This is a Nikon 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-G I've bought on ebay. As you can see aesthetically it's a perfect match for the Nikon Df. However, I bought it from Japan and getting my hands on it has proved somewhat difficult. More of that below, but for the moment enjoy the camera porn.
So I was looking around on ebay for a Nikon 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-G to use on my Df. This is a lens that Nikon stopped making a while ago, but I've used a couple before on Nikon DSLR's and they are incredibly useful. Decent optical quality and in terms of size and weight a lot less bulky than many of the Nikon zooms with AF motors built in. Since one of the features of the Df is it will handle virtually every Nikon lens ever made, I thought it would be a good match.
I got even more more enthusiastic when I found a silver one, which are quite rare these days. It did however have to come from a dealer in Japan. But I decided to give it a try. Three weeks later and £85 more out of pocket over and above what I paid for it and the postage I have the pleasure of using it on the camera.
Japan to the UK went very smoothly. Three days and it was in a depot just 25 miles from me. Unfortunately that depot belonged to Parcelforce, the UK's worst courier and parcel (non) delivery service. Now I've had nothing but trouble with Parcelforce, both here and when I iived in London. Lost parcels, not delivering when they were supposed to etc. They even left a large box of my transparencies in my dustbin when I was out. Guess what day it was? Yes it was dustbin emptying day.
So my heart sank. I had the tracking number so I could follow the progress. Well non-progress would be a better word. Two days passed, three, four, then a week had gone by. No progress. The duty had been calculated however and that was a shock. Somewhat more than it was supposed to be. Eventually I emailed Parcelforce to see how I might pay the duty and collect the lens. Wait for a letter was the reply, which would give me a code number whereby I could pay the duty online and / or collect the lens or arrange for a delivery.
So more days passed by and I was getting more and more frustrated. So I steeled myself and had a go at their phone 'help' line. I eventually, after pressing more buttons on my phone than I care to, got through to someone who could 'assist' me. However he seemed to be more interested in a conversation he was having at his end of the line. He managed to get the tracking number wrong three times before he summoned up enough concentration to get it right. I double checked everything with him including the address and was told that if I used a satnav I should type in a different postcode.
So I put the advised post code into my Tom Tom and 26 miles later arrived down a dirt track in the middle of a field. No Parcelforce here. I then put in the original postcode I had been given on an email I had been sent by the courier from hell. Guess what? No such postcode. Fortunately I remembered passing a sign to what was the address of the industrial park where Parcelforce were (allegedly). So I followed that and ended up in an urban landscape that looked like a settlement colony from a sci-fi film set on a distant planet. I eventually found the headquarters of my nemesis. They were housed in a building that looked as though it could house a whole fleet of Graf Zeppelins. I suppose they need somewhere to store all those parcels they don't deliver!
So with trepidation and no expectation that I would walk out with the lens I entered. Suffice to say I did actually get my hands on it. Though somewhat poorer having paid the 33% duty and stressed from the journey. Also of course even more out of pocket because of the petrol I'd used.
The final proof of their ineptitude came when I looked at the documentation I had been given when I got home. It stated quite clearly, from the moment they had received the parcel that I would be collecting it. Now either they are psychic and can predict the future or this was a further example of their incompetence. They did in fact have no intention of ever delivering it to my door or sending me any kind of notification, They would have sent it back to Japan anyway in three days time if I hadn't picked it up yesterday.
So a salutary lesson and I'm certainly not going to be ordering anything from Japan again in the near future. Though there is some hope things will be better. Ebay have just set up their own international courier service, which my account will now let me use. It's only for Europe currently, but if I advertise what I'm selling as being available to buyers all over the EU, Ebay will take care of the postage costs, delivery and any charges that need to be paid. All I have to do is post the item to an address in the UK. Sounds a lot better. I just hope they aren't employing Parcelforce for the UK end of their operation!!!
What I'm happy to report however is that the lens is absolutely mint. It does in fact look brand new and like it's never been used. So I'll be off later to give it a workout on my Df. Hopefully that will put my Parcelforce experience behind me. Though I have to say I did wake up in the middle of last night from a dream whereby the aforementioned evil courier was systematically relieving me of all my possessions and money. Should make for an interesting session the next time I see my therapist!!