This is in reality a follow on to my previous post concerning my decision to buy a couple of old Canon 1D camera bodies instead of doing a major upgrade to brand new kit. Looked at logically and if I were some 10 years younger, clearing out all the kit I’ve got and trading it in against one brand new body and a few lenses would likely be the thing to do. However I’m not 67 and that brings a rather different perspective to things.
As an amateur photographer I do set myself different ‘challenges’ from time to time but the simple truth is that I find a lot of satisfaction with the whole process of actually taking photographs. There is for me a physical joy of handling my cameras beyond just calculations of which one is best for this of that situation, I find all these machines, mini computers in truth, quite fascinating to use. It is this that lies behind my current camera collection that is in daily use. I deliberately rotate using them and find a positive joy with each change remembering the quirks and oddities of each as its ‘turn’ comes around again.
My recent purchases of a couple of old 1D series bodies added to my 1DX MkII means that I have three bodies that are almost identical in their handling and layout which is no surprise, they were designed for exactly the same market of working professional photographers who want technical upgrades but ‘keep the handling the same’. However I have an additional full frame DSLR, my Canon 5DS which at over 50mpx is quite a camera to be reckoned with.
With all the recent fuss of ‘playing with two new (to me) toys’, using my 5DS had been delayed this month until the other morning when it was with me as I viewed a very high tide that came with both a full moon and the end of British Summer Time. The morning was calm with not much wind and apart from a flock of Terns, small Gulls that could start an argument in an empty room, not much wildlife though the light was interesting.
Although I’m very interested in the shutter count of any second hand camera I buy, I do not stint myself on using the cameras I own, 5 images or 55 from my morning ride just doesn’t matter. However and without even thinking about it I took over 50 pictures that morning and even after pruning them on the PC when home, still ended up with some 30 ‘keepers’ which I will work up into an album in post production during this week and there is one image that may well become my Christmas card picture.
The good thing is that I ‘know’ my existing cameras and how to get the best out of them. Because I take so many pictures during the year, I have over 200 framed on walls and as inkjet prints fade over the years, there is always a reprint/replace program going on.
I was reprinting a block of 6 pictures the other week that I had taken probably 15 years ago with cameras and lenses far ‘worse’ than those I have today and yet for me, they were still good images. I didn’t replace them, reworked them a little because they were originally shot in RAW and modern software is so much more capable than that I had used previously, then reprinted them.
It’s not really about the kit, true the better you can afford is good, what it is about is the person behind the camera and the best camera available can’t make a poor photographer into a good one let alone a great one.