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Thread: No new cameras?

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    No new cameras?

    - Most digital cameras have worse ergonomics than my film era Nikon F6 and Contax RX
    - For my current print needs (my printer prints up to A2 format), I see little or no improvement in sharpness and detail rendering by going above 12MP (or 7MP with the L1 that has a weak AA filter)
    - I rarely use ISO above 800
    - Most of my cameras will last longer than me
    - My Nokia outresolves all my cameras

    Is there any point whatsoever in buying more digital cameras?
    Last edited by Jorgen Udvang; 28th September 2013 at 03:18.

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    Re: No new cameras?

    None.

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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    I suppose a lot are awaiting "Full Frame" (FF-35mm that is) before they stop buying.
    Its the wide-end of digital I find lacking and perhaps FF will go some way to address that.

    While I think the EM-1 is a superb machine but I have not exceeded my EM-5 yet - I just wish it had Liveview HDMI so I could use a Prores recorder with it.
    Like you Jorgen the resolution and sensitivity of what I have now is more than enough for most jobs.
    Pick a few good lenses or camera with good lens is the key IMO.

    I sometimes felt I just wanted to unload everything go to a Sony RX1 and take pics.
    I was going to post in the Fuji forum but what about a X200 in FF?

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    I'm trying to set some upgrade criteria for myself. Here are some to start with:

    - A new camera should offer a visible improvement in image quality under the circumstance that I usually take photos.
    - A new camera should have improved usability that will make it significantly easier for me to take photos.
    - A new (or old) camera should have special, lasting values that enhances the experience of taking photos.

    Any of the above will do in my book, but GAS is only acceptable for the last one, "lasting" being an important criteria. The latest digital gadget will always be improved upon a few months later, a 30 year old Hasselblad mostly won't.

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    Re: No new cameras?

    I just want a new camera that will make me not want to use the old one, forever.
    David Young
    My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com
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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    I might be off base but if we are talking about 35mm I can only say the 5Dlll is the best 35mm I have used in 35 years. And if I was shooting sports or wildlife the 1dx is in my opinion the best 35mm ever made.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by alajuela View Post
    I might be off base but if we are talking about 35mm I can only say the 5Dlll is the best 35mm I have used in 35 years. And if I was shooting sports or wildlife the 1dx is in my opinion the best 35mm ever made.
    I'm not talking 35mm. I'm talking any format. I use several and they all display their own unique properties, film more than digital. With digital, I feel that the differences between formats are shrinking. I own many cameras that I fell are "the best", and they are all different. However, I very rarely fell that most new cameras offer any real, useable improvements over last years model, other than being new. But obviously, our criteria will differ.

    Take a Nikon D4 vs. my D2Xs. The D4 is, in theory, vastly superior in more or less every area. But when I'm out on the race track taking photos, with the viewfinder glued to my eye, the last thing on my mind would be which of those cameras I was using, and as long as there's daylight, which it is most of the day, the images wouldn't differ much, if at all. Current retail value of a D2Xs is roughly 5% of that of a new D4 and I would need 50% longer lenses too.

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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I'm not talking 35mm. I'm talking any format. I use several and they all display their own unique properties, film more than digital. With digital, I feel that the differences between formats are shrinking. I own many cameras that I fell are "the best", and they are all different. However, I very rarely fell that most new cameras offer any real, useable improvements over last years model, other than being new. But obviously, our criteria will differ.

    Take a Nikon D4 vs. my D2Xs. The D4 is, in theory, vastly superior in more or less every area. But when I'm out on the race track taking photos, with the viewfinder glued to my eye, the last thing on my mind would be which of those cameras I was using, and as long as there's daylight, which it is most of the day, the images wouldn't differ much, if at all. Current retail value of a D2Xs is roughly 5% of that of a new D4 and I would need n50% longer lenses too.
    I can not comment on Nikon digital line. When I went digital I went Canon. I have no remorse.
    I think it's good the last thing on your mind when shooting is the model of camera you have. First the sign of a good piece of equipment is that it gets out of the way. Second the it is all about the image. Not what equipment was used,I am curious what was used, but only curious, not envious.
    any body that waxes for cameras of long ago when 400 ISO was the ceiling w/o pushing the film. Well the analogies are endless.
    I see a big difference in the files for printing with later cameras. But this is not an absolute exclusive statement. There were great wet plate images and there will be great iPhone images and who knows what else to come.
    Last edited by alajuela; 28th September 2013 at 22:41.

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I'm trying to set some upgrade criteria for myself.
    I have now come to a point where I have only 1 single upgrade criteria for any photographic equipment that I now own and use:

    The old piece of equipment no longer works.

    That's it

    Let me explain.

    I have all the gear I need (probably ever more than that). That gear is doing for me what I want from it and I am more than pleased with the results. Even though most of the gear was bought used and none of it is top of the line or latest and greatest I am more than happy with it. In the last couple of months (roughly since May 2013) I realized that my photography hasn't improved due to new photographic gear (since I didn't buy anything new) but it has improved due to (in my opinion) these factors (in no particular order):

    1. being familiar with the gear I own and love; I think you need to be in love with your camera and lenses and strobes and ... if you want to produce great results; to me this is like being married: at first it is love at first sight, followed by a lot of work and adjusting to each other, followed by improving skills and techniques and knowing each other better and deeper;

    2. improving my photographic thinking and my visual eye / brain through studying photo books of photographers that inspire me and that I admire; namely (in no particular order): Sally Mann (The Immediate Family, At Twelve, Still Time), Rankin (Beautyfull, Caroline Saulnier, Ten Times Rosie, Breeding), Peter Lindbergh (Images of Women), Platon (Power), Albert Watson (Cyclops, Maroc), David Bailey (If We Shadows), JeanLoup Sieff, Paolo Roversi.

