home News and updates: April 2018


PentaconSixBack We're slowly bringing the site back up after being pretty much closed to new retail customers, for the last few years.

An expanded range of supported devices is updated here. New patterns are digital only -- for these we can't cut with steel rule dies, only laser or water jet. We don't cut anything containing PVC (vinyl) by laser, so for cameras added recently we're stocking pre-cut sets in VH Black and Griptac. Right now these are the only two vinyl-based materials we cut for cameras.

International shipping.
For small US sellers, overseas shipping has always been a huge headache and it's not getting easier. In January 2018, the USPS closed the window for inexpensive international shipping by "flats", which had cost $3.23 to $4.16. Merchandise now travels "package" rate, a minimum of $13.30. To Canada it's up 400% ($2.50 to $10).

Third-party "consolidators" from the major shipping platforms offer a partial solution. We're testing this service, which is in the $6 range ($5 to Canada). Your parts are in a bubble-wrap packet shipped to a consolidator in New Jersey, where, a new international label is affixed, with your address and customs form. Each packet has separate US and overseas tracking codes.

Using a consolidator presents some issues. We can't provide an image of the label your packet leaves the US with. This was helpful for recipients tracking down a packet at their Post Office. Also, packets can get hung up at the consolidator before going to Newark or Kennedy Airport. Comparing packets sent directly ($13.30) to those via the consolidator ($5.73), the cheaper shipping is slower, with transit inside the U.S. accounting for the difference.

Since Jan. 21 we've been eating the added cost over the $3.60 that we charge, but there will be an increase coming soon. Finally, we can't falsify customs documents by listing "documents only" (sorry!).

Did you know . . . China-based sellers ship to the U.S. for about  $1 using China Post ePacket Service, with full tracking provided by the USPS? (That's $1 total cost for the item and tracked shipping.) It's return-proof, since the USPS will charge at least $14.25 to send it back to China!
Above: Placing leather accurately on backs can be challenging. The Pentacon Six has the extra complication of raised contours. VH Black leatherette negotiates them through heat forming, with selective use of any household heat gun and a simple burnisher like a bamboo chopstick. The crisp pebble detail is retained, and the new covering conforms (much) better than the original resin-on-cloth leatherette.

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 April 9 2018 Choose from ten covering sets for your Minolta Autocord.

Feb. 2018 There's fun for the whole family at the updated Argus C Series page.