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How to survive the internet, photo sites and avoid GAS
Old 01-05-2014   #1
Vickko
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How to survive the internet, photo sites and avoid GAS

How can one survive the internet, photo sites and avoid GAS?

Stay off the internet? That isn't going to happen; too connected socially and for personal amusement.

Stay off photo sites? Maybe, but I do enjoy them.

Maybe stay off the gear-talk and FS parts of the sites, and stick with the galleries.

Are there photo sites that don't talk about gear? Seems like technique is often linked to gear, maybe inextricably linked.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 01-05-2014   #2
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Just use the internet correctly. Look up photographers, that used almost the same camera all their lives. Why? Because they had to and wanted to make strong images for a living. You get to this through trial and error, using imagination, looking at art done by others, and above all, by reviewing constantly your own output. They say, you need talent and hard work to be good at anything, but they did not specify, it was 5% talent and 95% hard work. Get busy using the cameras, rather than looking at cameras.
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Old 01-05-2014   #3
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In my personal experience, the best cure for GAS is to not compromise. Just buy what you really need and want, and be happy ever after. I've wasted a lot of money on the detour to what I wanted in the first place.

I always shot my Oly XA little rangefinder until I wanted some more versatility. Instead of buying that M6/7/P that I really wanted, I first got some ****ty Zorki-4, then immediately after a CL to save some. And while that CL was a fun little camera, I still would have liked the better rangefinder of the M6/7/P family, so instead I bought an M4-P. Which is a great camera, but it didn't totally kill the lust for a measuring variety with higher shutter speeds, thus keeping gas alive.

Same with my digital route: I really thought an M9 would make me happy. But I bought a digilux-2. Which is a great camera, but it comes with a small sensor and evf. So I soon upgraded to an X1 with a much better sensor and fixed lens. Which kept the lust alive for more flexibility, so of course then the M8 entered the house. To save some. And bought some more lenses for it. To upgrade those to better lenses soon again. But it still had that little crop factor problem, keeping the M9/MM/M the more desired upgrades ahead. So I finally bought an M9 too.

I should have realized that I'm not rich enough for all these detours and should have bought what I wanted in the first place: an M6 and M9 set and kill the unhealthy shopping distractions.

Then, the internet and its photo gear jerks are a safe place again.
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Old 01-05-2014   #4
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You could decide to do the one camera one lens for a year thing. So no need to get excited over gear because you already have what you need for the year.

I keep thinking I should avoid Steve Huffs site just because of all the gear reviews are too tempting. I like Eric Kim's blog because he is more about technique and trying to learn from the masters of photography and not too much gear related talk.

Another idea is to cut up all of you credit cards and be forced to pay with cold hard cash for any gear. When you actually physically feel that $1000.00 being given from yourself to the merchant, it's probably a lot harder thing to do psychologically than typing in you credit card numbers and clicking SUBMIT on a website.
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Old 01-05-2014   #5
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Old 01-05-2014   #6
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Some people say they are satisfied, but we don't believe them. There's a corner up ahead and i'm pretty sure there will be something there...
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Old 01-05-2014   #7
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GAS is not constant, it comes and goes like the tides, "what you really need and want" may change from time to time. Why not give up and swim with the tides, without bad conscience, there are much worse ways to spend your money.
But be aware that your results will probably improve with your long time knowledge of the gear you use.
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Old 01-05-2014   #8
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Open a second browser window/tab, login to your online banking and make sure you look at your account details. :-P
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Old 01-05-2014   #9
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This is like a recovering alcoholic returning to their favorite bar to see their friends. You can't... these kind of forums are poison.

I log out and make it hard on myself to participate. I logged in especially for you Vick! I sympathize!
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Old 01-05-2014   #10
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Spend your money on something else such as traveling that's my plan for fighting GAS
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Old 01-05-2014   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jippiejee View Post
In my personal experience, the best cure for GAS is to not compromise. Just buy what you really need and want, and be happy ever after. I've wasted a lot of money on the detour to what I wanted in the first place.

