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

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

  1. Patrick Robert James

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    Depends on who perceives it. People who do photography are generally gear obsessed. They think they can buy better pictures. Doesn't quite work out that way. Between snobbery and insecurity certain brands make out pretty good. Look at Leica. They have people believing that they have to spend more money on a worse camera to be a better photographer. They also mislead in their advertising about who used their cameras back in the day. Bresson shot a lot with a Zeiss lens, and Capa was a Contax user. Oops.

    If you want to know how branding changes how gear is perceived, take a look at the Pentax MF digital which got the highest quality score in I think it was DXOs test, but they didn't release the results for some reason, then when another camera came close that camera was ballyhooed. No one seemed to care that the Pentax was better for a long time just because the camera said Pentax on it apparently. Kind of stupid really.
     
  2. OP
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    jnanian

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    you mean eugene smith didn't use my pen ft to shoot the iconic images ?
    olympus said he did in the ads ?!
    if i didn't buy it used, i'd be ticked off right about now!
    =
    i always wondered if you stuck a leica liquid sunshine lens onto a japanese camera
    if it would explode .. i have heard over and over again by champions of german gear
    how inferrior japanese made cameras and lenses are .. it makes me wonder if it would be like
    "the angry chicken i ate last night, picking a fight with everything in my stomach"
    i DO know that i can use polaroid film in my sears and roebuck box camera
    the only problem is they come out looking like glass plates... weird ..
     
  3. guangong

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    When Hasselblad began producing mf cameras there was a close association with Kodak. My first Hassy, a 1000F came with Kodak lenses, so Hasselblad marketing a Kodak view camera would not seem strange.
    As for the OP’s assumption that there is no difference among makers in the quality of clothing I still wear sweaters bought from B Altman, a nyc department store that closed ar least 30 years ago. My boots and shoes seem to last for years and years. My wife still looks sharp in clothes that she bought in Hong Kong almost fifty years ago. In the long run, quality is cheaper. Why buy a pair of shoes or hat that won’t last. Oh yes, just had a hat cleaned that I bought about 20 years ago. It now looks brand new!
     
  4. E. von Hoegh

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    Branding.
    Recently, I've spotted a Vivitar personal grooming kit, a cheap and crappy assortment of Polaroid electronics, the Abercrombie & Fitch name on all sorts of cheap apparel, Bell & Howell on more cheap and crappy electronics, and several other zombie brands which once denoted quality but now are meaningless and have no connection to the original.
    Branding, with very few exceptions is now a marketing tool nothing more or less. Fewer and fewer consumers expect things to last any longer than it takes for the next version to come out, and fewer still can recognise quality when they see or handle it. People see one of my Nikons and go "ooh it's a Nikon!" but they couldn't distinguish a photo taken with a 50 year old Nikon F from a photo taken with a 76 year old Kodak 35 from a photo taken with a 60 year old Zorki S from a photo taken with a110 year old lens on a 70 year old view camera from a photo taken with the latest greatest Nicanonytax. That's branding. And consumerism.
    I'm still using the Raichle boots I bought in the 80s, they're on their second set of soles - they were expensive and worth every cent, that's an example of what brands once meant. I don't know what most of them mean now, there are still a few reliable brands - Pendleton woolens comes to mind - but mostly it's meaningless.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  5. OP
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    jnanian

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    i might be wrong ( i never lived in sweden in the 40s-50s ) victor hasselblad had a shop and they sold and repaired lot of things
    they had a hungarian cabinet maker working for them who was film holders repair / restore/ rebuild / make - guy
    and was asked to construct a KNOCK OFF of a kodak camera so they could sell it in the shop
    it wasn't a kodak camera they sold or rebranded, it was something they hired an employeed to make using the kodak
    as the design to copy... and after a couple of batches of "hasselblad universal view cameras "
    the maker no longer wanted to put the hasselblad tag on it but instead his own name, and after that he and victor hasselblad parted ways.
    the camera he made for hasselblad was a rip off / copy / inspiration from the kodak and it was good quality.
    after working for hasselblad he made hundreds, of cameras and they were well known throughout sweden.
    from time to time you see them on ebay, the metric sized ones are not very rare but the non metric / english sized ones are not common.
    =
    the knock off handbags i mentioned earlier in the thread were written about by a reporter who realized
    that her name brand fashion clothes was no longer as high end as it had been when she first began buying the clothes
    IDK 10-15 years earlier. in those early days the thread was stronger and the clothes was of higher quality. she wrote a book
    about her travels to the factory/factories in china that were making the clothes and handbags and remarked how
    after the bags were going down the assembly line there was an island and some bags went on one side and others went on the other ..
    she asked what was going on and the owner told her the one side was the name brand the other side was .. the knock off...
    she also remarked how the handbags are predominant in the ads because they cost the least and the markup is the most.
    as i said earlier --
    i am not a collector, i don't have tons of gear that is similar but made by different manufacturers
    and i after hearing someone suggest they could pinpoint what region specific olive oil camera from in a blind taste test
    it made me wonder if camera collectorafficionatos would be able to tell which cameas made which images and what cameras were which
    if they were presented with a blank bodies of a handful of cameras and lenses of similar quality tier.
    its been a long standing comment that people who are film/analog camera/process lovers can tell the difference
    between digital images and film based images, high end ink based prints and film based prints too ( a lot of them can't ).
    there are a lot of folks who shoot LF cameras who collect and use beautiful old brass lenses, and know their "signatures"
    and it made me wonder that too, if someone was given brass lenses some no name, some with well known brands/makers on them
    and they were all in some generic barrel, would people be able to tell the difference between a port-land lens and a beach lens and a darlot lens and
    some random no name that was a knock off or similar ...
    there is a lot more mystique about quality
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

