« The Joy of Making Your Own Photo Books | Main | It's Complicated! (Please Read) »

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Comments

Always loved toys as a kid, and cameras are toys that make toys (photographs)- how cool is that!? They also offer eternal hope: hope that the new camera will make the coolest toys ever, the ones you will love the absolute most, the ones you will never tire of...

I see lots of cameras I want. Plenty of GAS here. What I lack are the funds.

Buying gear as a distraction from personal setback has a significance for me. After learning of the recent death of a friend, lover and muse from decades past, I started browsing through the many photos I had taken of her and remembering how sweet those times were when we were together. There are so many moments I can still recall because in those days I was just getting interested in photography and she was a lovely and willing model. I don't have to trust my memory about her big, beautiful brown eyes because I have the evidence before me.

Back then, I was using Nikon F and F2 cameras. And the pictures I did of her were really nice. I haven't used Nikons in well over twenty years. Until now. I guess I'm trying to recapture my youth because I've distracted myself from the grief I've felt by buying a lot of Nikon gear I didn't really need. I even bought the current versions of the range of focal lengths I used in the 1970s--24, 35, 50, 85 and 180. Plus a few more. Just a distraction. But I've enjoyed using Nikons again and I think I'll continue using them.

And, admittedly, I never really grew up in many ways. It's hard to control my impulses but at least I don't spend the mortgage payments on new toys. There's a measure of maturity in there somewhere.

First of all, Mike, thank you for your very detailed reply to my comment on nutrition: since then I have been researching the authors you very kindly mentioned. I am always ready to change my mind! In return, perhaps have a look at an old friend and colleague's research on nutrition, Lee Hooper, who is at the University of East Anglia. Incidentally, the A-B-A study design you mentioned, is a cross-over trial. Not exactly my favourite design, and I am being litotic. The major failing is usually not having a sufficient 'wash-out' period. Two of my postgrad students wrote protocols for cross-over studies last year. I wasn't thrilled, but supported them and obtained ethical approval.

Back to the present. GAS, I occasionally have some and at the moment, I would love some KEF LS50, active, wireless, speakers. And photographically, I am looking at the Panasonic S1/R, (thanks Kirk), as I have a lot of Canon lenses, but will need an adapter for a Canon R mirrorless, so why not an adapter for the Panasonic? And I am just about to begin my 'Brutalist architecture' project in the North of England. My main lens for that is the 24mm TSE Mk II, which I think is rather better than the present Canon sensors. I think Kenneth Tanaka may also think that too, reading between the lines.

Mike, this is a bit of a tangent subject. You mentioned how you don't need a camera with video capability. I'm in that camp as well. I've never used a camera to make videos. My phone's capability suffices when I need another dog-playing-with-the-kid video.

So I'm wondering what's available today in the still-photo-only camera catagory. I can think of just a few: Nikon Df, Sigma foveon cameras, and most of the Leica M models. Anything else? And a related question: Shouldn't we pay LESS for such a camera? It doesn't appear so.

One of the (very few actually) unexpected bonuses of working in the dying medium of film photography is that there never will be better cameras. So once you hit that "best of the best" for whatever you do, there's really no reason to buy anything else.

Wow! This is beautiful!

"A camera to me seems to contain infinite promise. Photographs grab hold of the unknowable phantasm of life; they fish magic talismans of permanence out of the always-vanishing river of experience. They are tokens of memory, and they defy time. They honor the things we've loved as those things pass by into emptiness. Sights vanish forever with the passing instants—but not quite entirely, if you have the right camera and you snatched a particle to keep for yourself. The Buddhists say the world is an illusion, that you cannot lean on the world, you cannot hang on to now. The camera whispers seductively in your ear that you kind of can."

I have had a dose of GAS this last few days and wanted a camera that did not shoot video as well so I have hit the buy button on a well known site and purchased a ZEISS IKON Super Ikonta 531/2 Folding Rangefinder. Can't wait till get my hands on it.
PS love your writing.

Mike wrote: “Photographs grab hold of the unknowable phantasm of life; they fish magic talismans of permanence out of the always-vanishing river of experience.“

I read the above and was reminded of Diane Arbus’ definition of photography: “A secret of a secret.”

Your version is certainly more poetic.

I hear ya. I ran out of GAS a while back, possibly jaded by age, but more likely by the loss of the "reach" factor.

Imo, GAS is most pronounced when the object of desire is somewhat -- but not impossibly -- out of reach. Once within reach, that feeling of want (ok, lust) is gone, and all that's left is technical curiosity, which is not enough. Wait a few days/weeks, and that, too, is gone.

