Have RF lenses had their day ?

Started Jan 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 36,186
For all the happy chatter there are still hurdles to jump over

JamieTux wrote:

Is that why they gave a voucher for a free metabones adapter in Australia?

I guess that they were just trying to stop the good old Aussie buying their camera overseas and adding a cheaper Chinese adapter. The Aussie dollar has been pretty high for a while and imports still come in GST (10%) free if cost is less than AUD$1,000. I hardly need state the obvious.

Of course the high dollar has been crushing local industry and retailers paying stratospheric rent in shopping malls and so there has been a valiant effort by those in charge to bring the AUD$ down in value. However local (at least regional) vendors have been quite unenthuiastic about the A7 type and Sony in general presumably because anyone here knowing their cameras has been buying direct mail whether locally or from overseas. Thereby becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy.

It seems a circular argument - high rents mean the need to get quick turnover of product with good margins. Only dslr gear offers good margins on the higher ticket items so retailers stock them and a swag of compacts and "popular" mirrorless lines - easy sells. So if you want to get something "more original and interesting" you just have to buy on-line. And on line can be from anywhere. And so the argument goes back to the first part.

Customers who arrive in the camera retailer are mmost often less well informed and so the sales staff need have no idea beyond how to switch the camera on and hand it to the potential customer to play with, but they usually do know how many megapixels are inside. Dumbing down the retail industry, specialist dealers become no more than print bureaus and a showcase of quite expensive dslr cameras and lenses to impress the customer with his or her retirement cheque and needing their first "proper camera" - a really big one please ... and it must go furiously clackitty-clack when you hold the shutter button down.

I also subscribe to the buyer's code of conduct. If I bother a retailer to talk about gear or demonstrate a product then I feel obliged to buy that product from him, even if it is more expensive. The rationale is that I have used valuable time and there is rent to pay. I get the advantage (hopefully) of someone knowledgeable in the industry who knows their product. However the plague on the retail industry are those who test drive locally in a shop and then buy on line to get a cheaper price. But I don't want to talk to an assistant who knows nothing about cameras and simply cannot be bothered to learn.

As camera retailers sink into despair there are often only assistants without more than point and shoot knowledge in charge and they don't know their product or industry trends. More often than not a less knowledgeable customer is steered by the more artful assistant towards a product that is in stock and the potential well informed customer's preferred choice is damned as faulty - usually "poor manufacturer warranty", "unreliable" or some other similar words.

So much for going to a retailer for "advice" - they usually know nothing, do not have the product that interests you and only have "popular" bland products that they bought in bulk to get a better margin. Sony has a real hurdle to jump over with the A7 type, no matter how good it is and despite all the happy chatter on this forum.

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Tom Caldwell

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