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Negative feedback for @akaru


Well-known member
I recently purchased a used Rm3di frame from @akaru which he represented as having only minor cosmetic issues that would not affect functionality. However, upon receiving the camera, I found that it had significant operational issues with shift movements and the shift knob.

Rather than accepting a return, akaru requested that I send the camera to a repair shop for evaluation, which I did in good faith. The repair estimate came back at $360, confirming the camera required extensive work beyond just cosmetic issues.

I attempted to communicate with akaru about the issue and obtaining a refund, but he became unresponsive. Left with no other recourse, I opened a PayPal claim to seek a resolution. While PayPal initially sided with me, they ultimately denied the claim on a technicality because I had shipped the camera to the repair shop at the seller's request, rather than back to akaru directly.

In the end, akaru refunded only $1461.20 of the $2000 purchase price. Based on his explanation, it seems I ended up bearing the cost for the repair work on the camera.

For context, I have purchased gear from many other sellers on this forum and have never before needed to request a return or open a dispute. My dissatisfaction with this transaction stems from the item not being as described.

I'm disappointed with how this situation was handled. I caution other buyers to be very clear on the condition of any used gear purchased from this seller, get everything in writing, and be wary of requests that deviate from normal return procedures. Buying expensive used gear is risky, so be careful.

Warren Diggles
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Active member
Left out a few key pieces of information. One, the camera was always in good working condition and was as I described. It had a couple of dings that I clearly marked. At his request, as he was unhappy with one of the rails being more difficult to turn than the other, I offered to have AS “fix” it, stating I would cover any costs associated with that. He agreed. Lo and behold, another camera of the same type comes up here on the forum, maybe newer and in his eyes a better deal. He DM's the seller and I assume ends up buying it as it was marked as sold. Guess what happens one hour later? He changes his mind and wants a refund. I say OK, let's send it to AS anyway as there'd already been an estimate and paperwork submitted for it and I wanted to get to the bottom of this. If I was wrong and had unwittingly sold him a broken camera, I'd know for sure, and vice versa. This "unresponsiveness" in which he was forced to file a PayPal claim? 24 hours.

He loses the PayPal case after tying the money up for months. I get verification from AS that the camera was always in good shape, it just could use a CLA. He expects me to cover shipping, insurance, fees etc. for all this time just because he changed his mind. Oh, and one more thing...he tried to talk AS into sending the camera back to them, since he had filled out the paperwork, while the money was in PayPal limbo and it was likely that he would win his refund (as PayPal typically favors the buyer). But I'm the scammer? I've bought and sold $100k worth of stuff here (including one of the most expensive lenses there is to Warren), never had any issues. If anyone wants verification, I have the whole email chain.

I bought an Alpa Max recently and it had this same "issue" of one rail being stiffer than the other, likely for the same reason: when a tech camera sits, it can need cleaning/lubing to get it back to a new feel. Did I expect the seller to take all of the costs incurred because it "didn't feel right"? No.

We had a deal. Camera was as described. Warren changed his mind, got PayPal involved after my not answering his email for 24 hours, tried to steal my camera and my money (again I have written proof of this), and now he's here tarnishing my name.
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Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
First, let's establish the situation given two contradicting descriptions of events and public naming of a person in a negative feedback context, which can have implications. Secondly, let's aim for a peaceful resolution and replace this thread with a happier conclusion.

@lookbook (and others): Before passing judgment, let's hear both sides of the story.

I own quite a bit of AS gear, including all of their R cameras, and stiff shift movements happen over time; one needs to CLA AS gear every now and then. So it seems the operational issues have been offered to be fully resolved from what Akaru says? Which would leave only the cosmetics, which, in the case of dings and scratches on aluminum, cannot be resolved without replacement of the part. Clearly, in case of a frame, that's not possible, so you are stuck with the unit you have, so to say.

@diggles: Is it true that you bought another camera while raising a PayPal dispute despite the offer of full CLA coverage from the seller? Akaru's version suggests dissatisfaction with cosmetic blemishes and leveraging PayPal's buyer-friendly system to exit the contract under a pretense while opportunistically buying a newly listed camera in better condition on the forum. The core problem is whether the blemishes were clearly communicated beforehand via pictures say. If all blemishes were clearly explained, then the buyer in my view has no grounds to use paypal to reverse a deal just because a better deal popped up shortly after buying.

