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Friday, 08 March 2024


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My life seems to be a non-stop whirlwind of activity, which probably explains why I've never waved the white flag of surrender to boredom. (Well, maybe once, but that’s a different topic). Once I find something I like (and trust me when I say I’m as picky as a food critic in a five-star restaurant), I latch onto it like a cat in a catnip factory. But truthfully, I tend to linger longer than I should.

I'm still shooting the same stuff I did back in the '80s: vintage Hasselblad Vs, an ancient Sinar Norma, alongside newer digital gear like the 907x and X100V. Busy bees like me are wired for perpetual contentment, so I have been told. But I get what you are saying. I'm all about finding sweet deals from the “Georges” of the camera world. Bless their hearts (and wallets).

Another note: don't tape that on your monitor at work. People walk past very quickly.

"People can honestly declare a camera to be ... the last one they'll ever buy if ... 1.) it's already been superseded by a newer iteration, and 2.) they've already had it for 2–3 years and all the NTS has worn off."

Check. Check. But as much as I enjoy using my DSLR and could live with it as my last camera, I am in my late 50s and I hope to outlast it.

[Ah, yes, that's the other good reason to get a new camera. I've actually outlasted a few cameras, too; my Konica-Minolta 7D got fevers and spasms in its electronics, or I probably would have used it a lot longer than I did. It also sometimes told me there was no lens attached when they was indeed a lens attached! And it waited to tell me until I pushed the shutter release at the exact perfect moment for a moving subject. The problem could be cured in 3 to 5 minutes, but by then the train/horse/kid/car/bird/dog/cloud/boat was usually long gone. That's enough to require replacement, if it can't be fixed. A camera should always go when you press the go button. --Mike]

Interesting: does the verb "to slight" something or (more usually) someone have a different meaning in US English? I've never seen it used that way (i.e. to mean "to underplay", or something like that).


Advice from a professional photographer friend: Always buy the previous model. It will do, be much cheaper, and you're gonna buy something else in 2 to 3 years, anyway.

My current camera is an X-T2 and Johnston's Corollary perfectly applies. Though I intend to be taking photographs for another 40 years, which is well beyond its life expectancy, so I hope it isn't my "endgame" camera.

Lenses are a whole different story. A week long rental usually satisfies my lens GAS, but that new Fuji 23mm is something special.

Well that how I felt when I bought my Hasselblad in 1979.
I can’t say that anything was an improvement since.

I own about a dozen "last camera that I'd ever need/buy", but I have an partner in my quest to actually not buy any more models... the Fujifilm corporation.

Thanks to their inability to produce enough cameras to meet demand (see the X100V followed by the X100IV), I have stuck with my statement that the X-T3 will be my last camera model for years now. I actually went out and get this, took pictures with it this week and it killed the impossible to get X100 variant because it exists. Thanks, Fujifilm!

Can you imagine how far underwater the automobile industry would be if car owners kept their shiny new hot rod until it was uneconomical to maintain in operating condition?

""People can honestly declare a camera to be ... the last one they'll ever buy if ..."

They are dead. \;~)>

And really, what's wrong with upgrading gear as the tech changes? I've been through about 8 primary camera changes since my first DSLR. A total something like 30 digital cameras, including compacts, P&Ss, etc. that I've used with some seriousness.

My experience has been one of continuing improvement of the technical quality of the image files and of a vast improvement in what may be accomplished with the cameras.

I just got the money for three bodies and a lens that moved on. I loved the two GX9s for appearance and ergonomics, but the OM-1 just does more, better, photographically.

I have taken so many, many wonderful photos that I could not have dreamed of with my film gear. It's been over 20 years of enjoyment, accomplishment, sheer magic. Why would I not want to have done this?

[But that's the LAST 20 years. The NEXT 20 years might not be much like that.... —Mike]

While I'm at it, what about SAS, Software Acquisition Syndrome?

The progress there has been close to magic, as well. Sure, I know folks who refuse to get on subscriptions bandwagons, nursing along ancient PS or using the free stuff.

Let's just see . . .

The 19th photo with my first digicam, 1.9MP Canon, JPEG only.

