A New Start: Let's get over our gear buying addictions!

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by vincechu, May 22, 2011.

  1. vincechu

    vincechu SC Veteran

    Sep 14, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I'm back - completely finished with my exams and assigments at university... forever! Graduation two months away :D

    So anyway here's what I really wanted to say:

    The past few weeks I've been doing a lot of thinking, partly due to my exams, but also because of my photography.

    It's strange I've gotten to the point where I'm a little fed up of wanting new gear/lenses, I feel as though I just want to feel liberated and just get out and shoot...

    Acceptance not denial - My name is Vince and I have a problem.

    I have gear buying addiction (GAS, LBA, CBA - whatever you want to call it). Somehow I've become fed up of lusting after new equipment, buying it unnecessarily, then making a loss selling it if I don't like it. Ultimately its just a waste of money but also time - I've spend hours researching new gear, looking at reviews and photos taken from it, time I could have been out taking photos and developing my skills.

    Let's be frank. A lot of gear we buy we don't need, we want.

    Solution = Confrontation - let's beat our gear buying addictions!

    Gear buying addiction is one tough cookie. But I believe we can get over it, and here's my idea:

    1) Rationalise your kit/set up:

    A. Question your photographic style - What do you take photos of, what 'subject(s)' do you photograph mainly?

    B. Ask yourself what gear is essential for this - e.g. insects = macro lenses, sports fast telephoto lenses and quick frame rates.

    C. Get this essential kit, dispose of the rest! Send it fully insured to me in the UK :smile: LOL only joking. Perhaps sell it, trade it in or give it to someone who may put it to better use (I 'gave' my LX5 to my mum, when I say gave, I mean 'long-term loan' lol).

    It'll be interesting to see how much money you could save by rationalising your kit.

    2) Prevention - how to minimise getting gear buying addictions again.

    A. Avoid following new gear rumor sites, news and review sites - that new shiny, multi-award winning camera which even won an Oscar and Nobel prize, with ISO10million is always going to be tempting ;-)

    B. Avoid classified adverts and ebay auctions - It's always too easy to not let that once in a life-time bargain get away from you, even though you don't need it!

    C. Stop looking at the EXIF information of stunning photos, for clues about the camera and lens model! If a photo is stunning, then chances are it's the photographer's eye and skill set which has made it that stunning!

    D. Finally, I think we should get out and about and take more photos, develop our skills and train our photographic eyes - not only does this stop you from doing the above because you're away from your computer but because that way you maximise the potential you get out of your gear:

    In all honesty I'm often feeling unworthy of my K5 and my now sold FA31, I feel my skills don't live up to the full capabilities or potential of my gear. I feel especially embarrassed when I see photographers take stunning photos with dated DSLR's or tiny point and shoots!

    Challenge yourself to make the most of the gear!

    So my post exam period has marked a new start for me, graduation soon and the 'real' begining of my working life, but also a new photographic direction.

    In my case I take snaps of friends or family, food/flower/object photos as well as a landscape/cityscape or two. I'm also trying to get into street photography and I want to slim my gear down so I can travel with a light set up.

    So my gear was: K5, FA31 limited, Sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4.5 macro, 18-55mm WR and a large amount of manual focus glass.

    Now I've sold my MF glass and FA31 and hope to have: K5 and a 4 lens set up consisting of the Sigma and 18-55 WR and Pentax DA21 and DA40 for their discreetness, lightweight and tiny size.

    What does everyone think? Is anyone with me?

