Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.)

So You’ve got your new camera with a kit lens and are ready to go out and shoot. But before you go you have a look at some online forums and a magazine or two. Is the kit lens any good do I need a wide zoom, tele zoom or “better mid range zoom” and so it begins.

When I bought my first DSLR I used the kit lens and was pretty happy with it. I bought a tele zoom to give me 18-200mm FX equivalent. The tele zoom stayed in the house or camera bag but I felt happy that I had the choice. I bought a  35mm F1.8 prime and thought that’s all I’ll need I’m happy with my system. So I used it for a few months, kept looking online and in magazines and gradually I started to feel that my gear wasn’t good enough. There was no empirical evidence for this  it just didn’t feel pro. So I researched the lenses that I’d need. Where was my Macro lens, my ultra wide, I’ll have to get a portrait lens. My camera had an APS-C sensor, would I need a Full Frame camera so I could get the lenses I’d ‘need’.

Voigtlander 58mm F1.4

Voigtlander 58mm F1.4

So 18months later I had 10 lenses, two were in my camera bag and 8 in a pelican case at home. Occasionally I’d swap one out but I’d never carry more than 3. I had an enthusiast camera but still, there was the Full Frame (FF) itch. So I calculated that if I sold half the lenses I could buy a Full Frame camera and the lenses I would need to take it to the next level and go Full Frame. So I did it, I took delivery of the camera and mid range zoom I already had a 70-300mm FF lens and 50mm F1.8  so now I had the FX equivalent of the kit I started with. I put it in my bag and went out in the car, and you know what, It was massive compared to a small APS-C and kit lens. I left the Tele zoom in the car and just used the 50mm it weighed over a kilo and was certainly conspicuous. At the same time I had sold a compact camera I used for travel and bought a refurbished APS-C camera with two lenses. I took this on a family holiday soon after and nine months later I’m still using it. The FF beast is in a pelican case unused and ready for sale.

This GAS journey has taken me three years I’ve taken thousands of shot on 3 cameras but never really got to know camera fully before moving on. The camera I use now is small light and inconspicuous. I have one lens on it and the other in my pocket. I can change any setting without looking at the dials or buttons.  I feel I have developed more and learned more about photography in six months than in the previous 18. SO focus on the photography and light and not on the gear you think you need. You’ll develop quicker and save time and money in the long run. 

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