It ain't about the toys kids.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    It's more about using your imagination when you play.


    http://leicaphilia.com/?p=311


    Love this quote

    "It wasn’t about sharpness or resolution, or aspherical elements, or creamy bokeh or chromatic aberation or back focus or all the other nonsense we feel necessary to value when we fail to acknowledge the poverty of our vision."
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Over the years I have found that there are folks who take photographs in order to own cameras and those who own cameras in order to take photographs. The pros I have worked with are usually in the latter. It is not that equipment is not important, but equipment is not the goal.
     
  3. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Awww, Dad, but the toys are fun! Can we get some more toys? Huh? Can we pleeeeeeeeease? Mom said I could have a Deardorff!

    -NT
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That was my excuse for a long time before I realized I was making some properly boring photographs. It took a brutally honest review of my photographs to come to that realization, but today I'm thankful for it. No excuses, only hard work to try to become better at what I do. Vision is everything.

    PDH - you say it well that equipment is important, but not the goal. That is, if you're into photography mostly because you're interested in making photographs that mean something. I think it's OK to be into photography for the sake of being interested in cameras, their technical excellence (or lack thereof), and things relating to a less artistic appreciation of the medium. It's all good.

    Leica wouldn't be selling as many cameras as they do if it wasn't for the geeky collectors.
     
  5. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Wow, revelations as plain as day.
     
  6. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    This part many forget. I know couple of very talented people who are just lazy, if they put many kilometers in their shoes - they would be much better photographers.
    Good shoes for walking, and bunch of film - this is more important than some extra lens or camera :smile:!
     
  7. Ghostman

    Ghostman Subscriber

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    Very nice article.
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I really liked this line from the article: "Which leads me to note the confused and contradictory soap boxes current digital Leicaphiles too often find themselves standing on. Invariably, they drone on about the uncompromising standards of the optics, while simultaneously dumbing down their files post-production to give the look of an uncoated Summarit and Tri-X pushed to 1600 iso".
     
  9. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I enjoyed the article.

    Jeff
     
  10. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    Human beings and being human

    The human animal is an imperfect beast and is wont to wander off onto tangents that are not fit for man nor beast. The whole business of using a tool to make images can be over-thought and over-wrought. I am sure Cro-Magnon man swore his cave was better than your cave and his stick figures drawn on his cave wall were better than yours, and the animal blood he used to paint them with was superior to you animal blood. "Saber Tooth Cat blood is so yesterday."
    I once took some photos at a press conference of Sir Julian Huxley, a famed philosopher and brother of Aldous Huxley, the famed writer. The camera was an Asahi Pentax with a 105mm lens. Every time the shutter went off, he jumped. A rangefinder Leica or Nikon would probably have been a better choice but the the major university I was working for did not own such a camera.
    I loved the old Pentax but they were not perfect for every single job. Duh.
     
  11. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I actually agree with the article, but also with the complementary one at http://leicaphilia.com/?p=327, which nicely articulates some important things that *are* about the toys. A tool that gets out of the way and lets the user do their artistic thing, or that's inspirational to use, is in fact useful and worthwhile.

    -NT
     
  12. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    Yes to that. I think most people today are way more tolerant of distractions than I am, but modern cameras seem constantly trying to get in your way. And all in the name of making things easier.
     
  13. peteyj10

    peteyj10 Member

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    For so many people today, especially now that digital dominates the market, it is about the toys. It's about "well how many megapixels does it have?" or "full frame or crop frame?" On digital I shoot with a Pentax body. 9 out of 10 times I get laughed at by so called "pros" because it's not a Nikon or a Canon. "Pentax? Nobody uses those!" Put a print from my Pentax next to a print from the Canon or Nikon equivalent and I highly doubt any client (or really any photographer either) would be able to tell the difference, if there is a difference at all. And never mind the fact that even with the most expensive full frame DSLR, if you take boring shots, you take boring shots. The marketing gods are pretty good at convincing people otherwise though, and humans are extremely gullible when it comes to marketing. I mean hey, if that new camera body made Ashton Kutcher a better photographer, well then it will definitely make my shots more interesting!
     
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  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    "getting out of the way" takes a different form for each photographer. For some, it means having a simple interface that they can use intuitively. For others, it means having the exact right accessories/lenses/etc to allow them to take the pictures they're looking for without compromising/jerry-rigging. At some point, of course, "too much" does get in the way of everyone, but where that point lies is a moving target. I have a few cameras now in my arsenal that I'm keeping for the sake of having them - they were cameras I dreamed of but couldn't afford at the time they were new, etc. But forcing myself to work with a camera that has one lens and one lens only, but everything else about it (from my perspective) is not a compromise, made me think about what I was doing and focus (pun intended) a lot more on what I'm trying to accomplish with my images. That change enabled me to be more effective when I am using other gear from the collection as well, because I think in simpler terms now.
     
