Buying more cameras VS buying more film

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Ricus.stormfire, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    I've been thinking about this for some time now. But don't you guys think that it would be better to buy more film (instead of more cameras). I've seen in some threads (here and on flickr), you know, those "list your cameras" threads that pop up from time to time, people who own a busload of cameras (why?) and go on about their next purchase. I think one of the biggest problems we have as film users is GAS.

    I know there are some bargains to be had but still (do you really need five 35mm cameras?)

    I've written off owning a LF camera, or any extra cameras (lenses are a different horse of course), in favour of buying (fresh) film instead.

    I know most of you will probably read this thread and think: "screw him, I'll just buy some more cameras." and I don't care, but I hope that some of you will at least next time think twice before placing a bid, buying or what not.

    What to you guys & gals think? Am I wrong to think this? :sad:

    (if this is the wrong forum, mods you may move or delete it)
     
  2. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    If I want to do a side by side comparison of HP5+, Delta 400 and Delta 3200 shot at 1600 with 35mm cameras then the easiest thing for me to do is load up 3 bodies and go shoot the same thing three times, swapping a body on the tripod, using the same lens for consistency. With MF I could just swap 3 backs.

    Perhaps I want autofocus/autoexposure some days but want pure manual other days? Small camera/big camera?

    Honestly 35mm camera bodies are so cheap these days that they don't buy much film. Many pro packs cost more than a 35mm body today!
     
  3. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    So I'm wrong? Ok so maybe 35mm was bad example. If its that cheap by all means go ahead, but it still feels some of us are killing film this way?

    Look I also use more than one 35mm body (for different types of film) but buying a camera just for having ALOT's sake seems wrong.

    But I get your point
     
  4. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Not entirely, but sometimes another camera helps use more film. For instance, I had two Nikons, good cameras, but heavy. I decided I wanted something better for taking with me on my bike, so I got an Olympus. So I shoot more when I ride. I got a second Nikon to begin with so that I could have two different films loaded (why don't 35mm cameras come with interchangeable backs like MF gear?).

    And there is that some cameras are so cheap now that the cost doesn't really make a difference; time is much bigger constraint for me right now.

    Why should lenses be a different story? Some are quite expensive! Heck, the lens I bought for the OM-1 cost a lot more than the body did.
     
  5. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Yeah maybe I'm just projecting my own faults/fears here...I dunno

    Lenses, well no point in owning say five bodies but only one lens (or five of the around the same focal length...) you might have a different opinion, (but that^^^^ was mine)
     
  6. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have 3 35mm slr for the only reason that I like them!

    Jeff
     
  7. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Look two or three 35mm slrs are fine (I use two 35mm bodies, Hp5+ in one, Fp4+/Delta 100 in the other myself) but when is too much, TOO MUCH?
     
  8. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    It is too much when you decide it is too much.

    I have a Nikon Problem, and I also have a Kodak camera problem, I admit it freely.

    I own 6 Nikon 35mm bodies, could I do without a few of them, sure, but there is a reason for each of them.

    I have an FM and an FA for those manual focus days, and I can carry both easily with a different lens on each so I don't have to swap lenses, or I can carry two different films in them, I hike in the woods a lot, and the two film approach is something I do a lot. I do the same with my N90s and the N8008s, and I have an N65 for when I might need a built in flash, I have strobes, but sometimes they are impractical. I also have a Nikonos V for rainy days, or when I am hanging with the fishes underwater.

    With the Kodaks, I have two 35mm Stereo cameras, one is quirky so it spends a lot of time as a backup.

    I have a Zeiss Ikon Contessa LKE as well, but that needs to be serviced so it does nothing but sit in a box waiting to be shipped out.

    Those are all my 35mm bodies and or cameras, they are all tools and they all do something better than the others.

    As for film, I have over 50 rolls of the stuff in the fridge, and I have no plans of buying another camera any time soon, in fact I just donated a Canon AS-6 (35mm underwater) and a Kodak Brownie Autographic #2 (120 film) to a camera giveaway so they could go to a new home and see more film than I was feeding them. I shoot all my cameras regularly, those two only saw about 10 rolls of film each this year so they were sent to a good home. Honestly, right now if something caught my eye and I had to have it I would sell whatever I was using it to replace. Well, maybe I could use a second Nikonos V but those take up a lot of storage space so they are easy to turn down.
     
