how does branding change the way gear is perceived ...

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jnanian, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    im not a market researcher, im not a psychologist or psychiatrist
    but im just someone who just buys stuff and uses it, or uses it up.

    ive never compared different things side by side, but if someone removed the name plates from
    7 or 8 cameras and lenses and put film through those cameras, would the user know the difference
    between the different things he or she used ? are there really intrinsic qualities that the manufacturers
    distill into their products?
    i read years ago that high end luxory handbags and their knockoffs are made in the same exact
    place at the same exact time, its just the name plate that is different ,,,

    if there was a magical camera manufacturing plant that plopped cameras and lenses out on an assembly line
    to be packaged and shipped off ,,, would people be able to notice they aren't using a nikon but i pnikon**

    ** disclaimer: i used to have a "sankyo" radio in my car back in the day, it didn't eat many tapes and it worked OK ..
     
  2. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    There is a magical camera manufacturing plant John. It is named Cosina and over the years they have shipped cameras and lenses out under all sorts of brand names.

    Most people can tell the difference but the price is usually right and the quality good enough that things don't fall apart in your hands while shooting the first roll of film.

    As for knock offs of famous brands being made together with the real stuff in the same manufacturing plant...I guess that could be true in some cases. But I don't think the Prada gear they were selling the last time I was in Tijuana was made in the same place as the expensive stuff. :D
     
  3. Lee Rust

    Lee Rust Member

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    Marketing, psychology, and religion rely equally upon branding, perception and faith. As far as most humans are concerned, imagined value is real value. That's what makes our world go 'round.
     
  4. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Values are relative in the post-film camera world. An Olympus clamshell might be worth as much as a professional camera originally costing many times as much. A Russian point and shoot may be as much as a Nikon F4 or F5. Desire is a moveable feast.
     
  5. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    I think a lot of it will come down to the individual consumer in question. Some will be persuaded by the brand name. Others won't be. It's just like how some people rely on reviews and internet gossip to let them know if a product is good, and others rely on first hand experience. Simply put, some people are more trusting than others.

    There's a lot of camera gear out there that is sold under different names for different amounts of money, but made in the same plant. But that doesn't mean that there's not a difference. For example, I've noticed quite a few generic filter brands out there that all look identical to Hoya's. It appears whatever company makes Hoya's filters, also manufactures them for a ton of other brands. And that makes sense. How many camera filter manufacturing plants would you expect o exist in this world? That doesn't mean that they're all identical other than the name though. Some of the Hoya brand filters will be multi-coated, whereas the generic brands may not be coated at all. So you might buy a generic brand filter for $10 that looks identical to the $80 Hoya filter that was manufactured on the same machine, but the Hoya one went through the additional step of having a multi-coat applied. And their might be other differences as well. Who knows?

    There are also moral questions to consider. Like is it right for you to buy a product under a generic label when the original manufacturer spent so much time and money developing it in the fist place, only to have it stolen by a company they out sourced to and trusted? That's kind of been the scourge of the modern business world. Everyone wants the best item for the lowest price, which forces everyone to switch their manufacturing over to countries like China, to keep their costs down so they can pass on their savings to the consumer, and not lose out to their generic competitors. But those countries usually don't have a strong court system that is willing to uphold the copyright and patent rights of foreign companies, so when these companies get their ideas stolen by the same people who manufacture their own goods, the don't have any recourse. So the very act of cutting costs to compete with generic competitors creates more generic competitors to compete against. In the end, the consumer's need to have the cheapest of everything all of the time is killing innovation and progress, and making it worse for the consumer in the long run. We're all selling out our own tomorrow for a better today. But ask anyone whose ever drank enough to get a hangover and they'll tell you there's a price that must eventually be paid, and it's no fun when that bill comes due.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Sometimes you get more service and support when you pick one brand over another.
    And sometimes one brand has more compatibility with other stuff we already have.
    And sometimes one brand offers more accessories than another.
    And sometimes one brand's products look nicer than another's.
    And sometimes we have personal or historical reasons to be brand loyal, so buying within a brand makes us feel good.
    Sometimes there are design consistencies within a brand that carry across products and therefore can make the brand advantageous. For example, my three Mamiya formats all work well for left handed photographers like me.
     
  7. guangong

    guangong Subscriber

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    The OP seems to be under the impression that there is no difference in quality among cameras. He also doesn’t seem to notice a differences between knock-offs and genuine products be they handbags or watches. That does not mean that there are not items that are rebranded and that some items are rebranded and cost more because they have a red dot or to protect the legal importer. While the ignorant may be cheated by buying a knock-off thinking it’s the real thing, cost usually represents quality, even when increased quality may not be proportionate to improvement.
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    If you take the name plate off I can tell the differences. Each manufacturer has their own way of doing things. Many of the designer hand bags are really not the real things because although legally they are the real thing they are contracted them out and made by an independent manufacturer so I don't care for them. No one can fake a Canon or Nikon or Minolta or Olympus for that matter at lower cost than the the original manufacturers can make.
     