I'm not sure of the timing, but I think we're at the tail end of a major upheaval/rapid improvement cycle for cameras and software. Big fat changes and leaps forward made me breathless with desire (for new gear). But now? Meh. More pixels? Flippy screen? Video? Who cares.

If they want to restart my purchasing enthusiasm, they could start making stuff like easy digital-mod backs for my 1968 Rollei. Or a 4x5 film holder-size digital deal-io that would work with my view camera and cost $1395.00.

Otherwise, my current camera is still better than me and I've lost that lovin' feelin' for spending more money on cameras.

I suppose sufficiency has its downsides.

But what about the non-camera side of things? What about output? Are things just as satisficed over there? Books and prints? Is it possible to have all the books and prints we want? Or to have as much computer and storage and software as we need? Or darkroom?

And what about the path not taken? That close runner-up system or component we passed up? That other version of the body? That lens that was so enticing but we had that length covered?

One would think all these things and more are ready and waiting to quench the burning in the pocket.

In one sense I agree with you. I recently sold all of my old gear and bought one camera to "see me out", so to speak. I guess that I have decided that camera quality has reached such a pinnacle, it doesn't matter what I use, as long as it feels comfortable in my hands. But, let's face facts. That's purely because of my financial reality. Deep down inside the GAS still lurks, and I know that if I suddenly become extravagantly wealthy I will rush out to buy that GFX100 and three Fujifilm primes, and I will order that DJI Inspiron 2 with Zenmuse X7 camera and lenses.

The truth is, GAS is why I occasionally waste money on lottery tickets.

Obviously Canon, and specifically Canon EOS, has never really floated your boat. Any idea why, Mike? My recollection of the reviews of the original EOS cameras (620/650 in the UK) was that the reviewers essentially said “Ah! - *this* is how you should do autofocus!”. (There had been a few other A/F cameras in the year or so before.) I have to say once I’d handled an EOS 650 I was hooked. Nine months later I’d saved up the money for that body plus a 35-70 zoom lens (they only made that lens for few years at the beginning of the EOS era) and apart from one or two very brief detours I’ve stayed with Canon EOS ever since.

I recently ‘upgraded’ from a 5DIV (just too big and too heavy for me) to a 90D. Interestingly, the 90D plus lens is quite close to the same size and heft as that original EOS 650 + 35-70.

This time, this really is my Final Camera! I hope....

Mike,
I would think that most people in our 'extended family' really like cameras, Many ,like me have lots of them still sitting on shelves or in closets because we developed a certain attachment to them because they served us well.
The thing is, in my case at least, I don't buy cameras often. But when I do I tend to buy several along with lenses and use them for a long time.
I shot Nikon during the 60' , 70's & 80's so I have a bunch of 'F's' and 2 F3's. Then I added Hasselblad and I have a Bunch of those, Same with View Cameras & Lenses 4x5,m 5x7,8x10 11x14, & 8x20
With digital I switched to Canon's a 20D, 40D, 1DsIII, 5D mk IV..
I know that's a lot of cameras. But while I'm using a camera I am Happy with, I have little interest in new cameras. The 1DsIII was my main camera for over 7 years, I waited until the Mk 4 to buy a 5D.

In many ways I hate buying new cameras because I hate that period while you are figuring out how to make the camera disappear.
Only when I think there is a development that is 'better enough' to be seen in pictures, or allow me to do something I've been wanting to do do I consider adding something new.
I get most excited about Pictures.
You just got "The best camera you've ever owned" and "the most complete kit you've ever had"
I, for one, thought we'd be seeing tons of pictures from you.
What an opportunity to throw yourself into a project and make the best pictures of your life.
If not now, when?
Spending precious time wanting what you don't have, while not using what you DO have is a recipe for unhappiness.

Can the excitement of buying a new camera EVER equal the lasting joy of making a picture of which you are truly proud?
In my experience, it's not even close.

How's that new camera doing?
m

From my minimalist POV, he who dies with the least toys wins. You can't take it with you—so why own it?

BTW, I totally lack maturity—I'm an eighteen year old who inhabits an eighty year old body.

Mike, in my nearly 40 years of “serious” hobbyist, research, and fascination with photography (darkroom work included), I don’t think I’ve read a finer description of this pursuit than the paragraph you just posted- copied below. Thank you.

A camera to me seems to contain infinite promise. Photographs grab hold of the unknowable phantasm of life; they fish magic talismans of permanence out of the always-vanishing river of experience. They are tokens of memory, and they defy time. They honor the things we've loved as those things pass by into emptiness. Sights vanish forever with the passing instants—but not quite entirely, if you have the right camera and you snatched a particle to keep for yourself. The Buddhists say the world is an illusion, that you cannot lean on the world, you cannot hang on to now. The camera whispers seductively in your ear that you kind of can.

