Out-of-date equipment, anyone?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Lee Shively, May 6, 2005.

  1. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    It occurred to me recently that I have only out-of-date photo equipment.

    Not only do I not own any of the currently fashionable camera phones or DSLR's, the only cameras I own that are still being made are a Holga and a Zero Image pinhole camera.

    Oh, I have perfectly fine equipment that I use regularly--a couple of Leicas, 3 Canon EOS's(es?), a Mamiya C330 and a couple of Pentax 645's. But none of them are current models. Looking over the newer camera models, I really don't see any features I find worth the expense. The last four cameras I bought were used, discontinued models.

    Other than autofocus, multi-pattern metering and various autoexposure programs, there's little to distinguish the new stuff from the cameras of 30 years ago. Since none of these features are very important to me, improvements in their performance are not attractive to me.

    Okay, which of you out there must have the newest camera models and which of you are as anachronistic as I am?
     
  2. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    As long as it works, and fits my budget (which is very slim) I'm happy!

    I can make images as good with my crummy cameras :wink:
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Let me put it this way. Most of my stuff was made by companies that haven't exist for years. Other then my Pentax,Kiev and Shen hao bodies all the companies are either dead or out of the camera making business.

    OTOH I do have cameras with things like TTL flash and even motors-) All of them are at 20+ years old.
     
  4. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    I don't know what to say. We have one digital camera, but apparently that model is already so old, that it could show up on a photography fair dealing with antique stuff...

    but surely out there must be some newer model camera that we'd like...haven't found it yet though.

    If we'd had the money, we would probably design one ourselves that fits our wants and have SKG or other company make one. But that will never happen, I fear.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I guess I have a few LF lenses that are in current production--purchased used, though.

    The only digital camera I own is a Nikon CP 990--_Time_ magazine's "Machine of the Year" for 2000.
     
  6. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I had been considering buying an autofocus SLR. Last year my wife wanted a DSLR, so I thought I'd get the same brand in a film body and we'd share lenses. She ended up buying an EVF, rather than an DSLR, so I bought a Maxxum that's probably about 10 years old.

    I also have a Fuji GS645 (80s, early 90s ?) Mamiya c220 (bought used in 1970), 2 Kowa Sixes (70s?) 3 Spotmatics (60s) 4 SRT's (60s) a Nikkormat and who knows what else. I really need to take inventory some day :tongue:

    Bottom line: it's all got some miles on it. I never buy new. Why? I've accumulated a lot of stuff over 35 years because it was all cheap!!! :D

    I've even used some out of date film ...

    Cheers y'all

    David
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    My most recent aquisition is a 1930's 6x9 cm Voigtlander Bessa II (and I've been agonizing about sending David G a PM about his "modern" Bessa II).

    I few days prior to the Bessa came my (brand new) Docter 240mm Germinar W...
     
  8. alien

    alien Member

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    Most of my stuff is 10 - 15 years old. I especially love my Nikon F4 to bits - it has real dials and knobs, and not millions of menus to go through. I bought it in '90, and it still works like a dream.

    The photo industry has been trying to revive the market for years (just think of all the different formats like pocket cameras and APS) - but as you said initially, most 'improvements' were marginal and really did not add a lot to the picture quality and the way pictures were taken (does anyone here REALLY REALLY need a motor in his camera?). No wonder that digital is pushed so massively - this is what the industry has been waiting for.

    Like David, I bought most of my equipment used. I have quite a Contax collection, and I would not have had the money to buy that equipment new....the nice thing is, you buy a 20 year old Contax, and it looks and works as new!
     
  9. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    My current "oldest" camera is a Korona Pictorial View that I finished restoring a few months ago. My newest camera is a DSLR that I wish I'd not spent the money on. Most of my equipment is older than I am (i.e., pre-1960), although I do have a Nikon FE2 (one of the few things that I actually purchased new) and a Fuji GA645.

    But every one of these cameras and all of their attendant accessories (lenses, filters, tipods, etc.) are far from "Out of date", as I can use every one to make photographs. Each is useful to me for a different reason (with the exception of the DSLR, which I've held on to because my nephew is majoring in Photography at school and it's useful to him for certain classes).

    I've tried not to be a collector of equipment, but given that I sometimes find things that I want to do that are more easily done with something I don't own, I've found over the years that a camera or two will enter my life with each passing year. I've noted that I'm generally buying more old equipment as time goes on ("old" in this case meaning pre-1950 to me)...and I'm finding much more satisfaction in using equipment that doesn't make any assumptions for me or try to outsmart me.

    I sense that I'll become more of a Luddite as I age...but at least I'll be a happy Luddite.
     
  10. mark

    mark Member

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    All of my LF cameras are older than me. Two lenses are older than I am, and I did buy one new low end lens when I got my first view camera. The rest of my cameras are no longer in production.

