You can find this plague almost everywhere on the web and no, it is not spread by mosquitos. I have seen the FAN PERSON SYNDROME for so many years that I have almost become numb to it because it is just so crazy. All brands have their Fan Persons, and they are incredibly brain washed about what they own is the ultimate photographic tools in the world and everything else is simply less than rat poop in the world of photography.
I shall excuse Leica cameras and lenses from the above statement, because they just can’t help themselves.
It is more than likely that I have way too much time on my hands. As a matter of fact my wife tells me that a lot, but because that may be true it affords me the TIME to do a hell of a lot of research about the industry. the hobby, the profession, the passion I and others like me have for photography.
I have to admit that when I was the Nikon sales rep for so many years I just loved fan persons. I mean while it was my job to sell Nikon and teach about Nikon it was also my job to cultivate people who would travel the land far and wide and spread the word that Nikon was the professional’s choice, and how it was loved by so many enthusiastic photographers. I loved fan persons. I still love them today, but understanding the phycology behind fan persons, I also know that whether the product be great or maybe not so great, it is always going to be GREAT to them and right or wrong they will spread the word, create converts, and swear on a stack of the good book that the brand they use is the finest in the world bar none.
Thankfully in our photography world today there really are no bad brands. All of the cameras that are out in the market place are exceptional and all they need is a dedicated instruction book reader and an owner who actually takes the time to learn about the gear and even more important about photography.
The problem with the Fan Person Syndrome is just that. What is good for the goose may NOT BE GOOD FOR THE GANDER.
In many cases your friends, relatives (who can be friends), your teachers and yes even the folks behind the camera counter can be fan persons. And they are perhaps going to try and sway you to what they love and believe in even though it may not be right for you.
It may not fit right in your hand. The viewfinder may not be what you like, the controls are not comfortable to use, you may not like touch screens (I don’t), it may be too heavy, too light, to big or maybe too small. There are a lot of variables here and to let a fan person sway you with what the spew could set you on a course of hating photography because of a bad decision.
Reading blogs on the web can have the same effect unless you find some writers who can really be neutral. They are the bloggers who understand that not everything is a perfect fit and that is why there are so many different choices. Now they may recommend one over the other and give very good reasons as to why the say what they say, but only you can make the final decision.
I have a friend and for the purpose of this article I shall call that friend Elmer, and Elmer some time ago asked me to recommend a camera because what was being used which happened to be a Canon camera was heavier than it used to be because Elmer was older now. Sorry, but that does happen.
I told Elmer what I was happy with but recommended to go to the local camera shop to pick up the camera, hug it, look through it and get a feel for the controls. Elmer did that, but was also told to look at another camera system as well, based on Elmer wanting a smaller and lighter camera to carry around all the time. It was smaller and lighter for sure and Elmer called me and asked what I thought and I said, I do not like the menus in the camera and that the buttons for me were too small, but that the images from that camera were excellent. Elmer bought that camera, and now one year later Elmer is very unhappy with the camera, the menus and the buttons but is invested in the system and would have to make a large expenditure to get into something else.
What actually sold Elmer on the camera however was not the sales person in the store. It was another customer standing near by being a busy body, who put in their two cents and raved and through confetti in the air, all for the love of a brand. Right or wrong. Elmer was swayed by, you guessed it, A FAN PERSON.
I watched a Youtube video this afternoon and heard and saw a professional photographer lambasting Sony for what seemed hours over a repair issue which was more his fault than Sony’s fault. Here is a guy, who travels a lot, who is an avid, foaming at the mouth Nikon Fan Boy, who for some reason had decided to start using Sony. After his last adventure he returned home to his home in Australia and sent his camera off to Sony Pro Services which I guess is not that well-developed yet in Australia but it is here in the USA. He sent it off for a cleaning including the sensor which he says he does after every trip. I question just how professional he is if he is not up to cleaning his own sensor even though Sony, and everyone else almost say do not do that or you will void your warranty. I mean I do not know a lot of people who do not know how to clean a sensor. As a matter of fact I taught people to clean their sensors and most camera stores can do it for you as well for a fee. Anyway he ranted and ranted and ranted until I was ready to destroy my expensive Apple monitor with a coffee cup.
Now it just happens to be that this guy who pissing into a cup over Sony service is a NIKON FAN BOY. That’s right. A NIKON FAN BOY. So what was that really all about. While he ranted and raved about how Sony sucks, he kept raving about how great Nikon pro services is. Well then why was he using Sony? I’ll let you ponder that for the rest of the day, or week.
Opinions are great. But that is just what they are. Only you can make up your mind. If you do not have a local camera store to run over to, then go on the web and look for respectable renting companies like WWW.BORROWLENS.COM or WWW.LENSRENTALS.COM and rent what you are interested in for a few days. You will spend a minimal amount compared to what a mistake might cost you and you will learn what is right for you without some not bag trying to convince you that what is good for them is good for you. If you are local in northern Va then you can try WWW.DISTRICTCAMERA.COM