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Thread: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Get the S2, or a take a world tour on the Queen Mary ... or add the cash to my Volvo trade value and get a new BMW. My wife votes for staying pat with what I have and getting her a 17" Mikimoto Black South Sea Pearl necklace ... which may pay a bigger return than the S2

    -Marc
    A friend of mine made an observation about a business I was involved in (not photography) that stuck with me. He said "it's not about the money... its about the money". Not sure if this translates out of context but what I'm getting at is that it's difficult, if not impossible, to make these high ticket decisions in a vacuum. Not only does the S2 compete against other brands... it competes against a more expensive car, a vacation or a gift to a loved one. Then there's the hidden cost (at least for most married guys)... "if we can afford that Leica S2 then we can afford (fill in the blank)". So Marc, if you decide to stick with S2 I wouldn't cross that cruise or that necklace off my list too quickly

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Then there's the hidden cost (at least for most married guys)... "if we can afford that Leica S2 then we can afford (fill in the blank)". So Marc, if you decide to stick with S2 I wouldn't cross that cruise or that necklace off my list too quickly
    Only too true David - but then this cuts both ways - for me:

    "If we could afford that horse lorry we can afford this S2" worked perfectly well.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    This is a very fascinating discussion especially for me as I do more and more camera reviews (I have two on the cooker right now). I often look at other reviews and compare my findings to theirs in my head before I put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?). I find it helps me to not be repetitive and allows me to write with a fresh perspective.

    But you want to know what really got me about this thread? The title. I think it would make a great title for a collaborative book we can all contribute to and publish. LUF has done this twice (I was fortunate to be included in the first one) and I think we should do one too. As a plus, we should have a page for each contributor and the gear he/she uses.

    What do you guys think and sorry for the thread hijack.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    This is a very fascinating discussion especially for me as I do more and more camera reviews (I have two on the cooker right now). I often look at other reviews and compare my findings to theirs in my head before I put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?). I find it helps me to not be repetitive and allows me to write with a fresh perspective.

    But you want to know what really got me about this thread? The title. I think it would make a great title for a collaborative book we can all contribute to and publish. LUF has done this twice (I was fortunate to be included in the first one) and I think we should do one too. As a plus, we should have a page for each contributor and the gear he/she uses.

    What do you guys think and sorry for the thread hijack.
    Only if the MFD manufactures paid for it, they have all my money ...

    -Marc

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Marc,

    I think given the title of the thread, the answer is pretty simple: If your tool (camera) of choice helps you translate your vision to an image you're happy with, then it's good. OTOH, if it gets in the way of achieving that end, then it's not so good.

    The rub is sometimes a tool has a certain sex appeal; you feel better about yourself because you own and use the new one -- it's popular, it's pretty and everybody wants one. The fact it makes you feel so good about owning it can get in the way of the fact that it isn't doing anything better than the tool it replaced; even may have you overlooking the fact it's not doing as good a job as the tool it replaced. But you feel good about owning it, so it becomes more like a piece of art or jewelry and less a tool. If that happens, maybe we just need to put it in proper context to enjoy it?

    PS Edit: I write this at a time in my own artistic life that I feel comfortable with my existing tools, and the older I get, the more I realize how nice just being comfortable feels. No my tools aren't perfect, but I've never found one that was. My level of comfort comes first from the realization that my current tools are still a lot (LOT) better than I am, and next that I do not need to spend the slightest bit of time learning their various intricacies.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Marc,

    I think given the title of the thread, the answer is pretty simple: If your tool (camera) of choice helps you translate your vision to an image you're happy with, then it's good. OTOH, if it gets in the way of achieving that end, then it's not so good.

    The rub is sometimes a tool has a certain sex appeal; you feel better about yourself because you own and use the new one -- it's popular, it's pretty and everybody wants one. The fact it makes you feel so good about owning it can get in the way of the fact that it isn't doing anything better than the tool it replaced; even may have you overlooking the fact it's not doing as good a job as the tool it replaced. But you feel good about owning it, so it becomes more like a piece of art or jewelry and less a tool. If that happens, maybe we just need to put it in proper context to enjoy it?
    Well Jack, if it were primarily the sex appeal, I would've already paid for it

    If for the "jewlery effect" it would be a waste since not one person I know (other than Irakly, and unfortunately my wife), and most certainly no client, even knows what a Leica is Actually, a lot more people know what a Hasselblad is.

    Most importantly, as a tool, I gave myself enough time to actually use it ... both in comparison to my current H4D/40 which is no slouch ... and in the type of environments I shoot in using a 35mm DSLR.

