For many years I’ve been struggling with GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) and some form of denial on this subject.
Occasionally I would even give sound advice to similar folks that I had encountered with the same symptoms. Heck, I might have written similar notes on this problem all the while being an addict to it.
Our mind are truly instruments of awe and wonders. My mind would cook up various reasons why I needed that camera, that lens, one day it can be due to better bokeh, next month it is because of size, then comes that Leica glow, the list goes on and on.
Here is a list of excuses, maybe you might find some of these to be familiar :
– inspirational tool
– back pain
– corner sharpness
– wider is needed
– saves me money cause I would have bought Y that cost 3x the price
– fps I needed that for capturing natural portraits or moving subject
– most of my buddies are using brand X, we could share
– compression shots, I need that telephoto
– this build quality will last me a lifetime unlike that one
– this sharpness and micro contrast makes all the difference
– the shutter is so much more subtle (even though the current camera have electronic shutter)
– discreet on the street
– evf so I won’t be blinded
Coincidentally I notice that everytime I acquire the gear, I would go out and do some shooting to justify the purchase. Did the new gears helped with my photography, maybe…. Could I have done better with the other gears already in the collection, of course!
Like the war between the Jedis and the Sith Lords, the force is a tension that exist because of actions favoring one side of the equation and it seeks to balance it. That is why Luke decided to avoid keeping in touch with
YL camera or eBay is the best decision.
Ha ha ha, ok that was just nonsense, but I hope u get the point. The endless cycle begins when we desire something that we believe would contribute to our happiness index in photography only to realize that the problem has nothing much to do with gears.
Don’t get me wrong, good gears are essential in achieving good results, some photogs have been shooting kit lens and wonder why they can’t get any bokeh yet all the while refusing to get a bigger aperture lens. That is just silly.
However, when you already have cameras and lenses that could perform well within your genre and your mind keep selling you that next gear… You have a case of GAS.
There is a special incident that kind of woke me up to look into the mirror closely. I had a friend that ammased tons of film cameras, particularly large formats, pack films and Polaroids bodies. One day his favorite 35mm Leica m3 fell to the ground while we were chatting at a cafe and that broke something in him. The next day he went on to make a listing of his inventory and put them on sale.
That incident didn’t stop my GAS but I became more self aware of the situation. Buying lesser and imposing more red tapes to my mental process of buying. I setup some items to sell off in Carousel and realized how hard it was to sell off gears that I easily acquired.
Those common lines in the thought process of “get it, you need it, you only live once, it doesn’t cost much anyway” were slowly replaced with “I rather spend it on experience or going to more interesting places. Shoot more. I could buy 100 rolls of film and do 100 session instead of buying that”.
The last gear I acquired was the F2-DS which I used as a prop repeatedly rather than a gear and it’s been the longest time now without any new GAS lining up.
I guess everyone have their own poison on what they want to collect. I m just betting that we would stop collecting if we realize the futility of it.
There was once an argument between two business men on who deserves to sit next to the king for dinner.
The first man exclaim “I have in my collection, 2000 watches handmade by the finest craftmen in the region. Surely my display of wealth and taste in quality deserves my seat next to His majesty”
The second man countered “I have acquired 100 limited edition cars of which 30 are anniversaries release. I could easily sell half of these and I could build a theme park if I wanted”
The king looked at the two and seems reluctant to give a decision. He then asked a random guy in the crowd “How about you, do you collect anything?”. The guy replied “I have bought but a collection of books and wines so that I could share with guests and visitors”
The king chose the guy to be seated next to Him. The two other business men were furious and the king explained “your collections serves no one except yourselves, while this guy’s collection brought other’s joy”