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09-13-2016, 05:44 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
As for professionals, they worry just as much about gear as anyone else, they just aren't quick to change lenses/camera bodies, because it is an unnecessary expense. There has to be something real that the clients will appreciate or that improves their work flow for them to jump on some new piece of equipment.
I agree that pros are concerned about having good gear, but I don't think they obsess about every bit of minutia of a lens the way some folks seem to do. I think that's more of an amateur trait. Word of mouth seems to go much farther among pros than the latest lens test results. However...most pros start off with pretty darned good gear in the first place and it's expensive to upgrade, so that may be a big factor in why they don't obsess about every incremental step of improvement in quality.

09-13-2016, 07:29 AM   #17
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QuoteQuote:
In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing.

If you call yourself a photographer.

Freeman Patterson : Photography and the Art of Seeing
09-13-2016, 07:30 AM   #18
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I think one thing that divides pro's from amateurs or enthusiasts is the pro has a much easier time rationalizing the purchase of highly expensive gear and view it as a business expense. Like if I made money as a photographer that did a lot of weddings, maybe I'd have a K-1 with a 24-70 and a second K-1 with a Sigma 85 EX. Maybe a third crop body with a 15 Ltd mounted for the few shots that makes sense for. And I'd be done, I wouldn't really discuss that gear or research lenses anymore, because I'd have top tier hardware already, and I could focus my research time on something else.

But I'm not. So I pour over reviews looking for low cost alternatives that match my level of skill and ability to rationalize spending money on a hobby. Maybe I should be spending that money on classes, but isn't it more fun to look through hardware?
09-13-2016, 08:00 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
And if sharpness is a bourgeois concept, why did Cartier Bresson shoot almost exclusively with his Leica rangefinder and 50mm prime?
Probably because the kit was compact, was uniquely so at the time he first started using it, and because he could afford it.* Cartier-Bresson was born into the moneyed class (both parents, his mother was aristocracy and his father an industrialist) and was independently wealthy.

As for "sharpness", he was storied for not being careful about focus and exposure and was criticized for the poor quality of many of his most famous photos. He was also famous for not doing any of his own darkroom work and for expecting miracles from those who did it for him. That and his bourgeois roots are what makes the "sharpness" quote so entertaining in my mind. For him, craft was secondary and courting the moment the most important thing. I might add that he was also sort of sloppy about records and the actual time and place for some of his documentary work was, err, poor documented.**

Now back to the lens review/pinhole discussion


Steve

* Legend has it that he traded a guitar for his first Leica and that it was in poor condition.

** One of his photos shows Spanish children playing around the ruins of an apparently bomb damaged wall. The photo was assumed to have been taken during or after the Spanish Civil War and was published as such. At a later date, it was noticed that other frames on the proof sheet from that roll were obviously pre-war...oops!

09-13-2016, 10:31 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Because he had no choice. Back in the day, the 1950s, if you wanted, by present standards, what would only be considered decent gear you bought Leitz, Zeiss or Nikkor.

For sheer raw optical performance that 1950s f/2 Summicron Bresson used was no better, if as good, as a 100 buck DA 50 is now and he probably would have used it if he had a choice and of course he used a prime - that's all there was ...

...Constant new discoveries in chemistry and optics are widening considerably our field of action. It is up to us to apply them to our technique, to improve ourselves, but there is a whole group of fetishes which have developed on the subject of technique. Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see... The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing.
 Henri Cartier-Bresson (1952). The Decisive Moment
Totally agree with HCB that "people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing." But HCB did have a choice, albeit less of one than we do today, and when there is less choice, there is going to be less obsession about gear. And of course with film, you spent as much or more time honing your choices of films, developers, papers, and printing technique.
09-13-2016, 12:04 PM   #21
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I had not head about zone plates before, interesting!

I tried a homemade pinhole on a dslr, it was meh. Maybe a funny thing to complain about given this thread, but I think my diy pinhole was of far too lousy quality to be interesting on a dslr, everything was just mush and my effort didn't really have the interesting quality where everything would be in focus (even given pretty loose expectations on 'sharpness')

However, a DIY pinhole camera made from a small coffee can with a curved 5x7 paper negative along the back is just loads and loads of fun. The geometry of projecting onto a curved sensor is always interesting, so are the long exposures, and of course the fun of seeing the image appear in the darkroom. I should really take them out more, the past few years I've mostly just taken shots the weeks around world wide pinhole photography day, for example here's a barn interior from the spring:

09-13-2016, 12:22 PM   #22
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For those saying pros do obsess about gear you might want to read this because many do not:

Nikon's 'Worst' and 'Best' Zoom Lenses Compared

And yes this has appeared in other threads... but I think it is relevant and on the topic.
09-13-2016, 12:37 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
But HCB did have a choice, albeit less of one than we do today, and when there is less choice, there is going to be less obsession about gear.
"Choice".
I wonder if there is arguably, in a certain sense, less choice now than in Bresson's day simply because there is less need to make a choice.

If we buy a competent modern $500 lens 99 percent of the optical problems have been solved what with ray tracing, computer design and modern materials and production methods compared to a $1500 glass . How much real world difference can that extra $1000 bucks make apart from engraved lettering, a metal body, some abstract data stored at some website "proving" it's the best and a certain amount of ego boosting? The difference in price is great the difference in practical performance is imperceptible. For me, at least, there really is no "choice".


Last edited by wildman; 09-14-2016 at 04:18 AM.
09-13-2016, 01:29 PM   #24
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"Pro vs Amateur" is a bourgeois concept.
09-13-2016, 09:26 PM   #25
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I wonder if we all don't secretly obsess a little over gear, whether finding the right tool for the task, making sure the value for our money or simply expanding our horizons. All valid reasons.The difference is knowing why we seek the information as opposed to market push to own the newest. That's why I like these post so much, seeing others hands on reports gives me a clear idea if a lens will meet the requirements I'm desiring. gabriel_bc and you others posting about pinhole, you're giving me the itch for film again. It is so much fun.
09-14-2016, 06:03 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
If you call yourself a photographer.

Freeman Patterson : Photography and the Art of Seeing
Good call...great book!
09-14-2016, 06:24 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
Around here, real men only worry about their wife finding out how much they spent on their gear.
Or around here, how they can get them to pay for it? I have a ton of tricks, and Mrs Rupert owns several cameras and lenses she has purchased and never even used...a couple of cars too. I am always looking for new ideas...got any?

Regards!
09-14-2016, 04:01 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
I am always looking for new ideas...got any?

Regards!
Nah....I think you're pretty well much at the top of your game...... though, if you havent been in deep deep doodoo then maybe you can't be sure if you've pushed things all the way?
09-14-2016, 04:06 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
if you havent been in deep deep doodoo then maybe you can't be sure if you've pushed things all the way?
I did tell her the K1 would make me a Pro.....so seeing my shots since I got it, she is already pretty skeptical.

Regards!
09-14-2016, 07:17 PM   #30
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Totally agree. Here's to artistry!
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