    My original premiss from a year ago hasn't changed. Can this S2 replace the 35mm DSLR and CMOS sensor, AND the smaller CCD sensor MFD I use outside the studio? A year ago the S2 wasn't there ... functionally, the system components I needed, or in terms of the image character. For me and my creative needs it appears it now is, or darned close.

    On my other thread about the S2 specifically ... that's the criteria of evaluation. Can I go from shooting a big shot that is destined to be printed quite large, or severely crop a shot ... to more candid and spontaneous work?

    Currently two different kits does get in the way of the end result and is a hassle to manage ... where one wouldn't. I know this for a fact because I've used just one kit that can functionally do it all ... the Sony. I just creatively do not like the files as much as MFD CCD files.

    The acid test will be tomorrow when I shoot an engagement session in Ann Arbor for a high-end client that is a gate way to social connections that'll help lift me out of the mid-range client strata. Trust me, I will have the back-up at the ready ... and if this camera falters even a bit it will be history.

    Thanks Jack, a clarity check is always welcome.

    -Marc

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Here is a variant point of view

    This topic really does not need a date, could be from 10 years ago. Furthermore, there are many very successful photogs who have been such for many years and whose work did and will continue to succeed regardless of tech developments. I don't think the gear race is as important as we make it out to be, except, as Mojo pointed out...$40k! And Guy, commenting on the inverse relationship between bulletproof and new.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    The acid test will be tomorrow when I shoot an engagement session in Ann Arbor for a high-end client that is a gate way to social connections that'll help lift me out of the mid-range client strata. Trust me, I will have the back-up at the ready ... and if this camera falters even a bit it will be history.

    Thanks Jack, a clarity check is always welcome.
    My pleasure. And let's just hope the S2 does not falter -- but if it does, let's further hope it's something you notice at the time it happens and not afterward when you're reviewing the files...
    Jack
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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    It's funny Marc but I was thinking the same thing this morning. Usually all my gear works as expected. RobGalbraith and lately Diglloyd have disclosed this off the wall imperfections. I don't say they're lying and I bet they're doing it in the best honesty. No equipment (not even in Nasa) is flawless when it leaves factory. I believe real life shooting endless variances mask most flaws in equipment. However, I'm glad that people like them fire-test the equipment we all buy. Merry xmas.
    -Eduardo

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    I just have to add my comments to this longer than necessary posting.....I have read each comment...the very long and tedious as well as the short replies..I recognized that most if not all of the posters on replies are either Professional Photographers....or......wish they were Professional Photographers.......I happen to know one of the people that have added their comment and whom I admire and I would suggest to you that that person probably knows more about photography than all the rest of you. That person constantly posts results that are stunning and can reflect the character of the instrument being used. I finished this feeling that I was back at DPReview listening to a bunch of idiots who have a piece of equipment that has more to offer than any of them will be able to use or understand. Having a well rounded education with perhaps a number of degrees to prove your intelligence.....or.......lack of that does not make a great photographer.

    I have always said that "it is not the camera that takes the picture...it is the person behind the camera that takes the picture."

    I apologize to any person who might be offended but I do think that you have spent to much time discussing a subject that most people could never wish to own......a Leica S-2 DSLR camera.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Bill G... I'm speechless as to the amount of negativity in your post. I apologize that the content of this thread is so offensive to you.

    Back to my idiot corner, I guess.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gordon View Post
    .... I finished this feeling that I was back at DPReview listening to a bunch of idiots who have a piece of equipment that has more to offer than any of them will be able to use or understand....
    Speaking only for myself, I'd much rather use equipment I can grow into rather than equipment that limits me. However some equipment is so far beyond my capabilities that I'd crash in the first turn. The S2 interests me because it would allow room to grow into a larger format while not being too far beyond my present comprehension.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Speaking only for myself, I'd much rather use equipment I can grow into rather than equipment that limits me. However some equipment is so far beyond my capabilities that I'd crash in the first turn.
    Agree with the above - but would like to expand: good equipment can also come with creative tension: it pulls you along, it makes you work, it makes you think, it delivers what you imagined.

    These aren't all the same, nor do they even work in the same direction. A great piece of equipment might do one of these very well, but not do others at all (for you). It takes time to figure this out, to respond to the camera gear, and to find out which/when tool works best for you. Thats not test data, although it can help. That's using it and working it.

    Once I rented equipment that figured to be the cat's meow - Contax 645 - hailed from other users, from my own viewpoint, from its quality level, etc. and it just didn't work at all for me. It went back in the bag after a few shots, and I never looked back. Great camera, but not for me.

