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Author Topic: Discontent  (Read 6092 times)

Telecaster

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2017, 05:14:05 PM »

When my friend Bruce & I get together, usually with other folks too, to talk & show photography we bring along prints and/or SD cards (lately more of the latter) but rarely gear. I think we hit Peak Gear, in terms of it really mattering, c. 2009. Since then we’ve only had a couple people display symptoms of upgrade-itis or brand/format tribalism. They haven’t been invited back.  ;)

-Dave-
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2017, 11:36:56 PM »

I've been meeting several times a year for some fifty years with a small group of serious amateur photographers.

For the last several years we have had one rule: Our meetings start at 7:15 pm and for forty-five minutes we can gossip or talk about gear or technical stuff. Starting promptly at 8:00 the prints go up, with about a dozen from each of eight or so members. We talk about what we see in each image and why and there is no talk about gear at all.

It works, very well.

Eric
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LesPalenik

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2017, 12:15:36 AM »

Starting promptly at 8:00 the prints go up, with about a dozen from each of eight or so members. We talk about what we see in each image and why and there is no talk about gear at all.
Eric

Hi Eric,

sounds like a good arrangement. is there an option to show digital images on a large tablet?

Les

Ray

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2017, 01:43:49 AM »

Hasn't photography always been inextricably associated with gear? You can't take a photograph without the gear.
The issue of the type and quality of gear should always relate to the type of shots the photographer is interested in, and usually takes.

If one is interested in birds, of the feathered variety, then an iPhone is not going to pass muster, at least most of the time, although it might be adequate in a zoo where you can stick your hand through the cage wiring and take a shot of a large Emu that is very close.  ;)

If one is interested in photographing birds of the Homo Sapiens variety, and plates of food on the dining table, and sharing such images with other iPhone users, then an iPhone might be perfectly adequate for the task.  ;D

The problem of the fascination with camera gear, that some people exhibit, is a part of the general fascination with so many products, such as stylish clothing, and cars, and housing. We tend not to buy such products for their utility purposes, but to satisfy our vanity and ego.
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Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2017, 05:05:36 AM »

Hasn't photography always been inextricably associated with gear? You can't take a photograph without the gear.
The issue of the type and quality of gear should always relate to the type of shots the photographer is interested in, and usually takes.

If one is interested in birds, of the feathered variety, then an iPhone is not going to pass muster, at least most of the time, although it might be adequate in a zoo where you can stick your hand through the cage wiring and take a shot of a large Emu that is very close.  ;)

If one is interested in photographing birds of the Homo Sapiens variety, and plates of food on the dining table, and sharing such images with other iPhone users, then an iPhone might be perfectly adequate for the task.  ;D

The problem of the fascination with camera gear, that some people exhibit, is a part of the general fascination with so many products, such as stylish clothing, and cars, and housing. We tend not to buy such products for their utility purposes, but to satisfy our vanity and ego.

I agree with much of your analysis, but would go just a little step sideways: my first remembered contact with photography was not images made, but photographs of cameras in American magazine adverts. I found something beautiful in the build of those Leicas advertised during the early 50s. Also, Canon and Nikon ran ads, and I can recall wondering what f1 or f0,9 or whatever meant, but that it was very beautiful. I really had no idea, yet it all sounded so clever and impressive. I also knew an Indian gentleman who owned a tiny Minox and that, too, was an exciting camera to see. My own? I had some sort of Brownie reflex working on 127. I remember being stunned, one day in Bombay, walking into a camera shop and discovering the price of tripods. I had never suspected. How wonderful the world of the child, where cost doesn't register. Perhaps that means that the desire to become rich is a degeneration, a desire to return to childhood's freedoms? I'd risk it today!

So I do differ a bit from your view of thinking that things such as pretty cameras and cars are necessarily about ego and vanity; a child has not developed those emotions very far, I suspect, but an appreciation of intrinsic beauty may well exist from the beginning of life. Why else would one love, be besotted by boobs?