    3. other intangible and/or non descriptive factors; like having a good day, being inspired, ...

    So, I have always bought just the gear that was love at first sight, sold the pieces that didn't work out and stayed with the ones I love. So now I would buy another piece of gear, especially a camera or a lens, just in the case the old mistress died / stopped working. Adding another one to the existing harem of 4 cameras / 7 lenses would just not be appropriate.

    As to the age thing (new cameras / old cameras). I just saw this movie "Before Midnight" in which Julie Delpy says to her long time lover / partner played by Ethan Hawke as a remark to him stating he is 41 years old: Oh, my God, you are the oldest man I have ever slept with / made love to. See the point? You can choose and have a short term relationships with your camera in which case she will be always 3 years or younger or you can build your relationship long term and still be in love when she is 10 years old and working.

    Of course, all the above is relevant only if you know a few facts about who I am. I am 40 years old, a husband to a beautifull wife since 2006 and father of 2 great kids (born in 2010 and 2011). Photography is my hobby that I enjoy. As a matter of fact I enjoy it so much that I have turned one of our spare rooms into a small portrait studio and another one into a gear storage area. After a mid term relationship with Canon that ended in a peacefull divorce I fell in love with Mamiya at the end of 2011. It was after going back to film because the Canon Eos 3 and 35 mm film just couldn't cut it size wise. The 645 AFD, 80 AF 2.8 and 45 AF 2.8 were bought first, followed a few months later by the 645 AFD II, 80 AFD 2.8 and 150 AFD IF 2.8. My reasoning was I needed / wanted also the 150 mm lens and the 150 AFD IF supersedes the 150 AF 3.5 therefore I needed the II body because the I body is not compatible with the D lenses. Finally I traded my two L Canon primes for the 645 AFD III and 45 AFD 2.8 and bought also the 80 1.9 N. It was hard to sell those L primes for a good price so I made that trade when the opportunity arose. In April 2013 I added the Leaf Aptus 22 to the setup with the primary reason being I needed a long term cheaper alternative to the fujiroids for when working with strobes. I have 4 Profoto AcuteB2 600 Airs with Plume Wafers, Molas and Profotos. For travel and vacation photos I use exclusively the Fuji GA645 with a fixed 60mm f/4 lens.

    So, in the spirit of my new non GAS philosophy my last photography related purchase was a return plane ticket to London for two persons, including hotel, a fine restaurant and gallery tickets. I am taking my beautifull wife to see two exibitions on 6 February 2014, the National Portrait Gallery - Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and the Bailey

    At the end of this lenghty post I must admit I have a wish list too. So, even though my statement that I will only upgrade to new equipment if the old piece of equipment no longer work holds true, I have one single gear related wish. It was just announced but it has been a secret wish for a few years now and it is the only reason I am still holding to 645 AFD and the AF (non D) lenses. Me and my family all love the sea and I want to capture those moments also slightly from below water. Fortunately the new sport housing is much cheaper than the previous underwater housing.

    Also, I had a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II D and a Mamiya HX701 on my wish list for some time but now decided I do not need yet another camera (for reasoning please see above).
    Keeping film photography and printing alive!
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    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    I finally got a Leica M8 and a Nikon D2x (a few years ago) and after using them both quite a bit, I actually, for the first time, have no real want or desire to "upgrade". Sensor size and crop factors are only relevant if you're stuck thinking about 35mm film comparisons. New photographers have no idea what a 35mm lens on a 35mm film camera looks like. Only us older users have that frame of reference. If I should decide to make very large prints, then a larger sensor might be in my future.

    Just my $0.02 worth,

    Joel
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Well, I have bought three digital cameras for myself. I can say that the upgrade from the E-P1 to the Pentax 645D was pretty stunning. I have also bought an RX-1. The image quality there is really good.

    The fact there is always another model coming out, and this was true with film, is really irrelevant. New models do not change the image quality of any of the cameras I own. Image quality is not a limiting factor in the cameras I own. I don't understand the need to upgrade, unless you just like buying new cameras. And if you just like buying new camera, well, simply admit it and stop worrying about how you are going to justify it. After a while, saying your old camera makes you look fat is not going to work--you can just upgrade to a new version of Photoshop.
    Will

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    I finally got a Leica M8 and a Nikon D2x (a few years ago) and after using them both quite a bit, I actually, for the first time, have no real want or desire to "upgrade". Sensor size and crop factors are only relevant if you're stuck thinking about 35mm film comparisons. New photographers have no idea what a 35mm lens on a 35mm film camera looks like. Only us older users have that frame of reference. If I should decide to make very large prints, then a larger sensor might be in my future.

    Just my $0.02 worth,

    Joel
    I understand your reasoning - but I never liked the dx viewfinders - too cramped - just take a peek through a d700/D3 vs a D2X.....on the other hand I really like the Fuji X100 ...

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    After a while, saying your old camera makes you look fat is not going to work--you can just upgrade to a new version of Photoshop.
    What?!? You are taking away my last hope

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    I understand your reasoning - but I never liked the dx viewfinders - too cramped - just take a peek through a d700/D3 vs a D2X.....on the other hand I really like the Fuji X100 ...
    I actually find the viewfinder of the D2X/s rather nice, and I clearly prefer the AF-point layout to that of the D700. But there you go: We all see things a bit differently

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    Re: No new cameras?

    I'm trying to set some upgrade criteria for myself. ...
    I find that whenever I make pronouncements about such stuff, I break the rules pretty quickly. I buy gear when I want to, when the mood strikes me.

    Why buy new digital gear? Because I want something different/more/whatever than what I already have.

    I hadn't planned to buy any more digital gear this year, but the E-M1 suits what I've wanted to get to in FourThirds format so nicely I figured, "Why not?" Camera, grip, one new lens, some accessories. I'm actually more into playing with Polaroid stuff right now than anything else. So I guess I'll have to figure out what to do with the E-M1 when it arrives. Shouldn't be too hard.

