2011, Photography

Those who knows Steve Huff’s blog do also know that he has several contributors that supply a wide range of articles from inspirational posts to technical stuff. Not too long ago someone (Randall Kelley) posted an article titled “A Better Camera“.

Olympus C4000z

He tries to get in length why he disagrees with the statement that a better camera doesn’t make you a better photographer. And he tries to mention two points why he thinks a better camera makes you a better photographer. The first reason for him is that a camera and lens that produces radically improved images will show your errors much more distinctly. And with the second reason he basically implies that the statement “A better camera won’t make you a better photographer” is either meant to talk only about your talent and perhaps to make you feel a bit better about not being able to swing to “high end” equipment. He says that good equipment, and especially equipment that pushes you to make more of your own decisions, will improve your results if you are willing to learn and if you persist.

To me he connects the abstractions better camera and personal improvement in a very linear fashion. Like those who are skillful will become more skillful with better equipment. But to me this remark leaves no room for creativity. I think an artist knows very well what to use how to create that what he or she envisioned. Will a photograph contain more details than a sketch? Of course it will, but then it won’t be a sketch anymore. Execution is not only the tools being used, but also the intention of the artist. The Victory Boogie Woogie painting by Mondriaan could well be done with very expensive tools, but that wouldn’t be so obvious since his intentions where different, while it would be very obvious that Rembrandt used excellent tools for the “Nachtwacht“.

Olympus C4000z

Yes, a camera that performs better at high ISO’s and fast lenses will likely decrease the chance of motion blur and camera shake, but what if you intentionally want motion blur in your images? Then you as a photographer should know how to get it.Even with a cheap camera you know when you caused the problem or your camera. A high quality lens will for sure resolve more details and lead to sharper images, but that all doesn’t make a lot sense when you intent to make sketchy images. Moriyamo Daido as an example purposely uses small compact cameras to shoot free and unrestricted to realize his vision and says that a larger camera will makes his photography more deliberate.

If you know how to push your self and how to make your own decisions your equipment will only form a small fraction of your decision making, I strongly believe so. In his article he says: “It’s like getting a new prescription for eyeglasses after years with a bad one. You can really notice things you missed. And IF you choose to take that to heart and start looking, you will observe better. Photography is a lot like acting, in that a good observer picks up detail to add to their work that is missing in someone who is not as observant.” To become a better observer I believe it is better to understand more about your subject. Studying helps you understand what detail(s) to depict or to ignore. No better lenses or camera will help you with that.

Canon Powerhot A70

As he mentions that the statement “A better camera won’t make you a better photographer” is partly there to probably justify the fact that you can’t buy a more high end camera, I think his reaction and article is just there to justify such expensive purchases. Lets honestly face it. Are there for an amateur photographer proper rational reasons why you want to buy a high end (read professional) camera? I can’t come up with no other reason than desire. Do we need the reliability a professional needs from his equipment? Do we need the sturdiness of our gear? Do we need all the bells and whistles? Likely not. We don’t shoot in war zones or at marriages everyday. We don’t have customers expecting the best from us whenever needed. If you are a competent photographer you are also aware of the shortcomings of your equipment and know how to deal with it. That is part of the craft.

Sometimes our choices have more to do with our desire to be an accomplished, respected, and preferably, professional photographer. We think we are taken more serious when we have a Canon 1D or Nikon D3s around our necks. Other photographers might think you are exceptionally good when you have a Leica M9 in your hand. It feels different and great to have great tools. We want great tools even though we know we can do it too with less. I used to windsurf when I was younger and thought it was fascinating to have a board and rig that was also used professionally. Did it make me a better windsurfer. Honestly not, but it sure was fun to feel like a better windsurfer. It looked good and people knew my stuff was good. And that is it to me. Pure emotion. If you think you need all the quality to make crops of your photographs (like he shows in his article) you might instead have better bought a longer tele lens instead. Or from an even more photographic standpoint of view: “You were not close enough.” I think there are hardly any rational aspects to choose a specific camera or lens, only emotions. So maybe I belong to the group that disagrees with his assessment, because I can’t afford a high end camera. And yes, I would love to have a Leica M9 or even a M8 would be fine. But I know I can work on my photography too with a micro fourthird camera or my GRD3.