I knew that an X-T3 was not a justifiable upgrade from my X-T2. Then I found that Fuji were selling a refurbished one. You know the rest! The crazy thing is that the money would have paid for a much needed photo holiday. How I empathise with you.

I like Fuji cameras, rangefinder designs and high resolution sensors. I need IBIS. I have a few extra dollars in my pocket right now.

Come on Fuji, connect the dots. GFX 50R Mk2 (with IBIS). I (think) I can wait.

Ah, GAS.
When I look back over the time I've been doing photography, I've found that once I find what really works for me, I tend to stick with that camera/lens system for a very long time (actually, same applies to cars and stereo gear).

Cameras, even the newer mirrorless models, have gotten to be so good nowadays, that I'm of the view we can now skip generations of new models, much like we used to do with versions of Photoshop. I've shot with the X-T3 extensively, and have no plans to get one, nor would I consider getting the X-T4 when it ships, which will likely be in 2020. Rumor is that the X100F will be replaced with an "X100V" and I'll very likely pass on that, too. The X100F is one of the best cameras at fulfilling its design brief I've ever used.

If there's an X-H2, and if it has demonstrably and statistically significant improved Continuous AF for shooting motorsports, and if I am still shooting motorsports when that model ships...I might consider it. But only if I'm still shooting racing, as the X-H1 is just so damn good.

So, my advice is....just get out of the house, and shoot, & forget about GAS. GAS only satiates for a very short time, but making memorable photographs provide much longer-lasting fulfillment.

Personally, I really enjoy just getting out of the house with only the wondrous little X100F & the constraints it brings: just one lens & one focal length. I like the "purity" that comes from constraints; its all on you as the photographer.

And so on Friday, a few days before you posted this, I went to my local camera store and bought a collection of new Panasonic Lumix S equipment. Why? My Fuji system seemed to be doing fine, the two Pentax K-1 cameras I picked up this year were interesting and sometimes the files looked pretty cool... But, I'd used the Fuji system for a little over a year and probably would have gone straight from the Panasonic G9s I had been using before that to the full frame Lumix system as my next transition but the Lumix S system didn't exist yet and the Fuji stuff did. Fuji's X-T3 was in the right place at the right time... Ultimately, I guess I was ready to upgrade to the newest full frame stuff last week. But mostly I think I was bored. Bored and subconsciously had fully bought into the idea that finding just the right camera system might be the secret which would unlock some hidden photographic potential. Experience tells me that's not gonna happen. Hope springs eternal.

I like the Lumix S1 and SR1 cameras. I love the -idea- of the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Pro S lens. I filled in a few gaps with some Sigma Art lenses. But deep down I'm pretty sure it won't change anything vital in the way I do photographs or video.

I will say that my propensity for changing systems "more often that some people change their underwear" is still cheaper by far than owning a private jet, collecting sports cars or providing for a mistress. And I like the cameras better as well.

We scrimp and save, and then we die. We might as well have some fun cameras pass through our hands in the meantime.

I get it completely. Part of my running "out of gas" has been the experience of having camera manufacturers drop support for a line of lenses and/or accessories.

First is was the Olympus OM film mount lenses. I get that those lenses were manual focus and not auto-focus, but still, it really irritated me.

I next bought into the Minolta DSLR line and no sooner than I was invested, they sold it to Sony. I continued on with their A77 SLT DSLR, a bunch of A-mount lenses and their flashes with the proprietary mount, they dumped the flash mount and then abandoned the entire lineup of A-mount cameras and lenses. I don't know of anyone that wants to rely on a lens mount adapter.

I've come to the conclusion that although I might like a new Panasonic G9 with the best of the Panasonic lenses, I am not limited by my current equipment, but my own skills.

The only features that might get me to part with my money haven't shown up in any dedicated cameras - things that Thom Hogan continually harps about - the ability to easily move images from the camera to the Web without the legacy workflow.

I guess the camera manufacturers need to open their minds to new possibilities since few of us actually "need" 50+ MP images, and F 1.2 lenses that are heavier than our cameras.

Mike,
There are several ways to handle pursuit of the great next thing you once told me:
1. Get almost more than you can handle. No shortcuts. You said spend more now to avoid thinking you need to upgrade later. Avoid false economy.
2. Or postpone your purchase while waiting for the holy grail you know is coming. This saves a great deal of money because when the holy grail gets released, something else even better will be in the wings.
This works with all material things: cameras, cars, sound systems.