    I've shot with Rollei gear (and lenses) for 20 years, and still find ways it pulls me along. Recent Hy6 (granted its not perfect, but its pretty darn good) is now pulling and pushing me along. It makes me think as I find ways to use it, learn from it, and it delivers what might have been imagined, but was never thought possible (the joy of digital is in free risk taking). And this new pleasure comes from lenses and a camera format I've used for years. Its the little change of form factor, the simplicity of a MLU button right at hand (thank goodness for leaf shutters - a miracle on their own), and a digital back that practically can do anything once thought possible. So how can one possibly evaluate five different platforms from tests and reports, and reach a conclusion? They have to work for you, over time, and profoundly so.

    The point is not that "this is the best gear", but rather, the best gear for me. It makes me work harder. Learning how to use and how to see further and deeper becomes the mission.

    The Left and Right brain debate is valid. There is also the false promise of specificity: that all the answers will emerge with more precision. Some answers will, but compositional control, or content has little to do with technical performance. Only some of this can be measured on an optical bench.

    Small story: my 14 year old son and I drove from in-laws to beach in California. His heart was set on tide-pooling, but we arrived at high tide and nothing to be found. After some parental "learn to work with what you've got instead", we poked around for a while.

    Two days later I showed him some photos and he commented he needs to learn about composition: "I saw the same things, but there was nothing there. I want to learn how you found what you did".

    Made my day. Best to all.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Great thoughts Geoff. If I moderated this forum I would lock this thread after your thoughtful observations.
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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Bill,

    I don't make a living from my photography, and don't currently own any MF gear, but I was actually thinking that the MF (and Lighting!) boards contained some of the best discussions that I've seen in quite some time. Some of us simply like photography so much that we're willing to pay for it!

    Folks spend thousands of dollars every year in less-meaningful ways.

    Jeff

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gordon View Post
    I just have to add my comments to this longer than necessary posting.....I have read each comment...the very long and tedious as well as the short replies..I recognized that most if not all of the posters on replies are either Professional Photographers....or......wish they were Professional Photographers.......I happen to know one of the people that have added their comment and whom I admire and I would suggest to you that that person probably knows more about photography than all the rest of you. That person constantly posts results that are stunning and can reflect the character of the instrument being used. I finished this feeling that I was back at DPReview listening to a bunch of idiots who have a piece of equipment that has more to offer than any of them will be able to use or understand. Having a well rounded education with perhaps a number of degrees to prove your intelligence.....or.......lack of that does not make a great photographer.

    I have always said that "it is not the camera that takes the picture...it is the person behind the camera that takes the picture."

    I apologize to any person who might be offended but I do think that you have spent to much time discussing a subject that most people could never wish to own......a Leica S-2 DSLR camera.
    No offense taken Bill.

    It is not unusual that much time is spent here discussing subjects that most people could never wish to own ... this is the Medium Format Digital forum after all

    Generally, this forum is a cordial place where one can make a fool of one's self with-out to much heat. That is avoided by shunning comments suggesting some person is superior to all of you morons ... even if they are. I think it's called manners.

    The only slightly offensive comment is the relentless use of the incredibly over-used bromide that "It's not the camera that takes the picture, it's the person behind the camera ... " Which is the pat answer to any inquiry or comment regarding gear ... (on a gear forum I might add). We could just put that as the title, and lock out the gear forums from any participation.

    All the best in the coming new year,

    -Marc

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    So I've just ordered a used copy of Edward Weston's Daybooks (edited by Nancy and Beaumont Newhall) from Amazon. I'll return to this thread after it arrives and I've had a chance to spend some time with it. What I think it will demonstrate is that there's nothing new in the issues that we're discussing, except perhaps the pace of change and the ease of communication (of qualified and unqualified views) via the internet. What I think I know about Weston's technical choices is that in the 1930s he used an 8x10 camera, a Century Universal, that was expensive and more sophisticated than the maddening Deardorff that we might expect that he was using, that he was disappointed in several aspects of it and developed work arounds, that he used apochromatic lenses that were exotic and expensive at the time and that he experimented with film and with processing choices and techniques. To a significant extent the tools available to him defined his art. He had an extensive correspondence with other photographers on technical issues.

    In the wet darkroom era there were angry debates on the merits of D76 vs. Accufine, the merits of pyro and other similar such issues.

    So the kind of discussion that we're having isn't new - it's inherent in a discipline that combines science, engineering and art. One reason to photographers test is to learn the limits of their technical resources so they can adapt their techniques to them.

