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Saturday, 19 July 2008

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My first camera was a Nikon FM2n. I then convinced my wife to let me buy a new FM3a. Soon thereafter, I switched to digital and (in a fit of sheer madness) I sold my FM3a to fund the purchase of a new D200.

But did I love that FM3a... It felt beautiful in my hands. I loved everything about it: from the solid, but not too heavy heft, to the feel and placement of the controls, to the sound of the shutter. Combined with my arsenal of silky smooth but solid Nikkor manual focus lenses (most of which I also sold to fund the purchase of zooms which I hate), it was pure equipment heaven. I ended up buying many primes back to use with my D200, but most of them are not as good as my originals. I just loved having the FM3a in my hands. I can't say the same of my camera now. For me, the FM3a will also be the "golden age" of solid, well-built Nikon gear. I can truly say I loved my FM3a.

Photography is my hobby in retirement. I do enjoy the entire photography experience: images made in Raw camera format, a DSLR camera with only PASMB exposure modes generally used in available light situations, resulting images are processed and printed in my office. My favorite camera is my second and latest DSLR, (my fourth digital camera). There are better DSLR models available now, but mine continues to deliver all I need. But I'll always be interested in the newest evolving camera model and probably move on to DSLR #3 some day.

While I was employed (computer services) the individual tools were only important for the end result, and the fast pace of technology overrode any attachment for me. I still use much of that same computer technology, but to the demands of only one consumer (me). That's another huge factor in my enjoyment of photography!

Oh Goodness, I'm part of a vast majority of 62.6% whole-heartedly loving their cameras :)

And that's OK. I love my Nikon D300, I love my lenses, my Photoshop, I love processing images and I love buying new things. That's just human, I guess.

Love is too strong a word, I think. But sometime, hate isn't, e.g. when I pinched my index finger in the joint of the (forcefully so) folding down rail of my Calumet C-1, raising a blood welt. But I can be cruel to cameras, too. I once smashed an innocent Kodak digital camera to bits.
Just to even things out, somebody must love their cameras ...
See you, Christoph

I love all aspects of photography. To me photography is all about the creative process, and I love having control over every step. I also love the tools that allow me to express my vision, and without knowing the ins-and-outs of each tool I wouldn't get as much out of (or sink as much time into) photography. But alas I still feel my camera is a tool.

Well, I was in the minority. I have three main camera bodies. Two are used to make money and while great tools, I could take or leave them. The third, an M3, is a treasure. I smile every time I raise the viewfinder to my eye. If something happened to it, I would immediately seek a replacement.

Of course we should love our tools, any craftsman would. But in the case of cameras I find it difficult to grow an attachment due I think to their poor performance.

Mike, please read this post

http://rvewong.wordpress.com/2008/07/19/what-is-a-good-camera/

And then please, please write the thing up properly.

I think I agree with your featured comment from George, in that cameras are just the tools that make me a living, and I don't love them any more than a contractor loves his cordless drill. (I, on the other hand, begin a typical American male homeowner, *love* my big 18-volt cordless drill.) I certainly have preferences in the cameras that I use, and find some easier to use or more satisfactory, but in the end they are just gear.

That said, I do find a certain functional beauty in a well-designed camera with a good user interface. Once I get "in the zone" while shooting, I don't even think about the camera any more. I can change settings, lenses, whatever, and not notice. I don't even look at the camera. It's like all I see is this little rectangle floating there in space, where I can watch the subject and the interaction and wait for the right moment, and the shutter fires all by itself.

I love my Nikon FA, the first Nikon to have all four modes and multipattern metering. I learned my craft on that camera using the discipline of slide photography- that is what you see is what you get, no manipu-lations of any kind. Yes, I even learned how and when to override the multipattern metering system, proving that I did not really need it in the first place.

Do I love my new digital Pentax K10D? Hardly, but it's not bad and it was the cheapest good DSLR on the market at the time. Too many controls and variables and always being threatened with replacements.

