View Full Version : Photographer or Camera Collector
I was just wondering if anyone else has this dilemma, It seems lately that I find my self with to many cameras, lenses,film holders, and boards. I could supply a small army with photo gear.
I shoot 4 x 5 mainly with my Korona, and Crown Graphic, I also have 3 century's, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, and 11 x 14, Four of my cameras are the studio type--( Take up a lot of room )
It seems once I get my greedy little hands on a camera, I have to find every accessory that goes with it
Pretty similar here. I have come to the brink of starting to sell, but not there yet! I do use 3 of my LF cameras, though. Five go unused.
I have some cameras that I haven't used in 3-5 years; too many format systems. I finally built a cabinet for my gear and it is full. So why am I contemplating an 8x10? Misery loves company.
John, if you can afford to lock funds up in cameras and have the space to store them and acquiring them pleases you, why ask us whether you should stop? Just go and be happy.
FWIW, I have a similar weakness for lenses. I've found four, um, mantras that restrain me somewhat:
"The cost of making it usable is too high." This is very effective for lenses in barrel.
"I already have more lenses of that maximum aperture/focal length than I can carry." This is very effective on lenses in shutter that are no better than one (or more) I have.
"I don't have the money." This has prevented me from buying a 35/4.5 Apo Grandagon and a 53/4.5 Biogon. And it will work forever because those lenses' prices will never come down enough.
"I'll never use it." This is effective against heavy lenses and lenses longer than my current longest. I have yet to find a situation where using my longest makes photographic sense. Maybe in a few months in Florida I'll need it for some rookery shots. Maybe. But until that happens ...
Good luck, have fun,
It's pretty hard to love photography without loving camera.
I fight the strong temptation to become a collector by never owning more than 1 camera of any given format at one time. When I buy a new camera I sell an old one. So far (about 15 years) that's worked, though lately I've been battling cravings for a Leica screw mount and/or another 8x10 Deardorff, neither of which I have any sensible use for. That fight was at least temporarily won when I received my annual bill for medical insurance premiums yesterday.
I'm selling some lenses and other gear that I never use and am going to buy a 8x10 Deardorff. My Kodak 2D has to many limitations and the Sinar is too heavy to take into the field.
If the price of film keeps going up, I may become a collector. But there's still too much paper and chemistry to go through first, so we'll see what happens. :o
It seems to me that if you actually use your camera gear, you can call yourself a photographer.
If you keep it on a shelf in a closet and don't use it, you're a collector.
I'm a combination of both. Have cameras i no longer use and way too many LF lenses.
I follow Brian Ellis on this nowadays: one camera at a a time per format. Years ago, i felt insecure without having a back-up body - same but crappier - just in case. Now my backup is a digital Hasselblad which gives no joy at all but which has saved the situation more than once. With the HB, a Leica and a home-made 5x7 that makes 5 cameras. I would feel a better photographer I got rid of 5x7 and Leica.
However I do collect. I have 20 folding quarter-plate cameras, 'vest pocket' Eclipses and Xits, made by J.F.Shew between the 1890's and 1911. They weigh nothing at all. and are pleasure to hold.
Considering the depressing number of pictures I've shot this year, I must be a collector.
I hope that I'll shoot a lot more next year - now that I also have one more year in my relatively new job I should be able to find both the time and the inspiration.
I have always considered myself a user rather than a photographer because the latter title tends to suggest that I know what I am doing . . . and that's highly doubtful.
I have carefully bought only cameras that use modern, available film, so that all of my cameras can be users rather than shelf-queens. But, I'm afraid that's a cop out, as I can't reasonably explain why I need about 20 Minolta SRTs, a truck load of LF cameras, and a gob of MF cameras in order to take a few pictures now and then.
So, I guess I am a collector by default, a user secondarily, and a long shot as a photographer wannabe! :D
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