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Scott Rosenberg
9-Mar-2005, 09:08
hey fellas, forgive the rookie question, but i've got another about my 'new-to-me' TK45S. just wondering if there's anyway to lessen the tension on the focusing knob. mine is so stiff that it's tough to make very fine adjustments, as it takes so much force to get it moving that it tends to skip or lurch forward once i get it moving. this makes very small changes difficult. i've got the locking lever switched to off...

thanks,
scott

Bob Salomon
9-Mar-2005, 09:18
No reason for it to be stiff unless you are operating with it in the locked position or it has been played with by someone else.

Gem Singer
9-Mar-2005, 09:19
Hi Scott,

Sounds like it's stiff because it is new and is not yet broken-in. Try putting a little dab of Vaseline on the pinion gears and working them back and forth for a while.

Paul Butzi
9-Mar-2005, 09:27
It shouldn't be stiff to operate. Mine has just enough resistance to keep the rear standard from moving when the camera is pointed straight down, and there's no problem with making fine adjustments.

I don't mean to be insulting, but you're really sure it's not locked? There are two locking levers on the rear standard section that rides on the rail. As you're looking at the focus knob, the one on your left is the lock for rear swing, which I usually leave unlocked since the rear swing is usually locked by the zero detent 'lock'. I know, I'm a lazy guy.

The lever on the RIGHT, which is the one farthest away from the focus knob (and thus slightly counterintuitive) is the focus lock. When it's flipped to the RIGHT, the focus is locked. When it's flipped to the LEFT, the focus is unlocked.

It's all very hard to judge because the 'swings' of the two levers overlap.

Paul Butzi
9-Mar-2005, 09:34
Eugene's idea of lubing the gears might sound like a good idea but I'd be very wary. The big source of friction is likely to be ANYTHING but the gear track, and putting any lube on the gear at all will instantly turn the gear itself into even more of a grit trap than it currently is.

Before I worried about lubing the focusing gear and gear track, I'd check: that the focus lock mechanism is not locked(see previous post) and is functioning correctly. After that, I'd make sure there were no dings, grit, or other problems with the section of rail that the rear standard carrier runs over that would make focus difficult (it's hard to see how you could ding it, but grit does accumulate in there).

I believe that the telescoping rail, the front standard 'carrier', the rear standard 'carrier', and focus are all designed to run dry, without lube, and that adding lube will actually mess things up. Perhaps Bob Saloman will weigh in with the authoritative word on what lubricant, if any, should be used on various parts of a TK45?

Scott Rosenberg
9-Mar-2005, 09:41
hey fellas...

i'm quite positive that the rear carrier is unlocked. that was my first thought, so i moved the lever in the other direction, and the rear carrier was nearly impossible to move then. the original orientation must have been unlocked.

paul, you're not being insulting at all - i appreciate your inputs. i leave the swing lever unlocked too, for the very reason you mentioned.

i guess i'll try a little vaseline on the gear as eugene suggested, though i was hoping there was a little adjustment i could make to loosen it up a bit.

Bob Salomon
9-Mar-2005, 09:42
No lubricant. Especially petroleum oil that will attract dust and dirt.

Linhof makes their cameras with dissimmilar metals which are themselves self lubricating.

Scott Rosenberg
9-Mar-2005, 09:45
paul, thanks for the addition info. the rest of the camera moves quite smoothly, it's just the focusing is stiff. maybe it will loosen up over time.

bob, do you have any other ideas? i am positive that the control is not locked, as there is a significant difference in force required to focus the camera between the two settings.

Gem Singer
9-Mar-2005, 09:52
I suppose I should have added "After you work the pinion gear back and forth for a while, wipe off the Vaseline". A little dab will do ya!

Scott Rosenberg
9-Mar-2005, 09:53
i forgot to mention that there are no dings, grit, or other problems with the section of rail that the rear standard carrier runs over. the camera is in very good shape and everything else functions brilliantly. it's really a great camera... exudes linhof quality. i was so impressed with it that i wrote a review of it for my website, hoping to turn some more folks onto it, as when i was looking into it i could only find two - one on Paul's site and one by Brian Ellis.

John Hennessy
10-Mar-2005, 16:55
My bet is the lock or brake is not fully releasing. My TK is not in front of me but very likely the locking lever is a cam which jams a piece of nylon or something against the main rail. Or it could be the knob's shaft is not turning freely in the hole through which it passes. Just guessing, but either of my hypotheses could be the result of someone lubricating some parts that should not have been. If you can't focus easily the camera is not going to be much good. Maybe its time for Marflex if you can't see how to disassemble it yourself.