I always shot my Oly XA little rangefinder until I wanted some more versatility. Instead of buying that M6/7/P that I really wanted, I first got some ****ty Zorki-4, then immediately after a CL to save some. And while that CL was a fun little camera, I still would have liked the better rangefinder of the M6/7/P family, so instead I bought an M4-P. Which is a great camera, but it didn't totally kill the lust for a measuring variety with higher shutter speeds, thus keeping gas alive.

Same with my digital route: I really thought an M9 would make me happy. But I bought a digilux-2. Which is a great camera, but it comes with a small sensor and evf. So I soon upgraded to an X1 with a much better sensor and fixed lens. Which kept the lust alive for more flexibility, so of course then the M8 entered the house. To save some. And bought some more lenses for it. To upgrade those to better lenses soon again. But it still had that little crop factor problem, keeping the M9/MM/M the more desired upgrades ahead. So I finally bought an M9 too.

I should have realized that I'm not rich enough for all these detours and should have bought what I wanted in the first place: an M6 and M9 set and kill the unhealthy shopping distractions.

Then, the internet and its photo gear jerks are a safe place again.
This is good advice for acquiring gear, indeed. The whole issue runs much deeper though. A camera is a knick-knack unless you're using it to make images. So the exercise becomes: "what kind of images do you make?" Once you've decided how you plan to use a camera system, then it's easier to decide what gear you need to accomplish those kinds of images. Then, do your homework and figure out what you think the best gear for you that will do the job. THEN, start shopping for that gear and find the best deal you can get on it. You'll end up with gear that works for you, and the gear that you want.

You'll be surprised once you have it, and it really does what you want it to do, that when you look at other 'stuff' you recognize that it has little value to you.

If it's really about photography and the images you want to make, once you have the gear you need to do that, gear really doesn't matter.
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Old 01-05-2014   #12
Andrea Taurisano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jippiejee View Post
In my personal experience, the best cure for GAS is to not compromise. Just buy what you really need and want, and be happy ever after.
It makes absolutely sense, provided one really knows what one needs and wants. Unfortunately, my (and I guess other photographers') experience is that each time we think we finally understood what we need and want.. only to find out that not even our new piece of gear is making us better photographers.

Surely, the internet makes it easy to bombard ourselves with information on what's available out there, what works for others, not to mention seducing examples of what others have produced with this or that piece of gear. Next step is to think that it's just THAT piece of gear that enabled the result, as if nothing else than that camera or lens could have. And that's where I think the key to GAS immunity lies: in understanding (or fooling oneself to believe, if you will) that you can achieve just about everything with most cameras and lenses. And the few images you can't achieve with what you have... perhaps you can happily live without.

For me it helps a bit to study the work of photographers I very much admire who used the gear I have, or similar. Seeing how much they achieved with a P&S, for instance....
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Old 01-05-2014   #13
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I'm not a photographer but just like neat opto/mechanical devices. The stuff made in the first 6 decades of the last century. After electronics began to invade cameras in the 1970's I totally lost interest in them.

Such as;

A Minolta SRT-101 is a mechanical thing of beauty.

While a Minolta XG-1 holds no more interest than a toster for me. A utility that happens to also take pictures.


There is no logic nor any valid reason to feel this way, I just do.

So....my GAS is confined to a subset of photographic equipment.
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Old 01-05-2014   #14
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The problem is that people are unsure of the direction they wish to go photographically. The addition of a 35mm Summicron will no doubt be the last part of the jig saw until you see the summilux...

I buy few cameras, only one in the last 5 years it seems to me that most people don't have a strong direction. I am driven. I make no apologies I know after 35 years of making images I have all the equipment I need to facilitate that.

The internet is my library and a 24/7 gallery I enjoy seeing all your shots (I look at everyones Flickr on this site who posts in threads I find interesting)
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Old 01-05-2014   #15
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Originally Posted by Duane Pandorf View Post
Master what you have.
ding ding ding ding ding.

I think the key deals with being content with what you already own, or with buying one thing and not wanting something better. It's a slippery slope, seeing something a little better than what one currently uses and developing an idea that this particular piece of gear will be so beneficial that it will render its predecessor useless. I recently went through this with a Nikkor 135/2; I already have a 135/2.8, but thought having something a little faster would be nice. I had an opportunity to test drive the 135/2 for a month, and found myself stopping down this large heavy piece of glass more often than not. After I gave it back, my desire to own that lens was gone; I rarely used its widest aperture, and carrying it was a pain.

