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Roger Hicks
04-10-2010, 12:41
...we persuaded ourselves we'd bought the best lens, and tried to produce pictures to prove it.

Now we ask others to approve our choices via the internet, and to hell with the pictures.

Or am I being too cynical?

Cheers,

R.

PaulW128
04-10-2010, 12:47
Roger;

Sad but oh so true!

Best
Paul

rjbuzzclick
04-10-2010, 12:52
Not cynical at all. I've spent over 20 years working in professional audio, and unfortunately, it's the same in those trenches too. There seems to be a sense of entitlement with younger people coming up, that things should be handed to them because of stuff they have rather than stuff they've learned.

Ranchu
04-10-2010, 13:14
Maybe not me, I use the internet to look for pictures taken by lenses I'm interested in and compare them to other pictures with other lenses. Not a whole lot different than reading a bunch of magazines thirty years ago, but more revealing of the looks of them. I learn a lot. Most of my pictures suck, so I take what I can get in that department. Some don't though.

:)

FrankS
04-10-2010, 13:25
The problem with using the internet to compare lens results is the display/presentation medium.

chris000
04-10-2010, 13:31
Now we ask others to approve our choices via the internet, and to hell with the pictures.

I sometimes feel that there is a related trend with magazine equipment reviews where I believe that they are more often read by those seeking confirmation that they have made a 'good buy' than by those who are seeking to. The follow up complaints in the magazine's letters pages often reflect this.

gb hill
04-10-2010, 13:36
Roger you are dead on!. In another thread I posted a link that showed absolute proof that it's more the shooter than the camera for good street photography. An unknown woman on the streets of Chicago named Vivian Maier using a TLR took some of the most wonderful candids I've seen. Totally ignored! I understand the need/desire for wanting good equipment, but even more I understand skill & talent.

t.s.k.
04-10-2010, 14:30
You have to admit that digital really has changed the photographic landscape. Actually your comments could be mirrored in many other fields. Technology in general has prodded us along by changing the public mindset and culture. So many more things are accessible and no one can be an expert in all these wonderful fields. Hence, individuals become more performance driven in lieu of practical results. It's data that's easily digestible.

If you want the best bang-for-the-buck cell phone, you ask around or read reviews. You want the best mower, you do the same. Nevermind that 90% of all mowers do precisely the same thing and most cell phones have features we'll never use.

Maybe a bit cynical but I completely understand what you mean.

Livesteamer
04-10-2010, 15:09
You have touched on an important point. As some of you may know I do a lot of little kid photography for my church. We have a lot of little kids. I have over 200 photos of young kids posted in the hall around the classrooms and I have found, that this kind of photography is only about 15% art and technique and about 85% how I interact with the children. The gear is not that important. Use what you like for the job and just focus on making good photos. Joe

peterm1
04-10-2010, 15:26
I am a bit philosophical about it all and think its a bit inherent in the photography game.

In this at least nothing has changed.......camera manufacturers have to keep selling in order to keep making. So they keep trying (usually successfully) to get us to buy the latest and greatest lens/camera/doodad by convincing us that our photos will be crap without them. I do not think that has ever changed. Leica did it in the beginning of their reign (look for example at their Leica 111 and Leica 111a - tiny tiny differences (basically about shutter speed) All manufacturers do it still and we still fall for it.

Is it different with the internet? I am not sure it is. I can only speak for myself and say that I do buy the best I can afford (although there is an element fo whim as I am an amateur / dilettante not a pro) and then try to produce the best pictures that I can.

I do post the latter on the internet but for me the joy is really in the doing and the result not the owning (although I am still as much a sucker as everyone else and keep buying new "junk" whenever I have the "readies" available.)

But I do not really ask others to approve my camera choice - apart from posting here, the only other place I regularly post is Flickr and there, its all about the photos not about the kit. Perhaps others are different.

charjohncarter
04-10-2010, 16:05
Some of my images I like the most come from equipment I wouldn't even want to mention that I own on this forum. So, in my view, you are right, but if you think we are bad; talk to USA car people, or American golfers (especially the ones that can't hit the ball).

DNG
04-10-2010, 16:06
...we persuaded ourselves we'd bought the best lens, and tried to produce pictures to prove it.

Now we ask others to approve our choices via the internet, and to hell with the pictures.

Or am I being too cynical?

Cheers,

R.

I hope one day I can produce images my equipment is capable of :)

DNG
04-10-2010, 16:07
Roger you are dead on!. In another thread I posted a link that showed absolute proof that it's more the shooter than the camera for good street photography. An unknown woman on the streets of Chicago named Vivian Maier using a TLR took some of the most wonderful candids I've seen. Totally ignored! I understand the need/desire for wanting good equipment, but even more I understand skill & talent.
I saw that gallery... she was a wonderful street photographer!

Silva Lining
04-10-2010, 16:10
...we persuaded ourselves we'd bought the best lens, and tried to produce pictures to prove it.

Now we ask others to approve our choices via the internet, and to hell with the pictures.

Or am I being too cynical?

Cheers,

R.


I think there is a lot in this, although I'm sure 30 years ago many people took their new lens to their camera club, or to their friends, for confirmation that they bought the right one!

To some degree or another, most people like to 'belong', whether as a follower, or a leader, purchasing and displaying the 'right' trinkets is as important now as it has ever been. I'd argue that there is a degree of totemism as well as utility in items. Whether the item is a Leica, an Audi or an iPhone....

The internet just provides a different medium in which you can belong or be rejected.

sig
04-10-2010, 16:14
Somewhere out there somebody have probably defined that you are starting to get old and grumpy when you use a modern medium to say 'things was better before' :D

I understand what you mean, but I think you are wrong, it is only we on the rangefinder forum and equal who do this. According to many internet forums digital are inferior to film, slrs with non full frame sensors are inferior to full frame slrs, slrs are inferior to rangefinders, auto are inferior to manual and small small sensor digital point and shoots are the worst of them all. And still 90 percent of the cameras sold today are small sensored digital, non rangefinder, not slr cameras.

charjohncarter
04-10-2010, 17:09
Somewhere out there somebody have probably defined that you are starting to get old and grumpy when you use a modern medium to say 'things was better before' :D

I understand what you mean, but I think you are wrong, it is only we on the rangefinder forum and equal who do this. According to many internet forums digital are inferior to film, slrs with non full frame sensors are inferior to full frame slrs, slrs are inferior to rangefinders, auto are inferior to manual and small small sensor digital point and shoots are the worst of them all. And still 90 percent of the cameras sold today are small sensored digital, non rangefinder, not slr cameras.

I somewhat agree, but my problem is I don't see the impact images from the last 15 years that I enjoyed all my life (whether digital or film). I was a dentist when I worked, albeit for a short time, but everybody talked about the 'golden age of dentistry' (which was from about 1960 to 1975) and unfortunately they were right. And lots of great innovations occurred during and since that period, very valuable ones, but they have not in real values increased the overall quality of my old profession. In fact, at least in the USA, the quality has gone down.

payasam
04-10-2010, 20:25
The best pictures have not had to be taken with the "best" (whatever that may mean) lenses. Pride of ownership does not require anything other than ownership.

Roger Hicks
04-10-2010, 23:47
The points about 'validation' and 'belonging' are certainly important, but I suspect that most RF users more or less fell into RF use (curiosity, historical accident, whatever) and then decided to 'belong' afterwards. The point about interacting with the children is equally important: it's like the old wildlife photographers' saying, 'biologist first, photographer second'.

The point about really tiny improvements has always intrigued me, and III/IIIa is an excellent example. I've long suspected that they're not so much aimed at people seeking 'upgrades' as at people buying for the first time: unless the camera is reasonably 'new' (i.e. has features comparable with its latest competitors) they may go for the competitor (e.g. a Contax with a 1/1250 top speed).

But I'm convinced that obsession about gear is indeed an excellent displacement activity to avoid thinking about (or practising to become) a better photographer. Then again, 'artspeak' and 'projects' can also be displacement activities to avoid learning more about technique.

Finally, from a patient's point of view, I'd say that the improvements in dentistry in my lifetime are near-miraculous, especially in the prosthetic realm. Even in the early 60s, extraction was vastly more common than it is today, often accompanied by what we call in Cornwall 'cloam snappers' (a full set of false teeth -- 'cloam' is the clay you make sinks out of).

Thanks for all your thoughtful contributions.

Cheers,

R.

