Importance of gear ...

Started Mar 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP deednets Veteran Member • Posts: 7,975
Re: Importance of gear ...

edispics wrote:

I understand your argument - better gear = more confidence = better photos

But I think it could lead people to think if they only had the gear that their favourite photographers use, then their photos would look the same as well.

The example of the Russian mother is most illustrative. I have been following her work for a while and I love it. I have been reading as much background material on her as possible as well to get a better understanding of how she creates those precious images. Architectural background, she can design, she can draw. She understands and manipulates light wonderfully. She designs the photos before she goes out and takes them. She worries about composition and poses her kids appropriately. She has a mental image of the scene she wishes to recreate and she methodically goes out and puts into place all the components that let her reconstruct that image. She chooses her sets intelligently and appropriately. She shoots to isolate and highlight her subjects. Then she post processes up the wazzoooo. This she freely admits to in interviews and I now see that she might be giving seminars or participating in seminars to outline her special techniques. There are already numerous threads that have been dissecting her post processing skills and they are extremely clever and very appropriate to the types of images she is trying to create.

So sure, the gear she uses gives her a very solid base to work with, but that is not what makes her photos special, it is all that other stuff that make her photos unique and hers. So I would rephrase that little equation above to be something like:

good appropriate gear + all that other stuff = good, unique photos = confidence and loop back.

In my opinion all that other stuff is what make her photos look the way they do much more so than just the choice of camera and lens.

Interesting thread though.

Wasn't my idea, I just picked this up from a thread on the Leica forum. I see where you are coming from and have similar ideas around a "good base". The Leicas and in fact all other cameras of that particular format were not considered toys as I understand it, but tools inferior though to bigger formats. What is called 35mm in English is called Kleinbild-Format in German, where the Leicas come from. Klein, as in little, says it all. I think the first Leicas were developed to have a better understanding of angles and light during movie productions. Since the format at the time for movies was 35mm they just used the same film in a compact body. I am sure there is a lot of true and not-so-true trivia around this, so not sure as to how much of all this is true.

I noticed one thing last month when I went to stay in Melbourne, Australia for a weekend last month. I had a day of so meandered with a Fuji X-E2 and the 18-55/2.8-4.0 standard zoom to take some photos in the city. Went down "blood-alley" (think one photo shop next to the other...) and bought a 23/1.4 lens, acceptable price and I thought this might be fun to use this new lens on the day off, new toy factor and all.

I did notice almost immediately that I took my camera more seriously, right from the start, a serious piece of glass for mirror-less, so I did actually feel the effect of better gear, brighter viewfinder to start with, so I took some, what I would find "acceptable" pictures on that days, compared them later to the pics I had taken with the 18-55 and found the zoom results somewhat lackluster by comparison. I could basically tell that I was looking through the viewfinder more "seriously" if that's an appropriate term in this regard, but I did notice that it was the gear that made me look at stuff with a higher degree of enthusiasm.

Funny that. I am sure I will never be in the same league as some posters here who can take world class pics with Coca Cola bottles or toasters (iPHONEs maybe?), but I did notice the difference. Reminded me that when I was much younger I once bought an Ovation guitar. Did it make me a better player? Absolutely! Why? because the guitar was such a joy to play, that I simply played more, resuting in a better technique. Paco de Lucia style it wasn't but still better. here are a couple of photos I took (why not?) with that new lens in Melbourne. None of the ones I took with the zoom made it into the "keeper" zone, a result of a couple of reasons, including the gear.

Re the Russian photgrapher: I would be interested in watching her take her pics and PP, would be fun!

Sadly the museum was closed, would have been nice to have somebody with a bundle of keys maybe??

And since gear doesn't matter, I sold the 18-55 (not a bad lens actually...) a couple of weeks later.



 deednets's gear list:deednets's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR +3 more
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