    There was a guy named Fred Picker who published wrote articles on some the kinds of issues referred to above for Zone VI. As various issues were discussed his advice was always "Try it." Still good advice

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Well in slight defense of the members here on the MF forum. We need to remember first off many if not almost all are very very serious hobbyists. These folks are mostly likely at the top of their photographic game and yes there are Pros in here as well with years of experience. We all know it is the Photographer BUT and this is a BIG but MF is the best IQ maker you can get your hands on and they simply cost a lot of money and this is a purchase decision that is not the kind you walking into your favorite camera store and buying on impulse. This takes a lot of nerve and homework to make these type of buy's . No one takes this lightly but on the other hand look at some of the costs as a hobby. Go buy a boat trust me you in for money given the time you on that boat. We have people here that spend every free moment pursuing there Art and I mean every free moment. There simply is NO price tag on that. It's like the Visa commercial PRICELESS.

    And yes Manners rule the day around here. This is GetDPI a place i am damn proud of and many many members feel the same way.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post

    So the kind of discussion that we're having isn't new - it's inherent in a discipline that combines science, engineering and art. One reason to photographers test is to learn the limits of their technical resources so they can adapt their techniques to them.
    Readable and relevant article by Ctein who used to carry on about dye transfer and other arcana when I was a much younger photographer.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    So I've just ordered a used copy of Edward Weston's Daybooks (edited by Nancy and Beaumont Newhall) from Amazon. I'll return to this thread after it arrives and I've had a chance to spend some time with it. What I think it will demonstrate is that there's nothing new in the issues that we're discussing, except perhaps the pace of change and the ease of communication (of qualified and unqualified views) via the internet. What I think I know about Weston's technical choices is that in the 1930s he used an 8x10 camera, a Century Universal, that was expensive and more sophisticated than the maddening Deardorff that we might expect that he was using, that he was disappointed in several aspects of it and developed work arounds, that he used apochromatic lenses that were exotic and expensive at the time and that he experimented with film and with processing choices and techniques. To a significant extent the tools available to him defined his art. He had an extensive correspondence with other photographers on technical issues.

    In the wet darkroom era there were angry debates on the merits of D76 vs. Accufine, the merits of pyro and other similar such issues.

    So the kind of discussion that we're having isn't new - it's inherent in a discipline that combines science, engineering and art. One reason to photographers test is to learn the limits of their technical resources so they can adapt their techniques to them.

    There was a guy named Fred Picker who published wrote articles on some the kinds of issues referred to above for Zone VI. As various issues were discussed his advice was always "Try it." Still good advice


    Frankly, all this stuff about how the "greats" never discussed or think about their tools is nonsense. Sure, not when they are shooting, any more than most of us do (unless it doesn't work, followed by some choice expletives/deleatives).

    Setting up my analog darkroom was just as complicated as this stuff we deal with now. Pouring over all the Ansel Adams zone stuff ... redoing the light source in the enlarger, testing and calibrating the lenses, on, and on and on ... and I wasn't even a landscape shooter.

    I've worked with many of the "big names" in my ad career ... some had vaults filled with exotic gear that cost more than my house at the time ... but weren't above using a point-and-shoot for a global ad campaign if that was the look and feel they were after. I over heard LOTS of discussions at lunch time while shooting TV commercials ... DPs and Directors debating video and new camera technologies.

    I attended Art School originally as a fine artist ... lots of discussions involving the "science" of oil painting that if not learned and ignored led to crumbling surfaces and color shifts in a year or two. We had to actually make our own paints with various pigments (including incredibly expensive rare earth pigments) and linseed oil. Did you know that in the 1800s WN offered a pigment called "Mummy" that was actually ground up Mummies from Egypt?

    -Marc

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ...Did you know that in the 1800s WN offered a pigment called "Mummy" that was actually ground up Mummies from Egypt?

    -Marc
    See, you learn something every day

    I make my living by selling images. I hate it with passion when somebody makes a remark "you must have a great camera". But truth be told, the new technology enables me to make images that were not possible few years back. Yes, the photographer makes the image ... but the tools he uses play a BIG role on the output.

    So, I think it's silly to keep saying "it's the photographer, not the camera". It's both.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    See, you learn something every day

    I make my living by selling images. I hate it with passion when somebody makes a remark "you must have a great camera". But truth be told, the new technology enables me to make images that were not possible few years back. Yes, the photographer makes the image ... but the tools he uses play a BIG role on the output.

