Does owning a camera,such as a Hassleblad or Leica, make one a better photographer ?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by spoolman, May 2, 2016.

  1. jtk

    jtk Subscriber
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    Picasso used a Fed, among other cameras. No Hass, No Leica.

    Avedon may have "owned" Hass/Leica, I don't know, but he built his body of work with Rollei and (maybe) Deardorff. Avedon was more the "artist" than 99% of professional photographers and 99.99% of alleged art photographers.
     
  2. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber
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    I agree with he others that better gear doesn't make a better photographer but, it makes it easier and more fun to become one
     
  3. I found that the larger brighter and easier to see viewfinder of the Hasselblad made me up my game because I could see more detail in the viewfinder and took more care composing. The lenses are sharper at full aperture than I had ever used so therefore I took more care about were the beginning and end of the depth of field is.
     
  4. wiltw

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    Not 'better' but 'poorer'
     
  5. Richard Man

    Richard Man Member

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    One thing is for certain.,... you do not read/hear the "greats" talking on forums on Internet on whether they use this or that. They use this or that because it works for their needs, whatever "it" is ;-)

    Happy New Year
     
  6. chip j

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    Own the best--it'll take care of the rest.
     
  7. mrosenlof

    mrosenlof Subscriber

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    As an owner of both Hassy and Leica equipment, I can say confidently that it will not make you a better photographer.

    Also, the population that will recognize those cameras as status symbols is declining!

    That said, there is the possibility that a great lens can turn an excellent photo into something a bit more excellent. I think that's about as far as it goes.

    I have noticed that when shooting with a Leica or Blad, Especially on a tripod, I'm extra likely to get a camera or phone waved at me with a "can you take our photo please?"
     
  8. Having Leicas and Hasselblads means that when the photograph is not good that the camera owner can only blame themselves. All the other things that could go wrong have been eliminated. Realizing that makes one question ones own actions and not the film nor the equipment.
     
  9. Richard Man

    Richard Man Member

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    You would be surprised, ha ha. (To be honest, this is one reason why I do shoot with Leica, and Hasselblad)
     
  10. mshchem

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    This is a darn good point. Fast primes are my preference no matter what camera. The best glass is sharp wide open, control of DOF is so much easier.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
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    hi doug
    i've had a lot of time to think over my various responses
    and my answer is conditional ..
    if that is what is needed to give someone the personal
    confidence and enthusiasm then yes, otherwise, maybe.
    have a great 2018!
    john
     
  12. Ko.Fe.

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    Picasso was a ... he only posed with it.
    Every photog who has FSU and no choice was ditching it as very first chance.
    Welcome to Reality.

    I'm still using FED-2, BTW. :smile:
     
  13. ParkerSmithPhoto

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    I used a Bronica SQ for 20 years, and about two years ago got a full Hasselblad kit. It was like trading in a Honda Civic for a Mercedes. The level of fit, finish, engineering and refinement is really something special. I now know why Hasselblad people are such fanatics. It's very gratifying to use such a fine piece of camera.

    I do think I'm creating some of the best work I've ever made, but it's more about my growth as a photographer than the camera I'm using.

    Or maybe it's the camera. :D
     
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  15. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    If you take the requisite 100000 bad photos with that Hasselblad or Leica, you‘ll be a better photographer afterwards...
     
  16. Theo Sulphate

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    Having both Hasselblads (500C/M, 501C, 553ELX, SWC) and Leicas (M3's, M6's, SL's, etc.), I can say that the build quality of the bodies and the quality of the lenses will let you make as technically good a photograph as you are able.

    Yet I find myself more comfortable and creative with a camera like a Pentax Spotmatic - which I've used for many decades.

    The Hasselblads and Leicas just satisfied my equipment lust. My photography skills improved the most when I had to print my work: I was disappointed and felt I had few photos worth investing my time in printing them. That made me think about what I was photographing and how to make a worthy image.
     
  17. Richard Man

    Richard Man Member

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    St. Bresson said "10,000" photos, not 100,000 ~_o

    and I hit that in 4 years, shooting film, and that was 2005... (still mostly shooting film and when I shoot digital, it's the same rate)
     
  18. blockend

    blockend Member
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    The aim of the photographer is to create a strong emotion in the viewer. Some people interpret that as envy of their toolkit.
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
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    yeah but this is 2018 :wink:
    everything has easily increased
    at least 10fold sice HCB said that.
    and worhol's 15 minutes of fame
    is now 22.5 seconds ...
     
  20. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    Although not being 7 feet tall doesn't preclude you from being a great basketball player, it certainly seem to help a great deal. Either that, or there is some sort of height discrimination going on where great short players aren't given a fair chance.

    And, although it cannot be proven to be impossible that a quadriplegic may play great basketball, it is, for practical purposes, impossible. Maybe if you want to include telepathic abilities or helper giraffes, it may be possible, but I'm assuming there's no outside help here.

    Bottom line: you absolutely need gear of a certain minimum capability to produce good/great/even acceptable work of a certain sort. Notice the word "capability" not "quality"--although quality usually does determine capability. For instance--the best quality 16mm spy camera will never be able to produce ansel adams type landscapes--however, the oldest, ricketiest, cheapest made large format camera will allow such photographs--if the photographer knows how to compensate/rig the old junk to do the job. A more skilled photographer can compensate for what is lacking in some gear/tools. But a less skilled photographer can rely on the tools to compensate for his shortcomings as well.

    Therefore, barring the outliers and exceptions, we can make the general statement that the higher capability/quality of the tool will generally end up generating more higher capability/quality of work in a given time with a given photographer.
     
  21. blockend

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    The question is what's appropriate for the task in hand? A Deardorf makes a lousy street camera and an Instamatic wouldn't be first choice for landscapes. Then there's the question of taste. Some love pinhole chromes, other people like grainy high contrast shots. Some think blur adds to atmosphere, others won't shoot below 1/500. One guy thinks zone focus is quickest, another wants the fastest AF he can buy. There are very few cameras that can't take a great photograph, but none that guarantee one.
     
  22. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    I used a Praktica LTL with a 28 mm, the 50 mm, a 135 mm, a 200 mm, extension tubes, etc, for many years and got some fine images - and of course many also-rans and failures. I put some blame on the gear: the LTL's viewfinder isn't the brightest, etc. Then I got a Pentax MX. Suddenly I had to assume some blame for failures. The MX was soooo much easier to use! When I bought an LX the same occurred. While the improvement in gear didn't directly make me a better shooter, it made me examine my work, its successes and failures, and make some adjustments.
     
  23. Ces1um

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    No.
     
  24. Party pooper! :mad:
     
  25. E. von Hoegh

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    Of course. Also, a new Poersche will cure impotence and baldness.:laugh:
     
  26. Is that based on your personal experience? :whistling:
     
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