I’m not sure if this is going to be a cynical post or not – because I don’t know if we have been diddled or not. And by we, I mean the buying public – and me.
Some years back the firm I worked for took on an agency to sell a line of photographic accessories from Germany. It was a well-known name that has been in the trade for 50 years. It had fallen away from representation here in Australia and the management thought to revive it and have a good line to sell. And I think they were wise to do so.
A great deal of stock came in – I must add that it revolved around tripods, camera supports, and accessories – and much of it was innovative and excellent. There was enough of a system about it to offer goods that related to each other and a buyer could add things to a basic setup to do any number of specialist tasks. I often wondered whether the advertising material that accompanied the goods wasn’t trumpeting it a little high, but by and large the gear worked.
Then it started not to work – parts would break or fail to lock and have to be exchanged under warranty. Not too many, but more than other brands in the store. The makers must have seen the adverse reaction because they brought out newer ranges of gear that addressed the problems and added new design features. It was all competitively priced and packaged well. Their shop display stands were excellent
And then the shop dropped the agency and sold off the remnants on the disposal market.
I’ve been left with a tripod and tripod bag from their lightweight travel range and a gladstone bag carry-all for my main photo kit, plus a few Arca Swiss-sized camera plates that fit to the tripod. And the feeling that there must be another explanation for the whole business. Because the big German manufacturer is still going and the gear is still good.
Of course the answer will be money – either not turning over enough or too many other competitors in the market to grab a share. I must say I did my best to boost the brand when writing the blog and with a good conscience too – I use the goods myself. Sic semper gloria Cullmann. I still have faith…