Severe G. A. S. Attack

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by outwest, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    I may be suffering from a previously undiagnosed case of acute G. A. S. (gear acquisition syndrome). In thinking about what I would take to the workshop in Tonopah, I decided to do an inventory of all my LF lenses. After rummaging through all my cases, bags, boxes, and cabinets I came up with 69 lenses. While I know that this is nothing compared to the severity of Jim Galli's case, I was still surprised. These things can really sneak up on you over the years!
     
  2. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    This is where being poor really pays off. I have to sell something most times in order to make a new purchase. My last such was getting rid of all my 3 months old di*(il Nikon D700 equipment for a leica M6 and glass. In my case it worked out for the better as I took my passion up about 3 notches.

    Make yourself poor, you won't have such problems.
     
  3. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    I can use a 5X7 with holders and lens if you got one too spare,I was also going to the Tonopah workshop. Was going to bring my Hassel.,but would love to try out 5X7. Don't have G.A.S. cuz I'm very,Very poor.
    mike:sad:
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    69 LF lenses? I think that might even be more than I have, depending on how you count the eight casket sets... :smile:
     
  5. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    I always thought 69 referred to focal length. I didn't know it was legal to have that many, wait til my wife finds out! ;p
     
  6. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Careful! In some states it is not!
     
  7. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Ole, I think casket sets aggravate the condition and that you would have to count all combinations for an accurate diagnosis.
     
  8. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning;

    In the last couple of months, I have been conducting an inventory of all of the photographic equipment. WARNING: Conducting an inventory of your photographic equipment can be an embarrassing process.

    At this time, the old hp LaserJet 4M+ produces 14 pages of 8.5 by 11 printed sheets of paper. However, it is nice to have a listing of your equipment with a description and the serial numbers. I even found a couple of things I had forgotten. (Now I do not need to buy one of those.) (Yes, there are a couple of duplications.)
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    So, out of curiosity, what's the point of owning that many lenses? Do you ever fully exploit all of them? I could never understand... But I'm also not a gear collector.

    I have one lens for my 5x7 and two for my 4x5 (out of which one actually works). I use one 50mm lens for my 35mm camera, two for my Hasselblad, and the Holga comes with whatever it came with and pinhole don't have any... :smile:
     
  10. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I would just like to thank the original poster. I showed the message to my wife as a reminder of just how much more extreme things *could* be, and I think I made my own acquisitive life a little easier. :smile:

    -NT
     
  11. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Thomas;

    I can answer your question only from my own perspective.

    All of these comments apply to the 35 mm stuff: As with a mechanic's tools, sometimes you need something that just fits to perform the task best. Yes I do have Crescent wrenches (equivalent of a zoom lens), but for more control over depth of field, light gathering, and image quality, I prefer prime or single focal length lenses, kind of like a set of combinatiion wrenches. They fit better on the fastener, they are smaller for each individual size (but not the volume of the rolled up tool bag), and they work better. Many of my lenses are actually special purpose lenses that do not get very much use during the year. My 35 mm f 2.8 perspective control lens for my 35 mm camera is one of those. The 16 mm f 4.0 full frame fisheye lens is another one. My 24 mm f 2.0 or f 2.8 lenses are used for indoor room photography. The 85 mm f 1.7 or f 2.0 or the 100 mm f 2.5 lenses are the ones I use most often for portraits. The longer telephoto lenses are used depending on what I need to get the image size I want on the film. For example, to get a nice size image of the moon, I need about 1500 mm to 2000 mm. I use a 1000 mm lens and a good teleconverter to get that. I admit that this is a more expensive way of doing what now can be done fairly well with three zoom lenses. However, when I started with this, the zoom lenses were not that good.

    The lens selection for the MF and the 4 by 5 are not as extensive. I have only three lenses for the 4 by 5 at this time; 90 mm, 150 mm, and 210 mm. I would like to go up to 240 mm for portrait work and a 360 mm or so for telephoto work or where I want to isolate something from its surroundings. I might think about a shorter lens for wide angle, but the 90 mm has been adequate for what I have wanted to photograph so far.