But if there are too many complications in cameras and you want simplicity there is a camera for both of us coming in 2020. The confirmed Leica M10M.
What a throw back. No color just mono. No autofocus. Thinner body like the film M’s, huge 41 megapixel sensor. At last, a camera that will allow me to be a great photographer. I’d have GAS for that. Yes, and I hope when it comes out I hear about something even more simple. Which is how I never bought the first mono.

I've gone 5 years with the same camera! That is a record for me in the digital age. I've kept track of recent camera releases, and while there's no doubt the XT-3 is better than my XT-1, I don't think it would meaningfully change anything about my photography. When it came out, I thought about picking up a XT-2, but there's really no point. It took awhile, but Digital photography has finally reached maturity. And if anything it did it faster than 35mm SLRs, which didn't really reach its that point till, what, the 1970s? There were so many oddball systems—including anything with a Photomic eye finder. Exactas? And then finally you had your basic Pentax K1000 style SLR with a center weighted meter, film advance lever, etc.

My only photographic purchases in recent years have been old lenses I can adapt.

LENSES


HOW INTERESTING! I find myself, after 50, yes 50+ years of shooting, some professional, some semi-pro, mostly personal, that I have reached the zenith of my GAS affliction. I have an old, reliable, film camera with a 35mm/f2 lens, a hi-tech bridge camera with a zoom that is actually longer than anything I EVER owned. And a digital 50mp SLR with two all encompassing for my needs lenses. That's it, that's all (though, yes there are a lot of $$ in the "herd") and I can not see, find, or are bombarded with marketing collateral of "latest and greatest" gear that I can not live without.

Alas, the end of the days when I would anxiously await the most recent announcement from one of the Big Boys in the photography arena, or some new up-start the had the better mousetrap.

Complacent, maybe, but I would rather call it satisfaction with reality. What would I do with MORE, that I already DON'T do with what I have?

Likely, NADA.

Peace to all who still suffer from a good case of GAS, and may you not have to wait 50 years to be "cured"

Tarzan

One of the best cures I've found for GAS is not having extra money for gear. No credit cards either. Just money enough now to live a comfortable life and save up for ink and photo paper for prints. Getting older now, social security and few extra bucks to live on. Puts a different spin on things.

I've had GAS for many, many years. Terrible state of mind. I'm fortunate to have a good (not the latest) camera and a few good lens. My goal is to continue to make the best photos I can and print them. Money can't produce a great photograph. If you think the extra 5% a better camera, lens, paper and printer can take your great photo to being THE GREATEST photo, you're sadly mistaken. Or that the greatest gear will make feel better. Been there, too.

Hi,my name is Eliott. I'm a recovering GAS photographer.

Wow Mike, a truly eloquent paragraph beginning “A camera to me seems to contain infinite promise...” I think you nailed the essence of why we photograph. Thanks for those words, I’ll keep them around to reread when I need to remind myself why I stay connected to this hobby.

I'm definitely out of GAS too.
YMMV ;-)

Not to be off topic but for any of your followers who follow Leicaphilia can you connect to his site, I try and get two lines of gobbledygook can’t connect.Any help appreciated, as to today topic I trying to decide should I go used Leica Sl or new Penny S1.

Long time Nikon shooter who has switched to Sony. I often roam around in the Leica store and check out the cameras. I envy and admire the simplicity and the pride of engineering. The cost is too prohibitive to actually consider purchasing. My compromise, for example, is to use the Sony A9 in its most simple form - with a small prime, etc. I do think there is a pent-up demand for some simplicity. Why couldn't Steve Jobs have dedicated himself to a large sensor mirrorless camera before he passed!!??

Just last week I bought a Nikon 1 V1 with the 10mm and 10-30mm lenses. I went searching for one on Kijiji, an online classifieds site that is popular in Canada, the way Craigslist is in the USA. I found a really good deal on one, bought it from some lovely people who fed me dinner when I arrived to pick it up, and I've used it for my work as an on-set photographer, where its silent shutter is ideal.

There's just one problem - I can't remember why I went searching for it. Did I see an article somewhere? Did it just randomly pop into my head? Did it show up on Kijiji when I was looking for something else? I can remember the time when I had a vague memory from many years ago of playing with one in a camera store, and I can remember searching to find one online, but I can't remember the thing that provoked that decision. The moment that bridged that gap. I just suddenly needed to own one, and I have no idea how it happened.

I find that the any cameras I buy are getting simpler, and I am happier for it.

Mike,

With this essay you have nailed the reason why so many of us are besotted with cameras. Nobody will ever say it better.