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  9. totalamateur

    totalamateur Member

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    I'd offer some additional logic, while manufacturers are running from making film at, say, 10 miles an hour, everyone except for Holga appears to be running from manufacturing bodies at about 100 miles an hour. How many models of Canon 35mm are still being made? Nikon? How many production runs do you think Schneider is making for LF lenses a year? at what cost?

    I'd say that, for enthusiasts who are worried about the disappearance of the medium, getting the gear you want is every bit as important as getting the film to stick in it. It appears to me that there are a few companies dedicated to staying alive with film (ilford, foma, the formulary, etc.) but I don't see Canon, Nikon, Hassie, Mamiya, Pentax, Calument, Kodak, or anyone other gear maker taking great pains to continue their lines of film cameras, and if they are, I can only imagine that the production is low and price is high due to lack of economies of scale.

    Thinking about it another way, it appears as of late that film gear has much appreciated in price - I think this might be a signal to manufacturers of both film and gear that - 1. Film is still popular and 2. there might still be plenty of profit in it.

    In conclusion - all you guys need to spend lots of cash on both film and gear! (just not the particular film and gear I'm bidding on)

    :smile:
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It would have been really hard to turn down my latest acquisition - a 10 year old autofocus Canon EOS SLR with Canon 28-90mm EF lens that the thrift store only wanted $20.00 for.

    It is my first and only AF SLR, and the youngest camera I own.

    I would have been stronger if it had been an OM-1 - I have 5 OM bodies already.

    Now if it had been an OM-4 or OM-3 - I'd probably have been weak :smile:.
     
  11. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

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    Well it seems you guys in the 1st world get everything much cheaper, $20? that's like R140, that'll probably go for R600 - R900* here (which is $85 - $128), so that gives me better understanding as to the why, they are dirt cheap there...

    *But it depends on a few factors, condition, does it come with a lens. Those quoted prices are what seller normally would ask, there are bargains sometimes, but I've been burnt by bargains in the past (Minolta X300 with 58mm f1.2, but the lens has NO aperture diaphram - permanent f1.2) Very Cheap = Broken, or very very used/abused/fungus infected lenses etc. Good ones = higher price
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2010
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Ricus:

    That $20.00 camera was a particularly good deal. Most of the thrift store inventory consists of a variety of 35mm point and shoot cameras (some of which are quite good) for around $5.00 or old, basic manual SLRs that have seen better days.

    But it is true that we get quite a bit of choice.
     
  13. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    If I could put money towards something, it would be buying time to shoot. Between a full time job and living in Seattle, sunlight is at a premium. Not a problem for the studio folks but I've never been able to get into portraiture and still life. I'm not good at stepping away from work, so I almost never take vacations.

    In the end, I have plenty of cameras I enjoy using and film ready to go but often have a hard time getting through a roll a week this time of the year (ie October through May)
     
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  15. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Personally, my film consumption is limited by time more than by money---I could afford more film than I currently buy, but I'd never find the time to shoot and process it. So "more cameras vs. more film" is a false dichotomy for me. Your mileage may vary, in which case you probably have more time to spend on photography than I do, and I'm jealous of you. :smile:

    Also, the pleasure of experimenting with different equipment is one of the things that gets me out there shooting. I think quite a few of us at APUG are like this---it's not only about the resulting image but also about working with tools that are fun to use. Every time I hear a leaf shutter go "pzzt" it brightens my day a little.

    -NT
     
  16. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I've managed to almost cure myself of equipment GAS by buying more film, always fresh film. One issue I have is that I don't seem to be able to shoot it quick enough and I tend to amass film. The problem is slowly sorting itself out as more and more lines get cut, there's less to try out, especially with colour.
     
  17. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    The camera makers have a problem the film makers do not--they have to compete with their own existing inventory. There are still a LOT of Nikons, Canons, etc., out in the world, still serviceable and usable. You want a nice Nikon, a Schneider lens? No problem. Some stuff is getting scarce/hard to repair, but we are not close to running out any time soon. In the long run, this is a real problem--the film market can't be sustained on used cameras alone.

    I have to say, of all the cameras I have now--about eight or so in good user condition--not one was purchased new.
     
