View Full Version : Poll: Gearheads?

09-11-2006, 01:15
Every now I then I read that RFF is a "gearhead" forum. And every now and then I ask myself: Am I a gearhead, a photographer, or both?

So let's face it, gentlemen: are we gearheads that collect cameras but don't use them, are we picture takers that just find rangefinders to be the best tools for the job, or both?

EDIT to have poll in the subject line.

09-11-2006, 01:17
i've shot 3 rolls in the last 3-4 days. For an amateur picture-taker think that's pretty okay, isn't it?

09-11-2006, 01:23
You! gearhead! :D anyhow, if you want to see gear heads check out dpreview, owning rangefinder leica or fed makes you aesthetical sensitive, gear head or not it is close to photography than anything else :) object are what we love, watch antonionis blow up :D

09-11-2006, 01:47
I'm just wondering how anyone hanging out at RFF could not be a gearhead..

09-11-2006, 01:53
I never said rangefinders were the best tool for the job, but they're pretty good at what they do!

I like discussions on the gear here because it's educational; I know what I'm getting myself into if I bought such an such. At the same time if I want crit on some photo's all I need to do is ask, and people are more than happy to show an altered version in some form to better the image.

I shoot photo's, and I like the talk about gear.

09-11-2006, 02:38
I'm a gearhead AND a picture taker (with a Canon EOS 20D for 90% of my pictures). In another 10 years or so, after I retire and the kids have given me my rooms back, I'll go back to dark room basics!

J. Borger
09-11-2006, 02:54
I have more interest in gear the moment the inspiration for shooting pictures is not there or falls behind. A sort of bad substitute for what it is really all about... i never mind gear, lenses etc when coming from a great satisfying shoot! When facing the Photographers Block .. which natural pops in once in a while .... i think i need a new lens .... which is not the case at all.
Usualy if i hang around the gear forums it's a bad sign about my actual photography at that moment.

09-11-2006, 03:13
I think I've become a gearhead. I don't seem to be taking many pix at the moment even though I splashed out on a Contax G2 only a few weeks ago and a Fuji F30. I can't seem to find any subject matter to inspire me. Do you guys ever have this problem and is there a cure? My 'get up and go' seems to have got up and gone!


09-11-2006, 03:17
Quick cure for GAS - next time you consider buying something - spend the money on a train ticket.

I was never a 'gearhead' 'til I started frequenting these forums...

09-11-2006, 04:16
And now you're into Leicas, Kully! :)

09-11-2006, 04:20

I know, next thing I'll be brushing my teeth every day.

09-11-2006, 04:32
I want to know who will be the first and only person who will hit I'm a gearhead. I don't take pictures all that much. button :D

09-11-2006, 05:14
How about: "I'm a gearhead and like taking photos of brick walls and cats."

09-11-2006, 05:56
Up until recently, I was a combination photographer/gearhead, about 50/50. Now I'm more photog than 'head, maybe 90/10. Maybe because I feel as if I'm finished with getting stuff.

09-11-2006, 06:00
I think it more has to do how setisfied you are with your photography, If you like your photos you search no more :) I usualy talk about gear because I can not take pictures (most of the time) because I am working :)

Gabriel M.A.
09-11-2006, 07:10
Quick cure for GAS - next time you consider buying something - spend the money on a train ticket.
Well, on the other side of the pond, that is not saying much :o

Maybe that is why me got so many lenses. Not good. :bang:

09-11-2006, 07:47
If I wasn't a gear head I'd never have been attracted to RF cameras.
I'd have just have the OM ststem stuff that I would realy, realy use...

and maybe one RF camera to go with my flint lock rifle.

09-11-2006, 09:49
It's time for me to clean out a bit on the gear, need the space for newer (to me) stuff. B2 (;->

09-11-2006, 09:57
I'm a bit of a gearhead but I take pictures before lusting for a new lens

however I spend many of lights looking over where I would like my camera collection to go

09-11-2006, 10:58
I think I would definitely be a gearhead if I had the money. For now I'm only a picture taker :)

09-11-2006, 11:35
I'm very particular about the equipment that I own because i make a living with it. The equipment that i choose must fit my need and meet my expectations on performance and quality.


