Equipment?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Nikon Fan, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Not to spark another "pro camera" discussion here, but just something I've been wondering about lately. During that discussion someone commented that it didn't matter what lenses you had...but it seems to an extent that the equipment you own can limit what you do. For instance if you only own a 50mm lens, then how could you shoot decent macro flower shots? If you don't have a nice flash, won't your portraits suffer? At some point it would seem that it does come down to the limitations of equipment. In high school my teacher always would lecture on using your body as a zoom and moving in closer if the lens wasn't able to give the results you wanted. I completely think that's true but what about shooting where you can't get closer? Is it ridiculous when people say things like I really needed a different lens or a flash or something similair? Does the equipment you own limit what you do?




    My opinion on the subject is that the equipment can limit your capabilities. If you have a certain shot in mind, but don't have a long enough lens, or a good enough flash, or the right type of lighting then you would be limited b/c the image you see can't be expressed appropriately.
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    65mm of extension tubes plus a 50mm lens = the best macro lens you ever bought for that cheap, and better than 1:1.

    There's plenty of natural light around. There's no need for a nice flash. I don't have one. I prefer available light.

    Photography is an equipment based artform. There's no getting around it. If you want up close photographs of rare birds, then you need a long telephoto lens. If you want to do in studio portrait photography, unless you want to shoot every shot by an open window, you will need some lighting equipment. I don't think it's ridiculous at all to buy the equipment you need to do what you like to do.

    The only limitations I have with my equipment now are; I want to complete my darkroom, and I want to take better insect macros, so I really need a 180mm macro lens, and a flash system.
     
  3. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    All equipment limits you in one way or another.
    Some people try to get around this by buying a whole shopfull of kit. All this does is limit you because you can never decide which piece of equipment to use.
    One of the secrets to being a good photographer is to know the limitations of what you are using - then work with it, not within it.
    This is the true measure of creativity.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Good thinking!!! A conundrum to say the least. Make do with what you got is a good answer. Once again I think it is a personal decision. If I know that I will only use a lens 3 times in my life I will work around it. If I feel that I need a 24mm lens more often then not I will drop 1,000 dollars or whatever to buy it. In other words my personal work means a lot to me. Nothing should stifle it.

    Commercially my approach is different. I will buy gear to get the shot done. Eventually it will pay for it's self.

    As much as I hate to admit it... Photography can be very dependent on the latest technology.
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Commercially - if I realy needed a specific piece of kit to get an effect or achieve a shot then I'd hire it and stick it on the bill.
     
  6. sbalsama

    sbalsama TPF Noob!

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    This is why I use older systems. The equipment is the same, works just as well as today's, but the price makes it quite affordable if I ever need to pick a piece up. I've got everything I could ever want now for film, maybe eventually another lens for my new mamiya, but regardless it all cost about the price of a new dslr with kit lens. So I've got quite a bit of equipment, at a fraction of the cost, and I use all of it. Some stuff is good for certain things. Also, since I do this as a hobby and will not be making anything back maybe ever, I'm much more willing to spend less to get more than vice versa. But who isn't? :p

    Olympus and Mamiya, my cheap underdog buddies ^_^
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It is nice to have all the right equipment, but I also find a sense of freedom in using "limited" equipment. When I'm out with my old cameras I usually only have a single focal length, aperture contol, and shutter control. It's simple, and I can concentrate on the subject rather than the gear. I carry a small flash, but usually try to deal with the natural light.
     
  8. gypsyIX

    gypsyIX TPF Noob!

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    i agree with ksmattfish... and most of the rest of you... although i have quite a bit of equipment, i mostly use it only for hired jobs. for me, i've been using an oooold olympus p&s held together with rubber bands. *everything* is about subject and light when i use it. it really forces me to *see* rather than think. it's good exercise. :)
     
  9. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Remember, a camera is nothing but a black box that traps light. I saved for a whole summer and bought my first Nikon in 1969. The only lens I could afford at the time was a Nikkor 45mm GN f/2.8. I used that combo for years. No flash, no macro, not even a gadget bag. (had no gadgets to put in one) The only accessory I owned for years was a set of three Vivitar close-up lenses. Looking back, it was the best learning tool and time in my photographic career. As far as what equipment to strive for, I am a firm believer in getting the best name brand glass you can afford. To me a camera is a camera, itÂ’s the glass that projects the image. And the quality of that projection will determine the quality of the final product. Just like computers today, junk in, equals junk out. A good camera with a choice 50mm lens will deliver far better work than a great camera and a sack full of no name off brand lenses.
     
  10. wharrison

    wharrison TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps a "word" from Alfred Eisenstaedt would be useful at this point. Alfred Eisenstaedt was one of the original photographers for Life magazine. One of his books is still a superb read - it's part biographical; part comentary of photographic techniques, but mostly a wonderful commentary on seeing photographically. The title of the book is "The Eye of Eisenstaedt"

    Obtain a copy through your library's interlibrary loan system and/or purchase the book through either one of the excellent used book sources - alibris.com or abe.com. For starters, read and see some of his photographs at the link below.

    A word from Eisenstaedt:

    The key to Eisenstaedt's genius lay in his humility and humanity. "My style hasn't changed much in all these sixty years," he explained. "I still use, most of the time, existing light and try not to push people around. I have to be as much a diplomat as a photographer. People often don't take me seriously because I carry so little equipment and make so little fuss. When I married in 1949, my wife asked me. 'But where are your real cameras?' I never carried a lot of equipment. My motto has always been, 'Keep it simple.'"


    http://artscenecal.com/ArticlesFile/Archive/Articles1997/Articles0397/AEisenstaedt.html


    Best regards,

    Bill
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I love my Olympus Stylus Epic: great lens, tiny package, cheap. The only problem is the flash. If it had a PC socket for an external flash it might have been my favorite 35mm camera.
     
  12. Kodan_Txips

    Kodan_Txips TPF Noob!

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    I have often wondered, with cameras with an inadequate built in flash, if you could mount a decent flashgun with a built in slave trigger onto a right angled handgrip/flash bracket. Then, using something to obscure the built in flash, and either mirrors or optical cable, the only use for the camera's flash would be to trigger the slave.

    It would help to reduce red eye, would give a better FN, and would make my tiny little Caplio look idiotic, but it would solve a big problem.
     

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