If you want simplicity, shoot a roll of Tri-X (now called 400TX) in one of those film cameras I know must be lurking in your house somewhere. Develop it, then make high-definition camera scans (I use an Olympus EM5 II with 60mm macro). Color is as easy as b&w, now that you can get a 2-bath C41 kit. I have this procedure down pat.

Yesterday I shot a roll of Pan F Plus, in a Zeiss Contessa 35 which had arrived the day before. Today I printed some of the images. I really like Tessars, for their character.

Hmmm, maybe this isn't simple, but it sure is fun. It won't break the bank, either.

Out of GAS? Never! Out of money, yes!!! My G is continuously getting more expensive...

Mike, I, too, bought the EOS RT (it didn't stay with me long, but I used it on a Greek (Lesbos) holiday in 1991, where it did good service. I'm sure I felt the same way about it as all my many GAS purchases - initial fascination, followed by deflation (or at least, a puzzled, what-was-that-all-about moment) and then an abiding inability to learn from the experience. When I look back upon all the cameras I bought and then sold on (usually at a loss), I can point to a dozen that anyone in his right mind would call an 'ideal' camera. I've also had marvellous lenses that I've disposed of because the camera's gone, and then had to start again. Result: not nearly enough effort devoted to taking photographs.

I'm now entirely cured of GAS - about twenty-five years after common sense should have prevailed. And I still wish I'd kept that Plaubel Makina 6x7 with its gorgeous 50mm Nikon lens.

Back when I only bought rather expensive cameras, a Leica M2 and Mamiya 6 and Minolta TC-1 were my mainstays, I resisted GAS pretty well. But in the past year I had a financial setback that led me to sell most of my high-value cameras and... start buying cheap undervalued cameras. Looking at my shelf I see 15 cameras that I've bought in the past year, the most expensive costing $270 and the majority under $100 (a third under $50). These are all really fine cameras that take great pictures, mostly rangefinders and TLRs from the 50s and early 60s. It's interesting to read reviews that mention their sale prices when new, which adjusted for inflation makes them the equivalent of $700-$3,000 cameras in today's marketplace.

Besides, I've learned to do minor repairs and adjustments, which is a lot of fun and feeds my bargain hunting GAS. Anyway, GAS is still possible for oldsters on fixed incomes. Thank goodness!

Cannot claim maturity, but, at 70 I’m just about out of GAS. You see, the missus is nine years younger and when I kick off I don’t want her to have to deal with all my photography stuff. So....I’m in ‘reverse GAS’ mode, at least with all the major cameras worth anything at all.
Promised her I won’t buy even one more item ( except film) until the collection is reduced down to one medium sized IKEA shelving unit.

Love the “they fish magic talismans of permanence out of the always-vanishing river of experience.” ... pure poetry well said. And that should be enough to lend credence to “PAS” - picture acquisition syndrome. To me, it doesn’t matter most times what camera I have as long as I have something to grab one of those talismans of the moment. I often go out to shoot with film and digital because they render different experiences, complexity notwithstanding.

I guess it’s all about electric now........ 😉

I'm with ya, Mike, even if I am trailing you age-wise by a couple of years. I feel the same way. I think it is a combination of things. First, the camera (or more importantly the _lenses_) that a particular manufacturer put out used to matter more. That is, if you _chose_ Contax over Nikon you were choosing a certain look or color balance. Or Leica over Canon. Forget that most of us would have failed a blind "taste" test. That was what we were being sold, and that's what we bought into. Now, I would argue, your processing software and choices in "post" have a much more profound impact on final image quality than the camera and lens used to make an image. So the camera matters less.

Second, most iterations of cameras come as innovations "under the hood," as it were. It is hard to get excited about these (at least for me). For instance, a new "imaging engine" (whatever that is) does its work out of my direct vision. And if those software improvements are swamped by my Lightroom presets . . . ? Well, all the images from all my cameras are going through that software so a software update in Lightroom or PS has a much more profound effect on my work than a new camera.

Third, (and this is something you've touched on) changing cameras now means accommodating yourself to a new menu system ("now where have they hidden 'exposure compensation'?"). In the days of the film camera, it was mostly on the top plate. Fewer controls, easier use (maybe).

Fourth, while I am sitting out the phone camera revolution (I just don't enjoy using one and rarely do), the rest of _homo sapiens_ begs to differ. So a lot of hype about new phone (and their cameras) matters to folks more than hype around a new camera. (I would argue that the phone hype is principally because of the hardware limitations -- in other words, it is easier to improve a limited product. But that is another topic.) Also, due to their ubiquity a state-of-the-art phone is a social status signifier to a broad swath of the public. In contrast, a new camera matters to almost no one (not among TOPpers of course, but to the public at large). Never underestimate the amount of energy we all put into noticing the social status symbols of the other primates in the room. Just sayin'.

