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Author Topic: Your Camera Does NOT Matter  (Read 50052 times)
Ray
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« Reply #160 on: April 02, 2008, 01:52:12 AM »
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Now that Ray has educated us all on the proper interpretation of English sentences, I am tempted to suggested a replacement for KR's original title claim. Perhaps it should have been, "Ken Rockwell's Camera Does Not Matter." I find that a more defensible position. Maybe it applies to Ray's camera as well. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=186291\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
 

Eric,
My camera matters to me because I enjoy looking at sharp images with no discernible noise in the shadows. I also prefer my prints to be large like most paintings.

But I don't kid myself that my prints have any great esthetic appeal and I'm almost willing to accept, when I'm being really honest with myself, that my fascination with the technical side of photographic image making may be a compensation for a lack of basic artistic talent.

Beat that for humility!  
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Slough
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« Reply #161 on: April 02, 2008, 02:20:42 AM »
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The problem here is simply one of English comprehension. You have incorrectly assumed that Ken's definition of 'image quality' in this context refers to 'degree of image sharpness, dynamic range, noise and color accuracy etc'.

For you, my friend, 3/10 for English comprehension.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=186255\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Assumed? Here is just one of his many statements:

  "Buying new gear will NOT improve your photography."

How much more clearly does it have to be expressed?

Oh, and it is wrong. When I bought a better camera and lens, it improved my photography significantly. And I wish that I had gone to digital sooner to get significantly improved results. The sort of nonsense spouted by Ken does everyone a disservice, apart that is from his bank manager.

The problem with Ken is that he lacks any sense of nuance. He also lacks any sense of precision.  Don't you get it? Ken makes outrageous indefensible statements to get publicity.

Anyway, I'll let you get back to your woolly, wishy washy, world of imprecision.
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Slough
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« Reply #162 on: April 02, 2008, 02:31:41 AM »
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Red herring? Wha?! A camera is a camera is a camera....they all work on the same principle. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=186275\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The problem with Ken is ignorance, and I see you are being misled by Ken's nonsense.

A camera is not just a camera. There are significant technical differences which MAY make the difference between getting and not getting the shot.

I photograph insects using long macro lenses. The only way I can get sharp (and usable) images is to use mirror lock up, along with a good tripod and head. Without MLU, the images are not worth keeping. Before owning a camera with MLU, I had to place a large bean bag on top of the camera in an attempt to damp vibrations. It was clumsy, and made it almost impossible to stalk an active dragonfly.

And for sports photographers the ability to shoot at a high frames per second for an extended interval can make the difference between capturing the decisive moment, and missing it.

Oh and for concert photographers, the ability to get usable images at high ISO matters.

Sure, for Ken's narrow field of interest, which seems to be landscapes, and babies, the camera probably does not matter. But there is more to life than Ken's interests.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 02:38:20 AM by Slough » Logged
mfunnell
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« Reply #163 on: April 02, 2008, 06:05:59 AM »
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Bullshit! Everyone who understands the first thing about photography knows that expensive lenses can produce sharper images and that distant objects need telescopes, or telephoto lenses, and that very distant objects need super telescopic lenses like the Hubble telescope. This is common knowledge.

The problem here is simply one of English comprehension. You have incorrectly assumed that Ken's definition of 'image quality' in this context refers to 'degree of image sharpness, dynamic range, noise and color accuracy etc'.

It's very clear to me that Ken is not talking about these qualities in this article but is clearly referring to other qualities that make a photograph distinctive as a 'work of art'. He is elaborating on Ansel Adam's aphorism, "There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept". The fact that Ansel Adams might also be considered a 'gear head' is another matter.

For you, my friend, 3/10 for English comprehension.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=186255\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Now I see how this is done.  Only a bloody idiot would believe the literal interpretation of Ken Rockwell's words, and Ken Rockwell is obviously not a bloody idiot (oh yeah?  who says??) so what he must really mean is....  That's not English comprehension, that's speculating way, way, way beyond the evidence.

For a start, you are assuming the very thing you're trying to prove: that Ken Rockwell is not a bloody idiot, when his own statements seem almost purpose-designed to demonstrate the opposite.

You seem to have a point you wish to make.  I don't even think anybody is arguing against your point.  But its not at all obvious that Ken Rockwell is making the same point you are.  Why are you so keen to think he is?

