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Author Topic: How Much, Honestly?  (Read 5287 times)

Offline ABERS

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How Much, Honestly?
« on: August 28, 2011, 08:54:57 AM »
My wife is an avid reader and until she bought a Kindle last year we seemed to have a delivery from Amazon almost on a daily basis, and she was a preferred supplier of secondhand book to the local hospice charity shop. Now with the Kindle in operation she has vastly reduced her expenditure on reading.

Remarking on this she asked me, "How much do you spend on photography each year?".

That brought me up short and I just quoted a figure that I thought wouldn't provoke a negative reaction or the justification for more new shoes and handbags. In fact I haven't got a clue. Most of what I buy comprises Permajet paper, printing ink, mounting card, a couple of magazine and club subscriptions and exhibition entry fees. If you spread the equipment costs over the time you've had it I suppose it could all add up to quite a lump. I think I'll stick to the original figure I quoted, which amounts to perhaps a couple of pints a week. 8)

Have you any idea how much do you spend?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 08:56:32 AM by ABERS »



Offline Cathus

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 09:29:57 AM »
probably much more than my wife thinks!

At this point people either think I'm showing off or am very luck, or both. I retired from my first career in 2009 & was able to spend about £25,000 from my pension commutation in photography gear.
I returned to my first career but as a civilian  3 months later getting almost the same salary I was getting before but with a pension on top which has left me in the lucky position of having a far better lifestyle than I had before, having used my pension to pay off all my debts.

I have since then bought bits & pieces whenever I've felt like it. in neaerly 3 years I've prob spent nearly £30,000, this doesn't include all the petrol money I spend travelling over the south & midlands following American football and soccer photography on almost every weekend I don't work.

I know I'm in a better position than most people but I did work 30 years to achieve it.

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 10:58:52 AM »
Nice position to be in.

Well, moving somewhat downmarket, I am allowed about €30 per month for accessories and the like, and generally I manage to save up about €500 a year for other bigger bits. Although this month I need a new camera bag and they are on special offer this weekend for about €30. Trouble is the car needs four new tyres and an MOT, so I can't get one while the offer is on  :'( . Savings pot is at zero after the eBay purchase last month of a Metz macro flash unit.

It's only money, and I don't use a bag very often anyway.
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Offline Graham

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 03:59:11 PM »
probably much more than my wife thinks!

At this point people either think I'm showing off or am very luck, or both. I retired from my first career in 2009 & was able to spend about £25,000 from my pension commutation in photography gear.
I returned to my first career but as a civilian  3 months later getting almost the same salary I was getting before but with a pension on top which has left me in the lucky position of having a far better lifestyle than I had before, having used my pension to pay off all my debts.

I have since then bought bits & pieces whenever I've felt like it. in neaerly 3 years I've prob spent nearly £30,000, this doesn't include all the petrol money I spend travelling over the south & midlands following American football and soccer photography on almost every weekend I don't work.

I know I'm in a better position than most people but I did work 30 years to achieve it.

   Sounds as though you've worked hard to achieve a disposable income of Germanic proportions.
   If your spending it in ways that the less enlightend would consider slightly frivolous, then your putting it back into the economy and helping us all on the road to recovery.
   It's the only decent thing to do!  :tup:
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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2011, 06:46:32 PM »
I've been fairly lucky, families grown up and left home, wife at work & Train Driving paid fairly well. Just been able to acquire the last few bits to round my kit off - but in fairness my wife knows pretty much how much i've spent.

Thankfully i have pretty much most of what i want (or need) to get me by the lean times ahead. Though that does give me more time to get some pics and develop my post processing skills, maybe even increase my abilities with Photoshop.

However, as i often say, kit doesn't buy a good photographer   :-\

Offline minky_monkey

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 09:28:42 PM »
Um, probably not a good day to answer this.

£1579 on a 70-200 2.8 IS Mk2 this morning....... :P

 :2funny:

 8)

Offline Just Dave

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 09:57:26 PM »
£30,000 is a ridiculous amount to spend on gear, OK if your in the business yeah I could imagine that as a good studio set up.

if I had that I wouldnt spend it on that, expensive kit doesnt mean great images, OK a good long lens a good macro lens a nice wide angle a few filters,

I think its more about the eye of the photographer than how much you are able to spend on kit,

Ive seen people with point and shoots images better than people with expensive kits images that are well carp.

suppose over the 2 years Ive spent about £7000, to get above mentioned

so Id have £2300 left to see the world and get some stunning images  :tup:

Now you know what I spend my cash on, travelling and experiencing the world   :tup:

Urm how much have I spent travelling over 10 yrs £60000 3 or 4 (2 week) holidays a year

Just booked to go to Goa, but will be travelling around India in Feb  :tup:
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 10:03:22 PM by Just Dave »
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 10:14:42 PM »
£30,000 is a ridiculous amount to spend on gear, OK if your in the business yeah I could imagine that as a good studio set up.