Jaws
04-11-2010, 01:25
I think its true. Digital SLRs are carried like some cars are driven. Lots of people are insecure. Not caring about what other people think (unless they can make a useful contribution) helps in more areas of life than photography!

gliderbee
04-11-2010, 01:49
Not cynical, but an understandble evolution: suppose, in the "old" way, you couldn't get the right pictures produced to prove it (meaning you probably did NOT by the best lens for your way of working or taste) ?

With so many people sharing knowledge, why not ask opinions and information before buying, reducing the risk of losing money by making a bad choice ?

Of course, the prove of the pudding is in the eating, but I don't think it's a bad thing to ask others first how to make a pudding before committing the eggs (or whatever goes into a pudding :p.

Stefan.

Edit: maybe I misunderstood: did you mean asking confirmation AFTER buying ? I understood BEFORE buying ..


...we persuaded ourselves we'd bought the best lens, and tried to produce pictures to prove it.

Now we ask others to approve our choices via the internet, and to hell with the pictures.

Or am I being too cynical?

Cheers,

R.

Juan Valdenebro
04-11-2010, 02:05
The problem with using the internet to compare lens results is the display/presentation medium.


I agree... Sometimes, if the test has images that allow it, I download them and go to a lab and get real prints, and things look different then... But I guess internet can be helpful if you filter some opinions... All in all I prefer these internet days: after some searching, it's easy to find the two or three main ideas publicly related to a lens, and you can take a decision even against a majority... For example, I've been very pleased with the Nikon AF 85 1.8 (vs. 1.4) or with the Nikkor 50 1.4 AI (against bad bokeh comments) or with the Nikon 18-135 zoom and my three Bessas (against Ken Rockwell's funny opinions...:p)

Cheers,

Juan

mike-s
04-11-2010, 03:15
In my case I think my results have gone in inverse proportion to the cost/complexity of my gear. The temptation to shoot of 30 or 40 frames at high fps with my Canon DSLRs on the basis that there is bound to be a good shot in there somewhere is almost irresistible. Clearly this has its place, sports and event photography for example, but I feel that somewhere along the line I am loosing the ability to spot the good image when it appears before me.

This feeling has driven me back towards film and resulted in the resurrection of my IIIg, Minolta 7s and Voigtlander Bessa L and Vito cameras. I am enjoying it. Now if I could only remember where I put my Rolleiflexes....

sreed2006
04-11-2010, 04:01
Thirty years ago we persuaded ourselves we'd bought the best lens, and tried to produce pictures to prove it.

Now we ask others to approve our choices via the internet, and to hell with the pictures.

Or am I being too cynical?

Cheers,

R.

Perhaps the people who are trying to produce pictures with great equipment do not get on the Internet seeking approval.

The need for approval is a flaw that runs through all of human experience. Not everyone has that flaw. I suspect that there is the same percentage of people today who publicly seek approval for their decisions as there were 30, or even 300, years ago. It is just a whole lot easier to find them now, because with the Internet you can read the writings of so many more people in a day than you could in the past.

But, the Internet also brings thousands upon thousands of absolutely wonderful photographs. They aren't all accompanied by a request for approval. They are just there for your amazement.

Benjamin Marks
04-11-2010, 04:06
But I'm convinced that obsession about gear is indeed an excellent displacement activity to avoid thinking about (or practising to become) a better photographer.

Roger: I think you are seeing a confluence of factors. Certainly the one you have identified above rings true, but I think you have been too narrow. It can work as a displacement activity for avoiding any number of real-world problems, not just becoming photographically excellent technically or evolved artistically. But the other current feature is the community-building or distance-eliminating one. 30 years ago, I think many of us would have made these decisions alone. Now we get to engage in this "displacement activity" in a community of like-minded individuals. Same could be said of my father-in-law who, thirty years ago, would have simply been the person in our community of 10,000 or so who knew and cared more about classical music than any other. Now he gets to be in daily contact with the thousand or so other folks worldwide who share that interest to the same degree. Goodbye single eccentric with a strong intensity of preference, hello valued community member.

My bottom line: I do think we are engaged in something other than creating or validating a material obsession.

just food for thought.

Ben Marks

pvdhaar
04-12-2010, 03:18
...we persuaded ourselves we'd bought the best lens, and tried to produce pictures to prove it.

Now we ask others to approve our choices via the internet, and to hell with the pictures.

Or am I being too cynical?

Cheers,

R.
I think you're right about what things were like before the internet, but I don't think that was because we were somehow 'better' persons..