John Hennessy
10-Mar-2005, 17:24
Curiosity overcame me and I just set my TK.If you look into the main rail from the front with strong enough light through the back of the rail you will see a double-sided cam moving down against the inside of the rail to lock and up about .5mm to open. If you can't see daylight between the cam and the rail when unlocked, then that is the problem. The solution in that case is unclear. If you're daring, take off the little aluminum block inside the main rail at the back and crank the rear standard off the rail .(I'd take the bellows and gg off and put the camera on a tripod.) I doubt that there are any springs in that mechanism which would release and fly down the nearest drain, mouse hole or air vent. But...

Let us know what you decide to do or what you learn.

Scott Rosenberg
10-Mar-2005, 17:25
hey guys... i've played a little more with it and noticed that when the camera is folded for transport, the rear carrier moves very easily. however, when the standards are swung to shoot, it becomes much more difficult to turn the focusing knob. so, i moved the rear carrier back and forth while swinging the rear standard, and when i get to about 20 degrees, the focusing knob get much more difficult to turn.

any ideas here?

i'm going to call marflex in the morning, but thought some of you might have already experienced and solved this your TK45's.

thanks,
scott

Scott Rosenberg
10-Mar-2005, 17:36
from a position behind the camera, rotating the rear standard clockwise results in a steady increase in tension needed to turn the focusing knob. if i go much past the point where the zero detent clicksd into place, it soon becomes as difficult to focus as if the rear carrier were locked into place.

any thoughts fellas?

Paul Butzi
10-Mar-2005, 18:02
No clue, I'm afraid. Sounds like something weird with the locking mechanism, but it's hard to see how the swing can interact with the focus lock.

John Hennessy
10-Mar-2005, 20:25
"rotating the rear standard clockwise results in a steady increase in tension needed to turn the focusing knob"

Never noticed before but mine does that too>

Scott Rosenberg
10-Mar-2005, 22:46
John... mine is nice and loose when in the folded position (rotated all the way counter-clockwise). However, as I begin to un-fold the camera (swing clockwise), the resistance on the focusing knob gets increasingly stronger. When the rear standard snaps into place on the zero detent, it's noticeably more difficult to adjust the focus. Swinging past the zero detent results in yet more resistance, until at about 15 degrees out, the resistance nearly matches that of when I have the focusing knob locked.

Hopefully martin at marflex will have an easy solution for me. Iíll post back after speaking with him.

scott

Bob Salomon
11-Mar-2005, 07:36
"Hopefully martin at marflex will have an easy solution for me. Iíll post back after speaking with him."

Scott,

Unfortunately you appear to have a gray market camera that was not supplied to your dealer directly from the factory authorized distributor. It apparently was sent by the factory to a camera store in Germany and then your dealer purchased it from that German dealer. That means that there is no warranty or service on your camera through the authorized US service center. The only source of service would be through your dealer and he has no factory training on your camera.

That means that Marflex can not help you.

In short the only authorized service that you can receive is in Germany.

Also be aware that the standard 5 year Linhof warranty does not apply to your camera and your camera has a one year factory warranty that is to the original retail purchasor of your camera. As it was bought from a German camera store the warranty holder is your dealer - not you.

Kirk Keyes
11-Mar-2005, 09:50
"That means that Marflex can not help you. "

Bob - you mean that Marflex will not do warranty work. They will still work on the camera if Scott (or someone) paid to have the work done, right? It's not like his camera is "blacklisted" or something like that, is it?

Huw Evans
11-Mar-2005, 11:50
I've just checked my own (recently acquired, but used) TK45s and it too gets stiffer (the focussing mechanism) as the rear standard is swung. However, the change is fairly small, and even swinging it way beyond the calibrated angles it is still comfortable enough to focus easily. All in all, it still has the smoothest, most precise actions of any camera I've ever owned, including two other Linhofs.

John Hennessy
11-Mar-2005, 12:11
"That means that Marflex can not help you."

I'd bet a nickel that Marflex can fix Scott's camera 12 times over and silver plate too for the money that Scott saved by not buying from Bob Salomon company with its steep markup.

Bob Salomon
11-Mar-2005, 12:45
"They will still work on the camera if Scott (or someone) paid to have the work done, right?"

No repairs, in or out of warranty, on any gray market product.

" It's not like his camera is "blacklisted" or something like that, is it?"

It means no repairs or service on gray market items. Service will be done by the selling dealer or the factory.

Bob Salomon
11-Mar-2005, 12:46
"I'd bet a nickel that Marflex can fix Scott's camera 12 times over "

Not one repair if it is gray and known to be gray.

Kirk Keyes
11-Mar-2005, 14:37
"They will still work on the camera if Scott (or someone) paid to have the work done, right?"
Bob wrote: No repairs, in or out of warranty, on any gray market product.

Maybe there is an opportunity to have a two-tier pricing scheme here. Gray market you charge say twice as much for labor (but not parts)... Something to recoupe some of the loss in revenue from the circumventing of the proper importation channel.

Also, I have a Tech IV that I bought 20 years ago, which Marflex probably does not touch anymore, but if I were to get a newer Linhof, how would one find out if a used Linhof camera they thinking of buying is eligible for Marflex Service?