Finally, I think that cameras' resolution and file size have outstripped their display and storage mediums. Most of us aren't in the billboard business. So a $3,700 "new" camera that produces 50 mega-whatever images just has less appeal. First thing I am going to do is throw out 50 to 90% of the data that the camera is producing anyway. Or put another way, if my images aren't working at 24 Megs, doubling the file size ain't going to fix what's broke.

Just another aging take on all this . . .

Who among the great photographers does not have GAS? Maybe HCB. I only know him with his Leica and a very limited lens range.
All this "it is not the camera, it is the photographer" is bla bla and the desire for good equipment is NOT irrational.
I more than understand the longing for the Canon EOS RT.

I used a Canon Pellix camera for many years. Activating the light meter also stopped the lens down to the current setting which, while making the viewfinder image dark, also previewed the depth of field. When I switched to digital, this was the feature I most missed.

I've gotten over it.

GAS is so much fun.

My GAS has not disappeared, but it has changed of nature since we are at the more than enough level of technical quality with the digital cameras and lenses.

It has been like that since the X-T1. Only the X-H1 re-triggered it. Went for an X-T2 trying to be reasonable. Total fail, got the X-H1 promotion anyway. But for the first time, I could not bring myself to sell the previous cameras. I still have the X-T1 and X-T2 and value them.

What reamains as an acute GAS is something with movements. See, I did have that period with an Arca-Swiss 6x9 and I learned all that stuff about movements and I do miss that. So, it might very well be in my future to acquire a Cambo Actus Mini and use my X-T2 as a digital back and shutter on it, like this:

Smiley face

The cool thing about it is that it is so expensive a project that is it actually pretty safe. For now.

I currently have too much gear. I've been meaning to sell one system, maybe two, but have been too disorganized and keep putting it off. I do like having the K1 and Fuji XH-1. They seem different enough to be complementary. Every once in a while I'll take the Pentax out and be wowed by the richness of its files. I'll use it for a few days, then pick up the Fuji again and enjoy what it does. It's a little like owning two guitars with different sound and feel. You can play the same songs, but you still prefer one over the other at different times.

I have GDS, Gear Divestment Syndrom. It is quite nice. As a result I now have fewer camera than ever before in the last 50 years. I now have one camera. Seldom have I had so few lenses as now. I currently have four lenses, and one will go soon.

The problem, if one uses Fujifilm cameras, is that they are doubling the already running cashback amounts due to Black Friday, until 5 January.

For example, here in Portugal the XPRO2 + 23mm lens graphite kit went from 300 EUR to 600 EUR cashback. XT-3 from 100 to 200 discount.

Difficult to resist:)

I'm an old man and have owned everything from a Baby Brownie - my first camera - to a Wisner 8 x 10 and the darkroom gear to go with it. Now I've shed just about all of my old film gear and settled on a few Panasonic m4/3 and lenses, Lightroom/Photoshop, and an Epson 3880 printer. It requires much less space and time and gives me better results for what I need these days.

GAS? No, don't have that for cameras and other expensive chattels, like cars. Especially cars. I hate the damn things. They're just money pits and wasting assets. As for having money burning a hole in my pocket, nope, don't have that problem either. If I want to spend, I'll go the flea market and buy some small tchotshtkes. It's more fun, cheaper, and takes up less room.

Partial GAS cure for me is remembering that we're in the midst of the Holocene Extinction Event, and that runaway consumerism is a big part of problem.

Sooner or later, Sony will lure me into buying newer cameras. But for now, I'm okay with my A7 and RX100 Mk 1 cameras.

Meanwhile, I've turned some of my consumerism elsewhere: Fine teas, for one! Kudos to the TOP reader who mentioned Ippodo in Kyoto, Japan. Single-origin dark chocolates have been another source of wonders for me.

And what better way to enjoy cameras with real clicky dials than to buy film cameras, often for pennies on the dollar? Carbon emissions associated with these occurred long ago.

"You know what? Maybe my X-T1 is really all I need. No need for larger files/prints, does fine in low light, I work naturally around it's foibles at this point. It's great."

*rumour drops that the X-T4 may have IBIS*

*profuse sweating begins*

"As I was saying, my photography could really use a nudge to freshen things up. There's certainly nothing *wrong* with my current setup, but..."

Well...I thought I was out of GAS, and then I wasn't. Just a couple of weeks ago I picked up a new lens that had previously been aspirational, but I sold a bunch of gear and there it was, used, for not much more than I got for me new gear. I've already started using it for my pro work.

