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Monday, 18 September 2017


How about writing about the camera? It sounds like it's the new best all around DSLR in the world. Which for a great many of us makes it the best all-around camera in the world. Worth a paragraph or two, no?

Mike, interesting recollection of that walk in Rochester. But you goofed; you were not thinking fast enough. You should have said something like, "I am in the marketing department for Kodachrome products in India, Bhutan, and Nepal." or, "I test the sprockets of eastern block cameras to be sure that Kodak film will correctly advance in those cameras." The suits would not have the slightest idea what you were talking about but might have opened up about the big meeting.

The ink to the NYTimes story on Nikon's lack of female photogs is broken. The guardian story is great!

This morning I heard a story on NPR about two women heading a start up who just couldn't get the necessary respect from fellow male colleagues in their field. They decided to add a fictitious male partner called Keith, and their average response time for emails alone went from three days to... five hours!

To add further insult to injury, the Nikon spokesman also added (translated from Chinese):

"In addition, from the customer base, Nikon's entire coverage of the crowd is very wide, from the primary, enthusiasts, senior to professional users, then this is the biggest advantage of Nikon, like Olympus, Sony, Fuji, they can cover just a small part; of the real professional people to use their camera, has not yet seen"

So, effectively Nikon is saying there aren't any professionals shooting with Olympus, Sony or Fuji...

This makes me think they are divorced from reality even more than we all thought they were.

Not one of the women Nikon approached could attend, but somehow that's all Nikon's fault, because of sexism!

If on the other hand every photographer that could attend had been female, that would have been a great triumph for women and sexual equality, and there wouldn't have been a single word about male photographers being deliberately excluded through sexism.

Nikon undoubtably handled this badly. They should not have been apologetic in the slightest; they've got better things to do than waste time being politically correct. They had enough photographers, that was it.

If I had been asked by Nikon to help promote their D850, (most unlikely) I'd have done anything bar cutting off my shutter finger to get involved. I don't understand why anyone would not be interested, but they weren't. (Shrugs)

One of the many problems with an insular viewpoint is that you may start to assume that everyone is dying to join your club when in fact membership is stagnant or on the decline. It is certainly no coincidence that Nikon is based in a country that discourages immigration, rejects refugees, has a low birth rate, and whose population has been steadily decreasing since the 1950s. This is not to say that Nikon doesn't make great cameras and lenses; they do. My only point is basically the same as Mike's: that insularity does not make for smart marketing and customer relations.

I'm not sure those Kodak fellows refusing to speak further with you says anything about Kodak. It might just speak to people's (or perhaps comapny's) attitude toward speaking to journalists informally.

Of course, things may have been different back then. But I can't imagine any company now who wouldn't ask their employees not to discuss anything company related at all with a journalist - regardless of the health or attitude of the company.

[It's quite possible that what they were discussing was vivid and alive to them, and they imagined that they had just violated just such a company policy as you describe. But what I overheard meant little to me, and I wouldn't have shared overheard gossip in any case. --Mike]

Oh Mike, is it really something needing to be spread widely over internet? In Europe we seem only to check everything and everyone on some kind of discrimination. A couple of days ago a truck company had to undergo a huge shtitstorm; they were looking for drivers, men explicitly. A woman truck driver run to social media and for 2-3 days there was a hubbub, until somebody told them about a law which prohibits heavy work for women, exactly the kind of work the (poor) man is being sought for... Internet is full of hypo about light mirrorles, and heavy FF DSRL - maybe that was the reason ;-) We do not know, maybe even something different, like track record e.g. Or are quotas better then merits?
Take care

Via the Guardian link I visited the Nikon page in question.

One thing that struck me was the rather limited and perhaps atypical choice of representation of photographers from the huge continent of Africa.

Only the lack of women seems to aroused the social justice warriors into internet "noise" creation.

It's the not so subtle (probably inadvertent) message that amuses me. It's a big camera. It's a muscular camera. It's a man's camera!