Kirk

Bob Salomon
11-Mar-2005, 14:51
"how would one find out if a used Linhof camera they thinking of buying is eligible for Marflex Service?"

Serial number. We can always check numbers. At least those that aren't more then 3 or 4 decades old.

Jorge Gasteazoro
11-Mar-2005, 15:14
Is Marflex owned by HP Marketing? I find it hard to beleive that a repair center will refuse bussiness just because it is a used camera which was bought overseas.

If it is owned by HP Marketing and they refuse to do the work, here is a link for a repair center that seems reputable.

http://www.camerarepair.com/prices/repairs/linhof

Give them a call and see what they say.

Paul Butzi
11-Mar-2005, 15:21
"Not one repair if it is gray and known to be gray."

Is that HP Market/Marflex policy just on linhof products, or on all the brands you represent?

Jon_2416
12-Mar-2005, 00:25
A great reason never to support HP. Their motto is "Working Hard To Do As Much Disservice To The Large Format Community As Possible".

Just think if HP actually promoted good service--instead of attacking people on eBay that use the word "Heliopan", refusing to work on a guy's camera that he bought used, and using 1970's marketing methods.

The 70's are long gone, Bob. Don't you think it is time to do the same?

Jorge Gasteazoro
12-Mar-2005, 01:12
I always thought that Bob undeservedly got a bad wrap with the Heliopan thing. I understand him having to protect his trademark, even if he has to do something that I think he finds distasteful. Lets not confuse the bussinessman with the person. But, and this is a big but, going as far as refusing to service a used camera just because it was bought on e bay from a guy in germany is really going a bit too far. I am not a lawyer and as such I imagine my opinion is worthless, but I really dont see how the trademark could be endagered by refusing to service a used camera, regardless of where it was bought. Perhaps the forum members who are lawyers can explain this to us, or me at least.

Of there is really no legal reason to do this, I hope HP Marketing reconsiders this policy which IMO smack of pettyness and vindictiveness. The message this policy sends tell us that people who dont buy used cameras from HP Marketing or a previous HP Marketing client will be undeservedly punished. Not a good idea IMO since the person who buys a used Linhof might decide in the future to buy a new one....no?

Paul Butzi
14-Mar-2005, 11:16
"Not one repair if it is gray and known to be gray."

I'm still left wondering if this is HP Marketing policy for all brands HP marketing distributes, or only Linhof.

Bob Salomon
14-Mar-2005, 11:31
All brands.

Scott Rosenberg
15-Mar-2005, 07:48
this is a shame indeed. i sure love that camera, and my rodenstock lenses, but absolutely refuse to support a company with these practices.

i know my meager purchases are not going to amount to anything to the HP machine, but i don't feel right supporting this sort of behaviour.

i really hope hp-mismarketing doesn't get their hands on arca swiss!

Kerry L. Thalmann
15-Mar-2005, 09:57
Scott,
You certainly have every right to use whatever camera, lenses, etc. you chose, but I'm a bit confused here by what exactly you're trying to accomplish.

Bob wrote:

"Not one repair if it is gray and known to be gray."

You responded:

this is a shame indeed. i sure love that camera, and my rodenstock lenses, but absolutely refuse to support a company with these practices.

i know my meager purchases are not going to amount to anything to the HP machine, but i don't feel right supporting this sort of behaviour.

So, if your camera is "gray" (direct import, bypassing the US distributor - HP Marketing Corp.), you are not supporting them - which is why they are denying you service through their contracted repair center (Marflex). Whether or not you agree with his stance, I think this is Bob's whole point - by buying "gray" you are not supporting his company, therefore, they will not support you.

From the above posts, I understand the TK45S you bought is a used, direct import sample (a much more accurate and descriptive term than "gray market"). So, HP Marketing didn't get one thin dime from you because:

a) it was a direct import
b) it was a used (previously owned) camera.

I'm not defending Bob or HP Marketing (that's Bob's job, not mine), just trying to understand your logic. How does dumping your used, direct import TK45S "hurt" HP Marketing? Didn't you already "hurt" them by purchasing a directly imported (used, no less) product for which they are the factory authorized US distributor? Dumping a camera you like, when HP Marketing never got a dime from you in the first place, sure seems to be a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

If you like the camera, keep it and use it. Sleep well at night knowing that by buying a direct import you are NOT supporting a company whose business practices rub you the wrong way. Finally, if it needs fixed, bite the bullet and send it back to your dealer and ask them to return it to the factory for adjustment. You (presumably) saved a huge pile of cash by purchasing a used, direct import camera. Use a small fraction of that cash to get it fixed. Then go out and take some pictures and stop worrying about a company that never got a penny of your money on this camera anyway.