What I want is a Nikon that will take my old manual lenses, or a Nikon digital back that will fit on my old cameras!

JMR

I'll confess I have plenty of fetishes, the majority of which are non-sexual or at least serve as surrogates to any intimate fetish and by fetish I mean attaching a value to an object greater than it's need or usefulness demands.

I like wristwatches and writing utensils, and pretty much stationary in general which I found out is a fetish I share with the late Stanley Kubrick.

http://secretfunspot.blogspot.com/2008/07/stanley-kubricks-boxes.html

I see photography more as a jig-saw puzzle, an assemblage of parts that make up a whole. The question of love is really like developing an fondness to a particular puzzle piece. Every artist cherishes his tools, "this helped me make that".

While not a love there is a nostalgia for the cameras I have used, so much so that one day I decided to see if I could find pictures of them all on the web and make a collage.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kfp/2384896631/

It's missing the Nikon D300 it got this spring.

I want to think of camera equipment as tools but this morning I found a mint condition Nikon 28mm f2.8 ASI for $64.04 at an area camera store and as George Costanza said, "I think it moved".

"That was before I realized that simple, utilitarian, and often plain "tools" were what I loved."
Well, you just summarize the topic there : I don't love cameras because I love having tools that I can use, without having to love them to do so.
Nicolas, among the 11%

Mike,

I think JMR has a great point... technology is changing too fast to stay in love with a digital camera. So many cameras, so little time. I can imagine loving a DMC if one ever arrives.

Bob

When it comes to cameras, my attitude is kinda the opposite of Bob Wong's link (above); to me they're all good. I like to think that I could work with any camera, past or present, and make compelling images with it; even if the results fell short I know I'd certainly enjoy the act of trying, no matter how quirky or limited the equipment.

Sure, it's fun to kvetch and commiserate with other discerning gearheads - all viewfinders suck, all sensors suck, all controls suck, all lenses suck, and so on - but to me every camera is interesting, every camera is good at something (and better than its user will likely ever be), and what every camera ever made *does* is, in a sense, pure magic.

I find the camera to be more of a tool, although I do appreciate well designed and built tools, for they are a joy to use.
On the other hand, what I do love are my better lenses. The images they render keep me in this game. They are much better cared for than my cameras because of the attachment to them. You can borrow my camera, but don't even ask to borrow my 135L.
I noticed that George mentioned a loved lens, not a camera, so I may not be alone in this thinking.

I love some of my tools, I'm ambivalent towards some of my tools as long as they do what I need them to do. Unless you're a toolmaker or a collector they're all just means to an end.

Love is just too big a word for a tool. Appreciate, like, be unhappy were it to be lost, but not love. Take great pleasure in the sensual beauty of it; revel in the way it works, and like many things, have favorites.

I enjoy my Canon G9; the D100 and SD800 IS are ...tools.

My Swiss, Inca, tablesaw is a delight to use; confidence inspiring, in spite of having once "bit" me. My fault, not hers. All the other power tools, are tools, but not love.

My Stanley #55, incredibly complex, slightly decorative, is a delight because it does every thing asked of it, and looks and feels good. Woodworking hand tools tend to the sensual, but are mostly just tools.

My Case, Mini-copperhead Wharncliff, a 50 year evolution in my thinking about pocket knives, is a wonderful, though "dangerous" tool; it seems to routinely want to "bite" me.

Semantics aside, tools make us happy because of what they help us do, some more than or easier than others.

And then, the gadget of the millenium, Apple's iPhone. Nah, I don't love it, but I sure would miss it.

I may not "love" them, but I sure do accumulate a lot of them. I think there are about 8 cameras lurking in my house at last count, along with all the other "tools". Did I mention my Gitzo Carbon Fiber monopod that collapses to about 14 inches, and weighs less than a pound? I really like it a lot!

Well, heres to "stuff".