Not really, as just four lenses could push you to that amount, and that wouldn't include the Sigma 200-500mm F2.8.  :o

Offline greypoint

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 10:41:25 PM »
Well I have obviously spent more than I should - but i do try to buy second hand lenses where possible and sell old stuff to buy new. It's a case of having what you need to make the most of the opportunities to photograph the things you like. Of course you can shoot wildlife or sport with a tiny compact but it would be a tad frustrating if that was the major part of your hobby. On the other hand, if you're into things like street photography it's a lot more about simply having an eye for a picture and the equipment is less important - often the smaller and lighter the better. As I don't smoke, drink, have a car, eat out or go on holidays don't feel too guilty about having one expensive luxury  8) 

Offline Graham

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 10:51:15 PM »
   I've just got back from our capital city, and while i was there I went to worship at the Shrine Of All Things Nikon (Grays of Westminster), and I did'nt spend anything!.....But I could have done...oh yes I could have done. :)
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Offline krennon

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2011, 07:59:13 AM »
Not that much in all honesty, my camera was a twin lens kit with a bag and a memory card for £530.00, most of which was vouchers I only put about £200.00 towards it as the vouchers I had "won" at work over a period of time and had saved them up.
I've bought two lenses on fleabay for a total of £130.00, I bought a lens from ffordes for £65.00, and bought 2 lenses from a chappy at camera club for £50.00 (for the pair not each!!!) and my dad gave me a lens he'd picked up in a box of bits at an auction...
Got a cable remote for about £7.00, and a filter for about £4.00, my flashgun was an Xmas pressie, my lowepro bag was a birthday  pressie as was my tripod all from my wife, and my sensor cleaner kit was bought using a voucher that my in-laws bought me.
The only other thing I have really bought has been a memory cards cheap from 7dayshop got an 8gb for about £12.00 and a spare battery from amazon for £20.00....
The rest of the money spent is actually on ink & Paper (we already had the printer) and getting some shots printed by DSC (thanks to Irv for the heads up on that one) and camera club membership/exhibition entry fee and going out on shoots...so not much but if someone was to give me say £5000.00 and say I could only spend it on camera gear I don't think I'd have a problem spending it so any contributions are gratefully received  ;)
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Offline Cathus

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2011, 11:27:40 AM »
£60,000 is a ridiculous amount to spend on travel. You could buy a load of travel books and watch the National Geographic channel and have £59,000 left over to spend on camera gear.

If I had £60,000 I wouldn't spend it on travel. What have you got after it? just memories, with camera gear you have something which can give you pleasure (and income) every day for many years to come.

 ;)


(and I wouldn't get my images into the back papers of the daily nationals if I was using a point and shoot)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 11:30:50 AM by Cathus »

Offline Jonathan

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2011, 11:43:16 AM »
Amateurs ;)

I just got in from shooting an art installation (no, really).  It took a couple of hours and was done for a few quid and some favours.  I just totted up that the bag contains about 9 grands' worth of kit (including the laptop - I was shooting tethered).  I had a parcel waiting for me containing a £1,400 lens that a mate has lent me because mine needs a £6-700 repair which can't be done for the weekend.  My wedding bag is insured for £30K.

On the flip side....in Peru there were a bunch of keen nature photographers.  I was severely (and I mean SEVERELY) outgunned.  A couple of people had spent $1,000 each on rental charges.  Nikon shooters would have a backup of 70-200 + 1.7 converter on a D700.  Main lens would be a 200-400 or maybe the 600/4 on a pro body.  Canon shooters had their toys too.

One lady had literally no clue how to use her gear (I don't mean that in a nasty way - she freely admitted this and was grateful for any tips).  In the past year she has taken 350,000 shots and burned out 2 shutters.  Some of the pictures are awesome.  On her last photo trip she wrote off $10K worth of kit (dropped it in a river).  She's well off enough to be able to afford stuff like this and doesn't have anything she'd rather spend her money on.  So she chooses to buy Nikon kit I can't justify owning.

Did I get kit envy?  A little.  It's hard when you're struggling for shots on a 200 watching people pick stuff off with a 600 on a gimbal mount.
Did they get better shots than me?  Yep.  With wildlife you really can buy your way to better pictures.
Does it bother me?  Nope.  I spent the day shooting stuff that was really really hard no matter what kit you have and the small percentage of shots I landed kept me happy all day.  But then I was using about £4K worth of kit ;)
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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2011, 01:27:17 PM »
£60,000 is a ridiculous amount to spend on travel. You could buy a load of travel books and watch the National Geographic channel and have £59,000 left over to spend on camera gear.

If I had £60,000 I wouldn't spend it on travel. What have you got after it? just memories, with camera gear you have something which can give you pleasure (and income) every day for many years to come.

 ;)



(and I wouldn't get my images into the back papers of the daily nationals if I was using a point and shoot)

These are just different priorities. Which one you chose is up to the individual. There is no right or wrong except on a personal level.

Personally I think spending money on clothes is an unfortunate necessity (you only have to see me to realise that), but I can see why a pair of designer jeans are worth the money when they are filled by Mrs H.  ;D
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Offline Markulous

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Re: How Much, Honestly?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2011, 01:53:09 PM »
More than I should have and less than I might have!

Do have a tendency to 'magpie' gear, so have 3 x Canon dSLRs, 2 x Sigma dSLRs and 1 x Canon P&S - but I do actually use them all! But they're spread over the last 7 years - probably works out @ about £2k/year and all served me well to get into various publications (nationals, CD cover, etc)

I'd agree that, to a degree, you can 'buy' into wildlife but, TBH, whilst a big lens gets you closer so does a bit of fieldcraft! The only real lens on my wishlist is the Canon 100mm IS or Sigma 150mm OS - the stabiliser will allow me to take more images in more varying conditions but I very much doubt they'll be any better than the ones I work at getting now.
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