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10-13-2010, 01:44 AM   #16
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In my experience Americans seem to be much more brand sensitive than Europeans.

One of my first experiences on this goes decades ago, when in a bar in the US I asked for a beer.
The waitress asked me which brand. I said whatever you have.
She then sprayed a list of a dozen brand names on me. I told her again to pick any. She got angry.
And indeed you'd see tables with men all drinking a different brand of beer...

Where I live in Europe you go to a bar. I'll ask for a beer or a cola. You'll get the brand that they sell.
The Europeans are more and more picking up the American behavior in this respect I guess.

Companies are working hard to transform their label and logo into a brand with a certain identity.
It is the people who buy the brand then with the perception that the brand identity is their own.
It shows to the world; I wear Nike, or Gucci, so I'm cool or trendy...

There is a lot of literature on the subject of Brand identity and the psychological effects it has on people.

- Bert

10-13-2010, 02:07 AM   #17
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There are more brands of beer than brands of cameras

QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote

One of my first experiences on this goes decades ago, when in a bar in the US I asked for a beer.
The waitress asked me which brand. I said whatever you have.
She then sprayed a list of a dozen brand names on me. I told her again to pick any. She got angry.
And indeed you'd see tables with men all drinking a different brand of beer...

Where I live in Europe you go to a bar. I'll ask for a beer or a cola. You'll get the brand that they sell.
The Europeans are more and more picking up the American behavior in this respect I guess.

- Bert
The beer you drink may depend on availability the occasion and the mood you are in.
QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
I am using pentax for sports photography because no other brand has weather sealed lenses that small on a weather sealed body plus the SR does help. Going pancake is expensive but the weight savings not to mention the small size means greater flexibility which is the direction i am going for.
I am not a pro, I do not even aspire to be a pro but on occasion I shoot fires and stuff. For that I think a Pentax is ideal, the smallest sealed SR having kit out there, especially with the new 18-135. Should be in any photojournalist glovecompartment I think.
10-13-2010, 05:03 AM   #18
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ai know this prime thing saddly wide primes are pricey (but they are all brands this)
and big basic reason why i even think is this shake reduction technology.
ps. 15mm prime is lovely looking...
10-13-2010, 05:12 AM   #19
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I think the brand materialism is a North American thing, not an american thing, sadly. the same is true in Canada.

I have a friend complimenting me once a week on my skills (desktop backgrounds help) but when he went shopping for a camera, he got a Nikon, because "it's the best, right? And also, Ken Rockwell says so"... And now he got his camera damaged under the rain...

However, people actually taking an interest in photography (like the photo club where I work) are much more interested in getting the job done, whatever the gear. Though some wouldn't believe me when I won a photo contest with a shot taken with a manual focus lens...

10-13-2010, 06:44 AM   #20
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Hey y'all, while on this topic: can someone please explain to me, What defines a 'Pro' in or at the game of photography.

I've never quite understood the delineation on that... status (? if that term actually applies, or if not, what does, and do formalities or training apply or are reqd, etc...), and would really like to know others' impressions or definitions of it.

Also, I suppose 2 other questions might logically arise from that:
1. Do you consider yourself to be a Pro?
and/or
2. Are you acknowledged as such?

But only if you have time to answer, and the interest or knowledge of.

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 10-13-2010 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Add.
10-13-2010, 06:52 AM   #21
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In short a "professional" (pro) at anything usually is paid or widely acknowledged by peers within an industry but a basic characteric of a professional is using a wealth of knowledge to consistently prouduce.
10-13-2010, 07:30 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silvertooth Quote
Hi All,

... it seemed more an American thing to be worried about the name on the camera than the end results.

I was wondering if that is still the case? I am beginning to do some lite pro shooting again, and need a new system since Olympus seems to be going a direction I don't care for. How people use K-series dslrs professionally?

