Like a lot of people on this forum I am somewhat of an equipment junkie and I ow n a variety of 35mm, medium format and LF equipment. Because of other comittmen ts, I have recently had less money to spend on photography and I have decided to concentrate primarily on LF. Because I can't just totally quit buying equipmen t or taking pictures(If I did I would probably have siezures and my wife might t hink that I had taken a mistress)I have been trying to think of ways to cut cost s and stretch the available funds without selling off any equipment. While ther e is a lot of information on this forum that will help in doing this, I don't kn ow that I have seen this question asked specifically. And with all the expertis e on the forum, I am curious as to what others in this situation might have come up with. So far, I have come up with the following money saving ideas:
1. I bought an Epson flatbed scanner with film adapter. This has been great for evaluating my negatives without cranking up the darkroom to make contact prints or test prints.
2. I have come to like outdated paper. I have gotten some very nice prints usin g old outdated paper that I find on the sale table at the local camera stores. I have never really had a problem with any of these papers and some seem to have a quality that can't be duplicated with newer papers. I especially like using su ch paper for portaits. I suppose that someday I will get burned buying the old paper, but so far, so good.
3. I shop for most of my camera bags at the outdoor, luggage and cooler sections of WalMart, Sam's Club and other discount stores. There is some good usable st uff here! I recently got a great backpack at Sam's Club that is nicely padded wi th lots of pockets for all my field gear for about $40. This may not seem like the best area to save money, but I am hard on field equipment and go through bag s and tripods rather quickly. So it is a somewhat frequent expense. I don't fin d that the more expensive camera bags hold up much better than the stuff I find at the discount stores.
4. I refuse to save money by using older lenses. I recently replaced a usable 12 7mm Kodak Ektar with a new Rodenstock 135mm. I just don't like the uncertainty of older lenses and shutters.
I would appreciate any cost cutting ideas you have or comments on any of the abo ve. Thanks!
BTW, I enjoy this forum greatly and have been reading regularly for several year s. I don't post very often, but I am going to try to do so more frequently just as soon as I develop any kind of expertise. (Don't hold your breath for this!)