    Will I buy any more digital cameras? Sure, but i'm not setting criteria for why, what, or when. I will likely sell some too.

    Godfrey

    "Equipment is transitory. Photographs endure."

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Well, I have bought three digital cameras for myself. I can say that the upgrade from the E-P1 to the Pentax 645D was pretty stunning. I have also bought an RX-1. The image quality there is really good.

    The fact there is always another model coming out, and this was true with film, is really irrelevant. New models do not change the image quality of any of the cameras I own. Image quality is not a limiting factor in the cameras I own. I don't understand the need to upgrade, unless you just like buying new cameras. And if you just like buying new camera, well, simply admit it and stop worrying about how you are going to justify it. After a while, saying your old camera makes you look fat is not going to work--you can just upgrade to a new version of Photoshop.
    While I agree with you, there is one huge difference between film cameras and their digital counterparts:

    It took 45 years from the Nikon F (1959) to the F6. From the D1 (1999) to the D4 (2012), it only took 13 years, and that's only half the truth, since the digital range includes 8 models (D1, D1H, D1X, D2H, D2X, D3, D3X, D4), not including the "s" varieties, which would have added 3 more).

    This is of course only an observation from my side, since I mostly buy obsolete but mint cameras (and gain from this development), but it says something about the change of pace when the camera industry changed from film to digital. As a result of all this, a mint D2X is now cheaper than a mint F2, go figure...

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    While I agree with you, there is one huge difference between film cameras and their digital counterparts:

    It took 45 years from the Nikon F (1959) to the F6. From the D1 (1999) to the D4 (2012), it only took 13 years, and that's only half the truth, since the digital range includes 8 models (D1, D1H, D1X, D2H, D2X, D3, D3X, D4), not including the "s" varieties, which would have added 3 more).

    This is of course only an observation from my side, since I mostly buy obsolete but mint cameras (and gain from this development), but it says something about the change of pace when the camera industry changed from film to digital. As a result of all this, a mint D2X is now cheaper than a mint F2, go figure...
    If there is a mint D2X or a mint F2 available now then that is a very sad narrative on these photography tools.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    If there is a mint D2X or a mint F2 available now then that is a very sad narrative on these photography tools.
    I tend to agree, but there are always well healed amateurs who want to have the "best", and then after 2, 3 or 30 years find that the "best" is too heavy or too complicated. The original owner of my D2Xs took 5,000 photos with it in 5 years before he realized that the camera wasn't optimal for him. He lost 90% of the value during the process. That's around a dollar per click

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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I tend to agree, but there are always well healed amateurs who want to have the "best", and then after 2, 3 or 30 years find that the "best" is too heavy or too complicated. The original owner of my D2Xs took 5,000 photos with it in 5 years before he realized that the camera wasn't optimal for him. He lost 90% of the value during the process. That's around a dollar per click
    You should check out China where for about 4 years up to about a year ago, Top of Line (TOL) digital cameras were a fashion accessory for guys like the LV bag was for women.

    Now the camera shops (which are clustered in one or two buildings) are ghosts of their former selves.
    There are stand alone Leica shops galore, with at least one complete set of all their lines, which may account for the shortage of inventory in Europe and the USA. I think this is the Hasselblad thinking - to cash in on this. I was just in Hong Kong airport at the duty free, and saw two complete lines of the Lunar etc.
    I guess the thinking on their part is that China will do for their brand what Japan did for Rolex watches and Scotch in the 1980s. I should add that in Shanghai - you can not go out to a park of down by the BUND without seeing 4 - 5 clusters of local photographers taking Wedding shots, (sometimes is fun to take shots of them taking the photos)

    It all ebbs and flows and I think now for the salad days are over for Canon and Nikon. Also you see Sigma giving Canon and Nikon a run for their their money on lenses.

    I think that is why Canon at least is taking so long to come out with a flagship DSLR - I think it will be a break thru in sensor technology, in size, DR, and ISO. Also I expect that they are not anticapating the sales volumn they had before on the TOL DSLR.
    I think the Asian market (especially China) has been the driving force. Problem for Cameras is two fold, buying a (TOL) camera, is the same as buying a Stradivarius violin it does not make your music sound better unless you are really good to begin with - it amplifies your short comings.
    I see alot of or iPhones and smaller cameras out there now as the reality starts to set in, the weight, the cost of lenses, and to get the most out TOL DSLRs requires a knowledge of post production. None of which works for someone who is just going to post online. It like buying a Porsche or a Hummer to drive in the city, Or buying the best paint or brushes to paint like Rembrandt

    A mobile phone and smaller camera is much more practical for most people. But I think that's great also - I have seen some really nice shots, and expect to see even better ones, to be optimistic, I hope this gives people the appreciation of what makes a good image and something to hang on their wall, unless of course there becomes a larger market for digital frames, and forego printing all together.

    Phil
    Last edited by alajuela; 30th September 2013 at 00:33.
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    Re: No new cameras?

    My personal criteria has usually been lenses as the priority, less so cameras.

    I was pretty set on cameras 4 years ago, but life changes can intervene. I decided to semi-retire and the H system went bye-bye in favor of an S2P kit that can do more of what interests me now.

    Every blue moon some camera comes along and upsets the apple cart ... the Leica M Monochrome for example.

    I didn't need a Sony A99 ... the A900 was plenty good enough. I got one anyway because it has some new features that have become valuable to me ... something as simple as the articulated LCD that saves my poor knees and makes overhead framing accurate.

    Looking forward, I honestly can't think of any camera advancement that'd interest me enough to dust off the check book.

    On the other hand, better lenses or missing focal lengths in my systems is a different matter.