Years ago, I would buy a camera, shoot a roll of film or two through it, then move onto something else. This got tiring; I would just start to get used to the meter, framing, etc. of one particular camera, then jump into another before getting to know that camera really, really well. The same thing went for lenses; with a 24, 28, 35, and 50 at one's disposal, I found that carrying all of that stuff around got to be a chore, and I could never quickly envision the outcome of a photo for one of four lenses.

It's fun playing with a new camera, lens, or other accessory, but the novelty wears off after a few weeks. It's so much easier to stick to one camera per format; one can make a greater commitment and time investment into a piece of gear, and fully get what they want out of it, I feel.
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Old 01-05-2014   #16
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There is joy in consumerism and collecting as well as using, photographing and mastering.

it might not be cost effective, but if it makes you happy, life is short, buy and then sell what you don't use/like.

If economics presents a constraint, then be happy scoring a good deal on last year's must have, or if all else fails - master what you have and improve your skills, technique and vision
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Old 01-05-2014   #17
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I stopped fetishising equipment when I became genuinely interested in photography. I look at a lot of really good, innovative, exciting photography portfolios/blogs, which I find much better reading than gear-oriented blogs, most of which are REALLY infantile.

For a time I got really interested in gear was that I was interested in the different aesthetic qualities they'd give me, and I thought that by choosing the right gear I could achieve the look I wanted only by using the corresponding camera/lens. Over the last two years though, as I've gotten much better with PS, I've come to realise most of the time the difference in aesthetic each piece of gear would give me is often very easily emulated through post processing.

In other words my own skills in post (wether it be using chemicals or software) are much more significant than the gear that I use, and from that point forward I realised I don't need to keep buying more stuff.
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Old 01-05-2014   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea Taurisano View Post
It makes absolutely sense, provided one really knows what one needs and wants. Unfortunately, my (and I guess other photographers') experience is that each time we think we finally understood what we need and want.. only to find out that not even our new piece of gear is making us better photographers...

...that's where I think the key to GAS immunity lies: in understanding (or fooling oneself to believe, if you will) that you can achieve just about everything with most cameras and lenses. And the few images you can't achieve with what you have... perhaps you can happily live without.
I think you've made the point well. You can probably make 90% of all of the images you'll ever need to do with one body and probably two lenses, and the brand and model really aren't all that significant. Some 'feel' better than others, but they'll all get the job done. All the other 'stuff' out there makes the remaining 10% you need to shoot a little less difficult to shoot.
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Old 01-05-2014   #19
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There's an easy cure for GAS. Want something badly that you can't afford. Then start saving for this item, and refuse to be distracted into buying anything else whilst saving. Perhaps something like a Leica M or Nikon D4, or if they're too affordable, maybe an expensive classic car. This really works.
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Old 01-05-2014   #20
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I was hoping for recipe but OP was just asking.

My solution - do photo forums and socialize at same place, same time.
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Old 01-05-2014   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nongfuspring View Post
I stopped fetishising equipment when I became genuinely interested in photography. I look at a lot of really good, innovative, exciting photography portfolios/blogs, which I find much better reading than gear-oriented blogs, most of which are REALLY infantile.

For a time I got really interested in gear was that I was interested in the different aesthetic qualities they'd give me, and I thought that by choosing the right gear I could achieve the look I wanted only by using the corresponding camera/lens. Over the last two years though, as I've gotten much better with PS, I've come to realise most of the time the difference in aesthetic each piece of gear would give me is often very easily emulated through post processing.

In other words my own skills in post (wether it be using chemicals or software) are much more significant than the gear that I use, and from that point forward I realised I don't need to keep buying more stuff.
BINGO! I agree 110%. Obsessing over photo gear is like a literary journal obsessing over word processing software or the merits of fountain pens and journal books instead of literature itself.

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Old 01-05-2014   #22
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Guilty as charged! I do obsess over typewriters, fountain pens and journal books. But they're just tools, and books don't write themselves.

