Monday, October 10, 2011

Opteka X-Grip Nightmare

With a popular blog like In The Viewfinder I realize I have a voice on the net that many subscribe to and follow my recommendations on video related products. This is one occasion where I will use this voice and tell you about the issues I have had with Opteka.

Recently I wrote a post recommending the Opteka X-Grip. First I'd like to say I love the product. In fact I loved it so much I decided to purchase another so both my Canon HV30 & HV40 would have these useful handles. However, after posting that blog and ordering another X-Grip I found myself in a nightmare of problems with the Opteka company.

I ordered the second Opteka X-Grip from the 47th st. Photo eBay store. When it arrived I was surprised to find that the knob on the bottom of the unit, which has a threaded screw that allows the unit to mount on a tripod, did not have the necessary threads for a tripod screw. The screw was solid. This was one of the major reasons I needed the X-Grip, so it would mount on a tripod. This unit was defective and didn't conform to their advertising that it will mount to a tripod.

I took photos of the unit and its underside so the people at 47street Photo could see the differences and would know that this unit was faulty.

I emailed them the photos and explanation about the unit.

Then I contacted the company and requested a replacement, and I explained the issue using the photos.

The company gave me an RMA number and with it I returned the product and waited. They replaced the unit and in a couple of weeks I had a new X-Grip. When I opened the new X-Grip I discovered that the replacement was also missing the threaded screw!

Again I contacted 47street Photo and complained. I mean, really?? It's as if they just sent back the unit I sent to them! I was given the choice to keep it or get my money back. I was also told that they had received a batch of units that had this issue and no one checked them. So, I'm probably not the only one with a defective unit. Finally after going around with them I got my money
back. After all I had no other options. The X-grip is not available in stores near me.

At this point I decided I'd be smart and order one directly from the Opteka web site, which I did. I spoke to someone at the company that talked so fast he was hard to understand. His attitude was not caring at all and he was rude. However, I ordered the unit anyway. This was probably a big mistake!

After ordering the unit I checked my email and I was surprised again to find out that the unit was being shipped from 47 street Photo, not Opteka! This put me off guard and I was afraid I would get another unit without the threads to attach it to a tripod. The unit arrived in about two weeks and I cautiously opened it...

The unit does have the threaded screw for a tripod. However, the base plate is missing the four little screws that hold it in place!

Yet another set back and this one supposedly came from Opteka themselves. The four little screws are not in the box and apparently were never installed.

It is at this point that I figured 47street Photo and Opteka must be the same place. My contact at Opteka was Ryan, my contact at 47street Photo was also Ryan. Hmmmm....

I cannot in good conscience recommend Opteka

So, after all of the above I cannot in good conscience recommend Opteka to anyone wanting to buy video products. The first X-Grip is a good unit and I use it often. However, the company is not on my list of great vendors. In fact I encourage you to shop elsewhere. I usually recommend products that are inexpensive because I know you, as a videographer need to stretch your video budget, and get the best quality for your dollar. You also want products that are constructed well and will not give you problems. I hope my experience will help you decide where you want to spend your money.

If you do decide to shop at Opteka or 47st. Photo I hope your experience is better than mine. Frankly I no longer trust this company and will not purchase from them again. Ever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bought from 47th St. Photo a so called Opteka battery pack for my Canon 650D that included a battery pack, two Opteka batteries ans a battery charger. All supposedly Opteka. The batteries are branded
Opteka, the charger is branded
Vivitar and the battery pack has
no branding (made in China)
but the instruction booklet
bears the model no. BG-1F.
Now BG 1F is made by a Chinese company called Travor that apparently has no connection with Opteka whose parent company is Samyang who also make products badged as Vivitar. So 47th St. is misrepresenting this item on ebay. This seller has lost me for good.