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07-28-2013, 09:45 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
Hm... I am no fashion photographer or pro, but his client includes many high profile magazines, so I believe he can afford a MF 645D or a FF easily if he wanted.

But at the same time, he said he is shooting mostly >f5.6 in a controlled environment, I don't know why he is getting 40% OOF shots....
Some people have a problem — they believe others should celebrate them and give them stuff for living. I'm not sure how fashion world goes right now, but I think lots of models are given lots of casual gifts, almost as an extra tip for the job well done. It's a common practice. I have read that in so many different articles and the story was perpetuated by many models and fashion designers.

As said above, his statements are fishy and I think he's venting. If we look at the pattern of behaviour, he has chosen the lest expensive way to travel, every time, and obviously wanted freebie gear too as a form of endorsement.


Last edited by Uluru; 07-28-2013 at 09:52 PM.
07-28-2013, 10:10 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
In the link that Lee posted, he alluded to Pentax that it would be nice to swap out his K5 for K5II for better focusing.
Indeed in a comment on his blog 10 months ago, Ben stated
"Perhaps Pentax can connect with me and take back my two K5's and give me 2 K5 Mkll's in exchange. If that were the case, it would certainly solve the endemic problem of AF issues I have had with Pentax."
Yet, in his recent DPReview post he claims
"our retouch artist said, 'what are so many of your images blurry or not very sharp?'"
So was the statement by the retouch artist made 10 months ago?
If so, why the delay?
If not, why wait till a retouch artist criticises your work?

It seems that Pentax had no interest to exchange his K-5s for K-5 IIs and that Ben finally thought "If I'm not sponsored by anyone anyhow then why don't I switch to FF now and get more Nikon followers than I'll ever get from Pentax?".


This is not the first time Pentax and Ben have separated or expressed a desire to do so.

In 2008, Pentax terminated their sponsorship. Ben continuous to use Pentax for five more years despite the allegedly terrible AF.

In 2010, Ben announced a "Very Long Goodbye" to Pentax and wrote
"I am in the process of negotiating sponsorship with another brand."
Apparently, the negotiations did not go well, as about a little less than three years later he pays for a Nikon D600 out of his own pocket.

This "goodbye" that took a while to implement was immortalised by PF forum member Wheatfield.

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
What is great about Ben is his active posting of his work.
The biggest motivation behind this has to be self-promotion. The majority of his posts here were of the kind "I've done another shoot, scoot over to my blog for more images and behind the scenes videos.". He regularly had his links removed by moderators as this kind of traffic diversion to private blogs is not allowed on PF. BTW, he made these posts to lots of other forums as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Yes, a 40% focus failure rate in studio lighting and conditions struck me as rather strange, particularly since he had apparently been using Pentax gear for years without any issues and getting great results.
It does not make sense at all to put up with such a failure rate in a professional context where time is money and no one is happy for a photographer to overshoot just because he has focusing issues.

Nor should he have had focusing issues in the first place. In studio conditions, i.e., good light and relatively high apertures, it is easy as pie to get sharp shots. I got them with my K100D with studio strobes consistently and without breaking any sweat. His story of having knots in his stomach before a shoot -- for what must have been five years -- just doesn't make sense.

In 2012, in the original version of the D600 or Canon 6D blog Ben wrote
"As a caveat Iím not in a rush to drop Pentax, but I am hoping for a FF soon. If they show no signs of that direction, Iíll most definitely bite the bullet and jump ship."
Pentax engineers have admitted to be working on an FF and expectations for a FF model in 2014 were never higher.

Note that he removed the above part from his new version despite that fact that it says "Below from the September 2012 original post:". There are a couple more changes...

QuoteOriginally posted by Pablom Quote
Interesting, as he was saying he's going to medium format.
Indeed, just 10 days ago he said he is selling his two K20Ds because he is "going Medium format...".
I'm curious as to whether he will answer my question in this thread.
07-28-2013, 10:16 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I'm not sure how fashion world goes right now, but I think lots of models are given lots of casual gifts, almost as an extra tip for the job well done. It's a common practice.
And surely there are photographers who are sponsored by manufacturers. Ben's expectation to receive sponsorship surely isn't out of line.

Lindsay Adler, for instance, is not that famous at all, but is sponsored by Sigma.

I guess it depends on whether the manufacturer is happy with your public image and what your impact factor will be (this is why people keep flogging their blogs).
07-28-2013, 10:36 PM   #19
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QuoteQuote:
And surely there are photographers who are sponsored by manufacturers. Ben's expectation to receive sponsorship surely isn't out of line.
Lindsay Adler, for instance, is not that famous at all, but is sponsored by Sigma.
Don't be blinded by stars.

Celebrity spokesman can bring new customers and reinforce a brand to existing ones. They can establish a brand and create an identity. But only if there is a logical connection between the celebrity and the brand.

Unless the celebrity has the image, values and qualities a company want consumers to associate with the brand, hiring them can be a waste of money. And there's the risk of controversy — remember the Australian spin bowler who endorsed nicotine patches and was then seen smoking?

