Guess I'm just not as cynical as old what's his name above.....what was it, N23 or some such thing? What kind of name is that anyways.
Hi there Jono.
The best of the coming year to you and all here.
I did read that article ( I prefer the Independant myself! ).
I was more interested in the comments to Sarah's article though.
Brand advertising, PR and promotional messages are different from retail messages. Yet one cannot exist without the other. One creates the desire by many different means, the other informs and full-fills those desires.
As an ad agency Creative Director, I often had to make presentations to a groups of "civilians" about advertising's pivotal role in commerce. During the Q&A afterwards there was the inevitable cynical comment that advertising real role was to make people buy things they do not need.
To everyone's surprise, I agreed. No one needs more than 600 to 1000 calories a day, just a lean-to for shelter, and a fur if it is cold. Yet we want/desire, more.
Related to this specific thread, it is a lesser known fact that Ben Franklin is considered the Patron Saint of advertising. Under the guise of a pseudonyms, he even stooped to writing letters to the editor of his own newspaper promoting both ideas and products Today, you can't get away with such tactics ... your competitors will make sure of that.
It's interesting how Leica remains and others come and go. Poor Man's Leica, Everyman's Leica, Texas Leica, Leica imitators, copies and knock-offs ... all pay tribute to the real thing.
BTW, I don't get the repetitive "Bling" comments that seem to always accompany any Leica M thread or blog entry. For all practical purposes, the blingy Leicas are so rare as to not exist at all ... and those that do see the light of day are in palaces, or places that are gated to keep out the riff-raff.
The vast majority of Ms are actually quite plain jane looking ... even with a red dot, few by-standers actually know anything about it. The actual M experience requires it in hand ... it's a tactile thing that becomes associated with how it looks.
Thanks Jono for the link!
A nice little read and yes obvious that it is a promo with all the link backs to the mothership.
I don't know why this ruffles all the feathers of those following this thread.
Happy 2013 all!
After considering all the comments made in this thread, I purposely held off temporarily reading the Sara Lee article to gather my thoughts regarding what may be a bigger issue at play here....namely that it's not so much that the thoughts expressed by the Guardian's author may or may not have been influenced in some direct way by Leica other than her expression of sheer enthusiasm for the tools of her profession and she happen to name them by name, but that a ethical line has been crossed with respect to her profession. I'm not commenting at all regarding the answer to this question as it specifically relates to the Sara Lee article (I haven't read it), but to a larger looming question that some in society ask all the time.
In one sense I do believe NB23 brought up an salient point that somewhat goes beyond the hypothetical question of Leica's questionable involvement in the article and although many have caught and understood NB23's point, it may need to be included in our conversation, simply to move beyond focusing simply on the intent of Sara Lee's article and to be fair to all points of view expressed. To some degree, it's whether a ethical line has been crossed with regards to ones profession and whether the standards and the rules set forth in years past that were expected of those in certain positions, must currently uphold these ethical standards (and are still doing so) or has we as a society modified our expectations for these standards in recent times. Acceptable norms are changing all the time including possible endorsements made by those in certain positions, depending on the circumstances of whether these endorsements are simply due to enthusiasm, or instead are related to the direct or indirect involvement of the manufacturer of the product.
Without making this too lengthy or getting off topic I'll simply cite an example, hoping it comes full circle back to possibly as to why a few question the intent and circumstances of the article and whether or not it crossed an real or imaginary ethical line.
Years ago it was frowned upon and also considered somewhat unethical (and there were some laws governing this) for certain heath care professions to advertise, especially in a way of hawking their services like a general consumer commodity. Even their participation in a commercial endorsement of a product was considered highly unethical. Much of this has changed though in recent years! Same standards would hold true for many other professions, as complete unbiased objectivity was expected by most others, when the views were expressed by these professionals. PJ's, newspaper editors etc. would also come under this banner of unbiased reporting, putting aside the question at the moment of whether there ever was such a thing to begin with.
As a hypothetical, would we be concerned if here in the States (or elsewhere for that matter under similar circumstances), if the current head of U.S. DOT (U.S. Dept. of Transportation) endorsed a particular brand or model of car while in office? Could he/her infer to that car indirectly by simply mentioning their admiration for its engineering and therefore it helping the economy and environment and by virtue of this kind of endoresement, would not be questioned for stepping over the line of ethical responsibility in using his or her position of power? Some might question (especially other competitors in the auto industry) if the endorser would be getting anything out of his endorsement either while in office or upon leaving it? What if he/she went further and simply gushed about his use of this automobile in everyday driving and said he found a new long lost love of driving while using this particular car?
