Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
In a classic installment of I Love Lucy, Ricky gets so angry with Lucy that he mutilates the expressions cheap skate and tight wad. Which brings me to the reason for this post.

I really can't understand how people can risk their photographs by cutting corners. Usually it is not a matter of cost but a warped mindset that they have beaten the system. It can be trying to get that 37th exposure or dilution of developer or fixer beyond the manufacturers recommendations or using old and very fogged film. There are many other examples. Quite frankly I can't understand how they justify their actions. There is a difference in being frugal and being cheap.
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.

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.