View Full Version : rec.photo.equip.large format forum, comments on

30-Sep-2003, 18:31
I used to follow that forum closely. It seemed to have a lot of interesting people contributing who were highly involved in the technical as well as the historical aspects of the genre (especially R.K.). Then when Google took it over, and I changed internet providers I was unable to log on, and stopped participating, and recently returned just to see how it was going. IT is a MESS -- even worse than the various Leica Forums and their egocentric contributers. I have begun to see why the Photo.net LF moderaters overreacted in censoring in order to prevent this kind of brohaha occuring on their forum. So I thank you again, Tuan and your associates, for this forum. (Incidentally, are BS/HP and SS/VC two aliases for the same overbearing person, or are they two different people with one and the same sociopathic personality? They seem to be responsible for 90% of the ill will on those forums. PS, it's okay with me for you to censor any or all of this thread.)

Bob Salomon
1-Oct-2003, 04:23
I have never used a false name on any newsgroup and have always used my real name and supplied a real email address unlike some participants on this forum. I have no connection with Steve Simmons other then advertising in his magazines.

If you were to attend a show like the upcoming PhotoPlus in NY from 10/30 to 11/1 you could actually meet each of us in our respective booths.

Frank Petronio
1-Oct-2003, 05:01
I appreciate Tuan's work on the LF forum and I enjoy visiting and occassionally posting. I also think Bob Salomon has been getting unfairly roasted lately and people should back off. With good moderators and participants this forum should become the standard for gaining and sharing information on LF photo.

But... I also enjoy the lively teasing and debate going on over at the photo.net Leica forum. Knowing that the participants will rip a question to shreads keeps it interesting. Frankly, I don't expect accuracy or consideration over there - some of the people are outright jerks. However, it is a guilty pleasure. And they post 5 to 10 times more often than here, so there is more going on.

For instance, last week I posted a Leica equipment question and the thread devolved into a debate about a poster's comments being racist. It was clearly off-topic and the some of the replies were harsh and/or just stupid. But it was also interesting to read opinions from around the world, from both Nazi refugees and former German soldiers. On Tuan's forum the thread would be killed as soon as it went OT. But on the Leica forum it went on. And other than using up server space, what did it hurt? But as I said, the Leica forum isn't the first place to go for factual, helpful information - it is more like the tabloid newspaper of the photo world.

Remember, this is only the internet. Yoy don't have to deal with these people directly, face to face. You can always skip the forum or ignore a question. We have the control.

Randall Cherry
1-Oct-2003, 05:23
What Frank said. Photography has a soul, and that soul encompasses more than simply which is the sharpest lens or the most rigid field camera.


Brian Ellis
1-Oct-2003, 05:53
I've been an active participant in the rec.photo.large format group for about eight years. I agree that the dialogue there has deteriorated in recent months, I think in large part because a couple new people who are in dire need of an anger management course have started using the group to vent their anger at the world in general and at the publisher of one photography magazine in particular. Nevertheless, it's possible to block these people and ignore the threads that amount to nothing more than silly arguments. After that's done there is still a lot of useful information being posted there by people who take photography seriously as opposed to those who just wish to use the group to vent their anger.

I've never participated in the Leica forum. When I owned Leica reflex equipment I participated in a Leica reflex group that was probably the nicest, most civilized photography group on the internet.

Tracy Storer
1-Oct-2003, 08:02
How about a link?

QT Luong
1-Oct-2003, 12:48
Here is a link to the

LF newsgroup @ Google (http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&group=rec.photo.equipment.large-format).

There are mostly two things that I find essential to maintain by moderation here:
(a) civility (b) level of discourse. If you browse through the newsgroup, you
will notice that some of the names that you recognize on this (lfphoto.info)
forum have engaged into pretty harsh flame wars and pissing matches
there. Yet, the same
persons have refrained themselves from doing so on this forum. In my opinion,
it makes this place friendler and more civil, and I'd like to keep it that way.
The same can be said about postings that do not provide any new information or ideas. In my opinion, having too many of them makes reading the forum a waste of time for
everybody (except maybe for the entertainment value of the pissing matches).

