Too Much Photo Gear – GAS
GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome
What I Am Doing During The COVID-19 Lockdown
If you have been following this site for a while I am sure you have read about how COVID-19 attacked our family. We lost my wife (Debra’s) dad and then Debra became very sick with COVID. Luckily, she is doing fine now although suffering from a lack of energy and drive. COVID does suck the life out of you. It also made me think a lot about where I am in life, what I am doing, and what I need to do.
I am going to confess. I have way too much shit, specifically photography gear. It’s so bad that I most likely could be accused of hoarding. It’s stupid bad. What was I thinking? I can’t take any of this stuff with me. I can’t shoot with all of the gear I have. And, what was I thinking when I bought half of this stuff?
I always used the websites I was running as an excuse to justify buying gear and to do reviews on it. Then after a review was done I should have sold the gear and funded new purchases. Nope, for some reason, I just held onto it. I would say that I’d find a time and point where I would want to go shooting with this system again, NOT!
So, I started to think about camera gear. More specifically, after experiencing COVID first hand I realized that I didn’t want to leave all this stuff behind for others to dispose of if I got sick, passed away, or even died in an accident. I had some serious philosophical discussions with myself, usually over a Bloody Mary or two or three. Bottom line: it was time for a change.
While I have been doing a number of projects over the last few months while locked down, today I’ll share what I decided about all the cameras I own. Essentially, it was time to decide what cameras I wanted to keep and to justify my decision, and then sell everything else.
I have a lovely home and my wife gave me the whole basement (Man Cave) for my photography gear and Lego collection. It’s a damn fine finished basement with a fireplace and tons of shelving.
I also have a studio and gallery which hasn’t seen any customers or use for nearly 60 days. I miss going there. I have 4 printers there and love to make prints. We will be doing Fine Art Printing workshops there when things open up again. While the studio/gallery is a nice place, I do my best not to junk it up or keep a lot of expensive camera gear there.
Over the years I have accumulated a lot of camera gear. Also, as with many photographers I have a ton of camera bags that I have collected. They fill a whole shelf system in the garage. I have way more tripods than I need, not to mention ball heads, lights, flashes, and so forth. We won’t even get into talking about filters and filter systems.
My God, What was I thinking?
Two weeks ago I decided that this needed to change. It was time for a cleanse, a purge, an awakening. I have thus decided I will keep two brands of gear. Also, I will sell extra camera gear that I don’t use anymore. I would also go through every drawer, cabinet, and shelf and lighten the load.
I have decided to keep the Sony system for the full-frame and the Fuji system for the APS-C format. I love these systems and lenses and use them a lot. I had a ton of Olympus and Panasonic gear and glass. It was time to say good-bye to Micro 4/3. So, all the M4/3 stuff went and there was a lot of it.
Also, I didn’t need all the Fuji bodies I had. They seemed to multiply like rabbits. I had X-T1, X-T2, X-T3, and even X100t, and let’s not forget an X-Pro3. All of these had to go, too. I had more Sony bodies than I could ever use. There was an a7 and a7r, a7r2, and 3. These had to go, too.
I have a Sony set up consisting of an a9, A7r iv, A7 iii, a6500, RX100, and a wide range of lenses. This should satisfy most of my needs especially for landscape photography and producing our videos.
I kept the APS-C format for my Fuji cameras. My Fuji collection now consists of an X-T3 that will soon be converted to an infrared camera. Also, I have an X-H1, X-Pro3, X-T4, and X100V. The X100V and the X-Pro3 are packed in their own bags (see above) and are my grab-and-run systems. As you can see in the photos, I also have a large complement of lenses for the Fuji system.
I didn’t sell the Nikon Z7 system I have just yet as I want to finish a project and article I started with it. In a month or so I will be saying good-bye to the Nikon Z system.
Then I saw all the tripods I had. I haven’t done anything with them yet but I will. I have a few Gitzos in many different sizes, Really Right Stuff tripods and ball heads, a ton of smaller tripods and camera mounts, and more than half a dozen different heads. Then there are the camera plates and L-Brackets. I’m getting rid of a bunch of those, too. Most likely I’ll keep the Really Right Stuff tripods as my main heavy-duty tripods. I have two new tripods, the Peak Design Travel tripod and the Colorado Tripod Company, Centennial. I will be reviewing these soon.
Don’t think any of this was easy. I had, it seems emotional connections to all this stuff. Every time I put another piece of gear in the box to be sold it was like giving up something sentimental. Wow, what (is) was wrong with me?
It took two weeks and many hours in the Man Cave to complete this task. Now I am finished except for deciding what to do with the tripods and the camera bags.
The photos below will show you what the Man Cave looks like now and what is in the camera cabinets. The captions should explain. I feel good when I go to the Man Cave now. I have my two printers, the Epson P600 and PM-400, on the counter with an older iMac in case I need to access the internet or something while downstairs. Did I mention I seem to be just as bad about collecting old computers, or essentially never selling my old stuff off? Maybe someday it will go to a museum.
I am fortunate that I have a great place to take my old gear to trade and sell. Roberts Camera has a used camera division, UsedPhotoPro, and they were really easy to work with and gave me fair prices for my old gear. I took the payoff in store credit to use for future purchases.
Now that my Gear Acquisition Syndrome issues are under control I will move on to some of my next projects. I want to catalog all of my sessions by year in Capture One, I want to rework some of my best-seller images, and work on my storefront site, rabereyes.com. I‘m not lacking for projects and things to do. I also am working on some enhancements to photoPXL which we will share in the not-so-distant future.
I can’t wait until we can travel without fear again. I want to start up my workshop business again. I have all these cameras that are just begging to be used. So, another goal I have set is to start getting out locally and doing more photography around where I live.
Think about using your time during this crisis and if you suffer from GAS; maybe you can find a way to reduce the issues associated with it and end up with less gear and some gear that you will use. Go through your images and reprocess them in newer RAW processors, and organize them better so you can find images when needed. Print your images so you can hold them in your hand. Sign your images so that a value is placed on them and your work is identified.
There is one thing for sure if you like photography there is always something that you can do. Take a moment and share on the PSL Forum what you have been doing and what you expect to do.
More Photos Of The Man Cave
Let us know what you are doing to fight off GAS in this Pandemic on the PXL Forum.
Photography is my passion and has been for5 0 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.