    So, I think it's silly to keep saying "it's the photographer, not the camera". It's both.
    Absolutely agree. The tools today allow us to get into situations, play with light and color in ways not readily imaginable back then. The mastery of Weston and Adams was as aggressive in pushing their envelope as well. Part of the art is working hard against the limits and knowing the back and forth across that line.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    In the wet darkroom era there were angry debates on the merits of D76 vs. Accufine.
    Them's fighting words

    It's cool that you can still buy acufine. Wet work is now a thing of the past as I'm so allergic to fixer

    I think the internet has made the ability to discuss technical issues very, too?, easy. Before the internet if I wanted to really know how many times I could replenish the acufine I'd either have to do the experiments myself or hope that someone at the local pro shop had done it.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by mvirtue View Post
    Them's fighting words

    It's cool that you can still buy acufine. Wet work is now a thing of the past as I'm so allergic to fixer

    I think the internet has made the ability to discuss technical issues very, too?, easy. Before the internet if I wanted to really know how many times I could replenish the acufine I'd either have to do the experiments myself or hope that someone at the local pro shop had done it.
    That was what books were for ... remember them ... the things we held in our hands and learned from? I have a whole shelf full of "technical" books from the age of stinky rooms where we worked bathed in an atomic red glow to the sounds of running water and ticking timer clocks ... sigh.

    Marc

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    That was what books were for ... remember them ... the things we held in our hands and learned from? I have a whole shelf full of "technical" books from the age of stinky rooms where we worked bathed in an atomic red glow to the sounds of running water and ticking timer clocks ... sigh.

    Marc
    Brewed my own and used to love a two part D76 derivative, sigh
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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    I hate it with passion when somebody makes a remark "you must have a great camera".
    So Do I - the best retort seems to be that:
    It's like telling a chef that he must have great saucepans

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Brewed my own and used to love a two part D76 derivative, sigh
    -bob
    Drifting off subject ... but we're dinosaurs at heart, huh Bob?

    I still have my wet work room intact ... filtered water, big sink, timers now forever set to 0, great Kaiser Medium Format enlarger with top Rodenstock lenses ... it all looks like Miss Havisham's wedding room ... just as I left it on the last day I made prints all those years ago.

    My plan was to return to it once I retired ... so much for the plans of mice and men

    -Marc

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Drifting off subject ... but we're dinosaurs at heart, huh Bob?

    I still have my wet work room intact ... filtered water, big sink, timers now forever set to 0, great Kaiser Medium Format enlarger with top Rodenstock lenses ... it all looks like Miss Havisham's wedding room ... just as I left it on the last day I made prints all those years ago.

    My plan was to return to it once I retired ... so much for the plans of mice and men

    -Marc
    I am afraid it is more than the heart.
    Now includes the knees, a shoulder, the eyes and whatnot
    Those days are long gone for me and I will never go back despite the nostalgia.
    -bob

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    So Do I - the best retort seems to be that:
    It's like telling a chef that he must have great saucepans
    Jono,
    you nearly caused me to lose a mouthful of coffee.
    But it is true, I often get asked about the camera when in fact it is more about the light.
    -bob

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Someone recently did a lengthy post about the virtues of a particular camera system when he had discovered, like I did long ago, that the best camera is the one you happen to be carrying.

    For me at least the "best gear" is something that does not get too much in the way of what I am trying to accomplish or at least is not too annoying and full of bad habits or unexpected behavior.

    Gear I have used for awhile so that it operates in "photographer-integrated fully automatic mode", meaning that adjustments just seem to happen under my fingers without any thought as to the controls, is also favored.

    It is also our duty to use every lens obtainable just at least for a look-see.

    I include post processing tools in the general definition of gear. How often has it happened to you that while peering at the image in the viewfinder that you are already envisioning the adjustment layers that might be used.

    -bob

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    So Do I - the best retort seems to be that:
    It's like telling a chef that he must have great saucepans
    Oh, I give folks the benefit of the doubt when they say something like that. Most people only have little P&S with Wall-Mart 4X6s as a point of reference. If they like the photo they don't always know why ... just that it's clearer and prettier than what they usually see.

    My housekeeper is a big fan of my photos ... and when she saw the big test print of the church interior at Christmas time she quipped that I have a good camera. "Glad you like it" ... and you know, she's right ... I do have a good camera

    Mostly she is fishing around for me to give her a print ... which I usually do, and she runs right out and frames it ... which is more than what I do with them

    -Marc

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Depends what you want from life I guess, Photography means pretty much everything to me so I bought a blad! I find it funny when people say oh that cost 3 times as much as my car... well it cost 3 times as much as my car too
    www.williamophuis.com

    Hassy H4D-40.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Ophuis View Post
    Depends what you want from life I guess, Photography means pretty much everything to me so I bought a blad! I find it funny when people say oh that cost 3 times as much as my car... well it cost 3 times as much as my car too


    Like my buddy said when plunking down a huge wad of cash for a system he could barely afford ... "Hey, it's what I do ... I don't want to do something else."