And now, just this last week another aspirational lens came up used at an incredible price. So, once again....

But these may become my last lens purchases for a long while...because my kit is basically full.

But I definitely need a new computer.....

I hear you, Mike. We're the same age and there's a whole lot of "been there; done that" in my life.

As far as cameras are concerned, most feature capabilities that I'll never use. Meanwhile, camera companies - with the notable exception of Fuji - are pretty cynical about updates (firmware or hardware) and I simply refuse to be concerned about keeping current any longer. And I'm sorry, but smartphone cameras just don't do it for me at all.

I feel the same way about cars these days. Most are near-identical and most of the things I want (including but not limited to manual transmissions) aren't generally available any longer. But everything I don't want (including but not limited to high levels of connectivity and "driver assistance" technology) are being rammed down my throat by McWorld.

As a result, I find myself wistful about both life-long enthusiasms but no longer interested enough to do much about it. I've been turning my attention to watch-collecting lately.

GAS will never go away. However the times they are a changing.

This is how Independent/Art-house cinema is effected by the lose of GAS. The LA Times Company Town section says: Laemmle Theatres calls off sale as its historic Music Hall location shuts down.

Los Angeles-based cinema chain Laemmle Theatres, best known for showcasing art-house movies and foreign gems, is taking down the “for sale” sign after months of seeking a buyer.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2019-11-21/laemmle-theatres-calls-off-sale-as-it-closes-music-hall-theatre

The camera-phone killed the P&S camera. Amazon Prime, NetFlix, etc, etc are killing the Art/Independent movie. Selling a project to a Streaming Service is better than financing a film through pre-sales to distributors world wide. People still want quality entertainment, they just prefer viewing it at home.

Still got my two EOS RT bodies and that 35mm/2.0 lens. Never needed another film camera. Can't beat that 9ms reaction time.

Replaced them with a 5D, and just updated the 5D bodies as the next came out.

Two types of shoppers: "Good enoughs" like me - get something that will do the job, and don't look any more - and "comparison shoppers" - constantly seeking perfection. Being a "comparison shopper seems like awful hard work to me ;)

I ran out of GAS a few years ago, now I'm into GSS or Gear Selling Syndrome. At any given time now I have at least eight lenses or other Camera stuff on Craig's list. I bought too much gear, most of which just sits in my gun safe - no guns - just camera gear and backup hardrives - about 80 terabytes of.

My GAS has changed. I'm not looking for new photography gear. I've got what I need.

However, I have decided to learn to play guitar. That has opened up a whole new GAS supply chain.

I had an interesting/disturbing discussion about a new Camera (yet to be seen but announced) on another forum. To set the background, I bought a "last years model" of camera about three years ago.

I have a small collection of lenses but I have only used three of them for the majority of my images over the last three years. Two zooms covering 16mm-135mm (both f2.8 through out their focal lengths) and a 8mm fisheye. Now I bought the camera because it has internal GPS, dual SD card slots and is weather sealed. I have taken it to Europe, England, Alaska, Yellowstone and next year it will go to Norway. I also shoot for non-profits and donate the images and my time.

So the interesting part is, there was a thread that asked if this brands users were going to jump on the bandwagon and switch cameras with the release of the new body. I said, that by perusing the rumor sites, it appeared that the GPS function had been removed from the new body. So I weighed in and said "no GPS no sale".

Then all heck broke loose. I was accused of "purposefully damaging" and bad mouthing the brand by repeating conjecture. I should immediately stop posting due to the detrimental and world wide damage I was causing. Note: I do not use Twitter, Facebook (including Instagram), flicker or any other Social Media and I do not have a website.

So after that, no I have no GAS. When the moderators of said site have warned me over being hostile to other members (in their opinion) and having my "bad" comments removed and that site has let these comments stand, I am really wondering if even being a member of the forums I do follow is even worth it.

I don't mind waiting between camera iterations (went from a Fuji 120mm and Canon 35mm cameras into the digital realm with the Canon 20D, then the 50D, now the 80D) and find one of the great pleasures of doing so is the veritable treasure trove of new features that get piled on in the meantime. Automatic sensor cleaning!! Flip LCD screen!! Increased dynamic range!! Etc., etc. Like a kid on Xmas morning opening up my presents...