Bron

I am hardly a fetishist. Don't want to possess anything. Anyone can borrow my possessions, even my most precious photobooks and it's hardly a drama it they don't return to me. Just a couple of exceptions, a very old copy of Peter Pan, the first book I owned, and an old edition of Gulliver's travels. I have thousands of tomes, hundreds of records, and my feeling is they just take space. Same goes to any other object I have. I usually avoid buying anything when traveling, have few clothes and even less furniture. A friend used to say I was born to be a nomad.

But there are a few things I feel connected to in an special way. I would not say I love them, but whenever I use them they make me feel great. Like my old BMW R100R motorcycle whose upkeep is ruining me lately. Can't imagine riding any other bike. Same applies to some of my cameras: I still use my Pentax MX and three lenses I can't stop using: my 135/2.5 (large chunk of glass), my 35/2.0 and my 28/2.8. They are like part of me. My Olympus Pen--bought impulsively a day I went into a shop to have a roll of film developed--brought me back into shooting daily, only for fun, with no concern about technical choices, so I have a special affection for her. After this chance encounter I bought an XA and a couple of MJU's and was thrilled. Still take them for a tour very often. I also use a few medium format tools (an old Bronica S2a, a Yashica TLR and a Mamiya 6) but I am not as connected to them. I have also half a dozen other bodies (SFX, LX, ME Super, Z1P, Z30) an old plate camera, and a few other cameras with which I have a different relationship. I am definitely attached to an old collection of drilling bits and a few assorted tools.

I am not still as attached to my digital cams, Canon S70 and Pentax K10, even tough I enjoy them a lot and find they are excellent tools, versatile, cheap, simple to use and fun. I doubt I'll ever be as connected to them as I am to my MX. I am sure they won't stay with me for so long.
Which makes me remember that the only thing A.S. Neil, the founder of Summerhill, the libertarian school where no one ever got punished, could not stand was that one of the pupils messed with his tools. T.E. Lawrence gave a name to each of his motorbikes, all Brough Superior, and wrote that Boa (Boanerges, son of thunder, was their family name, they were called George I, then George II, till he killed himself on George VI) gave him a few more miles per hour than it would give anybody else because he loved her. You know what I mean....

Hi All,

Photography is my hobby in retirement especially macro which gets me out and about in the country at any time of year.

I voted undecided as I love my camera and lenses when they do not get in the way of creativity. Other times I'm frustrated due to some limitation of the equipment.

So depending on what I am doing I can love and hate my equipment at the same time.

But in the end I find it more satisfying taking photo's than any other part of the process.

Regards ............. Aubrey

I guess I can see someone loving a Deardorff or a well used Leica M3, but loving a digital camera seems like loving an inflatable sex toy to me. Then again, who are we to judge?--

http://www.elenadorfman.com/art/still-lovers/index.html

Yes you should love your camera(s). I have way too many of them and need to sell some off. But that's tough, sort of like having to sell off the litter of puppies even though you wish you could keep them all. Beloved? My Nikon F100 even though digital give me better quality. My Rolleicord VA, (still can knock down detail with any digital under $5000) My near mint Canonet GIII QL,(so quiet) and my Canon G9 which at raw and 80 can almost match detail with my semi-loved Pentax 645. I could go on but you get the point. I won't get into what i am selling off as it would sound like an ad. LOL

"MMM", your term Mike. Manual-Metal-Mechanical. The golden age of 35mm SLRs; 1960 to late 70's. Thats when it was easy to love your camera. The modern crop of DSLRs, even the entry level models, are amazingly competent. But they leave me stone cold. That said, even a cheap Nikon D40 would very likely crush my OM-1 and Zuiko primes if used correctly with better lenses. But now, in my 60th year I still pine for my first SLR, a Miranda D. That camera had more panache than a bag full of modern wondercameras. That camera taught me the basics, and the value of interchangable screens in SLRs.