    -Marc

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Ophuis View Post
    Depends what you want from life I guess, Photography means pretty much everything to me so I bought a blad! I find it funny when people say oh that cost 3 times as much as my car... well it cost 3 times as much as my car too
    Exactly Will - and it's what I'd do as well . . . . If I didn't prefer to use my M9! (but my M9 kit is certainly worth more than my car).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    I cannot respond meaningfully to this post (the entire post, not just this snippet) other than to say "BRAVO".
    HI Doug, sorry to post this a few days later...but I wanted to say thank you very much

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Ophuis View Post
    Depends what you want from life I guess, Photography means pretty much everything to me so I bought a blad! I find it funny when people say oh that cost 3 times as much as my car... well it cost 3 times as much as my car too
    I try not to be judgmental but spending 3x the cost of your car on photo gear indicates some seriously distorted values. My personal limit is 2x the cost of my car

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    So Do I - the best retort seems to be that:
    It's like telling a chef that he must have great saucepans
    I have three hobbies: photography, golf, and cooking. My photography is decent, my golf...well forget it , and my cooking very good according to the comments I receive from others. For each of them you need tools. And for each of them the result depends on the combination of the tools applied and the skills of the person using them.

    Give a good cook (photographer) a good steak (object to photograph) and good steel frying pan on strong gas stove (a good camera with a good lens) and you get a great dish (photo). Give the same to a mediocre cook (photographer) and you get an mediocre or at best ok dish. Give the good cook the good steak and a mediocre pan (that does not keep heat) and stove (that does not generate enough heat) you are likely to get an ok dish but not the great dish that you would otherwise get. (Same thing with golf: A top professional would still beat the average amateur if you give him equipment from 20 years ago but he would not be able to compete with other pros using today's equipment.)

    I find it quite normal--and indeed reassuring--that if people see print done on a good printer with a good paper from a file generated by a good camera ask "Wow--what camera did you use??" It shows that the difference in quality is visible even for the untrained eye and not only for the gear nerds.

    This becomes even more obvious if image size is part of your artistic expression. For many photos the artistic expression depends on the size (sometimes also on the manner in which the photo is printed or framed). Without the right equipment, you cannot produce these types of photos.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Very Well said indeed.

    Have to say as I am pouring through every image I have taken in the last 8 years or so rebuilding my web site even the small jpegs i can see the difference in quality between ALL those systems I had over that time frame and folks that know me it is a lot of systems but the MF stuff just jumps at me. The thing is I have to as a Pro justify these expenses in a different way than the hobbyist. I need ROI or it simply will not work. Now people think money here wrong, I need to make clients happy or I will never see them again. I literarily have clients ask Guy you coming with the big gun as we need to go large on this one. I educate my clients on the tech stuff so they know what they are getting and how to use it to their advantage. I laugh internally when people see this big Phase gear sitting on a tripod or around my neck with those comments Man that must take good pictures . I honestly get it all the time and i do answer them politely and if I have time explain it and you get the okay that is way cool comment. We have to remember as a serious hobbyist or Pro it is not about that but it is about getting the best quality for the needs you are after for yourself and/or clients. There is nothing worse than saying damn i wish i shot that one with my MF kit and you didn't or you say to yourself damn I wish i could make a much bigger print from this but it is going to fall apart. I been down both paths way to often and it is not a easy pill to swallow. No more I have a 24 inch wide printer sitting behind me and i can do anything I want now without any regrets. If i need bigger it goes out and my files can do it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Drifting off subject ... but we're dinosaurs at heart, huh Bob?

    I still have my wet work room intact ... filtered water, big sink, timers now forever set to 0, great Kaiser Medium Format enlarger with top Rodenstock lenses ... it all looks like Miss Havisham's wedding room ... just as I left it on the last day I made prints all those years ago.

    My plan was to return to it once I retired ... so much for the plans of mice and men

    -Marc
    Turned mine into a wine cellar. Gear is heavily wrapped in plastic and stored in our barn.

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Most great artists have been intensely involved with their media and tools, playing with them, exploring the edge of their limitations, using them in novel ways, or using new and novel tools. The exploration and skill seems to have been the important thing. The choice of tool (i.e. limitation), though of intense interest to the artist, has has less impact on the value of the creative product.

    With the internet, and all these new and amazing tools that can do so many things so well headed our way, one can get a little lost. If we change equipment too often, we can't find the edge of its limitations. Or impose our own forms, i.e. limits, like writing in sonnets.

    Generally, the cameras now are not the limitations. (The edge of just how much detail can be captured can get tedious. There seem to be way more technically perfect images around, than artistically satisfying ones, and certainly more tech than art talk.)