    - Marc
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    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Yes, lenses were always a priority and we bought a camera body that did what we needed, but were always very much a back seat to the lens. Now, lenses come after the camera body because the sensor is in the camera and that is likely the main criteria for most buyers/users. This is especially true before auto focus and matrix-type metering came along. A Canon or Nikon F body was all you needed for many years, not nearly so today.

    Joel

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    Yes, lenses were always a priority and we bought a camera body that did what we needed, but were always very much a back seat to the lens. Now, lenses come after the camera body because the sensor is in the camera and that is likely the main criteria for most buyers/users. This is especially true before auto focus and matrix-type metering came along. A Canon or Nikon F body was all you needed for many years, not nearly so today.

    Joel
    Yes, it is an interesting dynamic now. It can go either way these days because, in general, the cameras have once again become so good/so close ... with a few offering specific sensor performance for certain applications.

    I bought into the Sony Alpha 35mm DSLR system because of the AF Zeiss lenses ... which picked up where the Contax N system left off after Kyocera bailed on making photo gear. But I waited until Sony offered a FF sensor. Lenses were the driving criteria.

    I would think the D800 is an example of sensor performance that is the exception to the lens criteria rule. Or the specialized Leica M Monochrome.

    Tech cameras using a MFD back wouldn't be nearly as effective if it weren't for the view lenses available compared to MF DSLR optics.

    My personal move to a S2 from a H4D was a balance of both criteria ... the camera better fit my changing needs, but the Leica S lenses were the deciding factor over other choices such as keeping the H4D/40, or moving to the much more economical Pentax 645D. IMO, the difference between sensors in the S2, H4D/40, Phase One 40 meg version and the Pentax 645D are pretty close ... but the lenses are not. Given a choice, I'd always opt for Leica optics (unless I couldn't afford it ).

    Interesting times.

    - Marc

  23. #23
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Given a choice, I'd always opt for Leica optics (unless I couldn't afford it ).

    Interesting times.

    - Marc
    Hehe, welcome to my world.
    Q: what would you go for next in optics? assuming you could not afford Leica.

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    Hehe, welcome to my world.
    Q: what would you go for next in optics? assuming you could not afford Leica.
    Actually, I now couldn't afford the Leica stuff I already have ... which was collected over time before I retired.

    I agonized for months over spending the money to add a ZA 50/1.4 to my Sony kit .... which, while being pretty expensive, pales in comparison to most M and S lenses.

    I just got the Sony ZA 50/1.4 today. Used "Bill Me Later" to soften the blow

    - Marc
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Marc,

    If I may ask, what are your thoughts on the relative cost of S-lenses at the present time compared to the time at which you purchased your S-lenses?

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Well, I buy new cameras because the mood strikes me . . . and because it's fun and informative seeing what's happening and how things are changing. I find it very hard to decide from reviews whether I'll like a camera or not. I get rid of the ones I don't like pretty quickly, and don't usually lose too much (at least, not more than I can afford).

    There are various rules about new cameras which have become quite obvious to me over the years, and from which it appears I never seem to learn:

    1. 'Compact' enthusiast cameras never satisfy - even very nice ones with big sensors and very good lenses (Ricoh GR, Fuji X100 are recent culprits).

    2. 'Compact' cameras with smaller sensors and zoom lenses never satisfy (Sony X100, Ricoh X20 are recent culprits)


    The truth is that 95% of my photos are either taken with a Leica M or an Olympus µ43 camera, of those, probably 70% with a Leica M.

    I think that in the last year or so digital has really come of age, and that almost all cameras are capable of taking really good pictures which you can blow up to unfeasibly large sizes. So it's all down to whether you like using the camera and whether you like the look of the lenses.

    To be honest I think that taking photographs is an entirely different occupation from acquiring/selling/talking about equipment, and it's pretty important not to get them muddled up in your mind.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by AreBee View Post
    Marc,

    If I may ask, what are your thoughts on the relative cost of S-lenses at the present time compared to the time at which you purchased your S-lenses?
    If I recall correctly, until recently, the initial S lens prices remained pretty steady (35, 70, 120 and 180). Lack of supply on some kept prices at retail.

    Recently, Leica raised their prices ... and increased the price of the newer 24mm and zoom by a lot ... before most people could even get one. It'll be interesting to see the price for the just announced S45/2.8.

    I bought all four of my S lenses early on enough to take advantage of the trade-up to the CS versions for the retail price difference between the S and CS versions ... so, I now have all new lenses with warranty, for not a lot of money (relatively speaking ).

    - Marc
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ...
    To be honest I think that taking photographs is an entirely different occupation from acquiring/selling/talking about equipment, and it's pretty important not to get them muddled up in your mind.
    Yes indeed. Totally different things in the mind.

    Went to a workshop reunion gathering the other evening. We talked about photographs and projects all evening. Every so often the conversation turned to equipment ... and it was a TOTALLY different engagement by the people around the table.

    G

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    There are various rules about new cameras which have become quite obvious to me over the years, and from which it appears I never seem to learn:

    1. 'Compact' enthusiast cameras never satisfy - even very nice ones with big sensors and very good lenses (Ricoh GR, Fuji X100 are recent culprits).

    2. 'Compact' cameras with smaller sensors and zoom lenses never satisfy (Sony X100, Ricoh X20 are recent culprits)

    .
    Its the exact opposite for me on rule 1. Some of my consistently best images were from a Contax T3. Most of the roll were technically great and a high number of keepers - there was huge satisfaction creating nice images from a minimalist kit. Fixed lens big sensor cameras are not the be all for me though, there are many images they just cant "get". I still have a small Em-5 "System" but its more a tool, I get more satisfaction from my GR in use though.

    With rule 2 I find the lack of fixed aperture or bad aperture at the long end means I just tend not to use the zoom, so I go back to a camera in rule 1.