Kerry

Jorge Gasteazoro
15-Mar-2005, 10:24
I think is more a feeling of "betrayal" Scott is feeling Kerry. Anybody that has been reading these forums long enough knows about HP marketings's policy. I suspect Scott did not.....OTOH there is a flaw in your reasoning. HP Marketing does not loose or win when a used camera is bought or sold. Scott has not "hurt" them because HPM would not have seen a cent of the sale regardless of where the camera was bought, yet he is hurt by HPM by being unable to have the camera repaired here, at least by the "official" service center. IOW this is no longer a "gray market" item, but a used camera that was traded.

As I said, I understand the Heliopan thing, but not this "we will not help potential customers who bought used cameras, no matter how much we piss them off. "

I am not defending Scott, but I understand him. I bought a Rodenstock lens on E bay a few years back and completely forgot it was an HPM brand. I am now facing a potential hassle if I ever need the lens serviced. Instead of being able to send it to the US I might be forced to send it to Germany, and frankly that sucks, specially for a customer who bought a new TK45 in the US with US warranty and a couple of Rodenstock lenses in the US with US warranty. In effect what this policy means is that while I supported HPM they will shaft me if the used lens I bought was gray market.....IMO not a good bussiness policy, specially with customers that were supportive of them.

Kerry L. Thalmann
15-Mar-2005, 11:10
OTOH there is a flaw in your reasoning. HP Marketing does not loose or win when a used camera is bought or sold. Scott has not "hurt" them because HPM would not have seen a cent of the sale regardless of where the camera was bought, yet he is hurt by HPM by being unable to have the camera repaired here, at least by the "official" service center. IOW this is no longer a "gray market" item, but a used camera that was traded.

Jorge,

Again, I'm not defending anyone's business practices, just trying to understand Scott's decision to dump his used, "gray market" (direct import) camera.

Actually, IMHO the US distributor does lose out when someone buys a used camera (regardless of if it's "gray" market" or not). When someone buys a used camera, instead of a new one, the distributor loses a potential sale of a new camera - a sale that would generate income for them. So, my point was, Scott didn't give HP one red cent, regardless if is camera is gray or not. By keeping his camera, he is not "supporting" HP Marketing as he never gave them any money in the first place.

The fact that it was gray denies him service through HP Marketing's contracted service center. If the seller did not tell Scott his camera was "gray", they did him a disservice. If they told him it was "gray" and he bought it anyway, he took an informed risk. He gambled to save some money. In the end, even after paying to send it to Germany to get it fixed, he probably still saved a significant amount of money over purchasing a new camera from an HP authorized dealer (which is the only kind of sale that generates income for HP Marketing). All he really lost is the difference in shipping charges and tunaround time between shipping the camera to Germany instead of New Jersey - and if the camera is more than a year old, potentially a minor service fee to adjust the focusing knob.

I have several Rodenstock lenses that I bought used. Some of them have the HP Marketing sticker on the box, and some of them I know to be direct import. I did not purchase these particular used lenses to boycot anyone or protest anything. I bought them used to save money that I'd rather spend on other things (like film). However, by buying used, the US distributor didn't get any money from me (although they did get their cut from the original purchaser on the non-gray lenses). Again, I did not buy them specifically to "hurt" anyone, but rather to maximize my purchasing power. BTW, I do not limit this practice to any practicular brand. I have also bought several used Nikkor, Fujinon and Schneider lenses - and even a few from companies no longer in business (too late to do them any harm).

Back to Scott's camera - technically, it's both used and "gray". Since he bought it before this thread started, I'm guessing he bought it because he wanted to take pictures, not "hurt" or help anyone's business. I suggest he use it for the reason he bought it and not spend so much time fretting over "supporting" a company that has made no money off his purchase. He claims to like the camera - a camera that never passed through HP Marketing's hands, nor generated any income for them. Dumping the camera for reasons not related to photography seems self-defeating to me and does absolutley no financial harm to HP Marketing. So, what does Scott gain? He certainly doesn't have any beautiful prints to hang on his wall and ends up wasting more time selling the TK and buying yet another camera, getting to know that camera, buying new lens boards, re-mounting lenses, etc. I just think he'd be better served using that time under the dark cloth, shooting and developing film and making prints.

Kerry

Jorge Gasteazoro
15-Mar-2005, 11:52
I agree with you that it seems a wasted effort to dump a good camera just out of anger with the distribuitor.

Where I dont agree with you is in the distribuitor as well as the manufacturer "loosing" a sale when someone buys a used camera. IMO a great part of the reputation Linhof has developed is due to the great service their cameras provide. We see 40 and 50 year old cameras still being traded and used. Not everybody can afford to buy a new camera, but once they have used a Linhof, they might buy a new one once they are able to upgrade due to their great quality. IOW what do you do? do you invest in the future or do you go for the quick buck in the present? Once again I think I am a good example, I had a 75 year old Korona, it was all I could afford. I am now in the position to trade it and buy a new one, if Linhof made ULF cameras I would not hesitate to buy one from them....but I would get it straigh from Germany, even if I was not able to use Marflex. Why? one, because I would probably be able to get it at 2/3 of the US price and two, because HPM has lost my respect. WHy should I support and give a paycheck to a company that has such little regard for their potential customers? In an ever shrinking world, this is not a good way to do bussiness IMO.