   ...Mike

P.S.  What I suspect (but certainly can't demonstrate) is that Ken Rockwell is running a variation of the "strong versus weak form" technique.  In front of the faithful he'll maintain that he means exactly what he says.  In front of a more skeptical audience he (or one of his apolologists) can back away saying "no, you misinterpreted, what I really meant was..."
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 06:16:35 AM by mfunnell » Logged

Some digital cameras, some film cameras, some lenses & other kit.

Day-to-day photos on [span style='color:quot']flick[/span][span style='color:quot']r[/span], some of my better ones at [span style='color:quot']d[/span][span style='color:quot']A[/span].
michael
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« Reply #164 on: April 02, 2008, 07:37:47 AM »
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Reminds me of what some people do when confronted with something stupid that they're just said... "Oh I was just kidding!"

Unless one is being ironic (and no one can be ironic for dozens or hundreds of pages over years) then what one writes has to be taken at face value. One can't just can't squeeze out from it so easily when hoisted by ones own petard.

Michael
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Ray
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« Reply #165 on: April 02, 2008, 09:13:58 PM »
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One can't just can't squeeze out from it so easily when hoisted by ones own petard.

Michael
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Hoisted by you, Michael, or at least an attempt by you to hoist him.  
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lovell
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« Reply #166 on: April 03, 2008, 05:41:23 PM »
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Hoisted by you, Michael, or at least an attempt by you to hoist him. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=186595\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Oh Ken, ah, I mean Ray, still fighting the good fight I see.   Wonderful.

It must be grand fun to have the ability to extract meaning from words whose literal meaning is so different.  I don't judge  ya, kid.  I envy you.  I wish I could do it too....but you know how it is with old habits and stuff.  I have this hang up of applying published dictionary definitions to the words I read...I know, it's stupid, but what can I say?  I just can't stop, man....and besides, even if I could change, then I would be so different from 99.9% of the population around here, and frankly, I don't have the courage to be the maverick that you are.  Well, we all can't be so brave as you....anyways, sorry for the drivvel...just want to say, I look forward to your daily responses, and maybe it's the rebel in you that stirs me up, what can I say?

Looking forward to tomorrow.

Cheers,
Lovell
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

I'm not afraid of death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens--Woody Allen, Annie Hall, '70s
Ray
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« Reply #167 on: April 03, 2008, 11:13:00 PM »
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I have this hang up of applying published dictionary definitions to the words I read...I know, it's stupid, but what can I say?  I just can't stop, man....[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=186881\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In my dictionary, the verb 'to matter' has two completely different meanings.

(1) to discharge pus.

(2) to be of importance.

When you first saw Ken's title to his article, "Your Camera Doesn't Matter", would I be correct in assuming that you did not think that Ken was trying to make the point that your camera does not discharge pus?
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #168 on: April 04, 2008, 06:56:40 AM »
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The horse has been dead for a couple of days now. Why are we still beating it?
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Robert
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« Reply #169 on: April 04, 2008, 09:09:24 AM »
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The horse has been dead for a couple of days now. Why are we still beating it?
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Because the horse still have meat.

BlasR
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Slough
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« Reply #170 on: April 04, 2008, 10:21:34 AM »
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The horse has been dead for a couple of days now. Why are we still beating it?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=186981\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

To tenderise the meat.
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Mark Owen Sawyer
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« Reply #171 on: April 04, 2008, 12:19:30 PM »
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From the viewpoint of a large format photographer, the debate seems a bit odd.  The camera is just the dead airspace between the lens and the film/sensor.  How much could it matter?  But today's digital whiz-bangs have become so loaded with micro-processing nano-techno-turbo-plasma drives that I guess the whole concept of "camera" has changed.  

Maybe the Stones put it best:  "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need."  

Most photographers just like to play with the toys, but the images have no direction, no destination.  You won't find your either in a camera, though the right equipment choice may help to get you where you want to go.  But it's hard to figure what to pack for the trip if you don't know where you're going...
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Plekto
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« Reply #172 on: April 04, 2008, 12:43:09 PM »
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The camera is just the dead airspace between the lens and the film/sensor. 

So that leaves the lens and the film.  With raw captures, Photoshop, and so on, as well as how forgiving modern film is if you use film instead of digital, this part of the equation is moot.  In Ken's case, he seems to shoot Fuji slide film 99.9% of the time.  That essentially makes it not a variable at all.   All modern technology seems to be doing is making the media less and less of an issue(which will eventually be a good thing).

