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Old 01-05-2013   #81
Paul T.
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If you're directing this at me, I'm not criticising, I'm just sharing my feelings!
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Old 01-05-2013   #82
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If you're directing this at me, I'm not criticising, I'm just sharing my feelings!
Not directing at you...
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Old 01-05-2013   #83
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Originally Posted by bwidjaja
I think part of the frustration is because digital photography is a relatively new technology, so it is still evolving and changes are happening very quickly. Sooner or later, once the technology matures, certain features become standard, such as sensor technology, and it is more of a matter of personal preference on the camera operations. I think we are not quite there yet, but not that far off.

very true!
The rate of technological 'innovation' is primarily driven by fundamental changes in consumer behavior. And I don't believe this is going to change any time soon.
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Old 01-05-2013   #84
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Hmm. Cameras as toys.

It makes the notion of how you consider your photography seem somewhat trivial. Cameras as toys can be interpreted to mean that you get bored with them easily and quickly, need something different to stimulate you. As if the fun and passion you obtain from doing photography is a result of exercising the novelty of the toys you use in doing it.

That could be the basis of your dyspepsia. Toys and novelty go hand in hand: an addiction to novelty drives toy acquisition.

I enjoy the novelty of new cameras too. But when the novelty wears off—usually pretty quickly—I start thinking more seriously about the camera as tool, "Now that I've had my play with it and understand it better, how can this particular camera affect my photography? What can I do with it? And do I want to go that way in my photography?" That's when it becomes less a toy and more a tool, when my perception of the camera's value becomes more what the thing is for than what it itself is.

Not all cameras make the cut in that perceptual transformation. Many fall by the wayside, they remain only neat toys that litter the cabinet. Only the few get out of the way and become transparent to my preferred intent, the development of photographs.

The thing is that nearly any could—the basis of the "it's not the camera" sentiments—but our capricious psychology gets in the way of that.

Oh well. I'll put these heavy ruminations on hold for a bit. My weekly walk starts in an hour, I've had a cold all week ... What camera will I walk with? Perhaps the Polaroid ... :-)
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Old 01-05-2013   #85
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Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
... I know of only one forum (OPF) that attempts to focus on the art of photography, and it gets little activity. ...
What is OPF, John?

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Old 01-05-2013   #86
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No. I don't like to spend money. Once I have the gear I need, I do not think about it anymore.

I had some problems with lenses. It took me some time to learn what I wanted, what I liked. So i bought and sold several. Now, there is no urge to change anymore, and I keep all my money (and time) for prints, books, travels and taking photos.
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Old 01-05-2013   #87
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@ Peter Wijninga...

...''The rate of technological 'innovation' is primarily driven by fundamental changes in consumer behaviour.''...

Camera consumer behaviour is surely determined and changed by whatever new bell, whistle or pixel count that the manufacturers can convince the consumer that he/she MUST have to make better photographs more easily and painlessly !

The manufacturing ideal would be for every photographer on the planet to buy the latest wunderkamera at least once a year and throw the old one in the trash.

From reading many of the posts on RFF, I assume a lot of people are doing this quite happily.
I can only shake my head in wonderment... (!)
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Old 01-05-2013   #88
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I have images in my head that I want to make, and at times it seems like one camera will work better at creating those images than the one I am currently using. Then I get gear lust for that particular camera. Once I eventually acquire it, if it succeeds in helping me make my imagined image, I keep it. If it fails, I sell it. (I do hate selling equipment, but that is the cost of trying to make the images in my head). The cameras I currently use the most are ones I've had for many years.

I'll occasionally lust for a particular camera as an object, as I did for the Leica M9-P black paint. I have no real need for that camera and it won't do anything better than any of the cameras I currently have, but I just thought it was an absolute beauty and lusted for it. So I went to a Leica dealer and spent some time with it, and walked away with the realization that "It's only a camera", and now the lust is gone. Saved myself a bundle and the hassle of reselling it.

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Old 01-05-2013   #89
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I don't think I'm overwhelmed, I'm just underfunded.
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Old 01-05-2013   #90
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Well, I am usually the odd man out, and am in this thread too. I am mostly a film guy (that is, I prefer film shooting). But due to time constraints, I probably (scratch that, no doubt I) shoot more digital than anything else. My "new" toys are cameras that I wanted in the past, or newer ones I hadn't considered before but are now "old." Go figure.

