Gear Acquisition Syndrome (or G.A.S.) is real, and we know it, right? No matter if you’re trying to fight yours or you have embraced it, Taylor Jackson now has a fun song for all the gear maniacs out there. Try not having it stuck in your head!
Is there even such thing as too many lenses? Well, I’m afraid so. If you suffer from the so-called Gear Acquisition Syndrome, at some point some of your many lenses will serve for nothing but collecting dust. But how do you know the time to sell them has definitely come? How can you be sure you’re never gonna use them? Let Michael The Maven help you to answer these questions. In this video, he discusses how many lenses is too many to bring to a photo shoot, but also how many is too many to own and when you should definitely start getting rid of them.
The truth is never easy to swallow. Take for example to answer for the oh-so-popular question, what camera should I buy? Most will suffix this questions with something like “I heard that the new Canon 5dmk4 is awesome” or “I am considering starting with the Sony A7III” to add some background. This is a weird thing to ask, considering that gear does not make your photography better. Sure, some gear makes some types of photography possible, but it rarely makes it better. The right answer to this question will probably save you quite a lot of money, but also force you to take responsibility for your final photos.
In this short video, Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge explains why the best investment in gear is never buying new gear. (ok, there is a point when that latest model does make sense, but it is usually far, far down the road).
There is something all-newcomer photographers tend to do, they either dream of camera gear or buy a lot of it. When I started in photography I went through the same thing. I thought that I needed all the lenses that my idols used, I believed I needed the biggest megapixel camera, with all the film features just in case a potential client wanted video. But over time with age came wisdom.
The amateur compensates with the many, where the master relies on the few. One camera, one lens, one light, focusing on the moment. Capturing what matters instead of focusing on the gear, giving attention to the photograph being framed.
We often hear stories from both sides of the fence on how much gear really matters. And there are many arguments both for and against Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). We all go through the feelings of it at some point. I know I have. Whether or not we act on it is another matter entirely.
Photographer Sean Tucker decided that he was going to switch out his Fuji X100, a camera which he loves and often raves about, for an X-T20. So, he did exactly that. He picked up an X-T20 along with used 23mm and 35mm lenses. When he posted a photo of it to Instagram, he was hit with wildly varying comments, and lots of them. In this video, he talks about them, offers his response.
Recently there has been a spate of very sad, and ultimately defeatist articles decrying the “death of photography”. We have no shortage of examples. Seriously.
In all their pain and detailed examples of how the art and business of photography have been “ruined” (their words), I can find little to no examples of the basic, most important reason that photographers are falling behind.
It’s been about 3 years now since that infamous article I wrote, confessions of an ex-gear addict. It is by far the most popular article I ever wrote, it’s the one I hope to overdo someday and the one that birthed a bunch of me-too articles. It’s been a while now and I’ve been a good boy when it comes to cameras, but here are a collection of ideas that came during that time about camera buying and more.
Great light is what creates great images
What makes a photograph is not the camera sensor, or the autofocus system, or the depth of field. Photographs are made with light.
I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to pixel peeping. I’ve gone through my share of acute episodes of G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), but the specific gear you’re using is so much less important than whether you’re using good light.
There always are, and will be, new articles outlining new camera tech with better attributes. They compare the iPhone 7’s camera to a pro DSLR, and in-so-doing, pose the question of if the professional photographer is a dying breed. With high quality image capture devices steadily becoming more affordable and accessible, who needs a “real” photographer anymore? Because isn’t the high quality, expensive gear the defining factor between a pro and an amateur? And is that gap narrowing with the advent of better, cheaper, cameras?
What’s in my bag? I don’t have a bag. Well, I do have, but it is the size of my laptop. I see this question in 95% of interviews with street/urban photographers. Usually all of ‘ordinary’ photographers out there hope to read that famous street photographer X or Y uses cheap camera that you can buy for no more than 100 bucks on Amazon. The reality however is harsh. Yes, he has this camera in his bag but it is his third substitute player (using football language), and photographer X is a coach, this camera is a player that he had to take for the match in case all of his best players would forget how to play football. And that of course never happens so this little poor guy spends all the time sitting on a bench. So what happens when Photographer X crashes his two top Leica’s into pieces? Nothing, because it also never happens.
So there he is, the famous photographer and his gear, there you have it. He uses camera Z with lenses X and Y and tadaam – you are just a small step from taking all kinds of superb shots that famous photographer did. If it just was as simple as that, right? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Leica or other great and expensive gear. I guess my hands would be shaking if I was to put my clumsy hands on 1 million dollar Leica. I would be so nervous and scared that I brake it, that I would forget how to take photos. I think taking selfie would be enough for me. I can hear you saying “but man, you have Fuji X100t that costs more than 1200 dollars so what do you know?” . You may have a point here, but let me just tell you what was my gear history.
We all have problems in life. Some of us are overweight, depressed, or tired all the time. Some of us lack creative inspiration, skills, or outlets for our work. Some of us lack motivation, willpower, and strength to take action in our lives.
Many of us feel that technology is the savior. If we only had that one kitchen appliance, we can finally become a great cook. If we only had that one camera, we could fully realize our potential in photography. If we only had that one lens, we would be more creative with our photography. If we only had that one GoreTex jacket, we could be a more adventurous backpacker. If we only had that one smartphone, laptop, or tool— we could be more productive, happy, and optimized.
I’m totally guilty of this myself. I always blame my tools and technology – never myself.