AP and Pentax


womble

Link Posted 15/10/2020 - 12:53
In response to the latest copy of Amateur Photographer, I have written the following letter. I suspect it won't see print, so here it is:
Quote:
It was salutary to note (AP 17 Oct) that the history of AP publishing snarky comments about Pentax goes back at least as far as 1977 (I suspect Rex Hayman put the batteries in the review copy of the MX upside-down, an easy mistake). The MX is a superb film camera that was backed by an impressive array of accessories (power wind, motor drive, interchangeable view finders, data and bulk film backs and so on) and yet can be operated entirely without batteries if necessary. I have never understood the iconic status of the K1000 which is the photographer's version of wearing a hair shirt. When I went around the world a few years back, my MX came with me on the basis that if everything else failed, it would carry on. APs attitude to Pentax is leading me to seriously reconsider my subscription to the magazine, and if it were not for the fascinating columns by Tony Kemplin, John Wade and Professor Newman I would have jumped already. Perhaps my cash would be better spent buying film to feed my MXs, which after 40 years are still going strong.


Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

smc

Link Posted 15/10/2020 - 13:38
I am amazed you still read AP. It was fun in the 80s just for the multitude of adverts and classifieds.

Mike-P

Link Posted 15/10/2020 - 13:40
I'm guessing there is an article in the latest AP that you disagree with Kris?

I don't read it any longer as I jumped long ago.
No equipment list here but thanks for taking an interest. My Flickr

womble

Link Posted 15/10/2020 - 14:34
Amazingly, it was their "From the archive" column looking at old issues of the magazine, in this case from 13th September 1977. As I said, if it wasn't for Tony Kemplin and John Wade I'd give-up too. I do, however, rather like their articles on old camera gear.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

womble

Link Posted 15/10/2020 - 14:37
smc wrote:
I am amazed you still read AP. It was fun in the 80s just for the multitude of adverts and classifieds.

I deliberately avoided it in the 1980s because it was on the top-shelf next to the girlie mags. We used to call it "amateur pornographer" when I worked in a newsagent in the early 1980s.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

smc

Link Posted 15/10/2020 - 16:06
There was a reason it was on the top shelf...

smc

Link Posted 15/10/2020 - 16:08
I took a look at the AP Pentax forum - most of the talk on there is about Nikon.
Last Edited by smc on 15/10/2020 - 16:09

womble

Link Posted 15/10/2020 - 17:28
smc wrote:
I took a look at the AP Pentax forum - most of the talk on there is about Nikon.

There's an AP Pentax forum? Who knew...
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

oldhat

Link Posted 15/10/2020 - 20:45
AP just can help themselves. They will no doubt be already busy sharpening their pencils for a negative review of the new camera.
I used to be a regular buyer but got fed up with rehashed articles, loads of sponsored "reviews" etc.
My son showed me a recent article about Olympus by their Editor.
The article concluded with this pathetic sentence "It would be tragic if Olympus were to go the way of Pentax, a brand with a once proud heritage that now exists in name only and is more associated with spectacles than cameras."

ilovesaabs

Link Posted 16/10/2020 - 00:00
Nigel Atherton clearly has his heart set on MILC - whichever brand is flavour of the month.

Damien Demolder, on the other hand, was keen on Pentax IIRC.

Quote:
was on the top-shelf next to the girlie mags. We used to call it "amateur pornographer" when I worked in a newsagent in the early 1980s.

I remember once going into a newsagent in Denbigh asking for an AP (or an OP), it was run by two old biddies before it eventually closed for good. I looked and there was none there and got a filthy look when I asked.... but when I glanced at the top shelf it was truly lined up with filth....
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
Assorted Pentax/Nikon/Mamiya stuff

vic cross

Link Posted 16/10/2020 - 00:59
Many moons ago I read AP. BUT I left it and went to PP which as you all know by now is gone. SO I tried AP again on a 6 issues offer. I promptly stopped it and as some of you may have read I started asking about others. I got a lot of answers but still haven't made up my mind. AP is not what it used to be in the days of Ron Spillman.
CHEERS Vic.
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.

womble

Link Posted 12/11/2020 - 11:10
I finally got a reply.

Quote:
Hi Kris,
Sorry it has taken so long to get round to replying to your email.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by our attitude to Pentax. I can only assume that your complaint is the same as that of the last two Pentax users who wrote in: that we don't mention Pentax often enough. This is mainly because we tend to mention a brand either in our news and reviews sections when they release a new product, or in our features section when a featured photographer happens to use it - whether that be an amateur sending in a portfolio, a photo competition finalist or a pro interview.

The problem here is that in the last five years Pentax has released just four new camera bodies. To provide some context, in the same time frame, Canon has released 26 interchangeable-lens cameras, Fujifilm 20, Nikon 13, Olympus 10, Panasonic 15, and Sony 14. Even Leica has managed eight. In the last two years, which might be considered a better measure of a brand's health, Pentax has released a grand total of zero new cameras. It has announced six new lenses, but two are mildly tweaked versions of old designs, two are rebadged Tamrons, and two are Tokinas at massively inflated prices. If you look in our Buyers Guide you will see that those cameras that Pentax has produced have scored very well in our reviews. Three of them scored 4.5 stars, one scored four stars.

As for mentions elsewhere in the magazine the problem is that very few photographers out there are using Pentax. Their UK market share is below 1%. I'm fairly confident that if, for example, you were to do an audit of every shortlisted image in all the main photo competitions – WIldlife/Landscape/Travel Photographer of the Year, Sony World Photography Awards etc – you would find that out of that list of 200-300 images you'd be able to count the number of them shot on Pentax cameras on one hand. (These competitions are all judged blind by the way – nobody has the time or the inclination to spend hours trawling through all the entries weeding out all the pictures taken on Pentax, and why would they? )

Unfortunately the interview that the CEO of Ricoh recently gave in which he said that Mirrorless cameras are a fad and people will go back to DSLRs is so ludicrous and delusional that it will go down in the global photo industry as one of the comedy moments of 2020. This doesnt bode well for the future of Pentax, I'm afraid.

It's a great shame, and I would love for Pentax to make a comeback, and not just because the Pentax LX was my first serious camera. It simply isn't in my or AP's interest for there to be a dwindling number of camera brands. That's less product to write about, and less advertising revenue.

Regards,
Nigel Atherton, Editor


Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

LennyBloke

Link Posted 12/11/2020 - 12:18
Well Kris - I think he's proved his point totally and there is no "attitude" towards Pentax at all. He's gone to a lot of trouble to research the negatives and not found any positives, and his "facts" could not possibly be wrong. The most compelling point he makes seems to be that 'Quantity trumps Quality' - I will now un-join my membership from this forum, sell all my outdated equipment, take out a life subscription to AP and buy a Mirrorless wonder camera and start taking proper photos

Goodbye All



LennyBloke

HarisF1

Link Posted 12/11/2020 - 16:58
What a pathetic response.

So instead of supporting the market's niche brands to improve competition, they'd rather kiss Canikony ass. I've never accessed or read AP content before and with this kind of attitude it's highly likely I never will.

danofmk

Link Posted 12/11/2020 - 17:27
Hate to be the one to say it, but I didn't think it was that unreadable myself

Not saying I agree with all of it, but it seems within a range of reasonable views to hold.

But I sense I'll be in a minority!
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