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06-06-2014, 09:33 AM - 5 Likes   #1
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Focusingscreen.com Consumer Caution

Consumer caution alert

For years I have referred users on this site to focusingscreen.com for quality aftermarket screens. They make an excellent product, fulfill promptly, and are generally a step above the various eBay screen merchants. That being said, it would be good to consider the following before purchase:
  • Body/screen compatibility merely means that the screen will fit your camera, nothing more. Focusingscreen.com does not test their screens to determine if there are potential issues with meter accuracy, meter mode, or ability to calibrate using the supplied shims.
  • The return policy is simple. You have seven days after receipt in which to return the unopened package for refund. It is unclear from their Web site whether refund will include shipping expense.
  • If you open the packaging, focusingscreen.com will not accept a return. Exchange is possible (language is not clear) in the case of a physical flaw, but the inner packaging must not have been opened. You are supposed to assess the condition of the screen through the packaging materials. Again, it is unclear who pays the return postage.
  • Post-sale customer service is virtually non-existent. It took me several attempts over a two week period to get an e-mail response. If you need a RMA, it may take some time to get one.
  • Make your purchase using PayPal or a credit card offering customer protection. Be aware that the PayPal dispute mechanism has a 45 day window from date of payment. It may be a good idea to initiate a dispute before attempting to get an RMA.
  • Do your pre-purchase research. Problems have been noted with certain of their screens on some Pentax dSLRs. Potential issues include inaccurate/inconsistent metering and interference with some meter modes. Focusingscreen.com does not post potential issues on their Web site, so it up to you to ferret out potential problems before your buy.

Again, they make a good product. There is no disputing the quality of the work and materials or the care in packaging. Where focusingscreen.com fails is in abiding by the norms of reasonable customer relations, product transparency, and post-sale support.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 06-06-2014 at 09:38 AM.
06-06-2014, 05:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Consumer caution alert

For years I have referred users on this site to focusingscreen.com for quality aftermarket screens. They make an excellent product, fulfill promptly, and are generally a step above the various eBay screen merchants. That being said, it would be good to consider the following before purchase:
  • Body/screen compatibility merely means that the screen will fit your camera, nothing more. Focusingscreen.com does not test their screens to determine if there are potential issues with meter accuracy, meter mode, or ability to calibrate using the supplied shims.
  • The return policy is simple. You have seven days after receipt in which to return the unopened package for refund. It is unclear from their Web site whether refund will include shipping expense.
  • If you open the packaging, focusingscreen.com will not accept a return. Exchange is possible (language is not clear) in the case of a physical flaw, but the inner packaging must not have been opened. You are supposed to assess the condition of the screen through the packaging materials. Again, it is unclear who pays the return postage.
  • Post-sale customer service is virtually non-existent. It took me several attempts over a two week period to get an e-mail response. If you need a RMA, it may take some time to get one.
  • Make your purchase using PayPal or a credit card offering customer protection. Be aware that the PayPal dispute mechanism has a 45 day window from date of payment. It may be a good idea to initiate a dispute before attempting to get an RMA.
  • Do your pre-purchase research. Problems have been noted with certain of their screens on some Pentax dSLRs. Potential issues include inaccurate/inconsistent metering and interference with some meter modes. Focusingscreen.com does not post potential issues on their Web site, so it up to you to ferret out potential problems before your buy.

Again, they make a good product. There is no disputing the quality of the work and materials or the care in packaging. Where focusingscreen.com fails is in abiding by the norms of reasonable customer relations, product transparency, and post-sale support.


Steve
You brought up some good points to be aware of. Thank you.
06-06-2014, 08:17 PM   #3
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When I contacted them and asked them for advice/other shims, they promptly responded and sent them. So their follow was fine in my case.
06-07-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
When I contacted them and asked them for advice/other shims, they promptly responded and sent them. So their follow was fine in my case.
Thanks for your comment. It is good to hear that they were responsive to your need.


Steve

06-08-2014, 03:19 AM   #5
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I bought a screen from them a few years ago. I had an email with them and from the time of day of the message I think that this business is someone's after the day-job business, not a full time business. That is a fairly common phenomenon in Taiwan - people start a business and do it at home in evenings and weekends until it grows big enough to become their day job. It was posted from a post office which I think is on the west side of the river to the west of Taipei.
06-10-2014, 06:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
I think that this business is someone's after the day-job business, not a full time business.
That is what I thought too until I received my screen. The little jewel case it came in is a custom fabrication. Very high touch, I would say. I was impressed. They obviously are very conscientious in regards to quality and packaging.


Steve
06-10-2014, 08:54 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That is what I thought too until I received my screen. The little jewel case it came in is a custom fabrication. Very high touch, I would say. I was impressed. They obviously are very conscientious in regards to quality and packaging.


Steve


I agree, having bought one of their screens years ago.


In my experience this is typical of Taiwanese small business. As a broad generalisation I have found that Taiwanese businesses are generally good to deal with and that they behave like they hope they can make it grow into something bigger and grander.

04-15-2015, 06:21 PM   #8
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I cannot dispute the OP's great advice on Focusingscreen.com. My technical expertise is not at a level where I am comfortable on such issues as minor light metering variations that may occur as a result of a focus screen change. IOW, if such a thing were to occur, I may not even notice it.

I can say that I purchased a screen from Focusingscreens.com for my K5IIs and find that my ability to manually focus is greatly enhanced. The screen fit well and did not require shims. I am a happy customer. Purchase- via PayPal- went smoothly. They were very prompt in processing the order and keeping me informed as far as shipping.

