Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Pelao, Sep 2, 2012.
thef8blog: Life, cameras, passion » Why I believe in photographic gear minimalism
excellent post, and advice
Amen to that blog! I wish i could get down to just 2 cameras but I can't. I don't need 3, I would be a better photographer if I only had 2 (Possibly?!?!) but I have to have 3 for no real reason. Daft isn't it.
What I do do is take just one camera when I go away on holiday or away for the weekend.
Amen 3x! I need to trim down. I've sold one camera (the F550EXR) because I never used it anymore and I don't miss it at all... but I still have 5 others and really... what for.
When I was over at Pentax Forums, I felt like an odd duck because I never had LBA (Lens Buying Addiction).
What I find limiting about Mr. Duong's philosophy, though, is that it seems he is encouraging photogs to pigeonhole themselves. He references wedding photographers, street photographers, landscape photographers, etc. What if you are simply a photographer? Heck, I was as likely to shoot with a 500mm lens as I was with a 15. I get the impression that Mr. Duong proposes that you create a definition for your photography, rather than letting your photography define your photography.
In short, I suppose I think "gear minimalism" is simply not the anodyne of GAS, but rather a similar passion turned 180 degrees.
An interesting concept. I'm not quite there, yet. But I think it some respects that's exactly what happens. How do people become a particular kind of photographer? Probably by shooting what they like to shoot, and then having the gear to suit. Being minimalist about gear is a place you get to when you went most other places... maybe? I'm a bit dazed so please forgive me if I don't appear to be making any sense...
Been there, done that. Now I simply operate one rule; if I don't use it in 12 months, it goes.
Hair shirts are so last year darling...and scratchy too
Sent from another Galaxy
Although I enjoyed the article very much, that does not work for me, here are my ramblings...
I also went that way when I got an x1, sold everything else to pay for it... Guess what, it all started over once the honeymoon period was over, but I sure do regret that period, it was liberating. So was the period with the grd4 but the difference being that I kept the other gear safely. I have now got a nex5n and have kept my rx100, omd and lenses for now and see what happens.
One thing I have learnt "with me" is that most of my gear choices were compromises. That's normal you would say, any equipment comes with compromises, so the trick is to understand that there is no UCAM that will ever exist and that we need several pieces of equipment. We just have to hold onto our equipment for some time before selling again, that is of course if money permits... When my wife will see my VISA bill come in at the end oft he month I’m going to get a hell of a lot of pressure to get rid of so called redundant equipment…
One other thing I have learnt is that by looking at so many great shots all over the web, I tend to want to reproduce that shot and unconsciously I need the gear that was used to make that shot. To take a contrapoint to what I have just said, I sometimes get bored of what I am shooting, and that getting some new gear triggers my photography into something else.
I tend to not have enough confidence in my own abilities and seek compensation with purchasing some new gear that will help me achieve my vision, thus confusing the means and the ends.
GAS becomes a problem when it get's out of control and prevents us from taking pictures. When I finally have the appropriate gear I will truly be dedicated to taking pictures and moreso, taking better pictures... That will never happen. The gear is only part of the equation… Some will say that you can make very good pictures with any type of gear! I adhere up to a point : we cannot force ourselves into taking a certain form of picture that will suit the gear…
We all have natural inclinations towards a certain type of photography and the gear is what will allow us to achieve the vision, so I don’t think telling someone to put up with his current gear is going to help him, this person would be better helped by helping him define the type of pictures he want’s to take at this time, but I personnally get lost in the flickr realm with so many temptations of other cool shots that I don’t invest sufficiently in the gear I have…
But is that really a problem ? I’m not so sure, most of us are looking to create a kind of signature to our pictures, looking for a recognizable style… It may work for some but not necessarily for other, I felt better about that when I viewed Harry Callahan’s interview in « Vision and Images » (go tot he end of the page here : thef8blog: Life, cameras, passion » (f/8) TV: Street Photographers), this guy actually says that once you have achieved a vision you are stuck, it’s time to move on, that certainly is at the other extreme of the spectrum.
I know people under heavy GAS who got a M9 under the belief that once they got the equipment holy grail that they would no longer have any excuses for not taking good pictures, that GAS would be cured… The magic wore off in many cases and they sold their equipement and GAS crept back in. That actually happened with me with a 5dmk2 so I'm not here to give any lessons, only my experiences.
When I got the OMD I thought OK now old lad, invest in this system and commit to it. I got a bunch of really good lenses but I didn't use it as much as I should have. Something was wrong, my excuse is that I'm missing depth of field. So I got a Nex5n and threw a nokt 50 1.1 and 35 1.2 at it. With this combo I'm under the illusion that I have something that can be kept small when needed and give me the option to use cool lenses with less short DOF penalty than with the m43 systems. This investment is done with the hope to be able to use these lenses on a FF camera.
