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Archive 2012 · My experience with Spencer's Camera (IR conversion)
  
 
PDBreske
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p.1 #1 · My experience with Spencer's Camera (IR conversion)


I've been holding off on writing this until my camera was returned to me. I wanted to see the final results of the conversion before I passed any judgment on the quality of the service. Well, today the camera was delivered and I'm more than a little upset....

Here's the timeline of events:

7/22/2012 - Payment of $275+$25 S&H sent for IR conversion of Konica Minolta 7D DSLR. Order confirmed.

7/23/2012 - Shipping instructions received. Camera and lens shipped following day via USPS Priority Mail.

7/26/2012 - USPS delivered to Spencer Camera in Utah. Signature Confirmation #[redacted].

8/17/2012 - Sent email to find out status. No reply.

9/11/2012 - Called to find out status. "It should be finished and ship out tomorrow. You should have it by Friday."

9/27/2012 - Called to find out status. Whomever I spoke with didn't have the information I needed, but he would call me back in an hour. Didn't call me back, but I did receive a USPS Click-N-Ship notification. Status was listed as "Electronic Shipping Info Received." Some of you may know that this only means the shipper has printed the shipping label through the Click-N-Ship web site.

10/4/2012 - Called to find out status of shipment. Was told the camera had failed the final Quality Control inspection and needed a new part for the anti-shake stabilization system. Since it failed while in their custody, they will repair it for free. He will email me immediately from his personal email address (to verify my address) and then follow up to let me know when the package ships. Email never received.

10/19/2012 - Sent yet another email asking about the status and asking about the email I was supposed to receive on the 4th. No reply.

11/8/2012 - Called again to check status. Was told they had received the new part and it would be fixed probably on the following day and shipped early the following week. As of 11/15, the USPS Click-N-Ship still says "Electronic Shipping Info Received."

11/27/2012 - Called for status update. "Yes, I remember you. We wrapped this one up last night and I'm delivering a bunch of packages to the post office this afternoon. You should have it by Thursday."

11/28/2012 - Called to make sure the camera had been shipped. "The mailman came really late last night, but he did pick it up and it's on its way." at 4:54PM EST USPS Click-N-Ship still says "Electronic Shipping Info Received."

11/29/2012 - Sent text message to find out why the USPS site was still showing "Electronic Shipping Info Received." No response to text message.

11/30/2012 - Sent another text message to find out why the USPS site was still showing "Electronic Shipping Info Received." No response to text message.

12/1/2012 - USPS Click-n-Ship status finally updated to reflect package was accepted 11/30 at 12:35PM (three days after Spencer's said the camera had been picked up for delivery). Current guaranteed delivery date of 12/3.

12/3/2012 - Package arrived in excellent condition. Initial visual inspection revealed no defects, but the first few test images revealed several dust spots on the sensor. I took high-contrast shots "before and after" cleaning with a Giotto rocket blower, but the largest and most offensive spot would not disappear. Also, during focus testing I was obliged to use the remote shutter release cable and when I opened the sliding door that protects the connection port, I found a small brown wire across the opening. It appears to have been loose when the camera body was closed after servicing and it is now partially blocking the opening. There is a small nick on the wire insulation, possibly from wear against the sliding door or from inserting the cable end into the port.

Sensor before cleaning (click to enlarge in a new window):


Sensor after cleaning (click to enlarge in a new window):


Remote port opening (click to enlarge in a new window):


Other people have reported customer service issues with Spencer's before this, but I wasn't diligent enough in my research before I sent them my camera. I would not recommend their services to anyone wanting to experiment with IR photography.

I will be updating this topic after I find out how Spencer's Camera will handle the issues I've reported. I suspect their response will not be what I want to hear.



Dec 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM
dgdg
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p.1 #2 · My experience with Spencer's Camera (IR conversion)


I had Gary Honis modify a rebel for me.
Wow - fast, accurate, polite, great communication. Only time you will have a delay is during the new moon with clear skies since he lives near Cherry Hill PA dark sky site.



Dec 04, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Javier Munoz
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p.1 #3 · My experience with Spencer's Camera (IR conversion)


I have read a few stories like this before. It is rather unfortunate to see what happened to you.

I went to Life Pixel to convert one Olympus EPL1 and everything went smooth. They messed up the LCD on the first attempt but they solved the problem in less than one week. I would recommend them. I have read good things about Kolari Vision and Max Max.



Dec 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM
greggn
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p.1 #4 · My experience with Spencer's Camera (IR conversion)


Given their history of lengthy turn-around times, and abysmal communication, I'm surprised they're still in business.

I'm a two-time customer of MaxMax and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone seeking a conversion.



Dec 06, 2012 at 01:28 AM
PDBreske
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p.1 #5 · My experience with Spencer's Camera (IR conversion)


As an update, it is now six weeks since my original post on this subject and I have heard exactly nothing from the company. Either they are ignoring me or they simply have stopped reading their email.

I would warn anyone contemplating an IR conversion to stay away from this company.



Jan 19, 2013 at 04:59 PM





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