    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    To be honest I think that taking photographs is an entirely different occupation from acquiring/selling/talking about equipment, and it's pretty important not to get them muddled up in your mind.
    While I agree to a small extent, the two should go hand in hand - they are linked IMO. Acquire something that don't work well for you and you won't be taking good photographs.

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    Re: No new cameras?

    I buy small cams because I think I want them . Turns out I don't which directly relates to boredom with files.

    I buy big mpx cams to satisfy a need but there a pain in the *** to deal with. Or I have to spend a fortune to get a file that's not boring.

    End of day I don't care about the gear so much just want nice files. I miss MF files from my tech cam. But I don't feel freedom from gear as much with them.

    Almost 40 years and still nothing really jives with my head or my style. Guess I'm still looking. But last thing I want to do is talk about it or much worse stress over it so I don't anymore.

    The end if the day I can shoot anything with good results that's just experience coming through so it's not one I can shoot better than the other but it's more about being married to it. On this front I'm afraid I'm still single.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, I buy new cameras because the mood strikes me . . . and because it's fun and informative seeing what's happening and how things are changing. I find it very hard to decide from reviews whether I'll like a camera or not. I get rid of the ones I don't like pretty quickly, and don't usually lose too much (at least, not more than I can afford).

    There are various rules about new cameras which have become quite obvious to me over the years, and from which it appears I never seem to learn:

    1. 'Compact' enthusiast cameras never satisfy - even very nice ones with big sensors and very good lenses (Ricoh GR, Fuji X100 are recent culprits).

    2. 'Compact' cameras with smaller sensors and zoom lenses never satisfy (Sony X100, Ricoh X20 are recent culprits)


    The truth is that 95% of my photos are either taken with a Leica M or an Olympus µ43 camera, of those, probably 70% with a Leica M.

    I think that in the last year or so digital has really come of age, and that almost all cameras are capable of taking really good pictures which you can blow up to unfeasibly large sizes. So it's all down to whether you like using the camera and whether you like the look of the lenses.

    To be honest I think that taking photographs is an entirely different occupation from acquiring/selling/talking about equipment, and it's pretty important not to get them muddled up in your mind.
    Same conclusion regarding compact type cameras.

    I'd add one highly unreasonable, totally irrational, very personal note to what I bold faced in your post Jono ...

    I associate success in image making with the equipment used, and when I feel let down by my image making, I also associate it with the gear. It is a totally superstitious mentality ... but there you have it.

    I agree that we often like to tinker with new photographic tools just to see what is possible these days ... (which is the ONLY reason I bought a Sony-A99) ... and that shouldn't be confused with "Photography".

    - Marc

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    1. 'Compact' enthusiast cameras never satisfy - even very nice ones with big sensors and very good lenses (Ricoh GR, Fuji X100 are recent culprits).
    Hmm. Read this again.

    You seem to be enjoying the Leica X Vario. I much enjoy the X2 as well. I find this class of cameras limited, but useful and satisfying in their niche, just like the Contax T2, Rollei 35S, and Minox 35GT-E were in film days.

    G

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I'm trying to set some upgrade criteria for myself. Here are some to start with:

    - A new camera should offer a visible improvement in image quality under the circumstance that I usually take photos.
    - A new camera should have improved usability that will make it significantly easier for me to take photos.
    - A new (or old) camera should have special, lasting values that enhances the experience of taking photos.

    Any of the above will do in my book, but GAS is only acceptable for the last one, "lasting" being an important criteria. The latest digital gadget will always be improved upon a few months later, a 30 year old Hasselblad mostly won't.
    Your criteria don't include the simple pleasure of using something new, different, or just appealing, for whatever illogical reason. My GR meets none of your standards for me personally, but I'm sure glad I gave in to GAS. Sometimes you don't know how rewarding something can be until you take the leap.

    John

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    Re: No new cameras?

    The difficulty with the conversation is we are at different points along the path. I simply buy the best camera I can afford. I pretty much know what will work for what I do--there is not a lot of mystery in cameras for me. I much prefer sticking with one, or in my case, two cameras that are really well made and just focus on photography. Like skills, the equipment just needs to disappear while you work. And you can only do that with stuff you know well. The most defining factor in your work is you.

    I am certainly not say equipment in unimportant. I have just been fortunate to work with just about every type of camera ever made. Cameras are like friends--good ones will last you a long time.

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Your criteria don't include the simple pleasure of using something new, different, or just appealing, for whatever illogical reason. My GR meets none of your standards for me personally, but I'm sure glad I gave in to GAS. Sometimes you don't know how rewarding something can be until you take the leap.

    John
    The pleasure of using something new just for kicks is a double edged sword. It's usually short lasting and I have problems seeing the point wasting the earth's resources buying things I won't keep. I really prefer buying other people's leftovers, like the GH3 I bought yesterday and most of my other cameras. That way, I can build on other people's experience, buying what has been thoroughly tested, and I re-use items that might have ended up unused. The image quality is still the same as when it was new

    The exception is when something really great comes along, like the E-M1 (and the GH1 before it), but then I know that it's something I'll keep for a long time, hopefully until it's worn out. I'm always happy when I've used a camera long enough for technicians to say that there's no point in spending money on repairs anymore.

    Count me also to the group that rarely find satisfaction with compact cameras. They are sometimes fun to start with, but mostly lack the functionality I need to create the photos that I aim for. A viewfinder and proper physicals buttons, switches and wheels are items I can't live without. I have a Nikon P330 in my bag, but I always bring a "proper" camera too, just in case, so there's no point really.

    GAS for me these days is mostly reserved for old but excellent cameras that I couldn't afford in the "old days". I have a lot of fun using my Contax RX, even if I only shoot half a dozen rolls per years with it, and I'm sure I will give in and buy an RTS III one of these days too, load it with Ektar or Plus F Pan and have a blast

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    I agree that we often like to tinker with new photographic tools just to see what is possible these days ... (which is the ONLY reason I bought a Sony-A99) ... and that shouldn't be confused with "Photography".

