What gear changed your (photographic) life?

JensM

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I think I will go reasonable current and say the GX7. I have more or less always been around cameras, and bought my first SLR at the ripe age of 13(+/- a year).

Gone the whole cycle, made a informed decision of shooting with a digital PS, supplementing with film untill 2005 or thereabout where I struck off the film shooting entirely and somewhat forsworn the ILCs due to size and sclepping around. That lasted untill a colleague and me worked ourself into a buying frenzy and I ended up with a Pentax K7, due to its small size.

Turned out it was too big, so it warmed the shelf at home, but the yearning grew stronger and so the hunt continued, then a friend muttered something about M43, and soon the GX7 was brought home and photography was back on the agenda, seriously back on the agenda (somewhat). :hiding:
 

shimon

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I was going to drive Hwy 1 up the California coast through Oregon and up to Washington so I borrowed a friend's Canon A2 SLR (this was mid-90's) and shot a bunch of film but was very disappointed in the results. I assumed that since I was using a "fancy" camera...I would get great results. Frustrated, I stopped off at in bookstore in Northern California and picked up a photography book (co-authored by Art Wolfe and Mark Gardner) and read it cover to cover. I learned so much from the book that by the end of the trips, I was quite happy with the results and saw a marked improvement in the quality of my photos. So that book was the best piece of "gear" I invested in and has given the most returns and certainly the most "bang for the buck".

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ac12

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I was going to drive Hwy 1 up the California coast through Oregon and up to Washington so I borrowed a friend's Canon A2 SLR (this was mid-90's) and shot a bunch of film but was very disappointed in the results. I assumed that since I was using a "fancy" camera...I would get great results. Frustrated, I stopped off at in bookstore in Northern California and picked up a photography book (co-authored by Art Wolfe and Mark Gardner) and read it cover to cover. I learned so much from the book that by the end of the trips, I was quite happy with the results and saw a marked improvement in the quality of my photos. So that book was the best piece of "gear" I invested in and has given the most returns and certainly the most "bang for the buck".

View attachment 888508

Education beats gear.

I've seen it before, the best gear won't do any good, if you don't know how to use it, or how to compose a picture well.
  • A parent with a FF Canon and a 70-200/2.8, but he did not know how to shoot in any other mode than Auto :confused: :(
  • Me with a SLR getting beat in a photo contest, by another student shooting an "Instamatic." That was the film P&S of my early days. He could compose a pic BETTER than I could.
 

John King

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I agree completely, @ac12.

I have made a list of basic (and not so basic ... ) books on photography that I recommend.

While I watch the occasional YouTube video, I find the modern hyperactive style irritatong, and generally not very informative.

Basic book list:

The Photographer's EyeMichael Freeman
The Photograph: Composition and Colour DesignHarald Mante
"The Camera", “The Negative” and “The Print” by Ansel Adams. Highly recommended, it helps you understand exposure, lens theory, and much more. These books were revised by Adams in the late 1970s early 1980s just before his death
"Light: Science and Magic"
Biva, Fuqua, et.al.
"Scott Kelby's Seven Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3"

(now also available as "Scott Kelby's Seven Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS5" for twice the price, and the same lesson photographs ... ).
Scott Kelby

(The only one of Scott Kelby’s books that I recommend.)
Understanding ExposureBryan Peterson
Photography and the Art of Seeing (3rd edition)Freeman Patterson

HTH some others, as they have helped me..
 

mauve

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The Olympus E-P1 ; not my 1st camera (that dubious honour goes to an Agfamatic 110) ; not my first SLR (Olympus OM-1) ; not my 1st digital (a junk 5 Mpix jobby branded by Vivitar) ; not my 1st digital slr (that was a Pentax *istDL). So why ? The E-P1 was the 1st digital camera I owned that beat film fair and square. As such, it was already a strange experience, and I shelved most of my wet lab very soon after I got it, which I never expected. I think I may have an unfinished and undeveloped film in my OM-1 still. It was that brutal.
And then, the E-P1 led me here, and I learned immensely from members of the mu-43.com forum, touching areas I never thought to tackle before. So the biggest change was certainly meeting the :mu43: crowd, but it would never have happened without the E-P1
Cheers,
M.
 

Mack

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Jan 14, 2018
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Instamatic 100 that shot 126 film carts and used AG-1 flashbulbs. Ended up buying a Vivitar 66 B&W enlarger for it and an Argus plastic film developing tank. Local camera shop had all sorts of goodies that peaked my interest, including cans of Kodak Flashpowder that was a hoot! (Newspaper kept it on hand then for large accidents like train derailments etc, where they needed a lot of light.). Also bought some 8mm Yashica movie camera we used in the hood making really crummy movies.

Later, in college, I picked up a Pentax Spotmatic F and a couple of Takumar lenses that I still have for five semesters of photography classes. Ansel Adams came to the college on a guest speaker tour and worked with us in the darkroom there. We never really understood the "Zone System" the prof was teaching us kids then from Minor White's book on it. Seemed over out heads back then, but it later sunk in.

Spent so much time in camera shop buying stuff they hired me. Ended up working in two of them. Just as well as I ended up with a large Beseler Dichro CB-7 enlarger, and eventually talked a friend of mine into a Minolta color enlarger that used dichroic RGB flashtubes for its lamp. We were cranking out 30x40 inch Ektacolor prints back then from a DIY irrigation pipe Unicolor copied developing tube and roller to Wow! people.
 

wimg

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Dec 10, 2016
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Netherlands
Well, my first entry into photography, apart from playing with the Kodak brownies of my dad and of my aunt, was the Kodak Instamatic 25 I was gifted at age 7 :).
That was it, I was hooked.

Next major step was being shown a darkroom at age 14 and being allowed to develop and print my own fil, still from that same Kodak Instamatic 25.
Then, having just reached 18, my first slr, Praktica LTL, which had just come out.

A few years later I sold it and bought a Pentax ME, followed a few years later by an additional MX, and a bunch of lenses, the SMC Pentax 20mm F/4 being the most significant I think, as that opened my eyes to UWA photography.

Forward to quite a few years later, 2004, when I got my first digital camera, a Canon G5. I did not want to invest in dslr yet, as I thought it was too early and too risky, but I certainly was inspired by the Canon Ixus, 4 I think, I was allowed to play with by a friend.

Well, not even a year later I owned a Canon 350D, and that changed everything again.
I realised I shoudl have kept the G5, as a smaller, carry always camera, so a few years later I also got a G10.
A few years later I got a 5D, around the time the 5D II was released, and that again was a major change for me.
I got the 5D II a year later :).

MFT came into play at the end of 2012, with a used GF2, and a bunch of lenses, which I got a great deal on, and I liked the compact setup. That sealed that part for me, as a replacement for the G10, but with interchangeable lenses and better image quality. After trying an Oly OM-10 II for a while, and buying an Oly-5 II I never looked back, but got an E-M1 II and Pen-F when they arrived on the market.

I never stopped with Canon either, however, as I really liked the combination of MFT and FF, and with Canon I did take the route to the EOS R as well.

Just love both setups, and I will likely not go back either :).

Kind regards, Wim
 
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