So I'm making an experiment, I'm going to work with the 5n + zeiss 24mm f1.8 (when stock permits...) and the nokt 50 f1.1 with close focus adapter and and extension tubes, this gives me a versatile 35mm and 75mm with lots of DOF control and take along the rx100 and see what happens. Christ, I could even take the nex5 kit lens with instead of the rx100 but that means changing lenses too many times and it is not so well suited for close candids (shutter noise comes to my mind).
Where is the camera industry headed? God knows, but many people I talk to would be quite happy to have something like a FF ricoh or Nex that would accept all our lenses. Imagine a Nex FF on which you would configure the crop size to use a nokt 50 1.1 as an equiv. 50 or 75, the view finder would show of course the cropped picture. Take that idea down to 2 or 3 crop factor, there is still a lot left in there to make a good picture. That would be possible with the sensor used in the nikon d800, once croped to APS-C or more there would be plenty pixels left for the shot! UCAM? Sure not, but better than APS-C vs FF dilemna, a smaller body than a reflex is all I ask for, it could be amde smaller than a M9...
Talking with the owner of one of my prefered local shops here in Geneva, he is convinced that the camera industry is going towards cameras with larger sensors. The compacts will gear up to survive the camera phones and the FF will become more common than they are today. From my perspective that is what I believe will suit me, the rx100 took the lead in that trend and let’s see if this Nex FF rumor isn‘t just vapor…
So here I am facing my own GAS, believing it is a problem. I’ll tell you what, forget believing it is a problem because that may well be the primary problem of gear addiction for many, it has to be gone through and time and taking more pictures will dissolve it to a certain extent. Focusing on the problem and seeking solutions to it only reinforces the problem, it's a universal psychological tendency. Fight or flight the problem? Neither, don’t care, say WTF and see what happens, you’ll end up taking more picture. Will it cure GAS? Don't care .
I say to myself, feel good, be happy and take pictures, it's not a cure, there's nothing to be cured.
I think what you are saying makes perfect sense. I think the X Pro and X100 cured my GAS but I had to go through a lot of camera gear and lose a lot of money to get there. I suppose that's part of the process. I really only like four focal lengths- 28, 35, 50, and 85 or anything close. I still have some longer Nikon lenses I need to sell. I'm still kicking myself over this 70-200mm zoom I bought that I think I used twice. Among the many stupid things I've done in life that ranks in the top 2 or 3.
Now if I could only cure my DAS- Dog Acquisition Syndrome.......
Some people buy one camera and never use anything else. They don't appear very much in gear discussion threads because it's of no interest to them
Some people buy lots of cameras and never talk about what they are doing.
Some people buy one camera then talk about nothing else but other cameras.
Some people buy lots of cameras and talk a lot about buying lots of cameras.
And so on ...
It's really really not about cameras, it's about the kind of person you are, and how you choose to rationalise your behaviour to other people (and probably yourself).
And if the kind of person you are is one who likes to buy lots of cameras, reading all the blog posts in the world might not stop you doing so, but it might make you enjoy what you're doing less.
And if you are the kind of person who is satisfied with one camera at a time, you might write lots about how nobody else needs more than one camera at a time.
And so on ...
As I have posted elsewhere, I did at one stage limit myself to one camera and a couple of lenses for more than two years. This wasn't out of gear minimalism. After 30 years of photography I felt I needed a focused look at what I loved to shoot. It was an amazing time, and has left me looking at gear a different way. I won't hesitate for a moment to buy gear that will help me shoot or print what I love, but I feel much different about the gear.
I used to view new cameras and lenses as solutions. Now, I spend way less time online looking at gear, and way more time shooting and printing. When I buy something it will be because I know exactly how it will enhance what I love to do.
I love cameras and lenses, and I love following developments. But that's almost a separate experience from making photographs.
Pelao, I think that your final sentence could quite happily do without the word "almost" ...
Good point. I'll leave it in, otherwise others won't understand our posts, but I agree.
My brother tried to cure GAS with things like these, he made real cool shot, used fancy chemicals like selenium and other weird toxic stuff... Still searching for the perfect shot with the perfect camera, never mind he has a lot fun doing so.
Funny I shot these yesterday evening with all this gastalk
The thing with me is... I don't want to be "a _____ photographer". I like to shoot most everything, excepting people. And, I sometimes like to shoot the same (or similar) subjects with different lenses. Shooting a flower with, say, a Pentax M 50/1.7 will produce a much different image than the same shot taken with a Helios 44-2, despite the similar focal length.
It's been interesting shooting exclusively with the Panasonic LX5 for the last month, sometimes a struggle to make photographs.
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