    That said, it is healthy and vital for artists and craftsmen to obsess about, and explore their tools. But, the internet and the pace of change in the tools has shifted the balance too far.

    Best,

    Mitchell

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    I find myself agreeing with so much that has been posted in this thread, so thanks to all for your thoughts! For my part, as a recent-ish convert to MFD (18m ago - H3D-50 since it has the HTS and lets me use all the H system lenses I had for my H1 which now sets unused at the back of a cupboard - I don't doubt that Phase and Leica are capable of equal results, but having tilt with the HTS is like 5x4 for me, and reminds me of my old Rollei SL66 - remember them?), I find that I can get all the quality that I used to get with 5x4 film but without that nagging thought that each and every shot (2 sheets a time) has to count - as a result, I think I'm learning to experiment more, and try things I simply would not have tried before. I love the reassurance that the histogram gives, but not the tiny "polaroid" we get to look at (I could take a laptop, but there's only so much gear I want to carry!), focussing and sharpness are a whole new game I'm having to learn again despite what I thought was good technique!! But then, looking back at the scans of 5x4 trannies, I find that when I look at them at 100%, and not the finished print, my technique was not as good as I thought it was - MFD certainly makes you a good deal more picky than you were before! I do like the control raw processing gives you, but I don't like feeling back in beginners class and wondering if there's something I'm missing - film and devs seemed so much easier! But I don't miss waiting in labs for the A sheets to come back and then discussing changes for the B sheets - it took too long and finding labs who could do it was becoming harder, even in London.

    For 2011, I'm hoping to learn more about using my 'new' gear so that I can stop thinking about it and get with what I'm really interested in - making pictures that please me and, hopefully, others to keep the running costs of my hobby down. A new 24" printer wouldn't go amiss either - both Canon and Epson have models that give incredible results which will finally tempt me out of the chemistry I've spent 30 years learning to use!!

    All the best for 2011 - I hope it brings great picture opportunities to all!

    Henry

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    My wife bought me a new high end wok for my birthday and a new frying pan for chanuka. Yes the food is better, more evenly cooked, much more actually, that makes for better taste and a better experience in the mouth. More importantly however, they are an incredible pleasure to use, it's so joyful to cook with them and to clean them afterwards, I have a huge grin on my face when I cook with them.

    My cameras (pair of 5Dc's) are now 5 years old, battered, scratched and dented beyond belief. I replaced the shutter on one of them today, it died in battle doing a charity gig after well over 100,000 frames. With the new shutter and a new LCD I replaced recently due to 5 years of rain damage, I intend to have these two bodies continue for another 5 years, no kidding. They give me pretty much all the IQ I need and after this many years and that many frames I can shoot them with my eyes shut, they are a pure extension of my hands whether I'm shooting weddings, architecture, street or landscape. Although new cameras on the market tickle my fancy, there has been nothing and there is nothing currently forecast that I can imagine would pursuade me that I needed to upgrade, even a brief flirtation with a 1DsIII, the most ergonomic camera I've ever used didn't last longer than 6 months before I decided that the 5D was still, more than good enough for my needs.

    But 5 years ago you bet I read every single review, every single forum comment, I had the manual memorised before I had ever seen the camera in the flesh. I spent a year sending them back to canon until the focus was up to my standards.

    Yes a camera is a tool, yes it's not the camera that makes the art. However, for me at this point to say that I bought a camera 5 years ago which I intend to use for a further 5 years depended on research and lots of what Marc is going through now.

    I could point to my own situation and boast that the whole technological game, all the specs and reviews are nonsense, especially when an underspeced camera can provide a decade of pro service. It would be a lie however, without all the soul searching, credit card limit checking and all those reviews, would I be as satisfied today? Not a chance.

    I can't remember ever talking specs with my fellow pro photographers, if at all it's usually lenses and radio slaves. Most buy a camera, use it mostly to death then upgrade. The digital revolution made things more complicated in the beginning as cameras appeared, bi-annually, which significantly reduced the very real compromises we accepted to be on the cutting edge of digital. I do not think however that this following decade will see all those 5D's and D700's, pro workhorses, disposed of anywhere near as quickly for all the new gimmicks the Canon, Nikon, Sony and all the rest try and sell us.

    Guy and Marc excluded of course..
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  43. #93
    Member Bill Gordon's Avatar
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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    My wife bought me a new high end wok for my birthday and a new frying pan for chanuka. Yes the food is better, more evenly cooked, much more actually, that makes for better taste and a better experience in the mouth. More importantly however, they are an incredible pleasure to use, it's so joyful to cook with them and to clean them afterwards, I have a huge grin on my face when I cook with them.

