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Author Topic: Do we get what we paid for?  (Read 7105 times)
fredjeang
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« on: April 10, 2010, 08:17:23 AM »
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we get what we paid for

Is this adage saying true with high-end gear?

Some examples:
The discontinued Contax 645 seems to be a real bargain for what it gives in return,
on the other side, the recent Leica S2 seems to be frankly overpriced.

The recent Pentax 645D shows that MFD is now possible for less than 10.000 euros.
Do you remember gear that where cheap but very good value?
And the opposite, do you remember clear abuses.

So, what are your thoughts about "we get what we paid for"?

Regards,

Fred.

Ps: I'm not talking here about the fact that we should be good with the gear we have, or that the camera is only a camera and it's up to the photographer to...etc...That is another topic IMO. I'm talking strictly about the market value of the equipment, and it's real value on the field.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 09:09:09 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 08:47:08 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
we get what we paid for

Is this adage saying true with high-end gear?

Some examples:
The discontinued Contax 645 seems to be a real bargain for what it gives in return,
on the other side, the recent Leica S2 seems to be frankly overpriced.

What are your thoughts about "we get what we paid for"?

Regards,

Fred.
You take your choice, and you pay the money.

Ebay is usually a very good guide to what anything is actually worth.

I do not imagine that many are queuing up to pay £30K for the H4D-60 and a zoom, (or whatever for the P65+) but there are upgrade deals.

...but you can get an old Hassy and an an old digiback for a few grand now, can you not?
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DanielStone
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2010, 08:47:34 AM »
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my philosophy: "If it don't make you more money, or doesn't propel your work further, don't buy it."  At least with gear. beer's another story

no seriously, I've come to realize that if owning a piece of equipment that doesn't serve YOU any purpose other than being a paperweight, or in some cases; a $50k paperweight, why own it? Own the equipment you use daily, and rent the stuff you don't use on a job-by-job basis. This way, you can be ready to go, without having to reserve rental gear. Especially if you aren't local to a good rental house.

I used to collect cameras, then I realized that the camera is JUST a tool, nothing more. New tools come and go, with new models, etc... But the equipment doesn't make the photographer, the photographer makes the equipment. Lots of jobs were shot on Pentax $250 cameras back in the day. Its all about what YOU, as the photographer, are able to do with what you have.

but if spending endless amounts of money is your thing, go ahead, this economy needs another stimulus

just my $.02

-Dan
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 08:48:59 AM by DanielStone » Logged
fredjeang
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2010, 09:04:00 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
Its all about what YOU, as the photographer, are able to do with what you have.

Of course Daniel.
But that's not the point involved in my OP. I'll do a post editing.

The point was more about the market value.
For example, The recent Pentax 645D shows that MFD is possible for less than 10000euros.
So what is your valoration about the cost of the gear. Does it follow the expression used in the OP?
See, it's more in that sense.
There are some lenses that where not specially expensive but very good indeed, I'm thinking of some Pentaxes and Oly.
etc...

By the way Dan, talking about responsable buyings... was it not you how tried to break my lovely relation with my banker with a GILDE camera?  
I see...I see

#3
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 09:24:27 AM by fredjeang » Logged
CBarrett
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2010, 09:15:54 AM »
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I think the Arca M2 at around $4500 is a good deal and I use it almost every day.  Especially when you price out my system compared to an Alpa and 6 lenses.  On lenses the Rodentock HR 70 and 90 are just superb at around $1500 ea.

And sure, my P65+ was 40k but in the 9 months since I bought it I've collected 24k in capture fees.

Lastly, the most bang for the buck in photo gear has GOT to be the 5d2... and I don't even own one.

: )

-CB
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fredjeang
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2010, 09:18:48 AM »
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duplicate error. ignore.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 09:22:50 AM by fredjeang » Logged
JonathanBenoit
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2010, 09:45:09 AM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
I think the Arca M2 at around $4500 is a good deal and I use it almost every day.  Especially when you price out my system compared to an Alpa and 6 lenses.  On lenses the Rodentock HR 70 and 90 are just superb at around $1500 ea.

And sure, my P65+ was 40k but in the 9 months since I bought it I've collected 24k in capture fees.

Lastly, the most bang for the buck in photo gear has GOT to be the 5d2... and I don't even own one.

: )

-CB

I just picked up a new Toyo VX23D body for $1250. Although, I probably will upgrade in a year or so. There are plenty of deals out there. Obviously some equipment has a higher price tag based on the brand. I think in many cases you are paying for the prestige of owning a leica or sinar. The M Line 2 seems to be the best value for a view camera out there, and will probably be my next camera.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2010, 09:49:23 AM »
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Back in the early 1960s I bought my first view camera, a Calumet 4x5" monorail, brand new, for $89. That was an incredible buy and it served me well for many years.

