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Requesting advice on reducing my collection
Old 10-01-2019   #1
Smaug
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Question Requesting advice on reducing my collection

I'm one of those people who enjoys the variety of a collection, but on the other hand I find myself stressing out when it's time to choose a camera to take with me. Or budgeting to have them all working at the same time, having the right battery adapters, etc.

With that bit of background out of the way, here's what I have and why I have each one.
  1. Olympus OM1N w/4 lenses: 28/3.5, 50/1.8, 135/3.5, 300/4.5, thinking of adding a 35/2.8 - My grandpa's old camera. It was his favorite; he shot a lot of slides during his European travels.
  2. Rollei 35 - My favorite 35 mm at this time. Going to send this one for a CLA.
  3. Rollei B 35 - I bought this because my grandpa had one. Going to sell it though, as it's too much overlap with the better original Rollei 35.
  4. Yashica Electro 35 GS - Grandpa's, works great, except for a light leak; needs re-seal. I don't really like the 45 mm focal length, but I love that the camera reminds me of my grandpa. I remember one time I was out with him and my brother, and he disconnected the banjo strap, wrapped it around a tree, set the self time, and took a great selfie shot of us. I might treat this one to a CLA soon.
  5. Yashica Electro 35 GSN - Thrift store find for $10; needs POD replacement and a CLA. I'll probably give this one away.
  6. Yashica Electro 35 CC - Out to Mark Hama for a CLA; I love the form factor and 35 mm viewpoint.
  7. Minolta Freedom II P&S - $5 thrift store find. Works great. Probably will move this one on.
  8. Nikon L35AF3 - my grandpa had one; I just got this in a fit of sentimentality
  9. Canon AF35M2 "Autoboy 2" - ebay find, works great. My daughter (7) likes this one.
  10. Canon FTb w/3 lenses - Saving this for my daughter when she's ready for a heavier, manual camera
  11. Olympus Trip 35 (on the way, from Trip Man) - This will be my "freeing myself from technical aspects" camera. I figure it will have enough control of focus and exposure, but not too much that it intrudes into the composition.
  12. Olympus O-MD E-M10 III (µ4/3 mirrorless) with a few lenses. This is my most serious and versatile camera. I won't sell this one, as it's so practical and also my film scanner.
  13. Pentax MX-1. (1/1.7" sensor, 28-112 mm eq. f/1.8-2.4) Love this guy, and my daughter does too; she adopted it.
  14. Panasonic FZ-1000. (1" sensor, 24-400 mm eq. f/2.8-4) All-in-one camera. Everything is so easy with it...

Which ones would you keep and get rid of, and why? Aside from the ones I said I was going to move on, what else should I move on?

I realize I'm pretty "good" compared to a lot of you. So I guess I'm querying the guys who have felt the need, made some tough choices and who have reduced their collection to a few choice ones.
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Old 10-01-2019   #2
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3, 5, 6, 7,9,10,13. Let go. You don't need this many cameras and your daughter doesn't need slow and heavy tank of the camera (9). Give her what Jane Bown was using.
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Old 10-01-2019   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
3, 5, 6, 7,9,10,13. Let go. You don't need this many cameras and your daughter doesn't need slow and heavy tank of the camera (9). Give her what Jane Bown was using.
(OM1N)

I thought of this, but I'm scared she'll wreck it, and I'd be devastated.
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Old 10-01-2019   #4
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Just start selling off what you don’t use.

I just have to ask myself,

“Are you a photographer or a camera collector?”

Good luck
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Old 10-01-2019   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
(OM1N)

I thought of this, but I'm scared she'll wreck it, and I'd be devastated.
Quote:
"when she's ready for a heavier, manual camera"
Our daughter used 5D and L lenses after she turned twenty.

If you want her to be still involved and willing to use this tank of the camera (Freaking Tank beast ), get her Instax.
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Old 10-01-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmas_one View Post
Just start selling off what you don’t use.

I just have to ask myself,

“Are you a photographer or a camera collector?”

Good luck
BOTH! That's my problem. Sometimes, I just love to get my collection out, a glass of wine and just play with them. ...er, I mean exercise the shutters and apertures. I feel guilty about it though. I'd love to be the guy who has one or two cameras, uses them to make great photos, and doesn't think much about them.
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Old 10-01-2019   #7
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My rule fo thumb concerning my camera's is, have I used in the last year.
If I haven't used it, then it's time to sell it.
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Old 10-01-2019   #8
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I keep mine in boxes like this,

https://pin.it/trhoy37kx44nqm

I keep two boxes. One for Digital P&S cameras and One for Film P&S Cameras.