Why else would I love the fins of the '59 Coupe de Ville, I sometimes ask myself, and the bumpers of the earlier '56 more than of the '59? Why do I still believe that my Nikon F was a better-looking camera than those that were to follow, even though in reality, the F2 was far more comfortable to hold for hours on end simply because of the softened edges? Why do I still respect my wet printing but hardly at all my digital, which can allow (well, could when my printer worked) far more accuracy? I think I believe that it's all an instinctive thing, a natural appreciation  of what's just, well, right. (Don't confuse right with morality!) With regards to the prints: accuracy isn't the same as beauty; it can take time to realise that. I've known some pretty silly pretty girls and some dumb pretty boys, too, though far fewer of the latter: how can you tell when a boy is pretty?

So many problems, so few solutions; so many solutions to problems I don't have.

Rob
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 05:11:31 AM by Rob C »
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2017, 11:57:38 AM »

The difference from 1988, when I bought my first camera (Olympus AZ300 superzoom)? The amount of information available at one's fingertips. The in 1991 I bought my first SLR, a Canon EOS 1000 (aka Rebel). Why? Because my father had a Canon too, and I could afford it.

Ignorance is bliss. If you don't know other options exist, then you don't waste time getting information about them.

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2017, 01:37:56 PM »

Hi Eric,

sounds like a good arrangement. is there an option to show digital images on a large tablet?

Les
At least one member has shown images on a laptop once or twice, and nobody objected.

The same member usually brings beautiful prints, and I suspect everyone in the group shares the feeling that an image isn't quite finished until it exists as a print.

Eric
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Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2017, 04:13:21 PM »

At least one member has shown images on a laptop once or twice, and nobody objected.

The same member usually brings beautiful prints, and I suspect everyone in the group shares the feeling that an image isn't quite finished until it exists as a print.

Eric


I used to think a print was the product.

I now think it depends what suits the photographer. For a long time I saw the computer as the ultimate viewing medium, but today, I see the best results on my little iPad. I have no idea why everything looks so much better - it seems to me to have what I used to see on black/white prints that I had to make in '65 for my last boss from his M3 shots with one of the 21mm lenses. Just more "thick" with tonality.

I wonder if an Apple monitor for the computer would be better than my current LaCie.... nope, just thinkin' aloud!

Rob

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2017, 04:53:33 PM »

The trouble with any electronic device such as ipad or computer screen is that what you see on it can instantly be changed by turning a knob or pushing a slider, and you have no way of knowing how closely it comes to the photographer's vision. A print is fixed (and preferably adequately washed   ;) ) at least if it is processed well, and it doesn't change at all for a reasonable length of time.

Eric
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Redcrown

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2017, 06:04:49 PM »

I rarely seek fame, never fortune. But in the past year I had 2 prints on public display. Our local art center had the Vivian Maier exhibit and put out a call for local photogs to submit prints to accompany the exhibit. I sent two prints, they both got displayed.

The Maier exhibit was beautiful, in the main gallery with good lighting and space. The local photog prints were put in a narrow basement hallway where the staff offices and storage closets were. Standard dull, overhead florescent lighting. Ugly stuff.

Then I did a family portrait for a local bigwig politico who entertains a lot. I just gave him the digital file. He had a pro shop print large and frame larger. Months later I got to see it. It was hung over a sofa in a windowless parlor with dark wallpaper. Probably the room where he brings cronies to sip brandy, smoke cigars, and hatch nefarious plans. Two end table tungsten lamps provided the only light. Think caveman.

So a print is hardly "fixed", even if well washed. In both these cases, an iPad would have done a much better job of conveying the artist's vision.
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Two23

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2017, 07:15:50 PM »

I think most of the time the person asking the gear question already has a rough answer in their head, but asks anyway for perhaps two reasons.  First, it just helps to solidify the choice they've pretty much already made.  It's a type of "group approval."  The second reason seems to be just simple conversation, and a way of saying, "Hey, I'm here!"  Just as strangers standing in line together might start talking about weather, on internet groups we start a conversation about camera gear.  Over the years I've had a little fun with that, especially on message boards where the "status points" seem to go to those asking about the latest gear.  An example might be, "Should I buy Nikon's $10,000 lens with their new $3,000 camera, or the new $5,000 camera with the $8,000 lens?"  I've been known to then post a thread, "Would I be better off buying a 1932 Kodak Brownie 2F, or a 1937 Agfa Trolix?"  ;D  I then go on to list the "advantage" of each camera over the other.  Virtually everyone takes these posts seriously but has little clue as to what to make of it. 