    Thomas, does this answer your question?
     
  12. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Thomas, with only one or two cameras and all modern lenses, it WOULD be pointless. But, I like to play with different formats and to see what the old lenses can bring to the image. There are less than a half dozen lenses in the list that are less than 35 years old. A large number are pushing or older than 100 years. When I decide to take a particular camera out for exercise, it comes with its own set of old and newer lenses and the same subject may get addressed by two or three lenses just to see the differences. And, to answer an earlier post, being poor is not an impediment to accumulation. I'm a good bargain shopper with a lot of years of shopping experience and a dash of luck in finding interesting lenses for less than $50 - many for $10 or $15. I think the most I ever paid for a lens was $295 and that was probably $100 more than the next most expensive. Having a Speed Graphic opens the door for barrel lenses which 30 of the lenses are. Boys and their toys. Have fun!
     
  13. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    So, what if I was travelling from one state in which that quantity was legal and my destination state had the same allowances. However my magic red Indiana Jones line passed through a state with gear quantity restrictions. By just which state or federal authorities might I be expected to be accosted? Hypothetically speaking, of course?

    Take life one grain of salt at a time. And if you're lucky, it will be a silver salt.
     
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  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Hi Ralph,

    It answers the question I asked, sort of, but I believe it's a case of me never being able to understand no matter how well it's explained. It's strange, because I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum.
    I never feel the need for another lens, except and 85mm or 100mm for the 35. I just don't. I use what's on the camera and know what I'll get and just plain never wonder what a different lens might bring. I used to have a 35mm system with nine lenses, mainly because they were given to me. It's a Pentax system that had all kinds of prime lenses, and even then I'd only ever use one of them at a time.
    I couldn't bring a bag full of lenses, wondering what lens to use for each situation, because it became and exercise in choosing the lens and not so much about what to do with the scene in front of me. It became confusing. It was actually my wife that told me to just use one at a time, and my images have become consistently better since.

    That doesn't mean that I think what you're doing with all of these lenses is wrong. Just that I can't work that way... :smile: Plus I don't have to spend much money either. I'd rather buy film, paper, and chemistry than more lenses.

    Have fun!

    - Thomas

     
  16. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Thomas;

    Your point is quite valid and applicable. The main point is still the photograph. Perhaps one of the differences is in the choice of where, when, and how, to make any "adjustments" in a photograph. Back in the 1960's, the Nikon people had that neat 35 mm Perspective Control lens that I could not afford then. Instead, I propped up one side of my easel when printing the photograph. Yes, I had to really stop down the Schneider Componon lens in the enlarger to keep a reasonable depth of field for doing that, but it could be done. Now, I can do it on scene with my own perspective control lens, a ROKKOR 35 mm f 2.8 SHIFT CA. In a similar way, with a longer lens, I can "crop" the image to isolate the subject from the things around it, even if I cannot walk up to it, and do it on the film instead of blowing up the negative. And, it can be done without approaching visible grain structure.

    With the telephoto lenses, I can get image sizes that would not be reasonable just trying to blow up the negative on the paper. With the long lens combination I now have available, I can get an image of the moon that nicely fits in the normal size frame on 35 mm film. There is some detail visible in those prints.

    Thomas, when I began, all I had was that AUTO ROKKOR-PF 58 mm f 1.4 lens, and I used it. There were times when I could walk up to the subject to get the image size I wanted on the film, but there were also times when I could not. Every once in a while, I wished that I could get back a bit to improve what I felt was "the perspective." With the changes in my life in recent years, I have been able to get some of the lenses and additional things I wanted for photography. Just looking through catalogs can be a frustration provoking thing. Now, I have gone to another place where I feel that I do have all of the lenses that I truly need for almost all of the photographic work I am likely to do. This is a wonderful position to have. But it has taken years to get here.