A similar hypothetical question could be posed of the current head of the U.S. DOD (U.S. Dept. of Defense), if alternatively the example is switched to a particular brand of gun that the general public might be considering for purchase was endorsed by him/her (for personal use in hunting). Has the line of what is considered responsible ethical behavior been moved and that a person in one of these professions can now express their personal thoughts while still maintaining responsible ethical/professional behavior, all while holding certain politically appointed or elected positions in public service? Are there differences in perception and expectations with regards to ethics, between those individual's in the same profession vs. the perceptions of the general public, especially if either or both groups question personal gains made by the individual, directly or indirectly?
Again I'm not commenting specifically on the Sara Lee article which I haven't read, but maybe a similarly important question that NB23 raised, which simply refers to why articles like this might raise the eyebrows of some, while others are simply enthused, excited or possible amused when such pieces are written. My questions and comments are simply food for thought....nothing more. On that note, it's morning and I'm hungry
Last edited by D&A; 31st December 2012 at 06:19.
You guys, take a rest and watch a documentary.
Happy New Year
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The article isn't a "news article", it is a Blog post under a sub-heading of Culture > Art and Design > Camera Kit Exposed > Photography Blog.
IMO, on-line Blogs are an euphemism for interactive editorial commentary. Editorials in news vehicles commenting on electronic products or cars or what-ever often offer personal opinions including likes and dislikes. Some reviewers even endorse the product being reviewed by buying it. It was clear in the blog that she bought the ME ... it wasn't given to her by Leica, nor purchased by the Guardian for her.
Mt. Everest from a mole-hill comes to mind.
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Dave, I used to have stocks in Sara Lee..long time ago.
Have a great new year.
Everyone have a Great New year too!
Last edited by D&A; 31st December 2012 at 07:42.
But it gets betters. NB23 then accuses her of not even writing the article at all! She just put her name on some marketing written by someone else from a company. This is a rational argument and not simply sour grapes? You are really going to go far in journalism if that ever comes out.
Marketing is used to sell products. But one thing marketers are not is manipulative where they try to fool people. Because once the audience finds out they have been manipulated, they have a very negative reaction. I worked for a Japanese camera company. Part of my position was to write international press releases. I also worked directly with the product teams which included the marketing folks. This is not a piece of marketing. You do not insult people in you marketing--you want dentists to buy your cameras. You do not complain about the prices and have to resort to secondhand gear--not a very positive image and marketing is always positive, at least for products. You do not try to fool your customers because the chances are the secret will come out.
Had this been a glowing book, theater, travel, or movie review, no one would have questioned the article as a piece of marketing written by a ghost writer.
I have had an eclectic career. I have been fortunate to work both in the newspaper and camera businesses. I also now a lot of photographers that work really hard to build careers. The civilians that have photography as a hobby simply don't understand these fields. But they are willing to throw out condescending opinions that are based more in ignorance than insight. Most are cheap shots that sound like paranoia. The trouble is you are actually insulting many people at places like GetDPI.
(Naturally, he is also implying the OP fell for this "marketing" ploy. Jono does not strike me as someone to be taken in by cheap marketing. He is not someone to post carp.)
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Shashin, you are maybe too sensitive. I have not been out of line. And yes, I went as far as thinking (the horror!) that it could have been a text comlletely written by Leica themselves. This is not unseen of, in the media world.
And of course, you are wrong on many accounts, especially in the media manipulating people part, as well as me not being a professional on the photography field (which is absolutely irrelevant, anyways.).
Unless the photographer in question is your wife, may I kindly suggest you to relax?
Last edited by NB23; 31st December 2012 at 10:08.
First of all I thought your post was excellent Shashin - thank you. I've been out and about since I posted the link - I've read most of the posts through - and trying to think of a good reply. The only thing I'd take issue with, is that that I wouldn't call the Guardian a 'small' newspaper, certainly not in terms of reputation - it's been the voice of the intellectual side of the slightly left of centre politics in the UK for decades.
