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.
Originally Posted by fstop
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.
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.
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.
Originally Posted by Chris Nielsen
When the chips are down,
The buffalo is empty!!!
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!
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.
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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.
“The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see." ~Edward Weston, 1922.
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..
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.
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!
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.