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Old 01-05-2014   #23
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I think I succumb to GAS for two main reasons, and one lesser but more valid one. When people talk up a camera, lens, or supplemental gear, especially how they are doing better now that they have it, why wouldn't I want to do better too? But more than that, I think I want to be able to say I have one of those and really like it too. After all, it if is good for some others, it must be good for me and I want to join the crowd.

I have had GAS for some Super Press lenses, but about the time I was able to get them, my back started bothering me really bad. I couldn't use it and haven't gotten back into the habit as I find my folders also provide often good enough photos without the weight. My 9x12 cameras surely do. Wanting lenses or accessories I will use is not so much GAS, unless I find I just wanted them and I'm not really using them.

But the other two reasons I have pretty much weaned myself from. I have a Contax set and of course my Fujica set. I have also gotten a Kiev set which I sometimes enjoy using. I can get pretty much everything I want with those in 35mm. Oh, I do often enjoy carrying my XA, but that's just because it is so easy to carry and still has usefulness as a camera.

I really need to get back to my Super Press 23. It is so versatile. But funny, I enjoyed it so much with only the 100mm f/3x5 and the 65mm lenses. The 50mm and the 250mm f/5 are heavy to carry, and a 75mm equivalent just isn't a favorite cup of tea for me. Sigh.

For those of you who still suffer, I understand, and sympathize. But I won't be attending any more meetings thank you.
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Old 01-05-2014   #24
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by jippiejee View Post
I've wasted a lot of money on the detour to what I wanted in the first place.

I always shot my Oly XA little rangefinder until I wanted some more versatility. Instead of buying that M6/7/P that I really wanted, I first got some ****ty Zorki-4, then immediately after a CL to save some. And while that CL was a fun little camera, I still would have liked the better rangefinder of the M6/7/P family, so instead I bought an M4-P. Which is a great camera, but it didn't totally kill the lust for a measuring variety with higher shutter speeds, thus keeping gas alive.

Same with my digital route: I really thought an M9 would make me happy. But I bought a digilux-2. Which is a great camera, but it comes with a small sensor and evf. So I soon upgraded to an X1 with a much better sensor and fixed lens. Which kept the lust alive for more flexibility, so of course then the M8 entered the house. To save some. And bought some more lenses for it. To upgrade those to better lenses soon again. But it still had that little crop factor problem, keeping the M9/MM/M the more desired upgrades ahead. So I finally bought an M9 too.

I should have realized that I'm not rich enough for all these detours and should have bought what I wanted in the first place: an M6 and M9 set and kill the unhealthy shopping distractions.
You describe something that happened to many of us, I think.
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Old 01-05-2014   #25
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I think sometimes detours are necessary to learn what in fact we want in the first place though. I thought I wanted a Black Paint MP until I got one, then I realized I didn't. I got a Mamiya 7 too, thinking that I liked RFs and wanted medium format, obvious choice? I didn't like the build or the electronic nature of it.

My first TLR was sidelined by my Hasselbald, now I don't have the Hasselblad, I realize that all along, I preferred the TLRs... It would be great to know exactly what we want, but unfortunately I've had to do this inconvenient learning thing along the way.
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Old 01-05-2014   #26
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I used to buy, sell and swap loads of gear. My cure was buying well used, often scratched and dented items that I'm not afraid of using. This has stopped my collecting and now I only have cameras and lenses I use. I still have more than I should.
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Old 01-05-2014   #27
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In my personal experience, the best cure for GAS is to not compromise. Just buy what you really need and want, and be happy ever after. I've wasted a lot of money on the detour to what I wanted in the first place.

I always shot my Oly XA little rangefinder until I wanted some more versatility. Instead of buying that M6/7/P that I really wanted, I first got some ****ty Zorki-4, then immediately after a CL to save some. And while that CL was a fun little camera, I still would have liked the better rangefinder of the M6/7/P family, so instead I bought an M4-P. Which is a great camera, but it didn't totally kill the lust for a measuring variety with higher shutter speeds, thus keeping gas alive.

Same with my digital route: I really thought an M9 would make me happy. But I bought a digilux-2. Which is a great camera, but it comes with a small sensor and evf. So I soon upgraded to an X1 with a much better sensor and fixed lens. Which kept the lust alive for more flexibility, so of course then the M8 entered the house. To save some. And bought some more lenses for it. To upgrade those to better lenses soon again. But it still had that little crop factor problem, keeping the M9/MM/M the more desired upgrades ahead. So I finally bought an M9 too.