That said, I don't buy all the negativity about Nikon. They've just perfected the high end DSLR for the third (or is it the fourth?) time? Canon's focus on its glass did turn out to be the better hand to play though.

I don't have enough facts to defend or decry Nikon Asia's decision. But I agree with Bryan Geyer that the bad press, and the resulting judgment, might be premature. On August 29th, during Nikon USA's livestream event announcing the D850 (http://www.nikonevents.com/us/live/), the 2 Nikon Ambassadors who were interviewed after having used the D850 were Joe McNally and Dixie Dixon. And the entire event was hosted by Melissa Niu. Melissa and Dixie both qualify as women in my book! A further Q&A session (FAQs) featuring Senior Product Manager Lindsay Silverman and Senior Technical Manager Steve Heiner, also hosted by Melissa Niu, was also livestreamed. As for Lynsey Addario's protest--I don't know her, but is she an Asian or African photographer? It was in those markets that this incident occurred.

Um, maybe the women would be uncomfortable in the steam room with all the Nikon sales staff. OK, just ignore this post. Or not.

It is amazing how pretentiously indignant men can be. Fstopers, who I believe was the first photo news site to report this Nikon blunder, has nine editors and you guessed it, not a woman in the bunch. Check out their editors' picks, it's full of scantily clad, young, beautiful anorexic women. Representative of women?

All men are insular, including some photo bloggers who rarely (if ever) have had a guest article penned by the distaff sex.

"regions of the globe that do not include the Americas, Great Britain, Europe, or the Scandinavian countries."

Eh? This trips up my axiomatic senses! Great Britain (an island) and Scandinavia (three countries or more, depending on who you ask) are part of Europe (a continent).

This Guardian piece sounds like a snarky letter sent to the newspaper, but it's presented as an article from the newspaper itself; In an Internet-clickbait-y way. Not the pinnacle of journalism either.

Since when is Nikon any good in public relations? Were they ever any good? Nikon is not "the bad guy". They're just not very good at marketing, no matter how much money they spent on it. Or rather, by having lots of money in their corporate piggy-bank in the first place, makes these companies seem more careless and in-effective in their spending.

I'm thinking "move along, nothing to see". I'd get more worried if Nikon started doing a Pentax/Leica/Apple(!) move, by diversifying their product development to target specific demographics with golden designer lifestyle camera's.

I agree about Nikon and the series of footprints left in cow pies for all to see. But, there is another side likely not seen by the public. When my pal, a Nikon Exec., was asked by the Nikon USA Calendar graphic designer for a suggestion of a "color photographer" to add to the Nikon USA calendar, he suggested Ernst Hass. The reply was, there will be no dead white men in this calendar.

Everything is political today. Been thinking about avoiding the news for a month or two..

In regards to my earlier comment, I was wrong about Fstoppers. They do indeed have one woman in the editorial board, Chelsey Rogers. Still, it is difficult to take them seriously when the site looks like a paean to mens' fantasies of women.

Based on limited photographic evidence, maybe if the door had been open the doggy-do would have been done outside. Butters did nothing wrong, he was just being a dog answering the call of nature.

Why should Mike write about the camera? He doesn't have one, hasn't handled or shot with one and probably won't do either soon unless one of his readers lends him one. The internet is full of gushing praise for the latest iteration of a wonderful line of DSLRs.

Nikon's corporate culture and, from my recollection from film days, Nikon USA's arrogant policies are what made me switch to Canon when I had a studio. Canon answered inquiries and took criticism seriously.

I have no idea if they excluded women on purpose, didn't even look at women's work or if, as a reader says, no women showed up for review. But it would not surprise me if it was part of the Nikon eco-system that created this result.

Great cameras, great lenses, no clue about the world outside their doors.

The lack of any female photographer in the lineup speaks of tone deafness. The new interview of Mr. Goto on xitek.com speaks of arrogance; Nikon will not copy things, Nikon knows what customers want. These could be isolated gaffes, but they do not do well for Nikon's image.

Mike: When I worked for Big Corp, we were expressly warned not to talk to the press.

