I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my current equipment situation. The problem is that I’m very much caught in between the analog equipment I’ve learned on and the new digital equipment that more and more people seem to be using. My problem is this: if I buy a nice medium format camera package, how long will I be able to use it before I have to go digital? OR If I buy a totally digital package, will it break the bank? My solution is to get that medium format camera package but to buy a digital film back for it as well. That way I have both the camera and the digital. The camera can still use film, which I love, and the film backs average between 11 and 16 megapixels and should give me all the digital resolution I need. The problem with that is, that I don’t have anywhere to dump the images to. Those all-in-one digital cameras, the one’s with built in memory or memory sticks, or flashcards etc are all well and good but a professional film back doesn’t have any memory of it’s own. A 16 Megapixel CCD array takes up quite a bit of room and so the images need to be dumped somewhere. More accurately the digital back needs to be attached to a computer or laptop that can receive those images. So, in a perfect world I’d have a medium format camera, a digital camera back and a laptop with USB/Firewire ports and cd burning capabilities or networking capabilities.

Ouch. Just thinking about how expensive this is going to be is making me worry. Where am I going to be in a years time? I’m planning on being married but where will we live? Texas? New England? Both have their share of ad-agencies, photo studios and representatives. Will I have a good job? Will I have a shitty job? Will I be in debt my whole life? I don’t know and it’s starting to worry me. The problem is that I can’t be worried about what I can’t control. All I can do is concentrate on here and now, put together a kick ass portfolio and send it off to as many places as possible. That’s all I can do. If it’s in the cards that I get a job at one of my “top choices” then awesome, if not, then I’ll figure something out. But there’s no sense in worrying about what might or might not happen. You never know, I may get a job at the very first place I send my portfolio and then all that worrying would have been for nothing. Anyway, I’ve gotten off topic.

My main point somewhere was that I need to buy equipment. So, how about some links and some top picks for what I feel would be a nice package. Now, if only I could get it all at a student discount.

Package A:
Mamiya 645 SV II Medium Format SLR Manual Focus Camera Kit with 80mm f/2.8 Lens, FK402 SV Auto Exposure Reflex Finder, 120 Film Back and SV Power Drive Grip – $2,599.00

Kodak DCS ProBack 645 – $12,000

Dell Inspiron 8200 – $1,500

– Accessories – 120 Roll Film backs, multiple lenses, firewire card, cables, etc – Approx $1,000

Total: $17,100

Package B (total digital):

Nikon D1X – $4,650 + accessories (lens, microdrive, flash, etc) $1,000

Dell Inspiron 8200 – $1,500

Total: $7,150

Package C (total analog):

Mamiya RZ67 Professional II Value Pack Medium Format SLR Camera Kit with 110mm f/2.8 Lens, Folding Waist Level Finder and 120 Film Back – $2,999

– Accessories: $2,000+

Total: $5,000+

Note: none of these packages include lights, stands, tripods, and studio supplies or equipment. Most often these things are provided on professional shoots or can be rented at equipent houses. For personal work, they too would need to be purchased.

So there you have it. Money, it’s a shame I don’t have any. Any way you slice it I’m either looking to pay for at least another semester of school ($6000) or another year of school ($20,000). Somehow I don’t see being approved for loans for equipment while I’m still paying off student loans. I think the solution here is to buy the analog package since it’s the cheapest and most useful immediatly and to save up for the digital back and laptop since they’ll most likely drop in price over the next few years. We’ll see what happens.

As for right now, I’ve got to jump in the shower, I’ve got class at 3:00. Later.