I should have realized that I'm not rich enough for all these detours and should have bought what I wanted in the first place: an M6 and M9 set and kill the unhealthy shopping distractions.

Then, the internet and its photo gear jerks are a safe place again.
That is some good advice - if you know what you want, just buy it and don't compromise.

But if you aren't sure what you want or need, then what??

You must decide which cameras and lenses YOU want and need.

The first thing you must do is disconnect for a while from anything and everything that tries to get you to buy new cameras and lenses. Avoid camera websites and camera magazines in particlar. Avoid camera club commandos and camera store sales people. How else can you decide what camera and lenses YOU want and need for your particular style of photographing and your subject matter rather than what cameras and lenses THE CAMERA COMPNIES and camera salesmen want you to buy?

When people are being screeched at constantly to BUY THIS CAMERA by the advertising agencies hired by the camera companies, it's no wonder people get confused and buy gear that doesn't work for them (inbedded in the message is the thinly veiled implication that your current camera is inadequate, obsolete, can't produce quality images or is an "amateur's camera").

People usually get GAS for a camera or lens because of advertising, not because of their own well reasoned decisions. They don't think their impending purchase through; they get confused or dazzled by the advertising and make an ill considered purchase. After a few weeks or months, they realize that the new camera is not what they truly needed - and then they are stuck. Their options are: Trade it in and get 1/3 of what you paid for it or sell it outright and get 2/3 of what the new cost was (IF you are lucky). You were confused by the ad agencies. It cost you money that you didn't need to spend.

Guess what: The camera maker is happy - they got what they want (your money). The ad agency is happy - they got paid by "CaLeiKon." Does either care if the camera you just bought is a good fit for you and your photography? My guess would be no.

Get away from the nonstop advertising. Clear your head. Ask yourself some questions. Look at your most recent photographs; figure out exactly what your subject matter is and exactly how you choose to photograph these subjects. Once you figure out those issues, ask yourself what is the best camera and lens to pursue your particular photographic passion.

That's how you end up with the right camera and lens from the start - and save yourself alot of money, heartache and frustration in the process.

JMHO, based on personal experience - and a stint working behind the sales counter in a camera shop.
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Old 01-05-2014   #28
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Photo gear is tools for producing photos.
Not polishing. Not worshiping. Not amassing.
Figure out what you like to/want to/need to photograph and then buy only those tools that you need to do that.
Grow up.
Act responsibly and you won't have this silly, non-existent "problem" to piss and moan about.
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Old 01-05-2014   #29
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I don't have a problem.

I have certain camera platforms that are my favorites, and I do try to use them as often as possible. But I'm just so interested in all these cameras that I was never able to experiment with when I was younger, and want to see if I can get the most out of whatever it is.

I also like repairing cameras, and that keeps my GAS from getting too out of hand, because I buy "non-functioning" stuff, and overhaul it. I've also found that a cheap Agfa/Ansco 6x6 folder can make very good images without having to haul a bunch of auxiliary gear around (no meter, no rangefinder, maybe a hood and filter). I do have an affinity for Nikon gear, and am now getting off the detour I took into other SLR's to fill out some kits.

But it's really great to be able to try out different things, because I found that there are many platforms out there that I would have rejected outright when I was younger, because of a perception that they just couldn't have been as good as my Nikons. And also that there is no "perfect" camera. There are compromises built into every one of them.

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Old 01-05-2014   #30
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Originally Posted by nobbylon View Post
I used to buy, sell and swap loads of gear. My cure was buying well used, often scratched and dented items that I'm not afraid of using. This has stopped my collecting and now I only have cameras and lenses I use. I still have more than I should.
If you enjoy the gear why worry?
Sound advice, I took my Rolleiflex GX out to the beach yesterday, high winds meant it got covered in sand. It seems to have survived without issue, but the fact is I considered not going out in case it got damaged, which is just ridiculous.

I need cheaper cameras, not better ones, cameras I'm not afraid to drop in the sea.
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Old 01-06-2014   #31
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One question might be, 'at this time, how much of your photography is because you like the create images, and how much is because you enjoy playing with gear?'

