The Internet has opened new doors to sales of all kinds. And, unfortunately, crooks are finding new opportunities to rip people off. The latest problem for submini users is sales of bogus submini cassettes and film for subminis.
The cassettes and film are always sold as "GENUINE", but usually they aren't. The fake cassettes are hand-made, pressed epoxy copies. So what's wrong with that, you might ask. Well, here are a few items to consider:
1. The epoxy is very weak and the cassettes are easy to break.
2. The hand-pressed nature of the cassettes leaves them with tiny air bubbles in the plastic. That means light leaks through the cassette walls.
3. The outside of the cassette has to be filed down which means the cassette may not fit correctly in your camera. And if it does, the film may not advance correctly.
4. The inside of the cassette is often filed too. This means scratches on the back of every roll of film that you put through that cassette.
5. The cheap felt for the light trap is likely to produces light leaks and scratched film.
I think that gives you the idea. These cassettes are junk! And to top it off they are EXPENSIVE! But the problems don't end there. The film that comes with the cassettes is usually junk too. The ads usually state "GENUINE KODAK COLOR NEGATIVE FILM". And sure, that's what you get, but it will probably be tungesten-based, movie film with a REMJET backing. They don't mention any of this. So what's wrong with that, you might ask. Here are a few items to consider:
A. With tungsten-based film, all of your pictures will have a strong blue tint.
B. You have a REMJET film backing that requires special processing -- which most places don't offer.
C. If you order B&W film, you'll probably get Fuji HS-U which is a microfilm and requires special exposure and processing.
We've seen these items for sale in many places on the internet, most notable EBAY. Some of the sellers are innocent. They have run across a few cassettes and don't know much about subminis. But most of the sellers are quantity dealers, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. They know what they are doing. Any reputable seller will offer a 100% money-back guarantee for any reason. Check out this policy before you buy.
If you see cassettes for sale, assume they are fake, especially Minolta cassettes. Even if they come with a cassette holder and cardboard box they can be fake. Make sure the cassette holder is still sealed with the original tape. And if they don't tell you EXACTLY what kind of film it is, assume the film and the cassette are junk!
Once the cassettes arrive, check the outside of the cassette for tiny bubbles, and file marks on the edges and bridge. That's a sure sign they are crap.
And most importatn, if you run across any bogus cassettes, please let us know and we will add their email address to this list.
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