The "Meh" factor. Or why X is a "deal killer for me."

Ben. Photographed with a medium format digital camera and a 180mm Schneider Lens. 

It's become a thing now. As soon as any photo product is introduced the whining and posturing start. I recently looked around the web at comments posted about the Sony/Zeiss 50mm f1.4 FE lens. Even though this lens may be one of the sharpest and highest performing lenses available today at any price the web-o-sphere seethed and bubbled at Sony's audacity for trying to charge real money for their work. "$1,500 for a Nifty-Fifty???" wrote one person. "Never!" As if you should be able to get Zeiss Otus optical quality at a price point around $150 bucks; a la the ultra-plastic Canon 50mm 1.8. Or its Chinese copy...

Are the people writing this stuff really so thick that they believe all lenses of a given focal length are commodities? All are equal performers? That the expensive ones are just a clever defrauding of the rubes?

Companies have good reasons to price product the way they do and it seems that consumers have missed the boat on understanding what it takes to produce top flight gear. If price is really the only consideration for any of these affronted commenters they can choose the new Sony 50mm f1.8 FE instead, and pay only $250. Or adapt a Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens from the film days for less than $100.

But beyond "outrage" at price one of the things that hurts my brain is the constant use of the word "meh." In most instances the user substitutes it for the words, "I am not impressed." Or "I can't understand the value/use." The word "meh" is usually used when giving a reaction to a new feature or new specification. As in: The new Fuji XT-2 gets an increase of resolution!!! followed by, "meh." 

The inclusion of new features or increased performance might not be beneficial to everyone but to describe nearly everything as "meh" is such a lazy response that I think most times it really means, "I think I should find another hobby." The word is also used to describe photography that doesn't appeal to the poster. I don't understand the compulsion to even comment. If some style or technique is not one that appeals to you that's understandable. Having to throw in a condescending "meh" is bordering on conflating boredom and mean-ness efficiently. And for no other reason than to signal both your disdain and your derisive dismissal.  

"Meh" has evolved to become the catchword for all boredom and all apathy. It's sad to see it used so much in response to various parts of the photography world. It's also a lazy way of saying, "I couldn't be bothered to actually explain why I feel that XXXX is unimportant or misses the target." I think people fancy themselves as being hipsterishly world weary when appropriating "meh" and brutally overusing it. I wish they would stop. In the context of the "pricey" Sony lens above it goes something like this: "I know it is supposed to have really great performance but it is, after all, just another 50mm. Meh." This word may be sweeping the web right now but we certainly don't need to play along.

But the one phrase I hold in greatest disdain these days is: "That's a deal killer." 

Usually used to denounce an entire product because of the inclusion or exclusion of one minor feature. As in: "I loved the camera and it took really great images, felt perfect in my hands but..... it has 4K video in it and I'm not paying extra for 4K video. That's a deal killer for me!"

Or: "What??? My perfect camera is perfect except it doesn't include 4 dimensional GPS that works with my Blackberry?  Well, that's a deal killer for me." 

I think what "deal killer" really means is: "I can't afford this thing I so desperately want so I'll fabricate a throw away reason why I wouldn't buy it. Because I can't...." 

Contemporary web commenting photographers, if you add up all their deal killers, must be absolute pussies when it comes to camera operation. They can't make a good photo with any camera unless: It has a touch screen, it has NFC, it has GPS, it has panoramic modes, it has HDR modes, it has scene bracketing, it has cheap lenses, it has great lenses, it comes in colors, the menu contains only three items, the camera can be configured in 10,000 ways, there are enough function buttons, there aren't too many function buttons, it has aspect ratio bracketing, it eschews any form of internal video, it has an OVF, it has an EVF; and....the battery lasts for 10,000 exposures. 

Dear God, these people would have been utterly helpless in the primitive times of film. 

Wouldn't it be more honest if these people just said: "I don't understand. I'm not sure I want it. I know I can't afford it. I can no longer afford cable TV so instead of watching "Orange is the New Black" I am coming here and wasting time pretending I might be able to buy a $10,000 camera system and then poisoning the discussion with rampant negativity."

It's enough to drive one to the video blogs. They never argue about anything, or use the word "meh" there...