I haven't bought a new camera since about 1983 or 84. It was a Contax 139Q that died after a house fire. I am guessing the acid in the smoke got to the electronics. About 2 or 3 years ago I bought a Contax 167mt because I got it cheap. Before then, I let my Yashica FX3 and FX103 cameras use the Contax T* 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Several Christmas seasons ago, my daughters bought me a Sony 6mp P&S. It has worked pretty well for me as a P&S, and sometimes for other shooting as well. I broke the viewing screen, bought one from China and replaced it. Still works quite well for me.

Point being, I do prefer film still, but I am not afraid of digital. One of the reasons I didn't move away completely away from my Fujica ST 901 was cost of replacing all the lenses I was used to using. That is really the main reason I don't move to a higher end digital, SLR or RF, although my personal preference would be SLR. I don't want the added expense, and frankly, just prefer film. Oh, I said that didn't I.

For anyone, Joe or others, who prefer digital, why not? I really think film versus digital are silly. Just like past arguments about glass versus film, real cameras versus that miniature movie format, auto exposure versus manual, etc. The photo that the photographer ends up with really is the important thing in my opinion. If the photographer prefers objects on a sheet of photo paper and call it art and a photograph, why not?

Joe, I think your only problem is one that seems to infect everyone on RFF (sadly, me included), called GAS. Get over that and be happy twice. Once for getting over it, a second time for all the money you are going to make from the book on how you got over it.
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Old 01-05-2013   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sejanus.Aelianus View Post
As well you should. Consumerism is the source of the wealth we now have.
It's also the source of many ills. Your view is a very Western-centric one. Rampant consumerism, where fulfilment only comes from the objects we buy, also leads to depression because it is ultimately empty. America has more consumer goods than any other nation - but it not, according to many if not most studies, any happier. Why is anyone so naive as to think that corporations have the interests of the consumer at heart?

If Joe takes pleasures from the novelty of a new camera, few here would criticise him. For a start, he's posted many good photos he's taken with his new toys. But to counter by saying that consumerism, per se, is good... feels empty, as a statement. And as a means of living your life.
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Old 01-05-2013   #92
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It's funny, but I too seek out items that I have wanted in the past, and am now able to find and afford. Few are expensive so that is good.
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Old 01-05-2013   #93
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I think you're confusing consumerism with democracy. It's a common mistake.


http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/doubt.aspx
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Old 01-05-2013   #94
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As a great song said.... love the one you're with
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Old 01-05-2013   #95
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There's a difference between commerce and consumerism. Consumerism is, specifically, the pursuit of happiness via the purchase of material goods - in many definitions, buying ever-increasing numbers of goods.

In the US, a huge increase in the number of material goods owned since the 50s has not brought an increase in happiness, rather the opposite.

Note, I'm not advocating not buying stuff. I'm merely stating that consumerism is not the only route to happiness. Your example of owning one Leica, vs being obsessed with acquiring more and more, is a good one. More and more stuff, like more and more food, does not necessarily bring happiness.
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Old 01-05-2013   #96
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I don't think I'm overwhelmed, I'm just underfunded.
i love this...cause it's so damn true!
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Old 01-05-2013   #97
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@ Sejanus...

A high level of consumerism is a luxury that only makes economic sense if you live in a country that can make/grow/mine almost everything it needs without importing, and which can readily export to countries that cannot compete with it on price/quality/technology.

My country, Britain, is doing rather poorly nowadays in this regard, alas...
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Old 01-05-2013   #98
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As a great song said.... love the one you're with
i love stephen stills...
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Old 01-05-2013   #99
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i love stephen stills...
I as well and very fitting for your thread.....
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Old 01-05-2013   #100
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Is it not possible to have a good life without rampant consumerist growth?

If not, why not?

Generals, they say, are always ready to fight the previous war. Economists are worse. Many are still stuck in completely irrelevant late 18th century classicism.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 01-05-2013   #101
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Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
Thanks. I'll take a look at it.

G
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Old 01-05-2013   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sejanus.Aelianus View Post
That is completely untrue, in fact. Our country ranks number 7 by GDP and number 22 by GDP per capita. We have plenty of resources and we have better distribution than most countries. We have virtually no resident who falls under the UN poverty line. We're doing far better today than we were doing thirty years ago.

