This article is about psychology and how it affects our individual approaches to photography.
There are two basic approaches to equipment:
needing equipment that is good enough to achieve what I want to do.
must have the best equipment I can afford.
My own approach is the first. My equipment – both film and digital – is of good amateur quality. I actually own professional film cameras but seldom use them, - they are big, heavy and complicated. For film use I like my German rangefinders or 1960s SLRs – not too heavy, not so big and very few controls. My digital camera – Canon 650D – is a strictly amateur camera. All produce images I can print at A3 size.
I have had many discussions with other photographers – usually around digital kit but in the past about film kit. When I started out in photography something over forty years ago, it was made clear to me that my Soviet Zenit E with a Helios-44 lens was rubbish. Now it transpires that the Helios-44 lens in one of the best lenses ever and I had better kit than anyone knew.
With digital, I am told I should have a full frame camera as the quality is so much better and I should use Canon L series lenses as they are so much shaper. That is a camera plus lens costing £3,000 or more compared to the £800 for the kit I use most. To me, it seems I should ask what I am doing with the camera and how I am displaying the images. This last seems to me to be the most important. Pictures displayed on a computer screen are about 2 megapixels. If that is how you view your pictures, full frame and top range lenses are completely wasted. In fact, even mid-range cameras are more than you need. Printing up to A4 and any DSLR – even with an ASP-C sensor – with a mid-range lens will do you proud.