  9. OP
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    jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    maybe .
    regarding clothes:
    currently i am wearing fake doc martins ( they are labelled dok marts ) a fake polo shirt ( labelled pigo )
    and fake levis ( no label ) im guessing the shoes might wear out a little faster, although my "made in england "
    shoes creased and tore prematurely last time ( 6 months ), my pigo shirt, seems OK so far ( been wearing it for months, the
    guy is not on a horse but riding a big fat pig hunting truffles, the tag is kind of funny ) the jeans, unless i eat more than my
    lycra denim can handle ( sanzabelt ! ) and i end up in a live action "wall-e movie" they won't wear out
    ... im well aware what i am wearing isn't the real deal and it doesn't matter, should it ?
    ive owned and worn the real deal and it really doesn't seem much different .. the material seems the same or similar
    and the workmanship seems about the same or similar ...

    i use cameras made by sears and roebuck, the western camera company, and the manhatten optical company, have lenses by
    morrison as well as laverne ... they are kind of old, so i have nothing to compare their quality to
    ... wollensak ? kodak ? century? folmer?
    their branding-mania has long passed. they are old tired worn ( not worn out yet ).
    should the fact they have lasted until now and i am using them be the testament of their quality that they were "top shelf" ?
    how do i know the things i use are not knock offs?

    next time i see someone i know who works at rolex im going to give him a faux-lex and see what he has to say about it.
    he is involved with project management+engineering of watches that cost a lot more than free with a tank of gas
    at my local off-brand gas station.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  10. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    The only way most people (APUG members excluded, of course) know what camera they are using is by the name on the front of it, so marketing is everything.
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I choose cameras and lenses based on their ability not on the label. Some brands are consistently better than others as with any product.
     
  12. Pioneer

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    I use a couple of old 8x10 cameras with no name plate. They could have been built by knock off companies back in the day but they seem to work just fine.
     
  13. wyofilm

    wyofilm Subscriber

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    Yes, but do you also use no name lenses for those 8x10's?
     
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  15. OP
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    jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    when hasselblad sold more than MF cameras
    they used to make a view camera ( hasselblad universal view )
    it was a copy / knock off of a kodak, and it had their own name on it ..
    would it have been considered a knock off or a hasselblad ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  16. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    I do use an old 6 inch Petzval style brass lens that has no name as far as I an find. It is probably a projection lens and I have to use the 4x5 back because I can't get it to fully cover 8x10 film.

    Does that count?

    EDIT - I have another old brass lens that has a faint inscription in the brass that says Ross but I haven't actually used that one yet as I have no retaining nut/ring for it. I don't even know how long it is but I doubt it is much larger, if any, than 6 inch. From what I can tell those old brass lenses may or may not be branded.
     
  17. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Thank you. I'm recovering from a bad cold, had a tooth extracted last week, and am generally in a bad mood. But this made me very happy.
     
  18. OP
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    jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hope you feel better ned !
     
  19. Arklatexian

    Arklatexian Subscriber

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    To try to answer your question, I will say that only time will tell. I respect certain "brands" because after owning them for years, they have not "let me down". The difference between picture quality is usually minimal so my main requirement is "how well they hold up". I found from personal experience and while selling cameras for eleven years that "yes" there are (or were) definite differences between the build quality of different manufacturers over a period of time. No camera will hold-up. to mistreatment but some (most) hold up quite well to normal advanced amateur and professional use. Ever have a camera shutter jam when you were at a place and time that you could not easily return to? Well I have and though picture quality with that camera was great and the manufacturer fixed it at no charge, I never trusted it again. I have NEVER had that happen on some of the more expensive cameras, lambasted, on this site.......Regards!
     
  20. Arklatexian

    Arklatexian Subscriber

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    Many manufacturers (not just camera) who make equipment in their plant that is cheaper than their own brand, do not make them to the same quality standards as their own. I have known of foremen telling their workers: " don't spend so much time on that part, it is going to the X Co.", which was known for selling "name brand" equipment under their own label......Regards!
     
  21. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    Cosina, they did some cheap cameras.
    Did they made F6?
    Where is no luxury on brands in film photography, but quality tools. I can't comment on SLRs, they are all Zenit to me :smile:. But Leica RF is nothing but quality tool. I have M3 made in fifties, it works and still with original seal...
     
  22. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Cheers!
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    You will not see me running to buy a Hasselblad camera that attaches to a cell phone. I do not care that it has the Hasselblad name on it.
     
  24. Ron789

    Ron789 Subscriber

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    I have a Leica and recently used an M3 for a while and yes..... they are great. But I have quite a few other cameras and lenses that are equally great, some even better, and they tend to cost a lot less.
     
  25. mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    I saw one of these today. I was stunned. What a load of Bull****. I've heard this kind of thing called "Whoring the Meatball" i.e. licensing the logo and name to anyone that has enough cash. I am not a creep, but I won't buy a Nikon product that's not made in Japan. Fuji and Canon seem to be able to make nice stuff in Japan. Chasing a low cost, no insurance workforce is a surefire way to end up making or trying to sell junk.

    I'm no one to talk, I buy everything used. My newest Nikons are a D800 and a D3. I never use the darn things because they don't take film :laugh:. I have yet to find a negative carrier that will take a Compact Flash card:sad:.
    Best Mike
     
  26. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    Well, I'm with HCB and GW, they didn't find better ones...
     
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