Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.

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Aberaeron
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

I often refer to my cameras as 'tools'. Others may think that my cameras are 'jewels' but that I am the 'tool'.

EDIT

I have apparently just become a 'senior' citizen. Does this mean that I get most things at half price and the rest free? Cool!

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nevada5
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How is that different from your car, or ---
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

Or your house or anything else?

There are plenty of people who buy a new car and just drive the wheels off it, service it only when something breaks, never even washing it - they get five years out of it and buy a new one.  That has some merit - you don't spend any time worrying about your car - it's just a tool.

Then there are those who primp over their cars and keep them like new.  I suspect most of us are somewhere in the middle - as we might be with cameras.

But shoot in Program mode just because I can get an image - hmmmmm.  No thanks, all those buttons and dials do have a purpose.  I like some of them.

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wudyi
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Re: How is that different from your car, or ---
In reply to nevada5, 10 months ago

nevada5 wrote:

Or your house or anything else?

There are plenty of people who buy a new car and just drive the wheels off it, service it only when something breaks, never even washing it - they get five years out of it and buy a new one. That has some merit - you don't spend any time worrying about your car - it's just a tool

Then there are those who primp over their cars and keep them like new. I suspect most of us are somewhere in the middle - as we might be with cameras.

I clean the inside of my car once per year and run it through a self-wash.

But shoot in Program mode just because I can get an image - hmmmmm. No thanks, all those buttons and dials do have a purpose. I like some of them.

Holga, baby. Guesstimate distance and shoot.

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Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society. Aristotle

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Raymond Cho
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Re: You're camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Rservello, 10 months ago

Rservello wrote:

I was all in at the head of this article. I use my dslr like he describes his film experience. I get a baseline exposure and then bracket as needed. No need to infinite focus tho, since autofocus is fast. He lost me at, set p mode and shoot tho.

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A really recognised pro in my area calls "P for Professional".  I don't use it but I tried it out on my camera.  I shoot more the slow stuff with film and tripod you see ...

In P mode, you scroll one dial on my Nikon and it goes thru the different combinations, if you scroll the other dial it factors in exposure compensation.  It may not be suitable for long exposure landscapes etc.  with filters and night photography or you really high shutter speed.  But if it is your walk about photography, pictures of people it can be a bit easier ... Today's age the meter is pretty accurate but in saying that we aren't photographing black and white cats ..

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SlowSBF
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Re: You're camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Raymond Cho, 10 months ago

My camera is my hobby. It's just a hobby.

I am never going to be a professional photographer, and I don't want to either.
So therefor, this article does not refer to me very well. Ofcourse I am very careful with my camera.
As said before in the thread, sacrifice a $500 camera for a $15k shot, yes worth it. Sacrifice my $1500 camera for just a shot I want and will never sell, nah. I can live without just that one shot because afterwards I can take many more.

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Aberaeron
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Re: How is that different from your car, or ---
In reply to nevada5, 10 months ago

nevada5 wrote:

Or your house or anything else?

There are plenty of people who buy a new car and just drive the wheels off it, service it only when something breaks, never even washing it - they get five years out of it and buy a new one. That has some merit - you don't spend any time worrying about your car - it's just a tool.

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Life is short - drive a convertible.
Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society. Aristotle

Just a tool? JUST a tool!

You must not have a quality set of tools. Most people I know, look after their tools as if they were their babies. With care and pride. Building a shed especially for them. Paying over the odds for Snap-On.

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Raymond Cho
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

It does more cost money to buy a nice car or a used car that is still rather nice.  Many people just pick up a modestly priced car for us we get them at the auctioneer so cheaper than the dealers and not have to deal with them too .... We pick up a 5 or 8yr old car depending on the deal we get, your typical VW Golf or Toyota Camry etc.  keep it for another 12yrs ourselves and then sell it for $200 or send it to the scrap yard and get back $100 when the repair bills gets too excessive.  It's silly to buy a new car, it depreciates as you drive it out of the showroom.  When it needs service, tyres etc .. we just send it to the place that has a good deal and reputable.  We do shop around for good prices....

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Lanidrac
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Too many tools using jewels as a tool?
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

I'm one of them.

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Lanidrac
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Why does everybody list their gear now?
In reply to Gollan, 10 months ago

Gollan wrote:

What I get from that is "take your camera out and take photos". I do. This winter I had my camera outside in some extremely cold weather. But comparing the risks that pros are willing to take with their equipment to amateur photographers is unfair. A pro can justify killing a camera from time-to-time as an opportunity cost of having some great photos to sell and an interesting portfolio. If I kill my camera, all I have is a few years of using a point-and-shoot while I save for a new camera.

I disagree that my DSLR has "far too many features for you to become comfortable with". I don't have to press every button or access every menu item to take a photo. In fact, when I'm outside in -25°C/-15°F weather, I can only safely take my glove off for a few seconds, so I'm not fooling with too many settings. In the film days, we bracketed to be sure we got the shot. In the digital days my camera will do that for me. Better yet, after the first shot, I look at the picture and the histogram, check the shooting data to be sure I set everything, and decide if I need to adjust the exposure or anything else before I continue. With film we... looked at the contact sheet hours or days later.

