Doin' The Numbers - You Can Too
1973. S/H Leica M2 - 50mm f:2.8 Elmar, S/H 35mm f:3.5 Something Leica with spectacles, S/H 90mm Elmar f:4 collapsible. Agfa CT 18 50 ISO. Billingham bag. Slides still exist - yellow dye has disappeared from them so they are magenta monsters...
1995. S/H Nikon F3, S/H 50mm f.1.4 Nikkor, S/H 16mm F:4 Nikkor, New 85mm f:2 Nikkor. Kodak Kodachrome 200 ISO. Lowepro bag. Slides still exist - colours fast.
2013. New Fuji X-10, 28-112 f:2 Fujinon. Crumpler bag. Jpeg images on Drobo at home.
Several ponts of interest here - the business of buying and using secondhand photographic equipment IS PERFECTLY ALRIGHT. I emphasise that because occasionally we get people who are so fastidious as to reject perfectly good gear because someone else has used it before. This can be a personal thing or a cultural thing or just a thing - but you might be missing out on some wonderful opportunities for shooting. The 35 in 1973 and the 16 in 1995 were lifesavers for the types of images I take. I couldn't have got them new, but they worked just fine secondhand.
Secondly - don't sit there and agonise over the money costs. Real photographers, as opposed to the dillettanti, spend what they need to spend to get what they want to do done. I spent money to get 1000 pictures of Europe or Melbourne and that was well spent.
Thirdly. The weight. I weighed 75 Kg in 1973 and 1995. I weigh 69 Kg now. You can ask me how I lost the 6 Kg but be warned - I'll show you the scars...The real weight question is the gear weight that I carried around:
1973 - 3460 grammes
1995 - 3520 grammes
2013 - 1080 grammes
Fourthly. The X-rays and inspections. Went through 9 airports on the European journeys; the 1973 ones had little or no X-ray inspection - the 1995 had a lot of it. The domestic Australian inspection is a breeze and if you look interesting they'll also swab you for explosives and pat you down. I was clean, but i went back for seconds because the lady who did it had warm hands...
But what about hauling film through the rays, versus memory cards. Wouldn't like to do the film, the cards seem to be immune.
Fifthly. Processing. Two weeks after I returned from Europe I had 1000 slides in boxes ready for projection. Twenty minutes after I returned from Melbourne I had 1000 images in the Drobo and had emailed the good ones to my mates.
Sixthly. When was the picture taken? I can see the sequence of slides by looking at the edge of the film, but if I wanted to have a time and date I needed to keep a paper notebook. THAT lasted about one day, I can tell you...
So - You can do the figures yourself, but you can see why I am smiling. I now shoot with a third of the carriage weight with a wider range of focal lengths, and a choice of colour or monochrome renditions at my fingertips - even " mid-roll ". One filter only. You can X ray me until my buttons melt and the pictures will be unaffected. No lens changing. As many copies of my work as I like for free and I can make them myself with a cup of coffee in hand. Plus there is a record with each shot of what date and when it was taken - and this information isn't burnt into the open face of the image in yellow letters.