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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 Sep 2013 (Wednesday) 16:46
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Everyone always desires more, who feels content?

 
sjones
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Sep 06, 2013 14:40 |  #76

Tom Reichner wrote in post #16273504 (external link)
Steve,

I absolutely agree with all of this - and especially with the statement I bolded (if you'll allow me the liberty of using "bolded" as a verb).

I have striven very hard - with everything that is in me - to improve my wildlife photography over the past several years. And I believe that my work has improved dramatically over that time span. However, I have been using the same gear - the same two cameras and the same three lenses - for 3 1/2 years now, with no upgrades or additions during that time. Hence, gear is not responsible for the improvements during that time.

Yet, I often want to make images that my gear does not allow me to create . . . I do feel that the limitiations of my gear are holding me back.

So, while improving one's imagery is not necessarily linked to upgrading one's gear, there can be times when there is a correlation . . . not from an IQ standpoint, but rather from an "ability to get the shot" standpoint. Image quality is often negligible and, for many, meaningless - so for amny it is not a valid reason for upgrading gear. But, if different gear allows you to create images that express your vision -to get shots that you cannot get with your current gear - then such upgrades should not be underestimated.

For me, getting a 1.6 crop camera opened up many image-making possibilities that were closed to me previously, when I was using a 1.3 crop and a full frame camera. The crop allowed me to capture images that better matched my vision, and facilitated a tremendous "growth spurt" in my efforts to improve.

Now, if there was another piece of gear that could enable another growth spurt in my imagery, I would do whatever I could to get that new gear . . . but I don't believe such a things exists, at least not yet. That is why I have not upgraded anything in the past 3 1/2 years.

Right. And I think part of the problem in these discussions is the tacit assumption, among some folks, that upgrading only refers to image quality issues. Yes, IQ can be a legitimate reason to upgrade, particularly in regards to landscape and wildlife, where the intricate geometry and "feel" of texture itself can be a purely aesthetic value, though one that requires a fairly high technical solution or, if not, an 8X10 large format camera, to properly render, especially if large prints are involved.

But "upgrading", as you point out, can certainly refer to utility or function; for example, if you have a camera and only a 400mm lens, and now you have a job for a real estate company, you might want to seriously consider getting yourself a wide-angle lens, irrespective of IQ considerations.

Astrophotography, as we've seen today, was not possible without technical advancement, and as I frequently cite, the infamous bullet-through-the-apple shot required gear-oriented development, no doubt about it.

And for me, the ergonomics of a camera are important; it enhances the overall photographic process. Others don't care, as long as the camera gets the job done.

Also, the type of gear you use might not necessarily improve your photography, but it could change your approach, expanding one's photographic outlay while still retaining one's personal style. That is, what I would shoot with a large, bulky large format camera is going to differ from what I would shoot with a rangefinder or DSLR.

So I absolutely recognize that gear is not immaterial, that important correlations exists, but, as for the other poster, I wanted to underscore the fact that different types of photography can excel with different types of gear of all makes and quality. And for me, it was actually going 'backward' that fueled my inspiration and best facilitated my needs---I don't worry about becoming complacent in this regard. And of course, I absolutely understand that for other folks, it is a matter of going "foreword" to attain similar benefits. And then there's every thing in-between.


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sjones
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Sep 06, 2013 15:12 |  #77

lukeH wrote in post #16273590 (external link)
The reason people use pinhole cameras is cause they are not satisfied with what they get from tradition photography because the time investment in pinhole photography is greater than the cost of an inexpensive digital or film camera. They use that technology because they are not content with modern photography.
There is a big difference between being able to use the gear you have and the locations that are available and being content with those things. I lived in the mountains of Germany for 3 years, beautiful areas that I could take beautiful landscapes of but that didn't mean I was content there. I wanted to see france, switzerland, and Italy. I also had a perfectly fine camera that could take perfectly fine photos but that didnt mean I didnt want more. I also took perfectly fine pictures that for all intents and purposes were technically fine but that didnt mean I didnt strive to learn more.
If I never made enough money to buy new gear and if there was no way to buy old gear that might fill a gap I could be perfectly happy with what I have but those are not issues so why should I ever be content. I want to learn more, go to more places, and buy more gear.

Well, it's not up to you or me as to determine why everyone who uses a pinhole camera chooses to do so; I'll listen to them directly instead of presumptuously speculating (particularly since many of them also use the latest technology; it's not a zero sum situation). But for whatever reason they choose to use a pinhole, it doesn't remotely negate my overall point: Not buying the latest and greatest, and being more than satisfied with one's current gear, does NOT, on any level imaginable, ALWAYS mean that 1) complacency is impending, and 2) that self-improvement is impossible.

Besides, I've seen some pinhole photography that's as good as anything coming out of the latest technology, and no, that should not be one bit surprising because as I noted before, the quality of art is not correlatively dependent on technological advancement.

I get it; what you need might entail further upgrading. And you're right; "why should you ever be content?" That's you; that's your thing, and like I made it clear before, that's fine!

