Do you suffer from G.A.S. — as in Gear Acquisition Syndrome? Many photographers struggle from this; I know I certainly do. I was never that much of a hoarder until I got into photography, but suddenly I have stuff everywhere — as I discovered on a recent tidy up of what turned out to be so much gear. SO … when was the last time you did a stocktake?
Is it an addiction? Do you feel your fingers twitching over the checkout button online? Do you catch yourself looking at all the pretty new tech and think OH … I could do so much if I just had that [insert gear piece here] … time to come clean, and then figure out WHAT to do with it all!
I won’t even count the digital Instamatics point and shoot I’ve had, and there was a few of those. But I had a Nikon D5300, then the D7100 and D750. Then the Sony a7 II and a7R III (my current workhorse). My husband also has a Nikon Z 6.
I could sell the older Nikons, but I worry about needing a backup if a camera dies. Or a myriad of other reasons I keep telling myself.
I thought camera bodies was bad enough, so what about lenses? I seriously need to cull. I had several lenses for crop sensor Nikons — zoom, primes, wide angle and macro. Thankfully, the 50mm prime and 90mm macro suited the full-frame Nikons so they still get used, but we have two 16-85mm, 18-200mm, 18-300mm, 35mm and a great Sigma wide angle.
Then both Hubby and I switched to full-frame, but different brands so we have doubled up on pretty much everything again. I have also replaced basic kit lenses with far better quality glass, but still keep the kit lenses … why?
If you have been into photography long enough I am sure you probably have an assortment of camera bags, too. I have my mini day bag, travel bag and the big Pelican overseas travel case (still yet to actually use that).
Then I have the Nikon bag (with all my Nikon stuff) and the Sony bag (which obviously has my Sony body and lenses). Then there is a box in the cupboard with a raft of other lenses, a lens ball, filters and more that get moved from bag to bag as we need them.
Hubby keeps getting bigger bags to carry more stuff (which means they are heavy), while I am trying to go smaller. We have at least five bags on-the-go between us at the moment.
Another area for concern, the problem is I use them ALL. The studio tripod, the travel tripod and the tripod I have my macro rail on permanently. Then there is the old tripod, perfect for my mobile phone for shooting video. Then there is the gimbal and Mini Gorilla tripod. They all have a use and I can’t seem to part with any of them.
And I’m not even mentioning thing like lights, flashes, triggers and filters. I must admit I use all that I have when it comes to miscellaneous accessories. At least … I think I do.
There is the original Olympus OM-1, which I bought second hand as a teenager when I first got into photography (a million years ago, or so it seems). Then I added the Kodak Brownie and now a Canon AE-1 film camera belonging to my mother.
We actually have a shelf for old technology … I won’t even tell you what else is hidden in there! I really would like to add a few others too, and I don’t even shoot with them … so why do I do it?
So what’s the solution?
Is there a solution? I actually feel a bit of survivor guilt or is that collectors guilt each time I acquire a new piece of tech. I tell myself I will sell the old stuff, but never do. Sound familiar?
The problem is we spend a small (and sometimes large) fortune on this gear and by the time we go to sell it, it’s only worth a fraction of what we paid for. Some people tell you to rent instead of buy. But it’s all so pretty, right? Rent and then fall in love and then buy doesn’t solve the problem either, does it? Are we too sentimental with our camera gear?
Maybe I should tell myself to “Harden up Princess” and sell it all for the best price I can get and put THAT toward the next bit of tech? Maybe if I keep it long enough, it too will become a collectible.
Is Darren Miles right? Is the most valuable piece of tech between your ears and everything else is just the addiction talking?
So tell me, please … how much is too much and what do you do with all your camera gear?