In praise of Aki-Asahi

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Chris Nielsen, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    I have had no luck at all getting anything out of Cameraleather.com, my last email to him was a year ago and no response. So I tried Aki-Asahi. Cheaper prices, and awesome service. I asked about an OM4 skin as I didn't see it on his site, and he replied straight away and said he had just got an OM4 and would have them up in 2-3 weeks. Sure enough, 3 weeks later there it is. I ordered several items, and again got a very quick email with an invoice with a discount for ordering multiple items. Apparently he was going to post them the same day. In a week or so they will arrive I assume, the experience so far has been amazing, compared to the other guy especially.

    Now that's what I call customer service!
     
  2. zk-cessnaguy

    zk-cessnaguy Member

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    +1 here too. Excellent service and a lovely product. My XD7 now looks great in black and yellow and my Spotmatic will be getting the treatment once I finish the film in it.
     
  3. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    They rock for sure! Nothing to do with the insulting and borderline illegal practices from cameraleather.
     
  4. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Me too. Very fast, very communicative. Bought from them years ago and again just last week.
     
  5. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Hey thanks for the heads up! The Japanese still appreciate craftsmanship and old cameras.
     
  6. htimsdj

    htimsdj Advertiser Advertiser

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    I too like my cover from Aki Asahi. I got two covers for my Leica MPs, and they look really great.
     
  7. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    It is too bad that Camera Leather is so unresponsive to its customers. The product is actually rather good, but it sucks to have to wait for your order. I ordered a set of coverings for my Autocord from them, an item that was described on the website as being in stock and ended up having to wait. This was not for an exotic leather either, but just a basic stock leatherette. I was luckier than most, I suppose, because I got my order after only six weeks and one email to Morgan. He did send it out right away after I contacted him, but this still delayed my sending the camera off to Karl Bryan for repairs by the same amount of time.

    This will most likely keep me from ordering from Morgan again, which is too bad, because his product is first rate, and tremendously improved the appearance of my camera. If he could only get his customer service to match the quality of his product...
     
  8. eurekaiv

    eurekaiv Member

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    I recently recovered my SX-70 that was badly deteriorating with a replacement from aki-asahi and currently have a replacement cover for a rough looking OM2n on its way. :cool:
     
  9. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    On cameraleather's site he now says he answers all emails. Bullshit. How many years do I have to wait for my reply? one year and counting.
     
  10. fstop

    fstop Member

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    Can you elaborate on that statement?
     
  11. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    This guy's Modus Operandi has become pretty obvious (to me), finally. It is based on suckers (like us) sending him money and then it's all a Gamble whether you receive your product or not. That is not the important part. What's important is that he gets your money.

    Here's my Theory: Morgan Sparks is probably a fake name. This Morgan Dude receives emails from prospective buyers and he answers them all in a timely manner. When the money comes in, he then turns around and orders the skin from a Chinese supplier (or Aki, or anyone else). He then doesn't answer emails anymore. Maybe once but that's it. Never twice. Never. He doesn't give a damn about you (and never did). If he gets the skin from his Mongolian or Chinese supplier, then he'll send it to you. If he doesn't get the order, he won't ship your order. And won't refund you. And if you didn't claim your money with paypal inside 45 days then you can kiss your money goodbye. You will criticize him on the net but there's always that next guy that will praise him for his fine product (and which is probably an aki Asahi or the like) because he received it, albeit 3 months later but it's a perfect fit (What'S so extraordinary about being a perfect fit? It has to fit, end of story).

    A very small percentage of people receive their orders in a timely time frame. A high percentage have to wait 2 months, a high percentage gets refunded through paypal, and a reasonable percentage simply forget about it and move on (having sold the camera in the mean time).

    How insulting can it be: You pay him and he doesn't bother to answer your emails except one, a few months down the road, where he gives you one big lie: "Sorry, death in the family/snowstorm/supplier problems/Whatever. I'm shipping it tomorrow morning" and 6 months later you're still waiting.

    And then there is Aki Asahi who thanks you for your business, who gives you a tracking number, who makes sure that you like the product or he'll send you another one for free and who insures the package for full value and if you claim that you didn't receive it within 10 days, he contacts the post/insurance and 5 days later you have a new leatherette waiting for you in your mailbox as well as a notice from your post to contact them to claim the first package that was insured.

    Morgan sparks? Cameraleather? I don't believe any of it. "Morgan Sparks" is only a midleman playing with your money and betting that 20% of the orders he gets will be fulfilled, 20% will be refunded and 60% will be forgotten. That's super easy money. Almost illegal.