Olympus C4000z

But if you really want to become a good photographer I stick to my words: “Practice, practice, practice!” And the good thing is that you can practice too with a cheap camera. Do you want to have the desire to have a better camera or to become real better photographer?

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

32 thoughts on “Desire

  1. Great article Wouter.

    I follow Huffs blog as well and it really hits me how ofter people respond to his articles just to try justify their purcases. Most often a Leica, for that special “Leica look” and vibe. Just look at your own pictures here. I could not tell if they were shot with a M9 or the Oly C4000 from -03. I bet that if you had said that the camera used on pic. 1 and 4 was an M9, people would have raved about the Leica look on these pictures too. I recently bought an Oly e-p1 with the 17mm lens after using a Panny Fz18 superzoom for 3 years. My plan is to stick with ithis combo for years to come and my goal is to learn how to see better pictures. Also must recommend the book: “The art of photography” by Bruce Barnbaum and a great blog “591 photograhpy blog”. Non of them is too much about gear. /Micke

    1. Thank you Michael for your comments. Let me first say that I really don’t mind people buying high end gear. I know some who for instance have the M9 or a D700. What disturbed me in his article that you basically need top notch equipment to become a better photographer. I think that determination is a lot more important.

  2. Hi Wouter

    Beautifully written article with photos to match! I couldn’t agree more with what you said. I recently found myself spending hours looking at newly released cameras and feeling that desire. I then realised, I HAVE 2 cameras which work perfectly and a new camera right now, would bring nothing to my photography. It’s nice to be reminded of that every now and then, so we can just go out and enjoy taking photos.


  3. The results of the voting in the FujiMugs Challenge # 135 was announced today. Using a Fuji F31fd I got 1st place in the Main Category, while using a Nikon D40 I got 2nd place in the Open Category. I know that I could have taken a similar shot to the Main using the Nikon, but there was no way could I have achieved anywhere approaching the Open shot using the F31fd.

    A better camera will not make you a better photographer, but an inferior camera will limit your creative potential.

    1. Congrats in the results. If a camera limits your creative potential does depend on your creative intentions I think. I have seen amazing inspirational stuff taken with iPhones or even less.

  4. I fully agree with your article and words, Wouter. I own a Leica M8 and corresponding lenses. Did this gear make me a better photographer? I honestly do not think so. However, they are indeed fun to use and the technical quality of the gear sometimes ” makes” a photo a good one.
    It is very funny that you put this article today as I bought a little Canon ixus 130 (reduced price 135 Euro at today. It will be my pocket-camera for one year. Partly to prove the point that nice pictures do not need to taken by best equipment but also to prove the point that the best camera is the one that you have with you!

  5. Reading this, I had to think about that famous “Buying a Nikon doesn’t make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner”-quote again. Owning a fancy camera doesn’t make you a photographer, your pictures do.

    I see a lot of boring, uninteresting or even bad photos, taken by people who can afford (bless them) very expensive gear. And I come across loads of amazing stuff shot with toy cameras or phonecams.
    As you say: it’s all about practice. When you’re really committed, you can get great results with any camera.

    1. I have posted about boring photographs with expensive tools not too long ago and I can only imagine that all the excitement is only about the fact that they have these tools.

  6. The most fun I’ve had is with a Leica D-Lux 4 and Sony NEX 5, over the more expensive Leica M8.2. I’m trying to find the perfect camera. Haven’t found it yet. My favorite digital camera was the nikon Coolpix 990. It wasn’t the best, but it had an OV and swivel head. It was solid as a rock too. THe Leica D-Lux 4 is lovely, but I hate the lens cap situation. Sometimes this cap goes flying out of my hands. THe Sony is wonderful too, but I wanted something a tad smaller for everyday use. And so it goes. The closest to perfection since the Coolpix has been a little Canon SD800 with optical viewfinder. It didn’t shoot RAW, and I really like that option. I hated the Canon S95 build, it being cheaper than the SD800. I’m thinking for pockets it’s the Ricoh GRD III. I don’t like the module concept on the GRX, but I do like the sensor on it.

