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Author Topic: Drama at F-Stop Gear  (Read 14262 times)

Eric Brody

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2016, 12:23:46 pm »

Paul, while the Whistler is a great pack, and I have way too many Lowepro packs, it weighs 6.5lb empty. That's pretty heavy compared to many alternatives. Not to get into a side discussion on packs and weight, but my Mindshift 26L back opening pack weighs 3.9lb. Packs can be a sensitive subject so I don't want to go too far with this. It's just that F-Stop makes (made?) great products and it's a shame that it seems they're falling apart.
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dwswager

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2016, 08:18:43 pm »

https://www.dpreview.com/news/8012110697/f-stop-abandons-kitsentry-kickstarter-doesn-t-offer-backers-refunds

Well, there is a shocker! :o  Any Kickstarter is a risk, but especially one by a company that if run well would have ready access to capital.
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larkis

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2016, 10:24:52 pm »

Not sure how much I can trust this, but I love their bags and have a couple already. I would love to buy another one just to have a backup in case the company actually does go under.

http://fstopgear.com/news/2016-06/recent-update#.V6THQ6OgOkq

Paul2660

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2016, 11:15:18 pm »

Took some advice from a post on a different forum, called them, and had the pack in 4 days, and the XL ICU. 

They are alive and well. 

Paul C
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Paul Caldwell
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davidgp

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2016, 01:18:48 am »

Took some advice from a post on a different forum, called them, and had the pack in 4 days, and XL

Lucky you... A friend of mine ordered a Sukha bag, a ICU for it and an extra set of straps for me (I own another bag from them) in May... In May they already took the money from the credit card and still no bag... No ICU... And no straps... Lots of e-mails and no satisfying reply... I will try call them as you suggest...



http://dgpfotografia.com

Leszek Piotrowski

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2016, 05:55:24 pm »

Seems F-Stop is getting better and/or maintaining current/reworked supply chain .
Ordered a Lotus 32L on Aug. 13, 2016 and received it today Aug. 17 2016(shipped from Hong Kong warehouse to Ontario). Just finished putting all my gear in the bag.  Holds the gear I have for weekend treks, plus extra room for other stuff. Perfect!
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davidgp

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2016, 01:15:25 am »

I talked with my friend today... In theory two containers with bags arrived to the European storage facility... Waiting to be clear by customs... Let's see what happens


http://dgpfotografia.com

hjulenissen

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2016, 07:25:50 am »

I would never contribute to Kickstarter funding of a product by an established company.  The point of Kickstarter is to allow funding of projects that cannot get funding from traditional sources.  They tend to carry much higher risk or at least have a much smaller market potential or the entity has high risk of failure. If an established company cannot get funding via traditional paths, it is because the source believes that either the product or company are not viable.  That is, the smart money has decided to sit it out.
Figuring out what is a good product proposal and what is not is hard. It is hard for start-ups trying to get capital, and it is hard for people inside a large company to get the resources and attention needed.

You could use a "clever dictator" to sort out ideas (some think that Apple used to be like that). Or you could have comittees and customer research.

I tend to think that kickstarter and the like are just another means of figuring out what are good ideas based on what users are actually willing to put their money on. It is not a flawless process, but it seems to inspire some new products that we might not see otherwise.

-h
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scyth

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2016, 09:46:41 am »

and it is hard for people inside a large company to get the resources and attention needed.
wait a second... so people inside a large company can simply go to kickstarter and under that company name start collect money ? can't happen w/o that company management decision, no ?
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torger

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2016, 10:50:59 am »

Are there any alternatives at all to F-Stop larger bags? I saw the Lowepro Whistler, it looks nice, but they're too small, I don't fit my medium format gear in there. I use a F-Stop XL ICU in a Satori EXP pack (no longer made it seems, but they have a replacement product).

The thing is with camera bags, despite so many manufacturers out there, the only one with reasonable design and large enough I've found is F-Stop. I'm very pleased with the backpack and ICU, but it seems impossible to get hold of replacements/additionals if I should need some :(

I don't know the fully story behind, but it seems quite obvious to me that there must be a management issue with the company, it seems like almost everybody loves their bags but for years they have had problems to deliver.
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hjulenissen

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2016, 11:26:44 am »

wait a second... so people inside a large company can simply go to kickstarter and under that company name start collect money ? can't happen w/o that company management decision, no ?
No.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/1/8874943/sony-crowdfunding-platform-first-flight-launch

-h
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scyth

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2016, 11:51:22 am »

No.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/1/8874943/sony-crowdfunding-platform-first-flight-launch

-h

that is a little different I think... what I mean 'd be in this case - some Sony employee goes to Kickstarter on his/her own and starts a campaign there promising that the item (to be funded) will be made and sold by Sony and does that behind Sony's management back...

