I get frustrated with both myself and others because all of the developers, lenses, films, etc. that we have today are superior in almost every aspect to what was available for Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Walker Evans and all of the greats of American Photography. We all tend to fall into the habit of questioning and/or blaming the materials when things don't work out to our satisfaction, but we should all remember that some of the most talented and hard-working engineering minds have dedicated decades of their lives in the development of these products. (Countdown to someone replying "Oh, but the PAPERS were SO MUCH BETTER back then!" 10, 9, 8, 7....)
You ever notice how golf clubs get better every year, yet the average handicap of the American golfer hasn't changed in almost 40 years? It's because people would rather read about how to get better at golf or spend money on new clubs than do the hard work of actually getting better at golf.
We are all guilty of this! Moral of the story: one camera, one lens, one or two films and one developer.
Paul Strand is a great example. He shot with the same 8x10 and 5x7 cameras for almost 40 years, and used the same 300mm Georz Dagor lens on both cameras! Strand's portrait of Mr. Bennett, one of the greatest portraits in the entire history of photography, was made with that lens on a Graflex. You think our multicoated, computer designed optics aren't better than a freaking Georz Dagor POS? Obsessing over these trivialities is just high tech procrastination. Stop worrying about it and get to work!