I sometimes wonder if I were a 20 year old just starting in photography if I'd feel different. If I walked into a camera store(a rare and endangered thing now) and looked over the selection of modern cameras, would a current DSLR feel "right" to me as soon as I held it and looked through the wiewfinder? If I didn't know better I might be content with tunnel viewfinders and lots of plastic. I don't think its just my age, I know several photographers who have transitioned from film to digital without breaking stride. So then, it must be just a personalty trait (fault?) some of us have.
I have just this past month decided to get a DSLR. I purchased a used Olympus E300 and had it for a week but the sensor was bad, the dealer is replacing it but I've never been as ambivalent about the arrival of a new camera. I'm thinking I might wind up using it just for color and keep shooting my film cameras for B&W. Time to call Freestyle again, my bulk Tri-X is getting low.

John R.

I have a very ambivalent relationship with my DSLRs. They are work tools and at times I quite like them when they provide the ability to create an image that would have been particularly tricky to pull off using film. But then for a lot of the time the technology of them leaves me quite cold and I pine for the simplicity of an OM1, Tri-X and a single prime.

Cameras that I still own and 'love"; an OM4 (so battle scarred, so cherished, won't get rid of it), an XA4, and a Pentax 645. The digital stuff, well I have no particular allegiance, and I'm about to change jobs which will mean changing from Canon to Nikon and that really doesn't bother me.

Shooting the streets in a crime-ridden Latin American city means not taking the tool i love to work. It would be a wonderful Leica with a fabulous lens that i already have in my closet. A gem, a beautiful thing, wonderful in my hands but i can't afford to lose it so it stays home. The camera i use is selected according to strictly practical criteria. It must be analogue, completely manual and produce excellent results relative to its small size, low weight, and ease to replace in case i'm mugged (again). I was shooting exclusively with Bessas but have switched for the rainy season to a Nikon FG with a 28-105 f3.5 lens. Function and results, that's all i care about.

When I was younger, I was incredibly fussy about my gear; it had to be immaculate, and it if obtained some sort of flaw, it would really bother me....troubling me whenever I used my OM-1 or a particular Zuiko lens that now had a little, teensy wear mark on the focusing ring.

When I started shooting pro motorsports and sports photography, my Canon gear pretty quickly became a tool. It's a means to an end, a way to get stuff for deadline press.

I got in just now from spending virtually all day at Laguna Seca Raceway, covering my sixth World Championship Motorcycle Grand Prix (I'm one of the track photographers...); I am weary and bone-tired. After shooting Sat afternoon qualifying, I had to hustle back to the media center from Turn 5, dump flash cards, and then get up to the Corkscrew for the start of the Red Bull Rookies Cup race...important as Red Bull is the Grand Prix sponsor, and sponsors want their title events covered. I was a in a hurry; and as I was getting ready to leave for the shuttle, pulled my Canon 1D MkII off my desk with the flash cord from my Quantum power pack still attached to the flash (and camera). The impact on my chair, and then the carpeted floor, broke the hot shoe on the camera in two, but the flash, body and lens were fine. Not wanting to chance it, I simply put the camera away, got out my trusty old 1D Mk I back up body, and headed up the hill. Pulling my MkII off my desk didn't phase me emotionally at all, it was merely a minor annoyance. When I got up to the Corkscrew....turns out the AF on the MkI was not working...so, I switched the lens to manual focus, and kept shooing.

My cameras and lenses have become a tool...most of you would be shocked to see how I and every other motorsports photographer treat their gear....I routinely prop my Canon 500/4 L IS up against the K-rail, with the lens shade end in the dirt, and the monopod supporting the back of the lens. All the other pros I know do exactly the same thing. There's just no to time or way to baby your gear when shooting "in the field"; and if you shoot as much as I do in a year, and literally climb over K wall, fences, grassy slopes, etc, eventually, your gear will take a hit.

Same event, last year, the shutter on my MkII failed during Sat. morning qualifying....I just walked back to the car, got the old 1D warhorse, and used it for the rest of the weekend. That camera still delivers the good, and I got beautiful work out of it the remainder of the weekend. Here's a shot I took with it from last year's GP:

http://photos.imageevent.com/puma_cat/motogp2007/StonerT5.jpg


Bottom line, most pros view their gear simply as a tool to get a job done...they use whatever works the best and is the most reliable, or has the best service and support (Canon CPS is exemplary in this regard).

