Author Topic: Never spend a windfall: camera gear  (Read 4229 times)

I'm a red panda

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Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« on: November 08, 2017, 09:58:34 AM »
I'm reporting my own husband today.
His car was hit in the parking lot at work, and because it was caught on security cameras, he was able to get the damage covered by the woman's insurance. (She did not leave a note.)

His car is 8 years old so after replacing the car seat, we chose not to repair the cosmetic damage.

I told him he should buy a new camera lens and we could invest the rest. Instead of a bumper, he's now the proud owner of a 100-400 mm lens. And invested $15.

I think I was thinking more low end when I made the suggestion. 😕

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 10:45:10 AM »
I'm reporting my own husband today.
His car was hit in the parking lot at work, and because it was caught on security cameras, he was able to get the damage covered by the woman's insurance. (She did not leave a note.)

His car is 8 years old so after replacing the car seat, we chose not to repair the cosmetic damage.

I told him he should buy a new camera lens and we could invest the rest. Instead of a bumper, he's now the proud owner of a 100-400 mm lens. And invested $15.

I think I was thinking more low end when I made the suggestion. 😕

Just make him take on sports shooting or wildlife tourism guide gigs for a positive return on investment.

Optimiser

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 10:46:27 AM »
Hahaha, I guess you'll have to be more specific in the future.

ketchup

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 10:53:19 AM »
I'm reporting my own husband today.
His car was hit in the parking lot at work, and because it was caught on security cameras, he was able to get the damage covered by the woman's insurance. (She did not leave a note.)

His car is 8 years old so after replacing the car seat, we chose not to repair the cosmetic damage.

I told him he should buy a new camera lens and we could invest the rest. Instead of a bumper, he's now the proud owner of a 100-400 mm lens. And invested $15.

I think I was thinking more low end when I made the suggestion. 😕

Just make him take on sports shooting or wildlife tourism guide gigs for a positive return on investment.
Here you go.  A 100-400mm should do rather well there.  Looks like it's $1300-2000 (depending on if you got the newer revision with better IS or not).  13-20 $100 gigs or 3-4 $500 gigs.

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 11:13:24 AM »
I'm reporting my own husband today.
His car was hit in the parking lot at work, and because it was caught on security cameras, he was able to get the damage covered by the woman's insurance. (She did not leave a note.)

His car is 8 years old so after replacing the car seat, we chose not to repair the cosmetic damage.

I told him he should buy a new camera lens and we could invest the rest. Instead of a bumper, he's now the proud owner of a 100-400 mm lens. And invested $15.

I think I was thinking more low end when I made the suggestion. 😕

Just make him take on sports shooting or wildlife tourism guide gigs for a positive return on investment.
He has instead proposed a really expensive trip to Banff to fully use it.
Basically the same trip we planned last year before he got hit by a car biking, but now with infant and an extra dog we can't (won't) do it as a camping roadtrip and instead need to fly and get a hotel...

When I was skating he would often do action shots for the club, but I don't skate anymore. It would cost more than he'd make to get him the "in".


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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 11:26:22 AM »
Cameras are an expensive hobby. Body, glass, tripods, digital storage, backups, weather gear, travel gear.... ad infinitum.

ketchup

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2017, 12:15:29 PM »
Cameras are an expensive hobby. Body, glass, tripods, digital storage, backups, weather gear, travel gear.... ad infinitum.
It can be.  It can also be cheap (relatively).  GF started her photography business with less than $2k worth of gear.  Granted, now she's into five figures' worth of "tools" easily but that's with an established business.  As a hobbyist, you don't need anywhere close to the latest/greatest.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 01:10:42 PM »
Simple solution: get other people to pay for the gear!

(full disclosure: I'm a full time staff video producer)
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 01:12:58 PM by NoStacheOhio »

I'm a red panda

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2017, 01:17:33 PM »
Simple solution: get other people to pay for the gear!

(full disclosure: I'm a full time staff video producer)

Well, he kind of did. The insurance company paid.


