I agree completely. Any decent camera, decent film and decent developer will give you decent results. Says someone, who just tinkled his "own" developer. Learn the few basics, avoid any automatics, get used to your gear and have fun. Read Adams 10 years later. He was a titan. Following the titans is frustrating and limitating. Have fun!
Cheers - Reinhold
I completely agree with Weston and the OP. I wish it were as easy to conduct myself in accordance with the ideal as it is to agree that it is correct. I find it all too easy to be distracted by minutia. In fact, the minutia supply a very nice crutch and an easy explanation for my own mediocrity. "The right camera would make me better...I could make better prints if I used that other paper...I didn't get the results I was looking for...must have used the wrong developer for this film...., etc, etc, etc..."
Also think that anybody who gets bored with one camera, one film, one developer and one paper really isn't trying very hard...or is just simply not very interested in the first place. My mom used to say, "only boring people get bored."
stay away from new cameras, new lenses, new film,developers, toners,papers,..new processes -----for that matter stay away from old
cameras,old lenses ,film, paper ,processes -----forgodssakestayawayfromaltprocess--youranewbie--
get you an EOS and some tri-x and take a lot of pictures of bell peppers and call it ART and don't try anything foolish,you
might hurt yourself.
Personally I experimented a lot to figure out exactly what I liked and now that I've done that I'm paring both my equipment and my film and post choices down to what gives me a look I like and I'll tweak specifics from there.
Only real problem I've had is falling in love with now-dead films (APX100 and RSX100 most notably).
There is something to be said for starting with the basics and mastering them first. But the 'Get a basic SLR, a 50 and some Tri-X, develop in D-76 and continue until you've mastered it' advice doesn't work for everybody, only those who are starting off with the idea that they want to do work which has the classic 35mm B&W look to it.
The reality is you need a starting point and some idea of what you want before you pick materials and set out to master them. Figuring that out takes research and/or experimentation.
I love APX 100. I bought 500 ft. in 35mm and I'm on my last 100 ft. roll.I already ran out of 120
so I switched to Plus-x. Totally different but a beautiful film in its own right
I'm also experimenting with arista II ortho-litho in 120 and 127-- has possibilities.
Also the Rollei/Adox ortho 25 -expensive but amazing film
I might buy another roll on plus-x aerographic but I have
to check out the Aviphot first.
Keep moving forward--don't look back ....:>)
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Gerald, I could not agree more. Finding myself caught up in the endless buying cycle I have started to sell off my equipment and will focus on one camera, film, developer. I believe in this so much that I started a group here on APUG called "One and Done"
Come by and visit.
Weston told it the way it is, way back then, as it is now with this silly D**** "revolution".
Holding on to your equipment and forming an intimate bond of knowledge and practical application with it is invaluable. Many of today's "photographers" will never do that if they allow themselves to be caught up in the cauldron of rampant consumerism.
Part of the fun for me is the fact that this obsession IS never-ending. I pretty much use Plus-X or TXP for everything, but I am constantly trying new things, that I find here or in magazines or random conversation. Latest thing is a 10 stop ND filter - hours (literally) of fun. So what if I never "master" anything - what happens if I do anyway? Do I get a prize?? I just enjoy the adventure...
Does it really matter what film or developer you use if you like the results? Just stick to something you know. I've been using Plus-X and Tri-X for 40 years with D-76 and know them quite well. Paper choices have changed though which is fine by me. The modern papers produce great results. As long as you get negatives that print the way you like then there is no discussion. It's all personal preference.
Being a newbie ('round here at least) I agree that you should do what ever floats yer boat. The thrill of discovery is wonderful and mistakes are always an unearthing of something. Have fun and enjoy. Don't accept rigid doctrines lest boredom and frustration become constant companions. I'm off to f*#k something up. Have a nice day.