Am I going to lose sleep over yanking my MkII off the desk today in my rush to get up for the start of the race? Nope....too tired; I need my sleep as I have a race to shoot tomorrow.

I like what Paul Amyes said. I despise my D-SLRs though they take good pictures and occasionally they make money for me. I see my other cameras as nice tools, I enjoy using them and they work well. Except my OM-4T; I love it. I would never part with mine either. I have two of them and my girlfriend uses one of them since I have been teaching her photography. She loves it too and wants one of mine. I'm going to buy one for her, I can't part with one of mine.

As far as the DSLR goes there seem to be a lot of men who either run a harem or engage in serial monogamy of the shortest duration. These relationships are clearly based on lust rather than love, which requires a longer term pairing of the sort that (thus far) has only existed with film cameras. So no, I don't love my DSLR. However, I did love the OM1n that was my constant companion for 25 years. At the moment I can't bear to part with it even though it's been on the shelf for 5 years. I do sense, though, that my ardour has cooled to the level of warm affection, and the day will surely come when we'll go our separate ways. However, I am confident that we'll remain good friends!

I "loved" my old Minolta X-570 film camera. I bought it in 1984 and felt like it had been designed specifically with me in mind. It was a constant companion until it assumed paperweight status after a drop while climbing down some rocks on a hike in 2001. It's is useless as a camera now, and repair cost would be prohibitive, but I can't bear to get rid of it. You can't just dump an old friend after 17 years of memories.

Now I am completely digital. I've upgraded cameras three times since buying my first digital in 2003. And even though I couldn't imagine going back to film, I have yet to develop a relationship with any of my digital cameras like I did with that X-570. I guess I've never used any of them long enough for that bond to grow. With my current camera, an Olympus E-510, I may finally have one that will keep me satisfied long enough to become a camera that I "love". Time will tell, but right now the future looks bright for me and my E-510.

It's hard to fall in love with these polycarbonate, multipixel digital recording devices that are the saddest, butt ugliest "class" of cameras to ever hit the market.

http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/2008/03/classic-beauty.html

You don't *need* to love your camera. But I find that the more I love it, the more natural it feels to use. When I am using a camera I love, it's like the camera disappears, and it is just me and the subject I am photographing. A camera that is just a tool may let you get the job done, but a camera that you love helps you create something more.

My current love is my Kodak SLR/n, a 3 year old, quirky and "obsolete" camera. But what can I say -- the pictures I take with it look the closest to what I see in my mind when I press the shutter.

For hobbyists, it's very important to love the tools. Otherwise they just get left in the closet.

For professionals, it's important in a completely different way. If you need to make the shot in order to feed the family, you'll do it whether or not you like the tools. But dinner with the family will be a lot more pleasant if you're happy, and that means not being frustrated or disappointed by your tools all day long.

Chris Crawford is right - some men run camera harems and I'm one of them. It is perfectly possible to combine tool lust with a true focus on creating images.

I find tool lust is a two edged sword - on one hand I enjoy new gear immensely and find that new gear is one factor that moves me to shoot. A really good new tool can inspire shooting for months. (I was that way with tents and camping stoves too - at one time I owned 8 tents each of them purchased because it offered some new functionality and each of which inspired many camping trips. I've managed to pare it down to five tents - but of the 5 remaining each has its own strengths).

On the other hand I find that accumulating gear leads to having too many choices, and picking and choosing what I'm going to use can cut into the time I'd actually spend using the gear (which tele-zoom do I leave behind on this trip?). Sometimes I feel guilty for leaving perfectly good gear on the shelf just because it's been superseded by the next hot relationship with a camera. Getting the next great thing too often can also lead to not mastering the last great thing before the next great thing arrives.

