Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Username:
Password:
Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Like 0

How much of your kit do you actually NEED?

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014843 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
4 Dec 2008 - 1:22 PM

Here's a topic for a snowy day at home Smile

With kit purchases, I think there's 3 words that really matter.

WANT
NEED
COST


NEED relates to how essential the kit is to you - so if you're on the way to a wedding and you drop your camera bag and your main 24-70 (or whatever) lens smashes, you NEED another one fast - so will be prepared to pay for a new one ASAP at almost any COST. You may not actaully have much desire for the lens, but you need it for the job.

WANT relates to how much you desire some kit, regardless of how much you NEED it. So for example, you've been to FOCUS and bought yourself a nice set of 3 strobes, the stands etc. because you had a play with the lights and there was a sexy model posing.... so you WANTED them. however, they made it out of the box once at XMAS and you may get a portrait job one day, so they'll come in handy.


So how much of your kit do you really NEED to either fulfil your professional commitments or to enable your hobby, and how much of it has been camera retail therapy?

What pieces of kit are wearing out through use, and which are so rarely used, you forget you have them?

Do you even bother about cost when purchasing, or is cost the critical factor?

(just read a thread on the 17-40 F4 V 16-35 F2.8, that's where the idea came from Smile )

Last Modified By ade_mcfade at 4 Dec 2008 - 1:26 PM
Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links 
4 Dec 2008 - 1:22 PM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

aftertherain
4 Dec 2008 - 1:33 PM

I have all sorts of kit.
I used to carry everything in my camera bag and, without the camera and tripod it weighed 1.5 stone.
I realised I wasn't using anything out of the bag other than the filters.
I do use all of my lenses but for specific things and I don't take anything but the essentials when I go out and they go into a Tamrac 'bum' bag.
When I knew I was going to be unable to drive for a while I bought the second hand Tamron 200-500mm for bird photography in the garden and it's kept me sane so it was worth the money.

It tends to be the add-ons that I don't use - the Nikon Flash and the Sekonic light meter never see the light of day.
I'm not technical so I couldn't figure out how either of them worked and they were a total waste of money.

Wearing out -the Nikon 18-70mm kit lens, it's a gem.
I recently sold the Sigma 10-20 and bought the Nikon 16-85mm and I'm liking that, it's perfect for my landscapes so it will probably edge out the 18-70mm.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014843 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
4 Dec 2008 - 1:40 PM

how about choosing between, say, an F4 or F2.8 when purchasing lenses?

I'd guess lots of people WANT the F2.8 but only NEED the F4 - that's where the COST comes into the equation.

The L lenses I've bought are F4 because I only really needed F4 for what I did, the F2.8 was bought by the insurers Wink


My theory is that more than a lot of hobbys, photography ends with people satisfying their WANTS over their NEEDS regardless of the COST.

Picture_Newport

I buy purely through Need.

My main photography work is Weddings so I use:

Nikon D200 body as main (looking a bot worn now so will probably buy D300). A couple of nice Prime Lenses 50mm f/1.4 & 35mm f/2. And a good all round Zoom the 18 - 200 VR. And an SB 600 Flashgun. Reflector & Tripod.

All of which I use at pretty much every Wedding I photograph. And this kit does pretty well for the occasional bit of Studio Work, and Commercial (functions) I do too.

I carry a D60 body also, not the greatest camera I know, but it's small, light and ok for backup incase the D200 packs in.

I have a small interest in Landscape Photography, but not great enough to go and buy expensive Super Wide Angle Lenses, so just use the 18 -200mm or the standard kit lens that came with the D60. Also have a polarising filter & some Cokin ND Grads.

Never done any Macro work so never bothered with a Macro Lens, If I do want to dabble I will try and borrow or hire before buying.

I also borrow a friends studio lights if I think I will need them at a wedding or function as I rerely use them so see no need to purchase any.

culturedcanvas

Depends if you're pro or amateur .... want and need are often the same thing but most pro's want profit not kit, but they want kit that does the job, not compromise.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139544 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
4 Dec 2008 - 1:53 PM


Quote: Depends if you're pro or amateur .... want and need are often the same thing but most pro's want profit not kit, but they want kit that does the job, not compromise.

I agree.

With non and semi-pros, "want" often prevails over "need". And if you can afford it, why not? Smile

Last Modified By Carabosse at 4 Dec 2008 - 1:53 PM
elowes
elowes  102832 forum posts United Kingdom
4 Dec 2008 - 1:53 PM

My kit is 90% essential for what I do so I carry it with me. 5D with a 24-105 backed up with a 20D and a 17-40

Things I carry which I infrequently use are:

the 70-200 though I am trying to make more use of it

filters which have suffered more from being tossed around in the bag than from use

I have worn out a Sigma zoom which I bough before DSLRs were on the market.

Money is no object as I only spend what my wife thinks I can afford :-(
I am allowed to spend what I make but as this is negligible I would struggle.

I would replace my existing kit come what may and hope to up grade the camera bodies if anything got lost, damaged or wore out. Just hope I can do it before I'm caught.

As an aside: When I bought my first serious SLR (OM1) it cost me more than a months wages, about 5 weeks worth. The 5D cost me less at about 3 weeks wages. When I bought the OM1 (and later the OM2) interest rates were 10% or so and went up to 15%. Our first mortgage at the time of the OM2 was 100% and was at 16%.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014843 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
4 Dec 2008 - 1:56 PM


Quote: Depends if you're pro or amateur

I worded it like this...


Quote:
So how much of your kit do you really NEED to either fulfil your professional commitments or to enable your hobby


to cover that point Dan.

Pro's will undoubtedly NEED better kit than the hobbyist in order to fulfil their professional commitments, reliability being one of the critical factors, image quality being a given.

But maybe they've got 5000 long lens at home gathering dust, when they could just of hired one for specific jobs? Who knows.

I think the question applies equally to all photographers, just that the responses will be different - if you see what I mean Smile

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139544 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
4 Dec 2008 - 1:59 PM

I suspect quite a lot of pro togs have loads of equipment they no longer need, cluttering up their homes!

But they can't be bothered putting it on Fleabay or whatever... and it's probably hardly in mint condition! Wink

digicammad
digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
4 Dec 2008 - 2:02 PM

I want a D300

I need more money

otherwise

it could cost me my marriage!

Grin

Picture_Newport


Quote: I suspect quite a lot of pro togs have loads of equipment they no longer need, cluttering up their homes!

But they can't be bothered putting it on Fleabay or whatever... and it's probably hardly in mint condition!

True. I have loads of old Minolta stuff here from back in the 'Film Age'. Will probably never get round to selling it, it's probably not worth much either.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014843 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
4 Dec 2008 - 2:09 PM

One thing that I was stunned by when visiting a pro's studio over in Bradford was the amount of props he had

I never saw a camera, but had a wander round and he had a treasure trove of medieval outfits, several wedding dresses, furniture- just hoards of stuff like oyu'd see at a fancy dress shop or in the theatre!

Imagine doing family shoots with that lot to hand - the kids love it apparently!

So yeah - that's hoarding in a different way I guess.

The point.... I've been there 2 or 3 times and he's mentioned kit once in passing. It's all about the shoot, the people, the image to him.

To be fair, I've absolutely no idea what spec my PC is at work, I just open up visual studio and write code... same thing really.

Anyway - get this topic back on track someone Smile

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139544 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
4 Dec 2008 - 2:24 PM

My most local pro seems to have a Canon 5D plus a 24-105L and a softbox! Grin

He appears to be doing well enough with this modest lot. His high street shop has been around for very many years.......

agoreira
agoreira  116001 forum posts Wales
4 Dec 2008 - 3:50 PM


Quote: My most local pro seems to have a Canon 5D plus a 24-105L and a softbox!


Yes, some photographers seem to get by on quite modest kit, whilst other that have "all the gear" struggle to produce good work.
I used to work with a guy that had to have all the latest kit, no expense spared, and another mate used to buy all his used gear off him cheap, as it was usually less than a year old and hardly used!
I have 5 lenses and they all get used, some more than others, but there is nothing that never gets used. Tripod gets used quite a lot, filters probably don't get used as much as they should, and a radio remote hardly ever gets used. Oh, and a spirit level thingy to go on top the camera never gets used, thankfully it cost next to nothing. Wink

Last Modified By agoreira at 4 Dec 2008 - 3:51 PM
ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014843 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
4 Dec 2008 - 4:58 PM

Come up with an equation for this Smile (Been a long day at home dossing around!)

I quite want a Canon Tilt Shift Lens - I'd probably be prepared to pay a few hundred if I saw one

I don't need one for anything other than to experiment with it, I can't think of owt I can make extra cash from if I had one

The cost is about 800

the amount of "WANT" does not add up to 800 yet, the need is actually "0",

so my

WANT + NEED < 800

so I've not got one.

So there's the formula I've been thinking about in the graveyard just now

If WANT + NEED >= COST then
buy kit item
else
do not buy kit item

You can quantify the NEED in hire costs, potential earnings from it maybe, or more likely, potential losses if you had to turn jobs away.

WANT is harder really... it's a variable dependant on:-

income
mood,
mortgage rates,
wife (not in my case though),
pay rise,
bonus,
recklessness,
love of all things shiney,
one-up-man ship
geekiness
ability to save cash
credit card availability


Ah jesus... I need to get a life.

Just been in a graveyard and took 20 shots of the dog **** container on the way out - lovely reds looked nice against the snow Wink

Last Modified By ade_mcfade at 4 Dec 2008 - 5:06 PM

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Username:
Password:
Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.