camera greed?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by catem, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. catem

    catem Member

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    Every now and then I get huge yearnings to buy a new camera. I already have a Mamiya RZ and a Nikon. I am sorely tempted by the greater MF spontaneity offered by the Mamiya 7ll, and am also tempted by a Leica. (I have to confess a desire for a Hasselblad also comes into the equation but I realise this is the wrong forum for that). I take mostly portraits and still lifes.

    Am I just being greedy, pure and simple, and should I continue to work with what I've got or would my life change if I had one of the above cameras? (including the Hasselblad if you're interested).
     
  2. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    No you are not gready :smile:
    I feel the same way (Pentax6X7 and Nikon). I'd like a M7II and a Leica too.
    I must admit though that I don't believe either will change my photography alot. The M7II maybe because of its small size and big format. That would be a great travel camera for me,.... I think.
    Leica and Hasselblad Hmm well it's the names and the myths following them aint it. Great cameras top quality but they aren't magic bullets and you still have to do the work.
    Cheers, Søren
     
  3. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Oh sorry, Yes your life will change since you won't need as much ergotherapy when not hauling your RZ67 around :D
    Cheers, Søren
     
  4. catem

    catem Member

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    So true. I do realise this......but.....it's not only the names, they make you work a little differently, don't they? I do understand I have to answer this one for myself...but would like to hear from anyone who uses Mamiya 711's or Leicas for portraits (I guess you can't beat the Mamiya RZ for still life, unless it's Large Format - but don't get me started..)
     
  5. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Well I don't shoot RF's But did have a QL17 GIII. The big difference is the finder. Some like the bright all sharp view in the RF, some don't. I guess I'll live with it in a 6X7 camera but in 35mm I really like the SLR style.

    When it comes to difference in quality I doubt you will tell unless its a side by side comparison.
    I think Martin Parr uses a M7II for street(portraits)
    http://www.martinparr.com
    Cheers, Søren
     
  6. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    No, no, not greed. You want to improve your work, broaden your horizons. Do not let your tools limit yourself to negatives you can put in your pocket. Remember Edward Weston made 10,000 portraits with 8x10 cameras. The standard in portraiture for years was 11x14. One friend is doing great portraits on 12x20, another is doing wonderful nudes in 8x20.

    Please do not introduce me to your wife or her moher.

    John Powers
     
  7. catem

    catem Member

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    Pardon?? :D

    (I have a mother, but no wife :wink: )
     
  8. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member

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    I work with the Mamiya 7 and a Leica for portraits. The downside... they are both pricey, but as someone mentioned, you'll save untold thousands on chiropracter bills! :tongue:

    Seriously, they are great cameras to work with, and complement eachother nicely. I tend to reach for the Mamiya more often, but I only have one long lens for the Leica that is a bit limiting in a lot of situations. Both produce excellent negatives that make darkroom work satisfying. Both cameras work so similarly, that switching from the Mamiya to the Leica is not a distraction, and I can concentrate on the subject at hand.

    New gear is great, but it can take a lot of shooting and practice to get comfortable using it, and no.... it won't change you life or make you a better photographer. Excellent tools, though!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2006
  9. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    Us boys and our toys. And one girl, so far!

    We're just talking traditional camera toys here on this site. But I know sites for digital camera toys, car toys, fishing toys, boat toys, home DIY toys, computer toys, sound system toys, SCUBA toys, mountain bike toys, ... and the list goes on and on. :surprised:

    Regards, Art. (One can get very greedy!)
     
  10. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    As long as you want the gear for a specific reason (weight, lens selection, etc...) and not just to be able to holler out in a crowded room "Touch me! I shoot with a LEICA!" or whatever. Don't get me wrong, I'm thinking of getting a IIIA later this year (to replace my Zorki I), but you are leaning more toward the greed side if you just want the flashy names and more toward the practical side if you want the technical advantages.

    - Randy

    P.S. The fact that my wife sometimes reads my posts has nothing to do with the nature of my comments. <cough>
     
  11. catem

    catem Member

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    No, it's not the names.....well, I admit there is some romance associated with a Leica, but that is mainly because of it's lightness and smallness (and because such great photographers have used them). I don't suppose the quality itself would outdo MF but it would offer a different approach, but probably not very different from using the Nikon.

    Suzanne, I'm interested you use the Mamiya 7 for portraits. I vaguely remember something about people finding the Mamiya 711 lenses a little TOO sharp for portraits - I wonder if there's anything in that. I do love the RZ, as it happens, but would like something more versatile aswell (IS THE NIKON ENOUGH FOR THAT is the question...)
     
  12. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    I always bring up the number of shoes my SO has compared to the number of cameras I have. That usually settles the arguement. Well, sort of...well, not really...but I know I'm right.

    Art.
     
