Gear lust: a retrospective

Started Sep 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Stilograph
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Gear lust: a retrospective
Sep 22, 2012

Hello all.

You know, this was to be a wall of text. Instead, I'll just throw this out there: The less you know about photography, the more gear lust you have. I'm not going to generalizise, but this fact seemed to work on me at least.

I am entering now 3rd year of my... let's say semi-pro career as a photographer, I've been an amateur a lot longer. And boy have I burned through equipment! At least 10 cameras, I dare not count how many lenses, strobes, backpacks etc. etc. etc. A few computers and God knows how many diffrent softwares. I will not calculate how much money I've burned, but it is a lot. And all this, only to settle (and be perfectly happy) with 24-70/70-200/35L lenses, and a 5D Mark II.

It just seems to me, and bear in mind, I'm talking about myself here, the more excited you get, the more equipment you think you need. Fast/wide/super tele/whatever lenses, that I thought would improve my photography. Ringflash/speedlights and such to get the exposure. And let's not get started on the whole BOKEH!!!! lust. That's just crazy.

And now, I found that 95% of any work that I do is done on 24-70L. 5% is with a tele, and leisure shoots are done with 35L. I developed my style as such, that if I can't get close enough, I won't take the picture. I also prefer not to go below f5.6 ever under any circumstances, unless it's a dark club or such.

I also do not care for bokeh, for it seems to me, that it's more or less just an excuse for not composing an interesting image. Bear in mind though, that in some cases it is a wonderful thing to use. Such as portraiture.

But these days, it seems bokeh makes the picture, not the subject. These are however my personal feelings, I know there are great artists out there who use shallow DOF in such a way, that it doesn't feel like the main event of an image.

What I would just like to say to anyone entering a pro-career, is to really sit down and think what you need, consider your style, and buy accordingly. Even though you can always sell the extra equipment, you will lose some money. Money that would be better spent in, let's say marketing. Or anything else. Try not to give in the fast lens syndrome and such, until you really know you need it.

And here is the most imortant piece: When buying new gear, if the first thought you have is: "I can sell this if I need to", you propably won't be needing it in the first place.

I know this doesn't apply to everyone, and I'm not trying to hand down any wisdom here. just my thoughts. However, my assistant is going through the same phase as I was. And when I ask him what will the new piece of equipment be used for he draws a blank and tells me: It might come in handy." Go figure.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5
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