07-28-2013, 10:50 PM   #20
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I've been a professional guitarist for over 30 years and exhibited artworks (paintings) in national galleries but I wouldn't dream of bludging off of a company and expecting its workers to knock out a few items on my behalf. This guy is a fashion photographer working for well known magazines and sounds 'cheap' and precious to me. The fact that he opted for a D600 instead of a D800 proves how cheap he is. Fashion photography isn't generally regarded as great art either... at least not by me.
07-28-2013, 11:05 PM - 2 Likes   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Indeed in a comment on his blog 10 months ago, Ben stated
"Perhaps Pentax can connect with me and take back my two K5's and give me 2 K5 Mkll's in exchange. If that were the case, it would certainly solve the endemic problem of AF issues I have had with Pentax."
Yet, in his recent DPReview post he claims
"our retouch artist said, 'what are so many of your images blurry or not very sharp?'"
So was the statement by the retouch artist made 10 months ago?
If so, why the delay?
If not, why wait till a retouch artist criticises your work?

It seems that Pentax had no interest to exchange his K-5s for K-5 IIs and that Ben finally thought "If I'm not sponsored by anyone anyhow then why don't I switch to FF now and get more Nikon followers than I'll ever get from Pentax?".


This is not the first time Pentax and Ben have separated or expressed a desire to do so.

In 2008, Pentax terminated their sponsorship. Ben continuous to use Pentax for five more years despite the allegedly terrible AF.

In 2010, Ben announced a "Very Long Goodbye" to Pentax and wrote
"I am in the process of negotiating sponsorship with another brand."
Apparently, the negotiations did not go well, as about a little less than three years later he pays for a Nikon D600 out of his own pocket.

This "goodbye" that took a while to implement was immortalised by PF forum member Wheatfield.


The biggest motivation behind this has to be self-promotion. The majority of his posts here were of the kind "I've done another shoot, scoot over to my blog for more images and behind the scenes videos.". He regularly had his links removed by moderators as this kind of traffic diversion to private blogs is not allowed on PF. BTW, he made these posts to lots of other forums as well.


It does not make sense at all to put up with such a failure rate in a professional context where time is money and no one is happy for a photographer to overshoot just because he has focusing issues.

Nor should he have had focusing issues in the first place. In studio conditions, i.e., good light and relatively high apertures, it is easy as pie to get sharp shots. I got them with my K100D with studio strobes consistently and without breaking any sweat. His story of having knots in his stomach before a shoot -- for what must have been five years -- just doesn't make sense.

In 2012, in the original version of the D600 or Canon 6D blog Ben wrote
"As a caveat Iím not in a rush to drop Pentax, but I am hoping for a FF soon. If they show no signs of that direction, Iíll most definitely bite the bullet and jump ship."
Pentax engineers have admitted to be working on an FF and expectations for a FF model in 2014 were never higher.

Note that he removed the above part from his new version despite that fact that it says "Below from the September 2012 original post:". There are a couple more changes...


Indeed, just 10 days ago he said he is selling his two K20Ds because he is "going Medium format...".
I'm curious as to whether he will answer my question in this thread.
To be fair, PF members spam lots of other forums with PF links. There is one here that does it on DPR on a regular basis now, and it's fairly obvious he's looking for Pentax sponsorship. This is why PF links are blocked there (actually, it's because early on, PF people were spamming DPR, which was relayed directly to me by an early member here).

Ben is a highly talented, working photographer. Why shouldn't he relay people to his blog? He showed people what could be done with the "lowly" Pentax and how it's about the person shooting, not always the camera.

But he reached a point where he couldn't go further and if it's about AF issues, I'm with him. He has a narrow range to work with because his work is professionally scrutinized by many layers of industry partners. If he perceives a reduction of efficiency, income, or a potential threat for future work, he can move on because he lives off this. Few of the rest of us do. We might augment our incomes (like I do), but he lives off photography.

Also, Pentax's AF issues are more complex than just saying "he has good light, etc.". We all know type of light makes a difference. I've had shots that were in excellent light and there was front focus, or the lock was somewhere in another state for no good reason. We all have. We should hold Pentax to higher standards or they'll stagnate when they have nothing to try and achieve besides mediocrity. I deal with the AF in especially dark conditions when I see Nikon shooters near me getting their locks and going on.

So I don't think it's a grand conspiracy. And what's wrong with sponsorship? Everyone wants to be sponsored with gear, but haters don't want someone else to be.
07-28-2013, 11:39 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote

But he reached a point where he couldn't go further and if it's about AF issues, I'm with him. He has a narrow range to work with because his work is professionally scrutinized by many layers of industry partners. If he perceives a reduction of efficiency, income, or a potential threat for future work, he can move on because he lives off this.
I think you actually contradict common sense with your statement. And I also think you're trolling, or better say, spitting venom.
But let's get to the facts first:

Firstly, you imply that Ben was working professionally with a sub-optimal equipment all these years. Your statement makes Ben ignorant and unable to recognise what was good for his work. The fact he used Pentax for many years, would mean he was actually producing well satisfactory output using gear he had. If he hadn't, he'd switch to something else entirely long ago.