    For my digital cameras, I have only three prime or single focal length lenses. I also have four zoom lenses, and I will be getting a fifth. With the zoom lenses on the digital sensors, again I can crop the photograph right there in the viewfinder. The digital cameras are a special purpose camera system for me. They have the quality of speed of the finished product. The zoom lenses fit well with that quality, and the digital sensors do not ask that much of the lenses. I am just now starting to see digital cameras commonly available that I think are approaching the resolution capability of 35 mm film cameras. I know that I will get a response from several people on that claim, but for my standards for judging, that is what I am seeing at this time.
     
  17. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    I give up! They are multiplying all by themselves and may soon develop AI (which is no danger in my case;-). The count is now 73. Three of the last 4 will be heading for Tonopah. I'd better get busy on that Packard shutter adapter for the 8x10.
     
  18. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Thomas, you certainly make some beautiful pictures with your couple of lenses. I feel I must explain why I have so many.

    IT'S FUN!!

    Plus when you divide the number of lenses floating around the place into the number of cameras, it's only 8 or 9 each. My wife is a wonderful sport!
     
  19. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Jim, I think you hit the nail on the head - Thomas has tools, we have TOYS!
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You guys are pretty funny. Thanks for the update to this thread. As an aside, I just gave away one of my Holga cameras, and will continue to eliminate clutter...
    I'm just like you guys when it comes to collecting music, though. I have about 3,000 albums for each turntable I own. :D
     
  21. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    Come on, that's nothing. Olympus made something like 59 different lenses for the OM system. Most of them in at least two flavors. Some lenses underwent at least a half-dozen variants. I'm at 10 and counting....
     
  22. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    While I did have a petzval lens affliction for a while.... and still do to some extent, I was not weighed down by too many choices in that regard, but for me it is all about learning to see how the lens sees. I have my fair share of LF and MF lenses. All work great and I can use them all without missing a beat. What get's in the way for me anymore in my middle years is too much choice. Making things simple, and carrying limited kit makes you work harder, but also faster.... Step forward or backwards :smile: and you get the same image for the most part over carrying more gear. In the case of LF and the petzvals, logistics like needing a packard shutter, ND filters (especially for film!) all add up to weight, and more complexity and potential to screw up images. I really feel those lense are best suited to when you have more time to do still life, or for portraiture. I now know why the wet platers use them. While not impossible to use with film, they cramp spontaneity for me. I use them but for the right shots anymore.

    That was one reason why I made my own 4x5 pinhole camera. I love the big negs and dreamy quality , but hate the set up of a LF camera.... Pinhole takes that out of the equation, and relies more on your instincts and familiarity of the angle of view the pinhole creates.... You become the lens in a sense. Again it's about seeing how the lens sees.

    MF gets most use for me and I have a medium amount of lenses for the work I endulge in. I can pack quite lightly even with a blad, 3 lenses, 2 backs, and 15 rolls of film, in a small Lowepro Orion Waist pack, and still have room to bring a pinhole camera along. It is the best all round kit for my way of working anyway. Would I like more lenses for my Blad kit?? Maybe. Would I get better pictures, probably not. As I keep reiterating, the photographers vision, or exploitation of how the lens sees is what's important. For those folsk who have tons of lenses, have at it, as long as you are in control. For those that have fewer or one lens, I know you make it work for you. Sometimes, another perspective or angle of view can make a huge difference. In the end it comes down to personal preference, workflow, and need. The latter not always being rational :smile: hence the term GAS. I've been guilty of it myself, but I do not believe more lenses and equipment can necessarily buy better images. YMMV.
     
  23. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Thomas;

    An interesting revelation. And, sir, just how many turntables are in the collection?

    Please remember that this question is coming from a man who has "open end wrenches, box wrenches, combination wrenches, flare nut wrenches, tappet wrenches, miniature wrenches, short wrenches, long wrenches, six point and twelve point standard and deep sockets, and a pair of Vicegrip pliers or two."
     
  24. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    What! no crowsfoot wrenches? what about ratcheting box wrenches? Need a nice set of digital SnapOn torque wrenches?
     
  25. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    I just put numbers 74 and 75 in the catalog. They will be going to Tonopah, too. I'm just a sucker for a big brass lens!
     
  26. jimgalli

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    :~')) :D:D