Considering what we are.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by pocketshaver, Nov 28, 2019.

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  1. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    In terms of equipment capability. We haven't really progressed much throughout the ages. Seriously we haven't.

    When the first microscope lens was created by Voightlander/Pexal, the standard for high grade work was created. When Kodak took the low cost market over with fixed power, fixed aperture meniscus lens cameras, that "pocket camera" "point and shoot" market segment was concreted for eternity.

    Now we have lots of pride in our cameras, we really do. We should the level of technology going into the lenses now is marvelous. It really is. The optical quality is easily 10 times what it was in 1930.

    The Vitomatic II when it was released was a high grade camera. It cost around 180 dollars back then. Not a cheap thing. IT was the D7200 of its day in terms of quality and function. And results. But yet nowadays 99% of people at a camera store would toss it out if they found it in a bag with a 5 year old Kodak point and shoot.

    But with quality film, a lens cleaning, a tripod, and proper focusing and control on exposure, it will create images that are able to win next year photo contests, and grave the cover of any magazine in the world.

    Yet we keep getting suckered into thinking new models always make it better. Looking at photographic "how toos" online, it seems we need the image stabilizer turned on when playing with manual control, and to some extent some seem to think that aperture control mode on a DSLR is MANUAL control, because you like control stuff manually....

    Now every region seems to have its own preference on equipment. Australia and UK amateurs seems to prefer the one piece super zoom cameras, ya know they think its a crime to use removable lenses because get this... IF YOU TAKE THE LENS OFF outside you just get dust and dirt inside the body, AND THAT ONE SPEC RUINS THE CAMERA.

    Funny, I thought used film cameras BREED dirt on lenses and on the mirror when they aren't used for 20 some years.. And I remember how the replaceable lens cameras were heralded as major, important breakthroughs when they were put on market.

    The main issue with the superzoom is the next to smallest size sensors they use, and the fact the super zooms have issues with image quality in the top 1/3rd of their magnification range, and issues in low light. And they are popular in countries that have had some extra good low light photos taken over the years.


     
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  2. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    In terms of equipment capability you've now got cameras that can recognise and track subjects, sufficent technology that in a lot of circumstances you don't need supplimental lighting to take a resonable photograph, there's a screen that will enable a preview of what your exposure settings will be, firmware that allows you to tweek the in camera settings to make using the camera more suitable to the subject, technology so you can see your photographs out in the field and adjust your technique to get the shot you want. Even with lenses we are getting zooms that are as sharp as the primes of yesteryear, 4-5 stop image stabilisation to lessen the need for a tripod among other things I've probably forgotten. I doubt anyone in the 30's would have imagined how we shoot and process images now and at a price where the average person can afford.

    I'm not sure where you think we should be, but I'd say it's progressing pretty well!
     
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  3. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    I think it is fair to say that the latest tech in cameras is a fantastic help...
     
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  4. Tim Tucker 2

    Tim Tucker 2 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In terms of *we* I disagree, it is a trait mainly found on photo forums. It happens because many photographers on some forums look to technology to solve problems, create the images. And so they think that it is the camera and the technology that defines the image, (because it's where they look to understand it).

    And without thinking or questioning you make the same assumption by linking photographic progress with the development of the camera. You also hint that your lens choice is dictated by dust, it is by looking at and understanding the camera that you choose the lenses and not looking at and understanding the subject or resulting picture.

    But photography is defined by the human definition and appreciation of beauty, not by the MTF graphs of your lens or the programmed auto functions of your camera.

    Believing that taking the lens off an ILC camera outside ruins it an abstract assumption unsupported by observation, isn't there more dust inside a house? It never seems to collect on the outside windowsill. ;). I've been changing lenses in the field for decades and all my cameras continue to work fine.

    I think your posts would read better if you substituted *we* for *I*. You might see that you post is really a personal opinion and an observation of your own assumptions.
     
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  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I disagree.
     
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  6. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Technology: defined as:
    1. the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.
      "advances in computer technology"

    The prose of the op tells me that there is an observation similar in nature to the adage spoken in Star Trek "Space Seed" where Kahn says that man's technology has advanced, but man himself has not changed.

    From my observation, and perhaps it is different else ware, it is not technology that has not advanced, it is man who has actually recessed. When we replace our freedom with security, knowledge with fear, advancement with prejudice and the inane ability to surrender thought for convenience, we are not advancing, we are retarding.
    A camera is simply a tool. Format size, lens type, media type, matters not. The ability to learn the complexities of the form, grab attention, adjust for light, and a whole host of aspects now in large part relegated to iPhone zombie apps, we have digressed.

    As pointed out in another thread, photographs have been relegated a 30 second aww and ooohhhh moment, then forgotten. How many billions of photos are out there? And 99.95% of them forgotten.
    Where a high end photo from times past were looked upon as fine art, and treasured. We have reached a point of instant gratification and instantly changing desires. Thus, the issue of technology is rendered moot because it itself does so. There is little desire to learn these complexities. Only the latest post on Fakebook.
     
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  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You seem to be mixing up people into a single userblock which is a mistake. Confusing casual happy snappers more interested in the content of the subject in a subjective rather than artistic manner; and who are more out to "preserve a memory" are a totally different kettle of fish to those aiming toward artistic creativity.

    Furthermore when it comes to the whole subject area of "art" new technology doesn't invalidate the old. It might speed up, improve quality, extend the possibilities; but the older equipment still works. Same as how digital drawing pads have not replaced the pencil and paper. You can use either and create wonderful art; sure the digital has the undo-button; no issues with rubbing out mistakes; can instantly hide construction lines etc...

