MattKing said: "For many, many people, whether or not a lens exhibited higher resolution, better overall contrast, better acutance, more accurate colour rendition or any of the other technical measures of quality was relatively unimportant."
Unfortunately , MattKing, this evinces the sad story of marketing in the 'informed' USA. During the Soviet period Russia had a plastic (Bakelite?) camera that took 35 mm film and, at a camera show a few years back, I bought one for $5. As much as 'for the downtrodden Soviet masses' that this camera was directed towards, it still had a fully adjustable aperture and a selection of shutter speeds. I was rather surprised with the relatively high sharpness of the slow f4.5 lens. Yes, we did have our Argus 35mm 'brick'.
But what did actually SELL? Compare, within the same era, what the USA offered cheaply to its poor masses: cameras similar to the Kodak Hawkeye or Brownie or Instamatic 100: all utter garbage as far as quality was concerned. Why? Because much of the American public is amongst the most mentally lazy on Earth and, time and again, Kodak catered, and Japan had to learn to cater, to the quest for utter convenience (ie, little 'need' to exercise the brain) over sparse demand for either build quality or optical precision amongst this 'genre'. (Perhaps the 'point and shoot' era should be renamed 'point and don't bother to think'.) Of course, the more esoteric thinkers (many, admittedly, here) got what were truly great cameras like the early SLRs, but, back then, the cost was formidable and a genuine impediment towards attaining a vehicle allowing real photographic quality. The latter day obsession with the Holga (complete with 'trendy, artistic' light leaks) continues and confirms, with aplomb, this dire 'thought' process. - David Lyga
Last edited by David Lyga; 11-11-2013 at 08:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.