Is anyone else's head spinning?

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Lyncca

Lyncca

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anyways i have just enrolled in a course in a nice college so that might be an idea for you and a good way in trying to understand photography with the equipment you have, rather than reading books your acing manually doing with guidance which is cool.

I'm looking into this as well ;)
 

Lostfiniel

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In high school my mom got us a used digital camera. It was old even then. All of the pictures were stored to a floppy disk, it was clunky and just processing simple images took up to 30 seconds each. But, I loved taking it with us on marching band trips.

The thing finally broke years later. None of my pictures on it were ever any good. High quality images on it were under 800X600 and were very small, grainy images. We got a new camera, again, it was used. It was only slightly outdated. But I was so excited. I started taking pictures for pleasure. I never did have anything to go with it. No tripod, no lenses, filters, flashes, etc. I never moved out of automatic.

Now I have my new camera. I Bought it new. I Bought a book from my college about digital photography and got a second-hand tripod. I have no lenses or filters still. I think I might get a neutral density filter but that would be it.

I'm happy with how things are going. But, if I had the money I would be tempted too. For now I am staying where I am. I'm also not sure I would want to stick with sony as I advanced so I'm trying not to invest too much yet.
 

Mav

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Well of course when you start a new hobby that you're really excited about you're going to want to dive right in. You'll start off with something, and then suddenly realize you need more stuff so you buy that too... But at some point (referring to photography) you stop being a photographer and start being an equipment/gadget/junk collector. More and better equipment does not make better photos. Like somebody else said, actual equipment is really only about 5-20% of photography, and the rest is all the person standing behind the camera. Some people just like the "having nice stuff" aspect of things and buy the expensive gear, but that alone won't make better photos.

One thing that really pains me to see are those that think you MUST have professional grade expensive lenses just to take good photos and then post some junk up that my $100 18-55 lens could easily match. If you buy too much too quickly you start to attribute your better photos to the new stuff you just got when in reality it was really your skills and your eyes and your inspiration developing, which has nothing to do with gear. Other common themes. You MUST shoot in RAW and have expensive $600 software packages to get professional results. Nope to both. Or better yet, if you don't have or do that, then you're "not a photographer". Nonsense. Something very common is along the lines of "Person A takes awesome photos and has Equipment A, therefore I must have Equipment A as well so that I can take great photos like them." Seen this over and over again, and more often than not the reason Person A takes awesome photos is because of their skill as a photographer and not because of the equipment they were using. The person would take outstanding photos with ANY equipment.

And then there's the bandwagon effect. On one particular forum, the number of people who always seem to just instantly have every new thing that a company comes out with even if they drop 10-grand all at once is just nauseating. You see the list of what they have and it's $40k, $50k, $60k+. And then you look in their online photo albums and what do you see? Nothing special, or worse, a bunch of LENS TEST albums. To me, that's disgusting. If you just want to have some really NICE stuff that's fine, but apparently some folks out there just have no idea what limits are and have no ability to control themselves. Oh I can't decide, should I get the new $1800 D300 or the $5000 D3? I just can't decide. Wait I know, I'll get BOTH! And even though I already have the $1400 28-70 f/2.8, I just have to have the new $1800 24-70!! Oh and the $1800 14-24mm. Oh and the.... It never ends. These people are not photographers. They're gear/gadget/junk collectors. They can NEVER EVER sell any of their equipment either. It's all "special" and good stuff that they can't let go of, even if they have three versions of basically the same lens at over $1000/ea.

Some people just have no clue what to buy or what they need, are totally confused, and then end up buying way too much or a bunch of stuff that they don't even need. The more confused you are, the more likely you are to buy stuff you don't need, which gives equipment makes more money. So they love it! It's not like they're gonna make things easy for you. That's what some of the books out there are for - they'll help you understand what's what. A few $15-20 books is far cheaper than buying some $1200 lens that you find out you really didn't need.

Anyways, after a year and a half I have just a hair over $4000 in equipment and that includes everything from bags to software. That's plenty. And as it says in my sig, I have no professional bodies, no professional lenses, and when I take a great photo I want it to be because I'm a good photographer who knows how to use what he's got and not because I have fancy stuff. I'm actually looking to trim down a bit. After learning your way around DSLRs and gaining an artistic eye, and knowing how to shoot in all sorts of conditions, you come to realize that you can make great photos with any camera with any lens in any condition, and then suddenly gear doesn't matter anymore. You'll work with the conditions, work around the "flaws" of your gear, find the interesting shots, and come out with great photos no matter what.

I'm sure I've offended some people :mrgreen: but that's my take. :p
 

JerryPH

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I must have had a 300 word post made, but deicded to shorten it all up to this single comment:

The day you spend less time focusing on other people in jealous diatribe, and concentrate on yourself and your skills, thats the day you will find that your pictures improve. Trying to foist your opinions and ways of doing things on others is a waste of time. No one in their right mind should or would ever consider what you said, in the manner you stated it, with any great level of credibility.

