View Full Version : Collector vs Photographer

Pages : 1 [2]

07-14-2011, 01:58 AM
I am not a collector, but I own a 1955 Fed camera, the quality of the photographs comes vintage and some shots are amazing. Itís one thing collecting, other using them to shoot pictures.

Steve Smith
07-14-2011, 02:37 AM
I am both a collector and a photographer. I love the ingenuity and precision put into the manufacture of old cameras. I much prefer clever mechanisms over clever software.

However, I like all of my cameras to be useable and I intend to use them. None are for decorative purposes only.


07-14-2011, 11:15 AM
Me, I just buy cameras to use until something happens to them and then put them on the shelf. My justification is one day, I'll get them repaired and put back into service. Admittedly, some decades ago I had some 300 hundred cameras of which may 5 I used but then woke up and decided a couple of good systems was better for me than 300 cameras. Today, I have 4 users and about the same number waiting to go in for repair.

07-14-2011, 03:53 PM
I'm definitelly a photographer with many cameras. I like to use my cameras and keep them in good working order. Like others mentioned I ended up in time with a collection but I'm not a collector.
Indeed I love to be surprised by the quality of some old vintage camera + lens combination.

Mustafa Umut Sarac
07-14-2011, 04:48 PM
I love plus 60 years old optics and I worship the designers for how much effort and intelligence and experiments they put in their design, ergonomics, glass research, optical technology, mechanism and tooling expertise. And I love the design trends of 30s like streamlined race cars, motorcycles, fashion, jewelry,furniture ,architecture, literature, art . I love the exact qualities of these cameras.
So I use, used these cameras whatever reason a museum sees it to be needed to be collected.

08-25-2011, 11:16 PM
I like to collect useable classic's I appreciate the craftsmanship that no longer exists today at a responsible cost anyhow Linhof for example still a great camera at a ridiculous price. I keep a darkroom and regularly shoot 35mm 120mm and 4x5 I have leica's which are worth more then my contax black dial iia but to me the contax is a better camera or a bessa ii very collectable with the skopar lens but I like an ikonta better. All my cameras are in perfect working order clean glass that sort of thing I sell some to buy others or make room. For a living I work prepress for a printing shop I've spent a lot of time in a darkroom and worked the digital end of it. I sold all my digital equipment in 2008 and only shoot film now. When I lost a hard drive once with all my photos I thought how many people really print there digital pictures. I did, some since I had access to epson 10000 printers. But even then I had to deal with banding or other issues and returned to film after all digital is just commercialism. Large format is still higher quality. Besides collecting is fun I've just 2 complete military super graflex sets.

08-26-2011, 01:36 AM
The blog was one of the most articulate descriptions of GAS i've read. It illustrates the continuum from one extreme (OK, almost one extreme - true collectors *never* allow the cameras to see the 'light of day') to the other (a true photographer would grieve the loss of the contents of the memory card inside the D3).

This notwithstanding, we all find ourselves on this continuum (maybe each of us represents a mini-continuum on the larger scheme), but the continuum is there regardless.

Personally, i have a bit 'o collector in me - i love some of the Minolta manual-operation cameras and have a few more than i need. However, they all work and get film run through 'em (OK, 3 are cosmetically pristine, but need a minor repair/CLA). I thoroughly enjoy the quality, look, feel and sound of these work-horses - SRT 102/202's primarily - though i have a couple very nice XD-11's that are more like elegant race-horses!

My favorite camera (of the moment....) is my Mamiya RB67 Pro-S - a superb camera in every aspect i value (and an utter *BRUTE* of a work-horse - a true Clydesdale!!!). However, it goes in my bag any time i think i'll have time to shoot. It is, hands down, my favorite camera, but i'll never sentance it to death - life on a shelf. Nope, it's getting more and more time in the bag! That said, i am being more careful w/it as i'm seeing some body wear here and there and it's bothering me (it was pristine when i got it). To protect it I have a large flannel-cloth sack it goes into inside my non-photography pack, but it's not going to stop being used.