The occasional purge of tools that one no longer uses is almost mandatory. Tools purges can liberate one's psychic energies by concentrating one's choices. Much as throwing away batches of prints that are "almost" really good can free you to truely appreciate the work you create that goes beyond "alomst".

"for many, it's just cameras, and little else. And what's wrong with that? It's not hurting anybody"

Not just that, but it supports the camera industry, paying for the expensive research to give us all better cameras.

To my surprise, BTW, I've become a camera collector too. I have a dozen sixties and seventies cameras strewn around my place. A little girl asked me why. I said it was like her bears and dolls, I just like them. They comfort me.

It occurs to me that's one of the reason many of us are hoping for the elusive Compact Professional camera: we long for a digital camera we can love.

CAMERA LOVERS are almost always male, middle age and square. Fine art printers on the other hand are male, bearded and overweight. Finally, camera collectors are male, middle age and speccy. See the overlap?

well, woman are simply wiser....

I knew I wanted to upgrade to a D200, but when I picked it up in the shop before I bought it, I remember thinking it was too squat to move nicely in my hands. It should have been taller and thinner. But over the years (it has been years now) it trained me, or I got used to it, and the brick that it was has become something else.

When I read about its superior sealing and good usability, I think--yes, that's my camera they're talking about.

This is, in part, cognitive dissonance and the endowment effect. And I know it. But who cares, it has been a slow-burning affair but worth it.

The thrill is hanging on to her when all around are ditching theirs for newer models.

But it sure hurts when someone says that something Canon makes has superior image quality. Then my faith is shaken and I have to go read something to cloud the issue.

:)

Getting to this late...

Posters seem to be answering a different question than what Mike actually posed. They're answering "Do I Love My Camera?" Although the answers have been entertaining that's not what Mike asked. He asked, "SHOULD You Love Your Camera?"

This, of course, is a question that cuts to the (overwhelmingly male) equipment fetishism so prevalent in photography and other accessorizable pastime endeavors. As Craig Arnold keenly noted much earlier:

"Photography is two separate but related hobbies. One is all about the equipment and the process, the other is about the aesthetics of the images you produce."

This is, indeed, very much how many male hobbyists see photography, especially those who entered it principally led by equipment rather than art or imagery.

OK, so what's my answer to Mike's question? Well, to each his own. But if your photography is your primary interest, rather than collecting photo equipment, your photographs will always be your primary emotional objective. It's one thing to enjoy using your camera equipment. You certainly won't produce much photography if you don't. But it's quite another to become principally a fondler. Still, the Internet photo forums are brimming with "heavy" debates among fondlers.

I have no idea if one *should* love his/her camera(s). I'd prefer to think that love or no love are both fine.

I am definitely not a gear freak and I do not *love* my cameras. If anything, I'd grumble that they are not good enough and/or get in the way when I am taking photos. Because I love the latter :-)

I guess some day a camera may come along that I could love, but I don't hold my breath.

Hm. Let's see.

Loved:

Contax IIa (got from my dad; serious love, awesome B&W Pan & Tri-X, my brother "stole" it)
Nikkormat FTN (serious love, I betrayed it to get the one below)
Nikon F2A (serious love, I embalmed it, put it in my closet)
Nikon 35Ti (loved it dearly, alas, it never reciprocated)
Coolpix 995
Fuji F30 (fell ill)
Pentax K20D (falling in love)
Nikkor 105mm F2.5 Ai (serious love, will never betray it)
Nikkor Series E 75-150 (serious love)
Nikkor 28mm F2.8 AiS (serious love)
Pentax DA 35mm macro (falling in love)

Didn't Love
(but that doesn't mean I didn't _like_ them)

Olympus Trip 35 (I was too young to know what love meant)
Polaroid Spectra (yuck)
Coolpix 900 (El Bricko, first digital)
Kyocera Finecam 300SL (stealthy, died of congestive battery failure)
Nikon D70 (first serious camera)
Nikon D80
Canon Powershot A610 (great color)
Canon Powershot A630 (great color)

Oh boy, I am glad I did not come any close to the M3, M4, M5, or the new Zeiss Ikon rangefinder, or the Konica Hexars, etc, etc.