    Disclaimer note thingy: It's not a definative solution and no guarantees of success. Think hard before you sell anything so you don't regret it :wink:
    • Like Like x 6
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Vince, hang in for a few days. The Image Quest is starting up again and your a perfect candidate for the work.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. summerkl

    summerkl SC Veteran

    Oct 11, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    Real Name:
    Vince, I'm glad to see you figured out the law of diminishing returns. Some GAS is fine but it becomes hard to control. I came to the same realization last year as I:

    1-started with a E-PL1
    2-added a G1
    3-sold the G1
    4-sold the E-PL1
    5-bought a NEX-3
    6-bought and sold 15 manual lenses
    7-sold the NEX-3
    8-bought Sony A-33 - GASSED out :eek:

    I think I did all of that in about 4 months. Part of it was educational, part of it was addressing camera weaknesses and part of it was GAS. As my signature states, I have recovered and now settled into a comfortable setup and can focus on "catching light" :2thumbs:
    • Like Like x 4
  4. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Real Name:
    You sold the nex?!!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. summerkl

    summerkl SC Veteran

    Oct 11, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    Real Name:
    Well - it happened while I was on the rollercoaster GAS ride. Like many things, you don't realize how good something was/is until it's gone. I'm pretty sure I will pick a used one up when the next wave of GAS hits and people start clearing out the old ... or maybe I'll pick up someone's X100 or the E-P3. Ohh I don't think GAS can be eliminated, it can only be controlled ... HELP ME :)
    • Like Like x 2
  6. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I told you it was tempting fate to tag yourself as "recovered" .. there is only recovery ...
    • Like Like x 2
  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:

    It's the old "Do as I say, not as I do." thing, for many of us, I'm afraid to say. Although I don't think of myself as suffering from severe GAS, I have to admit that I have gone through more cameras since my first serious digital camera up until now than I would ever have imagined possible - pre photo forum!:eek:

    In the beginning I knew nothing about digital cameras except that I knew the Olympus name and had a nostalgia factor that drew me to the E-P2. Of course, I shall forever be thankful for that because that's how I met so many great people here...initially from across the hall at Mu43.... But now, I am at a point where I really do believe that I am set. If anything, I will probably sell my LX5 soon because I don't need two cameras. I still have my little semi serious Canon Elph that is pretty control-less except for a little zoom, so that I feel between it and my Fuji I really don't need anything else....

    So one day at a time and that is where I am today.:wink:
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    I believe it's our patriotic duty to our respective countries and the world at large to help the economic recovery with our discretionary spending!! :wink:

    Well, maybe it's not so discretionary.... I MUST HAVE the latest models!
    • Like Like x 3
  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    :daz: Ooo, patriotism! Now I'm confused.:daz:
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Country Parson

    Country Parson SC Top Veteran

    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    "because I don't need two cameras." Really BB? I need more than two. The X100 cannot do everything! :warning:
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    In my house there is another Law of Diminishing Returns...
    It's named Da Wife Tanya.

    Whenever I get excited about a camera etc... She's the
    fire extinguisher.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    Jul 6, 2010
    Quite right. Say no to this namby-pamby sensible behaviour. Lets see some serious conspicuous consumption. We NEED to help the world economy, we particularly need to help the Japanese economy. Support free trade, support free enterprise. Apart from anything else you know you love it!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    Well, it's just that I know I am not going to buy a camera and a really great telephoto lens for wildlife of birds...because I don't do that kind of photography enough - though I love to look at other people's pictures. For me the LX5 was more wide angle than anything... So it's not that the X100 can do everything but I believe it can do everything that I need, if you follow me.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    I just got one digital cam myself: a DP. I often take a G1 with me which belongs to ...my wife.
    Guess I need a wide zoom camera, I'm addicted to ultra zoom, but which one you suggest?
    By buying we keep the (Japanese) economy going as well as ours don't we.
    No, I'm not a frequent buyer / seller, to me it's much more fun to get out and shoot...even laundry...
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I like GAS. Its not the same as photography, it won't make me a better photographer, but it CAN make photography more fun by at best finding the best camera(s) for the kind of shooting you like doing and your personal shooting style or at worst keeping the shooting experience fresh. I've only been back into photography for a little over a year and I've bought and sold a small camera shop worth of gear. I've enjoyed every minute of it, I have gotten better (because of the time put in - not the camera), and I have a lot better fit with the gear I'm shooting with now than the gear I was shooting with even six months ago. Cameras, particularly the small mirrorless variety, are improving at a rapid and amazing pace. I started buying m43 gear with an epl1 and now my main m43 camera is a GH2 - not even in the same universe in a number of ways. I developed an enjoyment of street shooting. I started doing that with an epl1 and ep2, then moved to an LX5 and now use a Nex and an X100. The Nex and the X100 are the better tools for this job by far. If they'd combine the best features of both into a single camera, I'd sell both and buy that. Since they haven't, I have both and love 'em both.