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    John, you preface an awful lot of posts with "IDK" "I might be wrong" etc.
    Hasselblad History (granted, from the company itself), states that Hasselblad had a relationship with George Eastman and EKC starting 1888.

    Here. https://www.hasselblad.com/history/
    Maybe do some research once in a while... rather than unsupported speculation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  7. OP
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    jnanian

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    IDK maybe you are right EvH.
    but then again,i don't claim to be an expert,
    and i am not going to assert things
    are completely true even if the internet says it is
    seeing it is the internet and most likely it is wrong
    IDK, i might be wrong though, i usually am ..
    https://sites.google.com/site/prittsel/szilardszabad
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

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    ...(quote)
    was film holders repair / restore/ rebuild / make - guy
    and was asked to construct a KNOCK OFF of a Kodak camera ...(quote jnanian)

    Your link indicates the Szabad was an original design intended to rectify the deficiencies of the Kodak studio camera. How is that a "knockoff"?
     
  9. OP
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    jnanian

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    IDK, they began making new cameras with the hasselblad name plate on them
    based on the kodak, and began selling them as their own brand .. sounds like a knock off to me
    when i had a chance to PM / EM his son, i never asked about that.
    i don't own a kodak MV or a hasselblad UV just 5x7+8x10 szabads, so even if i wanted to see
    what the design differences were between the cameras, i wouldn't be able to ..
    and who knows maybe the design was changed after they began mass producing them.
     
  10. blockend

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    As this is a film forum there are so many variables leading to the aesthetic quality of the finished print, as to make the manufacturer of the body a minor factor. How minor depends on the photographer and the kind of work they undertake. Nevertheless the lens employed, film used, its processing, the enlarging lens, chemistry and paper type all add or detract from the finished product in ways that are more apparent than the brand of camera. Domestic scanning is like recording a symphony orchestra on low resolution MP3.

    Leica is generally regarded as an exemplar of build quality, and Barnack types as the epitome of hand constructed fine engineering. However the reality is a typical Barnack bought today requires extensive and costly repair. Does that mean a Leica is reliable or unreliable? Any camera that works as long as you need it to is an efficient camera.
     
  11. NJH

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    Really this threads question should be aimed at things like recent Huawei phones with the Leica lens, or the various Sony point and shoot cameras with Zeiss lenses.

    Clearly those brands believe that having such famous names in optics does offer real credibility to their products but its never been clear to me that either are lifted above their peers that much by these associations.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

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    I always though Pentax made great cameras. I owned one with several lenses.
     
  13. Pioneer

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    I think so too.

    I also happen to think that Leica makes terrific cameras.

    So do any number of camera manufacturers.

    But they also make duds once in awhile.

    And even the great ones require some repair after 80 years on the street.

    Of course for some people that just means they are overpriced or overhyped.

    They prefer to just use them and throw them away. :D
     
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  15. Patrick Robert James

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    I like Pentax too. The 50mm I use with the Leica is a Pentax-M 1.4 converted to fit. Incredible lens. One of the best 50s ever made. Smoothest focus of any lens I have ever used as well which says a ton about the build quality. If someone offered to trade me a Summilux for it, i would say Yes! Then I would sell the Summilux and build another Pentax and take a vacation to Europe with the money.

    If you look past all the hype out there, you can get great cameras for peanuts. Pentax and Minolta are both brands that cost almost nothing these days. I'll admit i always thought of them as inferior until I used them. They just don't get much hype.
     
