Sad day for my "brand new?" Rolleicord III

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by golden, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. I bought a Rolleicord III from an online camera store last thursday, they shipped on friday, supposed to have arrived
    today, i thought about it all day while at work, (anyone else do this?) anyway, i got home fast as i could, and there
    it was sitting on my porch, freshly delivered by UPS. I jumped out of my truck and walked (sort of fast) to the porch,
    i picked up the box and took it inside, couldnt wait to see it, to hold it, TO SHOOT IT!, i have looked at rolleicords
    all week, images made with the xenar lens, pictures of the cameras themselves, thread after thread about them. the
    one i ordered was rated a 9/10, i called the business last week when i ordered and asked them what does 9/10
    actually mean, the man said, "it means it has normal wear, lenses are clear, camera is completly functional, and
    we give a good going over one more time before we ship it" great! i thought, friday, i checked my email, and sure
    enough they shipped it. ETA July 24, today....getting back to the story. i quickly took it out of the box and
    opened its well worn but really cool looking case, oh it was a beauty, better than i thought. where is the shutter
    button?, how do i set the speed and aperature? hmmm after a few minutes of fiddling, i figured it out, i set the
    shutter on 1 sec and fired, sounded perfect. i fired it again, looked throught the lens, the lens was stopped all the
    way down, i looked at the aperature setting on the camera, 3.5? what the %&*^&, i moved the little aperature lever
    back and forth, moved smoothly, maybe too smoothly, oh no, no matter what aperature setting i put it on it was
    stopped all the way down,, dang, i called the company, told them the problem, the man said "well sir on these old
    cameras what was working yesturday will not necessarily work today" ( i began to imagine my hand reaching
    through the phone and grabbing someone by the neck) I began thinking,, so if i would have gotten my camera
    yesturday instead of today, damn thing wouldve worked? but for the sake of argument, i just said "Oh!" he
    said, "send it back and we will fix it and get it back to you", and that is what i did, within an hour after i was so
    excited to get it, i was packing it back up. shipped it back priority mail, they will probably get it on monday, and it
    will be another week or two before i get it back. waaaaaaaa! : ((
  2. It would be good to know if they really fix it, and also good to know the name of this store so I can avoid buying anything
    from them without a warranty....
  3. Nice they stand behind it. Of course we know it was broken when it left their hands.
  4. if they dont fix it ,, i will tell everyone who they are.
  5. I will keep everyone updated.
  6. I dont mean to have a "I will expose them" attitude. there policy is return it no matter what within so many days and they will replace it or money back, i was just upset because it was something so obvious and they told me that they inspected there cameras again before they ship,not to mention what the fellow said on the phone, then i had to pay to ship it back and now i have wait to get it returned, i was just looking forward to using it this weekend up in the mountains.
  7. Consider what Ron said. They likely knew it was broken before shipping it. Now you've lost time and money returning it. Stand up for your rights! Any reputable vendor would've apologized and paid return shipping.
  8. Did you look at the taking lens while firing the shutter? Are you sure you were looking at aperture blades rather than the leaf shutter (which should stay closed even when you change the f-stop)?
  9. yes mike, i opended the back of the camera and i fired the shutter which was set at 1 sec, the shutter opend and the aperature looked like a small pinhole, would indicated to me, (i hope im right here) the aperature was closed all the way down. i looked at the setting, it was 3.5, i changed it to another setting, same thing. there was no apology, he just said send it back and put to his attn. this company is very well known on PN, thats how i found out about them.
  10. Of course we know it was broken when it left their hands.
    They likely knew it was broken before shipping it.

    I'm curious how you guys know it was broken when it was shipped. I can understand John's frustration at getting a camera that doesn't work, but it's not inconceivable that something in an old camera may have broken during shipping. What possible benefit would the store get by knowingly shipping out a camera that doesn't work?
  11. Fair enough, John. Definitely sounds like a busted camera.
  12. I dont think they actually knew it was broken, i just dont think they checked that well before sending it out. they probably checked the shutter to make sure it was firing well, which it was. it was packed great i will give them that.
  13. Common John spill it :), who was it? KEH, B&H, Adorama?

    BTW, had the same issue with my YashicaMat LM 2 years , the aperture lever was disconnected from the ring that controlled the blades opening and closing. It cost me $40 to repair.
  14. John, it is posible as you said that maybe they didn't check it before they shipped it. My 828 Bantam RF, I didn't use it for a while. (Too many cameras!) Anyway, the shutter in this case was very slow. I had to fire it several times to get it working again.
  15. John, I guess you are fortunate that the seller agreed to fix it. Let us hope he/she will do right. I bought an Exakta VXIIB from the Czech republic. Brand new looking and promptly shipped. Cost over $130.When I opened it some time after receiving it I found one of curtains all curled up and torn. I could not even return it. Mailing costs plus time. So I bought Upton's book and learned to fix.
    Did a full CLA and built new curtains. So I can fix Exaktas now!
    All the best, sp.
  16. "I'm curious how you guys know it was broken when it was shipped. I can understand John's frustration at getting a camera that doesn't work, but it's not inconceivable that something in an old camera may have broken during shipping."