I do have GAS, but with me it seems to have taken an odd turn.  My Nikon version is to have only a few "pieces," but make them the best possible.  I generally only carry three lenses with me, sometimes only one.  OTOH, I have an intense lust for lenses made before 1860 (especially those before 1850.)  I have three DSLR cameras (x2 D800E, one D5300).  I really don't have any urge to buy more or update the D800E until the used D850 prices fall below $1,800.  However I check ebay daily looking for antebellum lenses, and fine cameras from the 20th C.  I'm not sure how many cameras I've owned in the past five years.  Last year I sold off most of a box camera collection of 22 pieces.  The proceeds went into my Hassleblad fund! :)  I have an upcoming trip to Seattle and you might think I'm having trouble selecting camera gear to bring.  Au contraire, mon frère!  I will bring the 1954 Rolleiflex to use in the daytime, and the Nikon D5300 to use at night.  It really doesn't matter, does it?  I'll have fun with whatever I take.


Kent in SD
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Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2017, 03:43:40 AM »

I think most of the time the person asking the gear question already has a rough answer in their head, but asks anyway for perhaps two reasons.  First, it just helps to solidify the choice they've pretty much already made.  It's a type of "group approval."  The second reason seems to be just simple conversation, and a way of saying, "Hey, I'm here!"  Just as strangers standing in line together might start talking about weather, on internet groups we start a conversation about camera gear.  Over the years I've had a little fun with that, especially on message boards where the "status points" seem to go to those asking about the latest gear.  An example might be, "Should I buy Nikon's $10,000 lens with their new $3,000 camera, or the new $5,000 camera with the $8,000 lens?"  I've been known to then post a thread, "Would I be better off buying a 1932 Kodak Brownie 2F, or a 1937 Agfa Trolix?"  ;D  I then go on to list the "advantage" of each camera over the other.  Virtually everyone takes these posts seriously but has little clue as to what to make of it. 

I do have GAS, but with me it seems to have taken an odd turn.  My Nikon version is to have only a few "pieces," but make them the best possible.  I generally only carry three lenses with me, sometimes only one.  OTOH, I have an intense lust for lenses made before 1860 (especially those before 1850.)  I have three DSLR cameras (x2 D800E, one D5300).  I really don't have any urge to buy more or update the D800E until the used D850 prices fall below $1,800.  However I check ebay daily looking for antebellum lenses, and fine cameras from the 20th C.  I'm not sure how many cameras I've owned in the past five years.  Last year I sold off most of a box camera collection of 22 pieces.  The proceeds went into my Hassleblad fund! :)  I have an upcoming trip to Seattle and you might think I'm having trouble selecting camera gear to bring.  Au contraire, mon frère!  I will bring the 1954 Rolleiflex to use in the daytime, and the Nikon D5300 to use at night.  It really doesn't matter, does it?  I'll have fun with whatever I take.


Kent in SD


Not intended as a trick question: why do/did you collect old cameras and lenses?

There is always the possbility I am reading an extension of this, of course:

"Over the years I've had a little fun with that, especially on message boards where the "status points" seem to go to those asking about the latest gear.  An example might be, "Should I buy Nikon's $10,000 lens with their new $3,000 camera, or the new $5,000 camera with the $8,000 lens?"  I've been known to then post a thread, "Would I be better off buying a 1932 Kodak Brownie 2F, or a 1937 Agfa Trolix?"  ;D  I then go on to list the "advantage" of each camera over the other.  Virtually everyone takes these posts seriously but has little clue as to what to make of it."

Rob

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2017, 09:27:32 AM »

The Brownie 2F obviously beats the Trolix hands down, because it's older.   ;)
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Two23

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2017, 10:06:43 AM »


Not intended as a trick question: why do/did you collect old cameras and lenses?



