The hidden cost of photography?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by RaymondC, May 13, 2017.

  1. I have a spreadsheet for my normal budgeting. I summed up the cells re: photography and was surprised how much I spent. After digging in. Apart from a used medium format film camera there wasn't much in it. I have not bought a modern camera or lens in a good few years. While my overall budget was in check, it's the little things I am not so aware of that adds up, while overall it is in check I can think of other places it could have been better spent.

    As a hobbyist in the digital era. While I have the occasional interest in film photography I spent $1,500 on film and lab, $500 on my own inkjet printing after getting the printers virtually free with the consumables provided they were additional ink and papers, $2,000 on accessories like filters, tripod clamps etc (not the actual tripod or ballhead). I don't shoot that much film, but it's the - shoot more cos you will waste the b/w chemistry, shoot more cos the delivery charge won't be worth it to send out the slide film and then you also start hoarding film. This film emulsion is being discontinued and you end up with a few pro packs that takes ages to use up.
  2. Very simple solution to this problem: Never keep track of what you spend and you will never be disappointed.
  3. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I have a long used a method like robert's. Codified -- "Never keep track of the cost of your vices" I include cigars, liquor and hobbies!
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  4. Exactly!! Could not have said it better.
  5. In any kind of enterprise, it is always the "hidden", or more correctly, the "indirect" costs that are the dangerous ones.

    Here's an out-of-date example of actual cost of operating a automobile (LINK). It's a lot more than just dividing the gas costs by the miles....

    This is the reason you want to follow the advice to not track the cost of your vices.
  6. If you think photography can get expensive with its "hidden" costs, try astronomy some time!

    Some hobbies can require a room filled with gear depending on what you want to achieve so it shouldn't come as a surprise if a ton of money gets spent.
  7. Bizarre post. Fail to see what's "hidden" in knowingly forking over $$$--spreadsheets notwithstanding. I mean if photography is stopping you from covering daily living expenses then it's time to stop and establish priorities. Otherwise, it's like complaining about the empty bottles and cans piling up in the garage.
  8. Sometimes I have the horrifying thought that I could look back through my order history on Amazon, which dates back to when they were just a bookshop, and add everything up...
  9. Bottles etc are no exception. We don't divulge into junk food or takeaways much. I could have gone overseas or locally, book a hotel etc to do more photography. As an outsider I could have went to Yosemite, Alaska, Banff, skiing in Japan and capture winter landscapes. A single latte could been a local meal in Malaysia. I think some people may have up to a quarter of their supermarket bill in unnecessary items.
  10. I see the bill every month so its not hidden. In general i do not spend that much. Mostly film and chemicals. Camera gear is used and many times free.
  11. Ok, not hidden but costs one doesn't think that much about it. I went to the supermarket and that bottle of wine, those weekly coffees outside, those chocolate etc. They add up. It's been a good couple of years and got a new dSLR. Maybe you need a lens to fill the gap, maybe shutter release cables, camera mounting plate for the tripod, new memory cards and then after you have your images then there is home printing more quality, more control right. Then there is the monitor calibration assuming the computer is decent enough. Each good few years upgrading Adobe software.

    I got a used Epson 2200 (2100 known to us) and the ink are no longer available, in the USA you can get them still but they are restricted delivery to the USA. It won't be long till others like the R2880.
  12. I probably have some hidden costs on my bicycle interests because i stop in the shop and buy a tire or something and it adds up. I pay cash usually.
  13. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    rossb -- there are two high end, built up road bikes hanging on the wall in the finished in the basement. I have no idea what their final cost was -- even though I haven't ridden for a couple of years, I can't yet bear the idea of passing them on -- one of my kids is too big, the other too small for the frames. Suppose I'll have to ride a bit this year.
  14. I have two shooting hobbies, and only one is apropos to PNet.:) The other one makes photography look cheap by comparison, but the primary implements are less subject to depreciation. My wife sometimes accuses me of having a 2-car tool/toy/hobby box, but I still make room for her to park inside. I shudder to think how much money I have spent on my pastimes over the last 40 years, but there is little I might regret. My hobbies have added a richness and depth to my life for which I am very grateful. But, I never buy toys on credit.
    Sandy Vongries likes this.
  15. Bikes can be expensive. I rode 4000 last year but this year is not so good. In defense i have been trying to get in hiking shape for my half dome hike on june 8th and then i will ride more. Currently i ride custom steel that i had built for me 4 years ago. Its a Lighthouse built by Tim Neenan who was the first frame designer for Specialized. He retired this year so the Lighthouse brand also retired.
  16. Have built-up two bikes over the years. A Fat Chance that I still ride and a Paramount that's in storage. Both steel and nice riding bikes; better than a much newer aluminum bike I have. Lost track long ago on how much I have into them.
  17. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    Tell me about it! I am just completing a thorough reorganization of the 'shop', aka the garage. It has been a circus and not functional since we moved here 6 years ago. I do not even want to think now of what has been spent on all those tools and power equipment. The redeeming value is that they keep this old house from falling apart--and have assisted in the remodeling/flipping of 4 others.

    Photography for me was not particularly expensive until I hit my recent 'upgrade' cycle with digital. A few hundred to a thousand a year is not scary bad--buying an entirely new kit can be! But in reality the other hobbies proved the most expensive--amateur radio, woodworking, salt water aquaria. We won't even talk about the cigars and pipes--the reason that my wife forced us into separate checking accounts 8 years ago... :oops:

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