    I’m about ready to go back to film. LOL!

  7. I am always reminded of a salesmans advice (strangely) to me when I went to buy my first set of drums about 10 years ago. I asked if I should get the expensive set or the cheap set as I was learning, he said “Well if you learn on the cheap set you’ll actually notice the difference if and when you upgrade later, otherwise they’ll all sound roughly the same to you now”. I have found this to be wonderful advice, and now I only upgrade to something high end once I have the process pretty much down, sort of like a final polishing of the skill, and also an incentive. Currently I use an E-P2 and love it.

  8. Spot on wouter and your point is beautifully illustrated by the images. But for all I agree with you 100% I still fall foul of the desire for better and better. For example i don’t think I will be able to resist the Fuji X100.

  9. Wouter, I agree with your take on the article. More capable cameras can be a nice to have, but usually are not necessary for the non pro.

    Sometimes small point and shoots can do the job nicely. In fact sometimes they can be the better tool for the job.

    I’m just gonna list a few links where the point and shoots are used to nice ends Hugo uses a variety of Fuji point and shoots

    Richard Schofield is an award winning photographer that shoots with point and shoots and even a cell phone. I first say his work in Black and White magazine
    his Flikr site

    You can work on composition with the absolute worst camera you can find, just as well as with a D3S. The only external device you need to be a good photographer is a camera.

  10. Wouter, een belangrijk statement wat je maakt. Tegenwoordig zijn er veel mensen die b.v. een dure spiegelreflex kopen en dan foto’s maken op de automatische stand. En zich niet cq. willen verdiepen op het technische vlak. Ze zijn dan verbouwereerd als de foto’s niet die kwaliteit hebben die ze beoogd hadden. Maar ze kunnen wel op verjaardagen pronken met een vele te dure camera. Ik vind juist de kunst om met “gemiddelde” apparatuur alles uit de camera en objectief te halen wat mogelijk is. En zoals je aangeeft moet een foto ook iets losmaken, en dan maakt het niet uit of de foto is geschoten met een EOS 500 of EOS 1 of maar wat te noemen. Ik heb ook een verlangen naar een EOS 5 en een objectief uit de L serie, maar ik weet dat dit niet tot de financiele mogelijkheden behoort. Ik ben tevreden met de apparatuur die ik nu heb en probeer hiermee me elke week weer verder mee te ontwikkelen en af en toe een leuk opdrachtje mee te pakken. UIteindelijk is het de mens en niet de camera die onder meer de compositie en de juiste timing bepaald. Daarom ook verleden jaar besloten om de GRD III te kopen als tweede camera, juist door gewoon op basale wijze met fotograferen bezig te zijn. Kortom ik sluit me aan met je inhoud van de post!

  11. I rally enjoyed your article. I have to say I am in agreement on ALMOST all of it. As the subject of it, I’d like to point out a few things. I was tempted to reply one by one to some of the replies to my article, but most of them who actually made goos points were very negative in their manner, and I didn’t want to get into a “troll fest”.

    1st and foremost, let me address the idea that I bought high end equipment just because it was high end. My argument was not to rebut the reverse argument in my desire to justify my buying high end equipment. It was a reaction to USING high end equipment purchased in spite of those articles and purchased for other reasons.

    I learned photography in college 35 years ago on an Agfa Isolette 3 and a Mamiya twin lens reflex (both 120 film), when everyone else in the class was using new Pentax and Nikon 35mm SLRs. The Isolette was slow, all manual, and a great learning experience. The Mamiya was much newer but still old. One thing this experience taught me was more resolution is an advantage. Another was that with my vision, I was happier with the rangefinder.