In this instance, it's important to know whether the blemished parts had been clearly communicated via pictures beforehand. If not, I feel a return would be fair; if everything was on the table via e-mail prior to buying it, there's no "right," but only "goodwill" for a return if the condition had been clearly documented and CLA was covered.

It's harsh to call out someone's full name publicly in a forum indexed on Google without clear evidence of a badwill. After reading Akaru's response, which paints a very different picture from the feedback post, namely, that the root of the problem was unhappiness with the cosmetic condition of the obtained camera WHILE the opportunity to buy a better condition camera popped up at the same time on the forum.

Also, it's unclear why the buyer agreed to send it for repair but still requested a refund? If I bought something, the seller offers factory repair, then I implicitly agree to that as being a satisfactory solution by sending it to the factory. If it was completely not like described I would send it back, but not to an agreed factory repair or am I misunderstanding why it was sent from the buyer to the factory - was there no agreement that this would then be okay?

Another thing about returns - I feel sometimes people confound bilateral deals on used items with B&H; when I "sold" my Alpa I started to get to work on ancillary elements of the deal based on a verbal agreement; the buyer jumped ship because he had re-thought Alpa as a brand and had seen an R on the forum - thinking it's ok to just say sorry, I'll take something else. As if there's a free returns policy in place I hadn't remembered, lol.

People buy here to find cheaper deals, so I get when sellers don't immediately accept a return; that's IMHO a bit of a result of the low price point. Free returns are more for new purchases from dealers, I feel.

Peace, guys, hope you can be friends again - you already dealt an expensive lens between each other, it seems! Buying an expensive Rodie (which one :) ) is far more critical than a camera frame and one can be lucky to find good lens deals here.
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Paul Spinnler

Well-known member

it would be very good
if you reconsider your behaviour!

that looks a lot like a successful scam to me!!!
Doesn't look like a scam to me - depending on the evidence, but a scam this is not, given what happened, incl. the roundtrip at the AS factory which is an unusual element here.

A scam is if I buy a camera and I get a box of orange juice (happened to me on eBay, thanks), lol.

At this stage it looks like a post out of anger for not being refunded the full amount with two sides of a story and where further clarification is needed to form an opinion, IMHO.

If I learned one thing in 15 years of trading photo gear ... is that one's "excellent" condition is another's "mint" OR "heavily used condition". Its also subjective.

There's NO replacement for high-res pics from all angles to be sure.

Look at the Japanese lens sellers on eBay - they all have top notch pics of used lenses from all angles. You can see every defect and it is for you to decide whether you want the lens or not ...
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Well-known member
... I think @Paul Spinnler is right that scam is not the right choice of words - not even close.
I hereby apologise to @akaru for that!

Can someone please explain to me in simple terms why there was a shortfall of over
transfer of over 500.-$? (my english is very bad).
Thank you.


Well-known member
@akaru and @Paul Spinnler , I appreciate you sharing your perspectives, but I feel there are a few key points that need clarification:

  1. The core issue is that the camera I received had significant operational issues that were not disclosed prior to the sale. The stiffness in the shift movements was not just a minor annoyance - it was to the point that the full shift range of the camera was unusable.
  2. I agreed to send the camera for a repair quote at akaru's request, but this was not an acceptance of the camera's condition. Before shipping it, I explicitly communicated to akaru that I wanted a refund, and asked if he preferred me to ship the camera directly to him or to the repair shop for evaluation. He instructed me to send it to the shop. However, my agreement to send it to the shop for him did not negate my right to a refund for an item that was not as described. I believe the refund should have been processed as soon as delivery of the camera to the shop was confirmed.
  3. I absolutely did not try to 'steal' the camera. Wanting the repaired camera shipped to me by the shop was solely for the purpose of being able to return it to akaru certified PayPal address, as required by their dispute process. PayPal would only refund me if I shipped the camera back to akaru directly.
  4. Regarding the refund amount: As stated in my original review, the refund I received was $1461.20, which is $538.80 less than the $2000 purchase price. Based on akaru's explanation, it seems some of this difference may be attributable to repair costs and other fees. However, I have not received a clear accounting of how the final refund amount was calculated.

I stand by my original review and the importance of fully disclosing the functional condition of used gear, beyond just cosmetic issues. I've said my piece and won't be engaging further on this matter. I'll leave it to others to draw their own conclusions.