Nuff said.
 

RyanLilly

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Some people just like the "having nice stuff" aspect of things and buy the expensive gear, but that alone won't make better photos.

Hey, If people just like "having nice stuff", then good for them. If you don't feel that they are using their nice stuff to its full potential, than offer them some nice help. If the say, "oh thanks for the help, your nice." Then great. If they say "no thanks." then tell them to "have a nice day." :D

Personally, I'm itching to drop about $5K on nice stuff, and I'm very excited!
 

Mav

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I must have had a 300 word post made, but deicded to shorten it all up to this single comment:

The day you spend less time focusing on other people in jealous diatribe, and concentrate on yourself and your skills, thats the day you will find that your pictures improve. Trying to foist your opinions and ways of doing things on others is a waste of time. No one in their right mind should or would ever consider what you said, in the manner you stated it, with any great level of credibility.

Nuff said.
Jerry, you've mentioned twice in this thread that you spent $7500 in 6 months, and that didn't even include software which isn't cheap either. You've also mentioned several times about how there's no one set of rules, how everybody has different budgets, and that as long as you're enjoying yourself why care about what anybody else thinks? Yet now when I post my $0.02 suddenly you feel the need to attack me personally and play the "jealousy" card. Why? Aren't you enjoying yourself? If so, then why do you care what I say? Seems you've had a change of heart. I'm just going to assume that deep down inside you feel guilty about spending so much money and how you couldn't control yourself, and thus I've trigged your "jealousy card" defense mechanism.

The funny thing is, I don't even consider $7500 a whole ton of money for this hobby, so relax. I wasn't even talking about you. Did you not see me mention the "true" high-rollers at 40, 50, or even $60k? :wink: I'm just a 70-200VR and a 17-55 f/2.8 away from $7500, both of which I'll probably own eventually. Or I may pass on both of those and get a D300/FX body instead with the full-frame sensor when it comes out for probably about the same or a little less money. (Nikon has wink-wink confirmed that this is in the works, probably in 2009 sometime). With a D200, an 18-200VR, a few primes, and a nice collection of Sigma lenses you're still being "reasonable" and "economical" in my book, considering how expensive this hobby can get. By the way, how do you like your Sigma lenses? Any trouble with them? Have you needed to send any of them back for recalibration? If so how was the service? Sigma lenses make me nervous, but I'm too cheap to spend tons of money on the Nikkors which cost twice as much.

Anyways, I'm more of a minimalist. I like to have what I "need" and what I can reasonably enjoy, and not much else. I get exactly ZERO enjoyment from super fancy stuff unless I'm truly going to use it for all its worth, so why buy beyond what I truly need if I'm not going to enjoy it or use it to its full potential? When I realize I'm not using something to its full potential or something is just sitting around and collecting dust, I start to feel guilty and want to get rid of it. Want to buy my Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D? I like it, but I just don't use it enough to justify keeping it, and it's $300 sitting in my camera bag. I'm not hurting for cash, but know I'm not ever really going to use it so just want to get rid of it. I like 50mm a lot better and I think I'd like to upgrade to a 50mm f/1.4. I'll sell my 1.8 version and the 85mm to pay for it and some change, even though I could afford to keep all of them if I wanted to. Late last year my wife wanted me to buy some stupid US$50k fancy shmancy car. Money was not the issue, I was the issue. It's just not me. I'm just not a flashy or showy guy. I wear jeans and a t-shirt 99% of the time. I fought her and bought a Toyota costing half as much instead and I'm happy as a clam. When it comes time to get a new car for my wife, I'm all for her getting something really nice in that price range because she truly will enjoy it. She likes "nice stuff", but it's a complete waste on me. I'm happy with Toyotas and Nikon D40's and like to see what I can do with as little "stuff" as possible. Do you understand me a little better now?

BTW cars and photography are sorta the same. Does buying a super fast and fancy car automatically make you a better driver? Hell no. Same with camera gear and photography. Buying the best stuff money can buy simply does not make you a better photographer. Having the nice stuff may boost your confidence and inspire you from within, but the inspiration is what makes the great photo or the better driving skills, not the better gear.

Call it what you want, but it's the truth. I always love seeing younger people in Civics or Saturns and other cheap cars embarassing the hell out of rich bald guys with Corvettes and Porsches at the autocross, just like I love seeing the great photos you can make with a cheap little D40 and the 18-55 kit lens. I always root for the underdog. :p Either you'll now understand where I'm coming from and this explanaton will be reasonable, or it won't and nothing I do or say would ever be enough.
 

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