Just ignore the doomsayers of the Daily Mail and the Guardian.
The UK would be doing well, if we weren't using other peoples money to pay for the high living standards of the residents...
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Old 01-05-2013   #103
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That is completely untrue, in fact. Our country ranks number 7 by GDP and number 22 by GDP per capita.
And about 20th in happiness.
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Old 01-05-2013   #104
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Hi Joe,
This is an important thread for a lot of us here, I think. Camera gear can be a real acquisition addiction. The stuff is beautiful to hold and to use. This was true in the pre-digital era, and probably more so today given the rapid camera design changes we're seeing.

Something I've noticed in myself, and maybe it applies to others here as well: If I can hold onto a camera long enough to really get comfortable with it, I begin to lose the feeling that I need to try the next great 'improved' model. If I can keep a camera long enough to really get it 'dialed in' to my liking... to my instinctual way of using a camera, then I'm much more likely to keep the camera for much longer.

So... how can I encourage myself to hold onto the camera long enough to really learn how to use it? I'm using a weird trick now that seems to be working for me. I bought an X-Pro1 back in the early part of 2012. Since then, I've had pangs of "its not comfortable; its not working right; it doesn't have enough pixels;... etc.". And then all the temptations keep coming out of camera-world: X-E1, E-M5, RX1, M...
But early on I did something to force myself to hold onto the XPro1 for as long as possible. I 'tagged' it. I had it engraved, removed the grip and put a different covering on it. I knew this would likely make the camera less sell-able and thus I wouldn't be tempted so quickly to move on to the next, best 'thing'. This seems to be working. I still have it and had it long enough to really get to know it. The newer cameras aren't making my "you need it - buy it" muscles twitch so much now.
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Old 01-05-2013   #105
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Hi Joe,
This is an important thread for a lot of us here, I think. Camera gear can be a real acquisition addiction. The stuff is beautiful to hold and to use. This was true in the pre-digital era, and probably more so today given the rapid camera design changes we're seeing.

Something I've noticed in myself, and maybe it applies to others here as well: If I can hold onto a camera long enough to really get comfortable with it, I begin to lose the feeling that I need to try the next great 'improved' model. If I can keep a camera long enough to really get it 'dialed in' to my liking... to my instinctual way of using a camera, then I'm much more likely to keep the camera for much longer.

So... how can I encourage myself to hold onto the camera long enough to really learn how to use it? I'm using a weird trick now that seems to be working for me. I bought an X-Pro1 back in the early part of 2012. Since then, I've had pangs of "its not comfortable; its not working right; it doesn't have enough pixels;... etc.". And then all the temptations keep coming out of camera-world: X-E1, E-M5, RX1, M...
But early on I did something to force myself to hold onto the XPro1 for as long as possible. I 'tagged' it. I had it engraved, removed the grip and put a different covering on it. I knew this would likely make the camera less sell-able and thus I wouldn't be tempted so quickly to move on to the next, best 'thing'. This seems to be working. I still have it and had it long enough to really get to know it. The newer cameras aren't making my "you need it - buy it" muscles twitch so much now.
Highlight: brilliant!

Camera turnover may also be age related. I tried a LOT of cameras in my 20s, 30s and (to a lesser extent) 40s. At the risk of sounding unreasonably superior, I eventually grew up and began to see the difference between the 'upgrades' that did make a difference to my photography (doing things I couldn't do otherwise, or doing the same things more easily, comfortably or enjoyably), and the ones that didn't. I wish I'd cottoned on earlier.

That's quite apart from buying 'toys', which I've generally only done when I can make a profit by reselling -- which ain't gonna happen with ANYTHING digital, especially if bought new. So it does come down to a film/digi argument after all.

To return to the other theme, the rich world is richer than it has ever been -- but also (for the vast majority of people and nations) more deeply in debt. Someone is doing something wrong...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 01-05-2013   #106
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And about 20th in happiness.
and about 5th in anti depressant prescriptions
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Old 01-05-2013   #107
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@ Sejanus...

UK based financial institutions exist only in the City of London, which is virtually a different country from the rest of Britain in the same way that Switzerland is separate from Italy.

What a fragile institution it is, too, with heavy reliance on political sleight-of-hand keeping it in place.

We are far from being a solvent country, and that is not going to change in the foreseeable future.

Consumerism be damned... (!)

@ Jamie Pillars...

You've stumbled on the cure for rampant camera consumerism !