New post processing



I don't think this is really me.

I've had my Sony A7 since they came out, in fact I ordered it before they hit the shops so it's 10 years old now. I have no real desire to change it for anything else and I'll be upset when if fails and I have to.

I like the juxtaposition of this column directly above the SL3 announcement. On the other hand, GAS never sleeps.

I respectfully disagree that "work cures G.A.S."

In my most productive years as a commercial photographer I bought, sold and traded lots and lots of gear. All while working more hours than most people can imagine. Many of my friends who are photographers fell into one of two camps. Staunch fiscal monks who bought one set of gear and used it for years. The other were interested in whatever new technology was dropped into the market. By the time we hit the digital realm I'd worked with all the major brands of cameras and worked with four different medium format systems. All were fun. All had their drawbacks but it took some time and experimentation to see where they failed. As one of my video production friends often says, "I just keep pushing the gear until it breaks. Then I know where the limits are." Same with me and gear.

How can you know how good something can be until you've at least test driven it?

Did the "gear churn" bankrupt me or burn me out? Hmmm. Well, I'm sixty-eight, forty years into the profession and still having a blast shooting for myself and for a nice group of clients. I'm financially comfortable and could retire at the drop of a hat with no real impact to my lifestyle.

If a new camera makes your work better, makes you happier and having it doesn't imperil anyone what's the cost of buying new gear? We think nothing of buying new and expensive computers when ours become obsolete or unable to be updated with the latest OS. Why not the same tolerance extended to cameras and lenses?

People don't just go on vacation once and say, "There! I've seen Wally World. Now I can go home and save pennies in a big jar." Nope, if they had fun on this year's (more expensive than a new camera) vacation they start saving up for next year's vacation. And really, isn't a new camera like a vacation for the hobbyist? Sure helped keep a lot of my friends sane during the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021....

"[But that's the LAST 20 years. The NEXT 20 years might not be much like that.... —Mike]"

Or might be a lot like the last, or might be different in any of several ways. Best bet? Different in ways that neither of us can imagine at the moment.

That's the way of the future, we simply can't know. To me, the only sensible way to live is then to do what feels right, what I enjoy, etc. in the moment.

Obviously, feels right must include finances, relationships and so on. But need not follow what amounts to any one else's moral code.

For example, I won't be buying an SL3, not because it's ridiculously expensive, or any of the other reasons people give, but simply because I don't want one; it doesn't fit my photographic interests.

OTOH, I bought a second OMS OM-1 because, the way I work, two identical bodies makes my life easier, more fun. I won't be buying the Mk II, because it adds nothing of value to me.

Remove the GAS = good, GAS = bad dichotomy, things become simpler, and, to me, more enjoyable.

Is it just me, or doesn't anyone else care about amassing stuff they don't need?

If I need a lens or camera, expensive or not, it gets procured. It's needed, so, yeah.

But if I got everything I simply wanted, my god, where would I put it all?

Travel light. Travel far.

The last camera I bought was a Canon 1DS Mark lll in 2008. It’s upstairs with the last lens I bought, a Canon 35mm F/1.4 L. I’m 52, and I don’t know when the bell will toll for me, but I do know one thing: there’s life after gas

I've noticed that, for me, there is nearly always a "point of sufficiency" that can be reached for any given material good. I was deeply interested in wrist watches for awhile, and bought and sold about a dozen, until I found two that had the right size, weight, style, and legibility. Once I'd acquired those two I kind of automatically stopped thinking about wristwatches. It wasn't a conscious decision.

I went through a similar cycle with cameras. My first serious digital camera was a Nikon D80. It was a lovely thing, but I was losing shots indoors because of its lack of high ISO performance. I switched to a Pentax K-5 II. High ISO performance was adequate but the autofocus was lacking. Switched to an Olympus OMD-EM10 Mk 2 and it fixed both issues. I've half-heartedly eyed the new OM-1 but I can't say it's pulled at my heart or my wallet. There's no new photos that I'd be taking if I bought it.

This is my long winded way of saying that capability trumps novelty, for me. I know that for others a novel new camera inspires them to shoot, and that's ok.

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