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Author Topic: Dave Thomas Film Dealer? Reputation?
Tom A. Pennock
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Battle Creek, MI. USA
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted April 28, 2008 08:03 PM      Profile for Tom A. Pennock   Email Tom A. Pennock   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just recently sent the Buhl scope lens kit down to Steve Osborne in Ohio to look it over. Steve Osborne is the Keith Wilton of the United States. Larry Racies is 100% correct. The scope len's will NOT work with ANY Super Eight projector. I see now that the len's kit I received was a Buhl and NOT a precision Kowa as advertised in his flier. That mean's that Dave Thomas misrepresented the $300.00 len's kit in 1997.

Anyone else have any thing to say about Dave Thomas? I am upset!!! It appear's "super8movieman" on e-bay is not as honest as I thought he was.

--Tom

[ April 28, 2008, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: Tom A. Pennock ]

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Chip Gelmini
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1733
From: Brooksville, FL
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 28, 2008 08:15 PM      Profile for Chip Gelmini   Email Chip Gelmini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The last time I did business with Dave Thomas, it took NINE MONTHS for the order to arrive my house. That was a long time to wait considering I prepaid it 100% in good faith. And the film that I did order was way out of sync and had to go back. It took about 3 weeks after that to get it resolved.

Haven't ordered from him since. All of that for a 200 footer cartoon.

Dave if you read this, no hard feelings.

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Tom A. Pennock
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Battle Creek, MI. USA
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted April 28, 2008 08:21 PM      Profile for Tom A. Pennock   Email Tom A. Pennock   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Chip:

If something (a scope len's kit) is misrepresented to the tune of $300.00 then disappointment is indeed normal. I was just told a Kowa is a very precision lens and the Buhl I received is a cheap imitation NOT compatible with ANY Super Eight unit. The len's barrel is too narrow to work right.

--TP

[ April 28, 2008, 09:35 PM: Message edited by: Tom A. Pennock ]

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted April 28, 2008 08:30 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I used to buy from him back in the late 1980's, (he had a lot of optical prints at the time, yeah, some things never change for me!), and back then, I never ran into a problem.

The only problem I had with him was when he listed a print of
"Starbird and Sweet William", and listed it as having Dan Haggerty, and for the illustration, showed a picture from the Dan Haggerty film, "Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.

I explained the incorrectness to him in e-mail, as I always had a good report with him, and he thanked me, but next week, he had the same exact listing without a single change.

Actually, I'm a bit sad, as in the past, I have found him entirely reliable.

--------------------
"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Tom A. Pennock
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Battle Creek, MI. USA
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted April 28, 2008 09:26 PM      Profile for Tom A. Pennock   Email Tom A. Pennock   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Osi:

Yes, that's how I am feeling now too. I am sad about this. I bought many Super Eight optical airline prints from Dave too in the late 1980's into the 1990's. Dave also sold me many reel's and can's, lamp's, and other supplies. I bought many magnetic sound brand new print's from him too like "Goldfinger". I bought the majority of my Super Eight Blackhawk Laurel and Hardy features from him. His wife Brenda was always nice to talk with on the phone to receive an order. Dave alway's put extra thing's in the order boxes (gift's) like candy, treat's etc. Yes, the definative word indeed is SAD. I feel betrayed. It's gone from anger to betrayal to sadness.

Best, Tom [Frown]

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted April 28, 2008 09:39 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey Tom!

Got any optical sound super 8 films you want to get rid of?

(Hey, you can't fault a guy trying!)

--------------------
"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Mark Todd
Film God

Posts: 3846
From: UK
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted April 28, 2008 10:06 PM      Profile for Mark Todd   Email Mark Todd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Tom, well maybe you can still sell it OK for some money etc.
It could have been a mistake like you not realising possibly.
Most things Buhl seem to be for 16mm generally I think.
I`d try not to beat yourself up over it Tom, we all get these things in cine either through mistake or intentionally as well from time to time. I seems to be the nature of the hobby quite often.
You have bought some lovely films etc, some recently that have been very good etc and given you a lot of pleasure, one particularly you mentioned here recently on 16mm so theres much good to be had also. I`m sure we all sympathise and you will feel much better as the days pass I`m sure.
Best wishes Mark.

