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dofmaster
14-Feb-2011, 09:07
Hi! Can somebody share his experience with Bill Maxwell? I've ordered his screen two weeks ago and got nothing since that time... He doesn't answer my e-mails and I can't spend hours talking with him by phone (international calls are very costy for me).
This is not the service I expected for $500+ per screen... Or it's normal with Bill?

Ed Kelsey
14-Feb-2011, 09:29
I sent him a screen to get treated a couple years ago. Never a reply. Never again.

dofmaster
14-Feb-2011, 09:34
I sent him a screen to get treated a couple years ago. Never a reply. Never again.
Wow, that makes me feel not comfortable...

Kevin Crisp
14-Feb-2011, 10:04
I've ordered three screens from him, one a 5x7, one for a Crown Graphic, and one for an SL66. Never had a problem. Each screen is custom made for you, so a two week wait isn't something to be concerned about. If you want me to call him for you, give me the specifics through a private email and I'll update you.

rdenney
14-Feb-2011, 10:10
Ed's problem is unusual. I don't know how he let a Contax 645 screen out of his sight permanently, though. I would have pursued the issue with determination until it was resolved, even to the point of getting someone local to go knock at the door of Maxwell Precision Optics.

But Ed's case is not confirmed by the broad experience of many others.

That said, Maxwell has many clients outside of photography and sometimes gets backed up. Have patience. He usually doesn't charge until he ships. When I bought my 4x5 screen from him, I also ordered a screen for my Canon 5D, for the next time he had one that was a bit less than perfect that he could let go for cheap. It was six months later when he called saying he had one available, and he didn't charge me until then.

My 4x5 screen took a little longer than Bill indicated, and partly because of other work. Like many very small shops that are in high demand, the owner maintains his quality level even if it means people have to wait.

How did you order the screen? One presumes that would have required a phone call. When did he promise it?

Rick "thinking international mail can sometimes take weeks, too" Denney

jeroldharter
14-Feb-2011, 10:12
I ordered one for a Canham 4x5 DLC (since sold here) and had no problems. Excellent product.

dofmaster
14-Feb-2011, 10:29
Actually i paid by PayPal and don't like the idea to open dispute in 40 days. Bill didn't tell that such delays are possible and replied every email very quickly while advertising his screens - situation dramatically changed when payment got thru. At least he could tell that "everything going fine, just be patient..."

Kevin Crisp
14-Feb-2011, 10:51
I talked to him and sent you a private message. He says it will ship in the next two days.

dofmaster
14-Feb-2011, 11:10
I talked to him and sent you a private message. He says it will ship in the next two days.
Thank you, Kevin!

letchhausen
14-Feb-2011, 22:48
Wow, I can't even get him to reply to my emails. Much less order something. Since he's a three hour time difference away by the time I get home when I could call him it would be around midnight his time so I resisted the urge to call him since I imagine that he sleeps.......

dsim
14-Feb-2011, 23:02
Hmm, never had a problem with Maxwell. I'm also in PST and he'd call if he had any questions or wanted my approval on a camera mod.

fbf
15-Feb-2011, 04:13
I have ordered screens from him on many of my cameras (contax 645, rolleiflex,etc...). Never had a single problem.

dofmaster
15-Feb-2011, 06:32
I have ordered screens from him on many of my cameras (contax 645, rolleiflex,etc...). Never had a single problem.
Have you talked to Bill personally or contacted via email?

rdenney
15-Feb-2011, 07:43
Look, folks, Bill Maxwell does not do business by email and he does not have an official internet web page for making orders. Many of you wax nostalgic when it comes to traditional photographic techniques, so why do you rebel when someone prefers to do business by traditional direct contact instead of through a computer?

If he's like me, sometimes he sees his email every day, and other times he gets busy in the three-dimensional world and might go for days without seeing it.

At least if you are willing to work in that mode, you get to talk to the actual owner of the company and its technical expert. How often is that possible when ordering things through a web site? You can't always have it both ways.

I never got a response to an email I sent to Edgar Praus, so I called him. I never got a response to emails I sent to Steve Grimes, and learned that I had to call him (his successors have been a little more willing to work on line, but I usually still have to call). I don't see people questioning their business practices. Maxwell seems to be running at capacity, and for good reason: His products are plainly superior to any alternatives in the market, and sometimes one has to wait for them. How many people waited for a long period to receive a camera made by Dick Philips, without questioning his business ethics?

Those who are overseas or who for some other reason cannot contact him by telephone might seek someone on this forum who can to act as a go-between. That happened informally in this case to address the OP's issue, and I've done it when working with similar resources in Europe who don't speak English. Limitations can be overcome.

Rick "who enjoyed his conversations with Bill" Denney

Frank Petronio
15-Feb-2011, 08:08
A lot of people never get your email because their ISP may be blocking your mail host because somebody else sent spam from it.

Or maybe you put a question mark in the subject line and their mail application flagged it as spam?

Spam filtering happens throughout the process of sending someone email and even if they look in their spam folder, your email may not be there. So please don't assume your emails get to where you intended them to go unless you get a confirmational reply.

Add to that, an older, less computer-centric individual... and all bets are off!