Aubrey
The lemming syndrome is worse than ever.
I cover local automotive events with a K-7 that I got a couple of months ago, coming over from using a couple of Pentax Super Programs (manual focus). Made the change due to workflow and the fact that I was using twice as much film as I had projected. Also began covering a lot more racing than expected, and was losing shots with a mediocre telephoto that was fuzzy at the 300mm end and hard to prefocus accurately.
I now use the kit 18-55 zoom for cruise nights, shows and feature articles (static close shots), and a 55-300 zoom for action, like road racing, tractor pulls, mud bogs, etc. Image quality is no match for medium format that I used to use for feature prints, but for my 99% needs, it's fine. I try not to exceed 1600 ISO, just as I avoided over 800 ISO in film. I shoot RAW with no NR in camera, and pass images through Aperture 3 with Nik Dfine if needed.
I lose very few shots, the bad ones mainly by failing to give shake reduction the moment it needs to work. I have to remind myself that "this is not the Super Program". Love that AF, especially on the 55-300. Very quick and keeps up even when cars are coming head-on at speed (assuming I'm not using a truly stupid aperture setting). AF using the 18-55 will occasionally get flustered, but another try or two will fix it. Exposure tends to wander around a bit, but is always salvageable in PP. Most of the "failed shots" trace back to setting the camera up with non-optimal settings for that particular situation, settings I didn't have to worry about before. It's a learning curve. Since it can't read my mind, I have to stop and think, then wander through the settings, lock it down and shoot, shoot, shoot. The display screen obviously shows only the grossest errors, and there is no time to stop and play with the nice zoom-in feature to review and micro-check things.
Biggest surprises: finding out that its stumbling hesitation to rapid fire was because internal lens correction needed to be turned off, finding out just how reliable its AF is, and how spectacularly effective its shake reduction is - a wonderful thing when it's near sunset, or you're in a dim museum where tripods are not allowed. It can rapid fire just as quickly as the SP's motor drive, faster than I need. Much pickier and more complex to use than a SP obviously, but more adaptable. I wouldn't do "high end" work with it, but very few people need to, and it's not made for that. For the money, this camera is terrific. I like the TAv availability, and the K-7 may not have any big advantages for people who shoot test patterns, but it also has no glaring weaknesses when used for actual photography work. Very flexible.
10-14-2010, 07:51 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The biggest knock on Pentax would be their lackluster support system in North America.
I don't know, if you need a fix in a pinch then I understand, however if you have a week or so to send it in, I have found their support outstanding. They have fixed my K100D 2 times, both my own fault and charged me nothing (aside from shipping). I don't have experience, but I can't imagine CaNikon would be as personal. Just my .02...

10-15-2010, 12:23 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by uchinakuri Quote
heard that Pentax often gets criticism about being non-pro

As a long-time pro, I've used a lot of cameras over the years. Many different brands, at greatly varying prices. None were perfect and many would be considered downright crappy compared to today's products. In every case, I had the knowledge (or acquired it) to get around any limitations. And, without insurmountable limitations, there's very little to complain about (don't have time anyway). The very same applies to today's cameras, including the Pentax line.

My choice to return to Pentax several times in the past is based on my familiarity with, and personal fondness for, the brand. I've also developed many contacts over those years (in all aspects of my business, with many different companies), so service and support are rarely a problem.

By the way, regarding the original subject, I've stumbled across several Pentax users around town, at least two of them also pros - one does in-house for BASF and the other shoots promo for the state of Baden-Württemberg.

stewart
10-15-2010, 12:32 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by uchinakuri Quote
Very interesting post. May I ask if you've had any troubles with Pentax's flash system or shooting in low light?

I ask this because I heard that Pentax often gets criticism about being non-pro due to their unreliable flash system, no FF (for low light, I guess), as well as the lack of support.
I never use an on-camera flash, it's the worst light one can shoot in, even with diffusors or other things alike. Perhaps the on-camera bare-bulb technique is in some situations doable, depending on the atmosphere...
Most of the time I shoot in existing light on a tripod (100 ASA), that's why they are made for.
I barely go over 640 ASA, I do this just when the need is high and I absolutely can't find a way to use a tripod, like when the staircase is on fire…
When I really do need artificial light, then I have two systems in my pocket.
- A very nice, performant but huge and heavy Multiblitz system consisting of three 3200 Joules generators plus a dozen of deferent flash heads and three mono blocks of 1000 Joules each, and a lot of different reflectors. This system just fits in my Volvo 855 with a shoe spoon.
- A nice ARRILIGHT Tungsten light kit of 3200°K 800 Watt halogen light heads. This system is the most mobile one but it needs some stable and strong power supplies ( +/-30 Ampéres) so it isn't always that practical on location...

Light is as important, if not more, as the camera…

Last edited by philippe; 10-17-2010 at 02:11 AM.
10-15-2010, 02:22 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
In my experience Americans seem to be much more brand sensitive than Europeans.

Where I live in Europe you go to a bar. I'll ask for a beer or a cola. You'll get the brand that they sell.
The Europeans are more and more picking up the American behavior in this respect I guess.

Well, it's my understanding that in at least some of Europe, pubs would actually sort of function as outlets for particular brands, so that may have something to do with it.

Generally, we do like variety and all. Very few places sell only one brand, unless they're also the brewery.

QuoteQuote:
Companies are working hard to transform their label and logo into a brand with a certain identity.
It is the people who buy the brand then with the perception that the brand identity is their own.
It shows to the world; I wear Nike, or Gucci, so I'm cool or trendy...

There is a lot of literature on the subject of Brand identity and the psychological effects it has on people.

- Bert
That would seem to be worth some study. You can bet the corporations do.

I do think the 'pro' image often is applied to branding, sometimes inappropriately, (And I often feel those really pro-affiliated brands tend to want to force one into a certain model of 'pro equipment' that may or may not be what you need or prefer, as you can see: the pro services might be handy if you're using some of this big/really expensive stuff: I figure that if I get any kind of business going, with the kinds of things I'd expect to be using, I should be able to cover myself for any backups or anything. I might choose another brand for like, serious sports, but I I think the closest to that I'm likely to get is, maybe helping out a local paper or something, maybe the occasional bit of a job for some high school athlete's parents or something. Not exactly a high-dollar operation. (For not much of a sports fan, I kind of like that sort of job: the body doesn't generally agree. )

I like to say 'A professional camera is one you can make money on.'