It sounds a bit like the author of the article is nostalgic for the film days and distrustful of these newfangled digital cameras with all their buttons and doohickeys. I do agree with him that we should spend as much time as possible taking photos and take risks, but only up to our individual comfort levels.

We never got the extreme detail on film like we do with digital today, too. Its being taken for granted.

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Tap0
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

Plenty of wrong advise in that blog post. Consider this :

"Remember, the more beat-up your camera looks, the more you’ve been using it as the right tool to get the right stuff. Carry it around with pride. It shows you’re serious about photography."

So, carrying around a beat up camera purchased used will make me a good photographer ?

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Ian Stuart Forsyth
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Drop the camera the first day you own it.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

This way you are less worried about going out and taking photographs and use the camera as it was intended. If the camera lasts 5 year then it has paid for itself either thru the work you have captured or by the enjoyment it has brought you.

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The Camera is only a tool, photography is deciding how to use it.
The hardest part about capturing wildlife is not the photographing portion; it’s getting them to sign a model release

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Klaus dk
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to dad_of_four, 10 months ago

Had a similar experience in my youth. A photographer from the local newspaper came to photograph a classical concert in the school auditorium. He brought a Leica and when he changed lenses he put one lens in the pocket of his jacket and took the other lens from the opposite pocket. Probably kept his keys in his trouser's pockets though

I will add, that I find most of the blog linked to in the OP a bit strange. Part of the joy of being an amateur is that you can take the time you need to get it right, technically and otherwise. Photographing portraits of amateur models OTOH forces me to work quickly, before they lose interest.

And using the best gear I can afford also means that I can't afford to lose it due to carelessnes.

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meland
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

Some years ago a survey was carried out to try and determine whether it was the equipment that motivated an interest in photography, or the end result. Of course the survey questions had to be carefully worded since we felt many would be reluctant to admit that they had spent a lot of money on what essentially are just 'shiny things' only to have them sit in a camera bag, or at best to photograph a few test charts to validate their purchase.

I don't remember the exact percentages but it was about 40% for 'collectors' and 60% claimed they actually used the equipment on a regular basis for 'photography'. I suspect the real figures would have been more biased towards the 'collectors' except that quite a few respondents probably were intelligent enough to successfully manipulate their answers. Interestingly the collectors would often own more than the users in the way of lenses and accessories, presumably because the major pleasure was in the acquisition.

What did that tell us? Well not a lot that we didn't already suspect - but it sparked off a concerted drive to ensure that our dealers carried as many of the accessories and lenses in stock as possible, since collectors will often on impulse buy things they might not even particularly need, if they are in stock.

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amalric
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to meland, 10 months ago

That tells us only about the behaviour of the Western rich part of the World, a minority population.

By perusing flickr I find that by far the most interesting photogs. are from Asia, Chinese in particular. The best still use a film camera, probably a Seagull and a 50mm, a copy of Soviet cameras, that were copies of 1930 Leicas. Of no commercial value whatsoever.

That tells me the truth about photography, far more than a poll in some Commercial Space.

Which tells me only the sad truth of late consumerism.Thankful if it doesn't contribute to pollute the environment for greedy, ultraindividual purposes. The West has lost moral superiority.

You can indeed shoot awesome material with v. simple tools a Chinese village can tell you.

Am.

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Aberaeron
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to amalric, 10 months ago

amalric wrote:

That tells us only about the behaviour of the Western rich part of the World, a minority population.

By perusing flickr I find that by far the most interesting photogs. are from Asia, Chinese in particular. The best still use a film camera, probably a Seagull and a 50mm, a copy of Soviet cameras, that were copies of 1930 Leicas. Of no commercial value whatsoever.

That tells me the truth about photography, far more than a poll in some Commercial Space.

Which tells me only the sad truth of late consumerism.Thankful if it doesn't contribute to pollute the environment for greedy, ultraindividual purposes. The West has lost moral superiority.

You can indeed shoot awesome material with v. simple tools a Chinese village can tell you.

Am.

The people who till the land by animal and human labour, subsistence farming and barely able to feed their families, and living in abject poverty, would love nothing more and aspire to  a 'Western' standard of living. There is absolutely nothing romantic or desirable to this kind of life.

The most successful Asian economies rival and often better Western standards of living and soak up technology like no others.

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wudyi
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Raymond Cho, 10 months ago

Raymond Cho wrote:

It does more cost money to buy a nice car or a used car that is still rather nice. Many people just pick up a modestly priced car for us we get them at the auctioneer so cheaper than the dealers and not have to deal with them too .... We pick up a 5 or 8yr old car depending on the deal we get, your typical VW Golf or Toyota Camry etc. keep it for another 12yrs ourselves and then sell it for $200 or send it to the scrap yard and get back $100 when the repair bills gets too excessive. It's silly to buy a new car, it depreciates as you drive it out of the showroom. When it needs service, tyres etc .. we just send it to the place that has a good deal and reputable. We do shop around for good prices....