I would have loved them.

For some people (usually men), "loving the camera" is just like for some men "loving" their motorcycles or cars or fishing rods etc.

Men likes equipment. Owning them, using, handling, talking about them (sometimes with them :) )....

I think it's down deep in our mind something like primitive by its nature. :)

Good design should be loved and appreciated. Design is its own art form. Loving your camera is an extension of loving its design. Good design should be functional too. If you love your tools, you are more likely to enjoy using them, allowing them to become an extension of you. I recon that if you don't love your camera you should keep searching till you find one that you do.

It's of course not possible to define "love" in any absolute terms, and whether or not it's possible or appropriate to assign such an emotion to an inimate object is another thing altogether.

But in thinking about the original question, I wondered how I would feel if my equipment was stolen and the insurance would replace them with "new for old". On the whole, I think I would be quite happy - being quality Canon kit, they all operate pretty much as new. I pretty sure a replacement 1D3 will seem EXACTLY like the one it replaced (how can you love something if you can't even tell it apart from the others?).

But I do have a couple of bits of equipment which I would miss (my 5D for example). It's been through a few adventures and experiences, and has been altered by them (and perhaps I have as well). It is no longer perfect, but it is mine, and I could pick it out from other 5ds. Probably blindfolded. It now has little quirks which irritate me, but it is also comfortable and familiar.

I've traded in/sold many cameras over the years, but I would feel pain parting with this one. Its like my old Canon F1, which I could never sell (even when I really needed to), but haven't used for years. Happily I've been able to pass it on to my daughter - and I was disturbed to discover even that was quite difficult to do!

Cheers,

Colin

What a question. I guess the answer to that one comes down to how you answer this one: Do you love cameras or photographs? If you love the gear, and love to discuss the technical/branding aspects of it, then you SHOULD love your camera. If you only care about the photographs you make, then you should take good care of your camera, treat it as you would anything that is important to you - but how could you actually love it? There's another one waiting for you once it dies or gets stolen. And if you shoot digital, the next one you acquire is the best one you've ever had.

I love how my camera works. It replaced an earlier model that I used for four years. The earlier model became an extension of my hand and eyes over time; I could write an instruction manual on its nuances, strengths, and shortcomings. But after less than 5 minutes with the new one, I knew I would only be frustrated by using the model it replaced. The new one does EVERYTHING better, faster, and more intuitively. It became an extension of my hand and eyes within a week.

So SHOULD I love it? I love the photographs I take. Well, some of them. But it's me behind the camera and lens. I love to shoot all day with it, I love to take it with me, I love showing people how it works. If it breaks, gets lost, or stolen, the only thing I'll miss are the days I have to wait until its replacement arrives, so I can get back to making photographs.

I often say that I love playing golf, but can't stand golfers. What I mean by that is that I have trouble relating to the guy with $2,000 worth of clubs who hits a screaming duck hook off every tee, blames the shaft on his driver, then spends the entire round either in the woods or trying to give me swing tips. Many photographers I encounter parrot the marketing materials they've studied without asking me what my photos look like. Without photos to share, what's the point of all of it?

I find it a tad bit disturbing to see how many people claim to "love" their camera/equipment rather than seeing it as merely a means to an end (meaning photograph).

For crying out loud, the camera's little more than a tool...nothing more. It's no different than a hammer. It's the photographer who creates the art. Why all of this sentimentalizing?

Can we turn it the other way around?
Can we talk about hate?

I hate Apple computer environment. That renders my love choices as "the ones I don´t hate". More or less.

I somehow end up loving the stuff that was not that obvious to handle, but after few trials procured speed over fake intuition. Hence, Pentax over Canikon, Windows over Apple.

I came across to love the *istDS+FA 43 Limited combo. Weird as they are together [a smallish dSLR with a weird thick metal cap for most], their comic appeareance means people don´t take you seriously.