    - Marc
    I occasionally look for a new tinkering niche with equipment, but haven't been too successful... yet! - still looking

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The difficulty with the conversation is we are at different points along the path.
    I think you are right here, but I've found this conversation very interesting as members have expressed what they use and how it works for them.

    For me I have kept some of my past photo gear out of a kind of nostalgia (shelf queens?) - eg: that is the camera that took this great image kind of thing. I've bought and sold a lot like most of us. Some, but not all that I have kept include, OM4 + Zuikos, Contax T3, Ricoh GR Digital and a Sigma DP2. Regrets on selling - mainly the Konica Hexar RF and lenses.

    I'm interested to hear what others have kept from the past in deference to what was sold?
    I like Jorgen's idea of a RTS III. I had lust for one in the past.

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    I occasionally look for a new tinkering niche with equipment, but haven't been too successful... yet! - still looking



    I think you are right here, but I've found this conversation very interesting as members have expressed what they use and how it works for them.

    For me I have kept some of my past photo gear out of a kind of nostalgia (shelf queens?) - eg: that is the camera that took this great image kind of thing. I've bought and sold a lot like most of us. Some, but not all that I have kept include, OM4 + Zuikos, Contax T3, Ricoh GR Digital and a Sigma DP2. Regrets on selling - mainly the Konica Hexar RF and lenses.

    I'm interested to hear what others have kept from the past in deference to what was sold?
    I like Jorgen's idea of a RTS III. I had lust for one in the past.
    Tim, one photographic "Tinkering" niche that has captivated me for some years now is lighting. Now there is a tinkerer's dream come true ... one that opened up whole new worlds of what is possible. Most folks on this forum aren't interested for one reason or another, and some avoid or diss it out of lack of understanding it, or outright fear of it. I got over any lingering residual prejudice I may have had regarding the use of lighting when I saw a video of Mark Ellen Mark shooting in Central Park with Profoto strobes

    I held onto my 503CW and 203FE sets for a long time after it became practical to do so. Even bought a Hasselblad 949 scanner to perpetuate the delusion even longer. Probably because those were iconic pieces I associated with many a successful shoot in past. I now have no older film capable stuff except a Mamiya RZ Pro-IID and passel of Mammy MF lenses because it kills me how semi-worthless it all has become on the second hand market. Same for my great Kaiser MF Enlarger ... what a shame.

    In another thread I waxed nostalgic about never having had the pleasure of handling a Rolleiflex Twin Lens, and a good friend and fellow Get Dpier loaned me one to "tinker" around with. Frankly, I'm more interested in shooting some photos of it with my S2 MFD than actually using it ...

    I admit it, I'm done with film. The Leica M Mono put to bed any longing I may have had.

    - Marc

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Lighting is a 'tinkering niche'? Lighting is photography! All the gear talk is just BS about boys toys in comparison.
    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: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Lighting is a 'tinkering niche'? Lighting is photography! All the gear talk is just BS about boys toys in comparison.


    "Tinkering" in the sense that there are so many subtile lighting tools to work with and different effects you get with different types of lights and modifiers ... and all the tech stuff like durations and so on ... love figuring out that stuff!

    - Marc

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    Re: No new cameras?

    [QUOTE=Jorgen Udvang;539803]...
    GAS for me these days is mostly reserved for old but excellent cameras that I couldn't afford in the "old days". .../QUOTE]

    I'm in that camp. I've acquired, at ridiculously low prices, several of the dream cameras I could never afford in the past, like the two-body, five lens Leicaflex SL outfit.

    Although my real focus lately seems to be Polaroids that are given to me. I'm up to two SX-70s, one SX-70 Sonar Autofocus, one type 350 pack camera, and a Spectra Onyx (with another one on the way). All lots of fun. However, while the cameras might be free, let's not think about the film costs...=8^O

    G

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    However, while the cameras might be free, let's not think about the film costs...=8^O

    G
    I don't know about the cost of instant film, but I find conventional film rather reasonable compared to lots of other activities that I could have spent my time and money on, and the memories caught on film are forever. Sometimes, I compare it to playing golf. 18 holes around here, all expenses covered, is mostly $40-100. I have friends who do that once or twice every week. I can buy an old camera and film for that. Every week.

    So many things these days are based on instant gratification and almost instant obsolescence, even photos. Taken with an iPhone, posted on Facebook, forever forgotten.

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post


    "Tinkering" in the sense that there are so many subtile lighting tools to work with and different effects you get with different types of lights and modifiers ... and all the tech stuff like durations and so on ... love figuring out that stuff!

    - Marc
    It is all as subtle and often subjective as a lens drawing or the colour qualities of a specific sensor. Photo geeks talk about each element as if it was the defining factor whereas the artists put it all together to make a wonderful whole. It's why the talk on some forums can be so depressing sometimes. The talk of this lens or this sensor or this octabox or this strobe or whatever. They are all just pieces of the puzzle. The artist has a vision in mind which needs every element to come together, each adding it's own subtle and almost irrelevant advantages so that the final product as a whole is so powerful. That said I honestly believe we would see far better work as a whole if the geek talk was more about lighting and less about lens sharpness.
    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: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I don't know about the cost of instant film, but I find conventional film rather reasonable compared to lots of other activities that I could have spent my time and money on, and the memories caught on film are forever. Sometimes, I compare it to playing golf. 18 holes around here, all expenses covered, is mostly $40-100. I have friends who do that once or twice every week. I can buy an old camera and film for that. Every week.

