Disinterested with equipment - overtime?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by raymondc, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Over the new year it's occured to me that with equipment just haven't been that interested with it compared to when I first started with photography when I got a D70. Has this occured to you guy?
    When I picked up other cameras most of them used, it's just the same for me, just like picking up another used car after using the previous one for 10yrs, still doing the same stuff as I did, but the product is refined in some ways and in terms of what other general people say, not much.
    There are those who have more equipment and those who have few items. It has been said that you don't need every focal length so why get so many, 2 or 3 would do right excluding the super teles the super fast primes for specific roles. In general people could get the job done with 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 lenses right with the specific included right. As a travel, scape camera I even thought about getting a D3100 used in the future b/c it is a real bargain and being so small. Other people may not even notice the difference.
    And for optimising the newer camera with newer lenses. How does that translate when a finished produt is viewed by "other" people? Is it even substantial. I can understand if you are gonna shoot wide open or with action. But let's say it is your average punter.
  2. Freeman Patterson often says equipment doesn't matter and he often gives no info on the equipment he uses for a certain photo. I do feel that over time my interest in equipment weakens. If it can produce a good quality print at 12 x18 I am happy. Many MILC, M4/3 can do that, not to mention the big guys. Whether this is because digital equipment advances so fast that one finds it hard to keep up, or that older film equipment was more fun to follow, I don't know. It could be the equiment is so good these days that the difference is not interesting or important anymore.
  3. Cameras have been "good" for a long time. Under ideal conditions, any camera can take a good shot (any photographer is another matter). Cameras that get better allow shots to be taken under more extreme conditions, or in more extreme ways. Cameraphones are eating into other markets because even those cameras are "good enough" for any uses, but the laws of physics are against them ever being "as good" as a DSLR. If you want the best quality, or the ability to do something unusual, it matters. The rest of the time, it doesn't.

    I was out this lunchtime taking some shots of a nearby playing field, which has flooded spectacularly (I'm near the Thames; the US gets snow, the UK gets rain...) My D800 is at home, but I was only really taking documentary shots. I took my V1 along, but took as many shots with my phone. Which is fine - they're snaps, not fine art. Had I wanted to capture something fast moving in low light with a blurred background, or if I wanted something I could blow up to poster size, I'd have needed my big camera.

    I've always bought kit when it allowed me to do something I wanted to do that my previous kit wouldn't. I have a big telephoto because I need long-range shots with little aberration in low light. I got a 70-200 because I needed to lose the background and have framing control. I have a 14-24 because I want sharp views of geography that I can look at in large prints. I have a tilt-shift because I want to move the focal plane. I have a macro because, well, I needed a macro. I felt I needed the 35mm to fill the gap between my 14-24 and 50mm lenses (35mm is suitable for wide group portraits; 24mm gets very distort-y at the edges). I want the aperture, so I have primes at 50, 85 and 200mm, and a 150mm macro. I used to have a 135. I don't feel the need for a 105mm, 28mm, 70mm prime set to fill any gaps, but what I have, I use. They each have different looks.

    Would the average viewer be able to say "that's a 150mm Sigma" when looking at it? No, although it's a fun game to play occasionally on this forum. But if it didn't allow for better - or, in some cases, different - images then there'd be no reason to get it.

    I would say that convenience is sometimes a reason. While it's mostly retired from my D800, the 28-200 that lived on my D700 got used a lot because it was "good enough" and the lens that let me be in the right place at the right time. If I had to go home and collect a lens, I'd have missed a shot. The cheap stuff has its place too. (As does my V1, my GF2 and my film camera collection. The place may be small, but it exists.)

    My English teacher would hate me if I didn't point out that you probably mean "uninterested" - I assume you mean that you can't get any enthusiasm for considering equipment, rather than that you're unbiased about it. I do try to be disinterested: I think Canon makes some very good equipment, just as does Nikon.
  4. I too have become quite bored with cameras. A camera is a camera--all of the current crop are very good. VIrtually no one looking at images from different models is going to see any difference. I have no doubt I could shoot about 98% of what I want just as well with a D3200 as I could D4. I think the trap is getting so wrapped up in camera gear that you lose your focus on actual photography. This is a big part of what's been fueling my return to shooting a lot of film again, especially with primitive cameras. I'd rather go to a workshop teaching me how to do wet plate (collodion) than how to get better shots with a digital camera.
    Kent in SD
  5. I get excited about getting a new camera because I don't get a new one very often. I was excited to get my D70, used that as long as I could and then got a D300 which I currently have. I have it duct taped together but it works just fine, even in this below zero weather we have been having lately. I have one good lens, a 17-55 Nikon 2.8 that I use 95% of the time. I just bought a variable ND filter for $45.00 and was thrilled to get it and mess around with it. I utilize my stuff to the max because I can't justify spending money on things I don't use. My D300 is on its last legs so I will soon get excited just anticipating what I am going to buy to replace it.
  6. I started with D40 - D80 - D300 and now I am shooting paper negatives in 5x7 Korona view or 3x4 Graflex - It has been a long journey.
  7. This is actually a very strong point, and to the point, and to one of the bottom lines is an industry out there in Photography that has a grand design in getting there hand into our pockets and squeezing as much cash out of it as they can, and thats it! Much of what is so called," contributed,' in these forums has nothing to do with Photography. So what is Photography? It means different things to different people. To one, Photography means a camera, to another it means the Photograph. Yes, three lenses, that's it. I got to admit though, its fun debating over what three lenses it would be.
  8. If you want to see excitement over cameras in both picture taking and technologically, try the Classic Manual Cameras or Modern Film Cameras forums.
    Unfortunately, we don't now have a place for old digital cameras to be used, fondled, and written up. You have aptly summarized why such posts are not all that popular on the various 'marque' forums, however.

