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Author Topic: In praise of "Wretched Excess"  (Read 19540 times)
aduke
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« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2013, 09:00:00 PM »
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Kirby,

As another bald man, who has no interest in ostentation and who is secretly mortified of the city in which he lives, found your reply to be the funniest and finest piece of writing I've read in nine years of reading LL.

Thank you

Alan
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gerald.d
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« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2013, 09:04:50 PM »
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Two words: Rolex quartz.
http://www.swissluxury.com/rolex-watches-cellini-quartz-ladies.htm

I don't object to expensive watches: I object to those who wear them and deny that their number one reason for being is to advertise one's ability to purchase expensive things.

Just for clarity, are you saying that everyone who wears an "expensive" watch does so primarily to advertise their ability to purchase expensive things?

Surely not? No-one could be that arrogant to assume they understand the motives behind millions and millions of people's actions ever year, nor so pompous as to judge all those people's characters. Could they?

Out of interest, do you own a watch? If so, did you spend more than a couple of dollars on it?

I'm kinda curious as to exactly what price above which it is that you consider a watch to be expensive.


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Colorado David
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« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2013, 10:05:16 PM »
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To those who doubt the real value of a Rolex, even the Rolex Quartz, you should read about Tom Shepperd.  Tom has navigated solo all over the Sahara with the aid of various Rolex watches including a Rolex quartz.  Fine watches are precision instruments regardless of what some might think.  http://www.desertwinds.co.uk/
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John Camp
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« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2013, 10:12:56 PM »
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Now that's what I call really dumb; using a cell phone to tell the time yet still wearing a watch as a piece of jewelry. Can you buy watches nowadays that don't work and are designed purely as jewelry?


Yes, they're called bracelets.

I once wrote a book on plastic surgery, and in the course of the research, interviewed a number of experts on human appearance. They all agreed that all the research shows that human appearance is critical in just about every human interaction. The evidence is way beyond compelling. What people call *bling* is part of that, and signals a whole bunch of things, not just one (the ability to buy.) There are a group of people who we all recognize, called "nerds." Nerds are generally considered to be extremely smart in technical matters, but rather short of social IQ. They really, sincerely, don't get this whole bling thing, and all the small signals it conveys. In some ways, that's endearing; in others, it's baffling. The chief nerd (or, as we refer to him more commonly, the capo-de-capo nerd,) Bill Gates, is a good example of this. He tries to dress like a billionaire executive, but somehow always looks as though he were just dragged by the ankles out of a J.C. Penney end-of-season sale. In any case there are a lot of reasons for bling, and even though a lot of very rich people (who are capable of buying any bling they want) are not at all interested in bling, per se, they may still use it as a mode of signaling status, accessibility, resources, etc. Doesn't even have to be expensive jewelry; tattoos are a kind of bling, among certain social strata. One thing that bling is not supposed to do is cause you to be ridiculed. When people go too far with it they are accused of *not having taste,* which is worse than not having bling. So; it was perfectly fine, and non-laughable, for Elizabeth Taylor to wear a huge bluish diamond worth many millions of dollars, that vibrated with her eyes (to say nothing of her breasts, which it hung between) but God help you if you show up at Davos with a Lunar around your neck.
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Ray
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« Reply #44 on: July 28, 2013, 10:24:57 PM »
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There seem to be two separate issues here: the survival of Hasselblad as a credible manufacturer of world-class photographic equipment; the right or otherwise of anyone, rich or not, to spend his/her money as he/she sees fit.


Rob,
The survival of Hasselblad may be one of the issues here, but I don't see anyone questioning the right of someone to spend his/her money as she sees fit. That's certainly not an issue for me. I tend to subscribe to the spirit of that quote often attributed to Voltaire,  "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Of course people have the right to spend their money in any way that gives them pleasure, as long as it's legal.

However, what I find very odd are some of the statements from the pro-luxury-watch lobby, such as the following one from Gerald.d,
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People who understand cameras, realise the Lunar is piece of crap.