"The Buddhists say the world is an illusion, that you cannot lean on the world, you cannot hang on to now." Apparently reality is an illusion too. Oh how this makes my head hurt.
https://theconversation.com/quantum-physics-our-study-suggests-objective-reality-doesnt-exist-126805?fbclid=IwAR2dUCrjgUDlqG4kHWPQLkQT4SO2laQazTlO7gxprxemLY6YRzaY88KnpY4

@Mike: I think that’sa fair retort, but I’m five years in and not tempted yet so, wish me luck. I agree on the common pre-justification. Mine was that I could probably turn the grease over at almost no loss. It’s true for film Kit and lenses, less so digital bodies but I got in expecting to want out at some point.

I did get itchy feet once, but found the XT-2 EVF completely alien. Like a holodeck. To close that door I went home and cosmetically roughened the Leica UI a bit. There. Now we’re stuck with each other.

The only photo/camera GAS I have these days is for gear that will actually help/support the work I want to do. For example a dependable M body that will allow me to use 28mm along with my favoured 40mm Cron. And maybe a second Rolleiflex, a 2.8 to pair with my much loved Automat K4A with f3.5 Tessar, allowing me to work with two different emulsions simultaneously.

I’m ready to get rid of the bulk of my OM gear, I’ll keep the bare essentials. The Nikkormat EL and lenses will go, along with a bunch of other gear I don’t touch. It’s nice to have, but if I don’t use it, someone else can and will.

No more GAS. I just bought a new strap for my camera and It took me days to decide if I really really needed it. More expensive things are not in my mind anymore. What I need is a printer and some paper.

I really like the concept of GSS...Gear Selling Syndrome.

In fact, just about 2 years ago at this time, I sold all the Canon pro gear that I had sitting unused in my storage closets at local camera swap-meets: 1D-series bodies, L-glass, big fast Canon EOS telephoto lenses, etc.

Some interesting observations while I was at the swap meet: I had some mirrorless gear on sale too: my Oly E-M1, some M4/3 lenses, and my Fuji X100T and X-T1, plus a few XF lenses, in addition to all the Canon pro gear.

The Olympus & M4/3 gear generated virtually ZERO interest; people wouldn't even pick it and look at it.

The Fujifilm gear generated the most conversations, by far: many, many show attendees came up, inevitably with their own Fuji cameras around their necks, and proceeded to tell me how much they loved their Fuji X-cameras. All the used camera dealers came up, asking me how much I wanted for the X100T, and none of them jumped on it as I had it priced at the going market rates, and they knew it.

The pro Canon gear, on the other hand, literally flew off the table, and at the end of three shows between November & December, I put...$11,000 in the bank.

Canon really does own the market, despite what anyone may say...even the used market.

There are (at least) two aspects to this: one, the marketing to us of things we don't need (to such an extent that it is considered near-criminal to object to it), and two, the unavoidable drive toward excess. The former is a manipulation of the latter and should of course be subjected to extreme skepticism - i.e. the last three times you told me an upgrade would improve my life it didn't so why is this time different?

Still, excess is the foundational principle of human civilization and as such it can never be exhausted. It is why we have art, play, luxury, even religion. It is only as civilization advances that it thinks of denying access to such things "for our own good." And so we have guilt.

As Lear says:

"O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s. Thou art a lady.
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need—
You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need."

The world doesn't need more pictures so if you want to follow the logical conclusion of mean frugality to its limit, why possess camera equipment at all? That initial camera purchase is already in excess. I believe we know this instinctively and is why we buy more stuff regardless of how and in what ways we try to convince ourselves to act more responsibly.

Now, one can carry too much debt and too much stuff. Drowning in material possessions is its own cruel metaphor. Still the question is, is debt creeping up to a difficult to sustain limit? Are you using the stuff you have? Is it sitting in a dark corner collecting dust or are you making things with it? Making, finally, is the only justification needed. Even a collector is making something (a collection). So if you want to feel guilty, feel bad about not making more pictures and learning about and from the medium, not about the human propensity toward excess, which will always find a way of expressing itself.

Black Friday deal caught me; I upgraded my cell phone. Not for the camera, though. A bigger, brighter screen called to me.

There is this lens, though . . .

In my case GAS = LIS (Lacking Inspiration Syndrome). If I’m buying it’s only because I’m not doing.

My idle hands just hover over the buy button on old cameras and lenses. We call them cabbage plates as they are analogues of the ceramics my wife collects... I occasionally liquidate them when I want a usable bit of kit. Unfortunately I can’t see any irresistible new gear right now, so it’s all rather piling up at the moment.

I find myself truly, honestly, deep-down sick of overcomplexity.
I sorta concur, with respect to lenses. I'm having great fun playing with various, mostly-world-class legacy film lenses. These things are a bargain these days!

When I'm feeling uninspired, I get a new-old lens, and have a G.A.S. for a tenth of the cost of a new camera body!

The comments to this entry are closed.