Thank you.
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Active member
I was out shipping and insurance, as I didn’t charge for that in the original shipment. If there’s any scam, it’s that cost from the insurance companies. But I do full coverage for replacement, and have better luck with expedited. Then there’s PayPal fees that I don’t get back. And I charged a 10% “restocking” fee for all the trouble. If the community thinks that is too harsh I could reconsider, but I won’t refund shipping. Again, he’ll say some vague “significant operational issues” which apparently is what we call one rail being slightly stiffer. FWIW, it still exhibits this asymmetrical stiffness even after the claimed “extensive work”. It’s the only rm3di I’ve ever used, so I don’t know if this is par for the course or not. But it’s not a problem in use. I shot it as my main camera for many years before moving to the Factum, so it sat in a pelican case with desiccant for at least six months. Barring damage in shipment which was not mentioned (and would be covered by the extensive insurance I had at no cost to anyone) the issues were purely due to sitting unused.

In this timeline, he conveniently forgets to tell everyone that the camera had not even been verified as received by AS when he filed the paypal claim. It was delivered but they had not verified that everything was there. How was I supposed to know I wasn’t being scammed? If he had sent a box of oranges I’d have no recourse. PayPal pretty much always sides with the buyer. In retrospect it was a bad idea for both parties to ship directly to AS, but I was genuinely wanting to get to the bottom of what had happened (in case I needed to file a shipment damage claim etc.) and with the shipping costs that would be another massive hit to my bottom line.

To Paul’s question, he was aware of any cosmetic issues as I had clearly marked them, so that was not this issue. Which he himself admitted. It was the rail stiffness. Again, I was willing to eat the cost of the CLA to get it to his liking, and even pay to fix the cosmetic issues with new knobs and paint. We agreed on that and the estimate was less than a week. But once he found a better deal he threw me under the bus. Notice how he ignores any inquiries into that.

It was my fault for not mentioning the rail being a different stiffness than the other, but is not something I noticed, and I can’t be for sure it didn’t occur in storage. So again I was going to be out shipping and the costs of the CLA but wanted to do the right thing. I would probably understand if this was needed for a commercial shoot or something and the delay in repair would have him lose a job, but that was not the case as far as I understand it. He was between systems and I had mentioned that I thought AS would be a good solution. The way he communicated to me was like he had never used it, but when I made my initial offer he talked me down in price because apparently he had sold one himself…I found this odd but ignored it. He also sold the lens I sold him in short order. That’s his prerogative but it strikes me that he is disingenuous with his intentions and is actually buying and selling on the forum for profit. Nothing wrong with that but it’s dishonest. I imagine many of us give a “nice guy” discount or preference for buyers who we genuinely think would benefit creatively from some gear, and it doesn’t feel good to feel like you’d been had. This is hearsay on my part so take it with a grain of salt but that’s the lens I’m seeing through right now.

It’s a shame it has come to this. I will accept his claim for his trying to get AS to ship the camera to him, but it made me shocked and angry to learn. If he’d negated the claim and done so, no problem, but it felt like I was being scammed at the time.


Well-known member
Reflecting on these unfortunate events, I've recognized an essential approach as a buyer: I will exclusively return the gear I have bought directly to the seller, disregarding any suggestions from them regarding repairs or other concerns. Engaging a third party can needlessly complicate matters and incur additional financial burdens. Anyone who initiates with a third party should take responsibility for the costs. If you request extra assistance or work, it's only fair to bear the economic consequences.


Active member
The core issue is that the camera I received had significant operational issues that were not disclosed prior to the sale. The stiffness in the shift movements was not just a minor annoyance - it was to the point that the full shift range of the camera was unusable.
This is an outright falsehood. He never claimed anything about it not having the full shift range, because it didn’t have that. He stated the following.
I confirmed with AS/Precision Camera that it was just sticky due to sitting and needed cleaning/lube (and they replaced the knob, which was disclosed as having a dent).



Active member
When learning he wasn’t happy with it, I offered a partial refund. We chatted a bit about it and he mentioned a CLA. I researched it and talked to Rod and found the US AS place. He agreed to send it there and that I would pay for it if it was a simple CLA and if it was more involved then we could regroup.IMG_8410.jpeg



Active member
The next day he had a change of heart.
On that day that another RM3Di had a major price drop. He says he slept on it. What actually happened was he purchased what he thought was a better deal just two hours before emailing me (check the timestamps) stating he’d like a return after all, even after filling out the paperwork and a lot of back and forth with AS.