    I never could afford a lot of film developing, and rarely had a lot of time for doing my own (and seldom lived anywhere with a space for it). I only got back into photography after digital came out, and then mostly just as snapshots of our travels for the kids to be able to see what we had done.

    Most of my money went into motorcycles, and one expensive hobby was all I could handle. Point and shoots sufficed for many years, but then my wife started really getting into photography, and I thought she would benefit from something better. I got her a Rebel (first generation) after seeing results of a friend with theirs, and what an improvement it was comparing to what we were getting. Keep in mind her goal (and mine at the time) was documenting things, not art.

    On that point, as an aside, let me add I have recently been picking photos out from our 2003 trip to Spain for our grandson to use for a school project, and I have to say that even the best of those photos are a disappointment compared to what we take today. Maybe just as artistic as now, but I’m not able to get a very good print from them.

    More recently, I did get more interested in the artistic side. My degree was in Studio Arts (printmaking mostly) but I never used it as I did not want a “job” in art, and I had our kids in college and didn’t want to raise them as a “starving artist”. The ability to do serious post processing on a home computer was a big part of the urge to return.

    For myself, shooting is just step one, I really enjoy the editing process as well. The biggest deterrent to me in getting seriously back into it was that I wanted manual focus, and found that even after investing in a special screen (to be like an old fashion SLR scree) my vision still sucks for contrast focus. That began my quest for a digital rangefinder, and if you look around you can see why that brought me to Leica. I liked Ashwin Rao’s request for an “entry level” Leica, but until then, I had decided when the M9 came out I’d pick up a good used M8.

    Then in the interim, I developed vertigo, and as I felt being on two wheels at speed with vertigo might not be a good combination, I decided I needed to sell my motorcycle and gear. It made me crazy to have it just sit around. When I was doing that, I had the discussion about using part of the money to pay off some debt, and the rest to bet an M8. Lucky me, I have the kind of wife who said (paraphrasing), “You paid for the motorcycle already and it was your zen. If you think you want to pursue photography more, you shouldn’t compromise. You should get yourself whatever you want. We have the debt now, and it won’t make it worse to pay it off as we are doing now.”

    When deciding, I read many articles telling me it wasn’t going to be worth it. But I decided I wanted it for the rangefinder, and since I had a “windfall” and could afford the M9, I opted on that instead of the M8 for A) more resolution (from my 120 experience), B) No infrared issues, and C) No conversion factor for the lenses. As I’m kind of a wide angle guy (though the 50 Summilux is trying to make me eat those words) and wide lenses get even more expensive.

    I expected better resolution as it was a bigger sensor, but I bought it because of the rangefinde and no crop factorr. However, even though I expected higher resolution, I was SHOCKED when I saw the files that came out of this thing. I had seen crops of full detail on the web, but never had I opened a file and scrolled around from point to point seeing things in the photograph that I hadn’t in real life. I stand by my comments that you can see your mistakes. I did have photos that were not sharp before and did NOT know for certain which one of numerous possible reasons for that. I could compare it to shooting with a long zoom without being able to see the zoomed image, then going home and seeing what the long lens saw. I have crops from our last trip of building details (sculptures, etc) that are better than the full image my wife shot with the zoom lens zoomed in.

    Om that point, another aside, this year Rita gets lens upgrades, though I don’t think her zoom will beat a prime, I do think I can find her a “better” zoom. I don’t understand how there can be so many sites doing reviews of camera’s and lenses if none are “better” than the other. ;^]

    I’m not saying blur is always bad, particularly in the art end of things. I recently prepared a photo show for a local coffee house, and what I chose were some of the “outtakes” from two previous trips, one to central Asia and the other to S.E. Asia. I picked some of mine and some of my wife’s. Photos that I loved for mood and subject, but that were “bad”. And while bad in color I used post processing to covert to black and while, add film grain effect, and actually increased some of the defects deliberately (like flare, motion blur, and strange lighting). What I ended up with was the best of both worlds. Nice as art, and still conveyed the mood of the experience we had gone through.

