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Inbox Replies

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by Basil Parylo, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. Basil Parylo

    Basil Parylo Member

    Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes the replies that are given to the “Inbox” letters I find quite rude and overly defensive. Some of the letters in “Inbox” can be quite critical about your magazine or reviews and I feel the publishers take it quite badly. This has happens quite frequently that it might be putting people off engaging with your magazine. The last example was a letter about a “Three legged rip-off” in the 15 October edition of the magazine.

    I thought the letter writer had a valid point and he wasn’t partially criticising the reviewer, but making the point similar equipment could be bought for the fraction of the price and still serves it purpose. Buying cheap may not mean high end professional equipment, but for the money you might be getting an absolute bargain. I felt the response could have been dealt with more care, rather than just go on the defence and give a dismissive reply. What’s the point of calling your magazine “Amateur Photographer” if you’re not taking amateur photographers and budgets into account? Some of your readers may only have entry level cameras, a couple of lenses and basic camera equipment. Perhaps you should do a feature of all the expensive high end equipment with fantastic reviews that turned out to be a complete flop and waste of money.
     
  2. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I did not see the original article but I have just gone back and read Geoff Harris' response and it seems to me that Geoff was generous in his praise of the MeFOTTO (the subject of the original letter) for example "I believe it is worth every penny , I described it as such in my review" What is wrong with that?
     
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    so AP publishes letters that are critical of AP and responds to them so reader can see both views? What is wrong with that? Better than sycophancy.
     
  4. Basil Parylo

    Basil Parylo Member

    I have no issues about who is right or wrong, however every now and again its the tone of the reply I find can be on the edge of being rude. Maybe I'm over reacting but I've not noticed it in any other camera magazines.
     
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Are there other magazines ?
     
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Basil,

    Yes, and the original letter was nonsense. The reply was more civil than it needed to have been. My wife Frances Schultz used to cover tripods for Shutterbug magazine in the United States, and knows a lot about the subject. It's quite easy to make a cheap copy of a top-quality tripod. To choose just one example, there are enormous differences between different ways of laying down carbon fibre tubes. Then there's pot metal versus durable alloys, not to mention tolerances.

    Of course there are rip-offs, and sometimes they fool people who know what they are talking about. But mostly, the people who know what they are talking about... um... know what they are talking about.

    Very little "expensive high end equipment with fantastic reviews" turns out "to be a complete flop and waste of money".

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Learning likes this.
  7. Andy Westlake

    Andy Westlake AP Staff

    To be honest, this is fundamentally the problem. The original correspondent speculated that many of the similar-looking tripods on eBay and Amazon are just rebranded products from a single factory, and MeFoto was simply another iteration. This isn't true. There are many factories making tripods in China (I saw innumerable brands at Photokina this year, all looking to attract interest from retailers and importers), and the quality varies very widely indeed. Those that look like bargains often don't serve their purpose properly at all; they are made from low-quality materials with a poor standard of fit and finish. Cheap tripods therefore tend to be wobbly and have a bad habit of falling apart, and when you try to use a cheap ball head the camera will often move noticeably as the head is locked down. So while they may be similar-looking to more expensive kit, they're not at all similar in terms of function.

    In contrast MeFoto is a sub-brand of Benro, which in collaboration with its European importers, has turned itself into one of the best Chinese tripod makers. MeFoto models may not look 'serious' as they come in a range of bright colours, but in reality they're high quality tripods that work very well indeed.
     
    Roger Hicks likes this.

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