But do you at least understand that that's not applicable to everyone else. My sense, and I might be absolutely wrong with this, and my sincerest apologies if so, but you still seem to be implying on some level, that if those photographers who have the financial means to upgrade yet choose not to do so because they already have what they need, then these photographers are somehow surrendering to "contentment." And such contentment will cripple their photographic development, drowning them in complacency.

And given this, you appear to be using "content" as a pejorative, instead of realizing that most people on here are using the term to state that their existing gear meets their needs. If their needs change, then sure, they might remedy this by acquiring the appropriate gear, which, in terms of technology, might actually be considered a 'downgrade.' It depends on the individual photographer.

Again, I could be wrong, but if I'm not, and I stress "if," then frankly, you are grossly misguided. To repeat, for you, and what you want to do, you are NOT wrong. You do not need to explain to me why you are not content with your current gear. But if you think that what you need is absolute in its universality, then you are pushing an untenable premise, and frankly, one that's weighted in superficiality in the greater scheme of the arts.

Maybe I've been on this circle too long, but your underlying point seems to suggests that I could be the most meticulous, self-critical, frenetic, and peripatetic person on the planet, always striving for improvement and new adventures in the photographic world. Yet, because such experimentation doesn't involve constant upgrading, the brakes are suddenly slammed; throwing me into a quagmire of inertia? Placing so much importance on upgrading; seems a bit arbitrary, don't you think? (unless, of course, you're not suggesting that at all---my mistake).

And given that some of the greatest and inarguably most influential photographers, who could hardly ever be accused of complacency, used minimal gear (by their own volition many times, not just due the limits of their era!!!), then it is safe to assert that the correlation between contentment with gear and photographic regression does not comport well with historic precedent.

Really, why should a person buy something if they don't need it? Why? Because inspiration, creativity, and artistic achievement is only possible through conspicuous consumption? Well, now that you mention it, such mentality does often seem to be the American Way!

OK, done with this thread, but PM's are always welcome. And again, should my interpretations be incorrect, I'm sorry…or as Emily Litella would say, "never mind."


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lukeH
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Sep 06, 2013 16:23 |  #78

sjones wrote in post #16273983 (external link)
Well, it's not up to you or me as to determine why everyone who uses a pinhole camera chooses to do so; I'll listen to them directly instead of presumptuously speculating (particularly since many of them also use the latest technology; it's not a zero sum situation). But for whatever reason they choose to use a pinhole, it doesn't remotely negate my overall point: Not buying the latest and greatest, and being more than satisfied with one's current gear, does NOT, on any level imaginable, ALWAYS mean that 1) complacency is impending, and 2) that self-improvement is impossible.

Besides, I've seen some pinhole photography that's as good as anything coming out of the latest technology, and no, that should not be one bit surprising because as I noted before, the quality of art is not correlatively dependent on technological advancement.

I get it; what you need might entail further upgrading. And you're right; "why should you ever be content?" That's you; that's your thing, and like I made it clear before, that's fine!

But do you at least understand that that's not applicable to everyone else. My sense, and I might be absolutely wrong with this, and my sincerest apologies if so, but you still seem to be implying on some level, that if those photographers who have the financial means to upgrade yet choose not to do so because they already have what they need, then these photographers are somehow surrendering to "contentment." And such contentment will cripple their photographic development, drowning them in complacency.

And given this, you appear to be using "content" as a pejorative, instead of realizing that most people on here are using the term to state that their existing gear meets their needs. If their needs change, then sure, they might remedy this by acquiring the appropriate gear, which, in terms of technology, might actually be considered a 'downgrade.' It depends on the individual photographer.

Again, I could be wrong, but if I'm not, and I stress "if," then frankly, you are grossly misguided. To repeat, for you, and what you want to do, you are NOT wrong. You do not need to explain to me why you are not content with your current gear. But if you think that what you need is absolute in its universality, then you are pushing an untenable premise, and frankly, one that's weighted in superficiality in the greater scheme of the arts.

Maybe I've been on this circle too long, but your underlying point seems to suggests that I could be the most meticulous, self-critical, frenetic, and peripatetic person on the planet, always striving for improvement and new adventures in the photographic world. Yet, because such experimentation doesn't involve constant upgrading, the brakes are suddenly slammed; throwing me into a quagmire of inertia? Placing so much importance on upgrading; seems a bit arbitrary, don't you think? (unless, of course, you're not suggesting that at all---my mistake).

And given that some of the greatest and inarguably most influential photographers, who could hardly ever be accused of complacency, used minimal gear (by their own volition many times, not just due the limits of their era!!!), then it is safe to assert that the correlation between contentment with gear and photographic regression does not comport well with historic precedent.

Really, why should a person buy something if they don't need it? Why? Because inspiration, creativity, and artistic achievement is only possible through conspicuous consumption? Well, now that you mention it, such mentality does often seem to be the American Way!

OK, done with this thread, but PM's are always welcome. And again, should my interpretations be incorrect, I'm sorry…or as Emily Litella would say, "never mind."