    Still, I PERSONALLY, would have preferred to have a great sharp, well focused, color image as a document of what we saw, and the CHOICE to do what I did or not. I liked your comment that “that all doesn’t make a lot of sense when you intend to make sketchy images.” However, I would note that you can make sketchy images out of a sharp one in post processing, and you can not do the reverse. And what if a crisp sharp image IS your intent?

    I would also disagree that you can alway tell where blur comes from on a cheap camera. You have an idea that it might be A, B, or C. Not certainty which it was. And that is doubly so if it’s all auto. I was a big time accidents make good art guy in art school, and I still am. But while accidents may make good art (if you’re a good editor), they don’t tend to make the best documentation. As you said, intent makes a big difference.

    In the next paragraph you said, “Studying helps you understand what detail(s) to depict or to ignore. No better lenses or camera will help you with that.” This is one point where I really disagree, and was the source of most of the contention in the feedback. Let me clarify that I’m not saying it will force EVERYONE to understand what detail to depict or ignore, I say it CAN. For me when I look at a picture screen size and it’s what I thought I saw, then I open the full size file and see things in the reflections, detail, INSIDE rooms, etc. that I didn’t see when I hurriedly shot it…? Then I go, “Wait a minute, I should have been looking more closely.” Often it’s because there is something I would have done another shot of. It’s not too relevant if it’s a place you can revisit, but it’s a shame if it’s someplace you will never return to. And even if you can go back, it may not be the same.

    For ME, studying the photograph can be as much a help at understanding detail as studying a subject live. It also pointed me toward things I like in a photo. I have a friend who fastidiously avoids reflections in photos. Me, after seeing how they can sometime help as much as hurt, I now sometimes look for an angle to get a reflection just so. And if it isn’t true that you can learn from the images AFTER you make them, why do so many people learn from studying other photographers’ work? I submit that they are learning from what the other person recorded in addition to HOW they chose to record it. I’ll site anothe Steve Huff example. He noted wanting to go shoot a particular site after seeing a series of photos. I have planned whole vacations around someone photograph of a place. And not JUST because it was artistic. Sometimes it was because it was an interesting place even if the shots weren’t art.

    A point of division I think on equipment upgrades is why are you upgrading? When you were windsurfing, did you buy the pro board as your first board, or work up to it when you felt like you equipment was limiting you? This to me is a key to why so many seemed to think I disagree with them more than I do. I think there is a lot to be said in grabbing any old thing to try something out, but I really de believe there is a difference in seeing your equipment let you down and upgrading compared to just run out and buy the top of the line. And I’d add that the M9 is ONLY top of the line for certain things. There are a lot of sacrifices to using it as well. I’d probably not recommend even the M8 to someone as a first camera, except that I almost think you should start with everything manual to learn, and full auto point and shoot don’t instruct on depth of field, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc as well. So maybe if you can afford it I would say it’s a great “starter”. See, I can’t even agree with myself for long. ;^]

    My last camera before the M9 was a Lumix GF1. I loved it and it was Leica glass on that that pushed me over the edge on the M9. But what I found difficult on the Lumix was my old nemesis, contrast focus. If that camera had a rangefinder I might still be using it. I look forward to seeing the results from the new Fuji X100, I’ve had some camera’s with Fuji glass in the past and suspect it may be awesome.

    And to end, I’ll reiterate your last words (“Practice, practice, practice!”) and couple them to something Steve Huff said… It’s really important you have a camera that feels right in order to shoot it all the time. For me the M9 was that, it’s the first camera I carry and make a point of shooting daily. I used to have a point and shoot in my pocket and not get it out. Now I pack a small (SMALL) bag and shoot every day. Well when I have it. No camera is perfect and mine is in the shop for some king of sensor flaw, so there you go. Nothing is perfect.

