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Author Topic: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?  (Read 15617 times)

sdsr

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2013, 09:44:37 AM »
I see a lot of people who take pictures with their hoods reversed. I've been tempted to ask them what that's all about but I've resisted and just went about my business with my lens hood the right way on hoping they'll take the hint. .

I never understood why people leave the good on reversed.   At least take it off if you are not going to use it

It reminds me a bit of youngish (usually) men I see around town sometimes who are probably new to dressing a bit more formally and haven't realized that when you buy a jacket or coat with the vents sewn shut for display purposes in the store you're supposed to open them up.  If I were less shy I might say something; but I'm not, so I don't.

There are quite a few photography/art students near where I live, and if I'm wandering around with a white zoom one will usually make a brief favorable comment or point and give a thumbs-up sign with a smile etc.; they don't stop and talk and it's a nice, brief, moment enlivening an ordinary walk home.

My favorite comment was when I was at Longwood Gardens back in my Pentax days with a Tamron 70-200 2.8 zoom; an Asian tourist pointed and said with a fake complaining tone "that's cheating!"  A pleasant conversation ensued which had nothing to do with cameras, flowers or plants.

The longest conversation I've had so far was when I was crossing the local square and a little old lady walking her dog pointed at the 70-200 2.8 II I had just bought and said "what sort of lens is that?"  Her phrasing made me infer that she didn't know much about such things so I tried to give a very basic explanation.  It turned out she had been a professional photographer for 50 years (and thus presumably knew c. 70 times as much as I do about matters photographic), so I felt rather stupid and presumptuous.  She proved most engaging to talk to about all sorts of things.

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2013, 09:44:37 AM »

Hobby Shooter

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2013, 09:57:19 AM »
I normally try to answer politely. The questions you get are so different depending on location, Asia or Europe, tourist areas or remote areas etc. There are some places in Saigon where I try to avoid any interaction at all with people. If I have my 70-200 II on and get questions about it I just say it's a very long zoom (although not entirely correct) when they ask why it's so big. I like putting the 35L on my 5D3, it dosen't draw much attention and I love the pictures I get from it.

schill

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2013, 10:13:19 AM »
I usually just say thanks - although it always sounds really funny to me because all I did was buy the stuff.  I didn't design or manufacture it.  I'm not much for small talk so I usually don't engage with them.

This happens most often when I'm carrying my 7D and 70-200/2.8.

I often hear, in passing, someone say to the people they are with something along the lines of "That's the camera I want."  Typically they are carrying a point-and-shoot or nothing at all.  If they are looking toward me, I just smile and let it go at that.

I think that a lot of people are assuming that the 70-200 is a much longer lens than it really is because it's so much bigger than their point-and-shoot.

I also like, but can't answer, the question "how big a zoom is that?" when I'm using my 300/4.  So many people measure focal length in "X" instead of mm.  They look at you funny when you tell them that the 70-200 isn't even a 3X zoom lens.  I think they are expecting a much, much higher number.

If they ask how much something cost, I just shrug unless they are carrying gear that is in some way comparable.

The most interesting thing, though, is if I actually get into a conversation with someone and they express an interest in something like the 7D w/ 70-200/2.8.  Then I let them hold it (while I'm holding the strap) and the weight often changes their mind.  The SL1 has the opposite effect, at least among people carrying as much weight as I am.

I also don't understand people shooting, especially outside in bright sunlight, with their lens hoods reversed.  I know several people who do this.  It's bad enough seeing someone in that situation without the hood (what can it hurt?), but reversed?  I've almost always got one on my lens (except when the hoods are tiny or I need to get very close to something like a window or fence).

PureAmateur

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2013, 10:39:52 AM »
Well I found that the Mark III did not draw much attention now.  About 3, 4 years ago when I used the 5D Mark II outside, a few times people stopped by to chat how great the camera is.

2n10

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2013, 10:41:23 AM »
I usually say thank you and have a little chat if they are so inclined.  Very rare on the chat though.
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hamada

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2013, 11:26:55 AM »
i feel really proud and my day is saved.. in the end that´s why we buy gear. to brag about it and talk hours on forums without ever taking pictures..


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distant.star

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2013, 11:50:51 AM »
Free reign on a conversation doesn't happen often in life, but when (illegal) promotional caller/credit card scammers call me, it's fun to try to draw them into bizarre conversation... brief example being "you know, it's not the best time to talk... I've just dismembered a hooker, and I'm trying to figure out recipes..."

Love that. I loved doing that when I had a landline phone in the house. The idea of someone using my phone and my time to unexpectedly call me at their convenience -- and then try to sell some crap is so repugnant that I take free rein to give them both barrels. I got a call one day in 1979 from a clown who actually said, "Are you the man of the house?" I paused and haltingly said, "I guess I am now. My father died last night." My unwelcome visitor had nothing else to say.

And now, to fulfill my duty to say something on topic...