I freely admit that I love gear as much as the act of photography. And the purchase of new gear often leads to new photographic discoveries and enjoyment.

Every camera I have bought has been because it offered a significant feature or attribute that none of my other cameras possessed, and every time, my desire to take photos has increased, as have my skills in composition, timing, and post processing.

Despite having loads of cameras that shot raw, I never did much with raw until I bought the Sigma DP1 in 2008, and the wonders of raw in post were revealed to me. I used to labour with low ISO's in all lighting conditions until I bought the Fuji F30 in 2006. The M9 in 2010 gave me full use of my M-mount lenses and lead me to take some of the best photos of my life.

I've slowed down of late, but on average, I buy 1.5 cameras a year. I've amassed enough gear to suit almost every conceivable situation, and there are times that if I find myself wanting a new camera, I just dig out an older one and I'm satisfied for a while.

GAS can be a burden, but it can bring a lot of benefits, too. Perhaps the trick is knowing whether something is just a 'desire to buy something new' or if such a purchase would really help your photography.
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Old 01-07-2014   #32
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It's ok

we have two hobbies... making photos, and having cameras.

which one shall i indulge today?
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Old 01-07-2014   #33
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How to avoid GAS?

Visit a dentist, get a quote and look at your bank account.

I was thinking of upgrading my 1dsII to a 1dsIII and Fuji x100 to an X-Pro this year as a 40th birthday present, but does not seem likely anymore
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Old 01-07-2014   #34
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I got into photography when I was around 11. As a young man I hardly had any money for anything after tuition and room/board. Now in this digital age when I am a dedicated film shooter I see cameras that were out of my price range years ago now goes for peanuts. Last month I bought a 3 lens Pentax 645n kit. I don't need it but still want the experience of shooting with it. I see nothing wrong with that.
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Old 01-07-2014   #35
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Being broke sure does help. It forced me to not be so gassy.
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Old 01-07-2014   #36
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I always rationalized my gear acquisitions over the years by noting that I always made more money from photography, even part-time, than I spent. Never mind the good use that money might have been put to without all the equipment trades and changes.

Then there was the film/digital dichotomy of several years back, which contributed mightily to my photographic instability. But, I will admit, it was fun and interesting!

All of this stopped when there appeared the perfect camera system designed, it seemed, specifically for me: The Fujifilm X-Pro1 with three lenses — 14, 35 and 60. I may at some time upgrade within the system if that seems desirable, but at this point there is the complete absence of GAS. A good feeling.
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Old 01-07-2014   #37
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Focus on photography instead of gear.
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Old 01-07-2014   #38
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I suffer from a mild case of GAS, but in looking at my film photos, I've realized that the largest number of ones I'm really happy with are from, you guessed it, the first two film cameras I bought. I take this to mean that I've learned those cameras better, through longer use, than the more recent ones.

Somehow, I find this comforting, and a possible slight antidote to further GAS. Or, as others have said, "learn to shoot what you have".
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Old 01-08-2014   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwintle View Post
I suffer from a mild case of GAS, but in looking at my film photos, I've realized that the largest number of ones I'm really happy with are from, you guessed it, the first two film cameras I bought. I take this to mean that I've learned those cameras better, through longer use, than the more recent ones.
As a tangent, I may have to agree with you about that. The first film cameras I really shot with were the Fuji Natura Black, and the Contax T3. I often look at the pictures I've taken with those cameras with a real sense of pleasure, more than the images taken with my Zeiss Ikon or M7.

For me, though, I don't think it was about longer term usage and skill. It was more about the exploration of a new (to me) format, and knowing that the images were infinitely more limited in number than digital. I had to make every shot count. That, and the juicy colours offered by film like Pro400H and Reala, engender a high level of satisfaction in me.

Ironically, given the subject of this thread, the Natura Black and T3 were bought after severe GAS attacks, upon viewing the many great photos by these cameras on flickr.
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Old 01-08-2014   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tijmendal View Post
Being broke sure does help. It forced me to not be so gassy.
NEWSFLASH!!!

The cure for GAS has just been discovered:
http://www.beanogas.com/
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