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Author Topic: Your Camera Does NOT Matter  (Read 66951 times)

Slough

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Your Camera Does NOT Matter
« Reply #120 on: March 27, 2008, 08:22:46 pm »

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I'm surprised that so many contributors on this forum find it necessary to refute what is clearly meant in Ken's article and restate the bleeding obvious.

I think you have issues with reading. Of course what the previous sentence means is "I think your reading comprehension is superb".  At least in Ken's world!
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Ray

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« Reply #121 on: March 27, 2008, 09:15:22 pm »

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I think you have issues with reading. Of course what the previous sentence means is "I think your reading comprehension is superb".  At least in Ken's world!
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My reading comprehension is superb in anyone's world, I hope, except when the language is foreign, to state the obvious.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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« Reply #122 on: March 28, 2008, 12:06:07 am »

Unless you're a politician, "interpretation" normally doesn't mean reversing the meaning of what is stated literally.
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dalethorn

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« Reply #123 on: March 28, 2008, 10:06:41 am »

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That's a stretch - maybe you can give examples. No doubt there are talented amateurs around but I have yet to see anyone whose work surpasses that of the top pros.
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I see this is going to be a tough sell. If a "top pro" really is that good, then it's not because they were paid well. It's because they had a personal interest in the subject that equates to something not related to pay (the simple definition of 'pro' = one who is paid for the work). This could go to a major philosophical discussion, but I don't think that's necessary - most of us can understand that the best work comes from people who were not necessarily hired to do the particular piece, nor were motivated by money to produce it. You just can't buy talent, unless you believe Warhol etc. is talent.
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garyb50

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« Reply #124 on: March 28, 2008, 02:22:20 pm »

Well, I AM an artist & I agree with every post in this thread.
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lovell

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« Reply #125 on: March 28, 2008, 05:42:46 pm »

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... or novels, poetry, religious texts, movies, TV dramas, sitcoms etc etc etc, none of which should be taken literally and all of which need some kind of interpretation  .
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Technical articles are not in the same genres as those other things you listed above.  Technical articles, reviews should not have to be interpreted, and have little subjectivity in them.

I suspect you already know this, but we humans have to justify our posture ;-)
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

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Nick Rains

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« Reply #126 on: March 28, 2008, 07:39:55 pm »

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I see this is going to be a tough sell. If a "top pro" really is that good, then it's not because they were paid well. It's because they had a personal interest in the subject that equates to something not related to pay (the simple definition of 'pro' = one who is paid for the work).
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Being paid and earning a living out of photography allows someone with even a modest amount of talent to develop their skills to their fullest potential. Being simply paid does not make someone a pro, earning a living by being skilled does.

I also think you are considering the more arty side of photography when you say 'best work'; in the raw commercial world 'talent' is less important than craftsmanship and training.

This is probably better off discussed in a new thread should you choose to do so, but I would say this: you may not be able to buy talent (if such a thing exists) but you certainly can buy competence.
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Ray

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« Reply #127 on: March 28, 2008, 08:42:28 pm »

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Technical articles are not in the same genres as those other things you listed above.  Technical articles, reviews should not have to be interpreted, and have little subjectivity in them.

I suspect you already know this, but we humans have to justify our posture ;-)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=185078\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The article which is the subject of this thread is not a technical article but more of a rumination or reflection on the importance of the sophistication of the equipment used (the camera) in the taking of a photograph.

But I suspect you know this   .

Also, technical articles and reviews do have to be interpreted, especially when they consist of raw data which can sometimes be contradictory or inconsistent.
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Ray

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« Reply #128 on: March 28, 2008, 08:47:04 pm »

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Unless you're a politician, "interpretation" normally doesn't mean reversing the meaning of what is stated literally.
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Ah! So Ken's only sin (in the article under discussion) is behaving a bit like a politician?
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Slough

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« Reply #129 on: March 29, 2008, 09:08:22 am »

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Ah! So Ken's only sin (in the article under discussion) is behaving a bit like a politician?
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I think you read into the article whatever suits your beliefs.

Anyway Ken is a hypocrite since he is one of the biggest gear heads around.
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Ray

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« Reply #130 on: March 30, 2008, 12:09:45 am »

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I think you read into the article whatever suits your beliefs.

Anyway Ken is a hypocrite since he is one of the biggest gear heads around.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=185178\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Phew! You're asking for trouble here. Aren't we all receptive to ideas that suit our preconceptions and experience? We are all to a large extent a product of our upbringing, our education, our early experiences whether joyful or traumatic, the books we've read, the people we've met, and not least of all, our genetic make-up.

When reading other people's opinions we agree or disagree in accordance with our own experience, but we also need to use a bit of nous in understanding the general context. You wouldn't find a sitcom entertaining if you were persuaded it was a serious drama. In fact, you might find it quite stupid.

I repeat, Ken's article is not a technical article. He's not speaking in technical language but colloquialisms. "It doesn't matter" is a colloquial expression.

I understand this. Why don't you?
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #131 on: March 30, 2008, 04:28:23 am »

The term you're looking for is "hyperbole", not "colloquialism". But your argument is indefensible in either case. Words mean things, and "it doesn't matter" means "it doesn't matter", not "it can matter greatly sometimes, depending on what you're shooting, but in many situations the user is the limiting factor, and not the camera". Claiming the two statements are equivalent on the basis of colloquialism is no more intellectually defensible than claiming Clinton's statement that he "did not have sexual relations with that woman" wasn't a lie because fellatio is not "sexual relations".
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Slough

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« Reply #132 on: March 30, 2008, 04:34:47 am »

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Phew! You're asking for trouble here. Aren't we all receptive to ideas that suit our preconceptions and experience? We are all to a large extent a product of our upbringing, our education, our early experiences whether joyful or traumatic, the books we've read, the people we've met, and not least of all, our genetic make-up.

When reading other people's opinions we agree or disagree in accordance with our own experience, but we also need to use a bit of nous in understanding the general context. You wouldn't find a sitcom entertaining if you were persuaded it was a serious drama. In fact, you might find it quite stupid.

I repeat, Ken's article is not a technical article. He's not speaking in technical language but colloquialisms. "It doesn't matter" is a colloquial expression.

I understand this. Why don't you?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=185329\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Ray: I'm sure you haven't read the article so here are some quotes:

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"...it's entirely an artist's eye, patience and skill that makes an image and not his tools."

"Your equipment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image."

"Buying new gear will NOT improve your photography."

"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference."


"Having too much camera equipment is the best way to get the worst photos."

If you fail to understand the meaning of terms such as "does not" and "will not", I can explain them to you, just ask.
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Ray

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« Reply #133 on: March 30, 2008, 06:00:51 am »

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Ray: I'm sure you haven't read the article so here are some quotes:
If you fail to understand the meaning of terms such as "does not" and "will not", I can explain them to you, just ask.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=185351\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I'm a bit worried by guys who voted twice for George Bush, so just in case you are one of those (and I apologise if you're not), I'll take the trouble to explain.

The issue here is not about the definition of such common words as 'does not' and 'will not', but key words such as 'image' and 'improve'.

(1) "...it's entirely an artist's eye, patience and skill that makes an image and not his tools."

This sentence means, "it's entirely an artist's eye, patience and skill that provides the qualitative, distinctive factors that separate the extraordinary image from the ordinary image, not his tools".

You see, Ken's phraseology was more succinct.

(2) "Your equipment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image."

This means, "your equipment does not affect those important aspects of an image derived from the artist' eye, patience and skill".

(3) "Buying new gear will NOT improve your photography."

This means, "buying new gear will not help you create memorable and exceptional images if you are totally devoid of talent, have no artistic eye, no patience and no skill".

(4) "The camera doesn't make a bit of difference."

This is just a repitition of the above point (3).

(5) "Having too much camera equipment is the best way to get the worst photos."

This means that having too much camera equipment can detract from the artistic focus on creating a fine and inspirational image as opposed to a merely competent image. If the equipment doesn't get in the way, then clearly you haven't got too much.

Hope I've been of some help here in explaining Ken's words.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2008, 06:08:12 am by Ray »
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #134 on: March 30, 2008, 11:42:25 am »

And in each case, you are assuming things Rockwell never wrote even once in his article.
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Slough

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« Reply #135 on: March 30, 2008, 11:56:37 am »

Ray: You are completely changing the meaning of the quotes by inserting your own words. Anyone can do that but I don't see the point. If you want to live in a world where language is so fluid that it can mean anything, then fine, just don't expect me to take part.
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lovell

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« Reply #136 on: March 30, 2008, 04:17:05 pm »

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The article which is the subject of this thread is not a technical article but more of a rumination or reflection on the importance of the sophistication of the equipment used (the camera) in the taking of a photograph.

But I suspect you know this   .

Also, technical articles and reviews do have to be interpreted, especially when they consist of raw data which can sometimes be contradictory or inconsistent.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=185104\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

KR's article is within the realm of a "technical" document, and god help the newbies that read it!

You are wrong again!  Technical articles are interpreted within the literal meanings of the words, sentences used in the article, and one has the unspoken understand with the author that one should find meaning in what was actually written....you wronglfully expect words, sentences and themes in Mr. KR's piece of excrement to be bent, and meanings to be somehow ascertained as to expect the reader to read between the lines.  In short, you extract meaning that does not exist in KR's literal words.  This is not interpretation...this is dillusion on your part.

Just be a man, and admit KR's article in question is pure cr@p.  For you to spend many posts to defend KR says more about you then him.
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

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Plekto

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« Reply #137 on: March 30, 2008, 05:13:14 pm »

Wow.  I'm a bit late getting into this, but here's my take on this:

1 - The only thing that really matters in photography is your optics and whether you understand how to use them(hint, if you have only 2-3 lenses, you're making massive compromises already unless you're doing only one type of shooting, like large format scenery)

If you go to his site, he goes on and on and ON about gear and lenses and so on.  

He may say it doesn't matter, but over and over on various sites in addition to his, one thing is always mentioned the most.  The lens.  

So it should be changed to "The most important piece of equipment in photography is the lens."   This I can agree with, and it's why a lot of old school cameras from the past still do amazing things.  It's hard to beat a 40 year old 50mm 1.2 lens for low light with most of the newer stuff.  At best they tend to equal it.  Yet, that old pre-digital/non AF lens can be had for dirt cheap in a lot of cases.

2 - Optical always will trump digital when it counts.  No place is this more apparent than in the prints and enlargements.  Typical 400DPI printing looks fine because it's what we're mostly used to, but if you find a good professionally done old-school enlargement and put them side by side, it's kind of sobering.  We forgot what good printing looked like thanks to the labs and computers cutting corners.  

That said, a lot of good results can be had for cheap with good old fashioned film and a good manual lens that you can't get with digital unless you spend literally 10x the price.   A lot of the examples that I see Ken and others tout as reasons why the gear isn't important are shot with old cameras with good optics and good film.  This gives you a huge advantage versus digital right away, especially at the lower end,  and most of them are dead-simple to use.  

IE - A $50 used rangefinder with some modern film blows the socks off of a typical $500 digital camera.  That's not the gear not mattering, it's in fact, exactly the opposite.  The thing Ken and the others miss is that just because it's less expensive doesn't mean it's not worthy compared to the new toys.
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Nick Rains

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« Reply #138 on: March 30, 2008, 07:01:24 pm »

I've made my thoughts clear on some of KRs opinions, but his more objective articles are well worth looking at, like this one.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/85mm-bokeh.htm

I don't know many people who would have access to all these lenses at the same time.

This is much better and if he would stick to relatively objective articles like this he would gain a lot more credibility. This is genuinely useful info but, and I can't resist this, it rather does make a mockery of the 'equipment doesn't matter' dogma.
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TaoMaas

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« Reply #139 on: March 30, 2008, 11:19:03 pm »

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KR's article is within the realm of a "technical" document, and god help the newbies that read it!
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It's actually more of an opinion piece or editorial.
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