Kodak had just decided to quit the view camera business and sold the manufacturing dies to Calumet, who could manufacture and sell the camera with no design costs whatever.

Eric

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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2010, 09:53:14 AM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
And sure, my P65+ was 40k but in the 9 months since I bought it I've collected 24k in capture fees.
-CB
It is nice to know that someone is making some money... but some would ask ¿How much of that money could you have made with your old system, or e.g. a 40 MPx system?

Many say: "why upgrade when my existing customers are happy with what I produce?"

I am going to acquire an H4D-60... and then try to justify it, but I will not be paying £30k for it.

Some would say " if you do not use it every day, then hire it" but
the hire places do not have
60mpx digibacks and a
set of apo-digitars on P3 boards with electronic shutters,
and there isn't one within two hour's drive, and
I like to be able to take landscapes when the weather is right.
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DanielStone
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2010, 10:55:44 AM »
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as I said, "if you're not local to a rental house, but use something regularly, buy it."

otherwise, most top rental houses(even those that rent digitars, maybe not in electronic shutters<don't the hi-end backs have like 1million stops of latitude anyhow, so what's the big deal if your 1s on your copal 0 shutter is actually 1.1s? just stop down a tad more to compensate, or use your software to compensate for the overexposure.>) are willing to ship orders out Fedex or UPS.

all I was saying was that I am NOT arguing that spending $40k, even $2.5k(5dII) on a camera that you will use, if it pays you back over time, even 2-3 years, or longer, is a bad thing. Just something to think about, seriously I hope.

what I am saying is that I find it hard(for me at least personally) to spend $40k, even 2.5k(5DII) if I'm not going to use it day in and day out. My RZ is with me WHEREVER I shoot, even if I know I won't use it. But its the camera that I use the most, and was happy to spend $1800 for my kit(3 lenses, and a Pro II body, and 5 backs) 2 years ago. Its paid for itself in the first 6 months I owned it easily, and I'm a student.

CBarrett(Chris) is the example I'm trying to use here(sorry Chris, you're a working pro, who's getting jobs easily). He purchased a P65+. This along with his digital LF lenses and Arca M2 give HIM(and his clients) the best image possible. Period. We all know that. His system is paying for itself. Easy peasy. He can justify spending that kind of serious cash, because its a tool he uses for his business.

Somehow though, I think that most of us can agree that most equipment these days IS overpriced, especially given the turnover rate.

but there will ALWAYS be the people that buy something just for the name, and the prestige. we all know that, I'd venture to guess that many here might not have ever bought a P1 or Sinar, or Leaf, or P1/Mamiya camera had they not gotten the taste of the 'forbidden fruit' on this forum

-Dan
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2010, 11:01:57 AM »
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Seems like an interesting argument and I am tempted to agree with Dick, if it does not make you money and costumers are happy with the quality you produce, why upgrade?  But you could ask the same question about lets say Apple.  They make great computers and I am very happy with mine, so why should they spend money on R&D to make their product better?  I mean we are talking about fractions of a second faster here, who would notice?  


On prices, I think the 5D2 is a great camera and greatly priced.  The canon new t/s lenses I think are a little over priced and annoying to use if you have done any work on a view camera.  

The M Line 2 is nicely priced,  very stable and well made, and I like the fact I do not have to pay $2000 per lens to have them mounted for it.  The new high end backs, too much, especially now that CCD sensors are approaching the quality of CMOS sensors.  The P45+ maybe, really like the refurb price if you can get it.

But the most over priced piece of photo gear I think (aside from lens broads, really a flat piece of metal with a hole drilled in it  ) is the Rod HR 23 mm.  Unless you are shooting very small interiors all the time, how are you to regain your investment with its limited use?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 11:19:50 AM by JoeKitchen » Logged

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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2010, 12:54:04 PM »
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Well first things first if you did not think you got what you paid for than you where stupid enough not to do your homework first and figure out what is the best solution for what you do. That comes before anything else. You could pretty much end the argument right there.

But also you have to see what you are doing first if it is a professional investment or a hobby investment things swing different ways as well . Hobbyist go by more of what they want than what they need or let's say that percentage maybe higher than a professional need which we have to look at it as a ROI more.