What's more interesting to me though is NB23's part in the discussion: I remember reading somewhere that the perfect troll only needs to post one message to create a forum punch-up - in this context - even though, as you point out, he's insulted almost everyone (only by implication of course), he's still needed to come back and stoke the fire! Which suggests that he isn't a troll at all!
It's not common to see these kind of ad hominem posts on GetDPI, and I'm pleased to see that after a ruffle it's turned into a normal and civilised conversation.
Any way, thanks for your intelligent, relaxed and inciteful post (and for thinking I wouldn't be taken in by cheap marketing . . . . I'm not so sure )
Happy New Year to everyone - NB23 included
Last edited by jonoslack; 31st December 2012 at 10:36. Reason: adding the word relaxed :)
Just this guy you know
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Actually, after re-reading that article, I registered for Dentistry courses, I think its a shill for the Royal College of Dental Surgeons!
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I read the article and it had a certain resonance. A good friend of mine, Lara, is a pro, shooting features. She had a seminal moment about 5 years ago when she bought her first Leica (M6, Noctilux, 75 lux) for the princely sum of £750 at a pawn shop in London. She had been a Nikon shooter and had almost given up, as she felt the camera got in the way.
Now she loves her work again. About 3 years ago, I met Dr Kaufmann at the Goodwood Revival. Lara was there, as she shoots there every year. I introduced Dr Kaufmann to her and she has been very lucky in getting some support directly from him.
However, trying to get support from Leica UK is more problematic. Another friend of mine headlines a series of BBC1 Science TV programmes, which is syndicated all over the world and is on Discovery. He is regarded as one of the key individuals responsible for inspiring science in kids in the UK. He is also a keen photographer and has had a play with some Leica lenses on his 5D some years ago. He is always seen in his programmes taking photos on his travels around the world. Tried to get Leica UK interested in sponsoring a M9 - not interested!
So I don't think Sarah Lee got hers free or sponsored. I bet she paid hard cash for hers - good for her. And she likes it too!
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OK, it was a new M9 and 24 lux, when the M9 hadn't yet been announced. She got one of the early batches on long term/permanent loan. Since then, she has had other cameras to try, but nothing other than short term testing with feedback.
The other guy, who didn't get anything, was Professor Brian Cox, presenter of the BBC1 series, 'Wonders of the Solar System', Wonders of the Universe' and more.
Thank you, Charlie, for obliging to my request.
Loaner equipment from manufacturers to working professionals, in my view, is quite a symbiotic thing.
We are not dealing with a "professional reviewer" here.
Again, I appreciate you response.
Dr. Brian Cox: Not many know if he can shoot anything from behind the camera. I hope he bought some Leica stuff. I am sure he can afford them.
I wasn't far off, eh?
As for Brian, he's ok pretty good behind a camera. He certainly gets to plenty of exotic places. He makes sure that he is seen in every episode taking photos. It's one of his passions.
Charlie, you have some lovely pictures on your site. I like your bio as well. All the best.
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I worked for multiple metro papers in Seattle and Denver that were given huge discounts and free high end long glass from Canon to make the switch. It worked. The rep from Canon went out to lunch with many of us on staff and built a very friendly relationship with all the top shooters. I know Nikon has done the same.
Personally I was offered to borrow a Leica M film camera and three lenses to use for unspecified amount of time to "get to love the camera"
Do I believe Sarah loves her Leica? Yes! Do I believe Leica was somehow directly or indirectly involved in this article? Probably.
Please let me clarify myself. The long term loaner/gift of the M9/24 lux was to my friend, Lara, who is a pro features photographer. I have no idea about Sarah Lee's ME; I suspect she paid for hers.
Lara's M9/24 lux came directly from Solms. It had nothing to do with Leica UK. I used Brian Cox' story to illustrate the fact that it is unlikely that Sarah Lee got any support, unless she too had met Dr Kaufmann.
Here is my thought: I dont think a good journalist would write positive things about a camera even if he/she got it for free.
Thats why I dont care much how much she paid for the camera.
On the other side I dont believe this "a camera changed my relation to photography thing" anyways.
So if we just enjoy reading these articles without taking them too serious the question if it was marketing or "true" report is not that important any more....just IMO.
Even more confusing, Tom. I am not good with maths but an ME with 2 year warranty seems much better than an used M9 with no warranty. Although, I would think a Titanium version betters them all. I wonder if the AA 50/2 will come in Titanium as well. Weight/balance has to be perfect you know. Nothing should be left to chance and speculation.