Take your latest digital gismoX10000001, bash it about with a hammer sufficient to make it unsaleable - and then use the bloody thing for a few decades.... !
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Old 01-05-2013   #108
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and about 5th in anti depressant prescriptions
Surely that's a testament to a state-of-the-art health system?
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Old 01-05-2013   #109
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Surely that's a testament to a state-of-the-art health system?
Coupled with a state-of-the-art gutter press.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 01-05-2013   #110
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@ Jamie Pillars...

You've stumbled on the cure for rampant camera consumerism !

Take your latest digital gismoX10000001, bash it about with a hammer sufficient to make it unsaleable - and then use the bloody thing for a few decades.... !
Hmmm... maybe I've stumbled onto my new career... "Bash your camera into unsellable condition - $150" (I'd have to charge more for Leica, since they're harder to dent.)
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Old 01-05-2013   #111
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According to who?

Anyway, without consumerism, where would you get your cameras, your film, your memory cards, your computers, your internet access...

This forum is all about consumerism and being against consumerism is just like fish campaigning against water.
I think you have missed the drift..consumerism yes/..rampant ` i am entitled` consumerism - no.
And I believe you have seen the fruits of rampant consumerism - got nothing to do with democracy either...because the `communists` now produce most of the crap folks want to consume. Neat little cycle aye
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Old 01-05-2013   #112
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... and some of us - like myself - said no, because we are happy with our old film cameras. That's it.
Same with me. I stopped chasing the latest-and-greatest camera technology in 1982.
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Old 01-05-2013   #113
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Originally Posted by Sejanus.Aelianus View Post

This forum is all about consumerism and being against consumerism is just like fish campaigning against water.
Who are you, and what is this compulsion to pronounce on the motivations of everybody on this forum? Hilarious!
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Old 01-05-2013   #114
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Hmm. Cameras as toys.
...
Oh well. I'll put these heavy ruminations on hold for a bit. My weekly walk starts in an hour, I've had a cold all week ... What camera will I walk with? Perhaps the Polaroid ... :-)
I took out the SX-70, loaded it with a pack of Impossible Color Protection film, and went for my walk. This camera is still a toy to me, I'm still learning how it sees with these funky films. But I'm growing to like it, to be able to understand what to get from it. Soon it might become a tool, something I can see through transparently to the end products of my efforts.

Enough of weird philosophistical wibbling. I like the cameras I have.
Six out of eight exposures please me. I'll post some later.
Onwards!

G
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Old 01-06-2013   #115
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The latest and greatest for me is a Crown Graphic. I buy new, to me cameras because I want to try something different not because its the latest and greats because something new will always come along.
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Old 01-06-2013   #116
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Certainly not for decades, Probably never (can't remember). Like others, I buy what I can afford and recognize that for the most part it'll only make my pictures easier, not better.

Cheers,

R.
Easier? I'm not sure that's the case, Roger. I started out shooting an M2 forty years ago and progressed through a series of M kits over the years. I sold my last M4 kit ten years ago when I switched to Olympus digital. The M8 wasn't even on the horizon yet.

What I've found, moving through the age of digital technology, is that there was a point at which the technology matured... about 2009. We saw the same thing in analog equipment in about 1990 with the introduction of the Canon EOS1 era. All of the "improvements" past that were pretty much window dressing to sell more bodies to more people. We're seeing that again in digital.

Unfortunately, the "improvements" help "non-photographer" camera owners take better focused and better exposed snapshots, but make it more difficult for photographers to exercise control over the equipment. You have to learn pages and pages of menu settings and how to over-ride the camera's programming, which can be quite frustrating when you want to focus manually and just set the d*mn exposure to do what you want it to do. The Fuji X-Pro1 is a paragon of amazing automation that is confusing, convoluted, and can be difficult to use manually. I'm not dissin' it... it's a great camera that makes amazing images. It just "thinks" much differently than I do.

I have just paid the price of admission to return to a manual control camera: I've bought back into Leica with digital bodies. I'm tired of fighting with my equipment for control of the image and exposure. I'm returning to my trusty Sunpak 544 and related flashes. It's exciting to see well-exposed images with the point of focus and DOF exactly where I wanted it to be without having to turn wheels and buttons and try to figure out which one of the bazillion focus points the camera wanted to use instead of the one I wanted it to use...

In the '90s we paid premium prices for new technology. Now it seems we pay premium prices to avoid it. *sigh* Oh well...

