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Thread started 01 May 2012 (Tuesday) 14:22
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Ansel Adams on Camera Equipment

 
tonylong
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May 02, 2012 17:35 |  #46

nicksan wrote in post #14367653 (external link)
Not really taking it that personally Allen. There's definitely a balance. I'm not saying that the right approach for someone who wants to pickup a DSLR for the first time is going out there, buying the 1DX, L lenses, flashes, strobes, radio trigger, light modifiers and all that. :) Yeah...overkill...defi​nitely, although if they can afford to do that and want to do that, then hey, more power to them.

Nick, I agree with what you are saying...in the sense that buying high quality gear right off the bat may be overkill, but only if it in fact is:)!

The part in bold is the key!

And, to refer back to the original Adams quote, we don't want to be deluded into thinking that good gear == creativity!

But at the same time...

I certainly didn't take that approach. I remember using the 300D and 50 1.8 and just studying the DOF difference at different apertures and distances, etc, etc. My progression happen to be pretty fast and I happen to be able to afford the better gear. I agree that you have to stop and take the time to learn. Definitely. But there's no reason to berate someone for wanting a 5D3 and L lenses as their first acquisition. Some people like the finer things in life and there's nothing wrong with that.

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14367691 (external link)
I musta missed the part where anyone was being berated.

Allen, a big part of the reason why I'm even commenting on this thread is that in fact we have seen people berated/criticized here in POTN for no other reason than the fact that they have posted here, describing themselves as "new to photography" (at least in a "serious" sense) and are starting out with a xxxD body, either a 1Dx or a 5Dx, and they do get a negative response from some number of people. Like how stupid can they be?

So, I think some of us are pushing a bit against that mindset...as Nick said it's not coming from you, but I just don't want to see the discussion moving in that direction!


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frugivore
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May 02, 2012 17:45 |  #47

Razeus wrote in post #14367928 (external link)
I agree on the buy once. I wish I would have started out with full frame when I started out in 2009. But I went the cheap route and bought a crop sensor XSi, then a 50D, then a Nikon D7000, and now a Nikon D700. I could have just cut all that pondering and agonizing if I just started out with a full frame. Now that I have the D700, I find I don't wonder and worry about gear anymore.

I think we need to differentiate between complexity and quality. You can have a camera with advanced features, but built with loose tolerances and poor quality material. Or you can have a very basic camera which is made so well as to last a lifetime. I think this is what Ansel is commenting on in that first quote.

Yes, you did gradually upgrade your bodies, but I think they were all made quite well - except the XSi perhaps?

nicksan wrote in post #14367447 (external link)
If you can't get creative with the fine gear that is available to you, then perhaps you should be looking at doing something else. I don't need a Holga to get my creative juices flowing. :lol:

Maybe I was being a little facetious. But I think that there is something to be said for simplifying things. That's why you bought the 600EX to replace the 580EX + triggers, right? I don't think I'd be able to stand a Holga for long. I tried my wife's iPhone last weekend at a nightclub and spent 10 minutes trying to find exposure compensation or any settings at all in the default camera app.

I think there is merit to using equipment at your own level. There is no rule or gradient that applies to everyone, but it's to our own benefit not to tackle the more advanced controls and concepts when we haven't learned the basic ones. And I don't think it takes long to learn anything. You're a great example Nick. Maybe it came more naturally to you than most people, but if you break any complex problem or concept into smaller ones, enormous gains can be had.




  
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Bear ­ Dale
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May 02, 2012 17:49 |  #48

tonylong wrote in post #14368716 (external link)
Allen, a big part of the reason why I'm even commenting on this thread is that in fact we have seen people berated/criticized here in POTN for no other reason than the fact that they have posted here, describing themselves as "new to photography" (at least in a "serious" sense) and are starting out with a xxxD body, either a 1Dx or a 5Dx, and they do get a negative response from some number of people. Like how stupid can they be?

comments like "you spent so much $$$ to shoot in P mode or green box"


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TooManyShots
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May 02, 2012 17:56 as a reply to  @ Bear Dale's post |  #49
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What craps me up about this thread is this silly dichotomy of gear versus creativity. LOL Sounds like a college student's first year in a photography class. He or she just learned about film and trying to be romantic about it. So, an OOF and underexposed shot with strange color cast from a Rebel is more artistic than a focused, well exposed shot of the same scene, taken with a L lens and a 1d body....LOL Having good quality gear and the right ones would enhance your artistic version even more.


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nicksan
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May 02, 2012 17:57 |  #50

frugivore wrote in post #14368784 (external link)
Maybe I was being a little facetious. But I think that there is something to be said for simplifying things. That's why you bought the 600EX to replace the 580EX + triggers, right?

Well, it's the next logical step. I still have my strobes, but for the times I want to use speedlites, yes, it eliminates the extra radio triggers, the ETTL aware PWs, etc, etc. Granted, at the cost of distance.

But half of it is because I think it's a cool new gadget. :lol:




  
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airfrogusmc
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May 02, 2012 17:59 as a reply to  @ frugivore's post |  #51

The entire point of what Adams and Weston were getting at is that you need to find equipment that works for what need to do. The point that Adams made that most amateurs have more equipment than most professionals is true even today. He didn't say it was bad. Is a red car good or bad? Its just a red car.

If you want to have all the stuff, hey its your money but if you are like me my money is put into the equipment that I need to capture my vision and usually no more than that and this approach allows me to buy as good of a piece that I can afford at the time that helps me in both my commercial work and my personal work.

Most professionals that I know, the stuff they have is just a means to get what they need to get captured and is right for most of what they shoot. Like me they rent or call on CPS when they need something special. Like the holga is the right tool for some things a 200 2L and a 5D is right for others.

