as Brian with B&H twice, the first one was an enlarger lens I ordered, a Rodagon G. The thing was full of fungus in the glass and was sent to me as "new." The second one also an item that I paid as new was the Jobo CPA unit, when it got to me it was an older model, the gears slipped and it was full of water marks. I sent the Jobo back and marked the box "defective unit" so that they dont try this again, at least with the same box. Since then I refuse to do business with them, is not worth the hassle.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    19

    Today's Quality Control on Large Format Equipment Manufacturing

    The problem then would be resellers, not the manufacturer. I had this happen to me, yep, b&h photo, and I had to send the item back. I bought a 31mm limited lens for my pentax 35mm gear and the first one had dust all over the inside of the elements, the box was also previously opened. I sent it back and got another one that looked like new. It is a hassle, not to mention the fact that I had to pay shipping for the item to be sent back. I have bought alot of stuff from b&h and haven't had a problem, stuff from badger was good too, but I just now remember to look at the item before the 14 day inspection period is up. The next buyer of that lens probably got the one I sent back. Its too bad, but just to check your stuff first.

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