As I understand, the Hasselblad Lunar is essentially a dressed-up Sony NEX-7 with the price tag of designer clothing. As a functioning camera, it certainly isn't a piece of crap. The NEX-7 has been hugely popular. There are not many cropped-format or APS-C models with a 24 mp sensor. Canon doesn't have one. Nikon does.

Whilst it's true that the DR of the Nikon D7100 at higher ISOs, is better than that of the NEX-7, the NEX-7 has a similar SNR and tonal range, plus the advantages of a lower weight and a higher frame rate of 10  fps, as opposed to 6 fps for the D7100.

The fact that the NEX-7 will soon be superceded by a new model from Sony, no doubt with marginally better specs, does not make the NEX-7 a piece of crap.

If I 'don't get it' as John Camp seems to think, I'm quite capable of understanding a rational explanation. Try me.  Wink
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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #45 on: July 28, 2013, 10:40:06 PM »
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To those who doubt the real value of a Rolex, even the Rolex Quartz, you should read about Tom Shepperd.  Tom has navigated solo all over the Sahara with the aid of various Rolex watches including a Rolex quartz.  Fine watches are precision instruments regardless of what some might think.  http://www.desertwinds.co.uk/
There is little logic in your argument.
According to this tester (http://tf.nist.gov/general/pdf/2276.pdf), inexpensive quartz watches (price of those tested, in dollars: 35, 15, 100, 30)
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Summary
Based on these tests, it seems likely that even the humblest quartz wristwatch
can maintain time accurate to within less than 1 second per day with the aid of inhibition compensation. And due to the surprisingly good stability of 32 kHz quartz crystal oscillators, the accuracy of quartz wristwatches can be expected to change by only a small amount over time. Emphasis mine.
Fine mechanical watches are precision instruments.  They just don't tell time as well as inexpensive quartz watches.  If Tom Shepperd (don't know him) believes that his Rolex's time-keeping made him a better navigator, he's stupid.  If he claims -- but doesn't believe -- that it did, then he is simply lying.  (Of course, if he is paid to lie, then he is a shill, fluffing his wings to get us to to spurt cash into his pimp's hands.)

Here is a link to an apposite article which links to a nice FAQ on Rolexs and quartz watches:  http://www.chronocentric.com/watches/accuracy.shtml

As a time-keeping device, a Rolex is worth, at most ... http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale/wholesale-v6-quartz-watch-men.html
 ... between $1.89 and $8.00.

I don't know what the "real value" of a Rolex is.  Have I demonstrated that time-keeping has nothing to do with it?
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gerald.d
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« Reply #46 on: July 28, 2013, 10:41:20 PM »
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I didn't say the Nex 7 was a piece of crap.

I said the Lunar was.

The distinction really shouldn't require any clarification at all.

"Pro-luxury-watch lobby" indeed.

  Roll Eyes

Good day to you.
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Ray
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« Reply #47 on: July 28, 2013, 11:53:56 PM »
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Yes, they're called bracelets.

John, I have no objection to a functional piece of machinery being fashioned in a way which is as attractive as possible. We all like our automobiles to be stylish. However, I do object to functionality being compromised in the interests of decoration.

The last time I bought a watch, I found the available choice in the shops abysmal. They all seemed ridiculously lacking in functionality. I was amazed to find that manufacturers are still producing watches that don't automatically adjust the date to accommodate the different number of days in the months, and adjust for the leap years.

I found it pathetic that the date numerals on many styles of watches were so small that any senior citizen would have to put on his reading glasses to see them, and many styles of watches didn't even display the day of the week. Ridiculous!

Having failed to find a watch in Australia that suited my purposes, I eventually came across a Slazenger model in a shopping centre in Bangkok, which met my criteria perfectly. It cost around $50, so it wasn't cheap  Wink , but boasted all the functionality that I required, such as stainless steel bracelet, waterproofing, display of time and date in big numerals and letters, and importantly, as I discovered later, it keeps perfect time.


Quote
The chief nerd (or, as we refer to him more commonly, the capo-de-capo nerd,) Bill Gates, is a good example of this. He tries to dress like a billionaire executive, but somehow always looks as though he were just dragged by the ankles out of a J.C. Penney end-of-season sale.