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Tom A. Pennock
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Battle Creek, MI. USA
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted April 28, 2008 11:42 PM      Profile for Tom A. Pennock   Email Tom A. Pennock   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Mark:

That's very kind of you to post something so thoughtful. I will just take some medicine to sleep on tonight and rest up. That is an expensive mistake. I told Steve Osborne to keep the kit. I just don't want to see it again. I am going to buy an Irwin Allen TV movie from him. So Steve is going to give me some credit for the "This Is Scope" film I sent along to test the len's. Mark, you are a good person and a true friend!!! Thank's!!!

Osi:

I might part with a couple optical features in the future. If I do I will give you first chance.

Sincerely,

--Tom

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Roy Neil
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 203
From: Menlo Park, CA
Registered: Sep 2007


 - posted April 29, 2008 01:52 AM      Profile for Roy Neil   Author's Homepage   Email Roy Neil   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would be surprised if Dave was trying to pull a fast one - it sounds like it may be a mistake to me. Did you contact him for a refund explaining the sitution ?

I have purchased from Dave several times and never had a problem.

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Gary Crawford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 979
From: Manassas, VA. USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 29, 2008 06:25 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have NEVER had a problem with Dave Thomas. There had to have been a mistake. Now whether he'd be able to rectify it after all this time..that is another matter, but instead of taking it into the public forum, you might try dealing directly with him. I've know Dave for ...gosh....has it been THAT long?......30 years or so.

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 29, 2008 07:34 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
I have also had dealings with Dave over the years from this side of the pond and had no problems what so ever.

Tom surely you would have tried this lens before now with your super8?
11 yrs on and I dont think there will be too much he can do about it. By now he may not even remember it.

Yes the Kowa is probably one of or the Best Scope lenses for super 8 and I would suggest you keep you eye on ebay as they crop up on either as the Kowa 8Z or the re badged Elmoscope 16.
A good scope lens along with a good primary lens can give some outstanding results from some of the super 8 scope releases which are out there in collectors land and still new from Derann etc.
Dont let this mistake put you off scope films as I'm sure it probably was a mistake.

I would have certainly mentioned it to Dave direct and maybe as Roy said above this is probably what you should have done first and then taken it from there.

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Joe Caruso
Film God

Posts: 4105
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 29, 2008 09:08 AM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I go back near thirty years with Dave's monthly listings, and I luckily spoke with him, though late at night where we made a few deals. Brenda was always pleasant and took my order exactly. I was sorry he left the mainstream of mailing, and i will admit he left the same errors occasionally on his lists, simply due that he had little time to correct/edit the information. I bought alot from him back when, and still enjoy it and the memories today. Suggest you try calling him if you can - Shorty

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John Whittle
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 791
From: Northridge, CA USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 29, 2008 09:16 AM      Profile for John Whittle   Email John Whittle       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Yes the Kowa is probably one of or the Best Scope lenses for super 8 and I would suggest you keep you eye on ebay as they crop up on either as the Kowa 8Z or the re badged Elmoscope 16.

The Kowa 8Z is the same lens as the 16H but be aware that there are TWO Elmoscope 16 lenses the type I is the Sankyor 16D and the type II is the Kowa 16H.

Once again, please do not complete the purchase of a scope lens without testing it. Even the Kowa lens can be out of alignment and produce soft pictures. Buhl was famous for remounting lenses in barrels to fit other projectors and in the case of this anamorphic, it the Sankor 16C elements in a free focusing set-up which I think was done mainly for telecine close focusing. I have some Eiki 16F lenses that have a compressed barrel for a 3 foot focus for a Laird telecine base (which was part of a US Navy contract for ship board television).

