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03-29-2010, 07:41 PM   #1
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Question: "*ist"?

Hi folks. I just joined this forum a few days ago. I have a question: what the heck does "*ist" mean? is that short-hand for something?

03-29-2010, 07:57 PM   #2
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The idea was that the asterisk stood for all hobbies, avocations and passions that a Pentax user might use his camera for. Or something like that. The reality was a name that was difficult to search for on the internet, or explain. Now of course, the cameras are named after a Canon model and a somewhat rare Pentax film camera.
03-29-2010, 09:54 PM   #3
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I've always read it as "Starist". Whatever that means

Oh, and also, all "pro" lenses (except for Limited lenses) are labeled with a star.
03-30-2010, 01:15 AM   #4
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Shall I have a humble opinion?
Very well.
IMHO the *ist is a major reason Pentax died and went to Hoya,
Old Pentax had some execs who blue-skied model names.
Maybe those execs attended a few too many drinking parties.
Some boss said, "Let's have a really kewl name! Lotsa lulz!"
All the lesser execs said, "Yeah boss, kewl name, kewl name!"
So they picked something unpronounceable.
They picked something web-hostile.
They picked something meaningless.
And they made another very good camera.
And some were sold somehow.
And users who had it said, "Hey, kewl machine!"
And they emailed their friends about the kewl machine.
But they couldn't speak to anybody about it.
Because they couldn't say its name.
And web searches returned... whatever.
So people didn't buy something they couldn't find or pronounce.
And the money hemorrhaged out of Pentax.
And eventually the execs realized their error.
And they gave cameras names people could find and say.
But by then it was too late.
And so Pentax died and went to Hoya,
And the lesson is: don't be too kewl.
And don't name things when you're hungover.

03-30-2010, 06:23 AM   #5
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The previous posters have explained the thing thoroughly, but I'd like to still add that "*ist" is the actual name of a certain older Pentax DSLR model.
03-30-2010, 07:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
The previous posters have explained the thing thoroughly, but I'd like to still add that "*ist" is the actual name of a certain older Pentax DSLR model.
Actually, the just-plain *ist was a film SLR, (Pentax's last, I believe,) then there was the *istD and a couple more digitals.

I agree with Rico. "The camera that dare not speak its name!" might have been a good magazine ad, though.
03-30-2010, 07:13 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Actually, the just-plain *ist was a film SLR, (Pentax's last, I believe,) then there was the *istD and a couple more digitals.
Ouch, my bad.
03-30-2010, 07:14 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Shall I have a humble opinion?
Very well.
IMHO the *ist is a major reason Pentax died and went to Hoya,
Old Pentax had some execs who blue-skied model names.
Maybe those execs attended a few too many drinking parties.
Some boss said, "Let's have a really kewl name! Lotsa lulz!"
All the lesser execs said, "Yeah boss, kewl name, kewl name!"
So they picked something unpronounceable.
They picked something web-hostile.
They picked something meaningless.
And they made another very good camera.
And some were sold somehow.
And users who had it said, "Hey, kewl machine!"
And they emailed their friends about the kewl machine.
But they couldn't speak to anybody about it.
Because they couldn't say its name.
And web searches returned... whatever.
So people didn't buy something they couldn't find or pronounce.
And the money hemorrhaged out of Pentax.
And eventually the execs realized their error.
And they gave cameras names people could find and say.
But by then it was too late.
And so Pentax died and went to Hoya,
And the lesson is: don't be too kewl.
And don't name things when you're hungover.
Absolutely beautiful recap. I'm a proud owner of a K-X. Straightforward model name, that K-X.

03-30-2010, 07:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by VikingDave Quote
Absolutely beautiful recap. I'm a proud owner of a K-X. Straightforward model name, that K-X.
Unless you're speaking out loud to people familiar with Pentax film cameras, then you're back to saying punctuation names. "K-dash-M, K-dash-X.
03-30-2010, 07:23 AM   #10
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OK, thanks everyone. I didn't actually GET it until someone actually explained that it was the actual name of an old camera. I had never heard of it before.
03-30-2010, 07:43 AM   #11
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Pentax Asteriskist? Certainly not a star lol
03-30-2010, 07:46 AM   #12
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wasnt that 'ist' meant to be a used in conjunction with 'pentax'? ie: Pentax*ist, or Pentaxist. as in a pentax user? I thought I read that somewhere. of course one would instantly say no! a pentax user is a Pentaxian! I really wonder what is behind the name. either way, my *istD is an amazing camera.
03-30-2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
wasnt that 'ist' meant to be a used in conjunction with 'pentax'? ie: Pentax*ist, or Pentaxist. as in a pentax user? I thought I read that somewhere. of course one would instantly say no! a pentax user is a Pentaxian! I really wonder what is behind the name. either way, my *istD is an amazing camera.
Well, what was *really* behind the name was something along the lines of what Dave mentioned above, the marketing scheme was supposed to have the * stand as a placeholder for a bunch of things.

Of course, you can also substitute letters and words to make *other* words describing what this did to the camera's potential sales, the brand, and all, how the shareholders probably felt about it, what wags in photo review magazines doubtless did a lot of regarding the idea in their publications....
03-30-2010, 08:28 AM   #14
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Pentax's first use of the * was probably the M* 300mm f4 which is pronounced M-Star regardless of it looking like an asterisk. That was used to denote high performance lenses with special elements such as ED. My guess is that Pentax was trying to play of of the mystic of the Star lenses.
03-31-2010, 07:22 AM   #15
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But that M lens didn't have an asterisk on it...it had a green star. All "star" lenses used five-pointed stars as part of their labeling. The *ist series of film and digital SLRs, however, used an actual asterisk as part of the name.

RolloR was the first to point that out here in this thread, but his comment seemed to go unnoticed.
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