08-26-2011, 06:12 AM
I leave collecting cameras to the National Film And Photography Museum which isn't too far from my home I can go to any time and see it http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/Collection/Photography/PhotographicTechnology.aspx?vb=date they have a collection that's better than I could ever collect, my cameras are to use.

08-28-2011, 07:40 PM
I admit to collecting a bit myself. The only stuff that stays in the collection and not in use is something that doesn't work and is waiting to be sent for repairs.
Or something got as a gift and is totally obsolete.
I have never really bought a rare camera-why buy something you then have to worry about and protect? My idea of collecting is interesting things that I like. Like my Polaroid 100. They made a huge number of them. Yet it looks kinda cool, has that funk flashbulb flash, and still works mostly. My 900 can't really be used, but it is interesting, and for the price ( $30 along with a cool amprosound 16mm projector, two films, and a sears tower camera) it is worth in interest alone the couple bucks it cost.
Besides, collecting allows one to try out all sorts of old or unusual gear. Be it something you bought or something someone offers you because they know you like cameras.
I only have a few cameras I use-the others just sit in their cases waiting for me to find a place that can repair them all. I must admit to having a couple things that I am keeping, and intending to buy that currently only look good on a shelf. Sometimes the fun of obsolete gear is just as an example of failed technology or where tech has been. A giant VHS camcorder isn't collectable, but is an interesting contrast to a newer digital. Only a few years difference and yet compare the size of the things and the resolution they can achieve.

08-28-2011, 09:26 PM
Discoman take a second look at your sears tower camera some are very nice and worth something I have a sears tower 45 AKA nicca 5L leica screwmount worth a few dollars and great to use. I also have busch pressman under the sears name.

08-28-2011, 11:12 PM
I'm not an "Artist", just a photographer...

Fallacious distinction.

08-29-2011, 09:46 AM
....collected or not, if you cant shoot with the camera, what's the point?

that's easy!
Just read Mustafa's comment:

"I love plus 60 years old optics and I worship the designers for how much effort and intelligence and experiments they put in their design, ergonomics, glass research, optical technology, mechanism and tooling expertise....(snip)"

08-29-2011, 10:28 AM
Fallacious distinction.

Ha ha.. that's how I feel about the "collector" vs "user" distinction. Who really cares (or, why should one care) what someone else does if it brings them enjoyment.

08-29-2011, 11:11 AM
I am both... I like Barthes description of a camera "clocks for seeing". I like to handle old cameras with gears and knobs.
I did part with my entire rangefinder "collection" I am a better SLR user. I did keep a Keiv and a Lietz 50mm f2.

09-01-2011, 04:14 AM
Fallacious distinction.

I don't believe so, photography is a craft IMO which can approach art in few and rare occasions, everybody and his brother these days refer to themselves and each other as "Artists" when many of them are barely competent photographers.

09-01-2011, 08:50 PM
Fallacious distinction.

Obviously, you haven't seen some of my efforts.:confused:

09-01-2011, 10:49 PM
I don't believe so, photography is a craft IMO which can approach art in few and rare occasions, everybody and his brother these days refer to themselves and each other as "Artists" when many of them are barely competent photographers.

Could they not be barely competent artists in their chosen medium?

To say photography can "approach" art (Art) is to say there's an all-knowing authority, a gatekeeper, who ultimately decides what Art is; prices it too. Of course, this authority usually decides in favor of the Old World crafts of painting and sculpture because, well, how can you not, right? Often the authority is named something like "Leo Castelli". The authority is never wrong, except when something like the Starn twins comes along, or when Rembrandts that cost a museum millions suddenly seem to have a suspect provenance after all. Then the authority is nowhere to be found.

I don't really care what your photographs look like. If they help you or others examine or explain your engagement with the world they *are* Art. Even the crappiest Winogrand, the weirdest Krims, say something to me, while a gorgeous six figure Ansel Adams is just a pretty postcard. (Except for Moonrise, the only great image he made that has people in it. That's why I keep a bouquet from that cemetery in my darkroom, as a fetish.)

I get your remark about "Artists". Most of them are more worried about what shade of black to wear. But if the artist can produce crap then the craftsman can produce art.:)