Wrong, you fools!!!!!!!!!!
It still is a very serious, very capable camera+lens combo!!!!

Then, the FA 43. Nothing very spectacular. No special elements, no ELD AL IF HSDM or other acronyms.

Pure glass.

And yet, the most special of all limiteds. It is a characterful lens, so left field, so far apart from the other limited lenses or what any other lens maker does, that it is quite difficult to recommend.

But, once you get it, you will fall in love.

I've been reading your comments and most people have seperated themselves between tool and love. I used to be a professional photographer and aquired my equipment for its form and function (tool aspect). However, after using them for a while I can truly say I grew to love them (emotional attachment). It's amazing how one can get attached to good tools.

i'm the opposite of you
i LOVE my 1200 dollar headphones

i also love my 10d but not as passionately
i'm happy it does what i deem to be a great job

i also LOVE the software that makes these hardware things shine

I love my camera..!

Despite my ratio shares the maculine just-tools-approach my decisions for tools are guided by some amount of passion for appearance, feel, elegance – the elegance of the OM-system I still have loads of or hardcore non-elegance (like the Mamyia 645 I like and still use)or kind of basic charme of use like my LP12-turntable or Revox A77 taperecorder. But my better and prettier half is happy to know that my approach to technical stuff is unrelated to my approach to love. Love means welcome and care for with all characteristics, and as far as I appreciate the E-1 as a relief concerning handling it went in the drawer for the small bit less but still quite good handling of the E-3, simply because the overall bit better results. Same went with the formerly beloved OM-lenses when used with E-1/E-3 – a small bunch of C/Y-Zeiss-lenses prooved to be superior for my limited purposes and in the drawers the OMs went (exception: 2/50 macro). There is one rest of oversensibility - when it comes to sell something. I´ve sold anything I didn´t need use anymore, gave things away for free like my old appreciated CD-machine Denon DCD 3560 when clearing stuff preparing our recent move last week, but I never gave up one of the many and now unused OM-lenses or single digit OM-cameras…why…
Best regards
hertz

I guess you should be sure of your camera as a tool - so that you know that making a good picture depends only on yourself. Thus, it motivates you to try to make that good picture. Otherwise, you know that it will be only a snapshot even before you take the camera into your hands.
I remember when I was just starting out in photography, I was tempted to buy a 28-200 Tamron zoom. I've read that zooms, especially over such range, are not of good quality. So I borrowed one such zoom and tested it against my Nikkor 50mm 1.8. Due to probably my bad testing technique at the time, I could not find any fault with the zoom. But then I asked myself: what if I find a fault after several years of taking pictures with this lens, and then discover that all my negatives are deficient in some way? Would I take pleasure in raising this lens to take a hardly-sought picture, knowing that it may be compromised because of the quality of the lens? So I did not buy the zoom and stuck with prime lenses that I was sure of.
Now that my 50mm 1.8 is old and abused, it can be questioned whether the photographs taken with it are without a fault. But still, I perceive it as a quality lens, and that perceived quality means a lot to me.

Nah I can hardly say I love my cameras, I do however love my lenses, the ones not worthy of my love I get rid of.

For film I have Leica glass 35mm, 50mm and 90mm all very loveable. They use to beused on an M4 but this was in need of a 700€ so I trashed it to my cupboard and bought a Voigtländer instead for 450€ or so .... works like a dream with the Leica glass.

Digitally... I use Pentax I have the 21mm 35mm limiteds as well as the 50-135 (just arrived) and the 200. Again I use the cheapest (reasonable) bodies I can find, in this case 3 x K200d. I like these, they are cheap, very sturdy and produce marvelous results, but love .... no, respect surely.... but love is lost on these electronic circuitry devices.

I definitely love my camera. Actually, I treat it like it's a good friend. I find that taking pictures and using my camera make me feel very good. It's almost therapeutic. No wait -- it IS therapeutic! When I buy camera gear, I make sure it's something I really want. Not any camera will do. And if you love your camera, it will love you back. And it will show in your photography.

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