That leaves the lens, as I said.

And 90% of Ken's site seems to be about lenses.  Amazing...

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But it's hard to figure what to pack for the trip if you don't know where you're going...

Pack a good lens.
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Mark Owen Sawyer
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« Reply #173 on: April 04, 2008, 01:53:01 PM »
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Pack a good lens.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=187054\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

...leaving us only to figure out what "good" is...
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Slough
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« Reply #174 on: April 04, 2008, 02:00:44 PM »
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From the viewpoint of a large format photographer, the debate seems a bit odd.  The camera is just the dead airspace between the lens and the film/sensor. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=187049\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Do you use your large format camera for sports or nature and macro work?

For SOME purposes Ken's statement is true. But for many it isn't.
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Plekto
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« Reply #175 on: April 04, 2008, 02:21:18 PM »
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...leaving us only to figure out what "good" is...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=187071\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Heh.  Well, that's something that can take a lifetime to get right...
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Dandy97
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« Reply #176 on: April 05, 2008, 08:39:50 AM »
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Most photographers just like to play with the toys, but the images have no direction, no destination.  You won't find your either in a camera, though the right equipment choice may help to get you where you want to go.  But it's hard to figure what to pack for the trip if you don't know where you're going...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=187049\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Right on baby!
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lovell
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« Reply #177 on: April 17, 2008, 03:48:13 PM »
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Oh, and it is wrong. When I bought a better camera and lens, it improved my photography significantly....[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=186321\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

A new camera "improved" your photography?  What do you mean by improve?  You mean to say it improved the image quality of your shots?  Well then, image quality is NOT composition, and really, the ONLY way to improve one's photography where it matters is in composition.  The improvement of image quality simply means one's craap work is just sharper, less noise, and cleaner, but at the end of the day, it's still craap.

In other words, a better kit has never improved one's photography where it matters, and that is composition.

Don't get me wrong, as I am in the "the kit matters" camp, but at the same time I think the only way to improve one's pictures is when one improves their vision, their ability to compose.

On the other hand, image quality is just that, and has NOTHING to do with composition, as IQ only supports the composition and not is the composition.

Another way to say it:  Take the cheapest digital point & shoot, and you will find that that camera will compose no worse then the most expensive digital DSLR available for purchase.  The only really big advantage of the expensive DSLR is that it provides better image quality, but what good is better IQ if the composition is craap?

Kit does matter, but for reasons that might be different from yours. ;-)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 03:49:02 PM by lovell » Logged

After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

I'm not afraid of death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens--Woody Allen, Annie Hall, '70s
lovell
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« Reply #178 on: April 17, 2008, 03:53:36 PM »
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From the viewpoint of a large format photographer, the debate seems a bit odd.  The camera is just the dead airspace between the lens and the film/sensor.  How much could it matter?  But today's digital whiz-bangs have become so loaded with micro-processing nano-techno-turbo-plasma drives that I guess the whole concept of "camera" has changed. 

Maybe the Stones put it best:  "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need." 

Most photographers just like to play with the toys, but the images have no direction, no destination.  You won't find your either in a camera, though the right equipment choice may help to get you where you want to go.  But it's hard to figure what to pack for the trip if you don't know where you're going...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=187049\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The Stones had it wrong.  So did the Beatles. They lied when they sung that all you need is love....love is hopelessly not enough...just ask McCartney these days ;-)

Your post is so ah....macho.  Yea, macho is the word....the camera does not matter as you say...it's 100% up to just the photographer, the macho all knowing arteeest....sorry, but the zipper on your logic is down, and I'd be embarrassed ;-)

Kit does matter....ever try to shoot sports with your Large Format camera?

;-)
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After composition, everything else is secondary--Alfred Steiglitz, NYC, 1927.

I'm not afraid of death.  I just don't want to be there when it happens--Woody Allen, Annie Hall, '70s
bernie west
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« Reply #179 on: April 17, 2008, 05:55:16 PM »
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The improvement of image quality simply means one's craap work is just sharper, less noise, and cleaner, but at the end of the day, it's still craap.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=190227\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This isn't a very good argument.  What if his composition was top notch to begin with?  Then improving his image quality may very well improve his work.  Blanket statements from either side in this argument aren't very helpful.
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