View Full Version : Experience with Marflex Marketing (Linhof)...

10-Aug-2005, 02:34
Hi All,

Have any of you folks had any direct dealings with Marflex Marketing in the recent past?

I sent them an email and heard back from them ONLY after an additional attempt. :(

And, it's not as if the subject matter I'm asking about is complicated... it's simply a request on information about PURCHASING Linhof dark slides from them (which means revenue for their organization!) Nothing complicated!

Their initial response was that they were out of them at the time... that was about a month and some ago!

I sent them another email as a follow-up about a week ago and still have not heard hide nor hair from them! I guess I'll have to just send them ANOTHER note and see if they care to respond! :(

Surely, answering a customer's email expeditiously would be considered a normal business practice and, moreover, a courtesy if nothing else, wouldn't you agree?

Rant over! Thanks for listening. :)

[I'm looking to purchase dark slides for the two versions of their 4x5 film holders (Linhof.) The first version is the one whereby a lever is pulled to eject the film from the holder. The second version is the standard Linhof 4x5 filmholders. I'm looking to buy one (or two) for each type. If anyone has any they wish to sell... please let me know asap. :)

Thank you.]


Bob Salomon
10-Aug-2005, 04:36
Marflex is in the process of moving their office. Just be patient and Martin will answer you. I will give him a copy of your note next time he is in our office.

As you know Linhof has not made their film holders and the glass plate sheet film holders for many, many years. You apparently have one of each. The lever type is the glass plate holder - hence the reason for the lever and the adjustable spacer. AFAIK the availability of replacement sides was limited, possibly to the stock on hand.

You can reach Marflex at their email address of Marflex@aol.com. and at 973 808-9626.

Bob Salomon
10-Aug-2005, 04:38

Marflex is not a sales or marketing company. They are the service center for Linhof and Wista. Their proper name is Marflex Service.

We are the marketing company. HP Marketing Corp. We are seperate companies with seperate owners. At seperate locations.

Juergen Sattler
10-Aug-2005, 06:32
I had a lens inspected by them because it was scratched and I wanted to get a quote on the repair costs. Nine months later I finally got an anwer that was so ridiculous I had to laugh - the quote was as high as a brand new lens - I am not kidding. Responsiveness and Marflex don't go together in my book!

Richard Boulware
10-Aug-2005, 07:25
My experience with Marflex has been wonderful. Yes, I did use the telephone. ..not email.

Martin, Krikor and others at Marflex did several large jobs for me and they went above and beyond what one would normally expect from any service company.

It is a nice feeling to know that Marflex is there with me when I shoot..by knowing that if I have a problem, Marflex is there to back me up.

Thanks again, Marflex. You're the best.

Richard Boulware - Denver

Frank Petronio
10-Aug-2005, 07:41
Martin does a good job and their prices and schedules aren't out of line for things that they are compentent at, like Linhof and Rollei work.

If I had a lens issue I would use John Van Selten at www.focalpointlens.com. For custom work use S. K. Grimes. Another good view and panoramic camera repair guy is Bob Watkins at http://www.precisioncameraworks.com. For wooden cameras and Pentax spotmeters, use Richard Ritter at http://www.lg4mat.net. I am sure there are more excellent people but these guys all have sterling reputations.

The main problem with Linhof, HP, and Marflex (and most LF photo business) is that they don't maintain decent, updated websites (beyond the usability and design gafs). Bob S. is great at responding to his email or forum questions, but so far nobody at these companies has figured out that 99% of their customers are internet addicts and would love to do their learning and business online, without having to wait for phone and mail.

(I know Watkins tripled his business by building a nicer website with useful content, plus Google Ads... a no-brainer.)

Bob Salomon
10-Aug-2005, 08:05
"If I had a lens issue"


We and Marflex represent factories. We are not independents.

If someone sends a lens to us it may need to go back to the factory. It is important that any work provided by the official repair centers meet the factories standards. In many cases this can require that the lens be sent back to the factory for the estimates and the service. If it is an older lens or it requires replacing optics this can be a long and expensive procedure.

Yes there are individual repair centers that may be able to fix a lens faster and for less but they don't have to meet the factory's requirements. We do.