    Well let's use a little logic here. 1. A reputable seller would have checked this before selling it. B. If it got broken during shipping then the seller did not pack it properly or the carrier handled it too roughly. That puts the liability on the shipper and /or the carrier. Frankly I find it more than a little confounding that you started this thread to whine about getting a broken camera from a supposedly reputable vendor, and then play coy with us about who the vendor is. You've invented every reason for why they are NOT trying to cheat you when they obviously did. If the camera comes back still busted, please whine to the seller and not a public forum. I'm not trying to be harsh. It's just that you're giving us no useful information.
  17. So use some logic to answer my question, Russ: What possible benefit would the store get by knowingly shipping out a camera that doesn't work?

    Believe it or not, even reputable companies don't run a test roll through every used camera they sell. Even reputable companies make mistakes. What makes a company reputable isn't that they're perfect; it's that they try to fix problems quickly.

    I once bought a used Leica M3, and when it arrived, the take up spool was missing. By your logic, the company must have been a bunch of crooks. Of course, when I called and told them the problem, they had a take up spool on its way to me the next day. No questions, no arguments--they just fixed the problem.
  18. I guess that waaaaaa... in my post was whining, dont mean to, i just didnt want to mention no names because they not only have my money but now my camera is on the way back to them, since they only sale classic cameras maybe someone on the forum works there, just didnt want my repairs to be delayed or whatever, i really dont know why i started this thread, just wanted to whine i guess ; ))
  19. actually it was more of a vent than a whine, i was pretty mad when i started the thread, and ur right there was really no useful information in it, just wanted to vent to some buds.
  20. "Russ: What possible benefit would the store get by knowingly shipping out a camera that doesn't work? "

    Profit Mike, Profit. The same reason people list bad cameras on EBAY. It's true that no company is perfect. But it's also true that it did not take John a test roll to determine the aperture coupling was busted. I suppose I've been burned too many times in various purchases and tend to be cynical about sellers' motives. So as in Roman times, "Caveat Emptor" is the rule for all business transactions.
  21. I feel your pain John. I hope they fix the problem and send you a toy you can take pictures with. Its possible that the aperture mechanism was held together by a thread which broke on the way. If it hadn't broken on the way, it might have after a month, two months - wouldn't that be a worse situation?
  22. John, I'm with you men. I really hope it will turn out well and you get to use your Rolleicord.
    Actually I'm on my way to meet a gentleman that sells me a Rolleicord III in good condition so at least I will get to see it and check it out before I pay. Good luck
  23. I know what the problem with the camera is...I love to gloat! The person that worked on it, failed to get the diaphragm lever from the shutter to in gage the linkage in the front cover. This is an absolute amateur mistake. I like to take and put the front cover on, and then adjust the diaphragm settings while looking into the film chamber and watching it both stop down, and open up. Then I set the shutter at B, and 500 to see that it is all connected up correctly. Then and only then do I put the screw back in. It is a simple fix, but really you should have gotten your money back, just so they know.

    Have you considered shooting with an Ikoflex instead of a Rolleicord...Every bit as good, much less money, and a nice Fresnel screen to boot.
  24. Profit Mike, Profit.
    Maybe my understanding of basic economics is faulty, but it seems to me that cost of an extra round trip to and from the customer and the additional time spent with packaging, paperwork, and customer service would make it less profitable to knowingly send out a faulty product.
  25. I agree with Mike; it's just not economical to send things back and forth, and benefits only the parcel company.
    Whether they knew or not is beside the point. Either they can fix it up or they can't. Just get a refund and look for another Rollei III if not. It would be nice if they get 'er working and nice to find one with a good running shutter speed mechanism. I like these cameras, and I bought three and it took a while to decide which one to hang on to. I haver never used the Ikoflex mentioned above, but I do know how good the 75mm Xenar is on my Rolliecord III and I love it. I've shot everything from portraits, work around the boat shop, to many landscapes with it.
    If this one doesn't work out for ya just try another one. There are plenty around, and maybe look also at the Later models. I will add that one thing to look for when you get your hands on this or any other, is open the back like you did to check the diaphram, and with the a[perture set wide open, look throught the lens towards a light bulb and move around and checkfor fungus spots on the inner lens elements. This is the main reason for keeping the one I did as the other two were slightly fouled. Good images anyway, but I kept the one that was very clean even though the shutter lags a little. The other issue is the focus track allignment and check for looseness of the moving front. The round tripod mount on the bottom can also become loose, and I don't wonder why they offered the more sturdy accessory tripod foot plate if intending to do a lot of work on a tripod support.
  26. I don't know if they deliberately shipped it to you knowing that it was broken. But they definitely didn't check the camera. Anyone who knows anything about cameras (even me) could have taken 2 minutes to check that the shutter fires, then set the shutter on the B setting and look through the lens and be sure that the aperture works. It literally would take 2 minutes to do.