09-11-2006, 13:35
I bought my first Leica, a IIIa, in 1952. I now have a IIIf also, along with an accumulation of SLR, LF, and now digital gear. I accumulate gear at a very slow pace. I also take a few pictures.

Jim N.

Silva Lining
09-11-2006, 14:26
I am a gearhead, but the gear has to be usable...I love fixing cameras and taking photos with them. I do collect more than I use, but that's only because I have to work!! :D I have used all but 2 of my collection of over 70 RF's and Medium Format cameras..

09-11-2006, 14:45
I want to know who will be the first and only person who will hit button :D
Well, I've been feeling like that recently. Due to various sundry reasons I haven't been taking very many pictures lately. I didn't click on that button because it would be a bit too depressing, I think.

This Friday I'm going to build a film dryer with a friend, then I should be all set to mix up this package of Xtol that just recently arrived. I've already got a couple of rolls of Neopan 1600 I'm waiting to develop. I hate taking pictures out and about with a film that I haven't developed yet to get a sense of what it'll do when I expose it.

Next, I need to figure out what to do about a scanner.

At least after many years of not playing with a camera, I find myself these days spotting pictures. Just yesterday I noticed a back alley (not the moderator here) behind some old buildings and thought: "I've got to return here with my camera." I haven't had a thought like that in a long time, so perhaps there's hope.

09-11-2006, 14:55
I can't seem to find any subject matter to inspire me. Do you guys ever have this problem and is there a cure?

a) An attractive member of the opposite sex often will do the trick.

b) If that ceases to inspire, marry the attractive member of the opposite sex and have children with him/her.

c) When the children outgrow being inherently photogenic, buy a pet, a motorcycle, or a sports car.

d) By the time you get past that, you should be on to the grandchildren stage.

e) When the grandchildren outgrow being inherently photogenic, return to (a). Lather, rinse, and repeat as needed.

Terence T
09-11-2006, 18:08
I certainly started out as a gearhead, procuring collectible Leicas and the like but I guess I'm shooting more these days and have since unloaded quite a bit of my collection. Still, 50 cameras is still a bit much for some people.

09-11-2006, 21:59
Speaking of gaddets, here's an interesting link that Stephan posted on the CVUG list: http://corsopolaris.net/supercameras/early/early_135.html

This guy's home page also has some interesting cameras.

09-11-2006, 22:51
Having a project or two at hand keeps up the dedication to shooting, I think. I see most poll respondents here at least *claim* to be more into shooting than fondling. :D In the past couple years I've been hit by GAS attacks with the rationale that the gear of interest is either getting too cheap to pass up, or disappearing as new items from the channels and therefore I better grab while I can. Brief periods of sane restraint squeezed among budget-ruining GAS episodes... How much longer will Tony Rose have that cool Zeiss gear at such attractive prices? Better go for it... :)

09-11-2006, 23:25
Im a gearhead for sure (duh look at my avatar) but since i run 3-10 Rolls a week on a regular basis and try to improve my skills I think its not uncurable ;) ... Im not uploading many photos tho.
Using the gear for what it was build and giving my body a hour walk every day is the part thats most interesting and important ..not fondling with it in the evening sitting in front of the TV... :angel:

09-12-2006, 18:31
I would have to say I'm both. I've been shooting since I was 6 years old when my granddad gave me a Leica IIIa with Summar. I have collected cameras etc for well over 30 years and use most of them.. :rolleyes:

09-15-2006, 00:55
I'm not yet a gearhead but i'm really interested...

09-15-2006, 23:58
I'm a picture taker, but I'm concerned about carefully picking the gear that I like to use best.

I voted for the above option because I am a user who tries to pick the best tools for the job at hand.

I have never been a collector (gearhead has such a bad connotation for me).

However, if I were a collector, I would collect Leica and Nikon rangefinders and Nikon F2 SLR titanium bodies. I have never owned a Leica or a Nikon rangefinder but I did once own a Leica M1 (not a rangefinder) and two Nikon titanium F2 bodies. I sold them for a profit when their value increased far above what I had paid for them.