    I've been having more fun with photography in the past year than I ever have, even back when I was "serious" about it as a kid. I've bought and sold and returned a lot of gear. I still have far less invested than if I bought one nice pro level DSLR and a couple of lenses. I don't expect to spend as much each year going forward, but I don't plan to stop buying either as the gear I like continues to get better. Someday there's gonna be a camera with the OVF and silent shutter of the X100, the awesome tilt-up screen of the Nex, and AF performance on par with the GH2. And if it takes interchangeable lenses, it might be all I need or want. But we're not there yet, so I keep my eyes open for which improvements don't mean much to me and which do.

    • Like Like x 2
  16. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    You are right! To put it another way: "I should follow my own advice myself." Many of us don't do what they would tell someone in a very similar situation asking us for advice. We often know what's right but don't do that because our emotions contradict our intellectual insight and strong emotions can defeat intellectual insight easily.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Interesting that you should post this, and I have just come here from NOT pulling the trigger on two new lenses at DWI. Like you, I've been feeling unworthy of my K-5. Truth is, I just don't seem to have the same enthusiasm for it as I did when it was new and everyone had to have it, including me. I had a K-r which I sold, and now wish I had not, I was actually taking better pictures with it because it was lighter and did not cause me pain in my wrists. I am now seriously contemplating a return to K-r land. I still want a DSLR, I just think maybe the K-5 is not right for me.

    I have been rationalising other gear as well. K-r went, as said. K-x is gone, K200D is gone, Nikon P100 is gone, TZ7 is going soonish (buyer - a friend - is waiting for the sale of something else). I want to sell my FZ100 but am having trouble shifting it here in Australia because I bought it from B&H so it doesnt carry an AU warranty. Also the charger needs an adapter. seems to put people off.

    Lenses. Only have those listed in my sig, now, plus 2x WR lenses so I dont get stuck if it rains. I guess I would sell them on with the K-5 if I go down that path. sent 2 away with the K200D.

    However, GAS is a big part of me, and I do want the latest and greatest... I just think I need to get realistic about what I can handle, and whats "right".
    • Like Like x 2
  18. jonoslack

    jonoslack SC Veteran

    May 6, 2011
    Hi Vince
    Don't worry - you're just suffering from a little bit of guilt - happens to all of us at one time or another. Especially at this time of year when nothing interesting is being announced.

    You'll be fine again when the tiny new m4/3 camera with the built in EVF is announced.
    • Like Like x 2
  19. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Real Name:
    The way I see it, as long as you are not being financially irresponsible (buying cameras instead of paying the mortgage or depleting the kids' college fund) I fail to see the harm in buying camera equipment. The internet has made it very easy to sell 2nd hand equipment, so the loss in many cases is not that large, particularly with lenses. I have, in fact, sold lenses that I bought used for more money than they were bought for.

    Enjoy the equipment you currently own, try not to have any illusions that any specific piece of equipment will magically turn you into a better photographer, but don`t be afraid to indulge yourself every so often. And, do it without guilt.


    • Like Like x 2
  20. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Real Name:
    Bill Shinnick
    I'm in sell mode at the moment - let's see how long I can hang onto the cash! Vince congrats on getting to where you are now, but some of us have been there at least once before - stay strong.
    • Like Like x 1