Thirty years ago, I sunk my entire earnings from working in the summer school holidays into a Zenit-E SLR. I had to scrape together every cent of pocket money I got the entire year after to pay for some rolls of film and processing/printing. No way could I afford to spoil a shot on a brick wall or a test chart.. and no way could I afford to buy magazines to read about MTF performance, resolution and what have you..

The only judge of the pictures I shot was I myself.. and what I remember most about that period was the fun I had in shooting and being amazed about the wonder of photography when seeing the results.

However, the moment I was exposed to the internet and photo magazines, that all changed. With them came uncertainty about whether my camera was 'good enough'.. And looking back, that wasn't the fault of the internet/photo mags, rather it was some uncertainty inside me, waiting to be unearthed.

It's taken me quite a time (and a lot of gear) to get over it, but I've now come to the point where I'll pull a digi P&S out of my pockets with confidence, while everyone around me is now waving a D700 with 24-70 around..

sepiareverb
04-12-2010, 04:00
I believe there is no substitute for looking at negatives with someone who is technically better at exposure and development that you, and no substitute for looking at prints with someone who is a better printer than you. Provided there is discussion along with it.

Practice still makes perfect.

Roger Hicks
04-12-2010, 04:06
I think you're right about what things were like before the internet, but I don't think that was because we were somehow 'better' persons..
.

I'm sure you are right about that, and I know that the 'fear factor' is often used to try to sell gear. We weren't 'better people' but maybe we have neglected to reinforce our BS shields in the light of what has happened in the last few decades, as well as losing self-confidence. We look for more validation, and get less.

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
04-12-2010, 04:41
Thirty Years ago I was earning my salary using the Internet. Paid my way through school by writing code, connecting over the Internet.

Also bought a few Nikons with the money earned. In the early 90s, I designed optical network terminal equipment. The Internet is pretty much carried by Optical NE's.

The Internet has been Very, VERY good to me.

John Lawrence
04-12-2010, 05:03
I was always taught by the "old timers" I assisted to try out any new lens to see what results I got with it and then decide whether to keep or sell it, rather than rely on reviews or what others had produced with the same lens.

For many years I thought the theory behind this was because of variances in lenses of the same make and model, and / or small differences in camera alignments etc. On reflection though, perhaps they were teaching me properly after all!

John

Roger Hicks
04-12-2010, 05:17
I was always taught by the "old timers" I assisted to try out any new lens to see what results I got with it and then decide whether to keep or sell it, rather than rely on reviews or what others had produced with the same lens.
John

Dear John,

Absolutely! The only value of a review is to give you a idea of whether you might find it useful or not. In other words, they're quite good for ruling out what you don't want, or for getting ideas of what you might be able to do with a lens you'd not considered before; but thinking you're doing something wrong if the lens doesn't suit you is foolish in the extreme, no matter how much you admire someone else's pics taken with the same lens.

This is where it's useful to be familiar with the reviewer's prejudices, habits, etc. If they say, "I found this lens more useful [or less useful] than I expected," and you have a fair idea of what their expectations might be, it can tell you a lot more than an MTF curve.

Cheers,

R.

Ben Z
04-12-2010, 08:36
...we persuaded ourselves we'd bought the best lens, and tried to produce pictures to prove it.

Now we ask others to approve our choices via the internet, and to hell with the pictures.


People are still trying to persuade themselves they've bought the best lens (or camera) and trying to produce picture to prove it. It's just that 30 years ago one had to bring a bunch of slides or pictures to the camera club or local camera store on Saturday morning and could only try to browbeat a handful of others into agreeing. Today people post their pictures on the web and try to browbeat hundreds or thousands into agreeing...and if they don't, it's either "well, you just aren't discerning enough" or "well, if you disagree with me then show me your pictures [so I can denigrate them]". So the story's the same, there's just many more players today, and people can say things to each other on forums they never dared to when they were face to face.






I was a dentist when I worked, albeit for a short time, but everybody talked about the 'golden age of dentistry' (which was from about 1960 to 1975) and unfortunately they were right. And lots of great innovations occurred during and since that period, very valuable ones, but they have not in real values increased the overall quality of my old profession. In fact, at least in the USA, the quality has gone down.