    A few of us are working toward a "crappy old digital cameras" forum, however. :|
  9. I have only been serious about photography for around 12 years, and in this time I have bought 7 cameras, including three 35mm film SLRs, a medium format SLR, a TLR, a DX DSLR and an FX DSLR. I was excited about my first camera for a very long time, then with every new piece of equipment it was less and less time. My most recent camera purchase, the D700 kept me excited for about a month. I am, however, still very excited when I look at the pictures I have taken with it.
    Overall, I just don't get that excited about things in general as I used to. Be it a camera, a computer, a car, a piece of clothing, or anything. It takes a person, an event, a beautiful view, a piece of music etc. to get me going. I think that's good. It shows that my life and happiness is not dependent on the things I possess.
  10. I like to find out what progress is being made in new technology, whether it be increases in resolution, low-light capability, etc. It hasn't made me a better photographer, but it does give me a sense of being a witness to history in the making.
    In at least one case, that of buying a used D3s, a new camera opened my mind as to how much more I could be doing with low-light shooting, especially when I don't have a tripod with me. I have been on this planet almost seven decades, and I have enjoyed watching progress in many fields. It is sobering to me to leaf through a new organic chemistry book, both to see what is totally new as well as what is still exactly the same as it was presented to me in 1964-65, the same academic year I fell in love with my wife. Having been on my first computer qua a terminal on the other side of campus from the mainframe back in 1970, I have watched that area with great interest. I have seen us go to the moon, and on to Mars. I suppose that the "frontiers of knowledge" is a romantic concept, but I rather like trying to be part of expanding those frontiers, even as a lowly consumer and amateur photographer. With photography, however, I feel that I am almost one of the pioneers, even though I know that I am not. I guess that I really am a romantic at heart.
  11. It`s exciting when someone find a new way of communication, in the same way we are excited when we first meet with a woman (or man). New possibilities are open to us, and we start to explore. Once exploration is finished (exploration could be more or less deeper or frivolous), it`s quite normal we loose interest on it, and it`s our choice to stay (maybe looking for other motivations), or to leave. Resigning oneself to a mere "physical attraction", is some kind of abdication.
    I think Carl Mydans said it very well, " ..one is not really a photographer until preoccupation with learning has been outgrown and the camera in his hands is an extension of himself. There is where creativity begins".
  12. So far, my upgrades and additions to my gear always left me happy with the new toy I have, though at present I'm not seriously interested in changing my DSLR or SLR. Lenses are a different story, though also there I seem to have reached a point of satisfaction.
    For a large part, with the gear I have I do not really care if others see or won't see the differences. They matter to me. In using the gear (which is part of the fun, and part of the process), as well as the miniscule differences in the resulting pictures. Any photo first has to satisfy me before I'll share it, so if I see a difference, it matters. And this also answers, I think, that people could do everything with 3-4 lenses (thereabouts). Sure. But I would like it less. So I have a few more lenses and usually carry more than 4 lenses, and select which lenses based on what I'm going to do. Overkill for a hobbyist? Sure, but it's my wallet, my back and neck, my spare time... ;-)
    In a way I am also bored with my gear. Because what I have now all fits me pretty perfectly, and I really don't need more. Not a bad thing, it makes me focus better on making the best out of it, rather than wasting energy on thinking what to add.
  13. I'm with Wouter: I want improvements that are visible to me, and I accept that everyone else will be far more concerned with my complete lack of photographic talent. :) I do accept that I can do a lot with the gear I've already got, however.

    Lannie: Bless. Very moving. (And I'm now getting old enough that it applies to me, too. My wife and I met, indirectly, over a mainframe...)

