Blog - Equipment

A Tale of Caution: 123-Kamera.com
04th March 2015
In the market for a Nikon D750 and lens, we started looking first at my husband's distributors, then at online shops since we live out in the country and have no stores in our area. We checked out 123-Kamera.com: their prices were good, the camera and lens were in stock and would be delivered in 3-5 days...so they said.

They lied.

Three weeks later, they were still stalling the delivery claiming that the Nikon recall affected their supplies. They finally, when put under a deadline, delivered a Nikon D750 and lens. Unfortunately, it was one of the recalled ones for the reflection issue. Another camera arrived the next day by FedEx from their partner - in England. The box was not the usual Nikon box; there was no guarantee card for the camera and the lens guarantee card was in Chinese. Smelling a rat, we contacted Nikon Germany. They called back, confirming my suspicion that it was a gray market product and that Nikon Germany could not service it under warranty.

When my husband asked if I wanted to give them one more chance, my answer was a resounding "NO". When confronted with the evidence, they claimed that the gray market camera was sent in error...right. My bullsh$t meter went off the scale with that one, I'm afraid. Having nothing on their website that they were selling gray market equipment and not informing the customer that they are purchasing gray market equipment is illegal here. We prepared ourselves in the event that we would have to turn everything over to our lawyer but the company quickly agreed to not only pick up the equipment but to refund the money.

My take on the whole situation was a wasted and aggravating three weeks and a company that certainly won't last long in the business using those types of selling tactics. I noticed on their feedback that there were a few people who had purchased the D750 camera. I am hoping that they and others will see the feedback we will leave mentioning the gray market equipment and check theirs to make sure they purchased one that can be properly serviced, should it need it. Otherwise, they might be in for a shock should have to send it to Nikon Germany.

My last word is to run, not walk away from purchasing anything from them.

Since we believe in supporting the smaller mom and pop stores, I found one in Ravensburg that not only has an online store but a brick and mortar store. After a phone call to confirm that the Nikon's they have are not ones that are affected, we ordered not only the D750 but two lenses. Hopefully, this won't take another three weeks...

ETA: We ordered the photo equipment from Foto Bantle (http://www.fotobantle.de/) on Wednesday and transferred the money to their account immediately. The package went out Friday and I received it on Monday by GLS. Everything is perfect; the cammera has not been affected by the reflection issue and everything has EU warranties - plus, we have a three year warranty with the shop. THAT is how a business should be run.

A week later and we're still waiting on the money to be returned to our account from 123-kamera.com. After emails and intervention from Trusted Shops, the money was returned.
And We're Live
17th January 2015
I have been with another hoster, Zenfolio, for almost six years now. I have had few issues with them, but nothing that made me want to change...until I happen to notice an upswing in the user forum of other photographers who were noticing that their images weren't showing up on Google search.

My site had been consistently ranked on the first page of Google search so I erroneously thought that my images would also be indexed. I was wrong. Only a few photos - mostly from my blog - were indexed. I had close to 1,000 photos on my site and only three or four had been picked up by Google. Something was really wrong.

For a photographer who relies on potential customers finding their site via Google (and other search engines), this could be a killer. No concrete answer from the hoster was forthcoming. I can only guess that something was blocking the sites from Google, but the true answer will never be known.

So, my New Years resolution was to make a change. After a month long search, I landed on Photium. For someone who loves the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid), it was right up my alley.

So here I am...

As spring rolls around, hubby and I will be taking off again and making our long weekend journeys around Germany. Not only will I be making photos with my infrared camera but a new addition to my bag - a Nikon D750 with a few new full format lenses. Like a kid with a new toy, I'm excitedly awaiting ordering it next week...and also taking delivery!

So, a new website, new hoster and new camera equipment...here's to a wonderful start to 2015!!