and in Sony's case they also want to make a platform - which is certainly an attempt to see if something profitable will grow up from the platform itself (which Sony owns then)
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brandtb

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2016, 04:23:00 pm »

Fortunately there seems to be some new and some used product showing up on Ebay - changes weekly. I bought a new Guru (this was part of a large group of new product - probably from some Fstop employee/former employee since it was from same town - all now gone), a pro ICU, and most recently a new Sukha. There is a new Tilopa and some used gear as well currently on Ebay. Worth staying on top of if you like the gear but don't want to gamble with ordering directly from Fstop.
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dwswager

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2016, 09:41:42 pm »

Figuring out what is a good product proposal and what is not is hard. It is hard for start-ups trying to get capital, and it is hard for people inside a large company to get the resources and attention needed.

You could use a "clever dictator" to sort out ideas (some think that Apple used to be like that). Or you could have comittees and customer research.

I tend to think that kickstarter and the like are just another means of figuring out what are good ideas based on what users are actually willing to put their money on. It is not a flawless process, but it seems to inspire some new products that we might not see otherwise.

-h

Yes, Kickstarter and similar crowd funding sources are great places for ideas to get a chance.  It is made for joe shmoe that has an idea, but no source of funding.  The way of things is that if it works out, a company will be born.

An established company already has funding sources.  If they do not have access to capital, then it means they are incompetent and their funding sources no longer have confidence in their ability to properly utilize the capital.
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Alan Smallbone

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2016, 09:17:40 am »

Yes, Kickstarter and similar crowd funding sources are great places for ideas to get a chance.  It is made for joe shmoe that has an idea, but no source of funding.  The way of things is that if it works out, a company will be born.

An established company already has funding sources.  If they do not have access to capital, then it means they are incompetent and their funding sources no longer have confidence in their ability to properly utilize the capital.

Well that is not always the case, some companies do not want to give up a piece of their company for capital investment or wish to pay credit card type rates, so then a reliable company can use kickstarter to fund the production of a product. The reputable ones have already done the r&d, the prototyping and are ready for production. That previous work cost money so I can see lots of reasons why kickstarter can be a source of funding and it has nothing to do with how they use capital.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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hjulenissen

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2016, 02:10:42 pm »

that is a little different I think... what I mean 'd be in this case - some Sony employee goes to Kickstarter on his/her own and starts a campaign there promising that the item (to be funded) will be made and sold by Sony and does that behind Sony's management back...
I don't understand where you are going with this.

If some employee goes behind his managements back, his management will probably be angry with him. Sony should not feel obliged to push a product that some employee put on Kickstarter without management approval.

-h
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hjulenissen

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2016, 02:17:01 pm »

Yes, Kickstarter and similar crowd funding sources are great places for ideas to get a chance.  It is made for joe shmoe that has an idea, but no source of funding.  The way of things is that if it works out, a company will be born.

An established company already has funding sources.  If they do not have access to capital, then it means they are incompetent and their funding sources no longer have confidence in their ability to properly utilize the capital.
Just like startups can have a hard time finding capital, I would assume that larger companies can have a hard time finding capital. Perhaps we are all incompetent to some degree, and the ability of investors to judge our competence is itself a question of competence...

Anyways, even a company that have lots of capital may have issues with what products to spend throw their capital at. This should be quite clear from the stream of silly or boring products that fail in the market coming from large companies. Given 2000 ideas and the resources to realize 20, it must be hard to pick the 20 most promising ideas.

Is see crowdfunding as an alternate method to pick those 20. With pros and cons, no doubt. Ie the main thing for Sony is (perhaps) not to raise the actual money, but to let prospective customers put their money where their mouth is. Sort of like how governments or organizations occasionally will "double up" on peoples donations, effectively using those people to sort out good causes from less good causes.

-h
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 02:21:57 pm by hjulenissen »
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NancyP

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2016, 03:13:57 pm »

F-stop definitely has the most convenient bags, presuming you are not packing for hours and presuming the bag fits your torso well. Another option is a big daypack with a suspension that fits you exactly and with a deep and broad J or U shaped zipper access on the side opposite your back. My Gregory Jade 38L daypack accommodates the F-stop shallow ICUs well. My weekend pack Osprey Ariel 55L also does so, and could easily handle a deep/XL ICU .
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davidgp

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Re: Drama at F-Stop Gear
« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2016, 06:01:17 am »

I talked with my friend today... In theory two containers with bags arrived to the European storage facility... Waiting to be clear by customs... Let's see what happens


http://dgpfotografia.com


Just as an update, this week my friend got his backpack and its ICU, still waiting for the extra straps sets that we ordered (those ones are for me :( ). It "just" took more than 4 months and a lot of e-mails...


http://dgpfotografia.com
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