Does he really try? How do you know that? Perhaps Bill Gates is too busy caring about more important things. There's only so much one can care about, without getting overwhelmed by anxiety.
 
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all
 Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
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ripgriffith
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« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2013, 12:45:38 AM »
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People who understand cameras, realise the Lunar is piece of crap.
Actually, the Lunar is a very fine camera (Nex7) wrapped in crap.
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Rob C
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« Reply #49 on: July 29, 2013, 04:05:18 AM »
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Actually, the Lunar is a very fine camera (Nex7) wrapped in crap.


Perhaps, in some eyes, but in others it may just click. Why would the views of a few forums of photo-snobs cause anyone else not in said fora to give a toss?

It's part of photographic club-culture to appear knowledgeable, cool and on top of the latest thing. Far better to sound wise than actually to produce excellent imagery, don't you think? Look at LuLa if you seriously doubt me: hundreds of posters but very very few consistent suppliers of remarkable images. That says more to me than whether or not the writers care to own expensive gewgaws.

On top of which, why would I, or anyone else, care what another chooses to buy unless we both try to sell them similar products, thus removing objectivity from the judgement?

Strange...

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2013, 04:10:02 AM »
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My Rolex, as that of my wife, never has kept good time over long periods.

Does that bother me? Absolutely not. There is not now, and has never been, a time in my life where greater accuracy has meant anything at all. The greatest practical service the watch renders me, courtesy its rotating bezel, is keep me on the right side of parking meters. And, when I was young, able and in sailing circles, it allowed me to go swimming in the sea off boats, without a care in the world, secure in the knowledge that should I dive to 660 ft, I would surely die, but the watch would survive!  What more can you ask of a watch: oxygen?

Regardless, the thing was purchased back in ’72 or so, and expensive to me then, I still have it and would never replace it with anything else, even another, dearer, Rolex. It means what it means to me now for what it meant then: the ability to buy what I did (and still do) consider to be the best single piece of industrial design I’d ever seen. Close, in camera terms, would be the Leicas 111G and M3 and the Nikon F with ‘blad 500C completing the category.

It is possible to enjoy the beauty in manufactured articles as it is the beauty in some women. To deny that and attempt to smear it with envious innuendo isn’t so far removed from the rants of the wilder feminists.

Rob C

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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #51 on: July 29, 2013, 04:37:13 AM »
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Fascination with mechanical time keeping has, at least, some rational explanation. While mechanical watches have been made obsolete functionally by quartz watches and electronics, some of them were absolute marvels of engineering and precision manufacturing. Time keeping was crucial for navigation, it even led to the equivalent of today's X-Prizes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longitude_Prize) but also the timing of scientific experiments and our society's organization. My generation, which is probably the last to have known an "analog" world, can't help having a profound respect those machines. Or nostalgia. Armed with such a device, you can imagine you are Santos-Dumont on its first flights, timing Bentleys at Le Mans, or going around the world in 80 days...

Of course, that's a market. And it is being milked. Rolex for example clearly evolved from being a maker of relatively affordable and genuinely useful precision instruments to being a fashion statement, a collectible or an investment.

http://precisiontime.blogspot.be/2011/06/rolexs-policy-of-steady-price-increases.html
http://minus4plus6.com/PriceEvolution.htm

Milk the crowd, yes, but there's a foundation for the milking: if you own a tourbillon, you can always say "this is how this marvelous gravity compensation mechanism works" and bore your audience to death.  If you own a "Lunar", you can say this is "how you screw a piece of wood to standard modern devices". And your audience is likely to think that the wood wasn't alone in being screwed.
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Ray
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« Reply #52 on: July 29, 2013, 06:03:42 AM »
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It is possible to enjoy the beauty in manufactured articles as it is the beauty in some women. To deny that and attempt to smear it with envious innuendo isn’t so far removed from the rants of the wilder feminists.