Last edited by tennjed; 04-16-2015 at 03:40 AM.
04-15-2015, 08:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Consumer caution alert

For years I have referred users on this site to focusingscreen.com for quality aftermarket screens. They make an excellent product, fulfill promptly, and are generally a step above the various eBay screen merchants. That being said, it would be good to consider the following before purchase:
  • Body/screen compatibility merely means that the screen will fit your camera, nothing more. Focusingscreen.com does not test their screens to determine if there are potential issues with meter accuracy, meter mode, or ability to calibrate using the supplied shims.
  • The return policy is simple. You have seven days after receipt in which to return the unopened package for refund. It is unclear from their Web site whether refund will include shipping expense.
  • If you open the packaging, focusingscreen.com will not accept a return. Exchange is possible (language is not clear) in the case of a physical flaw, but the inner packaging must not have been opened. You are supposed to assess the condition of the screen through the packaging materials. Again, it is unclear who pays the return postage.
  • Post-sale customer service is virtually non-existent. It took me several attempts over a two week period to get an e-mail response. If you need a RMA, it may take some time to get one.
  • Make your purchase using PayPal or a credit card offering customer protection. Be aware that the PayPal dispute mechanism has a 45 day window from date of payment. It may be a good idea to initiate a dispute before attempting to get an RMA.
  • Do your pre-purchase research. Problems have been noted with certain of their screens on some Pentax dSLRs. Potential issues include inaccurate/inconsistent metering and interference with some meter modes. Focusingscreen.com does not post potential issues on their Web site, so it up to you to ferret out potential problems before your buy.

Again, they make a good product. There is no disputing the quality of the work and materials or the care in packaging. Where focusingscreen.com fails is in abiding by the norms of reasonable customer relations, product transparency, and post-sale support.


Steve
Who are you aware of that has experienced a customer service issue, such that this warning is needed? Do we know of ANY issue that has spanned time or multiple users?
04-15-2015, 08:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lmd91343 Quote
Who are you aware of that has experienced a customer service issue, such that this warning is needed?
Me...There are serious exposure meter issues with their S-type screen with grid lines when used with the K-3. Read the original post for the detailed explanation and full credit given where credit is due in regards to their product.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-15-2015 at 09:01 PM.
04-15-2015, 09:32 PM   #11
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I got the K3 (its a Nikon part number, not related to Pentax K-3) screen from Focusing Screen for my K-50. Metering is all over the place, but I pretty much expected that.

I do like it for manual focusing, but any auto-exposure mode requires multiple shots to dial in the exposure compensation. Variable aperture zooms are a pain.

I have not attempted to return or exchange it. I read Steve's post before buying and was somewhat aware of what I was getting into.
04-15-2015, 09:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tennjed Quote
I cannot dispute the OP's great advice on Focusingscreen.com. My technical expertise is not at a level where I am comfortable on such issues as minor variations that may occur as a result of a focus screen change. IOW, if such a thing were to occur, I may not even notice it.

I can say that I purchased a screen from Focusingscreens.com for my K5IIs and find that my ability to manually focus is greatly enhanced. The screen fit well and did not require shims. I am a happy customer. Purchase- via PayPal- went smoothly. They were very prompt in processing the order and keeping me informed as far as shipping.
This is my experience as well...K5II (I got a screen with no etched marks/lines for obvious reasons that I had read about)
04-15-2015, 09:53 PM   #13
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" Where focusingscreen.com fails is in abiding by the norms of reasonable customer relations, product transparency, and post-sale support.

"


This is a comment which requires care. People who live in different jurisdictions have very different legal expectations about things such as the rights of a consumer if not satisfied with a product. A seller can only reasonably be held responsible to ensure that they comply with the norms of their own jurisdiction, which is the jurisdiction where the purchase is made.


I find amazing the number of people in PF who talk of buying something, or even several competing products, trying them at home with the expectation of returning the unwanted ones after they had used them to try out. What does the shop get from that - the expense of restocking, and something they can only sell as a 2nd hand item because it is unwrapped (which always leaves visible signs) and have used a bit. In Australia the vendor is responsible to ensure the goods are what they are represented to be and in proper working order but any return policy beyond that is well recognised by anyone as a goodwill gesture.
04-15-2015, 10:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Me...There are serious exposure meter issues with their S-type screen with grid lines when used with the K-3. Read the original post for the detailed explanation and full credit given where credit is due in regards to their product.


Steve
So it is ok to besmearch their customer service? Did they misrepresent metering function?

Any cursory examination of focus screens would show that they either pass or reflect a different amount of light than the original. Therefore, they would have a different amount of light reaching the meter, resulting in a different meter reading.

Bright light passing, etched guidelines as opposed to dark silk-screened lines. Brighter versus darker screen background field. Those points were spelled out and obvious.

We don't have the right to complain about customer service if we don't analyze a situation completely.

I bought that screen from them for my K5. I needed to have the added ease of manual focus. Yes, my metering is slightly off. However I knew that would happen. I do not have the right to complain about them in a public forum. They are doing a respectful service/business. There maybe issues associated with their behavior. I am not aware of them and you have not shown them.

Now our forum has given them a black eye!
04-15-2015, 10:44 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Steve, thanks for your advisory. More than a few of us have been casting around for a replacement focusing screen supplier since Katzeye went under, so this is timely information.

Personally, I didn't read your first post as "besmirching" or in any way denigrating the product or company, but pointing out your own unsatisfactory experience, as well as a few potential pitfalls. Your behaviour in the Forum has been one of moderation and tolerance over a long time, so I take your comments seriously, and so should the company involved.
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