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Has anyone dealt with vandiemen before?

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I sent Christopher at vandiemen the payment on September 13 and he promised he can finish my Iscorama modding in 2 weeks. Up until now I have nothing in my hand!

 

I paid half of the modding price on September 13, and then he finally finished the modding on October 14 (1 month vs. 2 weeks he promised). 5 days later with no single reply so I had to follow up with him to make him reply that he WILL ship my lens on Tuesday, October 21!

 

He sent me tracking information on October 21 which made me happy until I discovered on October 31 that my lens has been returned to the sender on the same they it arrived the destination country...

 

4 days later, Christopher re-shipped me the lens WITHOUT any tracking number! I had to follow up with him via several emails to confirm the shipment has been dispatched with no way to track where it is. That was after the first shipment has been returned and he still sent me with even worse way.

 

Now my $5200 investment is during its travel with no way to know where it is and when it will arrive or maybe not arrive at all :(

 

The worst part is I can't even open a dispute on PayPal since it has passed 45 days timeframe and even I could I still can't since his invoices were not indicating this is a physical item that is eligible for PayPal buyer protection.

 

I expect Christopher would reply me in next 2 business days if not 4-7 days as he did usually.

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just wait. ive had plenty of communication problems with him too but hes come through. i think i even gotten a drunk email from him once that worried me to be honest. he never sent me tracking info either. bad customer service but got my lenses nice and remodded and happy with the quality. i think itll be rare to lose it so just wait.

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Great to know your lens got delivered elubes! I hope mine will be as well. This is probably the first and last time I will have to deal with him. I also have one Cinegon with him which I think I'll just ask him to return it without any touching it.

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"You can open a dispute in the Resolution Centre of your PayPal account within 180 days of payment (or 45 days depending on when you made the purchase)"

"The reference to 'depending on when you made the purchase' refers to the fact that payments made before that day would still come under the terms of our user agreement before the update. This means that they can only be disputed up to 45 days. Any payment made after June 17th can be disputed up to 180 days."

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I'm always amazed how many people have gone for this modification.  It's a huge amount of money for what equates to about 5hrs work and around £150 worth of machined aluminium.

I've worked on 5 iscorama's this year.  Making some which were unusable lumps of ruined glass or non moving focus helicoids back to full working order and have probably charged less than what he charges for a single job!  Granted I'm not rehousing them, but some have been close focus modded which is a couple of hours of very careful work.   

 

 

He must be absolutely raking it in from Iscorama mods alone.

 

Personally I'd not invest this much money on adding weight to the iscorama unless it provided non rotating front upgrade as the group buy offered.

 

Scary amounts of money being thrown for a rather basic job IMO

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Rich, without any irony: You do many things, DSO, Isco service etc, why don't you do rehousing as well, if it's that easy?

 

tbh i never really saw any point in the process on the iscorama since i find one of it's key selling points the protruding rear optic and its light weight plastic body.  the van diemen mod does away with these two golden attributes by adding weight and shrouding that rear optic meaning it can no longer be seated as deep into the taking lens.  I'm not saying it's an easy job, but assuming it takes me a few hours to do the close focus mod and a compete relube, it would take 10 mins longer to slip 3 pieces of aluminium over the internal cell and diopter rather than refitting the plastic shell.  

 

That said, I couldnt find the time to service my own iscorama, let alone start a service undercutting van diemen just to prove a point.  Maybe I just undervalue my own time and should be charging more, but when you get a guy handing over large quantities of money (way more than i;d have the bottle to charge for such a job) to a guy who seems to not value how important the lens is to the owner, I do start to question the reasons why this service seems so popular.  

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It was a regrettable decision that I've made indeed.

 

Now I just hope my Iscorama will arrive in one piece although I know the chance that will happens is so low.

 

When I sent Christopher my question regarding the shipping issue. He simply replied me that since I didn't declare full value of the lens there is no point to ship with registered tracking number. Thus, he just re-shipped it with regular airmail. Well, if he would give it a break and ask me what I want to do I would be more happier but the truth is he left me with no choice at all. Instead, he decided what to do for me. That is really suck for customer service he provided.

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"You can open a dispute in the Resolution Centre of your PayPal account within 180 days of payment (or 45 days depending on when you made the purchase)"

"The reference to 'depending on when you made the purchase' refers to the fact that payments made before that day would still come under the terms of our user agreement before the update. This means that they can only be disputed up to 45 days. Any payment made after June 17th can be disputed up to 180 days."

Here is what PayPal says:

 

We're sorry, but this transaction cannot be disputed because it is not a purchase of goods or services. Please contact the recipient directly.
 
:(

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Now I just hope my Iscorama will arrive in one piece although I know the chance that will happens is so low.

 

Damn...that is not cool.

 

I once shipped a lens as regular airmail overseas and did not declare full value at request of buyer (to avoid high import tax).

Turned out to be bad idea that I will never do again. The tracking number I had was only valid was up to when it left my country (UK) and nothing more...not even if it simply reached it's destination (Chile). Both me and the buyer were panicking but after 2 Months or so - the package finally arrived.

 

So it may simply take a long time to arrive...I think 'regular airmail' these days also can mean 'short plane journey to a very slow boat'

 

Good luck

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Thanks Hans for sharing your story! It's actually not my idea to ship with regular air mail.

 

Anyway, I've just sent Christopher an email that I want him to ship my Cinegon back. Hope he will fulfil my request.

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This really sucks, I do feel for you & hope it all turns out fine for you in the end.

 

I once owned a 36 & got rid of it because, like most people, I was scared that at some point that plastic body was going to be my downfall. Its a lovely lens - light, sharp & worth a lot of money. However, eventually I came to the conclusion that i wanted something that had a fighting chance of lasting more than a few years - i mean its made out of plastic!

 

If you're thinking of spending this rediculous amount of money on that mod, which doesn't even properly re-house the lens & adds a lot of weight to it, you'd be better off selling it at a great price & investing in either a 42 (if you can actually find one) or a 54. Both lenses are made out of metal & are just as good as the 36 - infact the 42 is the best of all the Iscoramas & I do kick myself, ever so slightly, for having not bought that over the 54.

 

My reason for buying the 54 was that it had some weight to it (yes, weight is a good thing when going handheld), it was made out of metal, but mostly, because i would be able to pair it with a v.large range of taking lens - I've never encountered a lens yet that couldn't be paired with it!

 

So if you're thinking of doing this mod, spending that sort of cash & adding that much weight to the lens - do your sums & upgrade from that cheap plastic body to one of the metal Iscoramas. You won't regret buying a 54, it really is that nice & with a little practice you will be able to rack through the whole scale (2m-infinity) with one skillful turn of the hand.

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I've finally received my lens today! The package arrived in not so good condition. A lot of scratches and tears but the contents inside was packed carefully.

 

The lens and rod support work good. I feel the rod support could work better if it does not rotate easily because the screws aren't so secured.

 
The Iscorama itself has some stiff focus movements around 1.6m - 3m not sure why he didn't fix that. Also he somehow made some scratches on the Iscorama label on the front part of the lens but that's okay.
 
Even though it is a nice modification, if I would have a chance to choose again I wouldn't send my Iscorama to get modded!
 
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