Crikey! Rob. You are in trouble. Grin 

I can't imagine any intelligent woman being flattered that appreciation of her beauty is on a par with the appreciation of a well-designed watch or camera.  Wink

However, I do agree that there can exist a certain beauty to be appreciated in a well-designed, manufactured article. This issue for me is entirely a matter of price. I've got no objection to Hasselblad, or indeed a watch manufacturer, charging a bit more for a standard product with an enhanced appearance or improved grip. It's the absurdity of the huge price premium that astounds me.

By the way, I'm not the slightest bit envious of anyone who possesses a ridiculously overpriced watch or camera. If I were to win such a watch or camera in a lottery, I would immediately sell it, even at half price or less, and buy something sensible.
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MoreOrLess
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« Reply #53 on: July 29, 2013, 07:12:06 AM »
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Personally I think in order to pass final judgement we need to wait for a little longer to see whether the new owners actually come up with any self designed rather than just re dressed products, the former is obviously going to take longer.

I think the oft rumoured X-pan update is still there best bet, Leica have shown that theres more money in higher end smaller cameras and the digital options for panoramic shooting are still pretty limated.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 07:25:07 AM by MoreOrLess » Logged
Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #54 on: July 29, 2013, 08:34:13 AM »
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Could it be that everyone (almost) hates the Lunar and Stellar because they are not in keeping with Hasselblad's tradition? What kind of market forces would it take to move a camera giant to wrapping yesterday's fine goods in new leather?
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MoreOrLess
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« Reply #55 on: July 29, 2013, 09:24:23 AM »
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Could it be that everyone (almost) hates the Lunar and Stellar because they are not in keeping with Hasselblad's tradition? What kind of market forces would it take to move a camera giant to wrapping yesterday's fine goods in new leather?

The issue I'd say is that the luxury camera market is generally based on smaller bodies these days. A gold plated H-series body with walrus tusk edgings isn't likely to sell to many to sell to many oligarchs or there wives.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #56 on: July 29, 2013, 11:01:20 AM »
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This whole thing is just sad.

It's sad for Hasselblad, who have sunk so far from such heights.

It's sad for the customers who spend on such crap.

It's sad for me, who wastes time posting about the sadness.
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Rob C
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« Reply #57 on: July 29, 2013, 12:59:39 PM »
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This whole thing is just sad.

It's sad for Hasselblad, who have sunk so far from such heights.

It's sad for the customers who spend on such crap.

It's sad for me, who wastes time posting about the sadness.


I feel sad too, Peter, but without being quite sure why. Maybe it's appreciation of the time passing by so quickly.

They say that as you age time moves faster; that's another way my Rolex is helping me: it's always exhibiting a delightful little tendency towards slowness, like two minutes every fortnight or so.

Rob C
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Telecaster
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« Reply #58 on: July 29, 2013, 02:58:33 PM »
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Well, now we're getting somewhere   Cheesy .  I, too, am bald -- though I accept the conventional wisdom that this came to me from my maternal grandfather, a shrewd, manipulative, bald man.  Most of my adult life _some_ people have made an issue of my baldness with the accepted implication that it _signified_ something.  It never did to me, in myself or in others.  But, perforce, it does signify something to some people.  It does, remember, to you.

Good catch!   Cheesy  And good observations all 'round.

My hair started to thin in my mid-20s. I responded by letting it grow down past my shoulders. Before that I'd never kept it long. Once enough of it had disappeared I opted for the ultra-short (sometimes shaved) look I've had since. Intellectually I've maintained that the lack of follicles hasn't been an issue at all. But clearly at some level--and considering the amount of text I'm devoting to it here--this is not true.   Shocked

Mysteries can be fun, particularly when the source of mystery is one's self.

Regarding the blingy Hassies, I'm afraid I can't muster anything beyond a great big meh.

-Dave- (a nerd who knows how to wear a sharp suit but prefers jeans & tees)
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #59 on: July 29, 2013, 09:05:02 PM »
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They say that as you age time moves faster;
Rob C

Exponentially.  When I voiced that complaint to my father, he said "You ain't seen nothing yet."
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