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Samsung NX 12-24 lens — beware, very poor build quality

Discussion in 'Other Brands & Accessories' started by Kiwichap, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. Kiwichap

    Kiwichap New Member

    In May 2015 my Samsung NX 12-24mm f/4.0-5.6 (EX-W1224ANB) broke completely in half simply when I attached the supplied lens hood to the lens. The lens was not dropped, knocked or mistreated in any way.
    I have since looked at the lens construction more closely and am absolutely stunned how badly designed and engineered it is. The mount is attached to the lens by three extremely short screws, just 1.5 mm in diameter and 4.4 mm long. These each pass through tiny plastic cylinders that project from the rear lens element mount. Crucially however, the short length of the screws does not permit them to transfer the load to the main body of the lens, ending as they do just beyond the plastic cylinders. How Samsung engineers expect such a flimsy and weak plastic material to bear the rotational shearing forces is beyond me. It was a failure just waiting to happen.
    It would seem I am not alone with this experience, with several postings around the internet of unhappy users of the lens incurring the same problem.
    So aghast was I at my experience, I returned the lens to Mr Sunny Lee, President & CEO Samsung Electronics at Samsung’s European Headquarters in Chertsey, Surrey, England. I believed he should be aware of the issue and that even though my lens was now out of guarantee, that Samsung should repair it at no cost to me, as clearly the lens was poorly designed and not fit for purpose.
    I had expected that Samsung’s response would be immediate and apologetic. Alas, this was not the case. Two weeks after the lens was delivered to them I received a terse and unambiguous refusal to accept responsibility and to stand behind their products and repair or replace the lens at no cost.
    This really shook me, as I had decided only the week prior to the failure to invest in a complete NX system and to sell all my Nikon gear. I liked (and still do like) the optical quality of the lenses and the features of their NX1 body (and particularly the frequency and significance of their firmware updates). However, there was no way I was going to spend £12,000 on an NX1 system if the lenses regularly fell apart…
    So, given Samsung’s utter failure to accept any responsibility in this matter and their readiness to snub their noses at a customer prepared to buy into their NX system vision, I believe it’s time to use social media to call Samsung out for what they are and to alert other potential buyers of their NX system of the fact that (a) their design and engineering skills are not what you might think, and (b) they refuse to stand behind customers who spend significant money on what they think is a viable alternative to Nikon and Canon.
    I have created a simple Facebook page, 'Samsung's 12-24mm' to promote this issue to a wider audience. It can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/samsung1224mm .
  2. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I do sympathies with your problem and I am often surprised at how flimsy some lens mounts are but a little more information would help put us in the picture

    1. How old is the lens and did you have it from new?

    2. Just what NX1 kit was on your shopping list? £12K seems an awful lot to spend on that system.
  3. Kiwichap

    Kiwichap New Member

    Hello RogerMac. Thanks for your comment.

    The lens was about two years old when it fell apart on 6th May. Yes, I had bought it from new in the UK.

    As for the shopping list, I have a Nikon DX system that includes their 70-200/2.8 and 300/2.8 VRII, so these would have been replaced by the Samsung 50-150/2.8 (to go with my existing 16-50/2-2.8), the forthcoming 300/2.8 and 24/1.4 (to pair with my existing 85/1.4). Add in a couple of NX1 bodies and other bits, and I estimate we're looking at about £12,000. Still less than my Nikon kit cost me…

    I am not by any stretch a 'professional' photographer, but merely a keen hobbyist with a wide variety of photo interests, from landscape to wildlife, interiors to people.

    Hope this helps you understand my position a little more.
  4. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    Well, starting at the top, unless you bought the lens directly from Samsung, your beef is with the retailer who sold you the lens.

    Before doing anything, why not check out this summary: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3zR6PS2LXwbV3sY2MT9PPjF/sale-of-goods-act-1979-as-amended

    The question that will arise is whether the seller (not Samsung, you have no contract with them) knew or should have known that the goods contained an inherent defect. If you are correct that others have seen the same flaw, get signed documentary proof from some of them and approach your trading standards officer or the Citizens' Advice Bureau. They'll advise you on the best way to take this forward.