I've been in the field continuously for the last 30 years, part of it in R&D, and I strongly disagree. If the quality of dentistry has gone down it's a result of financially-driven practice decisions on the part of clinicians, not the fault of technology. Implantology (materials and techniques including bone augmentation) has revolutionized restorative dentistry, allowing patients to receive fixed prostheses where they would've had to accept removables in the past. Modern composite resins have replaced unsightly and mecury-containing amalgam. Digital x-ray brings out things that went unseen on film x-ray. Prosthodontics and orthodontics have made significant progress, both in technique and results, oweing to advanced occlusal theory and a heightened awareness and appreciation of esthetics. Modern adhesive bonding and resin cements have reduced the incidence of recurrent caries under restorations. Techniques and materials for less-destructive and more esthetic restorations led to an explosion in cosmetic dentistry (sadly a bit derailed in this economy). The list goes on and on. Dentistry from 1960-1975 advanced almost nothing by comparison to the advances made between 1990 and the present.

John Lawrence
04-12-2010, 09:20
Dear John,


This is where it's useful to be familiar with the reviewer's prejudices, habits, etc.


R.

Roger,

I agree entirely with your comments. However, they did bring to mind an old quote from Oscar Wilde, which could be paraphrased for this thread thus:

"I never use the lenses I review, it might prejudice me"

John

250swb
04-13-2010, 13:47
Of course it goes further than the topic chosen for approval by the OP. We all know that 9 times out of 10 a specific query about a 50mm Summicron (a 'cron') will sooner or later be hijacked by a punter letting us know that a 50mm Summilux (a 'Lux') is what he uses, and it blows the Summicron into the weeds. The actual appropriatness of a Summilux to the OP is ignored in order to make certain that supremacy is established. If nobody can return serve and say they have a Noctilux the game is won by an f/stop. Casually mentioning you have any 'better' this or that is always a great game.

Steve

kshapero
04-13-2010, 13:50
I placed tape on my computer screen so as not to see the classifieds. Too much GAS. Now how to I keep from scrolling?

Roger Hicks
04-13-2010, 13:56
Of course it goes further than the topic chosen for approval by the OP. We all know that 9 times out of 10 a specific query about a 50mm Summicron (a 'cron') will sooner or later be hijacked by a punter letting us know that a 50mm Summilux (a 'Lux') is what he uses, and it blows the Summicron into the weeds. The actual appropriatness of a Summilux to the OP is ignored in order to make certain that supremacy is established. If nobody can return serve and say they have a Noctilux the game is won by an f/stop. Casually mentioning you have any 'better' this or that is always a great game.

Steve

Dear Steve,

Absolutely! So is reverse snobbery: "I had a double-page spread in National Geographic with my Zorkii and Jupiter-8."

Basically, I use what I use, and if someone else does better with what they use, the very best of luck to them.

Cheers,

R.

peterm1
04-13-2010, 14:22
In my case I think my results have gone in inverse proportion to the cost/complexity of my gear. The temptation to shoot of 30 or 40 frames at high fps with my Canon DSLRs on the basis that there is bound to be a good shot in there somewhere is almost irresistible. Clearly this has its place, sports and event photography for example, but I feel that somewhere along the line I am loosing the ability to spot the good image when it appears before me.

This feeling has driven me back towards film and resulted in the resurrection of my IIIg, Minolta 7s and Voigtlander Bessa L and Vito cameras. I am enjoying it. Now if I could only remember where I put my Rolleiflexes....

Interesting, I do not feel this compulsion in the least bit with digital. In fact if anything its slightly the reverse....I keep thinking : "Oh I must not waste frame counter clicks unnecessarily in case I want to sell my DSLR later" Weird I know. But at least it means I seldom shoot on anything other than the single shot setting.

On the other hand, balancing this, I do feel liberated from the even more pernicious constraint with film that each frame I shoot costs about $1 to buy the film, process it and print / scan it. This always held me back and I never got enough film shots to really learn - combined wiht the fact that it could be weeks between loading the roll and then finishing and processing it.

At least with digital on balance I am happy to take extra shots if I feel I need them but each shot is considered fairly carefully before pressing the button. And on balance thats not a bad way to shoot.

In short, I have never understood the spray and pray mode of shooting and have never been tempted to emulate it. So I am pretty happy shooting digital.

jsrockit
04-14-2010, 04:22
Not cynical at all. I've spent over 20 years working in professional audio, and unfortunately, it's the same in those trenches too. There seems to be a sense of entitlement with younger people coming up, that things should be handed to them because of stuff they have rather than stuff they've learned.

