Quality and design?


Link Posted 07/06/2010 - 01:52
For some decades I have noticed a change in attitude to quality and design.

The first time it really hit me was when I noticed that the serial numbers of items, instead of being engraved permanently into the material of the item were simply printed onto little stickers that were already peeling off by themselves.

The serial numbers of most of my manual Pentax and Olympus camera bodies are "engraved" into the actual metal of the top plate, but I noticed (at my local camera shop) an OM10 with the serial number stamped (rather than engraved) into the bottom plate: the rot had already begun!

The other day, someone was complaining that the front element of their (expensive) lens was attached with (what I understood to be) double-sided adhesive tape, so the element had come loose after the lens had had a knock.

I have, also, experienced difficulty when attempting to remove filters -especially polarizing filters- from a lens, because there was no way to grip the thread attaching it to the lens, and the filter front -which you could grip- simply rotated without releasing the thread from the lens.

So it gave me a moment of real pleasure when I received (from a thoughtful acquaintance) and tried out a (several decades) old, genuine Asahi Optical Co. made Polarizing filter, the various revolving sections of which were designed in such a way that attaching, using and removing the filter was tuly "child's play".

It was all in the design. The filter is built in three sections: the rear section has a male thread for attaching to the front of the lens, the middle carries the polarizing screen and rotates, and the front section carries a female thread to fit a screw-in lenshood. The front and rear segments have a scolloped and milled edge, which protrudes beyond the diameter of the lens (or the rear of the lenshood mount), and the middle section is massively knurled. Thus, all segments provide an easy grip for either mounting or removing the filter or for operating the polarizing screen.

The whole thing is a pleasure to use and a thing of beauty: a real example of "form follows function".
Last Edited by Banjo on 07/06/2010 - 01:54


Link Posted 07/06/2010 - 07:58
Sounds loverly...but probably too thick to use on any kind of wide-angled lens. Any chance of some photos?

As for quality... I spend a lot of time hitting keys to make things work... The ones made 25-30 years ago (and still in daily use) were engraved and are very easy to use and read. The ones made more recently were printed, and the popular buttons (e.g. "record") lose their writing quite quickly - which means you either have to know by habit which button is which, or think "ah, these particular buttons have no markings, so they must be the really important ones..."
Still shooting in the dark (literally and metaphorically)...
Last Edited by flossie on 07/06/2010 - 07:58


Link Posted 07/06/2010 - 10:28
Financial greed
Pentax K1-ii and MZ6
Pentax Lenses 28-80 F, 300 DA*, 80-200 F, 35 F2.4 AL, M50 F1.7, 28-105 DFA, 20 F4 SMC


Link Posted 07/06/2010 - 13:06
I think in times past people paid more attention to quality. Nowadays, the first thing most people see is the price.


Link Posted 07/06/2010 - 20:01
This is almost universal. Build down to a price, not up to a standard!

We want to sell front doors.
So much for profit, so much for distribution, so much for marketing, etc., etc.
Our market research shows the "acceptable" price is x.
Therfore we can only put y amount of timber into the product &, sadly, only z amount of pay for the (formerly, skilled) worker to make it!

saddened joiner.
The more I look, the more there is to see!


Link Posted 07/06/2010 - 20:18
...and OF COURSE the stuff you get from Lidl is just as good as Waitrose or M&S or maybe even better.


Link Posted 07/06/2010 - 22:15
We should all stand on the roof-tops & shout


The more I look, the more there is to see!


Link Posted 07/06/2010 - 22:19
I prefer to just sit back and enjoy the good stuff. Tellig them they are wrong is generally like banging your head against the wall - stop doing and it stops hurting.
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