    A moderator will maybe say I'm out of line here. But for the sake of the photographic community, the cameraleather company has to be denounced once and for all. Praise is given to who deserves it and AKi Asahi absolutely deserve it.
     
  12. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    That is depressing and I hope it is not accurate. Cameraleather has lots of hits on google with complaints like mine and worse, and now his website is closed.
     
  13. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    If this is true, then it is another sad case of a business having a great product but going down the tubes because their poor customer service practices have pissed off most of the people who try to do business with them. As I mentioned in a previous post, the Autocord covering I purchased from him was first rate, but his service was not. Aki Ashahi will get my business in this area next time.
     
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  15. aoleg

    aoleg Member

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    Got multiple skins from Aki Asahi, many textures and colors, for my OM-1's. Particularly like the feel of cowhide covers. Got a white cowhide one for the Yashica FX7. Did anybody mention he sends you a free "training" kit along with your order so that you can practice fitting it on the camera? +1 for Aki Asahi!
     
  16. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    I feel I have to speak out in defense of cameraleather.com.

    I have ordered quite a few camera coverings from him and most orders have been delivered in a timely manner. Delivery has been slow on perhaps two occasions, but every order has arrived. My own experiences are very positive, and I won't hesitate to order from cameraleather again.

    Trond
     
  17. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Does Aki Asahi have or offer custom skins for cameras other than those listed? Just in the off-chance other APUG members have discovered this. The skins he does offer look outstanding and many other useful things too, like light seals.
     
  18. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    I've bought a couple of luight seal kits form him - the one for the Ricoh Auto Half is excellent - its perfectly - and when you buy one he sends you 2 - just in case you get it wrong the first time!

    As far as I'm aware he only does the kits on his website. However evry kit I've seen of his has fitted perfectly..
     
  19. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Regarding cameraleather.com, I think that he became a victim of his own success. As word got out about his product, his orders increased and continued to increase. However, at a certain point, it became clear that he was unable to keep up with demand and should have either hired someone or posted regular updates on his site.

    However, he probably didn't want to share his profits and instead continued the "one-man band" approach. I don't know that this is true, but that's how it appeared to me.

    I've ordered from him. Several orders were promptly delivered. Others required multiple e-mails, including one to remind him what I ordered.

    I wish Ask-Asahi would sell his material in 9x11 sheets.
     
  20. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Well blow me down. I ordered from Aki-Asahi on Thursday last week and it arrived today, neatly packaged and with a free practice kit. What a joy he has been to deal with and what amazingly fast delivery!
     
  21. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    I ordered a light seal kit for my Mamiya Universal 6x9 roll back from Aki-Asahi and was pleased with both the cost and service. I got a kit for a Mamiya 645 Pro by mistake but the order was corrected with a email to them and a replacement kit was in the mail box within a week. I am now looking to replace skins on a couple of cameras from Aki-Asahi.

    Gord
     
  22. Daire Quinlan

    Daire Quinlan Member

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    I ordered a replacement tac-grip covering for my sp from cameraleather about two weeks ago, and after reading threads like this ordered another from ak-asahi the same day. Both arrived together about a week later :smile: At the moment the practice kit from aki-asahi is gracing the spotmatic, a rather lurid pink fake snakeskin, but it'll be stripped and replaced with the camera-leather kit when I get the chance. Pity really, as my 2 year old thinks it looks bee-oot-iful :laugh:
     
  23. Brac

    Brac Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about the problems with Cameraleather. I haven't ordered anything from him/them for about 5 years but in the past I placed several orders, and there were no problems. However I see the news section on their website hasn't been updated since August 2011, which may be a warning sign. In view of what has been said in this thread I would be rather wary of placing any further orders at present.
     
  24. one90guy

    one90guy Member

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    I have placed 3 separate orders from Morgan, my last order about 4 months ago was received in less than a week. The only camera I have ever ordered for is the Argus C-3. I did find his site down this past weekend but it was back up Wednesday I believe. I have checked with Ask-Asahi about Argus to see about another source, but no and he has no cameras that I own:sad:
     
  25. kanzlr

    kanzlr Subscriber

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    +1 on Aki Asahi. I was very pleased with the quality. I have reskinned my Contax and Yashica bodies with his leather and it fits superbly well.
    Also, shipping took a few days only. Very friendly email communication too.
     
  26. wharris

    wharris Member

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    not to bring an old thread to life, but i just want to rant about the poor service camera leather has. I ordered from Morgan a few months ago and have emailed about my ordered but I still have yet got a reply back.. I spent 50 bucks on two skins and to me thats wrong. does anyone know if its just me, or has camerleather stopped selling...