I just got bored shooting only digital.  I picked up my mother-n-law's 1958 Brownie Hawkeye when we were cleaning out her house and just started shooting it.  It was fun!  And, I got a lot of interesting images.  I started reading up on the photographers of bygone eras and really liked the classic look to their images.  So, I began buying cameras that in their day were either very common or were the "hot camera" at the time.  Interesting cameras I've picked up are the Ansco Memo (1928), Kodak Panoram (1909), Kodak Bantam (1938), "baby" Rolleiflex (1940), and a Ferrania box camera.  Nice cameras include (1942) Leica IIIc, (1954) Rolleiflex, Nikon F3T (1983), Kodak Special No.2 (1914), Voigtlander Vitessa (1950), Voigtlander Bergheil (1928), Voigtlander Bessa RF (1937), Zeiss Ikon Cocarette Luxus (1928), and a Watson & Son half plate (1880s).   All of these are very nicely made and are art in themselves.  I just love mechanical things!  I'm also fascinated by the photographers of the past and the world they lived in.  I also got into historical lenses which I can shoot on my 4x5 or 5x7.  Mostly these are from 1845 to 1860, or 1905 to 1930.  It fascinates me to see how photo equipment advanced through the decades.  It seems like it generally advanced in spurts more than a steady straight line.  The Petzval lens in 1840 was the first leap, then anastigmat lenses in 1890 (Zeiss Protar), then shutters became reliable around 1910 (Compound, Dekel,) then coated lenses generally after 1946, then exposure meters beginning in the mid 1950s.  There is also a pronounced trend of cameras and gear becoming ever smaller.  A century ago most of us would have been shooting either a 5x7 camera (U.S.) or half plate (British.)  The "hot lens" was a Zeiss Tessar in Compound shutter.


Kent in SD

Below photo:
inspection of a 1928 Ansco Memo.
Camera shot half frame on 35mm movie film.
This was before the standard film cassettes
were made, so film was loaded in the dark
into cassettes included with the camera.
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Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2017, 12:49:59 PM »

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=james+ravilious+a+life&client=safari&hl=en-gb&prmd=isvn&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&fir=-tt89-c6zPOs5M%253A%252Cj-tgJztYn2lK_M%252C_%253B1qSHc8ekXmbJFM%253A%252C1IHjCjP_aGptHM%252C_%253BX2IOGVdic_505M%253A%252CuVISoyIBnsYWNM%252C_%253BA9BFjw45XZUU8M%253A%252C9r7UeNt5p89fcM%252C_%253Bj0uYIcLsQVeV0M%253A%252Cg8cwFzpEV8vfXM%252C_%253BvgFFFCpBnRxNSM%253A%252CVzkMB7WYicBmZM%252C_%253BGmc6JtuwGoTgdM%253A%252CauWuY8A42fbcSM%252C_%253BJZgCDuPi0LEVxM%253A%252CZf7P3DLJFlePvM%252C_%253BtplrZme5WfvivM%253A%252C9r7UeNt5p89fcM%252C_%253Bq9wpP50E_c7jKM%253A%252C1IHjCjP_aGptHM%252C_&usg=__nsAEYqLanX6DyamEoiqcEXlnm6w%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjx7a_altDXAhUJxRQKHbRHCgEQsAQIfg&biw=1024&bih=729

I offer the above set of images, but there is also a video that was shot for BBCtv, if my memory is right. I had a link to it on my computer, and if I don't forget, I shall add it later when I'm off the iPad.

The point about the man who shot the pictures is that he worked with Leica and some very old lenses that appealed to him a lot. He would go as far as to mask the lenshoods down to make them more efficient.

My Rollei tlr was the basic model T (no joking - that was its designation!) with a 3.5/75 Tessar. It wasn't the sharpest, nowhere like the 2.8/80 Planar for my 'blad, but it seemed to have a kind of signature plasticity as it's "look". I didn't do that work at that time, but I think it would have been pretty interesting for nudes.

Your Vitessa, wasn't that fitted with a rapid winding device like a plunger? Another Vitesse was a Triumph car, but that's off-topic. ;-) An odd machine of the 50s was the Periflex, made, I think, by Ken Corfield, who was a pretty bright and adventurous UK engineer who also made one of the early pancake cameras. The Periflex had a sort of periscope device which might have been for focussing, but as I never saw one, I don't really know. A further small, Brit camera was the Reid, and looked like the Leica of pre-M variety. There was a monorail based on 135 format, the Kennedy (?) which could have been interesting if you wanted to do near work, but I think bellows became very difficult for distance shots.

You're right: there really is a huge variety of stuff out there, and I do see how it could become interesting to build up a little museum... I wish you good fortune.

Rob
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 12:53:41 PM by Rob C »
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2017, 02:07:02 PM »

The appreciation of fine gear and photographic artistic expression are two independent interests. You can be involved completely in one without any interest in the other, imo. But in real life, the 2 interests intersect in most practitioners. Probably because it's fun.
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Rob C

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2017, 03:51:44 PM »

The appreciation of fine gear and photographic artistic expression are two independent interests. You can be involved completely in one without any interest in the other, imo. But in real life, the 2 interests intersect in most practitioners. Probably because it's fun.

Really? I never felt spending large sums of money on camera stuff fun; essential, at one stage, but fun?

There is a definite sense of high expectations with some buys, but it doesn't seem like fun - more like a hope for the best.

Actually, thinking of the term fun in any depth is something new to me. I have never been sure what it really signifies; it's a bit like that other word, nice, which fails to have a really clear sense of purpose about it. I really think it's one of those typical words that are used to gloss over things we are not terribly sure about. In fact, the more I think about it, the more surprising it seems that language actually works! Perhaps that's why some of us prefer making images because then, as with another famous character, our expressions can mean exactly what we want them to mean. I rather like that; I suppose it means I may find myself having to go out and make some more pictures, just to have something to talk to myself about over lunch a few days from now. I'm glad I'm not into watercolours... especially were I living in India; wandering about, looking lost, and carrying a jar of water around would not be good for the image.

;-)

Rob

Robert Roaldi

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2017, 04:09:20 PM »

Really? I never felt spending large sums of money on camera stuff fun; essential, at one stage, but fun?

There is a definite sense of high expectations with some buys, but it doesn't seem like fun - more like a hope for the best.

Actually, thinking of the term fun in any depth is something new to me. I have never been sure what it really signifies; it's a bit like that other word, nice, which fails to have a really clear sense of purpose about it. I really think it's one of those typical words that are used to gloss over things we are not terribly sure about. In fact, the more I think about it, the more surprising it seems that language actually works! Perhaps that's why some of us prefer making images because then, as with another famous character, our expressions can mean exactly what we want them to mean. I rather like that; I suppose it means I may find myself having to go out and make some more pictures, just to have something to talk to myself about over lunch a few days from now. I'm glad I'm not into watercolours... especially were I living in India; wandering about, looking lost, and carrying a jar of water around would not be good for the image.

;-)

Rob


You may be over-thinking it. To my mind, if it's not food or shelter and you choose to spend the money anyway, then you're probably spending it on "fun". We live in very affluent cultures, spending money on stuff is one of the things we do to amuse ourselves. We may not always like it, or like to admit it anyway, but it cannot be escaped. It's a defining aspect of our culture.

Other than in a philosophy class or court of law, worrying about nuances of meaning of everyday colloquial words might be a waste of time. That is, once the discussion is over, how are you farther ahead? Some things are "nice", in that they don't hurt or irritate you, and leave you with a slightly better feeling than a few minutes ago. It's best not to worry about it, I find, rarely more important than your next coffee or snack. Now, that's important.

Bon appetit.
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Telecaster

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2017, 04:33:02 PM »

My Rollei is a T, in blue/grey leather! The 75mm Tessar lens has a lovely rendering quality. Haven’t put a roll of film through the camera in awhile but I exercise the shutter every so often.

My uncle had a Reid, and I imagine one of my cousins has it now. He managed to get hold of a screwmount Zeiss 50/1.5 Sonnar while stationed in Germany post-WWII and used that camera/lens pair for decades.

-Dave-
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Discontent
« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2017, 10:09:56 PM »

There's also a whole lot of pursuing the veritable Joneses.  You're simply NOBODY if you're not using the latest and best gear.  Get a bunch of photographers together and what do they talk about....  The subjects and locations and events we love most, the "real" reason we take photos?  Maybe... a little.  But no one sits forward in their chairs, raises their voice and gets energized till they start unzipping their camera bags to see who's better than the rest.

I find the statement to be true amongst hobbyist and amateurs.  I can't tell you the dread I have of being hunted down by an hobbyist on a shoot, in some public location, who wants to waste my time asking me about cameras.   >:(

However, I have yet to have an in depth conversation with other professionals that revolves around cameras.  More or less we talk about the business, client issues, marketing, good assistants to recommend, and, if gear comes up, it almost always revolves around lighting and good rental houses. 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 10:13:03 PM by JoeKitchen »
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner
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