If I add one camera to a box I take two out and they either are given away or sold.

At least in theory... haha!

I have a pretty large Zero Halliburton Rolling case that holds everything short of the projects on my bench.

I made that my compromise after a lenghthy gear purge. IT has to fit in that case to fit in the tiny house I am planning.

Good news is... I have room left...for MORE! Muahaha
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Old 10-01-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
... Which ones would you .
There seems to be a mistake in your post where it almost seems like you want to sell or give away cameras.

Anyway, yeah, a Canon F-1N would fit in well - you've already got Canon lenses. You seem to like rangefinders, so add a nice M3. Maybe also a Nikon F2 to complement the Canon. No Minoltas? Try an SRT-101 and also a Hi-Matic 7sII.

We're always here to help.
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Old 10-01-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pál_K View Post
There seems to be a mistake in your post where it almost seems like you want to sell or give away cameras.

Anyway, yeah, a Canon F-1N would fit in well - you've already got Canon lenses.
I forgot to mention that I have an AE-1 Program that needs a shutter lube. I'm gonna try that myself with the help of some YouTube videos, and if I fail, I'll just throw it out.

Quote:
You seem to like rangefinders, so add a nice M3.
Too rich for my blood.

Quote:
Maybe also a Nikon F2 to complement the Canon. No Minoltas? Try an SRT-101
Don't want to get into more systems. If anything, I'd add an OM2N, after I trim down elsewhere. It'd be nice to have an aperture priority body for the OM optics.

Quote:
...and also a Hi-Matic 7sII.
I looked at these. I'd pick one up at a thrift store for the right price, but not $100+ that they're fetching online now. Esp. not with a freshly CLA'd Electro CC on the way back to me.
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Old 10-01-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmtwit View Post
My rule fo thumb concerning my camera's is, have I used in the last year.
If I haven't used it, then it's time to sell it.
Except for heirlooms?

I've done this before, and have regretted ditching some. I really liked the Nikon FM2N I had, as well as the OM4.

It IS a good rule, though. I may try it for the non-heirloom cameras.
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Old 10-01-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
3, 5, 6, 7,9,10,13. Let go. You don't need this many cameras and your daughter doesn't need slow and heavy tank of the camera (9). Give her what Jane Bown was using.
Several of those, I already promised to my daughter. She'd be quite disappointed and it would make me a liar, which is a terrible thing to be seen as by one's kids.
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Old 10-01-2019   #13
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The last issue of McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras listed over 40,000 cameras. I'm not sure 14 cameras can even be considered a collection
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Old 10-01-2019   #14
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I'd be keeping the OM1 and all the Zuiko lenses ... and also keeping the OMD and it's lenses. Possibly the GSN for it's emotional attachment.
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Old 10-01-2019   #15
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Ive got a AE-1 you can use for parts. Needs a battery door but otherwise very fair.

PM me Smaug! (Freebie of course) Has a nice canon eyecup as well.
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Old 10-01-2019   #16
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Hey Smaug, if you sold all of your collection would this then be known as "The Desolation of Smaug"?

(A little Lord of the Rings joke there).

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Old 10-01-2019   #17
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This is an easy solution to what appears to be a problem. You are a collector and a user, so separate the two.
1. Keep your grandpa's cameras and other heirlooms in a nice display case and take them out to "exercise" them every now and then. They're not for sale, but you aren't obliged to use them but can if you want. (1 and 4)
2. Follow others' advice, and keep the ones you use and sell the rest. These are your user cameras, ones you use all the time and enjoy to use. These are free from obligation and are just cameras. Occasionally over a long period of time, one of these might migrate to the cabinet to become an heirloom.
3(?). You identify cameras you want to keep to pass on to your daughter. These can either live in the cabinet, in your user kit, or in a drawer so they don't distract you.

I think once you split it into these two (or three) lists the choice will become more obvious as you'll only be dealing with list #2. You have quite a bit of overlap, do you need 11 with 6 and 2?
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Old 10-02-2019   #18
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I think you’re buried
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Old 10-02-2019   #19
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Keep 1, 8, and 13.

13 sounds like it rocks, just keep using it!

1 is a classic and a nice system you can add a few here and there.

8 was fun and does well with light.

