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  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Precision Equipment

    Reinhold recently posted a thread “Waste your Money Here” about dodge tools. But for people who love precision equipment, that is not always the case. For instance I have often contemplated taking up fly fishing. Not because of the fishing, but as an excuse to buy and use an Orvis fishing rod and reel. Am I mad, or do others have similar obsessions?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I use whatever works and feels good in my hands. If I can't afford the best, I buy the best quality I can with the funds that are available to me, and it should be something that can be repaired if necessary, and serviced regularly. Brand doesn't matter, and I don't buy into what other people tell me - I'm a 'show me and I'll believe' kind of person. Function has to live up to reputation.

    But I would be a total hypocrite if I didn't confess to wondering what it would be like to drive a Ferrari or a Bugatti instead of my Hyundai Sonata. While I have driven high end Porsche vehicles, like a 911 GT2, it's always alluring and tempting to think of the very highest echelons of any type of industry. I love music, a lot, and have nothing but good memories from my highly modified Linn Sondek LP12 turntable, upgraded Scott 299-B tube (valve) amp, and hypersensitive speakers. That system was well composed, and all the individual parts gelled so well and I really enjoyed music played through it, but that didn't stop me from wondering what a Walker Proscenium turntable (USD 200k) would sound like in my living room, perhaps paired with a pair of Von Schweikert dB100 speakers or similar.... You get my drift. I think people dream about once owning those fine jewels of engineering, using them, and enjoying them. But 99.999% of the population has to settle for something far more reasonable, and the trick is to still enjoy yourself.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #3
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I use whatever works and feels good in my hands. If I can't afford the best, I buy the best quality I can with the funds that are available to me, and it should be something that can be repaired if necessary, and serviced regularly. Brand doesn't matter, and I don't buy into what other people tell me - I'm a 'show me and I'll believe' kind of person. Function has to live up to reputation.

    But I would be a total hypocrite if I didn't confess to wondering what it would be like to drive a Ferrari or a Bugatti instead of my Hyundai Sonata. While I have driven high end Porsche vehicles, like a 911 GT2, it's always alluring and tempting to think of the very highest echelons of any type of industry. I love music, a lot, and have nothing but good memories from my highly modified Linn Sondek LP12 turntable, upgraded Scott 299-B tube (valve) amp, and hypersensitive speakers. That system was well composed, and all the individual parts gelled so well and I really enjoyed music played through it, but that didn't stop me from wondering what a Walker Proscenium turntable (USD 200k) would sound like in my living room, perhaps paired with a pair of Von Schweikert dB100 speakers or similar.... You get my drift. I think people dream about once owning those fine jewels of engineering, using them, and enjoying them. But 99.999% of the population has to settle for something far more reasonable, and the trick is to still enjoy yourself.
    Well said Thomas, how about a Quad with electrostatic speakers?
    Last edited by cliveh; 10-19-2012 at 02:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #4
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    I love precision tools, and the precision results they enable, for the simple reason that they prove that somewhere in the world there still exists someone who gives a damn.

    It's their existence that counts, regardless of whether or not I personally can obtain and use them.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  5. #5
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Well said Thomas, how about a Quad with electrostatic speakers?
    I used to own a pair of Quad II amps once. They were beautiful amps. Never got along with electrostatic speakers of any kind, though. I like rhythm a lot, and most, if not all, electrostatic speakers I have heard fall flat on their nose when you play reggae or ska. That includes the Martin Logan CLX, by the way...
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #6
    flatulent1's Avatar
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    It's the chief reason I have a Contax 35mm system; not because I need it, but because it is one of the best, and the assorted parts I have so far accumulated were available and affordable. (Two points against my ever acquiring a Leica R system, by the way.)

    I like to play with b&w processing; instead of using whatever plastic bottle is available, I have a set of one liter pyrex lab bottles. The indulgence wasn't at all necessary, but I could, so I did. (The square bottles are easier to hold than the round ones, by the way.)

    Years ago I played a Yamaha trumpet in college; when it was time to replace it, I chose a top-of-the-line Schilke, an instrument I could barely afford. But it had better playing characteristics than a Strad 37 (the industry standard at the time) so I allowed myself the indulgence. And it's been worth it.
    Fred Latchaw
    Seattle WA


    I am beginning to resent being referred to as 'half-fast'.
    Whatever that's supposed to mean.

  7. #7

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    There is precision equipment and then there are "mechanical objects". While I deeply appreciate fine engineering and fine design --- I am an adherent to design elegance, and worked for Apple for some time back in the cube days--- I really enjoy mechanical objects seeing them as a means to an end rather than the final product.

    What this means is that I would rather buy 5 cameras for 5 bucks each rather than a 5000 dollar camera, knowing that I am going to be mixing and matching parts and drilling new holes and by the time I am done, who knows what I will have built. With a 5000 dollar camera you don't want to scratch it, with a 5 dollar camera you want to know how it works.

    We live in a perfect time-- I am able to buy what just a few years ago would have been thousands of dollars of equipment for pennies. This makes it easy to want to dig into it. I have boxes of enlarger parts for that I mix and match and build with-- 20 years ago no one had boxes of enlarger parts because they were very expensive "precision" machines. -- Now I think nothing of drilling a couple holes in something that 20 years ago would have caused multiple heart attacks if other photographers saw what I was doing.
    * Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
    * When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
    * When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *

  8. #8
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    I get where you are coming from..... Precision made equipment of any sort has an allure, or attractiveness that is not always explainable. I find that a lot of it comes down to how tactile the 'thing' or object is, how it feels in your hands, function, form and all that. Well made things usually have great design, heft, feel, and importantly forgiveness, they are not harsh, or garish in either looks, sounds, or feel. How all of that comes together evokes the emotional response we have with well made devices. While some may view them as tools, others may view them as art in and of themselves. I have had my fair share of nice 'stuff' in my journey so far, and likely bled more than i needed to instead of bleeding once. So sometimes it pays to eat the cost of a nicer, higher quality 'thing' than to have a few cracks at finding something cheaper... But its the journey right, and we never stop learning. If it floats ya boat, and you can afford the scratch, then why not. Regardless of whatever it is, do what feels right.
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

  9. #9
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Moxom View Post
    I get where you are coming from..... Precision made equipment of any sort has an allure, or attractiveness that is not always explainable. I find that a lot of it comes down to how tactile the 'thing' or object is, how it feels in your hands, function, form and all that. Well made things usually have great design, heft, feel, and importantly forgiveness, they are not harsh, or garish in either looks, sounds, or feel. How all of that comes together evokes the emotional response we have with well made devices. While some may view them as tools, others may view them as art in and of themselves. I have had my fair share of nice 'stuff' in my journey so far, and likely bled more than i needed to instead of bleeding once. So sometimes it pays to eat the cost of a nicer, higher quality 'thing' than to have a few cracks at finding something cheaper... But its the journey right, and we never stop learning. If it floats ya boat, and you can afford the scratch, then why not. Regardless of whatever it is, do what feels right.
    Thanks Andrew, I'm a little nearer to ordering that Orvis fishing rod.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #10
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Check out Ross reels first. Had an Orvis, went back to my Ross. Been fishing my whole life and that one reel has been with since I learned and even with a 'better' reel available, it still feels more precise. As rods go, Orvis cannot really be beat unless you start playing in the field of bamboo.

    I think they hype over precision tools isn't necessarily overstated. If it gives you the confidence (whether or not it actually effects skill or accuracy), the confidence will help you achieve higher results regardless. That's my feel.
    K.S. Klain

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