lukeH wrote in post #16271422
But gear works the same way. While it may not be the reason for the bad pictures you take it may be a reason. To get that pop in a portrait you may need a faster lens. I am not saying that you should spend outside of your means but there are people content with the 18-55 on their T1. If you are happy that is great for you but I could never be content. I know I will always dream of my 200-400 and that will keep me from being truly content but it will not affect my happiness...
I'm am not dismissing the value that gear might offer, but if someone is satisfied using a pinhole camera for his or her whole life, that is fine; it's not being complacent. If someone wants to write a novel with a pencil instead of the latest computer and word processor, that is fine too.
Again, as I noted in my earlier post, "content" is being used here pretty loosely. Whatever word you want to use---content, happy, euphoric, ecstatic---my gear does all I need it to do. If your gear still falls short for you, that's fair enough, you'll need to upgrade, but the absence of NEED for new gear does not universally equate to potential complacency. Your linking technology with art; don't.
Moreover, as I stressed, where I'm not content, in the strictest sense of the word, is in producing compelling photographs through greater creative control and understanding of complex composition, lighting, angles, and timing…basically, the process of expanding my vision---this will likely be a perennial pursuit.
As for your statement: "While it may not be the reason for the bad pictures you take it may be a reason."
No, it is absolutely not the reason; my cameras and lenses are unequivocally innocent when it comes to what I view as a failed photo; this is not even debatable. I think some folks on here have a remarkably difficult time grasping this possibility since, given the gear-centric nature of this site, equipment is often perceived as a reliable nostrum…maybe it's true sometimes, but not always.
Bottom line: image quality is NOT for ALL photographers a primary factor, particularly in terms of self-improvement.
Will I still buy new (old) stuff, as I think I mentioned earlier, yes! Like I said, maybe a TLR camera, or another antiquated 50mm. Will these purchases, by the very intrinsic nature of the procured device, improve my photography---nope. They might inspire different approaches (square format of TLR for example) and different characteristics, but no, their acquisition will not improve my photography, at least in terms of how I define "improve." Besides, if I wanted sharper photos, I'd stop using my 80-year-old lens.
If someone imposed a rule saying that I could only use what I have for the rest of my life (repairs and readjustments included of course), I'd be fine with this…no problem. Because what I want really no longer correlates with what I need, since what I need involves just me, not any gear. And to underscore, I'm just relaying my personal view; other veiws will likely vary greatly.