You say Scott should not fret about HPM and go out and take pictures, how can he? when every time he wants to focus the camera it becomes a PITA, and will always remind him of HPM and the lousy way they have treated him. You find it strange that Scott wants to trade his camera and lenses. I find it even stranger than a company is willing to create such ill will from their customers. After all Scott does not want his camera servicied under wanrranty, I am sure he would pay for the service. To deny him such service only because the used camera he bought was sent from germany is just plain dumb IMO. Let me give a clear example, what if you took one of those car buying trips to Europe, went to Germany to bought a Mercedes, brought back to the US and the US dealer told you....sorry bubba, you bought this car in Germany, you have to send it back there to have the oil changed... would you buy Mercedes again?....I bet not.

Arne Croell
15-Mar-2005, 12:07
I must say I also have a bit of the problem with the HP/Marflex approach to repairs. No question with respect to the warranty - there should be none for a gray market item. But repairs that are paid for? Let me make a personal hypothetic example. I am German and bought my TK 45 in 1991 in Germany when I lived there. In 1998 I moved to the US for 2 years, and my TK and all my other photo equipment came with me. If I would have needed a repair, Marflex would have denied that with the present policy, even though I never bought the camera gray market or even just used, I just happened to move to another continent. I would even accept it (grumbling maybe) if they introduce a 2-tier price system as suggested elswher, but denying repair outright?

Bob Salomon
15-Mar-2005, 12:21
Arne,

Your camera would be repaired and it is not gray market.

A gray market camera is one bought by a US retailer from an unauthorized source outside the USA who resells it at retail to consumers in the USA.

An example of this would be any camera listed as "import" on one mail order dealer's web site. When they list one version as "import" and another as US the "import" is gray.

Also not gray is a camera an American resident buys while on a trip abroad for his own use in the USA.

As for Scott, neither he or his dealer know for a fact that the camera he bought is gray as neither have had us track the serial number.

Kerry L. Thalmann
15-Mar-2005, 12:32
Where I dont agree with you is in the distribuitor as well as the manufacturer "loosing" a sale when someone buys a used camera. IMO a great part of the reputation Linhof has developed is due to the great service their cameras provide. We see 40 and 50 year old cameras still being traded and used. Not everybody can afford to buy a new camera, but once they have used a Linhof, they might buy a new one once they are able to upgrade due to their great quality.

But you are making your decision based on Linhof's quality and reputation - not the US distributor's. Those 40 - 50 year old Linhofs were not disributed by HP Marketing. Kling Photo was the distributor until HP took over in the 1970s. The distributor has changed, but the Linhof quality and reputation remains. So, is Scott boycotting Linhof, or HP Marketing. It's a Linhof camera that has never been in HP Marketing's hands he's planning to abandon. I agree that the manufacturer doesn't necessarily lose out when someone buys a used camera - if that buyer becomes a repeat customer. But, in your own example, the distributor loses out totally. They get no money on the sale of the used camera, and they get no money on your subsequent purchase of a direct import product. Again, I'm NOT defending ANYONE. I'm still just trying to understand why Scott thinks he's somehow hurting HP Marketing by dumping a camera he likes that generated no income for HP Marketing. He's not. He's hurting himself and all he gains is a temproary false sense of vindication. Linhof hasn't "done Scott wrong". Why abandon their products as a way of "hurting" a third party that Scott didn't do any busines with when he bought his camera in the first place?

You say Scott should not fret about HPM and go out and take pictures, how can he? when every time he wants to focus the camera it becomes a PITA, and will always remind him of HPM and the lousy way they have treated him.

He took a chance on buying a used camera. I have bought several used lenses knowing full well, I'd need to get the shutter CLAd before I could use them. As many of the companies are out of business, there is no such thing as factory authorized service. Does that mean I should never buy another Kodak, Wollensak or Goerz lens? No, I send them out to an independent repair shop. Marflex isn't the only repair shop on the planet. If they refuse to service his camera (thus far, we haven't heard from Marflex, only Bob's claim that they won't service Scott's camera) and he wants "authorized" service he can send it back to the factory in Germany. If he just wants it to work, he can send it to an independent repair shop.

Let me give a clear example, what if you took one of those car buying trips to Europe...