  18. eddym

    eddym Member

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    There are photographers, and then there are camera collectors. A photographer only needs one camera, but lots of film; a camera collector needs many cameras but no film. Each person decides which of these they are.

    (Note: the above does not mean that photographers are limited to one camera; nor does it mean that collectors never shoot film. But most people fall somewhere between the two extremes.)
     
  19. blockend

    blockend Member

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    One of the things that confounds and amuses me is the last generation of 35mm cameras to be made, the plastic fantastic autofocus SLRs of the 1990s, are also the cheapest. Okay professional models attract a premium but even consumer cameras were pretty sophisticated by the turn of the millennium and sell for buttons today.
    The pay off for such cheapness is a certain degree of premature obsolescence (usually LCDs) so anyone learning to love multi-mode AF cameras had better stock up. Regarding film I also admit to a degree of panic buying. My impression is other film users also buy in bigger multiples than they actually need to encourage manufacturers to continue production.
     
  20. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    Basically, I always ask myself if the new camera I'm about to pick up gives me something new that I'm lacking. For 35mm, I have an autofocus SLR, a manual focus (because it's lighter), a rangefinder (because it's quiet), and a toy camera (because it makes a unique image). In medium format, I have a TLR (quiet, though I need to repair the viewfinder hood) and a Hasselblad (pristine quality). I'm also going to try a 4x5 monorail so I can experiment with movements. Oh yeah, and there's also a Polaroid camera for the few instant shots I want to do.

    Basically, each camera has something unique that it can offer me, so I don't think I have too many. I also don't think I need any more cameras, and won't buy anything else until I come across something I'm missing. (New lenses are always an option, though) I buy film only when I run low, and there is always some in my freezer.
     
  21. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    The only GAS I suffer from is a good spotmeter at this point. Cameras, good. Lenses, good. I have plenty of film and paper for now. Been a slow year. As to film cameras, not many new cameras are produced (compared to days of yore). If someone is concerned about the future of being able to use those cameras then spending resources on medium seems a no-brainer. The majority of film cameras being bought are secondhand. Film and paper, on the other hand is a necessity in order to insure their continued use.
     
  22. Johnkpap

    Johnkpap Member

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    Hi from sunny Australia,

    I have been buying up film for the past 5 or so Years.....As predicted choice of film has reduced alot, I have a very large amount of frozen film.
    I will contuinue to replace the stock on hand where possible as I use it.

    My last film purchace was 20 rolls of Kodak 100 gold 35mm Short dated at $1 a roll and some more Pan F 50 120mm

    Yes I have too many cameras ......one more won't matter....

    Yes I have been buying cameras and lenses at Bargin prices, How can I help it .....I bought a Nikon FE with a minor issue (Cleaning needed) for $25.00 and a Nikon 20mm 3.5 AI lense for $135.00 !!!!! how do you resist that.

    The crazy thing that is happening is Pentax Screw mount 50mm 1.4 and Kmount lenses are selling for more than I paid for the Nikon 20mm.

    I can have alot more fun with a 20mm a FE and film..........

    I suspect the crazy prices are being driven br Pentax digital cameras.

    Other crazy priced lenses sold on $bay:- Pentax K 50mm 1.2 $450.00 Pentax M 85 f2 $405.00 !!!! that is just nuts.

    Johnkpap
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I buy both film and cameras. I have not been able to keep the Leicas from the hoarders, but I am working on keeping all the rest of the 35mm, MF and LF cameras and film from them! Come on, someone has to stimulate the economy!

    Steve
     
  24. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    I always advised large format photographers that buying more film holders was more important than buying more lenses. This comes from the simple fact that having more opportunities to photograph (directly linked to the number of loaded film holders you carry with you) will make you a better photographer. Therefore, having more film available to you and the willingness to use the film will make you a better photographer. The only thing more equipment does for you is complicate the entire photographic process and will result in making fewer photographs.

    Play it as you wish. This is how I see it.
     
  25. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Lens prices are going up because many of the 4/3 digital cameras have adapters for anything and everything that resembles a lens. Collector bodies are still holding their values or going up but users are very cheap.

    Film prices for chromes are way up though. It used to be cheap to shoot chromes but no more! Neg film is still pretty cheap though.
     
  26. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Buy film.