Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/01/15

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Subject: Re: [Leica] rotten journalists ? (was: 50 1.4 Test Results)
From: Alan Ball <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 11:30:37 +0100

Eric Welch wrote:
> >So, dismissing those professionals or their work with low end innuendo
> >is an insult to the whole journalist profession (that includes
> >photojournalists ;-) ). Example of such innuendo : "maybe they're more
> >friendly to Leica now, because we see occasional Leica ads in magazines
> >these days".
> Geez, you guys can't take a joke! sheesh.

If that was a joke, you sure did nothing to make it look like one...
That sentence is coherent with other posts on the subject. 

BTW was your post of 2 days ago arguing that TV reports are not good
examples of journalism also a joke? 

Please use smileys for such jokes, it helps....

> On the other hand, such a sentiment is naive. Car dealers are notorious for
> pressure on advertisers. There was even an antitrust lawsuit, I think in
> Georgia, against organized car dealerships who refused to publish in
> newspapers that dared tell their customers how to buy used cars, or some
> such frivolous reason.

So, here, you are joking or not joking ? So the journalists and their
test columns in the photo press are suspect because car dealers, you
think in Georgia, are crooked ? I do not get the logic...

> You conspiracy theorists forget a major point. We have experience. When a
> magazine tells us something we know is not true, we tend to get skeptical.

Who is "you conspiracy theorists" ? Who is "we" ?

Skepticism is always good.

> > but I find it very strange the way some of us reject test
> >articles as a whole by insinuating that the editors and labs are crooked
> >and/or incompetent and that their considerations are worthless as soon
> >as they are not sufficiently laudative for the revered L brand.
> Exhibit A. Distortion. I rest my case. I never said such a thing, but the
> desire to twist what I say to a preconceived notion some have of what I
> think is all too common here.

I have not quoted you in that paragraph and I had not mentionned your
name in the whole post. I was not even answering to a post you wrote.
How did you come to recognize yourself ;-)

> Honest as they try to be, I don't think they are nearly as competent as the
> people who design lenses (Leica, Canon, Nikon, or even, Sigma) to set up
> tests that are truly useful. Thus their tests are worse than having no
> tests, because they give impressions that aren't factual, when they can
> have no way of understanding the design goals of a given company.

The same for music critics or photo critics ? The same for ANY
journalist investigating a complex field ? The Gods "know" the "design
goals", and we humble midgets should bow respectfully to the God we
choose ?

> Any test, other than in the field, is not going to tell me what I want to
> know. It's not just Pop Photo...snip>... 

That is another matter: we may discuss such and such test procedures and
benchmarks and lab conditions and weighing of results and whatever. That
is a legitimate discussion. You may or may not consider those findings
worthwhile. Most test results I see are completed by editorial comments,
also evaluating such non measurable parameters as handling,
construction, etc. It would of course be even better if it was required
that each tested lens be used by the editor in field activity during a
month. But then it would boil down to how much you trust the judgment of
such or such individual. Again, the selected God "knows" ? For what they
are worth, serious benchmarks are a great help in any field of
investment, even if they are no bible....

Come to think of it I could paraphrase you this way: "their comments on
tests are worse than having no comment on tests when they can have no
way of understanding the testing procedures of a given test lab."  ;-)