Good job, Raymond. I'm buying a used car next time around, myself. I've always bought new, but I've also run those new cars into the ground like you explain. My father bought a new Porsche every four years from the same salesman at the same dealership. He liked expensive cameras, too, but you know what? I have almost no pictures of me when I was growing up. 

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wudyi
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Tap0, 10 months ago

Tap0 wrote:

Plenty of wrong advise in that blog post. Consider this :

"Remember, the more beat-up your camera looks, the more you’ve been using it as the right tool to get the right stuff. Carry it around with pride. It shows you’re serious about photography."

So, carrying around a beat up camera purchased used will make me a good photographer ?

What's a good photographer?

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amalric
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to Aberaeron, 10 months ago

Aberaeron wrote:

amalric wrote:

That tells us only about the behaviour of the Western rich part of the World, a minority population.

By perusing flickr I find that by far the most interesting photogs. are from Asia, Chinese in particular. The best still use a film camera, probably a Seagull and a 50mm, a copy of Soviet cameras, that were copies of 1930 Leicas. Of no commercial value whatsoever.

That tells me the truth about photography, far more than a poll in some Commercial Space.

Which tells me only the sad truth of late consumerism.Thankful if it doesn't contribute to pollute the environment for greedy, ultraindividual purposes. The West has lost moral superiority.

You can indeed shoot awesome material with v. simple tools a Chinese village can tell you.

Am.

The people who till the land by animal and human labour, subsistence farming and barely able to feed their families, and living in abject poverty, would love nothing more and aspire to a 'Western' standard of living. There is absolutely nothing romantic or desirable to this kind of life.

The most successful Asian economies rival and often better Western standards of living and soak up technology like no others.

LOL - do you really believe in this crap?

This is the artist I had in mind. I think he now uses an old Hasselblad 6x6:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gzi24/

Very different story from what you imagine in your Western misery.

Am.

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Aberaeron
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to wudyi, 10 months ago

Raymond Cho wrote:

It does more cost money to buy a nice car or a used car that is still rather nice. Many people just pick up a modestly priced car for us we get them at the auctioneer so cheaper than the dealers and not have to deal with them too .... We pick up a 5 or 8yr old car depending on the deal we get, your typical VW Golf or Toyota Camry etc. keep it for another 12yrs ourselves and then sell it for $200 or send it to the scrap yard and get back $100 when the repair bills gets too excessive. It's silly to buy a new car, it depreciates as you drive it out of the showroom. When it needs service, tyres etc .. we just send it to the place that has a good deal and reputable. We do shop around for good prices....

Good job, Raymond. I'm buying a used car next time around, myself. I've always bought new, but I've also run those new cars into the ground like you explain. My father bought a new Porsche every four years from the same salesman at the same dealership. He liked expensive cameras, too, but you know what? I have almost no pictures of me when I was growing up. 

I also buy new and run at least half of everything I buy for ten years or more. I ran a 1984 land Rover until 2007 and an Isuzu Trooper/bighorn from 93 until 12 and it has sat at the bottom of my yard since. Main car is a 98 Land Cruiser 100, which has done 500 miles this past week towing a 7000 lb trailer. I still have a Minolta 7000 in perfect order, though it hasn't been used in some years now. Who can tell what the future holds though.

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Aberaeron
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Re: Your camera's a tool, not a jewel.
In reply to amalric, 10 months ago

Aberaeron wrote:

amalric wrote:

That tells us only about the behaviour of the Western rich part of the World, a minority population.

By perusing flickr I find that by far the most interesting photogs. are from Asia, Chinese in particular. The best still use a film camera, probably a Seagull and a 50mm, a copy of Soviet cameras, that were copies of 1930 Leicas. Of no commercial value whatsoever.

That tells me the truth about photography, far more than a poll in some Commercial Space.

Which tells me only the sad truth of late consumerism.Thankful if it doesn't contribute to pollute the environment for greedy, ultraindividual purposes. The West has lost moral superiority.

You can indeed shoot awesome material with v. simple tools a Chinese village can tell you.

Am.

The people who till the land by animal and human labour, subsistence farming and barely able to feed their families, and living in abject poverty, would love nothing more and aspire to a 'Western' standard of living. There is absolutely nothing romantic or desirable to this kind of life.

The most successful Asian economies rival and often better Western standards of living and soak up technology like no others.

LOL - do you really believe in this crap?

This is the artist I had in mind. I think he now uses an old Hasselblad 6x6:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gzi24/

Very different story from what you imagine in your Western misery.

Am.

I don't just believe it, I know it to be true. These people aspire to improve their lives.
That, however, is a different subject altogether from the delight in using and the utility of older tools. We are fortunate to have the choice.

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