"figured out that 99% of their customers are internet addicts"

Not in your best dreams is the percentage anywhere near that. We commonly find Linhof and Rodenstock and Wista users who do not use a computer at all. If were as simple as posting to a web site it would truly be wonderful. But when a line is as diverse, as old and as complicated as Linhof the web can be an endless sea of confusion.

And have you noticed how an answer to a question frequently brings more questions? These require more answers which result in more questions.

An 800 number is free and the whole series of questions and answers can be attacked at the same time. This is especially true with Linhof where quite frequently the questioner does not know exactly what model Linhof - or Wista - they are asking about.

Brian Ellis
10-Aug-2005, 09:56
Many businesses get hundreds of email messages a day, thousands in the case of a large company. Just wading through the spam and separating it from the legitimate messages can be a full-time job for many companies. Marflex is a very small business, just a handful of people. They can't employ someone to sit in front of a comupter all day and respond to email questions, especially when the question relates to information about buying something that hasn't been made in years . In my experience the way to get a quick response to anything isn't to send email messages, it's to use the telephone.

But to answer your question, I've had extensive dealings with Marflex over the years, some recently. I've found them to be very helpful in answering questions, very knowledgeable, very efficient, very prompt, very compentent, and very expensive (but well worth the expense).

Frank Petronio
10-Aug-2005, 15:04
In my business, I get over 2000 emails per day (I've been online since 1995, my address has been "harvested" many times). While a good spam filter weeds out 75%, I still sort through many emails. But if I miss one from a client I am in just as much trouble as if I didn't return their phone call. That's the way business is today.

If I were Linhof (or some other LF company) I'd put a message board up for technical help and sales questions. That way, people would actually be able to search out information and customers would end up being your best salespeople. It's called building an online community, and it is proving to be a very effective marketing tactic. It's not expensive and probably wouldn't take any more time than haunting the LF and PN forums... and you could have the pleasure of banning me, just like Mottershead!

Bob Salomon
10-Aug-2005, 16:06

Why would we want to ban you?

But Linhof is simply one of our product lines.

We have 20 odd product lines. try doing all of them is a short time and be comprehensive.

If the manufacturers want to put up a forum they are welcome to. But we have neither the time, the manpower (HP Marketing Corp. is a 7 person company) or the interest to.

You can always call us and we will spend all the time necessary to answer all of your questions.

10-Aug-2005, 18:17
Hi again,

Thank you all for your comments regarding my posting... :)


Thanks for the info on Marflex... I finally heard from Martin today and, hopefully, I'll be able to purchase a couple of these darkslides from him directly. He has the last 3 remaining from Linhof in Germany. :)

And, the standard versions are available through B+H.

[So, if any of you are in the same position as I am... :)]

To be honest, I wasn't aware that the lever versions were for glass plates. I only have a couple of them. As for the standard versions... I have quite a few more of them (20 or so.)


Yes, I realize that businesses get substantial volumes of emails on a daily basis (as we commonly do.) However, we make it a priority to reply back by the end of the business day. Likewise, with our telephone messages... we respond to all of our customer inquiries by the end of the business day. No exceptions! And, we're not a large company by any stretch of the imagination. :)

IMHO, a week+ is not the way we would handle things... even on obsure issues, we will make it a point to call/email the customer/client and let them know that we've received their inquiry and are dealing with it. If we don't have the answer on hand and it appears as if it will take time to resolve... we always keep the cutomer/client in the loop by letting them know where we're at in the process.

I guess we all have our own sets of standards in how we treat others and how we like to be treated. This isn't a judgment call... it's just my personal standard. :) [BTW, I'm the CEO of our firm... :)]

Hello Frank,

How's the little one? :)

BTW... do you know that other forum that you were sometimes involved in... it's gone to pot!

Again, thanks for all the replies! :)


Tom Jones
11-Aug-2005, 05:10
Martin did some work on my Wista last year for me. Very nice sort to deal with on the phone, and quite reasonable pricing for what I had done. I was very happy with the way things went. Dealing with a factory in another country can take a long time. His help was very valuable.

Tom Diekwisch
6-Sep-2005, 20:59
Marflex does a really nice job, especially for Linhof repairs. In fact, for years their reputation was legendary among camera stores who accept cameras for repair. Martin is a very straight-forward guy to deal with, very reliable. Apart from Bob being Bob, his customer service including his web contributions are extraordinary and almost irreplaceable in terms of depth of detail knowledge and willingness to respond.