Sell the rest, buy two more OM-1 bodies (one for you, the other for your daughter) and perhaps get a lower end µ4/3 mirrorless body (again for your daughter or buy a superwide µ4/3 lens and leave it on).

B2 (;->
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Old 10-03-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
I'm one of those people who enjoys the variety of a collection, but on the other hand I find myself stressing out when it's time to choose a camera to take with me. Or budgeting to have them all working at the same time, having the right battery adapters, etc.

With that bit of background out of the way, here's what I have and why I have each one.
  1. Olympus OM1N w/4 lenses: 28/3.5, 50/1.8, 135/3.5, 300/4.5, thinking of adding a 35/2.8 - My grandpa's old camera. It was his favorite; he shot a lot of slides during his European travels.
  2. Rollei 35 - My favorite 35 mm at this time. Going to send this one for a CLA.
  3. Rollei B 35 - I bought this because my grandpa had one. Going to sell it though, as it's too much overlap with the better original Rollei 35.
  4. Yashica Electro 35 GS - Grandpa's, works great, except for a light leak; needs re-seal. I don't really like the 45 mm focal length, but I love that the camera reminds me of my grandpa. I remember one time I was out with him and my brother, and he disconnected the banjo strap, wrapped it around a tree, set the self time, and took a great selfie shot of us. I might treat this one to a CLA soon.
  5. Yashica Electro 35 GSN - Thrift store find for $10; needs POD replacement and a CLA. I'll probably give this one away.
  6. Yashica Electro 35 CC - Out to Mark Hama for a CLA; I love the form factor and 35 mm viewpoint.
  7. Minolta Freedom II P&S - $5 thrift store find. Works great. Probably will move this one on.
  8. Nikon L35AF3 - my grandpa had one; I just got this in a fit of sentimentality
  9. Canon AF35M2 "Autoboy 2" - ebay find, works great. My daughter (7) likes this one.
  10. Canon FTb w/3 lenses - Saving this for my daughter when she's ready for a heavier, manual camera
  11. Olympus Trip 35 (on the way, from Trip Man) - This will be my "freeing myself from technical aspects" camera. I figure it will have enough control of focus and exposure, but not too much that it intrudes into the composition.
  12. Olympus O-MD E-M10 III (µ4/3 mirrorless) with a few lenses. This is my most serious and versatile camera. I won't sell this one, as it's so practical and also my film scanner.
  13. Pentax MX-1. (1/1.7" sensor, 28-112 mm eq. f/1.8-2.4) Love this guy, and my daughter does too; she adopted it.
  14. Panasonic FZ-1000. (1" sensor, 24-400 mm eq. f/2.8-4) All-in-one camera. Everything is so easy with it...

Which ones would you keep and get rid of, and why? Aside from the ones I said I was going to move on, what else should I move on?

I realize I'm pretty "good" compared to a lot of you. So I guess I'm querying the guys who have felt the need, made some tough choices and who have reduced their collection to a few choice ones.
You're just getting started! Time to add some nice medium format gear to your collection!!!
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Old 10-03-2019   #21
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You need a single system with perhaps the addition of Rollie 35.

To be effective you need muscle memory of operating system and you can`t do it with all those.
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Old 10-03-2019   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
You need a single system with perhaps the addition of Rollie 35.

To be effective you need muscle memory of operating system and you can`t do it with all those.
What is effective though? That's a completely subjective measurement of the use of a tool used to create a piece of work largely judged on personal aesthetics.
I think that right now I have about 17 working 35mm cameras, 2 working 4x5, 1 working 5x7, 1 working 35mm motion picture camera and 8 working 16mm cameras. I'm "effective" with every single one of them because they each fill a unique function.
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Old 10-03-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
  1. Olympus OM1N w/4 lenses: 28/3.5, 50/1.8, 135/3.5, 300/4.5, thinking of adding a 35/2.8 - My grandpa's old camera. It was his favorite; he shot a lot of slides during his European travels.
  2. Rollei 35 - My favorite 35 mm at this time. Going to send this one for a CLA.
  3. Canon FTb w/3 lenses - Saving this for my daughter when she's ready for a heavier, manual camera
  4. Olympus Trip 35 (on the way, from Trip Man) - This will be my "freeing myself from technical aspects" camera. I figure it will have enough control of focus and exposure, but not too much that it intrudes into the composition.
  5. Olympus O-MD E-M10 III (µ4/3 mirrorless) with a few lenses. This is my most serious and versatile camera. I won't sell this one, as it's so practical and also my film scanner.
I'd keep these...
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Old 10-03-2019   #24
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Several of those, I already promised to my daughter. She'd be quite disappointed and it would make me a liar, which is a terrible thing to be seen as by one's kids.
In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, "I promise you lots of things. That's what makes me such a good father."