Just Joe

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 08:29:28 AM »
The best of the breed folks are still talented even without the best gear.

All I'm likely to notice as an amateur between "consumer grade" and real "professional grade" is durability.

My DW does some amazing things with low end cameras.

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 08:37:27 AM »
The best of the breed folks are still talented even without the best gear.

All I'm likely to notice as an amateur between "consumer grade" and real "professional grade" is durability.

My DW does some amazing things with low end cameras.


A sub $1,000 lens is hardly the "best gear".

I take shit photos no matter what I'm using. He takes very nice ones with crappy gear and amazing ones with good gear.
There is only so much one can do with wildlife photography when you don't have a good telephoto.

ketchup

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 08:49:06 AM »
The best of the breed folks are still talented even without the best gear.

All I'm likely to notice as an amateur between "consumer grade" and real "professional grade" is durability.

My DW does some amazing things with low end cameras.


A sub $1,000 lens is hardly the "best gear".

I take shit photos no matter what I'm using. He takes very nice ones with crappy gear and amazing ones with good gear.
There is only so much one can do with wildlife photography when you don't have a good telephoto.
+1

GF takes better photos with her iPhone than I can take with her fancypants camera gear, but she still uses her fancypants camera gear. 

Once your skills hit a certain point, pros actually are limited by lower-end gear.  Most people are not.  In fact, plenty of people that buy the fancy cameras don't derive any extra value from them at all.  The upside of that is that it means you can find plenty of fancy camera with very low use on the used market.  GF's previous camera (5D Mark II) was bought on eBay with about 5k shutter actuations, and she was able to put another 270k actuations on it in 2.5 years before upgrading to a Mark IV (and keeping the still-functional Mark II as backup).

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2017, 09:16:07 AM »
The best of the breed folks are still talented even without the best gear.

All I'm likely to notice as an amateur between "consumer grade" and real "professional grade" is durability.

My DW does some amazing things with low end cameras.


A sub $1,000 lens is hardly the "best gear".

I take shit photos no matter what I'm using. He takes very nice ones with crappy gear and amazing ones with good gear.
There is only so much one can do with wildlife photography when you don't have a good telephoto.
+1

GF takes better photos with her iPhone than I can take with her fancypants camera gear, but she still uses her fancypants camera gear. 

Once your skills hit a certain point, pros actually are limited by lower-end gear. Most people are not.  In fact, plenty of people that buy the fancy cameras don't derive any extra value from them at all.  The upside of that is that it means you can find plenty of fancy camera with very low use on the used market.  GF's previous camera (5D Mark II) was bought on eBay with about 5k shutter actuations, and she was able to put another 270k actuations on it in 2.5 years before upgrading to a Mark IV (and keeping the still-functional Mark II as backup).

The same can be said of musical instruments.

ketchup

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2017, 09:19:14 AM »
The best of the breed folks are still talented even without the best gear.

All I'm likely to notice as an amateur between "consumer grade" and real "professional grade" is durability.

My DW does some amazing things with low end cameras.


A sub $1,000 lens is hardly the "best gear".

I take shit photos no matter what I'm using. He takes very nice ones with crappy gear and amazing ones with good gear.
There is only so much one can do with wildlife photography when you don't have a good telephoto.
+1

GF takes better photos with her iPhone than I can take with her fancypants camera gear, but she still uses her fancypants camera gear. 

Once your skills hit a certain point, pros actually are limited by lower-end gear. Most people are not.  In fact, plenty of people that buy the fancy cameras don't derive any extra value from them at all.  The upside of that is that it means you can find plenty of fancy camera with very low use on the used market.  GF's previous camera (5D Mark II) was bought on eBay with about 5k shutter actuations, and she was able to put another 270k actuations on it in 2.5 years before upgrading to a Mark IV (and keeping the still-functional Mark II as backup).