    Last note. Great article and I agree with you 100%. 100%? Yes, I’m a believer in paradox. I think a thing and it’s opposite can be true. Yin/Yang etc. I think it’s two side of a coin, and each is necessary. But heads is heads and tails is tails. Still, a coin with two heads if worthless. Unless it’s a minting error then it’s worth a fortune. See?

    Randall Kelley

    1. Thank you Randall for your extensive response. Going for the digital rangefinder is unfortunately no cheap option which also shows that the harder you as a photographer have to work to cope the more technical issues of photography (exposure, focus) the more you have to pay. I do agree on your remark to start fully manual and learn photography and I do also think it is maybe even better to start on film too (that avoids the photographer from checking the photographs at 100% and on the rear screen and first learn to expose properly).

      When upgrading I personally believe that the most important reason is when you want to change your photographic direction. Only change when you want to change your photography. Sure your images could be sharper, but that is not what I mean. You might need to change your pace and more or less deliberateness will come in your photography.

      The fact that you didn’t see details at first that you could see at full size (or magnified) does not have anything to do with you as a creative photographer. A photographer can learn that by observing, experience, and hopefully intuition too. That is were studying place such as important part.

      When it comes to my windsurfing and the pro equipment. You don’t start with that. Unlike photography it is much harder to learn the basics of windsurfing. When you get better you upgrade. But when you get better and better and upgrade more and more I think very often that we become unrealistic of our own skills. Emotions defeats the rational thinking and we want more and more (Pavlov) while our skills don’t meed the needs and possibilities of our gear. Now back to photography. How stupid the idea is, but you can start with photography with a Leica M9. And funny too, but people often start with too good gear and then the questions come in how to learn photography.

      Gear, needs, wants, creativity, you name it. Yes, it is all yin and yang. Finding the point in between is probably the hardest part, but the feeling will most definitely be priceless.

  12. I do tend to agree that a better camera can make better images IF the photographer has command of it and can “see” and drive the camera. Lately I feel me images have suffered because I don’t pay attention to the process. Having come from film I find digital is somewhat more demanding. The controls do more and are more complex and we have the additional parameter of ISO where in the past film ISO was set by what we loaded.

    I think buy the best you can or want to afford or buy what pleases you, the important thing is YOU. The image has to at least please the photographer otherwise he/she/we/ I will just delete it.

    I could easily wield a DSLR but my little GRD III pleases me often and I enjoy using it. Enjoy your craft and no matter what you use, and I hope all will be kind and polite while discussing it.

    1. Despite all the options to make proper images I actually find digital so much more comfortable. The reassurance that you can constantly check your exposure and reviewing your images on the rear screen. Histograms, you name it. You didn’t have that with film and you knew it was good when your film was developed.

      We nowadays have different means of image quality than before. You can review images at 100% magnification. See imperfections like front and back focusing which you only noticed with film when the focus was way off. With film you enjoyed the perception of sharpness. With digital however the perception is not good enough. It needs to be sharp. The definition of image quality nowadays has set new standards for what we expect from our gear.

  13. In my opinion , if you don’t want to make money on photography. A high end camera is not important. For an amateur photography seems like a more personal thing, it’s just about expressing yourself. In this sense, the level of gear you use depends on your habit of shooting. For me , a GR digital is enough.
    But what makes me uncomfortable is people always exaggerate the magic of camera and neglect the essence of a picture. If you make a good shoot , sometimes they will make compliments on your camera instead of thinking seriously on the contents the frame involved.thats sad..

    1. I often get mails people asking me if they can make images like mine with their camera. Go figure. Or if they buy a GRD that they can do it too? We departed from experience, knowledge, creativity, and competence to thinking that the camera can provide all the magic.

      1. Couldn’t agree more on that last one. Any tool that works, works. If a photo goes beyond snapshot to art, it has little effect. I really think it may be more important to snapshots than art (as I said, I am sad when I see my old snaps from trips in the past, and how inferior they are in quality). But first of all, to make images like yours they need your vision not your camera.