This sounds like old man talk to me. Your parent's generation said the same thing about the generation after them, etc, etc.

oftheherd
04-14-2010, 05:03
...we persuaded ourselves we'd bought the best lens, and tried to produce pictures to prove it.

Now we ask others to approve our choices via the internet, and to hell with the pictures.

Or am I being too cynical?

Cheers,

R.

30-35 years ago, I indeed bought some of the best lenses. I bought some Fujinons and Mamiya (press, but not the early "bad" ones :D). I also bought some of the best I could afford, Vivitars, Yashikors, and Spiratones. I don't think I ever tried to produce pictures to prove any were the best.

I tried to produce pictures that were the best I could, to satisfy my sense of artistry, my ego, and my desire to preserve things I saw. Granted, I often tried to get validation from those around me (photographers or not). But it was the photo, not the equipment that produced it. Most of those around me wouldn't have appreciated the equipment anyway.

I have always taken pride in the Fujinons. But I produced good photos with Spiratones, Yashinons, Yashikors, and Vivtars as well. The photo was always the goal, not so much the lens that produced it. I actually won a contest with a photo with a Yashikor 28mm. One of my personal favorites from Korea was with a Spiratone 18mm.

I seldom post the few photos I take these days on line. I guess I'm weird and out of touch. Or maybe afraid of criticism? I'm not sure I could keep up with some of the good stuff I see here in RFF.

Roger Hicks
04-14-2010, 05:05
This sounds like old man talk to me. Your parent's generation said the same thing about the generation after them, etc, etc.

Of course.

We all thought we were entitled.

Then we realized how hard our parents worked for what they had.

It may have been Mark Twain who said that at 15 he was amazed at his father's ignorance, and by 20 he was amazed at how much the old man had learned in five years.

That's a paraphrase, from memory, and neither the attribution nor the ages may be precise (what do you expect? I'm an old man) but anyone over the age of about 20 should recognize the sentiment.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
04-14-2010, 05:15
30-35 years ago, I indeed bought some of the best lenses. I bought some Fujinons and Mamiya (press, but not the early "bad" ones :D). I also bought some of the best I could afford, Vivitars, Yashikors, and Spiratones. I don't think I ever tried to produce pictures to prove any were the best.

I tried to produce pictures that were the best I could, to satisfy my sense of artistry, my ego, and my desire to preserve things I saw. Granted, I often tried to get validation from those around me (photographers or not). But it was the photo, not the equipment that produced it. Most of those around me wouldn't have appreciated the equipment anyway.

I have always taken pride in the Fujinons. But I produced good photos with Spiratones, Yashinons, Yashikors, and Vivtars as well. The photo was always the goal, not so much the lens that produced it. I actually won a contest with a photo with a Yashikor 28mm. One of my personal favorites from Korea was with a Spiratone 18mm.

I seldom post the few photos I take these days on line. I guess I'm weird and out of touch. Or maybe afraid of criticism? I'm not sure I could keep up with some of the good stuff I see here in RFF.

Highlight 1: I think that's an excellent restatement of my point. The internet is a giant pseudo-community (sometimes, like RFF, with elements of genuine community as well) from whom it is tempting to seek validation. The trouble is that most of us are more sensitive to negative criticism than to positve: one nasty, unfounded, carping post by someone who has never taken a decent picture in his life can outweigh ten posts of encouragement.

Highlight 2: The best people here are, without doubt, brilliant. I enormously admire their pictures. But turn it around. There are some who are truly awful, too. Of course we all want to compare our work with the best, and are disheartened when we do not reach the very highest standards. But equally, we can look at a broader spectrum, and suspect that we are slowly clawing our way up the quality ladder.

I take enormous encouragement from the fact that George Bernard Shaw also used to write for Amateur Photographer magazine. Merely being in the company of such a giant, even at many decades' remove, is a spur.

Cheers,

R.

wgerrard
04-14-2010, 05:46
Is it different with the internet? I am not sure it is...

I'm not sure it is, either. The net speeds and increases the range of our contacts with others by many orders of magnitude, but we're still the same. If someone is inclined to buy a new lens just to get an ego boost on the net, I suspect they would have done the same things years ago, with the local club or local hangers-on providing the boost. It is interesting, though, that we can attach so much emotional importance to comments on the net from people who are otherwise complete strangers.