    JDM: I'm not above being sentimental about old camera gear - make the forum and I'll come and lurk on it. I've still got my Agfa 1680 and my Eos 300D, and I'm almost tempted to get hold of a D1 for historical reasons. I've got one of those cameras you can plug into a Sony Ericsson T68 somewhere, too... Almost all of my film cameras have been acquired since I got my digital ones.
  14. I think what is exciting in photography is finding interesting subjects and working with them, and coming up with new ideas and realizing them. I think the equipment is a distraction that you talk/think about when you don't have the opportunity to shoot. I don't think it matters whether equipment excites you or not; perhaps it is better if it doesn't, so you stay focused on the content of the photography. But some of us want to push the envelope of what is technically possible to do and for those of us there is no escape from new equipment, unfortunately. I think as a photographer I'm a lot happier when I'm actually planning photography and doing it. Novelty of approach and subjects can be important in an artistic pursuit, and for that sometimes we get distracted in thinking that new equipment will lead to new approaches, which may or may not be true. A lot of the time just going and doing it rather than thinking it can't be done is a more productive approach. ;-) In the case of photographing people in the dark, new equipment has made a difference; my interest in it stems largely from the fact that I live in the North where the winter can be dark and long, and people hide from the cold by staying indoors, so for many months the only subjects of interest are in very dim lighting conditions. In normal daylight, photography of people is pretty much the same as it ever was, new or old equipment can be used. Action photographers will of course have their case for new equipment as well.
    I think about 3 lenses is right if you just shoot one subject category, e.g. for people photography. But if you shoot several different subjects then a few more lenses can be justified/needed. If you use the equipment to photograph weddings or other events where failure is to be avoided at all costs, everything needs to have backups. And so, over the years the equipment collection grows, even though great results can be obtained with only a few lenses and often it is better to have fewer options from the point of view of productivity. I often shoot through a whole day with just one focal length and those can be the happiest of days. This can also lead to a personal visual style, as one restricts the use of tools to obtain more visually coherent results and it makes the process much more enjoyable to me, compared to being forced to look for any photographic subjects. If I pick up a 5x zoom it causes my stomach to get upset as I feel I have to previsualize everything that I could photograph at once; I am much more comfortable with a limited set of options at a given time.
  15. Yesterday, I was asked for a photo that I took in 2007 with a D70. I work with a D7000 and D300 and sometimes a D3100 (for super wide shots) usually.
    The 6mp quality of that shot was easily the equal of most that I do now. Still the modern cameras are easier to use, better auto WB, exposure etc.
    But do not sneeze at the old D70.
  16. Ray - you are today's economy's nightmare. More people like you: satisfied with last years camera, smartphone, fashion, movie, car... will end our civilization.
  17. Freeman Patterson often says equipment doesn't matter​
    Doesn't matter who says it - it's nonsense, because it's a meme which ignores completely the fact that it depends on what you shoot.
    See how well you can replicate a shot like this with a smartphone...
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    My ultimate goal is to create wonderful images. Whatever tools, as well as education, travel, etc., that can assist me, I am interested.
    Everything matters, your skill and vision as a photographer, opportunities to shoot more often, opportunities to travel to good photo locations, as well as equipment all matter.
    Certain types of photography do not require a lot of fancy equipment. As long as you are photographing still subjects with plenty of light, in most situations very inexpensive equipment is sufficient. If you are photographing moving subjects and under dim light, better AF, better high-ISO results, and larger apertures can makes a big difference. We often see landscape images captured with cheap equipment at f8 on a tripod and then a description that the cheap equipment "is capable of taking great pictures"; you immediately know that is a misleading comment.
    An expensive camera is not going to make you a better photographer, but it can make a difference in the right situations.
  19. I still find pleasure in getting a new piece of gear. But I find I want less gear than I used to.
    I used to carry a photo backpack with a 35mm Contax SLR, 6-7 lenses, flash, cords, and whatnot. I had a good stint in medium format before going digital some ten years ago. My problem seems to always be that I accumulate too much gear and don't use it all. If the gear just sits on a shelf gathering dust, why own it in the first place. I don't make my living off of photography... I'm now venturing into the Fuji XF format and vow to not accumulate gear like I have in the past (yeah, right... :))
    Modern digital cameras are incredible and the differences in terms of the quality of a printed image from many of these cameras is diminishing. I guess we're ready for the next wave of photography being about the skill of the photographer rather than the camera.
  20. In the past few weeks as I look at this site, I find that there is very little talk about the camera I own, the D300s. I went from the F2 for almost 30 years, to a D70s, that served me very well for almost 5 years, until I found I needed a faster frame rate and better ISO and went for the D300s. I believe it will be a long laster for me. So since I have a pretty good compliment of lenses and accessories, I'm not finding the conversations here as interesting.
  21. I am always interested on what's available out there but I never get tired of my equipment. If my equipment doesn't break I never replace it with something newer. I would be perfectly happy with the first camera I bought in 1977, a Nikon F2AS, if the buying and processing of film isn't get expensive and hard to find like today.
  22. I add new pieces as I go along quite slowly and carefully, as I need them. Right now I mostly just do some various
    editorial assignments and some personal work, a "few" social events. I try to have everything make sense to my process.
    I don't buy a lot of equipment, only what I feel I need to make my images properly. I agree that years back I used to buy
    things because I "wanted them" and was more obsessed about owning certain pieces, not necessarily because I "needed
    them". I would also tend to purchase them on a whim and often without good financial conscience.

    Today, almost thirty years later it's like polar opposite. I buy only what I need and add slowly. Currently I have not moved
    to FX, I am quite satisfied with the smaller and lighter weight D7100 and pair of D5100s and mostly five lenses 18-55
    kit(x2),35, 50, 85 and 180 plus a few flashes and Gary Fong attachments.

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