Never Buy Retail Sez Ken.


I see dear old Ken Rockwell is still banging on about not buying photographic equipment from retail stores near where you live. He paints the staff at the stores as sticky-fingered monsters and suggests that if your equipment has been touched by human hands it is somehow treif. I suspect he is treifling with the emotions of his readers…

Oh, he’s not all that bad. I used some of his advice when first converting from analog to digital capture and I am grateful for the explanations he provided. I still do a couple of things that he thought were good and I agree with him. And let’s be fair; in our shop situation when we needed to know the compatible lenshood or filter size or some other arcane fact about a lens his website was frequently a faster and better bet than anything Nikon, Canon, or Fujifilm had out there.

But really – the advice about buying and using and returning and being a general putz of a customer is really very slightly off in a human sense. And also a little suspect on the grounds of incessant transportation of goods. If he would have you purchase something that has to fly through the atmosphere at 600 MPH and 35000 ft just so’s you get your wanna wanna next day… as opposed to getting the same wanna that has already come to your town on cheaper and less polluting transport…

In one respect Ken is doing exactly what I am doing in my commercial weblog column – selling individual items that his backers have a lot of because they have told him they want to have a lot less of them. That’s advertising. I don’t think either of us are flogging tainted meat in tins or blankets laced with bedbugs so really the only thing objectionable about us is the sound we make barking through the megaphone. His pictures are no worse than mine and we at least agree on the wonderful qualities of the Fujifilm X-100 series of cameras. I’ll bet he likes the Fujifilm X-T10 as well.

Breaking News: Ken’s now has ” personally approved retailers ” in blue on some of his pages.  Gosh, I wonder what one does to get Ken’s blessing? Boggles the mind, really…



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