John

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Chip Gelmini
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1733
From: Brooksville, FL
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 29, 2008 11:19 AM      Profile for Chip Gelmini   Email Chip Gelmini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have very little experience with some of the lenses mentioned in this post. Mainly because when I wanted to get them to run cinemascope they were just too hard to find.

I stayed with flat films until late 1999. This is when I tried a spare scope lens from work. I brought my super 8 st 800 and a test film into work. After hours, I simply held a 35mm anamorphic lens infront of the elmo flat lens and I was surprised with the results. I knew this would work, but the problem was building a stand to hold the giant lens.

I encourage anyone interested or who has similar dilemmas to try a 35mm scope lens. They are easy to find on Ebay. Also, film dealers such as Steve Osborne or others in the UK that have odd supplies of older equipment from previous movie houses shouuld have contacts. To anyone reading this, I really think that within 30 days from now you could be running scope if you start tomorrow just by sending some emails or making some phone calls.

As for Dave Thomas......never again!!!!!!!

Chip Gelmini in the USA

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Tom A. Pennock
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Battle Creek, MI. USA
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted April 29, 2008 11:59 AM      Profile for Tom A. Pennock   Email Tom A. Pennock   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know quite how to feel. I did a lot of business with Dave over the year's. I considered Dave and Brenda to be film friends. I really don't expect Dave to do anything at this point since it has been so long. I bought the len's kit and it sat around. I did buy the len's though from one of Dave's fliers that clearly states it's a "Kowa Scope Lens Kit" and I received a "Buhl Len's Kit" instead of a Kowa. I did e-mail Dave the other day unaware of the len's problem. I wondered if he might want to buy it back. He said he had two more just like it to sell. To list mine on e-bay. Then I did hear back from Steve Osbourne.

Here is what Steve said in his e-mail yesterday:

Hello Tom:

The lens listed in the Dave Thomas flier ad is NOT the lens you have. The Kowa (listed) is a large high-quality lens. The Buhl lens you received and sent to me to look over is a small "CHEAP IMITATION".

A. The Lens Barrel Has No Ft./Meter Listings/Settings
B. The Lens Diameter Is Too Small To Work On/With ANY Super Eight projectors that I know of. So I am sorry that I can't use it or re-sell it for you.

So either it was a major mistake on Dave's part or I got taken to the tune of $300.00.

I don't know how to feel. I thought very highly of Dave and Brenda. Never had a problem in the past with ANY of my orders. It's too long ago now. Dave must have known what he was selling. I would like to give Dave the benefit of the doubt and say it was indeed a mistake.

--Tom

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Roy Neil
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 203
From: Menlo Park, CA
Registered: Sep 2007


 - posted April 29, 2008 09:50 PM      Profile for Roy Neil   Author's Homepage   Email Roy Neil   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This hobby is so small and in danger of becoming extinct that I feel we need to curb the hate and give benefit of doubt.

Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone is deliberately dishonest.

Steve Osborne sold me some reels advertised as 'like new' that were rusty and needed to be returned. I assumed it was an honest mistake borne of haste, and I was right. Steve hadnt inspected the reels and was working from memory.

My point is that nobody is perfect; barring blatant fraud or outright criminal behaviour ... we should probably cut each other a little slack.

I would purchase from either Steve Osborne or Dave Thomas in full confidence. My experiences in the past are proof that any discrepancy will be handled professionally ( albeit I wont wait 11 years )

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Tom A. Pennock
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Battle Creek, MI. USA
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted April 29, 2008 10:12 PM      Profile for Tom A. Pennock   Email Tom A. Pennock   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Roy:

It is not "hate" but a disappointment. Yes, as John Whittle said I should have tried out the len's when I first got it. Yes, it was eleven year's ago and I never got around to trying it. I trusted that it would work. Those who know me in the hobby know I don't spew hate toward's anyone. I think most people would feel bad if they lost $300.00. This is quite a bit of money to me. I expected to get something out of it. I am giving it to Steve Osborne for his time. I feel he might be able to use the stand and bracket. The len's itself cannot be used at all.