This extreme example is in no way releavent to Scott's problem. First, shipping a car back to Germany costs a heck of a lot more and takes a heck of a lot longer than shipping a camera. Second, just take the car down to the corner Jiffy lube and get the oil changed. Seriously, this is a red herring argument. The affordable shipping of cameras and lenses to/from Europe (or Asia) is largely the basis for the current "gray" market (at least it was until the US dollar plummeted). Suddenly people in the US were buying their Gitzo tripods and Schneider lenses from Robert White in the UK and getting them less than 48 hours later. Heck, I even bought some film from Robert White when I needed it fast and couldn't find a dealer in the US who had it in stock (I ordered on a Monday, the film arrived first thing Wednesday morning). Point is, if Scott really wanted to get his camera fixed he could send it back to the factory and probably get it back within a week. Could Marflex turn it around signifcantly faster?

If Scott doesn't like HP Marketing's or Marflex's policies and practices, fine don't do business with them. So far, he hasn't. He bought a used direct import camera. He has given neither firm a cent of his money - nor does he have to. In fact, neither appears to actually want his money. That's fine. We all reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Send the camera in, either to the factory, or an independent repair shop. Get on with life and go take some pictures.

Kerry

tim atherton
15-Mar-2005, 12:36
Kerry, it's known as cutting of your nose to spite your face... sometimes you just feel like doing it though - it ain't logical - but that's the whole point

Paul Butzi
15-Mar-2005, 12:39
I remain confused.

If I'm reading Bob's post correctly, there are two distinct scenarios -

1. I am in someplace outside the US. I buy a Linhof. Eventually, I return to the US, and would like to get the Linhof serviced. In this case, Bob says that Marflex will be happy to service my camera, because it is not 'Gray'. Only cameras bought from US retailers that bypassed Hp Marketing would be 'Gray'.

2. I am inside the US. I buy a Linhof. At some point in time, someone bought this camera from a dealer that bypassed HP Marketing, which currently has exclusive rights to distribute Linhof in the US. This camera is deemed 'Gray' and Marflex will not service it.

Now, I can imagine that HP Marketing have a serial number list of all the cameras THEY have handled, and thus they can distinguish cameras they have imported and all other linhof cameras.

What I don't understand is how HP Marketing cam distinguish between (1) and (2) above. All they know is that the camera was not sold by them, not through which dealer it WAS sold, nor where.

Furthermore, how can HP Marketing distinguish between these situations:

1. I live in, say, the UK, or visit there. While I am there I buy a Linhof from a UK dealer (e.g. Robt White). Then I come to the US. This camera is NOT 'gray'.

2. I live in, say, Topeka, KS, USA. Via the internet, I buy a Linhof from Robt. White. This camera would appear to be 'gray' except that it's only 'gray' if I import it for resale. Import for personal use can NEVER make an item 'gray market'. Beyond that, Robt. White is an authorized source for Linhof.

3. I live in Carnation, WA, USA. I buy a camera from Ralph, who lives in Topeka, as above. He has a deal with Robt. White, buys the camera from Robt. White, turns around, and sells the camera to ME. Ralph is not an authorized source, but Robt. White is. Besides, it's only gray (says Bob) if the unauthorized source is outside the US, so this camera is not 'gray', either.

4. I live in Carnation, WA, USA. I buy a Linhof from B&H, who have direct imported it from Germany. This camera is 'gray market'.

Enquiring minds want to know...

Ellis Vener
15-Mar-2005, 12:48
Do any of you know that this is not a condition Linhof imposes on HP as part of its distribution contract? Distribution contracts are not one way streets.

Bob Salomon
15-Mar-2005, 12:58
"Furthermore, how can HP Marketing distinguish between these situations:"

Bill of sale and checking the serial number.

Jorge Gasteazoro
15-Mar-2005, 13:10
This extreme example is in no way releavent to Scott's problem. First, shipping a car back to Germany costs a heck of a lot more and takes a heck of a lot longer than shipping a camera. Second, just take the car down to the corner Jiffy lube and get the oil changed.



Ok Kerry, let say you bought a Braun espresso maker in the US from a German and the Braun dealership said...uh, uh....back to Germany to be serviced. Same pricniple, what I was trying to say and you took things too literally is that most companied are happy to service items to create good will with the customer...something HPM seems does not feel like it needs or wants to do.



So, is Scott boycotting Linhof, or HP Marketing



Clearly he is boycotting HPM, but feels a camera that cannot be service in the US is not worth the hassle for him. Then again as Tim says, sometimes the aversion is so great that you rather loose money and be done with the hole thing. As he says is not rational, but people do it, I have done it myself.



Marflex isn't the only repair shop on the planet



Maybe not, but it is the best qualified and with the most experience to repair Linhofs. When there are no other alternatives as you say you have to go with an independent shop. I know you think them extreme, but if I owned a Ferrari I would want a Ferrari dealer to service it, even if Jiffy lube can do it as well. Agruably Linhofs are the Ferraris of the LF community (dont get your panties in a bunch Paul, Ebonies are up there too.. :-) ) If I want the camera repaired by the best possible place with the minimum of hassle, I would like to think I could do so...apparently not in the US.. :-(



Point is, if Scott really wanted to get his camera fixed he could send it back to the factory and probably get it back within a week. Could Marflex turn it around signifcantly faster?



