Moving into a fun but dangerous territory for gear acquisition

As you can guess by now, I have a lot of cameras, mostly digital. I got rid of a few cameras last year but replaced them with newer ones, so my total camera count went up. But now I’m moving into a fun and potentially dangerous phase of gear acquisition. My past camera purchases were governed by some degree of logic. I had a particular set of needs and I found devices that best met them.

The reality is that I have all the cameras I’ll ever need for the type of photography that I do. Sure, if I were asked to shoot the next Olympics, I would bust out the credit card for a Canon 1DX. But I feel reasonably sure that this won’t happen.

What I’m doing however, is shifting from practical to quirky. These new cameras fill no logical hole in my equipment arsenal, I get them because they’re fun. And that’s dangerous. Dangerous because my equipment wants are now totally disconnected from any sense of reality. Think of it as the pin hole-ification of my equipment choices. Pin holes create a neat effect, but is it practical?

The first shift towards this new-found reality happened with the Fujifilm X100S. Yeah, it was a present to myself for my 50th birthday but did I need it? No, of course not. The camera was frustrating, challenging and I’m learning a lot. It was the main camera for my Netherlands trip and I’m happy with the results. I grew as a photographer by using it. But, viewed logically as tool, I really didn’t need it. I could’ve easily bought an Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens instead. It would’ve been cheaper.

I learned that every camera pushes me in a certain way, especially if it has noticeable limitations. It’s these limitations that forces creativity. I’m no longer looking for that perfect uber camera. My random assemblage of devices fulfills my basic needs. It’s now time to experiment.

That’s the benefit of not being a Pro. There is no mental calculus required to justify my purchases. There’s no accountant that expects a return on investment. I’m an amateur and it gives me freedom.

I’m going to come clean. Yup, I’m suffering from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). The only justification I can offer is that at least I’m not buying expensive Canon L lenses. No, my purchases are more fun (and less expensive) than that. I bought a camera a few weeks ago from Precision Camera and I bought another one today, online. I’m entering a new realm. I’m going to collect interesting, unique, quirky and somewhat historic cameras. I’ll blog about them, of course. And as expected, I’ll shoot the heck out of them too. After all, despite all the gear talk on this blog, photography is the most important reason I’m doing this.

I’m sure you can’t wait to see what wacky cameras I come up with.


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15 thoughts on “Moving into a fun but dangerous territory for gear acquisition

  1. FUN. It is exactly the same reason for I still shoot medium format on my Mamiya TLR. Compose. Measure with lightmeter. Choose speed and aperture. Adjust composition. Focus. Check focus with magnifier lens. Wind shutter. Check composition. Shoot. Top speed of around 2 shots per minute. But boys, it IS fun! 🙂

  2. If I had the money, there’s no end to what I might buy. For good or ill, my resources are played out. And I have no legitimate need for another camera. Well, maybe one, but the one I yearn for doesn’t seem to exist (at a price I can manage), so I’ll wait. Waiting is. The prices always drop if you wait. Could use a few more lenses, though!

    1. I understand. A lack of resources is always a reality. At least for me, while I maybe a spendthrift in cameras, I don’t spend much money on anything else for myself.

      1. I have what I need. I would have everything, but Garry took over the camera that was going to fill a particular hole in the lineup. I think I’d have to pry it out of his cold, dead hands at this point … and the price on it has gone way up. So, I’ll have to wait. But for most things, I’m in good shape, at least from the point of view of equipment.

  3. I can certainly relate to what you are saying, Andy, but don’t blow your retirement on JUST cameras. Computers, iPads, and smartphones are fun, too! 🙂

    1. Gregg, welcome back. I actually have some historic computing/electronics gear too in my atmtx electronics museum. I want to do some high quality product photography to document these, some day.

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