Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: yet another equipment related article :D

  1. #1

    Default yet another equipment related article :D

    picked up a few copies of newer amateur photography issues, this is the 15 dec 07 copy.

    roger hicks, one of my favourite writers for photography wrote this, thought it was a worthy read with a lot of valid points, so please take your time to justify my typing efforts:

    Equipment snobs are lamentably familiar in photography. They unquestioningly buy the latest and best of everything, even if they never actually take a picture. Equipment anti-snobs are even more common. They protest that their Zorki is every bit the equal of a Leica, that their Seagull will do all a Rolliflex will do and that a Gandolfi is a waste of money.

    Though anti-snobs seem to despise the latest and the best, they often make up for quality with quantity. Instead of one Leica, they have 3 Zorkis, a Fed and half a dozen fixed-lens rangefinder cameras. Instead of one Summilux, they have a dozen Russian screw-mount lenses. Instead of one Gandolfi with a Super-Symmar, they have 3 MPP Mk VIs with old Xenars, Lustrars and Angulons.

    Until recently I had put both kinds of snobbery down to the undobuted seductiveness of new cameras, lenses and the like. There is always the implied promise they will, via some sort of sympathetic magic, give us better pictures.

    But twice recently I have come across an assertion that I had enver encountered before, at least in such a plain and unvarnished form. It is that possessions and wealth in themselves are less important than having more possessions and wealth than the next man - or of course, woman.

    This is the exact opposite of what I have always felt - namely, a certain discomfort that I should have so much when so many others have so little. I don't feel uncomfortable enough to give away all my possessions and live the life of a mendicant monk, not least because I am very happily married, but I am acutely aware that there are plenty of people in the world without a roof over their heads, or enough to eat, or even clean water to drink. Nearer home, there are hapless wage slaves toiling for meagre reward. In such a world it strikes me as the worst possible taste to flaunt your wealth and devote yourself to acquiring vastly more than you need, just because you can.

    But by being brought face-to-face with this admission of naked grief and arrogance, I was able to understand for the first time the assertion, often made by the obscenely well-paid, that vast salaries and huge bonuses are not necessarily important in themselves, they are merely a way of keeping score, of showing who is best. This reinforced my conviction that such people have a very warped understanding of 'best', but at least I could begin to see what they were talking about.

    Another reason I had never before considered their world picture is a sort of secular version of the Gospel According to St Matthew, Chapter 19, verse 24: "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

    Although I am not convinced of the literal existence of a kingdom of God, I am convinced it is uncommonly easy to be trapped by possessions. Not just by earning the money to acquire them, which can by itself occupy an altogether disproportionate amount of time, but also by the money and effort needed to maintain them, such as keeping the roof watertight or changing the oil in the car.

    To put it in the most secular and contemporary terms, I simply can't be bothered to do all this. But I know full well that if I don't look after my possessions, they may quite quickly go to rack and ruin, and I'll have to replace them, or spend more on repairs than I would have had to spend on maintenance in the first place.

    It therefore seems to me to make sense to buy the best I can afford, so it will last as long as possible and require the minimum of maintenance, to buy the minimum of it, so I don't have to spend all my time looking after it; and then look after it carefully so I don't have to replace it any more often than necessary.

    As a result, if someone feels he is some way better than I am because he has more possessions, I tend to suspect the exact opposite. Indeed, I feel sorry for him, because he is trapped by his possessions. We are all constrained in our lives, but the difference between constraint and a trap is often a matter of choice.
    word

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Clementi
    Posts
    10,596

    Default Re: yet another equipment related article :D

    Very meaningful.

    Buy what you need, not what you can stock up on.

  3. #3

    Default Re: yet another equipment related article :D

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    Very meaningful.

    Buy what you need, not what you can stock up on.
    i suppose that's the point of the

    "it is the photographer, not the equipment" line

    no doubt, better equipment will help you achieve certain things, but does one need to achieve EVERYTHING? i sincerely doubt that, we are not superman.

    which is why i feel that while it is not correct to flash that ever-famous line to anyone and everyone asking about equipment matters.. it is probably not wrong to use it to serve as a reminder to people who are too caught up, i.e. trapped, as hicks would put it.. by their possessions, a.k.a. lens acquisition rampage.

    it's all about the balance, and compromises.

    i once knew a member of the fairer sex who bought a dress for every major occasion or event. she wore each dress once, and condemned it to the bottom of the deepest oceans, never to be seen again.

    one will say: it's her money, none of your bloody business, the issue here is - is such a mentality right? in any fundamental sense?

    change a dress to a lens, and you'll see that if you want to get that kinky 200 f/2.8 prime.. just because you MIGHT need it.. think again.
    Last edited by night86mare; 20th March 2008 at 01:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
    Posts
    1,568

    Default Re: yet another equipment related article :D

    Which is why I am still very happily using my D70 with 4 lens all more then 4 yrs old for both my work and past time shooting.

    Not worrying about shutter counts, more exposure zoning setting, iso grain, what VR I or II...eg. I am sure I could do alot more better with the ever progressing "very best and latest" but really....how much better would that really be? Well it is something only I need to know and care about...for myself.

    Tomorrow I might walk into a shop to buy a D300 if my D70 dies or save abit more and throw in a few more fast lens but if the gain and usage is still hovering about the same as where I am today, I rather use that money on a D80 or D60. Might as well spend that money on my other hobbies or just save the money for a rainy day. I just want to shoot photos,.... not join in a pissing or popularity contest. But hey if that is your way of enjoying the hobby...more power to you. BUt for those just starting out...take it slow and don't get carried away.

    More then 60% I dare say are the reasons for producing good to great shots are due main to elements like "chance timing" (being at the right place at the right time) and aquiring as much knowledge reading up and practicing the fundamental of photography and being familiar with your equipment to the point that it is almost second nature to you.
    Last edited by sammy888; 20th March 2008 at 03:12 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: yet another equipment related article :D

    1. I think Hicks was writing about his epiphany, not about equipment per se.

    2. I would suggest skill and persistence have far more to do with good pictures than chance.

  6. #6

    Default Re: yet another equipment related article :D

    Very interesting...

    and thanks Night86mare for taking the time and effort to share that.

    Needs and wants, or desires will always rage war within many of us since everyone has desires and aspirations, but where do we draw the line as to what would it take to make us happy and how does a person discern between needs and wants, since it's easy to rationalise just about anything?

    I've never really thought about where I am or what camp I belonged to, equipment wise because in all frankness, I find it too much a waste of time. I'm not sure if I belong to any one particular camp though ... coming to think about it ... but that doesn't mean I don't think about equipment - I do allow myself the pleasure of fantasizing once in awhile, but I find that it tends to be more objectivity-based rather than tossing off over tech specs.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 20th March 2008 at 10:19 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: yet another equipment related article :D

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    1. I think Hicks was writing about his epiphany, not about equipment per se.

    2. I would suggest skill and persistence have far more to do with good pictures than chance.
    1. doesn't mean you can't derive anything else other than the man having an epiphany, no? there are parts which make statements with regards to equipment hoarding.

    2. yes. ansel adams and many other famous landscape photographers would sit on the same spot waiting for that right light.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Blue/Green Planet
    Posts
    1,854

    Default Re: yet another equipment related article :D

    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post
    Which is why I am still very happily using my D70 with 4 lens all more then 4 yrs old for both my work and past time shooting.

    Not worrying about shutter counts, more exposure zoning setting, iso grain, what VR I or II...eg. I am sure I could do alot more better with the ever progressing "very best and latest" but really....how much better would that really be? Well it is something only I need to know and care about...for myself.

    Tomorrow I might walk into a shop to buy a D300 if my D70 dies or save abit more and throw in a few more fast lens but if the gain and usage is still hovering about the same as where I am today, I rather use that money on a D80 or D60. Might as well spend that money on my other hobbies or just save the money for a rainy day. I just want to shoot photos,.... not join in a pissing or popularity contest. But hey if that is your way of enjoying the hobby...more power to you. BUt for those just starting out...take it slow and don't get carried away.

    More then 60% I dare say are the reasons for producing good to great shots are due main to elements like "chance timing" (being at the right place at the right time) and aquiring as much knowledge reading up and practicing the fundamental of photography and being familiar with your equipment to the point that it is almost second nature to you.
    Cool talks,

    I still have my D70 and it still (and hopefully forever will) take great shots.

    Technology does not make the photographer better, it simply gives more options.

    A good photographer works with their camera's options and uses them to the limit.

    Cheers
    Time, is an effortless construction :)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    新天地
    Posts
    4,768

    Default Re: yet another equipment related article :D

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    2. yes. ansel adams and many other famous landscape photographers would sit on the same spot waiting for that right light.
    Someone did that and was struck by lightning.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    新天地
    Posts
    4,768

    Default Re: yet another equipment related article :D

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i once knew a member of the fairer sex who bought a dress for every major occasion or event. she wore each dress once, and condemned it to the bottom of the deepest oceans, never to be seen again.
    Maybe she likes to change dress in front of you?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •