7.02.2013

Before you sell that old camera go back and look at some of the work you created with it...


There's always new photo stuff coming out and I'm as fickle (or more so..) as the average photographer. It took all the lip biting and jaw tightening self restraint I could muster not to buy into the initial hysteria surrounding the Nikon D800 cameras and plunge into another system shift. The thing that saved me was my embracement of the EVF world view and the hold that superior technology has on me. In retrospect it was good to stick with my Sony cameras and leverage their special advantages for video. While the D800 files might be a tad more detailed that would be the only real advantage of the camera for me, and for my way of working it's not much of a perk.

But I never seem to learn and the other day I was handling yet another camera at the camera store and my undisciplined brain started leading me down a pathway that promised a newer, better and snappier set of tools than those I had in my own camera bag. Well, I'm pretty taken with the Sony SLR stuff (this is how the thoughts progress...) but I haven't used the Sony Nex stuff in a while (damn Samsung NX300...) and I could probably trade in all of my Nex stuff and get the new stuff. An ill-conceived plan began to form and before I knew it I was heading home to fetch gear and all the while my gear driven dark side of the brain was tossing out little cupcakes of imagined happiness....if only I had that new gear to play with. Ah, almost seduced once more by nothing more than the beautiful sound of a wonderful, mechanical shutter mechanism and some nice exterior design. But if I had gone through with my thinly considered plan I'd have ended up with two overlapping SLR systems and no fun, little toys.

I'd like to write that my good sense and reasoning bubbled up and overwhelmed my more random and emotionally driven acquisition glands but the reality is that my plans were thwarted by the drudgery of maintenance. 

I'd been on a trip to Boston in the Spring with the family and took only the two Sony Nex 7 cameras (Michael Johnston is wrong; I do not have seventeen of the cameras. But I suppose I would if money were no object). I also took only three small but potent lenses. Two from Sigma and one Sony. The focal lengths were: 19mm, 30mm, and 50mm. I shot a bit and when I came back I stumbled into project after project and never really paid much attention to the images I'd shot. Well, as I was cleaning up folders, making space and generally getting ready to incorporate the new Mac Pro machine into my workflow the minute it is released I came across my  Boston Images folder. When I looked at the images I found them compelling and different than images from my past and present cameras. I found that I really responded to the tonalities and colors in a direct way. I resolved that, whether or not I flirted with newer or different cameras, I would have to practice camera polygamy because the Nex flagships were too cool to give up. I guess they will eventually go into the stack with the Kodak cameras from the early years of this century and I'll trot them out to prove, in 2019, just how good today's technology was. Is.







12 comments:

Anonymous said...

AMEN.

Frank Grygier said...

I have resolved only to buy the next greatest thing from the system I have. When the OMD 10 is my clutches I will marvel at the 400 focus points and wonder how I ever got a sharp image. Ah...the siren call of new and better gear.

Bat54 said...

"...I was handling yet another camera..." You're killin' me Kirk. What was the camera? (Or is it too painful to discuss...;))

Silvertooth said...

I was thinking similar thoughts recently. I visited Houston's Sony store and played with the A99, A77, NEX 6, and Nex 7. Mercy! I fell in love with the EVF. I love the Sony and Minolta lenses. I then came to the realization that my daughter needs braces and gently returned the cameras to their stands.

I got back to the house and looked at some of the photographs I had made recently with my Minolta X-700 and the assorted Rokkor MC and MD lenses. I remembered you mentioning the adaptors from Fotodiox so I ordered the MD to Nikon F adaptor. It arrived yesterday. The MD Rokkor 70-210 f4 works beautifully on the D90. Initial testing is wonderful! Thank you for the recommendation of Fotodiox and seasoned gear. My daughter's smile also thanks you!

Michael Matthews said...

"...my gear driven dark side of the brain was tossing out little cupcakes of imagined happiness..."

Marvelous!

Kirk Tuck said...

Silly passing fancy. It was a Pentax k5-2. Nice body. Tiny finder. Beautifully tuned shutter sound. Sigh.

Kirk Tuck said...

Much nicer, sweeter and more important to be a good father than a good gear collector...

Silvertooth said...

Agree with you fully. Have a wonderful Fourth of July. It looks as though we in the Lone Star State may have some relief from the heat for the festivities!

Unknown said...

Kirk,
Have posted here before about how your Nex-7 blogging led me to buy one - and am still enjoying my super high-res mini camera kit. I have those two Sigma lenses and the Sony 50, all terrific glass on the Nex-7 (and all perform way beyond their price).
Recently added the truly awesome Voigtlander 75mm x 1.8 lens, this thing is like a Roll Royce. Had to trade superb optics (and one of the few tele primes I can get for my Nex-7) against losing auto everything - so now I shoot old-skool style manual with the Voigt lens. Very tricky to focus at wide apertures, even with Sony's excellent aids, but when you nail focus with this lens the image quality from the Nex-7 is astonishing.

I'm still thrilled I can carry almost everything I need for superb shots in a tiny Billingham bag, the Nex-7 is almost with me everywhere and I'm shooting for more images because of that.

Davymac.

AlexG said...

i most use a Fuji s3The newest camera I use is a Nikon D90 or Olympus E-p1, the one I most use a fuji S3. They all work perfectly well and though some of the newer cameras have a few things that would be nice I just don't desire them. Can't stop getting monographs though always good to look at a lot of other artists.

PJM said...

I see cupcakes all the time. But you're right about the EVF: once you use it there is no going back. I have a DSLR (or two) without an EVF and every time I use it I wonder where my information has gone. My two sons were using my OMD the other day on a short vacation in Algonquin Park in Canada and they were crazily excited about being able to make the image brighter and darker by adjusting the dials. When I showed them the images they made, they both said that they had dialed in too much light or too much darkness. They are 10 and 6. I thought to myself that they are never going to be happy using an optical viewfinder. It isn't because they are part of a newer, smartphone generation. The EVF works and they know it. I know it, too. By the way, the water in the lakes in Algonquin was awesome.

Ágúst og Kolbrún said...

These are good pictures. I've been considering the Nex-7 - but so far I too much enjoy using my old Minolta Autocord :-) http://www.autocord.com