How cool are you?

12 March, 2007

From the Online Photographer:

1. The fewer lenses you use, the cooler you are. Footnote: Four is fairly cool. Three is definitely cool. Two is very, very cool. One, and you are a God, and I kowtow to you.

I use three in heavy rotation: the classic 50/1.8, a versatile-for-outdoors 17-40/4L, and by beloved if annoyingly hard to use and potentially soft Sigma 30/1.4. So a point to me!

2. Committing to one camera is very cool, even if you own two or three of them.

I own a decade-old Nikon SLR from my sister that I use so rarely I don’t even know what model it is. I own a Canon A85, oh must be 5 years or so old now, which got me through the late snapshot years and is manual enough that I got through the initial learning curve of more serious photography. It’s also useful for when I have a trusty child assistant. And I own a $20 Canon p&s I bought in 2002 for a weekend trip I was taking to Paris, which I count because I got some amazing photos on that trip.

But all I use really is my Rebel. Point to me!

3. The longer you’ve been using the same film, the cooler you are.

Kodak 400 that I pick up from Walgreens/CVS for aforementioned $20 p&s? Point to me!

4. The closer your camera is to “mint,” the less cool you are. Footnote: And a corollary: the more you care what brand of camera you shoot, and especially the more you let other people know what brand you shoot, the less you even have a clue what cool is.

Well, this point makes me feel a little better about the dings I’ve put on my Rebel in the last year. Particularly nice is a scar on the popup flash that I got the time my slippery strap slipped out of my hands as I slung that puppy over my shoulder while crossing the street. I had just changed out from my Domke strap and my muscle memory was accustomed to a bit more stickability. The impact was pretty much completely absorbed by that corner of the camera and my 50mm, with no other damage to the body whatsoever. To this day I am thankful that I didn’t have my 30 on. I was upset enough.

5. Using a camera that’s as old or older than you are is very cool.

I lose. But I will be picking up a Pentax K-1000 soon, I think. My first and only photo class, in junior high, used it and I do miss its truly manual nature. Future cool points.

UPDATE: goldurnit. I just found out the K-1000 was released the year I was born.Β  Ideas?

6. The shorter your longest lens is, the cooler you are.

Boy do I win this one: my 50 (80 effective) is the best I got. (Well I suppose I have my 18-55, but I have used it, literally, twice.) Do I get two points for my longest lens actually being normal, despite the crop factor??

7. The more often you carry your camera with you, or keep it within easy reach, the cooler.

I used to be cooler here, and in fact I was pondering posting on this theme today. When I got my work laptop in the fall, my daily commuting load got a lot heavier. While I often take buses and shuttles, I end up walking 1 to 2 miles a day with my machine and a two inch thick stack of papers on my back. Adding a camera of any size or weight grew increasingly inconvenient, esp since in the backpack it’s not easily reachable like in a messenger-style bag, and wearing the camera (across a shoulder, as I do) with a backpack is not terribly simple either. But I really do miss it and hope to get a better bag soon that will make the load a little more compact and well-distributed.

8. Cool people do not use zooms. Really cool people use cameras that can’t be fitted with zooms.

Maybe I get half a point here. I rarely walk around with my 17-40 unless it’s a Day Of Shooting Outdoors, which I haven’t had many of lately. And I kind of fell backward into most of my kit, the only lens I really chose is the 30 and for my next lens I was considering the 100/2.8 macro. f/1.4 may have convinced me to look into the 70-200/4L instead, though. I guess then I will have no claim here.

9. The more you will shoot for every frame you’ll show, the cooler you are.

Hard to call this one since it’s so relative, but I have gotten choosier over time.

So I get 5.5 + 1 future point. I’ll take that.

Haven’t had time to ul my pics from DCist Exposed yet, although I didn’t get many. I was a little too sleep-deprived, which gets more and more destabilizing a state as I get older. The opening was incredibly crowded, which rules but wasn’t great for my mental comfort, and I left early to have dinner with new Virgina residents birdcage and nikonshooter, so the walk-around-shooting aspect was not what I’d been expecting. Still, mntalkase got shots of me next to my picture with one of the dudes in the shot, and used his budding photographer intuition to save some bad-for-faces lighting. Good job sweetie!

To hold ya over and have at least one pic in a post about photography, one of my favorite shots from the show so far is this portrait of flickr friend bsivad:


5 Responses to “How cool are you?”

  1. Chaf Says:

    5. Using a camera that’s as old or older than you are is very cool.

    I lose. But I will be picking up a Pentax K-1000 soon, I think. My first and only photo class, in junior high, used it and I do miss its truly manual nature. Future cool points.

    UPDATE: goldurnit. I just found out the K-1000 was released the year I was born. Ideas?

    Pentax Screwmount! Same great optics, slightly nicer build, few bucks cheaper. As used by myself at LTG. πŸ™‚

  2. techne Says:

    Well, that’s the one that re-bit me with the bug…in fact I almost posted that pic of our camera war πŸ™‚ So “Pentax SP K-1000”?

  3. B Says:

    I only use the lens on my telephone, which doesn’t zoom, can’t focus on anything more than about two meters away, and is totally dinged up. I carry my telephone pretty much everywhere. I AM THE COOLEST!!!

    [OK, it can’t focus on anything within two meters either.]

    I’m no photographer, but I don’t understand why it’s cool to use self-limited equipment. Why _not_ have an arsenal of whatever works best?

  4. Bsivad Says:

    Hey, that’s me! Thanks for the link. Sorry I missed you (and BC and NS) at the show, but hope to see you at the takedown party.

    Mere minutes ago, I took a picture with a 68-year-old Leica and a 40-something Russian lens … that has to be cool.

  5. techne Says:

    Yeah B, it’s mostly tongue-in-cheek–there are two ways to be a camera geek other people admire, much like being a car geek through either making old well-made equipment do amazing things or by having every last hot new bell and whistle on the latest technology.

    The other part of the joke is that under these rules, as a commenter on the original thread pointed out, being poor makes you cool πŸ˜‰

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