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Tuesday, 15 March 2016


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Still symbolic of Nikon's disinterest in the mirrorless segment.

Scroll down a bit...


Maybe the add should read "I see our future"

There are a few copies of that Model Railroader issue (July 1999) for sale on eBay. Here's one that shows the the alien well enough when using the zoom feature: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Model-Railroader-July-1999-/221823885827

Your Google-fu is weak.



It's a stock photo from shutterstock:


Seems cheaper to just use a stock photo for this sort of thing, doesn't it? :)

Another earlier one from Nikon:

I noted it was amended a day or two afterwards.

Trouble? What trouble?
The truth is that nobody will take issue. Gear is not that important for most people. The X100 will pass as an old camera and nobody but us gearheads will notice it's not a Nikon.

What really disturbs me about that ad is the way the eyeglasses and the pen conjure to form a face - a grotesque one, with a huge, askew mouth. Now that's creepy.

Back in the early 90s, my nextdoor neighbor had a business duplicating CDs that he ran out of his garage.

His specialty was quickly turning around short runs. Late on a Friday afternoon, he landed a particularly lucrative order from DHL, which required him to work 48 hours straight over a weekend. On Monday morning, while mentally fogged as a consequence of not having slept for two days, he shipped the completed CDs to them via FedEx.

He said the they were not amused.

No harm, no foul. Of the people who see this, .01% will recognize it's not a Nikon camera in the pic.

It does say to me, though, that Nikon no longer makes devices that look like what the public conscious thinks that cameras are supposed to look like, however.

Lest people are confused: this is a poster for Nikon Lensware not Nikon Imaging division. Nikon Lensware sells eyeglass lenses made by Nikon.


A different marketing group in a different division to Nikon Imaging. Left hand meet right hand.

The irony is Nikon Imaging made a poster with an image of every Nikon camera from 1948 to 2008.


This is another example Muphry's Law [sic].

You see, he wasn't actually WEARING the spectacles. Should have been. Once he put them on, perhaps he could see he'd picked up the wrong camera. That'd be my excuse for the, er, oversight.

Talking of flies, I heard a similar story of our kiwi marketing company here in NZ, and their commissioning of a set of advertising images to publicise the highly attractive nature of this fruit. An image was selected, and the photographer supplied a high-res version for the final poster production. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after a large number of posters has been printed that someone noticed that while the chosen setup in the image was correct, the version wasn't - as betrayed by the large blow-fly, conspicuously enjoying the pleasures of one of the central sliced pieces of fruit.

Just last year, a client of ours was putting together a 2016 gift calendar for its customers. The theme was "America the Beautiful," for which they had chosen various stock images of rolling hills, sunsets, etc. They sent us the images for print production. One of our account execs looked up the source for the images in order to caption them and found that the lovely pic of a river burbling through the countryside was actually in Russia. So, I guess you could say we averted an international incident.

David Hobby - @strobist - tweeted that image used by Nikon Lensware is a stock image - Shutterstock. http://shutr.bz/1psWGib
Likely acquired for a relative pittance. Sigh.

Somewhat off-topic, around the time I arrived here in Singapore to work for a French-owned company 20 years ago, a package of film (remember that?) had to be sent by courier to the Italian publishers, Amilcare Pizzi of Milan. The receptionist dutifully went into action.

Later that day there was a call from Pizza Milano in Singapore asking WTF (or the Chinese equivalent) this package was and could we please take it back.

So who sez the spectacles in the stock photo were made by Nikon?


Isn't there some sort of business link between Nikon and Fujifilm? I wondered this a few years ago when I saw one of Nikon's Japanese addresses as Fujifilm House.

...another example of the lack of quality art directors and the way the business has changed, this would have been a detail someone would have made sure of 40 years ago (either the art director, the assistant art director, or the production manager). Now a lot of places don't even copy edit the text for mistakes!

The Fujifilm X100 must be the Kate Moss of todays cameras in advertising. Mostly accompanied by a guy with an hipster beard.

As graphic designer I could write a book about things that went wrong during the process. One of the funniest I remember was shown to me by a director of a large international private school. Every year they made an Annual Book about themselves. The tradition was that all the classes were in it, shown on very formal pictures. A set up in rows, just like football teams.
One of the pictures in the issue he showed me contained a school class with a sex doll amongst the pupils. You know, such a very silly one, staring at you with bewildered eyes and a round open mouth. Nobody had noticed it. Not the photographer (it was probably already his 36th picture of the day), not the communication manager, not the editor, not the designer and all those other people who were involved in the production process. I thought it was a great practical joke, but a lot of the parents where not amused.