09-20-2006, 17:13
Double Whammy! I am thinking alot about unloading gear lately though. Or at least only learning a few lenses and improving my metering.

09-24-2006, 20:37
Both a photographer and a gearhead. I haven't purchased any new camera gear for months, which is definitely a good thing. In fact, I packed up almost all of my cameras several months ago and the only one I have out and ready to use at a moment's notice is my Bessa R. I just need to take the next logical step and sell off the cameras I'm not using. Besides, I need to save money towards a shiny round thing for my girlfriend's finger :D.

Stephanie Brim
09-24-2006, 23:36
I'm focusing on perfecting my Canon P kit. I'm also buying a few projects here and there to keep me occupied over the winter. The first is the Ikoflex...after that comes the mother of all projects: the 6x14 pinhole panoramic. I may grab a couple more folders that are different than the one I have: a 6x6 coupled rangefinder and a 4.5x6 coupled rangefinder. I thought about finding the Bessa II as well so that I could have a 6x9 with a coupled rangefinder, but I saw one go for well over $500 recently and there's NO way I'm paying anywhere near that for a 50-60 year old folding camera regardless of how great it is. This is mostly to get me used to medium format enough to warrant me getting something more serious in that size...an SLR or a Mamiya rangefinder, perhaps. But that's far into the future.

I think finally becoming happier with my gear and realizing how much I love photography has pushed me to make lots of decisions regarding equipment and what I do and do not need in my life to be happy. Carrying around a camera that I'm proud of makes me happy. Making images with that camera that I'm proud of makes me even happier. Printing the images that come from the camera will make me giddy.

I think that, for the most part, my gearhead days are over. I admit to lusting after a few things (the 35mm Nokton comes to mind) but I also know that I really have no use for them right now. My plans for the next year are pretty much set unless something I can't refuse falls in my lap.

09-25-2006, 05:52
Post deleted by posters request

10-30-2006, 21:02
I'm both. I don't want to be, but I am. I really want to be just a picture taker. But then I start thinking about the pictures I could be taking, if I had different gear. That's dangerous thinking, and I've suffered the consequences. My recent discovery of rangefinders hasn't helped at all.


jan normandale
10-30-2006, 21:59
picture taker... a good 85 - 90 percent of my shots are with two cameras costing less than $100 ; a Canonet GIII QL17 and a Yashica Electro 35 GSN. I have two others I use a Yashica Lynx 14e and an expensive Mamiya 6. But the last two see the least use though they are good cameras.

BTW I think 'gearhead' is derogatory , I prefer 'equipment driven' to describe the situation ;- )

10-31-2006, 09:39
Unfortunately, I am much more adept at buying gear than taking quality photographs. I figure if I take enough photographs I might occasionally get one where the composition does not totally suck.

11-02-2006, 08:44
ya dont want to know what a gearhead is in Dublin ! :)

01-04-2007, 03:17
Every now I then I read that RFF is a "gearhead" forum. And every now and then I ask myself: Am I a gearhead, a photographer, or both?

So let's face it, gentlemen: are we gearheads that collect cameras but don't use them, are we picture takers that just find rangefinders to be the best tools for the job, or both?

EDIT to have poll in the subject line.

I have always liked to collectold cameras, mostly folders and now have about 40 of them including the rangefinders and 3 SLRs. I use some of the folders, my favorite being a Zeiss Ikonta VF which I fitted with a Rf in the accessory clip. Nice camerta as it filds and slips in a pocket of my vest so it is always right there. I just bought a 127 film Korelle which I intend to use also. I think 127 sounds like an ideal film size. I do have a couple of 127 folders but they need CLA to be usable.That is my next project after I get my darkroom dark. LOLI hopeto be processing sometime in February. I can hardly wait.

I don't like the conotation of being a gearhead, that sounds derogatory, I prefer to think of myself as a camera junky. I don't really have much in the way of lenses, etc. Don't see a need for them.