That said, I agree with Frank about the value of OT postings. In the past,
I had been more strict about enforcing the guidelines, and I recognize that
as a result, in a couple of instances I went too far in deleting some OT postings (mostly computer-related questions). Nowadays, if an OT posting
leads to civil and intelligent dialogue, I will leave it alone.

BS and SS have definitively different personalities. BS participates often here
in a constructive way. The only reason he's been criticized is that the limits
between advice and promotion were not clear to some, but he has agreed to sign
as BS/HP, and in general doesn't engage himself into controversies. SS doesn't participate here often. For some reason, he seems to like
the newsgroup better, where personal attacks are rife. He will always
defend himself by returning personal attacks (and he often takes criticisms as
personal attacks) hence the impression that you have.

Michael J. Kravit
1-Oct-2003, 19:29
I have never commented nor particpated in the threads addressing Bob Solomon and Steve Simmons. I know Steve personally and have never met Bob. So strickly as a by stander reading the exchanges I have come to the conclusion that a select few people will take every opportunity to break the nads of these people.

These threads are boorish and IMO unnecessarily harsh, hurtful and inflammatory.

I for one would like to see this forum ask everyone to participate openly, fairly, and respecfully. You may not agree with the BS's and SS's of the world, but they are surely entitled to be treated with the dignity and respect that you would expect for yourself.

Fair, open and vigorous debate is healthy. But when it degrades into personal attacks then this and other forums loose all credibility.

My 2 cents for better or worse.


James Driscoll
2-Oct-2003, 11:02
After hearing all of this stuff about B.S, I decided to look into past threads and see what everyone was talking about.

Now I will agree with the above post and say some of the comments about Bob, are unneccasarily harsh...but he himself on a number of occasions has stooped to the level of being as Jorge said (in another thread), a royal P.I.T.A.

Sometimes you have to call them as you see them.....we all have our days.

Jorge Gasteazoro
2-Oct-2003, 11:42
as Jorge said (in another thread), a royal P.I.T.A.

I have to qualify this, yes, Bob can be exceedingly annoying some times, but if one balances his experience, willigness to answer questions and his ready availability to all of us (anybody here can e mail him and he usually answers within 24 hours, even if it does not represent a "sale" for him) I think that his participation far outweights his sometimes annoying habits and it is a benefit for all of us, as the people in photo.net have found out. Lots of questions there about Linhof and other products that now go unanswered because the moderators allowed people to insult him.

But going back to the topic, the stuff that goes on at google is IMO hilarious....some of those people can be very creative with their insults. It certainly reflects the lack of moderation. I think is funny, but certainly do not take the board seriously, if I have a question about a camera or lens I come here and hope that Kerry or Salomon answer it, if it is about alt process I go to B&S or e mail some of the memebers here who have been very generous with their knowledge, if I have a question about film testing I go to Phil Davis's site. So really for me, google is more like comedy releif....

Mark Cudworth
2-Oct-2003, 12:52
"Then when Google took it over, ..."

"the stuff that goes on at google..."

I would just like to point out that Google never "took over" rec.photo.equipment.large-format, and in fact Google has no relationship to rec.photo.equipment.large-format outside of archiving the posts and acting as an interface to posting and reading. rec.photo.equipment.large-format is a Usenet newsgroup, and one can participate on the newsgroup without ever using Google. (Indeed, Usenet pre-dates Google, DejaNews (the archive Google purchased) and even the World Wide Web!)

Usenet is, for lack of a better term, slightly structured anarchy. The fact that the large-format group is unmoderated makes it easier to understand why flame-wars can be prevalent. For a real education on flame-wars, check out rec.photo.equipment.35mm!

Josh Wand
12-Oct-2003, 22:13
For instance, last week I posted a Leica equipment question and the thread devolved into a debate about a poster's comments being racist.

Ah, Godwin's (http://info.astrian.net/jargon/terms/g/Godwin_s_Law.html) Law (http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/legends/godwin/).