--Tom

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Roy Neil
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 203
From: Menlo Park, CA
Registered: Sep 2007


 - posted April 29, 2008 11:20 PM      Profile for Roy Neil   Author's Homepage   Email Roy Neil   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wasnt pointing fingers at you Tom I was speaking in 'general' to all concerned - I should have clarified that in my posting.

Sorry about the confusion.

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Tom A. Pennock
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Battle Creek, MI. USA
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted April 29, 2008 11:36 PM      Profile for Tom A. Pennock   Email Tom A. Pennock   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Roy:

I understand. No problem!!!

I meant to ask you "Is Menlo Park where Thomas Edison lived or had a laboratory"? For some reason when I saw the Menlo Park on your ID I immediately thought "Thomas Edison". I think if this is correct his actual building/lab from Menlo Park is on display at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. Also are there any tourist attractions there in regard's to Thomas Edison? This is way way off the film topic!!! People kid me about my name and an Edison connection. My full name is Thomas "Addison" Pennock. The middle name is what does it.

Best, Tom [Smile]

UPDATE: I found out it was Menlo Park, New Jersey!!!

[ April 30, 2008, 01:01 AM: Message edited by: Tom A. Pennock ]

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David Kilderry
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 963
From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted April 30, 2008 06:28 AM      Profile for David Kilderry   Author's Homepage   Email David Kilderry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can understand your disappointment Tom. I used to buy film from Dave Thomas years ago and always found the items as described and delivered fast. Recently I bought an Elmo reel from him and again great service. Some others have not been as good.

I must admit once I sent the wrong item to someone who bought from me on ebay; they were very understanding and I ended up giving them a big discount. I always appreciated the opportunity to put it right. I think you should at least let him know of the problem.

David

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3085
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted April 30, 2008 06:58 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Tom,

Even though its been some years since the purchase, I feel you should contact Dave and let him know the situation.

I think its important he be given a chance to reply - very possibly an honest mistake was made, and he may wish to correct it.

Otherwise, his future reputation as a dealer is somewhat in doubt, even as a result of anyone reading this thread!

-Mike

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 30, 2008 07:40 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with both Michael and Roy. The first step should have been to contact Dave direct before even asking the question on this open forum.

I would suggest that is what you do now instead of Dave reading about it on here.

Nearly all the posts so far have been positive so please contact him. You should get the lens back so that Dave can see it if need be. At the moment you cant do anything about it as you have given the lens away.
If you cant get it resolved you could then at least put it up on eBay and sell it on for 16mm which at least gets you some of your money back.

Please let us know the outcome.

Kev.

--------------------
GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted April 30, 2008 08:34 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I should add that despite that one time that I saw a lapse in character/judgement, (concerning Starbird and Sweet William),
he had been honest and reliable.

To end statements, (at least by me), every business is always one bad deal away from losing it all. The customer need not prove anything (beyond paying for his item), the business has everything to prove.

--------------------
"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Frank Picaro
Film Handler

Posts: 63
From: Pine Beach, NJ,USA
Registered: Apr 2007


 - posted April 30, 2008 08:51 AM      Profile for Frank Picaro   Email Frank Picaro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've dealt with Dave several times and I always had great service, and friendly emails. I wouldn't hesitate to buy from him again!!!

--------------------
Seems? I know not seems!!

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Tom A. Pennock
Master Film Handler

Posts: 250
From: Battle Creek, MI. USA
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted April 30, 2008 10:06 AM      Profile for Tom A. Pennock   Email Tom A. Pennock   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree Kev 100% and I will see if I can get in contact with him. Does he ever post on forums? Yes, he does definately have a right to make amends. Like I have mentioned I have dealt with Dave for many years and considered him a good friend in the hobby. Knowing Dave it's completely out of character for him NOT to be honest. I have known him too long.

--Tom

UPDATE: I just e-mailed Dave to let him know of the situation and he deserves the right to defend himself.

[ May 04, 2008, 12:23 PM: Message edited by: Tom A. Pennock ]

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