First off, I agree with you. Someone mentioned xtol above and that was a good example. And for me, the price of film is trivial compared to my cost in time and making prints. Yet I catch myself noticing the price of film. ( I don't think I'll be saying that with larger format films however! ) I agree with your examples, especially trying to get the 37th exposure ( if it's an important picture ) or overusing fixer with something that matters.
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
I wanted to point out something different which is not being cheap or even frugal. I get a lot of enjoyment from doing things myself. So, for example, my easels and negative carriers are homemade. I absolutely can afford to buy brand new ones if I want to, but that wouldn't be as much fun and wouldn't be as satisfying. I don't go out and buy crap cameras, but I do like using my folders and autographic cameras. Trying to make a good photograph with them, and the different look the old uncoated lenses have is very fun. I've got an old duaflex and a brownie, and it's fun to try to use them too, sometimes. I have a pinhole camera that I made out of a coffee can. Making pictures with that is one of the funnest things I do in photography... I love it.. there's a huge freedom and lack of "expectation of perfection" and even a sense of "discovering" something instead of creating it. Making a camera out of a can and using photo paper in it might sound like the height of cheapness, but it has nothing to do with being cheap and everything to do with having fun. Having fun using the camera is the goal in and of itself.
I don't disagree, but I do think occasionally the "do it yourself" person gets mistaken for a cheapskate, when really the motivation is completely different.