    There is no way I can afford new stuff.

    And no I do not own a digital camera. I like to think I am waling the opposite direction-Away from technology. Pretty soon I'll be making cave paintings.
     
  11. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon,

    I'm hopelessly old-fashioned also. Within the past couple of years I have purchased a couple of Olympus OM2000 bodies which come in handy for my Zuiko lenses whenever I occasionally use 35mm. I imagine that the average age of my MF and LF stuff is around 20 years if not more.

    Konical
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    It occurred to me last year that I had exactly the same problem, so I bought a couple of new bodies and lenses for the first time since the early 80's. I got Cosina Voigtlander manual mechanical rangefinder bodies and a couple of their Leica screw mount lenses. So now I feel like I'm on the cutting edge, using pre-focus, which is even faster than autofocus, and I have cameras that do exactly what I tell them to. I think they call that non-artificial intelligence. I can even set the film speed to my own tested EI. They will also take pictures without batteries. How do they do that? The wonders of new technology will never cease.

    Oh, yeah, I probably shouldn't mention it on this site, but in conjunction with my 5 year old film scanner and some chemistry, they're all 11 megapixel full frame digitals, just like my Canonet QL17.

    I also bought an Agfa Isolette I (50 year old 6x6 folder) for $7.00 a couple of months ago and had Jurgen Kreckel put on a new bellows and do a CLA, so I haven't lost my head entirely with all the new fancy stuff.

    Lee
     
  13. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    My newest camera is my Orbit 8x10 made in February, 1980. That was the same month as "The Miracle on Ice."
    juan
     
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  15. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Well.....I don;t know how old my Calumet 4x5 is, but I'm guessing 35-40 years? The Agfa Ansco 8x10 that I just bought is about 1935 - 1940 I think, and I'm sure that none of my lenses are newer than 1970, so that would put my equipment on average at about 50 years old.
    But then, what do expect from a guy whose radio for daily use in the garage is a 1944 ex "lend-lease" RCA AR88 military set and whose kitchen radio is a 1940's Stromberg Carlson 6-tube bakelite set.

    cheers
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Out-of-date???

    All my equipment is top-of-the-range, please!

    All right then, top-of-the-range in 1934...
     

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  17. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    What can I say, I though "Out-of-date equipment, anyone?" was an offer to sell or trade equipment. I quickly opened the thread.

    I just can't justify the price of new equipment. I am finding that the small Ektars have a big bonus in portabilty over the new view camera lenses. I find that no one takes my canonet seriously, and I have taken a number of my favorite images with it (unfortunately, my wife now knows the secret).

    Whenever I use my N90, my most modern tool, I find I really love it. There is something great about the N90 and the 80-200 f2.8. However, my FE and the E-series 100mm 2.8 is a ton smaller and a ton lighter, and does a great job.

    On a recent excursion, I noted to myself that I probably would have done better with a 35mm camera. I could have bracketed, shot multiple images, switched from long to wide lenses quickly, used the in-camera metering...but I had a physical joy in using my 50 year old Burke and James Press.

    Matt
     
  18. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I should add that I have a modern camera too (beside the digitoy I used for the pictures above) - a Cosina/Voigtländer Bessa-L with a great little 21mm f:4 Color Skopar. The camera is already out of production, but I believe the lens is still made. But as a wholly mechanical non-rangefinder non-autofocus non-zoom non-slr point-and-shoot it was perhaps out-of-date by design?
     
  19. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hey Ole! I also have a similar one (Bessa-T with 21mm f:4 Color Skopar). Does that qualify me for neo-Luddite status?
     
  20. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I have only one camera that is still in current production, a Nikon FM3a that I bought "brand new" a few years ago. It is only the second "brand new" camera in my entire life - the other is a Pentax KX I bought in 1977. My oldest 35mm body is probably a Pentax H1a from the late 1960's and the oldest working camera I have is a crown graphic that probably dates from about 1955 or so.
     
  21. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Narrrr none of my gear is out-of-date, even those from the 50's - But the nut that holds them is :surprised:
     
  22. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Practically all of my equipment was purchased new without much if any discount. Over the years I have purchased what was necessary to do a job with absolutely no thought of the item being a prestige or statis symbol. I have hung on to equipment that I seldom use because I know
    I can never afford to buy similar or the same quality again in the future.

    I have long been involved in repairing large format shutters/lenses so have purchased several good lenses with non working shutters at bargain prices.
    Today on ebay I find few bargains, as if the shutter dosen't work or parts are completely missing the cost of the item generally is outrageous. I really miss not being able to find "fixer uppers" buying them and maybe spending several hours working on them then putting them to work on one of my boxes. I have purchased and refurbished many B&J, Ansco, Kodak and other boxes just for fun. I don't do it for business purposes, but because I enjoy the challenge.