I really assume you haven't read anything I have wrote and just based all your opinions off of my first statements. I have not said you have to constantly upgrade. Perhaps you need a new technique; perhaps you need to go simpler; perhaps there are issues that could be solved with a simple sheet of paper. My primary argument is that you should never be content. You should always be looking to improve everything in your life. Perhaps that doesn't mean buying the 24-70 II. Perhaps that means going with a pinhole camera. Perhaps that means getting that helios lens. Not being content does not necessarily mean you need something better but it means that you are always looking to make your art; your career; your family life better.

I just recieved a fairly large promotion and this still does not mean that I sit back and relax. I am already looking 3-4 years down the road for how to reach that next big promotion. My daughter got accepted into the college of her choice but I also have a 12 and 8 year old that I have started to focus on for college. Being content is a trap.




  
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milleniumking
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Sep 06, 2013 16:51 |  #79

bratkinson wrote in post #16269646 (external link)
...

And the discontent side??? I'm still a couple of YEARS to get my credit cards back to zero!

LOL, that is why I always try and buy my gear cash! When I see something I want, save up a bit and buy it. Not a fan of using Credit!




  
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xeodragon
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Sep 06, 2013 19:17 |  #80

I'm pretty content with my gear :). Only thing I'm missing that I want is a macro and prime lens, just waiting for a good sale on those at the moment!




  
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jcpoulin
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Sep 06, 2013 19:38 |  #81

I am content with my gear....... But if I only had......


1DX , 7D,16-35, 24-70 2.8II, 2.8L II, , 70-200 f2.8LII IS, 300 f2.8L IS, 500 f4 IS, 100-400L, Canon 100 2.8 macro, Canon 1.4X, 580ex, AB800X4
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b-rice
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Sep 06, 2013 21:22 |  #82

I have to say that I am reasonably content with my gear. I mean I have everything that I would ever need for the type of shooting that I do and the clients that I work for. Do I wish I had a 1DX with a 70-200 f/2.8 IS II along with every <2.8 prime Canon makes? Of course.

I just find that the 5D does everything I ask of it (minus when I shoot the occasional sports event), and my lenses are all L or near-L. I'm used to the quirks of my 80-200L, and despite not having USM, I still like it a lot.

The ONE lens I am looking to upgrade is my 50 f/1.8 to the Sigma 50 f/1.4. The only reason for this is honestly because I have run into clientele actually saying "Oh wow, you use that lens? I have that lens". They're never unhappy with the results of course, but the fact that they ask me that is sometimes embarrassing for me personally.

I've tried to get the best gear for the money that I can (I mean I'm still only a college student, and this isn't my day job either), and I think I've done reasonably well. I'll always be yearning for the 1DX, 16-35L, 14L, etc. etc. etc., but when I really stop and think about it, I realize that everything I have fits my needs perfectly.




  
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spotch
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Sep 07, 2013 01:14 |  #83

The ONE lens I am looking to upgrade is my 50 f/1.8 to the Sigma 50 f/1.4. The only reason for this is honestly because I have run into clientele actually saying "Oh wow, you use that lens? I have that lens". They're never unhappy with the results of course, but the fact that they ask me that is sometimes embarrassing for me personally.

It's sad that this is the case, but I know exactly what you mean. I still miss my 50 1.8 ii, I didn't realize how good it was until I sold it.


I was content for a while, and then I started running into situations where I felt like I needed better low light capabilities, better range (both on the wide end and on the long end), etc. I'm in the process of reconfiguring my setup to (hopefully) better-suit my shooting style, hopefully that will give me another period of contentment. :)




  
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Sep 07, 2013 01:25 |  #84

I am now quite content with my lenses, might want a couple more but that's it. From now on I'll keep upgrading bodies and probably get a backup.


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Sep 07, 2013 01:57 |  #85

Well, I thought I was content, but then I decided I wanted the sekonic L478...............so, not being able to justify (to the better half) more expense, I put my Gopro black on ebay to pay for it. LCD bac pac and battery pac as extras.............sta​rting bid $300 and a guy asked me for a buy it now price so I chucked $450 at it..............it was gone within 2 minutes of listing! I think that's me content now.


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Feryll
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Sep 07, 2013 03:40 |  #86

Lol guys, of course you are content with 8-10000$gear :D.
I'll buy 135 f2L, pancake, 70-200 f4L and later a new body and I think I'll be quite okay with that.


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MedicineMan4040
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Sep 07, 2013 03:56 |  #87

This is kinda like list what you want Santa to bring.
300mm F2.8


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neilgcart
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Sep 07, 2013 04:04 |  #88

I am content with my gear. There are lenses I would like to have but know I don't need, so I am happy with what I have but will enjoy treating myself at some point in the future.

Neil




  
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2slo
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Sep 07, 2013 06:51 as a reply to  @ neilgcart's post |  #89

I never thought I'd say this but, there's nothing I need or even want at present :shock:




  
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FEChariot
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Sep 07, 2013 09:29 |  #90

Feryll wrote in post #16275514 (external link)
Lol guys, of course you are content with 8-10000$gear :D.

I know it's funny.

2slo wrote in post #16275693 (external link)
I never thought I'd say this but, there's nothing I need or even want at present :shock:

Says the guy with a 1Dx, 1D4, 5D3 & a 7D and a plethora of L glass...


Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

  
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