I think you are missing the point. Yes, he can send it back to Germany to be serviced and most likely will get as great service if not better than Marflex. But there are a few issues, certainly shipping to Marflex represents a lesser degree of hassle and posibilities of having the camera lost of damaged. Remember, shipping to Germany will make the camera having to pass through customs 2 times, people openning and handeling the camera that could not care less what happens to it. Not so with shipping to Marflex. I think the point is the level of support HPM is giving. As you say by my example, they have lost a sale either way, but that did not happen because I dislike HPM. It happened because I see they do not care about their customers and/or future customers and their future bussiness desicions just might screw me, why take the chance?



In the end, there is nothing to understand about Scott's desicion, he wants to get rid of the camera and most likely will. IMO the only one that comes out loosing out discussions like this is HPM out of holding what I beleive to be a bad bussiness practice.

Scott Rosenberg
15-Mar-2005, 13:15
kerry, et al...

firstly, i completely understand HP's policy. i may not agree with them, but nobody at HP asked for my opinion. the bottom line is that i'm not trying to hurt HP here, i am simply choosing not to support them through direct financial contribution or exposure. i made a decision not to buy my camera through HP's channels, and it is their policy not to recognize the camera. while seemingly asinine to me, as they say, those be the rules. i don't have my car serviced at the dealership i bought it in, but that doesn't keep them from taking my money everytime i need to have service done. no, i'm not asking for the camera to be repaired under warranty, and yes, i would GLADLY pay for services rendered. why HP marketing chooses not to open that channel of income is beyond me.

their position seems a thinly veiled way of forcing people to purchase through their channels, when it is perfectly legal to do otherwise. just the same, it is perfectly legal for HP to decide not to service cameras brought in through alternative channels. i find this to be somewhat bullying and monopolistic and i absolutely refuse to support a company that operates this way. kerry, i realize that i have not yet given HP one red cent through this transaction and though you may feel that i should not fret over such things and just go out and shoot, i don't feel that way. support comes in many forms, and i refuse to be an advocate for a company whose practices i find inexcusable.

kerry, when you say,
"By keeping his camera, he is not "supporting" HP Marketing as he never gave them any money in the first place"
you are failing to realize that there are many ways to support a company, beyond direct financial compensation. i am truly surprised to see this from you... how many 110 Super Symmar-XL, 150 APO-Sironar-S, 210 APO-Symmar, 240 Fuji-A, etc, lenses have been purchased as a result of your future classics page?

to illustrate, i was out shooting with the TK45S last thursday and an older couple approached me asking "That's a beautiful camera... what kind is it". this is not uncommon, as i'm sure many of you have experienced similar things. "It's a linhof," i replied, "and it's a wonderful camera". I don't know who he was or what his intentions were... he may have gone straight home and ordered a TK45S. this may sound outlandish, but I am often approached while shooting, and have made the decision not to use the HP products. there are options out there every bit as good, some better. now when someone approaches me in the field and asks what that beautiful camera is, i will gladly tell them it's an Arca Swiss and the finest camera i've ever used.

no matter what my broker tells me, i will not own stock in nor buy product from a company with poor environmental policy. these are decisions i make for reasons i feel strongly about. if i feel that the policies HP marketing enforce, though it is completely within their rights to do so, are reprehensible. as such i can not simply go out and take some pictures and stop worrying.

Paul Butzi
15-Mar-2005, 13:16
Bob writes:
""Furthermore, how can HP Marketing distinguish between these situations:"
Bill of sale and checking the serial number."

So if I can not provide a copy of the bill of sale, Marflex will not service my Linhof equipment?

Bob Salomon
15-Mar-2005, 14:11
"So if I can not provide a copy of the bill of sale"

Then we may question if it is gray. Then we would trace the serial number. If it was sold originally to a non US dealer then you have to show that it was not purchased gray. Without the bill of sale that could be tricky for you to prove. It is always wise to save the receipts on high ticket items for proof of ownership, for proof of warranty eligibility and for proof of value should you have an insurance claim for it due to theft or damage from flooding, dropping, mysterious dissapearence, etc.

And - if you use it for business purposes - for tax purposes.

Kerry L. Thalmann
15-Mar-2005, 14:40
"That's a beautiful camera... what kind is it". this is not uncommon, as i'm sure many of you have experienced similar things. "It's a linhof," i replied, "and it's a wonderful camera".