Keep the things that really work and have practical value, as well as the things which have sentimental value, like your grandpa's cameras. If you want, then let go of the other things.

Personally, I'm not quite sure why you want to let things go. Unless they are cluttering your dwelling or causing you considerable angst from choice, why get rid of them?

I enjoy having a lot of cameras, because if I get tired of one, or want a change, then all I need to do is look in the cabinet for something I haven't used in a while. Sometimes, picking up a loved but old camera is like getting a new one.

A few weeks ago, I posted about how people find a middle path between shooting flexibility and minimal gear. The general answer was that you don't. You have gear, and you use what is appropriate for any given situation.
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Old 10-03-2019   #25
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1, 2, 12.

Sell the rest, if someone will buy it.
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Old 10-03-2019   #26
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Three questions for the OP.

1. How much is your entire collection worth? Yes, we are applying a dollar-value to your photo gear. Be detached. Do a full list, follow up with online research, and put a price on each and every item. This may trigger off some good lateral thinking.

2. How much do you have it insured for? Zero? Ah-hah! This is its true value to you, then.

3. If you were to somehow lose the entire collection today, which items would you replace? And how much would these replacements cost you? Another eye-opener here, I reckon.

Basically, what you do with and how you do it to your collection, is entirely your call. However, I would...

Ask my daughter which kit/s she wants to keep and use in her future photography. I know she is young, but it would still be her decision. At age 18 or 21, she won't then come back to you and say "back then, you promised me..." as she will have made up her own mind about what's what.

Keep the cameras that have family connections, and sell the rest. Forget "sentimental" value. Anything and everything can be sentimental. When you offload it, the sentiment usually goes with it, or shortly afterwards.

Set aside one or two camera kits you want to keep and use. Again, apply critical thinking. Why do you want to keep this gear? Will you use it? What for? Can these cameras be replaced easily and cheaply with more modern ones to do a better job?

If all this is too difficult, pack up the lot in a secure storage box and hide it away in the garage. Check it once every three months. Otherwise forget about it.

Overthinking is as bad as no thinking at all. The ideal lies somewhere in the middle.

And BTW, all the above is what I'm currently doing with my gear, so we are both in most excellent company!
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Old 10-03-2019   #27
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Smaug: (OM1N)

"I thought of this, but I'm scared she'll wreck it, and I'd be devastated."

It's an OM1 ......they're a dime a dozen out there. if you're worried, buy another & keep Grandpa's safe. They're meant to make photos.... just like instruments are meant to make music...
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Old 10-03-2019   #28
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I'm surprised that you are saving a Canon FTb for your daughter, as it is large, heavy, and clunky.

That said, I really like the FTb, and I use equally clunky Minolta SR-Ts and TLRs (including large, heavy Mamiyas). It's hard for me to imagine that your daughter would ever really like such a camera, and if she did, she would likely wait until she was even older before she wanted to heft it into use.

For your daughter, I would recommend an Olympus OM, a Pentax MX, ME-Super, or Super Program, or a Minolta X-570, X-370, or X700. Or it could be any of a number of other compact SLRs from the manual focus era.

I like ozmoose's idea of asking your daughter what she would like. You might sell the Canon and get her something that would be more suitable for her, unless she specifically says that she wants that camera.

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Old 10-03-2019   #29
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Guys, thanks for all the responses. I'm mulling it over.

The problem is I've just discovered Facebook Marketplace, where I can often get killer deals on killer cameras.

CMur12: The Canon FTb is a duplicate of another one my grandpa had. He gave it to my sister for photography class. When she went to college, it got stolen.

My daughter actually DID comment that it is heavy, but she won't always be 7. I don't mind saving it for 10 years for her. For now, she doesn't want to set exposure, but she does seem to like focusing. I'll have to mull it over a bit. The cameras she really wants are the MX-1, and the Canon Sure Shot AF35M2.

Keep it coming. I will think it over, maybe for weeks and come back to this thread. Thanks for putting some thought into it. The outside viewpoints are helpful.
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Old 10-05-2019   #30
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Guys, thanks for all the responses. I'm mulling it over.

The problem is I've just discovered Facebook Marketplace, where I can often get killer deals on killer cameras.