One warm summer evening in Phoenix, Arizona around 1981 I was doing a story on some locals who had taken up roadracing their motorcycles in parking garages. They came to my room at the downtown Hyatt and I interviewed them there. Afterward, I went outside and got some pictures of them with their motorcycles in front of the hotel. There was a small contingent of homeless guys on the street watching, and one of them followed me back into the hotel. He was very old, and I presume he had the courage of drink since I was in my thirties and did not look like an easy mark. At the elevator, he pointed to a 35mm Nikon I was holding and asked the insightful questions, "What's that?" I told him it was just an old, junky camera my mother used to use -- not worth much.

The elevator doors opened; I stepped inside and pushed the button for my floor. As the doors began to close, the old guy leaped into the elevator grabbing at the camera and landed on his face. The drink apparently provides more courage than facility. I helped the befuddled old guy up and made a great show of concern for his welfare -- did he need an ambulance, etc? It didn't take long for the hotel security people to get there and escort him back outside to the company of his cohorts.

My Nikon and I safely and serenely ascended to the security of my room. And I never again stayed at the downtown Hyatt in Phoenix, AZ. Oh, and not long after I also switched to Canon.
Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2013, 11:50:51 AM »

Pinchers of Peril

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2013, 12:15:11 PM »
I guess it really depends on what I'm shooting and how much the person seems to know or is interested.  I LOVE talking about gear so if I'm not shooting something that is time sensitive or requires my full attention then I'll chat them up.  I remember when I first got my 5DIII I was taking pictures at a carnival and a guy came up to ask me about my camera and said he had a 5DII.  I let him look through the viewfinder so he could see all the focus points and he said "Holy cow that's a lot of red squares!"  I know when I first got into photography I asked tons of questions to people with gear that I wanted to own someday and they were always very nice, so I guess I'm just returning the favor so to speak.
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ckwaller

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2013, 12:22:22 PM »
I agree, this is a great idea for a topic. For the most part, I don't so much get comments as I get "knowing nods" from fellow photographers and passersby (I tend to frequent locales in my area that are safe havens for photogs).

However, I do have two memories that I'd like to share:

1. Each summer in July, my fiance's father exhibits his '55 Dodge pickup in the area's "car show of the summer." Last year, I brought my gripped 60D and Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (we all have to start somewhere, right?). As I was taking photos of a modified Camaro, an older gentleman walked up to me and we started chatting about gear. I noticed he was using a Nikon kit with Sigma glass, and he made note of how great the IQ is when using the lenses.

The guy was very knowledgeable and friendly. He was definitely far more experienced than I, but not once did he come off as condescending. I guess that one stuck out in my mind because I have encountered the well-weathered "holier than thou" types in the past.

2. Back in March, I visited our local Zoo, as we had a miraculous day of beautiful, warm weather. I brought my 5D Mark III and (borrowed from a friend) 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS lens. I eventually found my way to the lion pit, wherein there was a group of about 15 people (families, kids, the like). They saw me coming with camera and lens, and they all sort of parted like the Red Sea, making a nice swath of open area for me.

I thought it was pretty amazing that they did this without issue-- I assume they saw the lens and thought I must've meant business, haha. As I began shooting, I heard comments from, "that's a huge lens," to "he must be a professional." One of the ladies to my left even suggested I enter into the Zoo's annual photo contest.

It's always nice to meet a fellow photographer that's kind, and to have a group make room for you, instead of you making a room and constantly saying, "Excuse me, excuse me...sorry, excuse me!"

Act444

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2013, 12:42:17 PM »
Quote
2. Back in March, I visited our local Zoo, as we had a miraculous day of beautiful, warm weather. I brought my 5D Mark III and (borrowed from a friend) 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS lens. I eventually found my way to the lion pit, wherein there was a group of about 15 people (families, kids, the like). They saw me coming with camera and lens, and they all sort of parted like the Red Sea, making a nice swath of open area for me.

I thought it was pretty amazing that they did this without issue-- I assume they saw the lens and thought I must've meant business, haha. As I began shooting, I heard comments from, "that's a huge lens," to "he must be a professional." One of the ladies to my left even suggested I enter into the Zoo's annual photo contest.

I've experienced that as well. When you have a "pro-looking" camera, most people will get out of your way when they realize you're trying to take a shot in their direction. That doesn't happen when you have a P&S or iPhone...

And at first, the "he must be a pro" comments irked me, but now I just laugh it off. I mean, it's true- you rarely see people carrying around massive cameras (I'm talking gripped 1DX/70-200 2.8 types) unless they shoot for a living- most others can't afford it, and/or are unwilling to put up with the tremendous weight. 

skullyspice

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2013, 12:43:08 PM »
Up in Napa at a winery I had a worker there say to me '5D mark 3, thats an expensive camera'. not really a compliment so I wasnt sure how to respond. Are you going to rob me?
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Tabor Warren Photography

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2013, 01:14:23 PM »
Actually when i get that I use it to get a portrait done.

