Win Some, Lose Some
Some very interesting responses to the "What's Your Whack?" thread—thanks.
It looks like there are a number of people around the $3500 mark (that would include me) and several more around the $8k figure. "Anonymous" whose wife would kill him if she found out (I presume that's why he's anonymous!) breaks the mold with $21k invested, far out ahead of the rest of our little sample.
As Frank Petronio points out, I do think it's cheaper to be a studio pro with digital than with film. In the old days a studio pro had to be ready to shoot in all three formats and lighting had to be powerful enough for large format. The little puffs of light it takes to satisfy an APS-C sensor at E.I. 400 or 800 must be a great relief compared to the old days.
When I was starting in photography it was assumed that $40k was required for a beginning studio pro and most of the established ones had more like $60-$100k invested. Considering film and its logistics, and it's got to be cheaper now. Pace Ken Hagler's "Nikon FM-3a and 50mm ƒ/1.8 AI-S lens," however, it seems to me that any decent amateur film setup is almost sure to be less involved—and less expensive—than its DSLR/digital equivalent.
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON