Letter to George

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I guess I'm lucky to have come out of film SLRs, and to only be on my third "serious" camera since the advent of digital, with the fourth later this year.

The one thing that does bother me, and it's something I see pretty frequently, is the insinuation that the person asking for advice has the $3000 to spend on a D700 and lenses and is only spending $400 because they're cheap or because of some misguided attempt to be economical. This could be a young person or somebody without a great job, for whom $3000 is three months' pay. I think a lot of people in this community lock themselves into the concept that we're all college educated people with $60k+ yearly incomes, wives, and homes in parts of the country in which mortgages leave enough room for stuff like nice cameras.
 
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Its entertaining but I agree with Max. While a D700 is nice, at the given time someone buys their first camera they migth not then nor ever have the cash for it. Especially when you consider how much those things cost in other countries. The other side of it of course is that going from nothing to a D700 will most likely end up with teh proud new owner having a $3000 point and shoot.

We all need time to learn and evolve in any craft. Yes it may be more costly but its also more rewarding.
 
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I've seen that before, was fun to read it again... in so many ways it's true :smile: There's a saying; "it's not the destination, but the journey"... we've all taken a different journey to where we are, photographically speaking but I'm sure the majority of us can relate to this story.
 
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You're right, and for most people that journey of self and worldly discoveries through their moments behind the lens is what matters. But I wonder sometimes how much farther I could've gone if somebody handed me unlimited funds to get the absolute best and afforded me some guidance to see. Maybe that saying is spoken mostly by people who never reached that destination, or spent too much time in the journey.

Of course, if someone were to hand a person that sort of resources, the likely thing to happen is that they get bored and skip the point or meaning completely. Case in point, the many upper-middle class suburban children who are so disillusioned because of their comfortable and generally purposeless lifes.
 
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I've never seen that but wow is it funny...and true. I'm still on my first DSLR and that little voice whispers "full frame" from time to time.
 
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I have seen a similar version of this, only the end-point of the journey is buying a Leica and the "steps" are buying Nikon, Canon & Pentax

I will have to see if I can find the link...
 
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I'm glad I didn't ask him anything. The person that wrote him should have just been thankful for his answer and went on so he asked for it.
 
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I've seen threads on other forums with people bemoaning the cost of a DSLR (useually at about D90 level).

Personally, my journey to a D200 took me via an F80, D70s - both of which I enjoyed using. Lens wise, I started out with a 28-100 kit lens, then added a (incorrectly priced) 24-85/3.5-4.5 which I traded for a 18-135, I picked up a 24/2.8AI and traded it and the 18-135 against a Tamron 17-50/2.8. I now have various AI lenses plus some AF lenses, all of which I've picked up second hand and all pretty cheap.

All in all, I've spent a few years getting to where I am now, but I feel that I've enjoyed all of the kit that I've had along the way and I've always tried to avoid sitting around not shooting until I'd got the next piece of kit.

So, whilst this article is funny and does have more than a grain of truth in it (my Olympus C2040Z decided to die just as I stepped onto a glacier in Alaska), I would still say that working within the budget that you have at a specific moment in time is not necessarily a bad thing.
 
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If people stopped jacking up credit cards to get in debt because they can't wait, it would be different story as well. There'd be no out of my budget questions.
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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Miami, Florida, USA.
I read the story and there is a lot of truth in it. Obviously, not everybody can afford a D700 as the first camera. It also takes time for a newbie to learn about his photographic subjects and eventually what lenses will better fit his or her style.
I see nothing wrong going to an entry level with a kit lens like a D5000 and 18-55mm kit lens. Even better if the camera and lens are purchased used. Use the combo. See what you like to photograph, learn the basics. Within one year the person that bought the camera has learned more about his or her preferences and will be in a better position to buy a camera and at least a lens that will satisfy his or her needs. We all know that is only the beginning if we do not use discipline.
Nothing wrong either buying a second hand camera and the D200, about $500 in the used market, comes to mind. Why not? It is a very good camera with excellent colors and plenty of megapixels. I would keep the first camera as a back up just in case.
Photography is a long learning process. We need to educate ourselves to stop buying bodies every two years. The new cameras have better technology and many bells and whistles but old cameras do very well and are reasonably priced. Image quality is not going to be that different from one body to the next one.
In the future, if the need for a full frame is there, sell your gear, take the inevitable loss and go with what you want. A 35mm camera, that can be bought for pennies, makes an excellent alternative to a full frame digital when the negatives are scanned and give the owner a glimpse of what full frame is all about.
Life is short! Stop worrying.

William Rodriguez
Miami, Florida.
 
Joined
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Sacramento, CA
I thought about shooting 35 again until I looked at what it would cost to get good developing and scans. I've put around 40k frames on my D300s in under two years, that's the equivalent of well over 1000 rolls. That's at least the cost of two D3s.
 
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I'm actually glad people buy lots of "useless" cameras before finding what's right for them. It helps fund R&D, keep prices down and many other things useful to us all. :biggrin:
 

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