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Let's see, Sarah Lee, a name more synonymous with cheap frozen cakes in the UK, Putting Gaffer Tape over your red-dot, a dig in the ribs for making Leica's cheaper and more accessible. Doesn't seem like very good advertising. I don't think she'd lie about buying her own Leica, a 2nd hand lens, doesn't seem like she was gifted one.
I'll take it as an honest peice on face value, it's a nice article. I hope it encourages more people to explore the beauty of photography.
Today more than ever, many photographers need to set themselves apart, to get out of the rut of assigned work and push the boundaries of the art, that was my takeaway from the article and it's generated more interest in Sarah than Leica for me at least. Take a look at her website.
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How do you think it'd go on the NEX 6? (by the way - Silas had one for Christmas - it seems to be very good).
Just this guy you know
I just wanted to chime in and say it was a nice article... Made me smile and remember getting my used M8 and the thrill it gave me! My D700 was left to gather dust until several months later when it found a new owner and home!
I have an M9 now and am still thrilled to shoot with a Leica and digital rangefinder! Aside from an extreme desire to shoot with the M Monochrom, I am very, very satisfied with my Leica and glad I made the investment!
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A nice read early in the New Year - thanks for posting J.
Greetings from Down Under.
This thread has been hilarious, because nobody really knows the story, but some are utterly convinced they do.... if we use facts as the basis for knowing, that is.
Whether marketing or personal blog, the content and message has been repeated a thousandfold by many amateur and professionals around the world for far longer than digital Leicas. There is nothing new here. If it is a Marketing piece all it does is reflect a very common response to shooting Leica Ms. If Sarah Lee wrote it, she is in good company. So, er, where is the problem?
Have you heard or read somewhere that Lionel Messi wouldn't have broken his record if it wasn't for his magical Adidas shoes? Would sound bad, don't you agree?
It's also hilarious because forums are brim full of extremely average photography [made with arsenals of latest gear and fastest lenses] being praised to the rafters, and here is a hardworking pro making rock-solid, high class, interesting photographs who had to scrape together funds for an ME and one S/H lens.
Good for her say I, and I can't understand why everyone here isn't shouting praise and support for her.
Oh wait; yes I can ............, now that I remember why some want to give talent a good kicking.
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That's the shilling part that rubs me the wrong way. You maybe see a naive poor photographer needing to "scrape" her last pennies to buy gear she "needs" to become better.and here is a hardworking pro making rock-solid, high class, interesting photographs who had to scrape together funds for an ME and one S/H lens.
But I read something else. I see someone trying to convince other people that it's good to "scrape" their last pennies to buy a Leica. If that's not marketing, what is it?
Besides, what kind of Pro is she if she can barely afford gear? I mean, a Leica ME + Lens is about as expensive as a Pro Nikon Kit. Let's get real for a moment, please.
What support do you want people to give her? She is a press photographer as few million others around the globe. What's so grest about it?Good for her say I, and I can't understand why everyone here isn't shouting praise and support for her.
If you're refering to me, again, I think you are way off topic. I never mentioned her talent.Oh wait; yes I can ............, now that I remember why some want to give talent a good kicking.
Critical thinking, it seems, is an exotic art.
I don't know about where you live, but where I am in the UK Photography isn't really a profession, in fact it's at best barely a trade. I know, and know of, far too many photographers who've found it financially unsustainable. These include photographers with extraordinary client histories and rare photographic and technical talents who've formerly run large, busy, advertising studios, and photojournalists who've formerly shot assignments around the globe.
For a 'Professional' photographer to commit to an ME and second hand Leica lens may well be a huge financial decision for them. I have never known, in the digital age, 'Pros' with the quality of equipment that so many regular, non 'Pro', contributors to forums have. In the digital age, I personally know no 'Pro' who uses digital-Ms, and I have been well placed to know a lot of photographers. Forums often recycle the notion that 'success' in Professional Photography is well rewarded; that was true 20 years ago but in my experience is now uncommonly the case. Often, and certainly for all the Pros' I've known, 'getting real' as you put it has meant working within the limitations of the older, well worn gear they have and not with the latest and best.
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Let me be specific in saying that none of the images shown in the blog article, i find worthy of any of the adolatory adjectives you use.