But you will never master anything if you are constantly chasing the perfect camera. Because it will never be made. What perfect for A is no where near perfect for B.




  
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nicksan
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May 02, 2012 18:01 |  #52

TooManyShots wrote in post #14368873 (external link)
Having good quality gear and the right ones would enhance your artistic version even more.

That is, if you have an artistic vision to begin with. If you don't then no amount of gear will help, but I don't have a problem with people like that. If they want to kill 'em with gear, then hey, who am I to judge?

Same thing with golf. Some people buy expensive Callaway clubs and think that will make them better. Of course not. But some people buy better things b/c they just like better things in life. Again, nothing wrong with it either way.

I drive a semi-luxury car. Can I get by with a Toyota Corolla or Kia (no offense to those who drive those cars). Sure.

Music. Same thing. You can buy all the gear you want and study the heck out of those chord-scale relationships, but if you have tin ears, then hey, you have tin ears. Let the muscle memory and pre-organized phrases do the talking.

But again, I don't really judge all of that stuff.




  
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nicksan
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May 02, 2012 18:05 |  #53

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14368883 (external link)
The entire point of what Adams and Weston were getting at is that you need to find equipment that works for what need to do. The point that Adams made that most amateurs have more equipment than most professionals is true even today. He didn't say it was bad. Is a red car good or bad? Its just a red car.

Yeah, sure. But when people point out his quote, I think it's done with a little bit of negative connotation to it. Adams is Adams. He's the the rest of the world. I'll just go ahead and say this at the risk of being flamed. I don't give a crap what he said. :)

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14368883 (external link)
If you want to have all the stuff, hey its your money but if you are like me my money is put into the equipment that I need to capture my vision and usually no more than that and this approach allows me to buy as good of a piece that I can afford at the time that helps me in both my commercial work and my personal work.

I'm not. ;)

airfrogusmc wrote in post #14368883 (external link)
Most professionals that I know, the stuff they have is just a means to get what they need to get captured and is right for most of what they shoot. Like me they rent or call on CPS when they need something special. Like the holga is the right tool for some things a 200 2L and a 5D is right for others.

But you will never master anything if you are constantly chasing the perfect camera. Because it will never be made. What perfect for A is no where near perfect for B.

Buying new gear and using it is fun. For me, that's sometimes reason enough to buy it. It's not all about mastery of this and that. Sometimes it's about wanting the new gear and having fun with it. Goes without saying, you should always be smart about your money.




  
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May 02, 2012 18:16 |  #54

Todd Lambert wrote in post #14367500 (external link)
I mean, you go out and buy a hammer. A year from now, do you still think about the hammer when you use it

After a lifetime with crappy hammers, I finally bought a leather handled Estwing (an expensive hammer in Oz) and ten years later I still get a buzz out of it everytime I use it.


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airfrogusmc
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May 02, 2012 18:18 |  #55

You don't have to care, he was and still is, right.

I will not disagree that using new equipment is fun. Getting gear that works with your vision and allows you to get great images PRICELESS.




  
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May 02, 2012 18:25 as a reply to  @ post 14363196 |  #56

I think I read somewhere that he specifically suggested using a t3i. :lol:


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airfrogusmc
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May 02, 2012 18:30 |  #57

John37 wrote in post #14369024 (external link)
I think I read somewhere that he specifically suggested using a t3i. :lol:

:lol:Adams always had the best, Deardorff large format and always the best glass. He just din't have all of the stuff only the stuff that worked with his vision. He would still be shooting large format with a digital back and he would have a killer digital zone system worked out and articulated.




  
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May 02, 2012 18:51 |  #58

fotoworx wrote in post #14368972 (external link)
After a lifetime with crappy hammers, I finally bought a leather handled Estwing (an expensive hammer in Oz) and ten years later I still get a buzz out of it everytime I use it.

Yeah but obviously you overbought on that hammer for your skill level. :p




  
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May 02, 2012 19:17 |  #59

frugivore wrote in post #14361436 (external link)
I agree with his ideas on this topic. First, don't buy equipment far beyond your level. And second, whatever you do buy, make sure it is good quality (i.e. the 'buy once' philosophy). What do you think?

But your statements contradict each other.

-Don't buy equipment beyond your level, but buy good quality to buy once only.

What happens when the photographer moves past the "level" of the equipment purchased? He must then sell and buy higher end gear buying a second time!




  
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highergr0und
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May 02, 2012 19:28 |  #60

Have most of you read the quote?

""I urge, again, avoiding the common illusion that creative work depends on equipment alone, it easy to confuse the hope for accomplishment with the desire to posses superior instruments. "

That basically says that first and foremost, one has to acknowledge that there is no direct correlation between great gear and great creativity. He mentions nothing of IQ, which seems to be where people like to take it. A quality composition on a P&S will be the same as a 5diii given the same effective focal length and position.

Next comes "It is nonetheless true that quality is an important criterion in evaluating camera equipement, as are durability and function. Inferior equipment will prove to be a false economy in the long run"

That says that it's important to look at quality and that investing in inferior equipment makes no sense in the long run. Kind of like how Nicksan bought a rebel, 20d, 30d, then a 5d in the span of a few months. He probably lost a good bit of money by not going high end off that bat. Just keep section 1 in mind though...... the equipment doesn't affect the composition if the factors are the same, but the end quality of the capture (noise, etc) is better with better gear.

Finally, "As his work evolves, the photographer should plan to alter and refine his equipement to meet changing requirements."

This can be a mix of the other two rules. From the camera angle, a FF might offer a bit more for some, but a crop might be better for others. Lenses, field of view, understanding perspective, just changing the creative mind will lead to the need for other equipment, and one must be willing to invest. They just need to keep number 1 and number 2 in mind.

It's definitely a loaded quote.


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