Rayt
15-Feb-2011, 08:37
I ordered a screen from Bill last week. He has a Yahoo Mail account and admits he is weeks behind in emails. I called him for the order.

dofmaster
15-Feb-2011, 10:19
Just to clearify. Fisrt emails were answered almost immediately, communication line dropped right after PayPal payment - that's why i started worrying. You know how it smells when somebody gets your money and dissolves in universe...
Anyway, the issue have been worked out (thanks to Kevin). Hope i'll get it in time (planning my next trip) :)

jforney_54
15-Feb-2011, 10:23
I just talked to him yesterday regarding my screen (which I ordered. works great.). Got a hold of him on the first try. Never tried emailing.

rdenney
15-Feb-2011, 12:17
Just to clearify. Fisrt emails were answered almost immediately, communication line dropped right after PayPal payment - that's why i started worrying. You know how it smells when somebody gets your money and dissolves in universe...
Anyway, the issue have been worked out (thanks to Kevin). Hope i'll get it in time (planning my next trip) :)

Yes, bad timing can take on ominous implications when lots of money is at stake. But this sort of thing has the potential to grow legs and become accepted truth even though the ominous implications turned out to be an unfortunate coincidence. That's why I responded to the thread.

Rick "glad everything is working out" Denney

ilsiu
15-Feb-2011, 15:06
I'm also a satisfied customer (received a screen last October).

I also want to point out to non-US residents concerned about making a long, expensive phone call, if you have internet access at home, you can use google phone; any call to the US is free. All you need is a gmail account, also free.

Old-N-Feeble
23-Feb-2012, 12:42
I ordered mine a couple years ago and sent the camera to an acquaintance of his... Mr. Folmer??... who received the camera from me and the screen from Bill Maxwell. The latter individual custom-fitted the screen to my Chamonix 4x5. The entire process took about four weeks. No problems with my order. Again though, that was two years ago.

trog
5-Oct-2012, 06:19
I've been trying to order a screen. After a 1-hour phone chat and follow-up e-mail (at Bills request) nothing, nada, not a word.

I'm sure his screens are superb, but his business practice needs some refinement.

rdenney
5-Oct-2012, 07:00
I've been trying to order a screen. After a 1-hour phone chat and follow-up e-mail (at Bills request) nothing, nada, not a word.

I'm sure his screens are superb, but his business practice needs some refinement.

Back when Dick Philips was making cameras, he had no web page and could only be reached by telephone. He took a long time to fulfill an order.

Yet those who own his cameras swear by them.

Similar examples abound in the niche large-format photography market.

Small operators are subject to the distractions of big orders. Maxwell usually does not have much stock on hand.

When I bought my screen from him, I also requested an improved screen for my Canon 5D. He told me he'd see what he had. Nearly a year later (long after receiving the 4x5 screen), he called me and said he had a 5D screen that met my requirements that was every-so-slightly flawed that he could sell me at a reduced price. I have it and use it now. There may be business practices that seem sluggish compared to B&H, but there is also attention to personal needs over time that goes beyond what retailers like B&H can provide.

Have patience. Follow up if necessary after a reasonable time.

Rick "knowing that Maxwell sometimes gets large orders from outside our group about which he cannot talk in detail" Denney

younghoon Kil
17-Jul-2014, 08:36
Hello,

I've ordered his screen two weeks ago and I paid by PayPal.
Soon, I'm moving into a new house and my address will be changed.
But he doesn't answer my e-mails after July 8.

I know his iPhone number but my english speaking is very poor.
Can someone please help me?

Thank you.
young-hoon.

Leigh
17-Jul-2014, 12:59
There are only so many hours in a day.

Bill can spend his making screens, or pursuing conversations with potential customers.

Which would you choose?

I'm quite pleased with my Maxwell screen, currently on a Zone VI 4x5. Don't recall how long it took.

- Leigh

younghoon Kil
17-Jul-2014, 19:38
At last, I got a reply!

Thank you.
young-hoon.

valdormar
24-Nov-2015, 04:07
I called and we spoke, I was turned off by his unwillingness to give a direct answer or firm time frame. " Sorry I can not give you any more info, but pay me 580.00 for your screens " What a joke

Following this thread I see that in many cases Bill Maxwell follows the classic method of paying attention when money is to be paid, but then after payment is made he forgets about you and goes back to doing his day to day routine.

Old-N-Feeble
24-Nov-2015, 08:33
I called and we spoke, I was turned off by his unwillingness to give a direct answer or firm time frame. " Sorry I can not give you any more info, but pay me 580.00 for your screens " What a joke

Following this thread I see that in many cases Bill Maxwell follows the classic method of paying attention when money is to be paid, but then after payment is made he forgets about you and goes back to doing his day to day routine.

This was not my experience at all. Maxwell shipped the screen to the technician who custom fitted the screen to my camera ensuring precise positioning. The whole process took about four weeks... from my door to the tech and Bill's door to the tech and back to my door. But that was about five years ago.

Sal Santamaura
24-Nov-2015, 09:55
...I see that in many cases Bill Maxwell follows the classic method of paying attention when money is to be paid, but then after payment is made he forgets about you and goes back to doing his day to day routine.


This was not my experience at all...Nor mine. And I've ordered quite a few screens from Bill over the years. Yes, one must be prepared for a long phone conversation, but his products were always delivered within the time frames promised. He's also very careful not to over promise.

AtlantaTerry
25-Nov-2015, 10:57
Being the curious sort, I searched for Maxwell Precision Optics via Bing and within 30 seconds found his Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maxwell-Precision-Optics/200647716643807

From there I copied this:
Please email Bill at maxwellprecisionoptics@yahoo.com or phone (770)939-6644
Thanks

I was surprised to discover Bill is located in Decatur, Georgia which is about 30 minutes from my home.