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BE AWARE OF buying cameras from WISNER


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Iメve been keen on b&w photography and taught Large-format Photography courses

for years, as an assistant professor in Beijing Film Academy.


In July 2004, I bought from Ron Wisner a 16X20 view camera and ten film

holders, the dealing operation entrusted to a friend in Detroit. I heard that

it was the first camera ever sold to the Chinese. When it reached HongKong

several months later, however, there was only the camera, no film holders. I

asked the friend in Detroit to call Ron Wisner immediately for confirming if

any omission occurred when sending out. My friend told me that Ron Wisner had

promised to check. Yet during the following months, even though my friend had

called and left messages to his phone many times, and sent emails as well, Ron

Wisner gave no reply ever since. The last email I sent to him was at the end

of last year, but still got no reply. TWO YEARS till now and I still have not

received the ten film holders.


Lately I heard of similar stories from some friends from Taiwan and Korea.

They ordered cameras from Wisner too. Yet after payment, no cameras had ever

been sent to them. Theyメd contacted Ron Wisner many times but still,

similarly , got no reply.


Itメs not accidental then. And Iメm quite shocked to learn that Ron Wisner, with

some reputation for camera selling already, would run business in such a

cheating way.


I think I have the responsibility to remind those who might get into the idea

of buying cameras with Wisner: DON'T become the next victim.

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The stories regarding incomplete orders are well known in every major photographic web site. His web page has been updated as of just a few weeks ago: http://www.wisner.com/


Rather than working through your friend, perhaps writing to sales@wisner.com would be a good idea.


For a hefty fee, you can hire a solicitor in his region to take action.


In cases such as yours, we net folk have no idea whether your story is true, or whether there are complications that we cannot be aware of, for example your friend's compliance, and so-forth.

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Well, I have to take that back -- the website was updated 7/1/06, after not changing for more than a year, and implying for many months they were just waiting for the shop move to finish in a few weeks. So, JG, you could try re-contacting the company. It might be under new management. Me, if I wanted a Wisner camera, I'd only buy through a dealer.
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What a shame and a tragedy that someone so active and well-respected in the large

format community for so long has allowed his business reputation to suffer so badly. And

the price of ten Wisner 16x20 film holders is probably well into the thousands of dollars.

After two years (and likely much sooner) I'd be contacting an attorney. I feel badly for you.

Good luck.

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I would have flown from Hong Kong to the dealer or Wisner to pick it up myself, if spending that kind of money, after telephone confirmation, of course. If you can afford a 16x20 and ten film holders, the price of airfare is small price for insurance. I don't buy stuff directly from a guy in Hong Kong, I buy through dealers here. That's just me though.
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"What a shame and a tragedy that someone so active and well-respected in the large format community for so long has allowed his business reputation to suffer so badly. "


Active yes. Well respected? Maybe for his equipment but certainly not for his financial shenanigans. While it's too bad to see any LF equipment disappear from the market, overall I think the LF community is better off without someone who had so little regard for his obligations to people who paid money to him and expected to get the equipment they ordered within the time he stated. Stories like this one have been far too frequent over the years. Those of us who knew of his reputation for shady dealings avoided him, the people who got taken were unfortunates like J G who didn't know better. And I don't think threads like this one should be deleted, if he gets back in business then I think the more people who know about him the better.

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Ron Wisner is very hard to get ahold of at this time. Why this exactly is so is a mystery except that his company has relocated (still in same town in Marion Ma.)and has been in the process of setting up again for at least a year now. If I were you I would keep trying by phone/e-mail/certified letter to get ahold of him. If you need to use the camera now the best thing to do would be to send the back of the camera to Richard Ritter in VT. USA and have it custom fitted to either S&S or AWB filmholders made here in the US. Then get your filmholder money back from Ron Wisner. Good Luck. Emile/www.deleon-ulf.com
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Sorry to hear about your woes. If I were in your shoes... I'd spend a few bucks, hire a

lawyer, and go after Ron for either a full refund and interest, or the holders. It's incredible

that there are so many people allowed to get away with this crap!


I've just had a situation with another individual and, after having our corporate attorneys

take a look at the situation... the job got done!


It's time the LF community take these people/companies to task and not accept these

kinds of activities! I'm just amazed that a lawsuit hasn't been filed... (or, perhaps, there

has been!)


As for an alternative supplier of holders, try:




I think they're awfully busy though so you may have to wait for production and delivery of

holders in your size... unless he has some in stock. We'll keep our fingers crossed for you.


Good luck. :)



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Mr. Feng can simply email us directly and he will get a refund immediatlely. You all know that we have had cases like this before, and they have been teken care of quickly.

This case was difficult because it involved not one but two third parties. The order was placed from Detroit, but when we were ready to ship, I was given yet another address in California, where, (I gather) it was containerized for shipment to China. It was not until many, many months after the camera and holders were shipped that we were informed that the holders were missing. It took several months more to file a claim sucessfully with UPS. In the mean time, we had moved. Communication was been difficult in this case, to be sure.

We never were given Mr. Fengs direct contact information, a real red flag in international shipments, especially involving credit card payments.

For the record, there are no missing, unshipped cameras in either Taiwan or Korea. The Korean cameras, a 20x24 and a 16x20 were both shipped, and both the subject of some discussion here on this forum. Also for the record, Mr. Feng received a very deep discount for the camera and holers. I only regret Mr. Fengs trouble in this matter.

The posting on our website was due to the fact that I had trouble with my password last night on this forum.

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"Last time a story like this was put up, Ron corrected the situation pronto. Maybe you will be lucky.

That story was as pathetic as yours." Ronald Moravec


Ronald, it is you that is pathetic. This person has waited 2 years (long enough), making the camera unusable and also depreciated in value. I bet you would be far more quick to complain if it happened to you! He is simply passing on a warning to the rest of us which I appreciate (which many others also have over the years). Wisner is turning into a legend regarding bad service. Isn't word of mouth advertising great? Something Wisner can't appreciate.

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  • 1 month later...

Today, at last, I receive the second half of the refund from Mr. Wisner.


Never have I thought that it would be solved finally.


Thanks very much for all the consideration and kind suggestions above.


Much obliged to photo.net. What a great forum:-)

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