  16. OP
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    jnanian

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    LOL im glad for the gear hype of people all swarming to get specific gear
    because they don't realize the gear they are over looking, the "sleepers" are exemplar !
    love my pentaxs too ...
     
  17. Theo Sulphate

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    There are two questions being posed: one is if a photographic enthusiast could tell the difference between images from a top-brand camera and the other is whether there's a difference in having a top brand vs. a lesser brand.

    To the first question, I would say that, given a decent lens, it would be very difficult to tell if a photo were made from a Canon F-1N, Nikon F2, Leica M3, versus a Petri, an Argus C3, or a homemade camera I made out of wood. In that respect, the camera is a light-tight box.

    For question two, there really are differences between brands in the reliability, durability, handling, accessories, and manufacturer support (e.g. Nikon Professional Services).
     
  18. blockend

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    If I see what appears to be an arresting, unusual or occasionally great photographic opportunity in front of me, the most important factor is that I have a camera. One that'll capture the moment sharply enough to see what's happening, expose it well enough to be acceptable and do both reliably. The maker's name, the camera type, and where it stands in the manufacturer's line up is of less importance than those factors.

    Some cameras lend themselves to a style of photography more than others, but the hard part is seeing a great shot from the millions of moments we encounter, and having the commitment and discernment to press the button when we do.
     
  19. Ko.Fe.

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    Nope. It is just not their manufacturing business, like Canonikon or FujiNoFilm have. Sony can't even make decent, not expensive 50mm lens.
    With mobile phone manufacturer it was not just label sale. Leica did cooperate for real. http://www.huawei.com/en/news/2016/9/Huawei-Leica-New-Research-Innovation-Center

    Look at Panasonic. They say what their Lumix lenses are rebranded Leica. But I'm still hesitant to get one of those with cheaper price. I'm holding to my Lumix with fast Leica zoom on it. It is this good...
     
  20. NJH

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    Those are all fair points Ko.Fe but they don't answer my question related to this thread which I guess is twofold. 1) Does having Leica/Zeiss involved in such lenses result in a better camera phone/budget camera then the competition 2) Does this association create a brand value greater than not having the Leica/Zeiss association. Honestly whilst I could see the answer to that question being yes, on both counts, on pure technical merit. I don't really see much if any real world difference in the appeal of the end product. Everyone I know that is in to this market either like Apple or doesn't like Apple (or doesn't want to pay the ludicrous Apple price level), I would be surprised if the Leica/Zeiss associations influences more than a tiny part of the market (perhaps that is all that matters in such a huge competitive market place?). Honestly by far and away the biggest attraction of the Huawei phone range is the excellent price to performance ratio, if this wasn't true they would jack their prices up and compete in a different part of the market.
     
  21. E. von Hoegh

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    Me too. The Pentax SP 1000 is one of my all time favorite cameras, great lines visually and simple, basic, functional. The lenses are great too, as good as any and better than many. Another one I like is the H1a, another minimalist gem. They're also a pleasure to use.
    The only reason I do not have old mechanical Minoltae is that I simply do not need another system. But, if an Srt with a 35mm lens came along cheap....
     
  22. pentaxuser

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    That is true. I read the famous Tampax sanitary towel adverts which said that by using them you could swim, ski and dance without worries. I was convinced by the marketing although I couldn't do any of them before.

    I only gave up hope after several years:D

    pentaxuser
     
  23. NJH

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    LOL. On an only very slightly more serious note Lee's point is to some degree behind Voltaire's famous quote on the existence of God, and Nietzsche's equally famous 'God is Dead' and his long exploration of the human condition. Its not a comfortable thought but it seems we have a need to believe in something, to believe in things even if perhaps we know they are not real but because the mere function of believing creates value and 'avoids' existential crisis. I am sure that nobody believes buying a Leica will make them in to HCB but maybe, just maybe a small piece of magic may rub off that brass top plate!
     
  24. Ste_S

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    In a similar vein, don't Leica make knock-off Panasonics ?
     
  25. E. von Hoegh

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    I use a ca. 1946 Summitar on a ca. 1949 Canon IIb. No explosions yet, but I do mount and dismount the lens in the dark.:ninja:
    I also use a prewar collapsible Sonnar on a Kiev 4, a Nikkor 13.5cm/3.5 on a prewar Contax and Kiev 4, and FSU Jupiters 8, 9, and 12 on the Contax. No issues. Yet.:errm:
     
  26. OP
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    jnanian

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    that stuff sounds extremely sensitive, like a truck of TNT from that movie "Le salaire de la peur" i hope you have a bomb disarming robot nearby .. :smile:
     
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