Stan B:
That was the exact premise of Remington Steele.

That really is a first, never saw poop, dog or otherwise on the web.

Nikon is just acting like a Japanese company. Japan has a misogynistic culture. Nothing new here. So did the US until fairly recently.

The real news is that Nikon is acting like a typical arrogant manufacturer. From DPReview "full frame is the trend. If Nikon will go mirrorless it must be full frame." https://www.dpreview.com/news/6610488381/nikon-director-of-development-if-nikon-will-go-mirrorless-it-must-be-full-frame

Sorry, but full frame is not the trend, just ask Fuji. Once again Nikon wants to sell what they want to sell—not what people want to buy. How dare people not think like Nikon thinks.

So much Nikon-bashing

Well, my last Really Right Stuff 'magazine' featured 9 photographers, as I remember, and all were white males, as far as I could judge from the contributor photographs. Is is really that hard to find a female travel photographer? Or two? Wouldn't it help at least a little bit in selling to women photographers, not to mention those male photographers who don't want to think of themselves as belonging to some sort of guys club?

Here you can find full text of the interview in Simplified Chinese:

I don't have a DF but I can imgaine how angry DF owners can be when they know that the head of Department of Product Development had to swap the original focussing screen with a split prism to make the camera more MF-friendly , and said he didn't like the silver body because "it's not the same silver color (of past Nikon models - both mentioned on pg.1 of the interview text)", while he could easily had these issues rectified before putting the camera into market.

Perhaps all Nikon spokesmen are full time engineers who know little about promotion?

Lots of men on here defending Nikon. Who'd have thought it?

Are we really sure the males all identified as males?

The latest SNAFU from Nikon is saying they will be releasing a mirrorless professional camera. That on the heals of dropping their D850. The D850 imho is not worth ditching a D810 for. Unless someone, hobbiest probably, really thinks they need what the D850 offers. I feel most pros will hold on to their D810's and wait for the mirrorless.

Once Nikon and Canon release truly pro quality still and video mirrorless cameras, the traditional DSLR will be all but dead.

I just sold my D700 and am quite happy using my Panasonic G85 for video and stills. I have a cabinet full of FF Nikkor glass just waiting to see if Nikon gets their poop together and joins the mirrorless ranks. If they don't anytime soon, the Nikkor's will be cleared out.

In my estimation, Canon and Nikon have 2 years or less to catch up. If they drag their heels both will follow Pentax and Minolta into obscurity.

Time waits for no man or camera company.

Nothing looks lonelier than the single token in a homogenous sea....

To achieve a realistic reflection of the American population half of the photographers would have had to been female, 14% black African, 16% some sort of Hispanic, 6% Asian, plus a token Muslim, a smattering of Jews, an indeterminate number from LGBQTIXXX communities, a differently abled person or two, maybe some people representing various body types, diseases, and social, economic, and educational backgrounds. Not to mention a balance of wedding, portrait, nature, fine art, commercial, bio-medical, and aerial photography specialities. Phew, it would take hundreds of hours just to identify and collect the correct balance and even then there still could be complaints.

Maybe Nikon wasn't acting nefariously and simply picked photographers who were active and enthusiastic about the new D850? That they happen to be mostly middle-aged educated men shouldn't be any sort of surprise to anyone grounded in reality.

Trying to assign quotas to such things strikes me as being in itself a racist, sexist, bigoted way of thinking, as well as being paranoid.

Regarding Bruno's comment:

"It seems to have escaped the Internet commentariat's notice that, for example, not one photographer from Japan, Communist China, Russia, Europe, or North or South America has been included, though these areas are, presumably, also important markets for Nikon."

Are you saying that geographical discrimination was also present, but not objected to? In the global market, influence very often comes from abroad. Addario's credibility and influence as an ambassador is global.

Regardless of whether there are high profile, females in those markets, female (and minority) representation in ambassadorship isn't important because it reflects the market as-it-stands, but because it's important that young women photographers see a path for themselves.

Maybe all the women are just smarter and moved over to Fujifilm X series cameras.

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