In a brief, I've been teaching myself photography thru a trial & error method since mid 2002. I had always had a interest in it but, one day went off the deep end and just took an aggressive approach of "just do it". So I did a lot of ebaying and bought all sorts of UN-neccesary items. I learned that better equipment doesn't make you a better photographer (asthetically speaking). I also learned that teaching yourself is a love/hate approach of learning and can get you nowhere without the proper information, that can sometimes be very .....
There is, however, so much useful information & ideas here that I can truly grow from. I've never seen so many helpful people unloading all this helpful knowledge anywhere else. I'm grateful to be here.
I'd like to thank David Goldfarb for pointing me in this direction a little while back. Thanks again David.
Welcome, this is a very helpful forum You've already learned one important lesson - equipment doesn't make the photographer.
I am in awe of this site, the people in here, appreciating the support everyone so freely offers.
Personally, I feel I have learned more this past week than I have this past year.
Although you've been here longer than I, WELCOME!!!!
Welcome. O hope you continue to find the site useful, informative and, at times, amusing !!
Cogito, ergo sum.
It is good to hear from you in a personal way. I predict a bright future for you considering your posted images. Great imagination and a developing technique.
Truly, dr bob.
I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
Truly, dr bob.
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Well, dr. Bob, thank you for the comments on what you've already seen.
I admit that some of these are a stroke of luck at times. I am becoming more familiar with what exposure & development technique will bring out the kind of images I want on paper.
Cant wait to learn more from all of you!
Hi, I am new to this sight and am hoping for some guidance. What unneccessary equipment did you purchase? What equipment could you not do without? I would really like to get going and like you would like to "just do it". I have a very limited income, so I would like to make every dollar spent well worth it. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
The worst mistakes that I have made have been the result of "sneaking up on the issue".
Originally Posted by damoncrew
Having said that, no one here can tell you what equipment that you will need to purchase or to not purchase. That depends entirely on what it is that you want to do and say photographically. What size of prints do you want to make? Color or black and white? How good quality to do want your prints to be?
In retrospect I wish that I had moved into large format immediately. I would have saved thousands of dollars in expenditures for lenses and equipment that I no longer favor and use. However that is my experience and should not or very likely will not be your experience. Good luck.
I went directly to large format as well. Not that it was a bad choice because it did force me to learn the technical aspects of mechanics and processes. I ended up buying 2 different enlargers. This was probably the biggest waist of money. However, I do still use both.
My best advice is to start with roll film. I would look for a cheap mechanical unit on ebay. I am kind of partial to the twin lens reflex cameras. Most have fixed lens that teach you learn within that fixed range. This also teaches you creative printing ideas & techniques with 6x6. You can by a Rolleicord w/ a 75mm Xenar for a song. I had bought a Pearl River TLR, which I still own, that actually takes some fairly sharp images and appears to have an accurate shutter. I paid about $60 for this new. Even the older Yashica-Mats or Minolta Autocords are good starters.
If you plan to make your own prints, a Omega B600 will work for 6x6 format & less.
I would think you could purchase a TLR & enlarger for about $250 to $350 on ebay. If you want large format, a Crown Graphic 4x5 is a good start ($200)
along with an old Omega D2 enlarger.
All this is pretty cheap. It's a starting point for "just do it". Good glass is a must though. Camera & especially enlarger.
I've since sold most of my large format equipment, ranging from a 1915 Seneca Improved 8x10 to Crown Graphic 4x5. I have retained my cheap FKD 5x7 for paper negatives & rarely use it. Today, it's just my Mamiya C330F & RB67. The Pearl River TLR also sees some action due to size/weight.
So my long-winded advice in a nutshell is: Roll film, a 6x6 format, good glass. If you want to make your own prints, any cheap enlarger in good shape & good glass. All this will still teach you the mechanics & processes on the trial & error basis as i've gone. Hope this helps!
Sneaking up on 8x10 was my big mistake, too. I knew I wanted to shoot that format many years ago, but instead of saving enough to buy something that size, I piddled with 35mm, 120, etc, etc. I'd strongly recommend shooting with what you have for a year or two until you can answer the questions Donald asked. Then make purchases based on those answers, not what someone else tells you to do.