    The worst rip-off I ever had was when I bought an 8mm movie camera one time on eBay. I've bought a bunch of cameras on eBay before and never really had a problem. But this guy outright lied. He said he had a lot of experience with 8mm and 16mm cameras, and in the picture the camera looked fine. So I believed him. When the camera arrived, I noticed right away that it was in horrible shape. Cosmetically, the body was okay. But the aperture dial was jammed, and the pressure plate was completely worn out. He completely lied. If he had known anything at all about cameras and really did use 8mm cameras, he would have seen that right away. He said in the description that the camera was in good working condition. What a huge load of bull. Luckily, I didn't pay that much. I just ended up throwing it away.

    Whenever I buy an old camera from a camera shop, the first thing I do is check the shutter and aperture. It takes just a couple of minutes. And if I buy a camera on eBay, the description has to be detailed and specific...that the seller actually checked the camera. I don't expect them to actually test it with film, but at least check that mechanically everything works and that the lens is clear. So really there isn't any excuse. Even if they didn't actually deliberately ship a broken camera to you, they definitely didn't check it and that was their responsibility. I highly doubt that it coincidentally broke the day they shipped it to you.
  27. Good point, doesn't even take two minutes. More like thirty seconds...
    But we were not present when the folks packed up the camera; don't know what transpired before it was sold, or any history of the camera itself.
    And they did accept an imediate return, and the only harm I see is inconvenience, and some let down on the part of the OP.
    And we are talking about a vintage camera low down on the collector list and not worth any large sum of money. That said, a good working Rolleicord with a clean lens is a very nice camera worth using and taking care of, and if capable, worth the time to refurbish.
  28. ya, once i figured out how the shutter worked, (strange one) it didnt take me a min or two to figure out there was somethng wrong with the aperature dial, (aperature says 3.5, blades look like a pin hole) just didnt seem like it was connected to the blades in any way. I probably wouldnt have been so p*ssed off if the fellow i talked to on the phone hadnt said that they inspected the camera one last time before shipping it. then when i called and complained about he problem, he said "well on these old cameras, what worked yesturday wouldnt necessarily work today" I called again friday evening and actually talked to one of there techs, and he told me judging from what it sounds like he should be able to fix it pretty quick and get it back to me. maybe toward the end of next week. so we will see. I got burned on the auction once also, but that was due to ignorance on my part, it was an estate auction which now i have read several threads concerning buying old cameras that are sold as "estate auction" cameras. i bought an old graphic 35, it read, " LOOKS NICE, SHUTTER SEEMS FINE", " WE ARE NOT CAMERA EXPERTS SO SOLD AS IS." when it got it, it basically fell apart in my hands,
  29. yup, if they say "we are not camera experts" or "I don't know anything about cameras" that should be a red flag right away. I won't even bother bidding on it unless it's going for really cheap and I'm willing to gamble. Usually, when they say things like that in the description it's just to cover their butt.

    I have had mostly good experiences though. I got my Yashica A on eBay, and the seller actually tested everything...he said specifically that the shutter fired smooth, the lens was clear with no fugus or scratches, and the aperture worked smoothly at all stops. Any time you buy something on eBay it's a gamble...but at least it was obvious that the seller knew something about cameras so I was confident. The more specific and detailed the description, the better.

    That's really a major let-down that this actually happened with a camera shop though. Yeah, things happen but still something just doesn't sound right about all this. I guess you can still give them the benefit of the doubt and see if they really do fix it. I know how you feel though...waiting anxiously for something and then getting a major disappointment like this. That sucks.
  30. ya Chris i have always had good luck on ebay except for that one time, one other time i thought i was going to get burned on an omega d2 enlarger, i got the delivery and about half of it was missing, took about 3 more weeks but i got the rest of it and it worked great. I get way too anxious over these things, like a little kid., when i see that something has been shipped, its like counting down the days till Christmas. : )
  31. An update on the Rolleicord, they got the camera today and according to the guy on the phone there tech person had it fixed in about 20 min. Now its on its way back to me should be here by friday. : )
  32. Good to hear, and just you wait and see how good that little Xenar treats you.

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