    So many things these days are based on instant gratification and almost instant obsolescence, even photos. Taken with an iPhone, posted on Facebook, forever forgotten.
    Instant print cameras are not the iPhone model. The photos are available pretty quickly, but they last "forever" or some simulation thereof, and they're physical things that get stuffed into shoeboxes, etc. ;-)

    Currently, Impossible Project film for SX-70 and Spectra cameras costs about US$24 for eight exposures, or about $3 and a little bit per picture. A pack a day is an expensive habit ...

    G


    Waiting - Palo Alto 2013
    Polaroid Spectra Onyx, Imposslble Project Silver Shade Cool
    (scanned with iPad mini camera)
    Last edited by Godfrey; 3rd October 2013 at 10:54.

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    Re: No new cameras?

    My day job when I'm not moonlighting as the art director of a local college (don't laugh, it's mainly an admin job) is managing 3 repro studios. We are photographing manuscripts, documents, artifacts, etc from the past 800 years. It's sobering to think that 100 years from now they will have difficulty reading most of what has been written during the past decade and 300 years from now it will probably be impossible. This morning I was reading while photographing through the court transcripts from the beginning of the 20th century from the Rabbinical Courts in Essaouira in Morocco (the city was once 40% Jews, brought there by the Sultan) with the Moroccan authorities stamps of approval on each page. Years of a huge wealth of information as to the way of life of the Jewish community in that city. Documents, contracts, notes, treatises, etc. Legible and readable. This is just a tiny amount of the history I have been digitizing in the 'Archive of the Jewish People' in Jerusalem over the past month, we have a contract with them at present before they are swallowed by the National Library. I've photographed a prayer book from 1200's which I could read as clearly as a modern day text and I've no training in ancient scripts. 800 years from now will our musings and thoughts, our history and law, our images, be as accessible as history is now? Yeah right.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Well, no one can know for sure—anyone's vision of the future is murky at best. But I find the notion that we won't be able to somewhat desperate. Presuming we don't all die in a planetary catastrophe and that the large scale climate changes that we are expecting don't reduce us to a pre-technological society with no access to the tools we have today, I see no reason that we will lose any of what we're now accumulating into our accessible information stores in a form that is infinitely replicable with zero loss.

    What, I wonder, is the percentage of texts made in 1200 AD that have survived to the present? I suspect that a) the number of texts made were virtually nothing compared to what is created today, and b) that which survived is but a minuscule fraction of what was created.

    We have technology and information at our disposal today that was NEVER available before. These works you are recording? They've been in the dark with respect to the general public for centuries .. effectively non-existent. So I think the future, barring enormous and extreme calamity, is far brighter than "yeah, right." I maintain faith that the future will unfold and expand, not collapse and disappear.

    Hopefully that laser gamma burst of an exploding supernova yesterday in Andromeda is aimed somewhere else .. ;-)

    G

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    Re: No new cameras?

    While it sounds reasonable that a large portion of what is recorded today will be available in a 100 years, it is food for thought that it is very difficult to find devices that read media that were very common just a couple of decades ago, like 5 1/4" floppies, not to speak about 8". iomega zip drive? Some data are transferred to new devices when the old ones become obsolete, but lots of it aren't. When the hard drives fade out, who will take responsibility for transferring incredible amounts of data to SSD or whatever is in fashion in ten years from now?

    Those with resources, governments etc., will of course, which is like it's ever been, and what is stored will be selected by those loyal to the governments or other institutions. That's not always the way the average man sees reality. Those b&w negatives from my mother's Brownie on the other hand, that's sixties style reality according to me, and they can still be copied and read by a pair of human eyes

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    While it sounds reasonable that a large portion of what is recorded today will be available in a 100 years, it is food for thought that it is very difficult to find devices that read media that were very common just a couple of decades ago, like 5 1/4" floppies, not to speak about 8". iomega zip drive? Some data are transferred to new devices when the old ones become obsolete, but lots of it aren't. When the hard drives fade out, who will take responsibility for transferring incredible amounts of data to SSD or whatever is in fashion in ten years from now?

    Those with resources, governments etc., will of course, which is like it's ever been, and what is stored will be selected by those loyal to the governments or other institutions. That's not always the way the average man sees reality. Those b&w negatives from my mother's Brownie on the other hand, that's sixties style reality according to me, and they can still be copied and read by a pair of human eyes
    I agree. I think it is Unicorn wishes and cotton candy dreams that the recording of family level images and life as we know it now on a day-to-day basis will survive in the manner that analog images tended to do.

    When lack of immediate importance shelved print images from the last century, they got stuck in a drawer to be discovered by later generations. I know what my great grand father, and grandfather as a young man in WW-I, looked like because of that.

    Now I'm not so sure what will survive. As mentioned, I plead with clients to stay on top of technological changes, and to my knowledge none of them from a decade ago have done so.


    It is the year 2295. Technology has advanced to the point that what you see can be recorded and stored without any device that we would remotely recognize today.

    At an archeology dig in what was once NYC before the great Tsunami of 2153, they come across a DVD. The assistant asks the Archeologist "What is this?" She replies ... "I have no idea".


    - Marc

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    Re: No new cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    While it sounds reasonable that a large portion of what is recorded today will be available in a 100 years, it is food for thought that it is very difficult to find devices that read media that were very common just a couple of decades ago, like 5 1/4" floppies, not to speak about 8". iomega zip drive? Some data are transferred to new devices when the old ones become obsolete, but lots of it aren't. When the hard drives fade out, who will take responsibility for transferring incredible amounts of data to SSD or whatever is in fashion in ten years from now?
    This is the conventional viewpoint, and the stem from which all the negative views of the future branch.

    BUT ... The past couple of decades has been a time of enormous change and growth, a turbulent era where standards were not well-formed, or documented, until near the end of it. Where the technology was coming into being, not a stable state.

