Just a minor comment in passing. Almost no matter what we discuss on TOP, sooner or later, a few people will mistake the discussion for a discussion about status. If a choice seems to be approved of, some will feel good about themselves for having made that choice, and others will feel criticized because they like, or own, or do something different. Some will try to lay claim to status privileges while others will snipe at them from the trees.
That's understandable, but I usually find it tiresome. I'll personally discuss—with real interest, in most cases—almost any set of alternatives in this hobby. But I also truly don't care about the status aspect of almost any such choice. Nobody's better because of the brand of camera they use, what their tripod legs are made of, what film they like, how much data their card will hold, whether they like prints or their iPad, how many books they've sold, and so on.
I do like commitment. I respect people who make up their minds about what they want and like and go after it with gusto. That goes for the passionate steampunk Lomographer as well as the landscapist who mortgages his house for a P65+. It's all cool.
The incessant nattering over status will never end, of course. But I've been involved in photography for long enough now that I've seen entire categories of status-disputation go extinct. K-14 or E-6? Will your camera keep working if the button battery fails? Is your lens an "Apo"? Can one make truly fine prints on VC...or RC? I'm sure others can think of more.
I admit that I sometimes play off status concerns, as rhetorical deviousness, or maybe because I think it's funny. I have strong opinions, no argument there. I'll discuss the reasoning behind my preferences 'n' prejudices till the cows come home. But it's never* because I think my choices makes me better than anybody else. Given that it really doesn't matter which of two harmless alternatives anyone chooses, wouldn't it be nice if everybody were consistently tolerant of everybody else's one true path?
I'm just sayin'.
* I hope never.
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.