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Old Dec 3, 2005, 1:58 PM   #1
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Greetings all. New member to both the forum and to the Panny FZ5. Did lot of research and was impressed by the avid FZ opinions/FZ5 photos on many forums. This forum impressed me most with its member's experience and insights.

The issues are that I finally received my FZ5 from Abe's of Maine 12/2/05 after ordering on 11/25/05. Good price on the FZ5K at $322.94. Went cheap and negotiated a price of $49 fortheir Crystal Optics 55mm 3 Piece Multi-Coated Professional Filter Kit (UV, FD, PL filters & case; List at $149.99). (I also was quoted/charged $29.38 for 2-Day shipping.)

Equipment was shipped standard UPS and was sent a 3-piece filter kit (UV, FD, PL filters & case) by Merkury Optics (invoice states Crystal Optics). My questions are - are Crystal Optics and Merkury Optics one and the same? Realizing there are better quality filters out there, is it worth the hassle to attempt returning the Merkury Optics filter kit for the requested Crystal Optics version, a refundor chalk it up to experience and save myself the aggravation? I've read that Hoya filters are of a good quality and believe I've seen comparable pricing to what I've paid.

Any and all valued opinions/suggestions of the forum are welcomed and greatly appreciated.
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 4:43 PM   #2
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I think I would try calling their customer service dept. and see what they have to say. Maybe they would ship the correct filters and let you return the incorrect ones after you get the right ones!? Are the ones they sent you the correct size? Jim
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 4:58 PM   #3
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Crystal optics / Merkur... same junk neither worth 50 bucks
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 5:37 PM   #4
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I agree with Gene on the filters. Go for Hoya, Tiffen, B+W or Heliopan for filters you can;t go wrong with any of them.

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Old Dec 3, 2005, 6:09 PM   #5
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I agree the crystal/merkury are probabably of equally poor quality and not worth the hassle of woorying about it. Use them and see how they work.
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 10:12 PM   #6
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Abe's of Maine I have been taking pictures for 57 years and the reached the top of my S__T list a long time ago. Try and get your money back do not accept a replacement.
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Old Dec 4, 2005, 11:20 AM   #7
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Maine is a long way from N.Y.C. which, I believe, is where they are now located.

That disparity alone was enough to keep me from doing business with them.

Perhaps it's because I'm a New Englander that I consider a business located in Maine to be......well......more trustworthy than any business locatd on 42nd Street or there 'bouts.

Maine may have kicked Abe out and forced him to relocate. That's just my guess and it's all just my personal opinion.

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Old Dec 4, 2005, 7:27 PM   #8
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When that happens to me I demand my money back and never do bussiness with that company any more. I've have actually hadproblems with the more well known companies.I haveused the"Bottom Dollar" companies several times. I read their customer reviews before deciding to dobussiness with them and have yet to be disappointed. I do use this forum for advice before I buy and that helps make sure I will not be disapointedwith the product at least.

Don
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Old Dec 4, 2005, 11:41 PM   #9
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I used www.2filters.com to purchase my camera filters. There out of CT, reasonably priced, and quick turnaround onorders.

Tom
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Old Dec 6, 2005, 1:36 PM   #10
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ttkbear wrote:
Quote:
I used http://www.2filters.com to purchase my camera filters. There out of CT, reasonably priced, and quick turnaround onorders.

Tom
Many thanks to all responses. I called Abe's and obtained a return number for credit and will be returning the Crystal/Merkury Optics Filters. No real hassles but, then again, I haven't completed the return for credit -- we'll see and report. (by the way, their response on the UPS charges are that the $29+ IS for UPS Ground - Any way to make up for the low price on the $323 FZ5, I suppose...)

I took your advice, ttkbear/Tom, and just sent in a purchase at 2filters.com for theirSMC Hoya UV(O), Hoya SMC CP and their Hoya HMC 3 set diopters. FYI, http://www.photo.nethad some postings that also recommend 2filters.com. Hopefully, I'll receive the items by this Friday.

I also just ordered the TCON-17 from B&H. I have an interest in long telephoto shots and the threads on issue of sharpness when pushing the FZ5 past 12X convinced me that going past the 1.7 teleconverter is just asking too much.

One question for all, though, is I've read a couple of posts inplying that one can possibly double a 1.4 with a 1.7. Is this true and, if so, are there large penalties such as F-stops, viginetting, loss of sharpness etc (recognizing, of course, the need for good lighting...)
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