    I think the whole has grown much more sophisticated now, that those who create the systems understand the need for standards and welcome them. I don't think we're headed backwards into a time of chaos and lack of standards. With standards comes future security. The systems are reaching ... not maturity, but critical mass where it becomes difficult to lose the information needed entirely. Unless the catastrophic calamity occurs.

    Those who do not understand the systems are likely to get left behind, JUST LIKE how those who did not understand how to protect their film and their prints were in many cases left behind and lost their photos to floods, fires, and other degradation. There's nothing any individual can do about that.

    Anything sufficiently valued will be carried forwards. Anything not sufficiently valued will not. Just like it has always been. The technology is different, the ease of access less "natural" but assuming we don't lose the plot entirely, it won't be lost. And if we do lose the plot, well, we've likely going to have lost it all anyway as our survival in the numbers we are now depends upon the complexity of our world as it is for a lot of the basic essentials.

    We must all take responsibility to ensure the future. Migrate your data, publish your work, get it into the Library of Congress so that larger organizations curate and caretake it. Think about your exit plan ... What will happen to your photography, the work of your lifetime, when you are no longer around? Do you plan to just dump it on your friends and family, assuming they will value it and take care of it? I do not, I plan to move what I cherish in my work into artifacts, digital and print, that others can cherish past me. Publish or perish, for real.

    I refuse to take a negative view of the future. It is the Zeitgeist to do so, but I feel that view is wrong. It's the view of old men not willing to move forward, of adamant conservatism. "I want the world as it was when it was good (when I was a child)."

    I don't want a lot of the crap I saw happening when I was a child. I don't want the level of poverty, the fallibility to disease and despair, and the unconnectedness of vast parts of the world that was rampant in the 1950s, 1960s. So much has improved world wide ... with some losses, yes ... but I find it impossible to accept that all is going bad and that the future will be dark, dark, dark forever.

    If I accept that belief, what point is there to my photography other than to express my pain and despair? That's not how I want to live. And I won't.

    G
    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
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  49. #49
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    Re: No new cameras?

    Most of the most important documents I am photographing at present survived because they were used as bookmarks. The most important information from today will survive but who gets to decide what is important? Governments usually, they are the ones who can afford it. Do you trust the worlds governments to make the correct decisions? The books and documents I have been working with over the past year and a half have all, every single one, been stored by private families. Private families will not and most probably cannot store the personal digital domains of their ancestors for 100's of years.

    Even if we rely on the governments and large libraries, whatever they decide I promise you it will not include our family pictures. How many print pictures anymore? Do we think that the huge facebook galleries which have replaced prints will be available to show our grandchildren? As Marc says, it's easy to shove a picture into a drawer, how many know and will be savvy nevermind interested enough to enable digital continuation for the future of their own lives? Even if all of facebooks images will be stored for the future, a wild assumption at best, whose grandchildren will have the passwords? Will go through the bother to get legal rights to access those albums 100 years from now?

    I stopped providing proofs from my weddings a few years back, the clients didn't want it. Disk and an album. Fine. Few years back I went through my parents in laws wedding proofs from 1967. Good photographer actually for all that us modern shooters disparage the old 'pose everything' photographers of yester year. Was fascinating as they took us through their pictures, telling us the stories of people long dead and gone. Those B&W prints will still be there 100 years from now. There is a huge box of old photos in their garage, mainly pictures that the grandmother managed to bring over when she (luckily) left Germany in 1935. A history of my wifes family in Germany among which we found, scanned, printed and framed a family tree going back decades in pre war Frankfurt. They are still there. Still will be there. The digital photo record will not. Honestly do not believe that families and individuals will have the know how, money and interest to make sure that their viewpoint on our generation, that vital link to being able to understand how we really lived our lives, will be stored for the fascination of generations to come.

    Those disks that were given to my clients are Delkin 100 year Archival Disks. Sounds good in the advertising but we all know that getting those disks read 50 years from now even is going to cost a lot of money and be difficult to do. They will have their Album, 80 pictures or so. But that is just 80 out of over 1000. A snapshot of the wedding. How will they sit with their grandchildren 50 years from now and explain who all those people sitting at the tables were? Yes we put stuff in the contract about always updating to newer media, I promise you almost none will. Now the wedding business is giving images on USB sticks. It just gets worse...

    The organisation I work for has a clear goal with all the books and manuscripts we have photographed. To use the images to print 2 copies of each one to be stored in two locations (not my province thank goodness). These are people who are thinking in the realms of hundreds of years, they know how little survived until now and they want to provide the future world with what we had today. When you are thinking in the realms of centuries, you don't put your trust in digital, certainly not digital alone.

    4 years ago I lost a RAID hard disk set up. Had 6 months of family pics I hadn't backed up yet, I hadn't run the backups as thoroughly as I had with my work stuff. 3 months of that hadn't been printed yet. I managed to recover 2 months of it but a month is gone. And I'm a pro photographer who at least was printing and backing up. The general charlie's out there, well I think this decade will tell of perhaps the most photographs ever taken and the fewest kept for future generations.
    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

  50. #50
    Super Duper
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    Re: No new cameras?

    That would be governments and universities that are the largest archives. And so far, they have been proven to be very good at that.

    The problem with physical objects are better is there really is no data. Physical objects get destroyed and are lost and we are unaware of most that is lost. Early film history is a classic example of physical media either being distorted or simply decaying itself--nitrates are really not a long term solution for anything. And the idea that every family photo, every food-on-my-plate image, every stupid party picture actually has to be saved for history is not really a great idea. Most of what is made today could get lost and the world will be no worse off.

    As for the impermanence of digital data, that is far from proven. The physical media so far has been the biggest problem, but that was always the problem, even in the analog world--how are those 8-tracks working out? The data itself can be easily opened as most of the data are on universal standards--jpeg, tif, etc. Your Photoshop files might be problematic in a hundred years.

    But whether physical or digital, it comes down to the same thing, take care of your stuff.

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