the evenings out here - Thoughts, rants and musings about absolutely everything except photography. Or cats.

End of the roll

Selling up and moving on

in General Rants , Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I thought that my next post would be about film cameras, in particular about using one of the ones I own.  Well, it is about film cameras, but not quite in the direction I imagined.

I enjoy using film cameras, and I like the quality of film. It isn’t better than digital, in any absolute sense, but it is different. To me the difference is a bit intangible. I know it exists, I can see it, but I can’t really describe it. There are photos I’ve taken on film which I would - or could - never have taken on digital, and indeed vice versa.

But this is about to end, because I’m planning on selling all my film cameras. There are two reasons for this: reason 1, I need the money. Reason 2, I have far too many cameras, and this is stifling my creativity.

The vast majority of my photography is done with the Olympus E-3 with either the 14-54mm or 50-200mm lens. I occasionally use the E-400 when I want to travel light, or be unobtrusive, or use the Lensbaby. I also use the Ricoh GRD quite a lot.  But I never use the Olympus E-1, and that’s already on eBay.

But the following are going to be looking for new homes too:

  • My Hasselblad ArcBody, with 45mm Rodenstock lens and all the accessories, with an A12 back, a Polaroid 100 back, and the quite frankly weird Hasselblad ArcBody inverter mount.  And the whole lot neatly packed away in its custom Pelican case.
  • My Hasselblad XPan (version 1) with 30mm, 45mm and 90mm lens, centre ND filters, 30mm finder / level, all packed in a nice Hasselblad leather shoulder bag.
  • Fuji SW670II 6x7 rangefinder with fixed 90mm f4 lens - possibly the best lens I’ve ever used (and it’s got some stiff competition in this list)

I’m not sure if I will use eBay. It’s a bit scary.

Then I’ll see. Maybe getting back to basics will help me find some inspiration. Or maybe unloading all this stuff will turn my growing disaffection with the whole business into actually giving it up. I’m also planning on offloading some Olympus lenses, including the 8mm Fisheye, the 7-14mm zoom, the 11-22mm zoom, and probably the 50mm macro and extension tube. If I haven’t got a cupboard full of expensive toys making me feel guilty about not using them, then maybe I can finally get it out of my system, and just enjoy looking at others (considerably better) photography.


Older Comments

from Olivia on Thu, December 03, 2009 - 10:01

all this look a bit depressed…
but I do agree that the less the better, or that a lot of photographic gear does not mean more creativity… it is simply a matter to find one’s way

from Captain Interesting on Wed, December 09, 2009 - 8:29

Yes, there can be such a thing as too much gear - the Captain’s closet, hard to close against the swelling tide of obsolete photo equipment proves the point. And yet, and yet ... the distinctiveness of f**m is becoming ever more distinctive as digital takes over. The point seems to be registering in Japan, whence the Captain just returned. There, there is at least one new photography magazine that is entirely dedicated to f*** photography - not large or medium format, but just plain old 35mm f*** photography with beaten-up old used f*** cameras….

Makes yer think, dunnit ...

PS: Sorry about the asterisks but, as you know, young and impressionable readers may be shocked that some old f***s are still using f***

from nick pye on Sun, January 17, 2010 - 9:49

it DOES sound depressed. I hope not though… I got rid of my first camera, an olympus om10, “as I would never use it again” and wish I hadnt; I still have all my other cameras now and will not sell them, even if I do not use them. there is nothing wrong with a shelf displaying a collection! cameras are the same as books I think :-)

from Peter on Sat, January 23, 2010 - 5:17

I really like your blog and you seem to bump into the same scenarios as I do: Aperture, Scanning, Black and White, etc.
My 2 eurocent: prices are down and sooner or later a way of using these cameras digitally may be around.
I have obscene amounts of gear brickabracking on my camerashelf (and need money, too!) from Pentax 67 to 2 Sinars, a couple of Pentax MX, Leica Rs, etc. But somehow I have always found a reason to use one or the other. At least every couple of years or so. They are my babies. Just think about all the unused guitars musicans have in their closets or your womans handbags, shoes, etc…
Yes, too much gear can “stiffle your creativity”, but it’s not the gear’s fault… You are just interested in too many things and if you flogged off your gear you’d be sorry.
Believe me, I am on our side :)