Tight Skates and Cheap Wads

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Gerald C Koch, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    In a classic installment of I Love Lucy, Ricky gets so angry with Lucy that he mutilates the expressions cheap skate and tight wad. Which brings me to the reason for this post.

    I really can't understand how people can risk their photographs by cutting corners. Usually it is not a matter of cost but a warped mindset that they have beaten the system. It can be trying to get that 37th exposure or dilution of developer or fixer beyond the manufacturers recommendations or using old and very fogged film. There are many other examples. Quite frankly I can't understand how they justify their actions. There is a difference in being frugal and being cheap.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2013
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree with you Gerald, I also can't understand why people spend money on compulsively buying more and more crap cameras instead of having a few good ones and spending the money they pay for the crap ones on having the good ones serviced occasionally.
     
  3. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    +1
     
  4. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

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    Hey you kids, get off my lawn!
     
  5. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    What's a crap camera?
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    In the last few years I’ve noticed quite a few people using a DSLR with the lens hood back to front on the end of the lens. Perhaps all the DSLR users I’ve seen doing this are doing it intentionally. But this does seem a shame, when it would only take a few seconds to reverse it.
     
  7. zsas

    zsas Member

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    This should be a good one :munch:

    I take the dissent.

    Below's my two most favorite cameras in all the world!!!

    One cost more than even mentioning.....the other, well, I keep its price tag on the back to remind me......

    What? Well way before Ball's time was a great poet, William Cowper who said:

    My favs:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The "Tight Skates and Cheap Wads" that I've had the most experience with are "young" in the craft or "just testing the water". They simply haven't had the oh-shit moments of screwing up something important and or come to the decision that film photography is really that important.
     
  9. zsas

    zsas Member

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    In addition to my post above, I'm classically trained (b/w and color in college), yet there are no words to describe the felling of photographing the energy and feeling of a snowball fight with a $0.50 plastic P&S while the snow is coming down (think we gotta foot that day)......

    [​IMG]

    I take it out in the rain, snow, wherever, sometimes with expired film that someone gave me (*aghast*)....I know "better".....but really folks? Why takes sides here....so long as we are creating art, why create a black and white view of the world....
     
  10. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    For important things I use fresh film and developer, so basically I agree. If I shoot that 37th exposure, it's never important (but since it might be there, I find something to shoot, just not something important - doesn't cost any more to get that half-picture of a rock).

    I have to admit I do the "cheap" thing sometimes. For example, I recently acquired a Bronica GS-1 - my first MF (excluding an Holga). It is a totally different animal than what I am used to (Sears KS-2/Ricoh XR7) - so I've mostly used expired film (4:1 ratio). When I feel comfortable with it I will not "cheap out."

    When testing for light leaks, or testing an old camera I fixed myself, why not go cheap. I can tell the difference between bad film/developer and a light leak or bad shutter/lens. I certainly can't tell the finer and even moderate details that most on this board can, but enough for my purposes.
    I'll also be "cheap" when experimenting or just having fun.

    For important things, however, I spend the money.
     
  11. whowantstoast

    whowantstoast Member

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    There's also the simple fact that some people have expendable income and some don't. I'm a big believer in doing the best you can at whatever level you can afford.
     
  12. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    and some will never come to that decision, whether young or old or new or experienced - sometimes being "cheap" is part of the fun ...
     
  13. zsas

    zsas Member

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    ^Some people have fun buying things at flea markets, others enjoy Harrods....some both...

    Does it matter if the one who only knows flea markets (Minox, Polaroid, Lomo, plastic, toy, etc), never knows of how great it can be to shop at Harrods (ie 8x10)....
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Most of the time I think it is mostly a failure of perspective.

    As an example, I would refer to the myriad of threads about X-Tol.

    People seem willing to go through all sorts of contortions to deal with the fact that Kodak recommends discarding X-Tol stock after six months, and many people have difficulty using 5 litres of X-Tol in six months.