It seems to me that this Fujiasco of Nikon's is just another case of social media making mountains out of mole hills for the sake of entertainment (not that there's anything wrong with that). For the vast majority of people to whom the ad was targeted, the so-called mistake was irrelevant.

I love the alien train driver. I think it's one of those 'mistakes' that makes life worth living.

Using a Fuji camera in a Nikon ad is a mistake, plain and simple. Having an alien driving a model train is not a "mistake," it's just an odd choice, or a sight gag, or Easter egg. Big difference, if you ask me.

...and personally, had I seen that alien-train cover, I probably would have bought the magazine just for that, even though I don't have much interest in model trains.

Mike replied: Well, when the editors and publishers don't want an alien in the cab, then an alien in the cab is a mistake, I can assure you!

Ed sez: only if they specified "no aliens in the picture!"

I enjoyed the story of the flipped piano, as it reminded me of something else. One of the Jonathan and Darlene Edwards albums (There's a story in itself worth retelling) there is a shot of a piano with two hands on the keyboard. Two left hands. This was when the only thing digital was a prostate exam.

One of my favorite recent examples of stock photo idiocy was an alarmist article on global warming, trying to illustrate massive CO2 emissions with a stock photo of... a nuclear plant. Emitting very impressive clouds of water vapor, with no CO2 in sight

If grown-up men want to play with model trains and buy magazines about them, then I'm sure there's an alien species up there who'd love to come down to drive an actual train.

It's almost happened to me as a lawyer. I ran a case years ago for Agfa. Despite express and detailed instructions, all of the photo evidence came back printed on Kodak paper. I had to kick up a fuss to have the lab redo it all. Of course, the first thing the Agfa execs did when the came into the office to discuss the case was flip the prints over to check the paper.

Off-topic but a good example of a "mistake" due to not thinking things through and not paying attention: Years ago the best salesman at a computer retailer where I worked went to a meeting with top people at the headquarters of a national donut store chain to sell them 1000 laptops for company-wide use. Since this was potentially a large sale, the laptop manufacturer sent one of their reps, a 20-some woman obsessed with her appearance, to the meeting to represent them. As the meeting began, the hosts offered them donuts and coffee. "No thanks," the young woman said, "donuts make you fat." Suffice it to say, after a very short meeting they didn't make the sale.

I photographed the CEO of Kodak with a Fuji GW690II back in the day, just put some (3M) black photo tape over the name plate and none the wiser.

Years ago I did some photo work for Kodak Canada. They wanted 100 prints of a photo I took.
I made 100 prints for them and they then noticed that they were not back printed with the Kodak logo. I had to explain to them that the paper I used was Kodak, in fact they had supplied me with the paper. They didn't even know their own products.

This happens a lot. About 20 years ago I worked for a company that partnered with another to sell a software development tool. It was a big deal because it was going to be the first version to support Microsoft Windows 95. We were very excited when the new packaging arrived ... and every box, manual and CD jewel case had a prominent photograph of a Macintosh PowerBook, with a screenshot of the running software Photoshopped onto the LCD.

I just came across this image the other day:

Watch the slideshow and pay attention to the redhead holding the Nikon F2. You'll know it when you see it.

On any other site, I'd grudgingly say let it be... but they're advertising that their service can help photogs....

To anyone who doesn't like the alien train engineer: "No soup for you!"

I attended a sales training presentation at Tandberg audio's facility in Armonk, NY in '75 when they topped the heap in audio tape recorders and also had some excellent amplifiers and receivers.
Anyway during the presentation promoting their "actilinear" circuitry in recording eq, I could easily hear dbx at work, so when they asked for questions, I asked so why the dbx? they sheepishly admitted they had to use a teac 3340 for the presentation so they could use the 3rd channel to sync the slide show. They were somewhat surprised that I noticed....

My favorite faux pas occurred many years ago when I was working for Washington DC law firm. The opposing attorney, well-known for arrogance, filed a brief in which the names and identities of the parties were consistently swapped.

His brief ostensibly argued on behalf of our client, his opponent.

It might have been wise for him to have at least read the brief probably written by a soon-to-be-former associate attorney before he signed and filed it.

And, that was in the 1970s, when everything was manually written and typed, well before the era of "malpractice by computer".

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