Paul Spinnler

Well-known member

Mh.... what Akaru posted looks like an entirely different situation than what you stated in your negative post on him. I try to literally just summarize what I can see here based on the snips Akaru posted as his only defense against your post on him:

1) You at first were unhappy with the camera, but mainly because it was stiff and a knob felt loose - you described it a lot worse in the post. That's the 17th and you asked for a refund, initially (17th is an important date)
2) Akaru was very forthcoming and tried to resolve it and it looks like w/o any badwill sold it and offered to get it sorted at his cost; looks like it wasn't used for a while and was a bit stiff - sth CLA can fix and AS would have made it like new, ofc.
3) You both in the end discussed and agreed to a factory roundtrip as a good solution as evidenced by you filling out forms in view of sending it to AS as per Akaru's statements
4) A new almost mint camera with valuable accessories (back adapter, rotamount, hot shoe) by John Black popped up on the 17th, the same day you received his frame, which you were weighing, but, cash sensitive, with Akaru's offer to cut price + fix the issues didn't buy
5) You agreed on a factory fixit approach on the 23rd - "sounds good"
6) On the 24th John Black dropped his great Rm3Di kit to 3400 USD incl. rotamount (450 value), hot shoe (250 value), back adapter (500 value), helical (1500 value), and, seeing this, you bought it and immediately afterwards declared to Akaru who didn't see this background deal happening at first that you want to go back on the agreement of the day before under the pretense of having slept over it and naming conveniently the cosmetics point as reason to not disclose that you actually found a better "deal" and wanted out of the other

Deducting from 3400 all of the above one comes to a residual value of the frame of 700 bucks so you figured given the condition is even better that you'd rather step back from a done deal and snatch that one up. On top cosmetics were a lot better. You didn't tell this Akaru.

7) To force your position immediately you forced a paypal dispute, which led to a month long blocking of funds on Akaru's side, assuming he'd quickly give in. You ultimately lost the case with Paypal though and somehow to get back to him because he refused to refund you 100% after this episode you posted
8) A negative review spelling out the full first and last name of Akaru, full well knowing that this will be indexed on Google and can affect his reputation. People googling his name find "negative feedback" now

In addition, in prior dealings, you bought a lens from him to just flip it for gain quickly. Ie buy low on forum, sell high, according to Akaru. That's not nice because when you sell sth on the forum one does it assuming it stays a bit within the community and doesn't immediately get flipped.

This is what I gather from the astonishing mail traffic Akaru posted.

To me it looks like your post is unjustified and what has happened if it happened like Akaru describes, is different from the complaint. In my view sales contracts are valid contracts and not B&H 30 day return situations and to try to get out of one when someone is selling sth to you w/o badwill under a pretense because you don't want a deal anymore because you saw a better deal doesn't fly. To pull the Paypal card is effectively playing dirty as they favour buyers and withholding funds is nerve wracking for the seller - 90% of the time sellers give up because they figure they don't want to deal with this dispute problem and just want it to end.

The thing to do is to buy everything and sell the frame later again IMHO.


What do you think?

Buying from members is a privilege and we should stay honest and nice with each other I feel.

Peace pls.!

Pls. anyone correct me if I am wrong or if any of the points summarized are falsely understood - I am basing my interim conclusion solely on the private conversations Akaru posted because I figure he saw no other recourse to defend himself as his name is out on Google with a negative note at the moment. It is enormously stressful being called out negatively online, so I suppose this is a way to protect himself.

If there are other hidden facts, the perspective could change again, of course, but I think rn its rather clear on one side.

Be nice to each other, pls.!

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Well-known member
Staff member
Diggles please remove his clear name and only use his forum name. also in the thread name or delete the thread if not possible


Well-known member
... the facts should now be displayed.
The reason for the reduced refund to @diggles is still missing.

If the purchase had gone through normally, @akaru would have covered the cost of the repair?!
But now the camera has been taken back, it has increased in value due to the repair
but the customer has not received the amount he paid back.

Given the seller's shipping costs, I would understand a retention in this case.
Could this be a way of balancing interests?


Active member
But now the camera has been taken back, it has increased in value due to the repair
I’m not following you in why the value of the camera matters now. It was returned. I paid for the CLA (that wasn’t even necessary), and made it clear that I would have done so if he’d decided to keep it, despite it being almost 1/4 of the value of the camera. And I really doubt its value has increased that same amount. I have explained multiple times re the refund.

Are you really saying you would eat all these costs yourself if you sold a camera to someone who changed their mind, then tried to pin it on you by lying about it not being operational?