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03-15-2012, 04:49 AM   #1
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Why do companies stop making excellent products?

I bought two Lowepro Lens #2 bags 6 months ago on a killer sale and have used them for multiple primes with padding between them because the cases are 9cm x 21cm. The length was great for this purpose and the sliplock attachment is much more secure in my experience than the snap closures used by other companies. Well, I just got my K300/4 in and its a perfect, I mean perfect, fit. Went to order another Lens Case #2 and Lowepro in their infinite wisdom has discontinued them and has no lens case with similar dimensions. 9x13, 11x26, 13x32, etc.

It's just frustrating when you find something that works perfectly and they decide to stop making it.

03-15-2012, 04:51 AM   #2
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I agree. I found a couple of them on Ebay last year but had to dig around to get specs since they already had their replacements on their website
03-15-2012, 04:59 AM   #3
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I just went to their site to check and they've gotten rid of several other sizes that I own that are PERFECT for their purpose. The Tamron 10-24 resides in a 1W Lowepro case and its a PERFECT fit, but no - that ones discontinued too. All the new ones not only have different dimensions but have shoulder straps and handles in addition to sinches to tighten the diameter of the cases. Are they discontinuing their SlipLock system?
03-15-2012, 05:16 AM   #4
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to annoy their customers.

03-15-2012, 05:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
to annoy their customers.
Well, they succeeded.
03-15-2012, 05:37 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
to annoy their customers.
Bonjour,

I bet that Lowepro hired a French marketing guru ... sounds very familiar to me.

Ca m'enerve aussi ! A+ J Frog
03-15-2012, 06:10 AM   #7
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Well, sadly it mostly has to do with us customers. We demand new products all the time from most companies. Look at the forum here, the K-01 wasn't in stores yet, and there were already threads about how the succesor should look like.
And the companies just can't keep with such a huge portfolio, so even good products will be discontinued. (and many of them might not even be topsellers for a reason, so they will even dissapear quicker)
Just a few products they will keep for longer periods, as they are the key products everybody looks at. Evrything else, will be replaced by public demand.
And yes I agree with you, it is very irritating when you have found something and need to replace it, and it isn't produced anymore. Have had that too many times.
03-15-2012, 06:23 AM   #8
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LowePro was an offshoot of Lowe Alpine Systems, a company founded in a Denver, CO garage by two American outdoorsmen in 1967 to manunfacture backpacks and other outdoor gear. Lowe Alpine was sold to Italian boot manufacturer Asolo in 2002 and sold again October 24, 2011 to a Canadian private equity firm. LoweProUSA was headquartered in Petaluma, CA but rights to the name have been owned in various forms by Canadian firm DayMen Photo Marketing Inc for 30+ years. DayMen was partially acquired by a Canadian private equity firm in the fall of 2010.

These transactions are all part of the healing process from the global recession that is ending now. Typically new ownership looks at each operation in context of return on their newly invested capital. LowePro probably looked at the old gear in the context of fully-amortized investments made decades ago.

I have used LoweAlpine tents, backpacks, garments and other outdoor gear far longer than I've used LowePro camera gear. LoweAlpine has always taken a unique approach to making the outdoor experience more rewarding and enjoyable for the participant. For instance they own several breathable waterproofing patents that are far better than ePTFE (Gore / Garlosk) Gore-Tex, but they marketed differently than Bob Gore did. LoweAlpine users are just different than regular users who buy garments branded with Gore-Tex. You could still see thier intellectual approcach to gear design in the LowePro features. LoweAlpine was once a more thoughtful, user's brand than it is today. LowePro will probably gfo the way of all good intellectual things from the 60's (like Pentax). The new owners, lacking the same ethic about what they sell, will simply cheapen it to earn a return on their newly-invested capital.

Change is part of life - embrace it or live bitterly.


Last edited by monochrome; 03-15-2012 at 06:35 AM.
03-15-2012, 12:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
LowePro was an offshoot of Lowe Alpine Systems, a company founded in a Denver, CO garage by two American outdoorsmen in 1967 to manunfacture backpacks and other outdoor gear. Lowe Alpine was sold to Italian boot manufacturer Asolo in 2002 and sold again October 24, 2011 to a Canadian private equity firm. LoweProUSA was headquartered in Petaluma, CA but rights to the name have been owned in various forms by Canadian firm DayMen Photo Marketing Inc for 30+ years. DayMen was partially acquired by a Canadian private equity firm in the fall of 2010.
Clearly more messy than Pentax adventures with Hoya and Ricoh...
03-15-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Clearly more messy than Pentax adventures with Hoya and Ricoh...
Not really. The capital is waht causes everything. Pentax was actually a fairly early casualty - after the MX-d and e-2000; a vistim of Phillips overpromising the first digital sensor. Their capital structure never recovered.
03-20-2012, 05:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I have used LoweAlpine tents, backpacks, garments and other outdoor gear far longer than I've used LowePro camera gear.
My main backcountry pack is an old, blue LoweAlpine. I like their jackets as well, but then found Arc'teryx at reasonable prices...

Oddly enough, I've never taken to LowePro camera bags. Not sure why, but comparing them to Kata bags it always seemed the Kata was better designed, constructed and priced. Of course, Kata went from being an independent Israeli company to being part of the giant Manfrotto/Gitzo consortium, and I think their stuff is dropping in quality from the "old days" of 2005, etc.
03-20-2012, 06:24 AM   #12
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Victor Lebow the founding father of modern American consumer capitalism:

"Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption...We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live, with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption."

Victor Lebow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
03-20-2012, 06:28 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Why do companies stop making excellent products?
Because no one buys them. Commercially successful products don't get discontinued.
03-20-2012, 06:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
My main backcountry pack is an old, blue LoweAlpine. I like their jackets as well, but then found Arc'teryx at reasonable prices...

Oddly enough, I've never taken to LowePro camera bags. Not sure why, but comparing them to Kata bags it always seemed the Kata was better designed, constructed and priced. Of course, Kata went from being an independent Israeli company to being part of the giant Manfrotto/Gitzo consortium, and I think their stuff is dropping in quality from the "old days" of 2005, etc.
In addition to the LoweAlpine internal frame pack I use a Kelty SuperTioga external frame pack (discontinued in 2009) for extended treks. A real freighter for use in Colorado and New Mexico. There really isn't that much "backcountry" in Missouri though I can spend 3 solid days on hilly trails in the Ozarks. We tend to do more car camping or 2-day trips here than real backcountry Treks.
03-20-2012, 06:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Not really. The capital is waht causes everything. Pentax was actually a fairly early casualty - after the MX-d and e-2000; a vistim of Phillips overpromising the first digital sensor. Their capital structure never recovered.
MZ-D/MR-52 and EI-2000/HP912

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