It's all about knowing what you need: I'm not counting on being too ambitious about making good on a big equipment overhead. I'm pretty happy with the kind of stuff you can have with Pentax, and if that changes, well, OK. There's some things that I hope will be improved, soon, like the flash system, (I never set much store by fancy flash automation, but I'm getting a little slow on the calculations in my old age, so I'd appreciate a really nice system there. But I knew this coming in. )

Flash was not the strong suit of this system, and I know it. (Frankly, the considerate provision of an old-fashioned PC terminal so I can plug in the old familiar boingey cords *was,* though, where else do you get *that* for six hundred bucks, these days)

They *could* do better, yes, for that place between 'old-school have 283/285, will travel,' and 'It's my studio, I'll trigger this with whatever darn thing it takes' but... It's about priorities.
10-16-2010, 06:09 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
In my experience Americans seem to be much more brand sensitive than Europeans.

One of my first experiences on this goes decades ago, when in a bar in the US I asked for a beer.
The waitress asked me which brand. I said whatever you have.
She then sprayed a list of a dozen brand names on me. I told her again to pick any. She got angry.
And indeed you'd see tables with men all drinking a different brand of beer...

Where I live in Europe you go to a bar. I'll ask for a beer or a cola. You'll get the brand that they sell.
The Europeans are more and more picking up the American behavior in this respect I guess.

Companies are working hard to transform their label and logo into a brand with a certain identity.
It is the people who buy the brand then with the perception that the brand identity is their own.
It shows to the world; I wear Nike, or Gucci, so I'm cool or trendy...

There is a lot of literature on the subject of Brand identity and the psychological effects it has on people.

- Bert
I'm not a pro photographer, but I am a pro beer drinker. As a pro beer drinker, it is necessary that I have many brands to choose from.
10-16-2010, 07:00 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by The_Reasonable_Man Quote
I'm not a pro photographer, but I am a pro beer drinker. As a pro beer drinker, it is necessary that I have many brands to choose from.
Why? Isn't any one single brewery able to keep up the production output you require?

.R.
10-16-2010, 07:21 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by philippe Quote
Isn't it strange that when it comes to professional status, they all refer to the ad hoc service, FF and a bunch of exotic glass?

I am working as a pro. photographer for about 30 years now, and perhaps 'felt' the need for this kind of service (and extra stuff) for about 5 times. In most of this cases I could find my way out of that temporarily trouble by using my imagination and technical/professional skills. I have to admit that, at the time, I was shooting Hasselblad, Linhof and Pentax LX.
Now I am working with a K20, just one, and only 4 limiteds (I have a family to feed and university to pay for) for about 2 years now, and only had 1 more or less serious problem with a DA 21 mm limited which was solved whit in 4 days by Pentax Europe in Germany (I live in Belgium).
I am shooting mostly on location and abroad, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, the south of France in high and sometimes unbearable temperatures, nasty dust and moister, like in steel plants, power plants, construction yards, epoxy work shops (very fine dust and aggressive fumes) and bronze foundry's (for sculptures).
This camera and lenses never let me down and I never had the need for some extra spear gear nor ad hoc service (yes, I am knocking wood every day).
I do not understand what the problem is, just take care for your gear and it will take care for you…

The results could be seen in the recent 5 books (out of 41) and the brochures that were published in the last 2 years. At the end of the month, book number 6 will come out, and do believe me, it looks very fine. We, the publisher, editor, author, designer, the pre press and I, have seen the printed proofs and we were all surprised by the very fine quality the K20 and the limiteds are delivering, even on 60 cm wide spreads!

Do I need Canikon? No! Do I need FF? No! Do I need MF? No!

The next most important thing to have, is a good and performant computer with the right 'stuff' on it and some trained skills to work whit it, this does it (almost) all.

Only, when it comes to the very highest and supreme quality demands, then I shoot 4"x5" sheet film on my Linhof, when well scanned, no digital camera system can beat that (yet).
Brilliant
I think this sums up "professional" in terms of quality rather than income

Have a vision
Use the tools available
Improvise if necessary
Seek help only when in a corner

AND deliver

Last edited by climbertrev; 10-16-2010 at 07:38 AM. Reason: The most important reason
10-16-2010, 03:33 PM   #30
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I went looking for a K-5 today in Houston, Texas. Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States. The only camera store that had Pentax DSLRs was a computer outlet store that had a K-X and a K-7. Neither camera had power. Every Canon, Nikon, and Sony was powered. The Olympus and Pentax were not. They had no lenses other than the K-X kit lens. THis is the only thing that scares me about Pentax in the U. S.--lack of support. I really, really like the way the K-7 handles!!
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