    Personally, I wouldn't make a claim like the one in this thread title unless you're a qualified and experienced engineer in that field. It may be true or it may not but you could find it held against you, regardless of whether it's true or not.
  5. Kiwichap

    Kiwichap New Member

    Thank you very much for you informative and considered reply, Sejanus.Aelianus. However, if you'll forgive me, I think I'll take my chances.

    One thing I did not mention is that I have recently been informed that Samsung's Danish distributor acknowledged that the early production of this lens (as mine may well be) was inferior and recalled the entire stock from the trade. In addition, any customer who suffered a lens failure like mine automatically received a new, updated model (an update that was apparently undocumented). This is, I think, an admission by Samsung that my claim my lens is defective is true.

    However, based on the denials I received from Samsung in Chertsey ("there are no known issues with this camera or lens having a design fault,"), it is entirely possible that some of the old, defective, lenses are still sitting on UK shelves. Until Samsung come clean on this, we'll never know what the situation is. I really do think it's time that the media started asking Mr Sunny Lee, President & CEO Samsung Electronics at Samsung’s European Headquarters in Chertsey, what the real situation is with this lens. It's unfair on existing owners, potential buyers and Samsung themselves.

    My motivation for writing directly to Samsung, rather than seeking to resolve this directly with my retailer, is that I considered my problem could affect the whole NX user base and that the defect needed to be brought to Samsung's attention at a senior level so that this – as indeed it appears to be true – could be resolved in the best interests of the whole NX user community. Never in my worst-case scenario did I think they'd make such a 'head in the bucket of sand' response.

    I love the NX glass and there appears to be no mechanical of build issues with the other NX lenses that I have. Unfortunately, I think what we're looking at here is a fault in Samsung's development process that let a decidedly duff design slip under the wire, a fault compounded by their subsequent complete inability to fess up to the error and do the honourable thing.
  6. Loose_Canon

    Loose_Canon Well-Known Member

    EU laws mean the retailer is responsible for up to 6 years for rectifing faults. If it is a design or manufacturing fault then it should be rectified free of charge otherwise it should be repairable at reasonable cost.

    If the retailer does not agree to arranging a free repair and If you have evidence (not rumour) that the lens is defective you should get evidence in writing. It may cost you to get a qualified repairer to supply such a statement. You should then return to the retailer and ask them to get the item repaired at their expense in view of the evidence you provide, and also ask them to refund the cost of the report.

    If they refuse then give them in writing notice of your intention to make a claim in the small claim court, giving them 28 days notice of such intention in order that they can remedy the position wiithout the need of court action. If they do nothing make a claim - you can do it all online, adding of course the court charges to the claim.

    If you have evidence it would be a foolish retailer who doesn't sort it out.
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Well now, that's not necessarily entirely true; although I'm no lawyer, my understanding of this has been agreed with by a judge in a small claims court, and that's that a warranty IS a contract between the manufacturer or importer and the customer - but it's a contract that only has force for the duration of the warranty, and is limited by the terms of the warranty. However, the warranty provides cover over and above the legal requirements under the various bits of legislation.
    What it all adds up to in my layman's understanding is that in warranty, Samsung have an obligation to abide by the terms of the warranty, but out of warranty, they have no legal obligation whatsoever, unlike the retailer. It's then entirely Samsung's call if they choose to do anything out of goodwill or to mitigate any negative publicity; however, if you choose to go down the publicity route, you have to ensure that you can prove any allegations, or you could be successfully sued for defamation (typically libel). On the other hand, if you take it up with the retailer, consumer legislation is very much on your side.
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I just typed a reply to this and it vanished - updated ipad to new OS yesterday so hope not a feature.

    Short version:

    I googled to see how much the lens was. Found this July text also posted on an Amazon review (I didn't read all of it).

    This is a retailer issue - if they were that fragile they would be falling apart on first usages and there would have been a recall.

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