My case I am more than happy to spend the cash. I don't like 35mm anymore don't want to shoot it and hate the files period except for maybe a M9 but I actually like shooting MF and I like delivering the files to clients. End of day that is all I care about and now buying a 7900 printer it makes me even more happy I made the investment. At this point in my life I want to shoot the best gear I can afford for myself. End of day you need to satisfy yourself as a artist with your tools you use and be happy to deliver that to clients even if they can care less. Some of my clients actually do care that I am now shooting a bigger file. So for me it is need and yes I will admit it it is also what I want to shoot. Don't need to justify it at all after that. And more importantly don't feel one way or the other about the money spent it's done and don't think about it
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 12:58:58 PM by Guy Mancuso » Logged

EricWHiss
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2010, 12:57:22 PM »
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Maybe a tangent, but how about the used MF back market?  Okay I know the latest backs are great but if you are shooting in studio or at base ISO the difference in IQ between a $4k used back and a $40k new one just is not that big while the price diff is like 10X.  The opposite is true with DSLR's - new 5D2  $2.5k or used 5D for $1k  - not much price difference but a huge change in quality and features.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 01:07:05 PM by EricWHiss » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2010, 01:25:30 PM »
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One would think so Eric but the 2nd hand market for MFDB seems totally dead. I know a lot of people that simply seem not to be able to sell their 2nd hand backs not even for rock bottom prices.

Frankly I totally agree with Guy. I have made many purchases that did not live up to my expectation but in the end were a good lesson to determine what I need, want and can use. Expensive lessons...
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fredjeang
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2010, 02:14:12 PM »
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talking about bargains,
it has been mentionned the 5D II, maybe also the sony A 900 and 850 also seem to be regarded as very good values for money.

In MFD, I see the Pentax 645D will force the current backs to price-down, don't you think?

I'm waiting for a reasonnable   50MP Sinar.

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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2010, 02:43:00 PM »
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Quote from: JoeKitchen
But the most over priced piece of photo gear I think (aside from lens broads, really a flat piece of metal with a hole drilled in it  ) is the Rod HR 23 mm.  Unless you are shooting very small interiors all the time, how are you to regain your investment with its limited use?
I hate Ultra-Wide Angle, and the images they produce, but customers seem to be UWA mad, and if you do not have one it would, I think, be difficult to get any street cred as an Arch. photog. I have a Schneider Super-Angulon 47XL, which would do the job with stitching...
...edit slight difference between "have and "hate - only one letter different!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 11:11:16 AM by Dick Roadnight » Logged

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JonathanBenoit
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2010, 03:35:21 PM »
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Quote from: Dick Roadnight
I have Ultra-Wide Angle, and the images they produce, but customers seem to be UWA mad, and if you do not have one it would, I think, be difficult to get any street cred as an Arch. photog. I have a Schneider Super-Angulon 47XL, which would do the job with stitching...

I dont really see any use for anything wider than 35 on a 37x49 sensor. If the shot isnt there at 35 its going to look like a fun house any wider. I think I might be in the minority on this, but I just hate the look of wider lenses. I come from the school of "less is more"
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CBarrett
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2010, 05:12:46 PM »
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Quote from: JonathanBenoit
I dont really see any use for anything wider than 35 on a 37x49 sensor. If the shot isnt there at 35 its going to look like a fun house any wider. I think I might be in the minority on this, but I just hate the look of wider lenses. I come from the school of "less is more"

While I pretty much agree with this on interiors, if you need to shoot a tall building in an urban environment, a 23 or 24 can become fairly essential.

Or... check this out... shot with the P1 645 and 28mm D on a P65+... now that's wide.  But if you know how to use it....


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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2010, 05:18:33 PM »
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Quote from: Dick Roadnight
I have Ultra-Wide Angle, and the images they produce, but customers seem to be UWA mad, and if you do not have one it would, I think, be difficult to get any street cred as an Arch. photog. I have a Schneider Super-Angulon 47XL, which would do the job with stitching...
For my 5D I have a sigma 12 to 24 mm zoom and it gets unbelievably wide; I have used it twice for professional shots.  Both times I thought, I have to use that lens   , lets hope the client doesn't mind the fun house look.  

I have to agree with Jon here, if you can not get it with the 35, its going to look odd, unless you are shooting at a 1 point perspective or really small interiors like in boats or RV's.  And there is always shift and stitch, and you get a better image.  The only thing that could make it worth the money would be if they added 15mm more onto the image circle like (maybe) Scneider's new super 28 that was supposed to have been released by now.

Have to agree with Chris on the tall buildings in a city, as long as you are not to far off of a 1 point (in my opinion).
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 05:22:40 PM by JoeKitchen » Logged

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CBarrett
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2010, 05:23:18 PM »
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Yeah, I am so jonesin' for that 28.  While the bulk of my early work favored long lens 1 points.  I'm starting to get a little more playful and having more fun doing it.  Mostly the super-wides are God awful but when it works they're pretty damn dramatic.  I want that 28 and the new 43 for the Rm3d (heretofore known as R2D2).  We were supposed to see the 43 this month while the 28 is more likely to hit around September.... I believe.

-CB
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