What if you had a totally unlimited photography budget . . .

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Would it change what you do?

    If I could have any photo gear I wanted without imperiling my bank account or my marital status, I suppose I might like to try a digital Leica fitted with one of those f 0.95 Noctilux lenses. Then I would take pictures of a black cat eating licorice in a coal bin at midnight during a total eclipse to see what kind of low-light magic I could work.

    Otherwise, I am pretty well pleased with my current suite of gear; it fits the way I actually take pictures.

    How about you?

    Cheers, Jock
  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    permanent darkroom
  3. monk3y

    monk3y SC Regular

    Aug 12, 2013
    Real Name:
    If I have unlimited funds I want to play with as systems there are available. Its fun. :)

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using SeriousCompacts mobile app
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    If I hit the lottery I'd no doubt buy a Leica M9 or one of the new M240s and a couple amazing prime lenses. Not for low light though - they're not all that great for low light although the M240 seems to be a lot better than the previous bodies. I don't know how much I'd like it and I surely won't buy such a thing withOUT hitting a lottery, but it would be fun to see if I got on with it. And if I could afford to own it and not use it very much, I'd probably have some amazing DSLR setup too. I wouldn't want to lug it very many places, but there are some situations where it might be nice to have.

    But short of having a truly unlimited budget, I'm very very happy with what I've got. And I very well might still use the stuff I'm using now for the vast majority of my shooting even if I did own all of that other stuff. The Nikon A suits how I like to shoot almost perfectly (but with unlimited funds I'd hire some firmware hacking genius to make the 2-3 changes that would make it absolutely stone cold perfect) and the RX1 is so good that I love shooting with it for many things I could have been pretty happy using the Nikon for if it didn't exist. So I might not shoot very differently than I do, but I'd probably OWN more stuff...

    Of course with all of those unlimited funds, I'd be bouncing around to various wonderful locations all over the globe and would live in each for a couple of months - THAT would be a way I'd actually USE the money. But I guess that wasn't part of the deal?

  5. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    I'd retire from my job and use my unlimited budget to travel around the world with tons of gear in my private plane! And hire someone to carry my gear.

    I reckon I'd have to have a Noctilux as well. And the newest 50 Cron made for the Monochrome. So I'd need a Monochrome too. And a M 240. Add a few large formats. Nikon D4. RX1R. X100S. Nikon A. RX100Mk2. Ricoh GR. Pana GX7. Plus lots of lenses ... lots and lots ... While at it, I'd buy B&H. And treat all the SeriousCompacts buddies to a slumber party inside the store. Everyone at the party gets to take two camera and two lenses home.

    No one better wake me up from this dream!
  6. Pim

    Pim SC Regular

    Apr 21, 2012
    Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Let me know the date for that party Jack...! And given your unlimited funds I think I am safe in assuming a private jet to pick me up should not be an issue...? Oh yeah, and a room at The Plaza with a view of Central Park would be appreciated.... See you soon...:)!
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Sure it's part of the deal! With an unlimited gear budget, it means that you can buy as many Noctilux and expensive large formats that you can find. And then sell them to finance your trips. So yes, there'll be plenty of dough for travels!!
  8. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Penthouse for you!! Stay as long as you want.
  9. Pim

    Pim SC Regular

    Apr 21, 2012
    Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    You are a true gentleman.... beers on me...:)!
  10. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Real Name:
    At this point, I do not feel like I am restricted by my gear. However, with unlimited funds, I would indulge in some completely unnecessary fantasy purchases. Maybe a brand new Rolleiflex FX-N and, if I could find it, a mint condition Hasselblad SWC. A Leica S system would also be nice.

    As Paul said, maybe a permanent darkroom, but that is more real estate than photography gear.


  11. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    Real Name:
    I'd get someone to build me 2 camera's:
    -A fixed-lens, water- and shockproof m43 camera with 20/1.7 lens, Olympus 5-axis IBIS, tilting screen, Ricoh control layout, Fuji EVF/OVF combo and Fuji jpeg engine / in-camera raw development options, and in-camera USB charging, all at a slightly smaller size than a Fuji X100. Alternatively a smaller, water- and shockproof Sigma DP2M with all of the above features would be acceptable as well.
    -A fixed-lens, water- and shockproof camera with 1/1.7" type sensor and 25-400mm equivalent f/2-f/4 lens, with EVF, good controls, Fuji jpeg's and in-camera raw development, and USB charging, in a body no larger than a Canon G1X.

    Then I'd get the best solar panel/battery combo money can buy, and something to stay in touch with family and friends about once a week (tablet with satellite antenna?), grab my hiking gear, and disappear off the map for the next year or so.
  12. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    There you go, that's the right idea, create the perfect camera. That counts doesn't it? Otherwise as much as I might like to try different cameras/systems.. there isn't anything I really want now. Did get my Universal Mercury II from ebay yesterday, that was the last of the filmies [short of trying an M3 or MP] that I wanted.
  13. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy SC Top Veteran

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Real Name:
    Martin Connolly
    That first one sounds pretty neat. Personally I'd go for an RX100 M2 with an integrated Fuji EVF.
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Other than make me more inclined to try out some other gear for fun, I don't think that it would change all that much for me. What the real answer question is: would you change from your current cameras for your own normal use, or just to play around with? Sure, I could get a Leica but then I'd be stuck with manual focusing. Sure, I could get a 5DIII but then I'd be stuck with a big camera and solely using a viewfinder again. Sure, I could try out another Sony, or a Fuji, but they just don't have what I want.

    I've already chosen not to use a variety of different cameras/brands/systems because they don't suit me more so than I can't possibly afford them. The most that I could think of doing with an unlimited budget for cameras that I would actually want to use and travel with is:

    - Olympus E-M1 + M Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 (not released yet)
    - Panasonic GX7
    - Panasonic X 35-100mm f2.8
    - Samsung NX300
    - Samsung 12-24mm f4-5.6

    These are the only cameras/lenses that I currently see available or on the near horizon that offer what I want. Anything else would be just for play. The money would instead go to travelling.
  15. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    A pair of Nikon V2s, a satchel of lenses, a Kawasaki KLR, and a credit card.
  16. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Real Name:
  17. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Real Name:
    Stephen Noel
    No use dreaming. Use what I've got and eventually add a AF lens of undetermined model. What I enjoy, doesn't require much gear.
  18. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    Real Name:
    Phase One medium format system with a bunch of nice SK lenses and a supercomputer to handle processing of the files from the 80MP back, then a giant printer to run off the huge prints, then a massive new house with personal gallery to have enough wall space to hang them and a personal assistant to carry everything.
  19. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Real Name:
    An X100S, An XE-1, the entire Fuji lens roadmap, 45 spare batteries, a Kawasaki KLR, and a pre-paid $500,000 credit card. Oh and an animatronic body double who will show up at work for me, take my kid to school, and do the dishes and stuff... but not the fun stuff, dammit, because that's for ME.
  20. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Real Name:
    All the money in the world and no responsibilities would get me the following gear -

    Alpa FPS body -


    Phase One IQ 260 digital back -


    All the lenses!

    Berlebach tripod -

    Tripod UNI 87C ( max. height 188 cm) from Berlebach ® Tripods

    With an Arca Cube head -