    X-Tol around here is just under $16.00 for the 5 litre package. If I use it at 1 + 1, I'll be able to develop somewhere between 20 and 40 rolls with that package. If I use X-Tol replenished, I'll be able to develop about 50 rolls from the first package, and about 70 rolls from subsequent packages, if I'm not required to discard it due to lack of use.

    If my volumes are too low, and I waste a third of a package, it still means wasting just around $5.00 worth in six months, or $10.00 per year. That is the perspective that is often missed.
     
  16. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Desertratt - Well put:smile:
     
  17. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I made a distinction between being frugal and just being cheap in the belief that you are getting away with something. A perfect example is people who try to extend the number of films or prints put through a fixing bath. This can be either ignoring the manufacturers directions or using a weaker bath than recommended. That they have compromised their pictures does no seem to bother them. Their gratification seems to come from acting contrarian. In a way it goes back to an older post about people who confuse the verbs can and should.
     
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  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    hey .. i resemble that remark !

    i only shoot expired film for the most part
    and i have a burgeoning collection of what most people
    might consider junk-cameras.
    old folders, box cameras crapp lenses
    ( they used to be crap when i bought them years ago
    but now they seem to be sought after ! )
    i use crappy coffee based developer over and over again
    i used expired paper, and expired liquid emulsion too ...
    but i always use GOOD FIXER ..

    why ?
    im totally bored with a lot of what photography tends to be.
    i am completely bored with "perfect imagery", you know pretty-as-a-post-card kinds of photos ..
    not that i can't take a perfectly exposed photograph, perfectly developed and perfectly printed
    i send that stuff to clients when they pop up :smile: and not that i can't appreciate a well made
    ( i don't like the word crafted sorry ) photo ..
    but for me, id rather have a good time life's too short for me to give a crap about
    that stuff, besides im not sure why it matters anyways ...
     
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  19. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I like some cheap cameras so I don't have to worry about expensive damage if they get a little wet once in a while or it wouldn't be the end of the world if it got stolen or accidentally damaged. I'm talking $150 speed graphics when I could be using a $3000 canham if I weren't into DSLRs also. The graflex is what people used 80 years ago with great success and still works fine. Cheap lenses are just as good as expensive lenses if it does exactly what you want, and are better for portraits sometimes. A beat up good camera is like a rat rod that won't win car shows but provides a ton of fun.

    I'm halfway tightwad when it comes to chemicals. I've learned a taste of pyrocat-hd which is cheaper than normal developers and lets me skip stop bath. I don't use it because it's cheap, but because it does what I want and it's not high in cost. There's usually more than one developer that will do what you want. No harm in evaluating your options. If I were cheap, I'd mix it myself, but that takes time and mess.

    One area I don't skimp is film. Inevitably, the cheap film pinhole or defect will be in your sitter's eyelash or someplace you can't retouch. Kodak/Ilford/Fuji is where it's at. Enjoy it while it's available.
     
  20. Kokoro

    Kokoro Member

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  21. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Me too.

    One of the things I find fun about LF photography is the ability to distort, rather than correct.
     
  22. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Ha.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I get especially annoyed by those at APUG who swear that it is good to save money by using dish washing liquid instead of PhotoFlo and by using Borax instead of the chemicals supplied by photographic companies. Not only are they hurting the people that do not know better, but they are also reducing the market for companies like Kodak and Ilford.
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    hey steve

    whenever someone states in a thread they use jet dry or dawn or fruit fresh or whatever they are using
    instead of photo flow or vit c or ? pretty much every response tells them they are making a mistake
    and to use the intended ingredient. im not sure how that could be skewed to be " sure do this, it works "

    i do think there is a difference between skimping on a chemical ingredient
    and using outdated film or a toy camera, a huge difference, but then again
    i always hear people tell me that i am wasting my time and money not using
    fresh film+paper and a "normal" chemicals or a camera that isnt' a POS :wink:


    john
     
  25. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Cheapskates and tightwads

    I had never heard the terms re-mixed.
     
  26. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
    — Theodore Roosevelt

    So much wisdom in only eleven short words...

    Ken