However, if he has used Pentax cameras for many years, and only in the last year recognised K5's AF behaviour, he could use the newer K5II (which he hasn't tried), or use K7, K20 or whatever he was using before, when his work didn't suffer. (And which he praised for being more than sufficient for Vogue covers on many occasions).


Last edited by Ash; 07-29-2013 at 12:49 AM.
07-29-2013, 12:49 AM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I think you actually contradict common sense with your statement. And I also think you're trolling, or better say, spitting venom.
But let's get to the facts first:

Firstly, you imply that Ben was working professionally with a sub-optimal equipment all these years. Your statement makes Ben ignorant and unable to recognise what was good for his work. The fact he used Pentax for many years, would mean he was actually producing well satisfactory output using gear he had. If he hadn't, he'd switch to something else entirely long ago.

However, if he has used Pentax cameras for many years, and only in the last year recognised K5's AF behaviour, he could use the newer K5II (which he hasn't tried), or use K7, K20 or whatever he was using before, when his work didn't suffer. (And which he praised for being more than sufficient for Vogue covers on many occasions).
I won't delve too far into it, but there is no trolling. Understand me, AF deficiencies aside, I use my K-5 semi-professionally, under extremely difficult situations quite often and the fact that I said the AF issues are "complex" might lead to more experience with it in that it's not always a matter of good lighting. The shape, size, direction of lines of the object being focused on has a huge impact. Not to mention, the huge AF points. I understand the AF shortcomings, which are likely gone, to some extent, with the K-5II.

Not to mention, his industry partners are specifying they want sharper pics, in an era where we have now more resolution, sharper lenses, and no AA filters seems to back, to some extent, potentially increasing demands on photographers.

The "implication" part I won't address because it's imaginary.

Last edited by Tom S.; 07-29-2013 at 04:02 AM.
07-29-2013, 01:03 AM   #24
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Why is this "pro" considering the entry level full frames? Must be tight on cash?
07-29-2013, 01:07 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Why is this "pro" considering the entry level full frames? Must be tight on cash?
It is possible, BUT I know several concert pros/music photographers in Europe doing the same. One of the prolific ones I'm friendly with just picked up a 6D and currently doing most shoots with it.

Some will argue that a 5DII/III (the industry standard) isn't a pro model, either, but adapted because it was quite good.
07-29-2013, 01:22 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Why is this "pro" considering the entry level full frames? Must be tight on cash?
His excuse..er reason, is that expensive bodies are obsolete within a couple of years and as a result " ...won't pay for anything over $2500 unless it's given to me" a strange sentence to be sure considering that if it's given to you you don't pay for it.

Where I come from there's a thing called 'depreciation for tax purposes' and as such you don't really pay for it in the end anyway. But I suspect this guy is a tight-assed Prima Donna that just chucks a dummy spit when he wants to get noticed and/or can't get what he wants. I find his attitude very strange considering that I am not a professional photographer and yet I still don't mind paying for my own gear.
07-29-2013, 01:45 AM - 1 Like   #27
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His rationale seems a little strange to me too.
That said, if I were relying on photography to pay my bills I would also switch to Nikon, but not the D600.
07-29-2013, 01:50 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
His excuse..er reason, is that expensive bodies are obsolete within a couple of years and as a result " ...won't pay for anything over $2500 unless it's given to me" a strange sentence to be sure considering that if it's given to you you don't pay for it.

Where I come from there's a thing called 'depreciation for tax purposes' and as such you don't really pay for it in the end anyway. But I suspect this guy is a tight-assed Prima Donna that just chucks a dummy spit when he wants to get noticed and/or can't get what he wants. I find his attitude very strange considering that I am not a professional photographer and yet I still don't mind paying for my own gear.
Oh I completely agree with you write Steve hence why I called him a "pro" within quote brackets , and I do recall that big dummy spit when Pentax wouldn't give him a free 645D.
07-29-2013, 02:22 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
His rationale seems a little strange to me too.
That said, if I were relying on photography to pay my bills I would also switch to Nikon, but not the D600.
Maybe Nikon was only willing to give him a refurbished D600.
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QuoteOriginally posted by bossa Quote
His excuse..er reason, is that expensive bodies are obsolete within a couple of years and as a result " ...won't pay for anything over $2500 unless it's given to me" a strange sentence to be sure considering that if it's given to you you don't pay for it.

Where I come from there's a thing called 'depreciation for tax purposes' and as such you don't really pay for it in the end anyway. But I suspect this guy is a tight-assed Prima Donna that just chucks a dummy spit when he wants to get noticed and/or can't get what he wants. I find his attitude very strange considering that I am not a professional photographer and yet I still don't mind paying for my own gear.


Extremely poor behavior when you think of it,...asking a manufacturer to be a sponsor so that you can push their product to increase sales while taking a public stance that the same product is not worth buying.
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