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  1. #1

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    The psychology of marketing photo equipment.

    I was talking to a female acquaintance last week and chance upon the topic of photo equipment. She got quite offended when I mentions the shortcoming of zoom lenses.

    It seems that people are somehow very emotionally invested in their photo equipment. Why do you think that is the case?

  2. #2
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    People are social animals, and it's hardwired in us to seek the approbation of others---especially when we've sunk serious cash into something and now have cause to wonder whether the money was well spent.
    Michael Sebastian
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  3. #3
    GJA
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    I think that they are financially invested, and in general don't want to think about it too much because in the back of their mind they regret the purchase to some degree.

    What if you had just gone out and spent your entire paycheck on only Exxon stock, and then I met you and talked about the shortcomings of investing in oil companies?

  4. #4
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    Lens buyers writing on the Internet typically fall into two camps, in my experiences.

    Photographers in the first group prefer prime lenses, usually quite fast ones, and wax eloquently and rhapsodic about them. I have noticed that this group usually photographs charts and static objects for comparison, then reports on and on ad nauseum about resolving power, contrast and sharpness.

    Those in the second group actually take pictures of people, places and things, admiring their photographs instead of the equipment used to make them.

    Of course, there are some exceptions in the first group whose wallets and raisons d'etre remain there while their hearts are in the second group.

  5. #5

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    I agree with rosey somewhat. I do have two zoom lenses, but the rest are prime lenses.

    Jeff

  6. #6
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    I keep reading that zoom lenses have gotten much better of late, so I finally decided to get one (the 28-135mm Canon EOS). I don't have enough experience with it yet to comment on the picture quality (I'm very interested in the anti-shake technology), but I'm missing the brightness of the finder with a faster prime lens.
    Charles Hohenstein

  7. #7

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    I think there's a common perception that if you consider something that other people use and like to have a shortcoming, you must be (gasp) a SNOB. And admittedly, there are some people who live right up to this stereotype, especially on the inet, and they kind of poison the well for the rest of us.

    In my experience, I don't usually cause offence if I frame it as "I grew up shooting with fixed lenses, so even though I get what's so convenient about a zoom, I'm used to doing without it in practice."

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  8. #8
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    What would you expect? Go up to someone and start talking about the shortcomings of their car, their clothes, their watch, their spouse ... and the response would be the same.

    "All my equipment is the best, in the best of all possible worlds. Yours is inferior."
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  9. #9
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    Some of us are just old f*rts living in the age of dinosaurs. Time was, when choosing a zoom lens meant sacrificing image quality in exchange for flexibility--the old 43-86 Nikkor comes to mind here. It is my understanding, such as it is, that this trade-off no longer obtains.

    I remember scoffing at the 35-105 Canon zoom (I think that was the lens)on her A1 back in the 1970s and eating crow.

    That being said, I still don't own a zoom. One of these days, perhaps.......
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  10. #10

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    Many people are also emotionally invested in far cheaper things such as film choice. Speak of how one film renders colours badly and someone will be offended.

    This is commodity fetishism - people link their personal identity with objects - criticise the object, criticise the person.

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