    My cameras (pair of 5Dc's) are now 5 years old, battered, scratched and dented beyond belief. I replaced the shutter on one of them today, it died in battle doing a charity gig after well over 100,000 frames. With the new shutter and a new LCD I replaced recently due to 5 years of rain damage, I intend to have these two bodies continue for another 5 years, no kidding. They give me pretty much all the IQ I need and after this many years and that many frames I can shoot them with my eyes shut, they are a pure extension of my hands whether I'm shooting weddings, architecture, street or landscape. Although new cameras on the market tickle my fancy, there has been nothing and there is nothing currently forecast that I can imagine would pursuade me that I needed to upgrade, even a brief flirtation with a 1DsIII, the most ergonomic camera I've ever used didn't last longer than 6 months before I decided that the 5D was still, more than good enough for my needs.

    But 5 years ago you bet I read every single review, every single forum comment, I had the manual memorised before I had ever seen the camera in the flesh. I spent a year sending them back to canon until the focus was up to my standards.

    Yes a camera is a tool, yes it's not the camera that makes the art. However, for me at this point to say that I bought a camera 5 years ago which I intend to use for a further 5 years depended on research and lots of what Marc is going through now.

    I could point to my own situation and boast that the whole technological game, all the specs and reviews are nonsense, especially when an underspeced camera can provide a decade of pro service. It would be a lie however, without all the soul searching, credit card limit checking and all those reviews, would I be as satisfied today? Not a chance.

    I can't remember ever talking specs with my fellow pro photographers, if at all it's usually lenses and radio slaves. Most buy a camera, use it mostly to death then upgrade. The digital revolution made things more complicated in the beginning as cameras appeared, bi-annually, which significantly reduced the very real compromises we accepted to be on the cutting edge of digital. I do not think however that this following decade will see all those 5D's and D700's, pro workhorses, disposed of anywhere near as quickly for all the new gimmicks the Canon, Nikon, Sony and all the rest try and sell us.

    Guy and Marc excluded of course..
    Ben, you summed it all up for me!! Spoken like a real pro who found his comfort zone five years ago!!

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    It took more than one thread like this though 5 years ago to get there, that's the point. For all the people who back then on FM called me a pixel peeper or a techy not a photographer or said 'it's not the camera' like you did above, without all this, I wouldn't be where I am today.

    I learnt a huge amount from Marc (the OP) over the years back to the photo.net days. I have tremendous respect for him, specifically for his photography. If I was to get married again today he would be the photographer and in my business (wedding photography) I've seen the gamut of the greats. I respect his art, his vision, his philosophy. As such I respect his dilemma as that of an artist and a professional rather than that of a gear head.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gordon View Post
    Ben, you summed it all up for me!! Spoken like a real pro who found his comfort zone five years ago!!
    HI Bill (and Ben too)
    quite right - I do agree, my comfort zone seems to hinge around my A900 (over 2 years) and my M9s (18 months) . . . . and there are battle scars. (smaller cameras come and go).

    But as Ben points out - when one is changing tack, then these discussions ARE useful - and actually I think they're quite good fun too.

    I went through a recent ache as to whether or not to climb aboard the MF bandwagon and get myself an S2 (lucky to have the possibility). I decided not to (much to my wife's astonishment) - but I'm still interested in the discussions.

    As for the Saucepan analogy - it was meant to be funny (at least Bob thought so). But it wasn't meant to imply that equipment wasn't important - whether it's a camera or a wok or a saucepan - of course it is - simply that it's generally not the greatest part of a successful work of art (in which, of course, I include a good meal).

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Nothing to see here. Move on, move on ...

    (officious voice)
    Last edited by mediumcool; 29th December 2010 at 09:47. Reason: getting tiresome, so edited

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    Nothing to see here. Move on, move on ...

    (officious voice)
    You get let off for being grumpy today (because of the cricket)

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    You get let off for being grumpy today (because of the cricket)


    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    You get let off for being grumpy today (because of the cricket)
    Johnathan

    Iím glad that the Poms won (been a long time between drinks after all ) so long as it means that sh1t Ponting gets removed as Oz captain.

    While not a fan of any sport except horizontal folk-dancing, I do believe the personalities in both cricket teams arenít as interesting as they were years ago (it may simply be old age on my part).

    43 celsius here for New Year (I shall be staying home in the air-conditioning working in C!) ...

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    Re: Gear & Our Art: 2011?

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryDove View Post

    For 2011, I'm hoping to learn more about using my 'new' gear so that I can stop thinking about it and get with what I'm really interested in - making pictures that please me and, hopefully, others
    Great first post sentiment --- Welcome to the forum Henry!
    Jack
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