        Keep in mind that while the upside of digital you mentioned earlier exists (“The reassurance that you can constantly check your exposure and reviewing your images on the rear screen. Histograms, you name it. You didn’t have that with film and you knew it was good when your film was developed.”), the flip side of that is you can just shoot and not understand how light itself, as well as aperture, shutter speed, focal length, white balance, etc all have an effect on the image. If your camera is making all the decisions, it’s easy to assume someone else’s good images are because of a good camera.

        That’s the part of my article that many missed, I was talking about when IQ (Image Quality) hits a point that it forces IQ (Intelligence Quotient) to reconsider some of the assumptions that were being made. It’s the latter IQ that makes the choices about what to shoot and how, the first IQ is just ONE of many factors that can influence it. I was just saying that it CAN influence you and it shouldn’t be ruled out when considering a new camera, not that it was the only factor.

        But all that said, be flattered by the question, it’s a complement to you not the camera… they just don’t know it. And once they are interested enough to ask it’s an opportunity to explain some of those things to them and point them toward some books or classes that might help them.

        And this really get’s to the heart of why I wrote the article I did. Maybe just you saying, “Yes, your camera is capable if YOU work at it.” would inspire them. Or MAYBE a nice new GRD WOULD inspire them to shoot more, study more, try harder to see their own vision. Who knows, stranger things have happened. I fell in love with photography when my dad gave me that WWII era Agfa Isolette with all it’s flaws. It was still a “pocket camera” and that let me carry it and shoot more than I would of with an SLR. But I think the fact I loved it and always had it on me was the biggest factor. I just don’t think you should tell them not to try a GRD and that it couldn’t possible help.

        Keep up the good work.

        1. I guess I missed your point in the article too. It was so strongly emphasizing image quality as a major part of the craft. Where some take limitations as restrictions others see new opportunities. That is how people push their boundaries I think.

  14. Realized I put an old bad address in. My “Leica Virgin” blog has merged onto our regular site as a catagory (soon to turn into either Leica Slut or just Photography catagory as I am nearing the end of my 1 year project that started it.) at rk72,com

    All our published photos are at as I like the family to be able to open at full resolution if they like. (except really old travel stuff that is only in the travel blog)

    Again thanks for your Article, you make a lot of interesting points.

  15. Excellent Article Wouter and I fully agree with you.
    No camera will make you a better photographer if you fail to understand what a good photograph is all about. Gear can’t compensate for lack of vision or skill, not everyone who buys a Leica M9 will become the next HCB.

    This in my view is completely wrong:
    “The first reason for him is that a camera and lens that produces radically improved images will show your errors much more distinctly.”
    A lesser camera will actually push you to improvise and learn more about photography and how to achieve a certain result. Sure, a better camera might achieve the results one wants effortlessly and without any skill or work required so it will mean the person behind the camera will become lazy and forget what is required to get a decent exposure other than letting the camera manage it all.

    1. I don’t totally agree with your last quote. There is so much in good photography than just being able to get good or decent exposures. And there is no problem with letting the camera manage it all. As long as you know why the camera does it and how to compensate for decisions you want to make.

  16. I just use Nikon EM cameras. And some F80’s. All cost between 10 and 80 USD. The lenses? 1.8 50 MM AIS Pancakes for 80 usd each.

    My most expensive camera is an FM3a. My most expensive lens an AFD 85 1.4 that I seldom use.

    And I did splurge on a Coolscan 5000 though. :-\

    Since getting my first iphone and taking more pictures with it and my Olympus XA’s – I decided that a small digital can’t hurt too much and I need something small and light, fixed focal and zone focusable.

    GRD3 seems to fit.

    And yes. I can make great images with any old thing and I like that. Using less has made me more of a photog.


    Procession 2013
  17. Wouter – I’m glad to have found your blog. I agree with all that you have said…

    I have spent a post or two over at Steve Huff’s blog having fun with Leica Man…:)

    Currently, my favorite camera is the Olympus RC, ’nuff said.

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