Waaaait a minute, you mean you want to offload gear... to make room for more gear?


I couldn't sell or give away anything with sentimental familial value, like your grandpa's old cameras. I have my Dad's Pentax ME and Minolta SR-T Super, and they aren't going anywhere. The Minolta has mint condition lenses that were barely used, and always kept in the original plastic bag, and inside the leather lens case. The cameras themselves were always in their leather ever-ready cases, so they are pretty much in mint condition, too.
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I seem to be failing spectacularly
Old 10-10-2019   #31
Smaug
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Red face I seem to be failing spectacularly

...by following the advice of the rabble-rousers here.

I stopped by one of my thrift stores the other day on the way home. There were a couple Nikon lenses, a 50/1.8 pancake. (looks a bit like Series E, but has the nice coating and construction) and a Vivitar Series 1 75-200 f/3.8. They were $20 together, and I couldn't resist, even though I don't have a Nikon body.

Naturally, I went home and found a nice Nikon FG on ebay and bought it to go with the lenses.

Just now, I ordered a Tokina 28-80 for it too, so it'll have a full set of lenses.

Before I bought the FG, I said I was on the lookout for a semi-auto OM body. Someone here offered me one (OM G) offline; I accepted.

Trying to resist buying a 35/2.8 AIS Nikkor for the FG now; that would make a tidy little package. (resisting on account of having the Yashica CC with its nice 35/1.8)

Maybe what I need to do is post asking for help on how to make my collection as big and overlapping as possible, then I'll subconsciously do the opposite?
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Last edited by Smaug : 10-11-2019 at 08:29. Reason: spelling, added detail
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Old 10-11-2019   #32
ozmoose
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......???!?!?!?!!!

Man, you are HOPELESS - almost as bad as me (nobody could be "as bad as", hence "almost as").

I went out earlier this week to bargain with a shop in the hope of offloading half a dozen cameras and accessories - and came home with a Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 6x6.

My reasoning was, I've wanted one of these for many years. On due reflection, I recalled having played with this very same camera in the selfsame shop - in 2006.

I will be taking it out for its first test run on Sunday - with two rolls of Ilford XP2, a most forgiving film for ancient cameras (and similarly so photographers).

We never learn, do we? But then, such are the (many) joys of... well, living.
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Old 10-11-2019   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
3, 5, 6, 7,9,10,13. Let go. You don't need this many cameras and your daughter doesn't need slow and heavy tank of the camera (9). Give her what Jane Bown was using.
I didn't know who Jane Bown was until this post; thanks Ko. I just looked her up; found a few book reviews on YouTube. She was AWESOME.

On maneuvering against fellow press photographers:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Bown
My elbows are as sharp as anyone's!"
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Old 10-11-2019   #34
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Your grandpa was a smart man.
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Old 10-11-2019   #35
Calzone
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Better to keep than have remorse. Just be thoughtful and think of the good, the bad, and the ugly about each camera.

In my case I have three collections I maintain: film small format; medium format; and digital.

I have culled down already, and perhaps one day in the future I will cull down further, but until then I enjoy my abundance.

Pretty much I have enough gear to last decades into my retirement.

Abundance is better than remorse.

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Old 10-11-2019   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
I didn't know who Jane Bown was until this post; thanks Ko. I just looked her up; found a few book reviews on YouTube. She was AWESOME.

She certainly was! She made some quite superb portraits with a minimum of equipment - usually, just her Olympus OM-1 and an 85mm lens, using natural light.

The story goes that the other press photographers would turn up at a shoot, equipped with 'all the gear', yet she would invariably be the one who got the great shots. I guess she just had the 'knack'.
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Old 10-12-2019   #37
waynec
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Your daughter will grow up with the latest and greatest camera phones and shooting a FTBn will be like using a big stone that takes special batteries with film that will cost more and more and developing that will cost who knows what. Sell what you don’t want and stick the money in the market and let her choose her poison when the time comes
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbhv55 View Post
The story goes that the other press photographers would turn up at a shoot, equipped with 'all the gear', yet she would invariably be the one who got the great shots. I guess she just had the 'knack'.
You don't think there's any truth to the sharp elbows comment?

I watched a couple YouTube videos on her, one of which had some interview footage after she'd retired. They said she was disarming, because she was a little lady, with a demeanor to go with it and folks felt comfortable with her right away.

Whatever the case, I put a book of hers in my Amazon Wish List, and I hope someone gets it for me for my birthday.
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