    I have two B&J 8x10's one I bought new and the other used. I have three 4x5 Graphlex's three press cameras and a Kodak view 11 phurchased new in the mid 1950's. Also have two 5x7 viewcameras a Korona and a Kodal D2 that I acquired somewhere along the line. All work very well none are for sale and they compliament my Hasselblads, Pentax 6x7, and Nikons very well.

    Is my camera equipment out dated? Yup, They surely are, but if I were to replace each item today it would cost me thousands of dollars, on the other hand if I sell out what I already own none of my stuff is worth anything!
    All of my equipment combined woulden't make the down payment on a ragedy zone six or near dead Dorf. Something about that don't seem right!
     
  23. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    If you are ever going to buy new SLR now is the time to do it. The recent Nikon F6 will probably be the last analog SLR to be introduced. I really don't see anything beyond point and shoot cameras for 35mm being produced in a few years.

    With the exception of the point and shoot cameras and LF cameras, everything having to do with analog will be "out of date". Point and shoot cameras will be available in the third world for some time to come, and LF will always be a niche market with some form of film available.

    The last new camera I bought was a Bessa R2, last year. Before that the last "new" camera was a Nikon FA in 1987.

    My next out of date purchase will be a MF polaroid back I am going to adapt to one of the Speed Graphics I have sitting here in pieces.
     
  24. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    I own far too much equipment, but I'm perfectly happy with what I have now. In terms of what I've bought and sold, I've noticed that I've gravitated towards equipment that I enjoy using.
    Somewhere around 1995 I sold all my Leica rangefinder equipment and bought a Mamiya RZ and lenses. Some of my best pictures of my kids growing up have been taken with the Mamiya, but I always "fought" with the camera. Too heavy to carry around all day (I used the prism), stupid depth of field scales on the side of the camera, floating element lenses that required you to set those elements seperately after focusing, since the lenses don't have helical focusing. I replaced the Mamiya with a Contax 645, which I consider to be best medium format camera available. Image quality doesn't match the larger 6x7 negative of the Mamiya, but, great handling, great viewfinder with agood manual focus screen, yet offers autofocus for those rare occasions when autofocus is advantageous.
    When my Leicaflex SL (with 50, 80, 90 and 180) broke last year, I replaced it with a Canon 7ne and a 135 f2, one of the finest lenses available. The lens is as great as advertised, but I found autofocus to be a disadvantage at least as often as it helped, and the Canon is terrible at manual focusing. I've since purchased a used Leica R8 (they're really cheap right now) and couldn't be happier.
    A final example, I used a Canham wood 5x7. Even though it's a great wood field camera, I was constantly fighting with the imprecise movements, rigidity problems and lack of film/lens plane parallelism typical of a wood camera (why should I have to stop down a lens to f16/f22 just to get all four corners of the ground glass sharp at the same time?). I purchased a Sinar P2 5x7 and find it to be the perfect view camera for me. The ease of use, rigidity, precision of asymetrical swings and tilts, depth of field calculator, make it worth the considerable weight penalty to me. I no longer blow any shots for "technical" reasons. Everything is always in focus and sharp. Any shortcommings to the negative are my compositional problems.

    And finally, if you own a Leica M, never, ever sell it. You'll just be compelled to buy another one, for more money!
     
  25. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Um, Lee, I haven't bought much of anything that qualifies as "current production" since 1986. In recent years I've bought mainly 2x3 and larger format gear dating from late WW-II to, probably, the mid-'80s. For most of what I do newer gear offers little in the way of better performance/capabilities and much in the way of greater cost.

    So for me, older and good enough is better than newer and not much improved. If I shot LF with significant movements, though, I'd be finding ways to get modern WA lenses, as they have much better coverage than my oldies.

    But I have found an exception. The discontinuation of KM has forced me to think about how to shoot close up with flash out-of-doors using ISO 100 E-6 films. After, that is, the freezer is empty. The backup body for my 1986 FM2n has been my wife's ELW, top sync speed 1/125. This is on the slow side, so I've been contemplating buying a newer AF Nikon body with top sync speed of 1/250. N8008 or -s, perhaps. I'm waiting for last month's hummingbird shots, done with an FG set to M90, 200 MicroNikkor @f/8 (right aperture for distance and flash output), and 283 with VP-1 set to 1/2. If they have significant exposure from ambient, that's it, gotta get another body to use with ISO 100 while I can still shoot KM in the FM2n. The reason for an 8008 instead of a new FM3A is cost.

    Thinking of cost, how DO the folks with the latest most best pay for it? I'm not poor, but some of the prices make me blanch.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  26. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    In my opinion, there is no such thing as outdated equipment. Perhaps out of fashion would be a better term.