Roger Hicks
04-14-2010, 05:53
I'm not sure it is, either. The net speeds and increases the range of our contacts with others by many orders of magnitude, but we're still the same. If someone is inclined to buy a new lens just to get an ego boost on the net, I suspect they would have done the same things years ago, with the local club or local hangers-on providing the boost. It is interesting, though, that we can attach so much emotional importance to comments on the net from people who are otherwise complete strangers.

Dear Bill,

I'm sure you're right, but there's always the argument that if a qualitative difference is big enough, it becomes a quantitative difference. Perhaps that's the best explanation of my original post.

Usually when I post things like this, I'm hoping for insights like yours (and others' on this thread too). I reckon that if I'm looking for a explanation of something I don't quite understand, I can't be the only one.

Cheers,

R.

wgerrard
04-14-2010, 06:20
In truth, I find that much of the stuff I buy, photographic or otherwise, is unknown territory for the people I know. They'll take my word that something is great, bad, or indifferent. Or, at least politely pretend to take my word.

Sparrow
04-14-2010, 06:32
It was a perceived need to “modernise” that got me on this net thing in the first place, when I couldn’t find what I wanted locally I went online, ironically, to search out a digital-rangefinder so as to join the modern world.

What I found online was a whole bunch of anxieties that I didn’t know I needed, taking photos wasn’t where it was at anymore, no, signature, drawing, creamy-bokeh were the thing now. I had neglected for too many years to check my back-focus, infinity and vertical alignment, one puts it off for a decade or two and wonder what happened to the time

Not only that, then there was the stuff I didn’t know I should be worrying about or had forgotten I should be worrying about, burning or noisy shutters, silky-smooth advancing and stealth … CLAing, straps, bags and ballistic nylon (whatever that is)

In the end it all cost me a few years of worry and a few thousand pounds, and I’m back where I started more or less using the old kit that’s “good enough” because it’s … well good enough.

on the plus side I did discover film scanning which has allowed me to take advantage of a local lab’s digital printer/enlargers and that has helped my printing enormously, an area that had always been a real weakness, so on balance, all in all, a good thing probably

Roger Hicks
04-14-2010, 06:36
It was a perceived need to “modernise” that got me on this net thing in the first place, when I couldn’t find what I wanted locally I went online, ironically, to search out a digital-rangefinder so as to join the modern world.

What I found online was a whole bunch of anxieties that I didn’t know I needed, taking photos wasn’t where it was at anymore, no, signature, drawing, creamy-bokeh were the thing now. I had neglected for too many years to check my back-focus, infinity and vertical alignment, one puts it off for a decade or two and wonder what happened to the time

Not only that, then there was the stuff I didn’t know I should be worrying about or had forgotten I should be worrying about, burning or noisy shutters, silky-smooth advancing and stealth … CLAing, straps, bags and ballistic nylon (whatever that is)

In the end it all cost me a few years of worry and a few thousand pounds, and I’m back where I started more or less using the old kit that’s “good enough” because it’s … well good enough.

on the plus side I did discover film scanning which has allowed me to take advantage of a local lab’s digital printer/enlargers and that has helped my printing enormously, an area that had always been a real weakness.

Dear Stewart,

Beautifully stated!

Cheers,

R.

Sparrow
04-14-2010, 07:07
then there was the girl in the Streach Yourself Fuji add …. how none-u is that now :rolleyes:

David Hughes
04-14-2010, 08:07
Roger's point "and to hell with the pictures" is perfectly true on a lot of other forums (mostly digital) where I'm convinced a lot of people don't actually use the things but strut about with them.

Of course, a long long time ago I was happy just to get an average picture. From time to time I take out the correct period outfit and do I have a struggle at times to get the picture. With hindsight and last week's experience of a camera that's just been repaired* etc I'd say that 30 years ago it was very easy to get the picture right. And if we are talking Olympus 35SP, it was dead easy a while before then.

And the exposure tables and cameras from the same period can be easy. It's the bits in the middle when exposure meters were new and so on that drive me mad.

*Olympus XA - I'd forgotten just how good they can be.

Damaso
04-14-2010, 09:00
There have always been those who look to others for approval or buy equipment for status rather than usefulness. Not a new trend, perhaps just more apparent on the internet...