It's taken me a little over ten years to figure it out, but even in digital, the KISS system still rules, at least for my style of shooting. Oh, and my 1970-ish Norman P500m corded studio lighting system is alive and well and working just fine, thank you.
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Old 01-06-2013   #117
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Easier? I'm not sure that's the case, Roger. I started out shooting an M2 forty years ago and progressed through a series of M kits over the years. I sold my last M4 kit ten years ago when I switched to Olympus digital. The M8 wasn't even on the horizon yet.

What I've found, moving through the age of digital technology, is that there was a point at which the technology matured... about 2009. We saw the same thing in analog equipment in about 1990 with the introduction of the Canon EOS1 era. All of the "improvements" past that were pretty much window dressing to sell more bodies to more people. We're seeing that again in digital.

Unfortunately, the "improvements" help "non-photographer" camera owners take better focused and better exposed snapshots, but make it more difficult for photographers to exercise control over the equipment. You have to learn pages and pages of menu settings and how to over-ride the camera's programming, which can be quite frustrating when you want to focus manually and just set the d*mn exposure to do what you want it to do. The Fuji X-Pro1 is a paragon of amazing automation that is confusing, convoluted, and can be difficult to use manually. I'm not dissin' it... it's a great camera that makes amazing images. It just "thinks" much differently than I do.

I have just paid the price of admission to return to a manual control camera: I've bought back into Leica with digital bodies. I'm tired of fighting with my equipment for control of the image and exposure. I'm returning to my trusty Sunpak 544 and related flashes. It's exciting to see well-exposed images with the point of focus and DOF exactly where I wanted it to be without having to turn wheels and buttons and try to figure out which one of the bazillion focus points the camera wanted to use instead of the one I wanted it to use...

In the '90s we paid premium prices for new technology. Now it seems we pay premium prices to avoid it. *sigh* Oh well...

It's taken me a little over ten years to figure it out, but even in digital, the KISS system still rules, at least for my style of shooting. Oh, and my 1970-ish Norman P500m corded studio lighting system is alive and well and working just fine, thank you.
We are not in disagreement. What is 'easier' for me (as for you, it seems) is a camera that does what I tell it to, rather than my having to learn ways to fool it.

And this is really what I meant. My Linhof Technikardan is easier to use than my original 5x4 (Dawes), because I can make it do what I want, even though there are more things I could get wrong if I didn't know what I was doing. And my MP is easier to use than my IIIa, because I can fit the lenses I want (especially the 35 Summilux) and because of all the obvious advantages such as meter (for difficult/unfamiliar lighting), combined RF/VF, etc. In digi, the M8 was easier to use than a DSLR because it's a Leica and I'm used to Leicas, and the M9 is easier still because I don't need the UV/IR and it gives me back the focal lengths I''m used to.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 01-06-2013   #118
hepcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
We are not in disagreement. What is 'easier' for me (as for you, it seems) is a camera that does what I tell it to, rather than my having to learn ways to fool it.

And this is really what I meant. My Linhof Technikardan is easier to use than my original 5x4 (Dawes), because I can make it do what I want, even though there are more things I could get wrong if I didn't know what I was doing. And my MP is easier to use than my IIIa, because I can fit the lenses I want (especially the 35 Summilux) and because of all the obvious advantages such as meter (for difficult/unfamiliar lighting), combined RF/VF, etc. In digi, the M8 was easier to use than a DSLR because it's a Leica and I'm used to Leicas, and the M9 is easier still because I don't need the UV/IR and it gives me back the focal lengths I''m used to.

Cheers,

R.
Exactly... and that's what I was referring to as "mature technology." The M bayonet was a leap forward in technology over the LTM mount as it was just as secure, but faster to use. Built-in meters were a welcome advance. It took experience to understand the nuances of the meter in brand X's body, but once you had that, it was great. Sensors and controls in digital really matured about three years ago... there are still improvements being made, of course, but they're not incremental rather than revolutionary. The mechanical bits of the cameras matured years ago. How long has the Copal vertical focal plane shutter been in standard use now? And there's really nothing different about bayonet mounts since Leica pioneered them in 1954.

I have an M8 currently, and an M9P will be delivered on Tuesday. I'll keep the M8 as I've discovered (surprisingly, I think) that it has strengths of its own that will complement the M9 for the way I work. I need to scrounge around and find a Visofllex III since my favorite lens, the DR Summicron, apparently became obsolete with the digi-bodies (SHAME ON YOU, LEICA!!!)

But, yes, I think generally for those of us who grew up in the "dark (room) ages" that in the digital age, perhaps "less" really is "more" in many ways.
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