-"Nice camera"
- "Yeah it's great.......wanna see the results? I can take your picture and email it to you later!"

90% yes results. Of course it's not candids but it makes the best of an otherwise useless small talk.

I do something very similar, but upload it to an invisible locked gallery, send them the .jpg, and let them know that there are no strings attached, purchase if you please, but here's the .jpg if you would just like a desktop background of your son/daughter/boyfriend-girlfriend etc.

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GuyF

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2013, 01:50:31 PM »
From what I gather photography is a bit like fishing; no sooner have you picked a quiet spot to practise your hobby than someone appears from nowhere to enquire what you're doing or if the fish are biting. I'm convinced many fishermen don't have a hook on their line, they just want the peace and quiet of sitting on their own for a couple of hours. Maybe with a beer and a sandwich. Perhaps there's a nice bit of Parma ham on the sandwich....sorry, I'm getting off track....

I often go to my local park and whilst lining up a shot a few years ago (40D and 17-50mm lens, so nothing "fancy") an old woman once asked, "oh, what are you taking a picture of?" I looked at her blankly hoping her tiny brain would allow her head to turn in the direction I was facing and make some half-baked guess as to the subject (it's a public park for ****'s sake!). However the evil voices in my head made me say I was an architect and the park had been bought over and was to be redeveloped for housing - I was taking pics to show a before and after "vision" for a large piece in the local paper. The park contains a large stately home dating back about 600 years and the notion of it being bulldozed would certainly set tongues wagging among the blue-rinse brigade. Job done. (Note to non-Brits: for some reason old women here insist on dying their hair blue or pink. Must be some 1977 punk throwback thing.)

However the thing that always demands public scrutiny is carrying a big white lens (anything less than 300mm need not apply). People are quite insistant that you're a professional. They cannot conceive that a person may have a job, save for years then buy things that make them happy. I got so fed up of people queing up to interrogate me that I cut the sleeve off a black sweatshirt and use that as a lens-coat. Not once has anyone spoken to me when I'm in "stealth mode"!

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2013, 01:50:31 PM »

cayenne

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2013, 02:09:31 PM »
Goodness.
I guess what country , or even what city you live in makes a difference.

I live in New Orleans,  if someone approaches you to talk about most anything, camera included, it is usually met with a friendly answer, a smile, and could at any time end up with making a new friend, at least in my experience living here many years....

Of course if you are in a rush or busy, that maybe not happen as with above, but for the majority of the time, if anyone speaks to me when I'm out and about, I'm assuming I'll be having at least a short, pleasant conversation with them...especially if at a bar here.

And heck, are ya'll that worried about someone coming right up to you and stealing your camera off your neck? Again, I live in NOLA, where crime *is* a problem, and frankly, I'm not that concerned about it...I just stay out of the areas where it is a problem, especially at night.

I dunno...just struck me as quite odd to hear so many seem to actually almost take offense at someone bothering to speak to them in public at all. I know in the NE of the US, that people aren't quite as friendly as we are in general in the southern US, but I just figured it was mostly up there, but sounds like this is prevalent in much of the world?

If so...sad.  I'm used to walking about, smiling and very often saying something, even if briefly passing a stranger and something bout them catches my eye. Especially if a pretty girl (of course), but even with other men, I'll say hi, or smile or say "Hey..nice xyz"...that just seems common to me.

But I am saddened a bit when I hear so much negativity with simply being outgoing and friendly to those you meet or even just pass by during life.

When someone takes interest in my stuff or what I'm doing, I'm flattered, and have quite often ended up talking about that for at least a short time...

My $0.02,

cayenne

ckwaller

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2013, 02:31:46 PM »
I dunno...just struck me as quite odd to hear so many seem to actually almost take offense at someone bothering to speak to them in public at all. I know in the NE of the US, that people aren't quite as friendly as we are in general in the southern US, but I just figured it was mostly up there, but sounds like this is prevalent in much of the world?

I know exactly where you're coming from.

I should add, regarding my zoo memory, I did engage in small chit-chat with the folks at the lion pit. I'm always happy to "talk" gear, as I truly feel passionate about it, and about the prospect of potentially learning something new. Unless I feel that I'm in immediate danger of being mugged, I'm always happy to discuss my gear when approached.

I live in an area (Buffalo, NY region) that has a pretty heavy photographer population. I've experienced firsthand and observed folks being rebuffed by "pros" and the (please forgive me) "hipsters with cameras" when they were approached to talk about their gear. That goes back to me mentioning some carry a "holier than thou" attitude. Of course, different situations call for different reactions, and my good experiences far outweigh the bad.

Now before I put my foot in my mouth, I am speaking solely of experiences in my region. It honestly seems like people are more approachable elsewhere...must be that "New York Minute" mentality, huh? :)

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Re: When out & about, how do y'all respond to gear small talk?
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2013, 02:31:46 PM »