  16. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    I do like cameras and lenses, and this is pretty much a hobby for the vast majority of us anymore, even those of us who used to make a living with photography, but it is still nice to keep things in perspective. That seems even harder for the modern gear folks where I saw something recently about some camera's (very good) autofocus not being adequate for children or sports pictures. I wonder how the poster thought the pictures of children and sports for almost all of the 20th century were made. The history of photography before last year seems unimportant, or unknown, to many.

    But film users are guilty to. An another forum with a strong film contingent I read endless posts about the miraculous "drawing" of various lenses - some good, some mediocre, and some fairly lousy. I love messing with lenses, and even some of those funky ones, but what I really value is equipment that does what is expected of it. I really appreciate a lens that has a nice look, like a 50 Summicron, but it is being able to count on it doing that at every f stop in nearly every situation for a period of decades that makes me value it. I don't think that is toy worshiping particularly. I could happily take pictures with many other lenses or cameras.

    Maybe more in the APUG line, there doesn't seem to be much interest in good solid reliable film processing that doesn't involve a precise number of gentle agitations followed by long periods of "standing". Or "pushing" your film, because, what? That just makes it better, you know. And don't forget to shake some chicken bones over it half way through. I'm sure that is the way the Time-Life labs (or pick your favorite art processor) did it.

    Oh, anyway, enough grumpiness. I'm going to go take some pictures.
     
  17. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    Jeez, my EOS 3 would have killed the poor guy. My Spotmatic IS my quiet option. :laugh:
     
  18. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Oh, I think there's a lot of selection bias in that appearance, because there's not so much to *say* about plain old reliable film processing. Once in a while we have a thread about a film/dev combo for which there aren't published times, or about the weird Kodak numbers for TX400 in HC-110, but how many times can you say "I did it the usual way and it worked again"?

    I haven't tested this rigorously, but I think if you go through the gallery and look at how the images in it were produced, there's not all that much exotic development.

    The real old-timers used wild passenger pigeon bones. No modern bird will give your negatives the same look.

    -NT
     
  19. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    The only Leica I have left and will ever need...
     
  20. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Good article. Rather than spend money on a new lens with mythical qualities, I'd recommend photographers buy half a dozen books by classic photographers. Compare your own work and feel how painfully impoverished it is in comparison. Then resolve to do something about it.

    Most 35mm lenses perform within a gnat's whisker of one another (at least ones made since the 1970s) and a few lines per millimetre aren't going to turn a lemon into a masterpiece. The reality is buying a new camera or lens is much easier than becoming a better photographer.
     
  21. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Oh, I do like playing with toys, it's not a distraction but an adjunct to my serious stuff. Nothing like experimenting with a new (old) lens or camera and some of those experiments occasionally lead to a good photo :smile: Agree that the older Leitz lenses are put on a slightly too high a pedestal, which is why I use mostly CV lenses on my Leicas.
    Still, my M2 and 11F are really a joy to use, and surely that can't do any harm.
     
  22. jcc

    jcc Member

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    The part of my brain that gets stimulated by photography is different than the part that gets excited by cameras. The two share a border, but they're definitely different states of pleasure.
     
  23. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    These toys are nice, but if only camera manufacturers were photographers, the toys would be better.
     
  24. blockend

    blockend Member

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    The two photographs illustrating the article are a triumph of great printing, as well as being very fine compositions. Technically, they could have been made on any reasonable quality 35mm camera, though some will argue the size and silence of a Leica facilitated them. Solid blacks and glowing whites are not compromised by some decidedly old school grain.
     
  25. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    If you are one who uses tools and makes things, you understand having many cameras. There is a best tool for the job (photograph)...
     
  26. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    I got banned from sooo many forums just because I was stating the obvious, like the quote in the OP.
    That included the very bad photography skills of the moderators. The truth is the truth so I couldn't be bothered to care.

    Also, i find these blogs involving leica quite boring. They are run by newbies who want some fame by scratching leica's name. Blah, we've seen them all.

    In my case, the moment I realized that my photography was good, it was worth all the money I put into it. 10,000$ lens? So what. If my art is up to it them why not. I don't do drugs and my money has to go somewhere so why not make it go where my talent is?
    The same thing would be if I was a guitarist. Or a drummer. Or a haidresser...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2014