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545 Pro holder questions...

 
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried asking this in the LF newsgroup but as usual, got no responses, so I thought I'd ask here where I almost always get good feedback

I recently got a used 545 Pro 4x5 holder. Of course, no manual, and all my searching on the net has resulting in not finding one... So I've come up with a few questions that I hope somneone familiar with the Pro model can answer. Polaroid seems to not know they produce the Pro holder... Here goes...

First. On this holder, the timer starts as soon as I move the lever to Process, or as soon as the blue button is depressed. That may be the way it's designed, but it doesn't work well for me. It takes me a few seconds to finally pull the film out, and meanwhile this timer is ticking away. Is this how it is really designed, or is mine at fault?

Second. In figuring out the functions, I see a 'menu' option that always reads 'OFF' and has a moon or sun icon. I just took it for granted that you were supposed to menu to here to turn the unit off? Then I pushed a button and saw it was settable to 1,15,30 and 1:00. For what? It holds this number, but I don't see any change in the operation?

Lastly, does anyone know where I could get a manual? PDF or scanned images would be fine. Purchase would be fine also! I searched everywhere I could think of and can't find one. I'm sure one will pop up someday at Craig, but I'd like to read through it before the holder (and me) get too old

Thanks!

Rich...
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich, of all the manufacturers to criticize, Polaroid should be LOW on your list. They are some of the more helpful people I'm met.

Go here: http://polaroid.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/polaroid.cfg/php/enduser/home.php

There are lots of options there. Polaroid is known for their help with their own used equipment. They will be glad to GIVE you a manual for your back, if you will simply ask. They put a number of user guides on their site, in pdf form as well. They are the "good guys". You can either call, or put your request in the form of an email.

I speak from personal experience just having received a manual for my back in the mail from them. No charge.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I'll check out the address you gave and see what's there. I'm not cricizing Polaroid, really and I do love their products. After all, who else makes a 4x5 instant film back, or instant B&W 35mm slides? But I did talk to them on the phone. There's no available part number for the Pro. It took them 30 minutes to locate a part number for a battery cover that I needed. And they basically weren't even sure they made a 545 'Pro' since all their docs displayed as 545i. I didn't want to pressure them further and was happy enough to get the battery cover. They were very helpful and friendly. It just seems that there's a whole of sorts when it comes to the Pro holder. I should have thought of asking them through e-mail though. At least they could work at their leasure and not worry about a phone call... I'll give it a try. I certainly don't mind paying for it... I did check their web site first, and the one in the UK which at least mentions the Pro, but with no other info, such as a manual...

Thanks...
Rich...
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well B&H is still selling them "with a free CD" for 189.95. So somebody has to know somethin'

Les

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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich, that was unacceptable service on their part. If it was me, I'd send a long email to the corporate person responsible for that line of products: Kim Reingold, reingok@polaroid.com If they want to stay in business, they've got to do better than that. But, until they know, they can't correct a problem [giving them the benefit of the doubt].

You're right about that product user guide not being available for download. It ought to be there. I had to point out to them the link to the 545i guide was inoperative. I got 3 e-mails from different people apologizing for the problem. They do respond if you get the right person.

[ This Message was edited by: alecj on 2002-10-31 06:04 ]
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2002 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I know what they go for new, and that's why I bought mine used

I suppose reporting the part number problem would be the right thing to do. But like I sauid, I was just happy to get the cover and they were very friendly and helpful. She actually had to leave the phone and go talk to someone to find out the part number for the cover (and the fact that they made a 'pro' holder). I never was one for complaint mail though and that's how I would look at it. Someone there now knows there's a lack of documentation and I simply hope they fix it...

I did go to the link. Customer service... Been there many times, but never contacted them about anything. This time I did but haven't gotten an answer yet. Maybe they'll just send me a book? Maybe they're trying to find out what a 'pro' holder is? I'll give them a while to think about it before I try again, and keep checking the on-line resources...

Thanks...
Rich...
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2002 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thought I'd post a folow-up to my 545 Pro manual search. AFter I finally figured out how to get a "question" posted to the Polaroid support site (who knew I had to hit the second submit button?) they responded very quickly. They not only offered to e-mail me a manual, but mail me a true paper one and then post it on their web site. Good service! But... They couldn't figure out how to attach the scanned manual to e-mail. No problem, a papaer one was one it's way. Yep, a paper 545 manual, not a Pro... More e-mail back & forth. They're still very nice. Apparently the manual copies go out through a "fullfillment center" and they got it mixed up. So now I'm waiting for a real 545 Pro manual to be mailed to me directly by the support person... And it's still not on their web site...
Overall, the Polaroid company needs some work since they really do not know what they make, as far as support goes. But the support people are very nice, quick to respond and very helpful. She answered all my questions during this process which is why I wanted the manual in the first place, and I will be getting the manual sometime soon (I hope anyway ). The company may need a little work, but I still give them high marks for trying and not sending me through the phone-tag 'wait for hours' route that many companies take...
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2003 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last update on this (I promise)...

I did finally get the photo-copy manual for the 545 Pro holder, thanks to "Amy", a very nice and helpful person at Polaroid. They still haven't put it up on their web site yet (Amy has no control over that), so I scanned it into a PDF document and made it available on my web site for anyone else who may need it. It is an impossible thing to find... So if you want a copy, look under the Graflex Manual section at http://www.southbristolviews.com

Rich...
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AWT



Joined: 05 Sep 2002
Posts: 57
Location: Upstate SC

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2003 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude;

Check your link to the 545 PRO pdf - the link goes to a file utilization report.

(So I guess this won't be the last update

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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2003 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, you're right. Thanks for letting me know. All fixed now...
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JoePhoto



Joined: 13 Oct 2001
Posts: 74
Location: New England

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you aren't aware, what's left of Polaroid was sold to some other company. I don't know what their corporate mission is or their intent for continuing the product line is or if they still make films at their plants in Waltham but as of about 5 years ago the plan seemed to be find places that are cheaper to make products like film and electronics in Mexico and cameras and film in Scotland. When I applied for customer service jobs there they were more interested in people that had sales experience that could sell you more stuff to go with what you had than people that knew how to use the stuff they made. They will give a lot of stuff away though. It was a poorly managed company in the later days and I doubt that the new owners can do much better. Pretty soon Fuji instant film will be available here (if they don't make the current peel apart films already). After their people toured the Waltham plant Fuji started selling peel apart film in Japan. It was their technology that was able to get 10 shots of type 669 film into a pack. Polaroid couldn't do that in the 15 years or so that they tried until Fuji showed them how.

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