    Cameras are the same, you can still get get great shots off older gear, that doesn't mean the technology "hasn't gone anywhere." Indeed talk to people who shooting challenging conditions. Heck I've shot indoor showjumping and can say that for certain the kind of shot you can get certainly changes with the technology. When you can't go past ISO 800 that limits your practical shots unless you can use supplemental lighting or only take the static award shots; or "creative blurry" jumping shots. When you can get to ISOs into the high thousands then you can keep shooting those fast, crisp sharp jumping shots well into darker conditions.
     
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  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    You wrote in terms of equipment capability we haven't progressed much Through the Ages. As a longtime shooter with 45 years in the hobby / field /craft.... I remember back to my first quote good camera, a 1953 Kodak Pony 135 B. It had a 51 mm f / 4.5 lens, knob wind and rewind, non-coupled shutter which required manual tensioning before each shot, and shutter speeds of 25, 50, 100, 200, and B. Focus was by estimation, with what is called front cell focusing.I bought this camera in 1975 as a twelve-year-old kid. I paid $16.95 for it. It would probably be the equivalent of today's Nikon d5600, an amateur's camera.

    I think your conclusion is wildly mistaken. If I compare my 1938 baby Speed Graphic with a Nikon d850 it is like comparing a World War I biplane with a modern jet fighter that costs 90 million dollars. One had no autopilot. In fact autopilot was 60 or so years in the future. The other can fly faster than the speed of sound, whereas the other would do perhaps 160 miles per hour in a steep dive at Full Throttle.

    In terms of equipment even over the past 30 years there has been tremendous advancement. And yet we still photograph the same things... pets, kids, sunsets and sunrises, travel destinations, birds, nudes, portraits, Sports, news events, Etc,
     
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  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hm. Gear. Tools. Equipment. SO much stock is put into the equipment we use. One definition of "equipment" is "the necessary items for a particular purpose."

    I think it does matter depending on the particular purpose. And... some tools can make a job easier (even possible) when others do not.

    FOR ME, I look back and think it was a maturation process. When I got my first "real" camera (one that wasn't typically found in most households), I was so very proud of everything about it; the brand, the maximum aperture, the fastest shutter speed and so on. Even as I started my business, friends would tell me how their meter was accurate to 1/10 of a stop or they could x-sync their strobes at a faster shutter speed. At seminars, I would hear how one make of lenses was sharper than another. At that time, I would put all sorts crap in front of my portrait lens to kill contrast and soften the image... so what did it matter if my lenses were the sharpest on the market?

    It gradually came into focus for me (pun intended) that my gear no longer mattered to me they same way it did in the beginning. As I cared about was reliability and if I could make it do what I needed to complete the job. I made certain to keep it clean, safe and in good working order. It's how I paid the bills. It had to work and perform they way I wanted... EVERY time.

    I just didn't care if my exposure was off by 1/10 of a stop (especially when shooting negative film). I did insist that my tripods were stable and the sync cords didn't fail. I had to have cases that protected my gear and everything was back in them at the end of the day.

    When I read the title of this thread, "Considering what we are," my interested was piqued. I sure hope we're not defined by the equipment we use.

    -Pete
     
  10. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Not what I meant
     
  11. pocketshaver

    pocketshaver TPF Noob!

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    Equipment IS used to define who we are, and what we do. Just look at the whole web cam market.
    Until a few years ago, all a webcam had to do was hook to a computer and show you on screen. You were good to go. NOW you aren't considered a "true online video content person" UNLESS you have very specific and very pricy webcams.

    The regional differences in equipment is an actual one that I discovered this month. Its bizaare but the uk and Australian kids believe the superzoom is BETTER in all way, regardless of its sensor and lens limitations. The moderating staff of one forum told me in no uncertain wording that the bridge camera or superzoom camera was BETTER then any camera with removable lenses because the simple switch of changing out a lens would allow air and dust and dirt to get onto the mirror or circuitry and cause damage and shorten the life span of it.
    And those same Australian and UK photo kids feel that those who use detachable lens cameras are the toddlers that have to be put up with in order to get coffee at a fast food place.

    Here on American forums, the mandatory tool is a detachable lensed camera. And those who use bridge/superzoom one piece cameras are patted on the head as the "toddlers who get in the way".

    Pay attention to photographic how to websites and information these days. Far to many of them confuse aperture or shutter control with MANUAL FOCUS because you control one variable of the exposure triangle puzzle while the camera computer adjusts the other two for ya.
    Looked at a Nikon Coolpix B600 this afternoon, the control dial doesn't even have a spot on it for manual control.

    Even the most indepth online articles and instructions with digital cameras are identical to a camera compony manual, turn on, put selector to Auto Focus, take lens cap off, point at object, depress shutter button half way, watch the lights, fully depress button to take photo. Then its all right into PHOTO SHOPPING tricks.
     
  12. texxter

    texxter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This must be the falsest statement I have read about photography in the recent past. I don't know who "we" is in this context, but replacing it with "the imaging industry" I'd say that imaging producing technology has advanced enormously in the last 50 years. It is the same level of advancement that has moved us from typewriters to modern computers. There is just no comparison.

    Now, I am 60 and I love to shoot film. It's fun, and I can create good images in the darkroom. I can even print images manually and make each image unique. But this doesn't take away the incredible advancements the industry has made in imaging.
     
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