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11-19-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
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*ist

I recently bought my first Pentax brand dslr and there is one thing that is driving me nuts. When reading these forums or glancing through other Pentax literature I often see references to *ist. Seeing an asterisk followed by three letters drives me crazy, like something is being referenced, but without explanation.

Can someone please decode this cryptic wording so I can get on with my life?

11-19-2010, 08:19 AM   #2
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Get on with your life. Pentax's last Film 35mm camera was a *ist. Don't know why the '*' but they carried it through to their first dSLR offering, the *istD (followed by several other models using the same type of moniker).

Not much help, I know... Just enjoy the camera.

11-19-2010, 08:36 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Jeff. I know you replied with good intentions, but now you've just made a naturally curious person even more curious! From this point forward I will no longer waste time pondering whether extraterrestrial beings walk among us. I will refocus my energies to understanding the underlying meaning of *ist. Where is Freud when you need him?
11-19-2010, 09:08 AM   #4
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Well, after thinking about it for a minute myself, the only thing I can come up with is the star equals a blank. As in fill in the blank. Perhaps, ART-IST or something like that.



11-19-2010, 10:13 AM   #5
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* is computer notation for meaning 'what ever you want it to mean'.
11-19-2010, 10:20 AM   #6
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Yeah, it was their attempt to be clever through marketing.

It implies that the camera allows you to be whatever you want to be.

Unfortunately they weren't thinking about Google when they named it. :P
11-19-2010, 10:58 AM   #7
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I've always figured it's got to be short for Pentaxist. That would be a bit long to stencil on a camera so they probably just chose to use *ist as an abbreviation thinking people would call the camera the Pentax *ist, which is just a quirky way of saying "a Pentaxist" which in itself is a shorter way of saying Pentax Enthusiast. It's a play on words.
11-19-2010, 11:04 AM   #8
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That would be an interesting theory except that Pentaxian has always been the moniker of choice.

11-19-2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
That would be an interesting theory except that Pentaxian has always been the moniker of choice.
The reason for that being that the marketing people wanted to avoid the unfortunate contraction of P ---- ist.

NaCl(but it certainly made searching for the camrea difficult)H2O
11-19-2010, 12:05 PM   #10
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Thanks for everyone's feedback to my question. After reading everyone's take on the meaning of *ist, I find comfort in the knowledge that I was not missing something that was obvious to everyone but oblivious to me. I'll go with the answer that Pentax attempted a clever marketing gimmick that at the time may have looked good on paper, but....... ! And here I thought making sense of all the various letters associated with lens descriptions would be my only frustration in digital photography. Now this comes along....
11-20-2010, 01:56 PM   #11
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to me i think pentax just wanted it to sound as "star-ist"
11-20-2010, 02:40 PM   #12
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From Pentax Lens Terminology
*: the star sign follows the lens series designation (e.g., A*, FA*), and denotes a high-performance lens that uses special-glass elements.

If you have not seen a DA* lens, the star is the classic Pentax red color.

These days it's not the best specifier for lenses as others have mentioned. It's difficult for the Internet to handle and confusing to people who don't know Pentax.


QuoteOriginally posted by Gary G Quote
Thanks for everyone's feedback to my question. After reading everyone's take on the meaning of *ist, I find comfort in the knowledge that I was not missing something that was obvious to everyone but oblivious to me. I'll go with the answer that Pentax attempted a clever marketing gimmick that at the time may have looked good on paper, but....... ! And here I thought making sense of all the various letters associated with lens descriptions would be my only frustration in digital photography. Now this comes along....
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