The same can be said of musical instruments.
Absolutely.  And the cost can be even more than camera gear.  I have a friend that plays the bassoon... holy shit.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 09:22:20 AM »
The best of the breed folks are still talented even without the best gear.

All I'm likely to notice as an amateur between "consumer grade" and real "professional grade" is durability.

My DW does some amazing things with low end cameras.


A sub $1,000 lens is hardly the "best gear".

I take shit photos no matter what I'm using. He takes very nice ones with crappy gear and amazing ones with good gear.
There is only so much one can do with wildlife photography when you don't have a good telephoto.
+1

GF takes better photos with her iPhone than I can take with her fancypants camera gear, but she still uses her fancypants camera gear. 

Once your skills hit a certain point, pros actually are limited by lower-end gear.  Most people are not.  In fact, plenty of people that buy the fancy cameras don't derive any extra value from them at all.  The upside of that is that it means you can find plenty of fancy camera with very low use on the used market.  GF's previous camera (5D Mark II) was bought on eBay with about 5k shutter actuations, and she was able to put another 270k actuations on it in 2.5 years before upgrading to a Mark IV (and keeping the still-functional Mark II as backup).

I don't know enough to tell you what camera he had on him at the time (he bought a second body for our galapagos trip), but we were wandering around DC with my best friend growing up and her husband, who is a professional photographer.  Friend's husband did not engage my husband about photography talk at all, which we thought was weird, but whatever.  Until midway through the day when we asked him to take a photo of us and handed over husband's camera.  Then when he took the photo and saw my husband had been shooting on manual they did nothing but talk about photography for the rest of the day.

Turns out he thought he was one of those assholes who buys ridiculously priced gear and then shoots on green square instead of learning how to use it.  (me- I'm a big fan of green square. But mostly, I stay away from his cameras.)

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2017, 09:31:25 AM »
Turns out he thought he was one of those assholes who buys ridiculously priced gear and then shoots on green square instead of learning how to use it.  (me- I'm a big fan of green square. But mostly, I stay away from his cameras.)

This is really common. I'm totally guilty of it myself. I also get salty about paying for school pictures when it's clearly someone's SAHP side-gig using some basic umbrellas, a Canon Rebel and $500 worth of backdrops.

Any time someone starts talking about photo/video gear, I kind of just smile and nod politely. The pro photo community is super insular/cliquey, even amongst the different varieties of shooters.

ketchup

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2017, 09:34:00 AM »
Turns out he thought he was one of those assholes who buys ridiculously priced gear and then shoots on green square instead of learning how to use it.  (me- I'm a big fan of green square. But mostly, I stay away from his cameras.)
There really is a shocking amount of that.  My favorite was when I witnessed a (very well-dressed) guy taking a photo with a fancy DSLR, of a mountain 20 miles away, with the flash, through a glass train window. >__>

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2017, 09:34:06 AM »
Could've done worse.  High end lenses usually hold their value pretty well. I've scored some pretty sweet lenses on eBay/used classifieds that are all currently worth more than what I paid.  Obviously you have opportunity costs with money tied up in lenses but he could've done worse things with that windfall.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2017, 09:40:52 AM »
Turns out he thought he was one of those assholes who buys ridiculously priced gear and then shoots on green square instead of learning how to use it.  (me- I'm a big fan of green square. But mostly, I stay away from his cameras.)
There really is a shocking amount of that.  My favorite was when I witnessed a (very well-dressed) guy taking a photo with a fancy DSLR, of a mountain 20 miles away, with the flash, through a glass train window. >__>

Denali?

I'm a red panda

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2017, 09:44:28 AM »
Turns out he thought he was one of those assholes who buys ridiculously priced gear and then shoots on green square instead of learning how to use it.  (me- I'm a big fan of green square. But mostly, I stay away from his cameras.)
There really is a shocking amount of that.  My favorite was when I witnessed a (very well-dressed) guy taking a photo with a fancy DSLR, of a mountain 20 miles away, with the flash, through a glass train window. >__>

When we were in the Galapagos, we had people on our (ridiculously spendy-pants) cruise with cameras that cost 2-3x what his did straight out of the box asking him how to use them.  Uh...sorry, too late to help with that.