01-04-2007, 13:27
I used to be a picture taker. Then I found RFF...

Robert Price
01-14-2007, 05:52
being that not a day goes by that I don't take a photo, I guess I would be a taker, but I also love the gear, and am always lookig for moreof it. I guess I fit both roles.

01-14-2007, 09:42
I think it was a Aus judge who said 'economical of the truth' ...

I'm in a bad category but some are worse...


09-24-2007, 12:38
I'm a gearhead who hasn't purchased any gear in over a year. I've been doing more picture taking than gear buying! There are two rolls of film drying as I write this.
Does that make me a recovering gearhead?


09-24-2007, 13:17
I used to be a picture taker. Then I found RFF...

I know, it's a curse.

Considering that I only have 7 assorted cameras, and some here have 50+, I'm not sure where I fit. I spend 60% of my (photo) time surfing for info and 40% taking or working on photos. I like scanning old family photos and printing new copies.

Never Satisfied
09-24-2007, 15:31
If we weren't gear heads we'd most likely be out shooting or processing film instead of typing answers on a forum about equipment.

Cheers Andrew

09-24-2007, 16:08
Most of the people hanging around a photography forum are probably gearheads to a certain degree. After all, I think members of a forum want to find out more about equipment in addition to learning about technique and the art of photography.

I'm ashamed to admit that while I've read books to improve my [non-existent] technique and inwardly hope to get better at photography, I still habitually pixel-peep my photos. If the point that's supposed to be in focus is not in focus, I've failed and the photo just sits around as scrap. Also, I love my gear...while I primarily shoot digital and have only recently tried to make a step back to a film camera, I try to read as many reviews and opinions as possible before buying.

As far as possible, I'd only want to own photography gear that I would actually use.

09-24-2007, 18:38
If I wasn't a gearhead and JUST wanted the picture i'd buy a $300 point-n-shoot digithing and be happy....but that not what I want, the start to finish experience encompases the gear as well at the final image!

09-25-2007, 00:04
I 'aint no stinking gear head!

09-25-2007, 00:10
Prove it! ;)

09-25-2007, 00:19
Don't be spreading lies kiddo...2 body 3 lens kit here! No Gas! ;)

09-27-2007, 06:45
I think someone is fixing the poll. I have not voted, yet is says I have.

Dr. Strangelove
09-27-2007, 08:35
I am definitely a gearhead, but I do take some pictures as well, 1-2 rolls per week and some digital on top of that. I try not to have more cameras than I actually can use, so if I haven't used a camera for a year I will usually try to sell it.

09-27-2007, 08:41
If I had any money I'd be more of a gearhead.

Ming The Merciless
09-27-2007, 08:53
When I'm out and about the gear is secondary to the taking of photographs. When I'm at work and bored then gearheadedness takes over. What else is there to do, work?

09-29-2007, 11:08
When I'm out and about the gear is secondary to the taking of photographs. When I'm at work and bored then gearheadedness takes over. What else is there to do, work?



10-03-2007, 20:03
Gearhead ... and picture taker. I can't take pictures without gear ... Just that is :confused:

mike goldberg
10-04-2007, 06:24
So, last month I was hooked on the Fed-2c. The Bessa R with its modified J8 is always a pleasure to return to. Then the Canon QL-17 arrived, and I fell in love with that one. In a few weeks the IIIf will be here, and I'm already planning an Ablon for trimming film leader.

And, so it goes... in waves, and all is well ;)

10-26-2007, 02:31
I found that when I was stationed in the Washington DC area I took loads of photographs, when I was sent to Korea I took almost as many, now I am in Iraq and everything is tan. The sun is harsh almost all day, and when the light gets softer and pleasing for a photograph you only have 20 min or so until it gets dark. Not to mention I work 7 days a week. Inspiration drives my photography, interesting subject matter...I am in a definate rut but am doing my best to use what I have and not buy any more equipment for a good while. I have alot of nice stuff and have no "need" for any more.

10-26-2007, 13:51
I like to think I'm both, but my picture taking skills probably don't match my knowledge of the gear :P