Sekonic meters and the Mack Group

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Dave Krueger, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    I started playing with my new Shen-Hao camera the other day and found out my Sekonic L-778 spot meter is acting goofy. The Sekonic website says they will repair Sekonic meters imported by MAC Group, but how do I know if my meter was imported by MAC Group? Does anyone know how long MAC has owned Sekonic? I've probably had this meter since the 90s and almost certainly bought it from B&H. Since I will be paying the repair bill, why would they care? The 778 is one of the ones they list in their repair cost estimates.

    Unless someone here can say definitively that they won't repair it, I was planning to send it to them and see if they repair it. It's certainly no good to me as it is. I would hate to shell out the bucks for another one...

    MAC used to be Mamiya America, by the way.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    MAC (formerly Mamiya America) have been the authorized importers for Sekonic and Mamiya and others for a very long time.

    They have always attempted to prevent a healthy "grey" market by refusing to repair anything not imported by them.

    They most likely have records of all the serial numbers imported by them. I would suggest contacting them first to determine if they will accept your meter.

    There may be other, recommended repair resources. Maybe even some that are local to you. Whereabouts are you?
     
  3. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    I'm in north Alabama. I was thinking that they would probably have a better parts inventory since they are located at the same address as MAC Group.

    I'll send them a message with the serial number and see if they reply.
     
  4. Tomf2468

    Tomf2468 Member

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    There is (or at least was) an independent meter repair shop in Hollywood (the movie folks use lots of light meters). They (years ago) did a real good repair job for me on an older Sekonic. No website, but you can reach them (323) 467-2265 or georgepmilton@worldnet.att.net
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    As stated above, MAC likely keeps tabs on serial #, i.e., gray-vs-MAC imported Sekonic product. If you bought from B&H, then it's probably cool. Quality Light Metric Co. in LA is a reliable meter repair joint if MAC doesn't love your 778.
     
  6. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Quality Light Metric Co.
    7095 Hollywood Blvd.
    Suite 550
    Los Angeles, CA 90028
    (323) 467-2265

    As stated above, no web site. But these guys have been around forever and have a stellar reputation. They've fixed and calibrated meters for me, albeit many, many years ago. They are just down the street and across from Grauman's Chinese Theater, if you are familiar with that Los Angeles landmark.

    I believe the above email address is also correct.

    Ken
     
  7. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    If you do, and it turns out to be one not imported by them, you run a risk of the police knocking on your door to seize the illegal product.

    MAC never was the "authorized" importer of Mamiya products. They registered the Mamiya brand name, and could then control the import of anything that had the name Mamiya on it.
    So 'authorized', in that they were allowed to register the name of an existing company as their own. So one could say MAC wasn't quite a pirate, but a privateer.
     
  8. CGW

    CGW Member

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    What? Care to explain this?

    http://www.mamiya-usa.com/about-us-gray-market-trade-mark-warning.html

    I suppose the same could be said of Nikon USA or Nikon Canada, too.

    Not helpful.
     
  9. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    What could be said about Nikon too?
    That they are not Nikon?

    They are.

    But MAC was not Mamiya. Had nothing to do with Mamiya. But made it impossible for Mamiya to import and sell Mamiya products in the U.S. because they, MAC, had registered the tradename in the U.S.
    So Mamiya had three choices: not sell their products in the U.S., assume another name, or bow to the demands of MAC. They did (had to, really) the latter.

    Helpful, because MAC was known to indeed do what the page you link to promised: aggressively pursue their rights.
    More so than any other company. Nikon may refuse to service grey import. But MAC will have it, and you.

    MAC also 'acquired' the tradename Sekonic, even though they have nothing to do with the real Sekonic company. And they have done that to pursue the same aggressive (both towards Sekonic and the people who want to own Sekonic products) business model.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2010
  10. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Your agitation is puzzling(OK, absurd)since I don't recall Mamiya/Sekonic Japan ever claiming MAC's situation amounted to a restraint of trade involving their product. Besides, you're not even in N. America. MAC has always been quite helpful and generous with advice and service on the products they sell here.
     
  11. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Hmmm... Maybe I shouldn't have sent them the serial number of my meter. If they didn't import it, I will probably awake to the sounds of a SWAT team breaking down my door. Actually, I think the statute of limitations that ran out a long time ago.

    This is interesting, though. When I was in the service, I think the Mamiya RB-67 was available through the Pacific exchange to service members who were stationed out of the country. That's how I got my Nikon F2 and a ton of stereo equipment at much reduced prces. So, anyone who bought one of those RB-67s and brought it back home could get in trouble (assuming the statute of limitations hadn't run out)?
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    It's not so much getting in trouble, it's getting the item serviced.
    Nikon wouldn't touch a gray market piece. They'd just send it back as unserviceable. You could get it serviced by an independent repairer.
    I've never heard of a company confiscating a piece of equipment.
    Even if it was bought from B&H it could have been gray market. Some large retailers would import through Hong Kong and service it themselves under warranty.
    By having Gray and US import it would give two price levels for the same equipment. Think in terms of a couple of hundred buck on a thousand dollar item.
     
  13. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Some Sekonic meters, especially those that swallow PW trigger modules, carry a sticker indicating regional frequencies, e.g., CE for Europe and Asia, FCC for N. America. Gray market meters sold in N. America typically are CE specified since most come from HK.
     
  14. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Just heard back from Sekonic. They said the meter was probably imported by MAC if I got it from B&H, but they also said they would repair it even if it wasn't, if they have the parts. I hope they have the parts. If not, I'm probably going to get really whiny and make life uncomfortable for everyone around me for a while. I really like that meter.
     
  15. bvaughn4

    bvaughn4 Member

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    Mac Repair

    I had a 758 repaired by them recently and was very pleased with the service. Granted, it was made much more pleasant by the fact they did it under warranty even though it had expired a couple of months earlier! Not familiar with the 778, is that a later version? Also, I see you said you're in N Ala, I'm in Hsv. Are you shooting LF? If so, PM me and let's tag up sometime.

    bill