  13. darr

    darr Member

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    I use a 7II with a 65mm lens for walk-around journalistic and landscape shots and find it to be perfect for that type of situation. For me this camera/lens combo is extremely light for the 6x7 neg size, and produces very sharp results. I tried it with the 150mm and its accompanying viewfinder for portraits, but found it not to be for me. The 7II is my first rangefinder so that may of been the problem. I shot portraits professionally for 15 years with Hassy gear and became accustomed to the WYSIWYG SLR design. I found looking through the 150'mms viewfinder difficult for me to decipher a quick composition. I eventually sold the 150mm lens and viewfinder. I would suggest looking through the 150mm lens on a Mamiya 7 before you purchase it.
     
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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    What's wrong with the portraits you shoot with you'r R.Z 67 ?
     
  16. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    My buddy makes photos that are just as good as mine with his $125 camera, as opposed to my $1200 camera. Its clearly not just about the camera once a certain threshold is reached regarding lens and focal plane performance, in a given format.

    It starts to come down to ergonomics, literally how a camera feels to work with. Whenever I shoot with an unfamiliar system, I have noticed that I really can't make much of a judgement until I have worked with the camera long enough to be used to how it feels. At that point, I can begin to be somewhat objective.

    Also, it could be that what you are craving is a little 4x5 :smile:
     
  17. catem

    catem Member

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    I don't know, maybe nothing - there's some in my gallery - what do you think? I'm not sure if it's that - But there are limitations, maybe it's not what's wrong with the portraits I shoot, more that certain portraits can be difficult or almost impossible with it - for example, very young, mobile children... I use the RZ almost exclusively hand-held for portraits, but even so...Though part of me thinks I should just stick with it, and work out a way (or just grab the Nikon in this situation).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2006
  18. catem

    catem Member

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    Yes, I started thinking this way, and then thought well, why not something a little bigger (if at all)...This is how it goes, and then I get nothing, which may be just as well....financially, anyway...
     
  19. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    The problem is obvious. You're suffering from GAS. Gear Acquisition Syndrome, that is. The early signs of this condition are relatively subtle, so while it might seem that there may still be hope for you, there isn't. There is no cure for GAS. It's terminal, but doesn't usually speed things up (unless you have an unsympathetic spouse).

    Go ahead and get the the Mamiya 7II, the Leica(s), the Hassy (or two), a 4x5 monorail, a 4x5 field, and an 8x10 or two before jumping into ULF. You'll feel better, and will be doing your civic duty by contributing to the economy.
     
  20. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    To think about equipment is normal. If you have a Nikon and a RZ you already are equipped to take quality photos. I beleive that the first priority is to consider the end usage of the equipment. What interests you and what are you trying to accomplish are the first questions to ask yourself. Then what necessary equipment is properly suited to accomplish that end is the next question to be asked as well as how you like to approach your work.

    If you want 8x10 photo of children being themselves than a good rangefinder camera is very suited to that task. If you are interested in sports photography then your Nikon may be much more suitable. If you are taking formal portraits and have 16x20 prints as your upper print size then a Mamiya RZ can hardly be be beat in roll film.

    Once you have made such decisions then expand that system. For example a Nikon with 5 good lenses that is well to a photographic application will be a better choice than 5 cameras each with only a normal lens.

    Make sure you have good quality darkroom equipment and lust after good print quality not more cameras. Do your work. Do your work. Do your work.
     
  21. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Is there a difference between camera greed and camera lust? I find I can get infatuated with cameras, mostly older ones, like the Contessa I saw at the camera show and just had to take home.
     
  22. catem

    catem Member

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    :D :D :D
     
  23. catem

    catem Member

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    Thank you for your very grounding post, Claire.

    And thank you all for bearing with my neurosis.

    (I'll let you know what I get!!)
     
  24. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    Mamiya 7II

    I like my Mamiya 7II for travel, landscape, street shots and such, and I have even used it at weddings and other social events occasionally. The camera is a very good balance between weight/size and image quality. The lenses are very good, and you know what kind of results to expect since you have a 6x7 SLR already.

    But please keep in mind that there is a certain limitation for close-up focus, so if you want a very close portrait, the 7II is not going to work well. Consult the documentation.
     
  25. jonnyboy

    jonnyboy Member

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    Lucky lad, you.

    Jon
    from Deepinaharta, Georgia
     
  26. catem

    catem Member

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    But the point is, I'm not a lad. :cool: :smile:

    Thanks for all the replies, I'm feeling today like sticking with the gear I've got for the moment - I'm going to make a conscious effort to use the Nikon a bit more, it's fallen into disuse, maybe even buy a new lens for it, and try to remember why I used to like it so much.

    There's a lot to be said for pushing what you already have to the limit, and I'm not sure I've done that yet - this has been helpful in clarifying that, thanks.