Would have done better with a point and shoot. At least it wouldn't have been so heavy.


I think his biggest disappointment is that housings for the DSLR are just too expensive to justify for scuba diving, since we do so little.  So we found a point and shoot that at least shoots in RAW.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2017, 09:48:00 AM »
Turns out he thought he was one of those assholes who buys ridiculously priced gear and then shoots on green square instead of learning how to use it.  (me- I'm a big fan of green square. But mostly, I stay away from his cameras.)

This is really common. I'm totally guilty of it myself. I also get salty about paying for school pictures when it's clearly someone's SAHP side-gig using some basic umbrellas, a Canon Rebel and $500 worth of backdrops.

Any time someone starts talking about photo/video gear, I kind of just smile and nod politely. The pro photo community is super insular/cliquey, even amongst the different varieties of shooters.

I was apparently the only Mom at the preschool to not buy a photo of my infant.  The ones I have from home are better.  Though we maybe want to look into some backdrops.  Now that she's sitting up we need a bigger blanket, and annoyingly we didn't iron it the last time!

I am going to assume the umbrellas we now have are "basic" though.

ketchup

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2017, 09:50:34 AM »
Could've done worse.  High end lenses usually hold their value pretty well. I've scored some pretty sweet lenses on eBay/used classifieds that are all currently worth more than what I paid.  Obviously you have opportunity costs with money tied up in lenses but he could've done worse things with that windfall.
Absolutely true.  Good lenses hold their value way better than bodies.  Unless you get a particularly bad deal, you can usually sell a lens for within 10% of what you paid, sometimes even if you bought new.  Bodies wear out and go out of date.
Turns out he thought he was one of those assholes who buys ridiculously priced gear and then shoots on green square instead of learning how to use it.  (me- I'm a big fan of green square. But mostly, I stay away from his cameras.)
There really is a shocking amount of that.  My favorite was when I witnessed a (very well-dressed) guy taking a photo with a fancy DSLR, of a mountain 20 miles away, with the flash, through a glass train window. >__>

Denali?
Uh, yes actually.  Were you on that train in 2008 too? 

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2017, 10:10:55 AM »
2012 but I saw that same scene over and over. :)

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2017, 10:45:13 AM »
Turns out he thought he was one of those assholes who buys ridiculously priced gear and then shoots on green square instead of learning how to use it.  (me- I'm a big fan of green square. But mostly, I stay away from his cameras.)

This is really common. I'm totally guilty of it myself. I also get salty about paying for school pictures when it's clearly someone's SAHP side-gig using some basic umbrellas, a Canon Rebel and $500 worth of backdrops.

Any time someone starts talking about photo/video gear, I kind of just smile and nod politely. The pro photo community is super insular/cliquey, even amongst the different varieties of shooters.

I was apparently the only Mom at the preschool to not buy a photo of my infant.  The ones I have from home are better.  Though we maybe want to look into some backdrops.  Now that she's sitting up we need a bigger blanket, and annoyingly we didn't iron it the last time!

I am going to assume the umbrellas we now have are "basic" though.

Garment steamer! We got one on Amazon for like $30. It rocks.

At work we have the fancy $200 Rowenta with a huge tank.

Boll weevil

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2017, 01:45:57 PM »
Cameras are an expensive hobby. Body, glass, tripods, digital storage, backups, weather gear, travel gear.... ad infinitum.

Growing up I decided I would never take up golf because it's too expensive. Looking at my collection of camera stuff, I should have taken up golf.

Just Joe

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2017, 03:16:02 PM »
The best of the breed folks are still talented even without the best gear.

All I'm likely to notice as an amateur between "consumer grade" and real "professional grade" is durability.

My DW does some amazing things with low end cameras.