Exactly, you told them it was a Linhof. Not once did you mention HP Marketing. You are supporting the manufacturer, not the distributor.

how many 110 Super Symmar-XL, 150 APO-Sironar-S, 210 APO-Symmar, 240 Fuji-A, etc, lenses have been purchased as a result of your future classics page?

apples:oranges - Those are all brand names, not the names of distributors. Heck, Fuji hasn't even had a US distributor in over 15 years. Yet, it is still possible to buy Fuji lenses in the US. And, you can buy direct import Schneider and Rodenstock lenses, or in the case of Rodenstock you an even buy from an alternative US distributor - Calumet. And, I'm not just talking about the house brand Caltar lenses. Calumet is an official US importer of Rodenstock lenses. If you buy a Roenstock lens from Calumet, it does not come though HP Marketing, nor is it considered "gray market". By recommending specific lenses, I am doing just that, recommending lenses, not telling people what distribution channel to use. That's up to them.

You are certainly entitled to feel cheated by HP Marketing if you chose. Still, you chose not to support them when you initially purchased your camera through an alternative channel. If you weren't supporting them then how are you supporting them by keeping and using your gray market camera?

i refuse to be an advocate for a company whose practices i find inexcusable

I don't think anyone who reads this forum would consider you an advocate for HP Marketing. You have done nothing to date to support them, and they have returned the favor (which may be short sighted, but as you say, it's their choice).

So, bottom line... have you actually contacted Marflex to see if they will repair your camera? What did they say? If they won't have you contacted the dealer where you bought it and asked them how to proceed with the repair? What did they say? The original subject of this thread was about getting your camera working to your satisfaction. I've seen a lot of opinions about business practices, etc., but no progress on atually getting your camera fixed.

Kerry

Kerry L. Thalmann
15-Mar-2005, 14:43
Jorge,

Horse == Dead

I'm done (as I wave white flag of truce/surrender).

Kerry

Arne Croell
15-Mar-2005, 15:30
Let me go back to the original question and the path that John Hennessy took. Now what follows is based on a TK 45, not a TK 45S, since I own the former, and its based on memory since my camera is not in front of me right now - so take it with a grain of salt and proceed at your own risk.

About 8 years ago I removed the back and front standards for a similar problem. If I remember correctly, the locking lever for the focussing of the TK moves a little pin that presses on a white plastic (Delrin, Nylon?) plate with beveled edges, that fits in the aluminum channel. There is a screw to adjust the height of the plastic plate (the screw is in the plate if I remember correctly). That is where I assume your problem is. You would have to remove remove the little aluminum block John mentioned to slide off the back standard. The little white plate might fall out doing that so make sure it (or related parts) cannot disappear somewhere and check the position it had before taking it out completely. Then adjust the height, reinsert, and try again, until it works ok.

Scott Rosenberg
15-Mar-2005, 16:45
hi kerry... i agree, the horse is gone and buried, but still, i'd like to address a few of the points you raised (feel free not to read anymore of this thread, as it's getting tiresome!)

Exactly, you told them it was a Linhof. Not once did you mention HP Marketing. You are supporting the manufacturer, not the distributor.
if i told the fella it was a linhof, and he then went off and bought one through an official us distributor, who then would i be supporting? HPM, no?

the point i was trying to make when i said:
"how many 110 Super Symmar-XL, 150 APO-Sironar-S, 210 APO-Symmar, 240 Fuji-A, etc, lenses have been purchased as a result of your future classics page?"
was simply that you were indirectly supporting those companies by writing so favorably about their products. i'd bet that you are singularly responsible for 100's of lenses being sold as a result of the work you and chris perez did. whether the distributor or retailer profits by these sales is irrelevalant. i was simply trying to illustrate the point that when you speak positively about a product and are seen as something of an authority, you can influence what other people buy. i'd rather not support HPM in this way, so i am choosing not to use their product.

If you weren't supporting them then how are you supporting them by keeping and using your gray market camera?
if i told the fella it was a linhof, and he then went off and bought one through an official us distributor, who then would i be supporting? HPM, no?

I don't think anyone who reads this forum would consider you an advocate for HP Marketing. You have done nothing to date to support them
i did not mean to imply that i was an advocate for HPM here on the forum. i do feel that when i'm out in the field working and people come ask me about my gear, i then become something of an advocate for them. all it takes is a tripod and a large camera, and to most lay people, you may as well be ansel adams. if i told the fella it was a linhof, and he then went off and bought one through an official us distributor, who then would i be supporting? HPM, no?

i find HPM's practices somewhat unethical and choose not to support them directly (through my own purchases) or indirectly (through purchases that might result from my speaking highly of their product).

jorge, thanks you for you inputs.

i sincerely hope that you guys understand where i'm coming from now.

Michael S. Briggs
15-Mar-2005, 21:32
Has anyone actually sent a photo item for a non-warranty repair to Marflex and had them refuse to repair it for money because the item wasn't bought through the "correct" channel? If Marflex did this, I suspect someone would have posted their experience in this or another forum.

Nigel Smith
15-Mar-2005, 22:19
Do HP Marketing sell used cameras?