A sub $1,000 lens is hardly the "best gear".

I take shit photos no matter what I'm using. He takes very nice ones with crappy gear and amazing ones with good gear.
There is only so much one can do with wildlife photography when you don't have a good telephoto.

I agree! I wasn't being critical - though I guess what I posted reads that way. Enjoy. I bought my DW a DSLR whole rig for our anniversary. Hope she likes it. I know she wanted one. If she wears it out we'll upgrade to something "pro".
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 03:19:14 PM by Just Joe »

JLee

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2017, 08:24:32 PM »
Turns out he thought he was one of those assholes who buys ridiculously priced gear and then shoots on green square instead of learning how to use it.  (me- I'm a big fan of green square. But mostly, I stay away from his cameras.)
There really is a shocking amount of that.  My favorite was when I witnessed a (very well-dressed) guy taking a photo with a fancy DSLR, of a mountain 20 miles away, with the flash, through a glass train window. >__>

When we were in the Galapagos, we had people on our (ridiculously spendy-pants) cruise with cameras that cost 2-3x what his did straight out of the box asking him how to use them.  Uh...sorry, too late to help with that.

Would have done better with a point and shoot. At least it wouldn't have been so heavy.


I think his biggest disappointment is that housings for the DSLR are just too expensive to justify for scuba diving, since we do so little.  So we found a point and shoot that at least shoots in RAW.

I have an Olympus TG-5 that I almost killed diving (I took it right to its depth limit and it was angry at me) -- their dive-rated housing wasn't available yet, but it is now (and it's cheap!). :D

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2017, 07:01:25 AM »
We originally had a Pentax (https://www.amazon.com/Pentax-WG-3-GPS-green-Waterproof/dp/B00B728M6Y) which we dove to about 40 feet with. 
But it broke pretty much the day after the warranty expired (completely unexplained, took it out of storage to go on a new trip and it was a brick- we sent it to them and they basically told us it was unfixable)

So now we use a
Canon Power Shot S110 (not waterproof) with a Polariod Housing.  He's gone to about 110 feet with it (I don't go below 60).  He really needs strobes, but the onboard flash does OK with a diffuser for close up photos. Obviously it isn't exactly a macro.  We should get some red filters, but the adjustments in RAW are decent. These are obviously 'snapshots of when I was diving' rather than art photography- but he loves taking pictures, so it really improves his dives to have a camera with him!
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1025127-REG/polaroid_plwpcs110_underwater_housing_for_canon.html

I did drop it and broke the lens assembly and the cost to repair it was about 30%  the price of a new camera, the guy at the camera shop thought we were crazy, but the new powershot model needs a different housing that costs a lot more, so it was the way to go!  So now our camera is half silver/half black because they didn't have a matching part.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 07:40:24 AM by iowajes »

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2017, 07:32:14 AM »
"Waterproof" consumer grade cameras are worthless in my experience.  I've had two of them fail during snorkeling.  At best, they can withstand some rain or splashing.

JLee

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2017, 07:44:32 PM »
"Waterproof" consumer grade cameras are worthless in my experience.  I've had two of them fail during snorkeling.  At best, they can withstand some rain or splashing.

For ones without a depth rating, I'd agree - a lot of "waterproof" stuff is rated for a few feet of depth for a matter of minutes.   I have this guy and it has done pretty well so far.

Dave1442397

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Re: Never spend a windfall: camera gear
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2017, 07:51:45 AM »
"Waterproof" consumer grade cameras are worthless in my experience.  I've had two of them fail during snorkeling.  At best, they can withstand some rain or splashing.

I bought this Panasonic Lumix camera (maybe an older model) in 2012 for a trip with lots of snorkeling, and my daughter has taken it to the pool every year since. It's still working fine, which surprised me. I never expected it to last that long.

https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Waterproof-DMC-TS25D-Certified-Refurbished/dp/B01MSEGPAK/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1510670984&sr=8-6&keywords=panasonic+lumix+waterproof