7 Comments

  1. Anthony

    I am going through the same phase, Nicole. Started out with the Voigtlander Bessa R with three lenses.

    Dived into the world of medium format with the Mamiya C33 three months later. 2 months into the Mamiya and I ended with a Bronica S2 two months ago.

    Now, I am contemplating a Hassie 500 C/M or 503 CX.

    Must… stop… reading… comparison… reviews.

    • filmbasedtraveler

      haha!! Well, as long as you are happy with the new gears then it’s fine 🙂 Anyway, I think Pentax 67 system might be better than Hassie 500CM

  2. I really like the photograph of your friend taken through a bicycle rack(?). I used to have severe G.A.S. and I think it was mostly because I was unhappy with my photographs. “I’d be a GREAT photographer if I had a bigger and better camera,” I convinced myself. Well, that didn’t happen. And, looking back, some of my favourite photographs were done on an iPhone 4 and a film rangefinder with a 50mm lens. It makes me a little sad and ashamed to think of all the money I’ve wasted on equipment that didn’t help me.

    • filmbasedtraveler

      Thank you, yes, it’s a rack to lock bicycles. Yeah, I had the same thought that more expensive camera will make my photos better. But I realised that most of my favourite photos come from my most basic Nikon film SLR

  3. long time reader, first time commenter

    I have quite a few cameras as well, but each one costs less than a few hundreds. I’ve never owned a hassy or a rollei even though I would love to try them some time. I think having different cameras make the shooting process more interesting. When you’re bored of one format, you can switch to the other. It helps to get cheaper cameras if all you want is the novelty though. I do have one go-to camera that I bring to all my trips, maybe if you find one camera that suits all your needs, you will have lesser tendency to get new cameras?

    • filmbasedtraveler

      Hello, first time commenter 🙂 Yup, I agree with your view too. Come to think of it, I shoot a variety of genres, so having a few cameras might actually do more good. Just need self-control if I ever chanced upon any new cameras :p

  4. Brian Carter

    While I understand many of your comments, I think you are conflating 3 or more separate issues.

    First, I don’t consider buying accessories for a single camera ‘gear acquisition syndrome’ (what a pejorative term anyway). If you acquire every lens ever made including four fast 50mm lenses that are essentially identical, that is probably pointless. However, buying the appropriate gear to protect your investment (your M6 is not cheap, especially at today’s prices) is wise, not a syndrome.

    Would you simplify your life by removing the smoke and carbon dioxide detectors from your home and office so you no longer have to worry about changing the batteries? Would you cancel your house or personal property insurance to reduce the number bills and websites with passwords you need to deal with?

    Acquiring multiple cameras is a separate issue (2nd). If you use them for different things, say a medium format for portraits or landscapes, a mechanical Leica for street photography, and a modern digital or full-function film SLR for general photography and travel, each of those lends itself to different types of photography. In the end, they are tools. Maybe they are flexible enough, maybe you’ll enjoy different types of photography more by using a camera better suited to that style of shooting.

    Are you going to throw out all your flat bladed screw drivers in the name of minimalism and demand everything in your life be converted to phillips head? Woe unto you when you realize you need a torx screw driver for your computer.

    The third issue is envy. Craving something somebody else has is just human nature. Sometimes I wonder if more stress isn’t generated in the anxiety over ‘syndromes’ that simply explain human nature than fighting to overcome an unreasonable urge in the first place.

    Some people (myself included) enjoy fine mechanical devices. Some people enjoy collections. They might not even use the items (stamp collectors, coin collectors), but they enjoy learning about them and feel a sense of accomplishment in putting together a collection based on some aspect. Or, maybe they just want a wide variety of different styles and designs.

    Most firearms collectors in the US rarely have any complete line-up (e.g. all the Springfield 1903s or all the Garands) because it’s cost prohibitive. However, they might have an example of a typical rifle used in each war, or an example of different actions (bolt, pump, single-shot, breech, muzzleloader, etc.). They might only shoot some every few years, but they enjoy them for the tie to history and/or for the engineering ingenuity they represent, or their artistic beauty.

    Some people like to try things. They buy a Leica M3, then decide to sell it and get something else. After buying and then selling an M4, an M6, and maybe an M2, they go back and buy another M3. Why waste all that money and effort in horse-trading? Because only after spending several months with something can one appreciate all the eccentricities and what features they value or miss.

    The two cameras you sold; you don’t miss. That’s great you sold them so somebody else can use them. However, while they were in a closet, I am unclear on why that would stress an owner out.

    Now, there are extremes. If somebody has 52 cats in a 60 sq meter house, that’s plain unhealthy. If a person has a massive pile of photography related gear, most of it junk, littering their house, storage unit, and crammed into desks at their office — I can see the value of them getting rid of items of questionable utility or value.

    Some people do hoard. People who lived through the great depression or world wars were tremendous hoarders. They kept broken and useless stuff because, “something might happen and we might not be able to get any more.” Others perhaps were the victims of robberies. Their tools were stolen and even five years later they’re finding they have to re-buy stuff they knew they owned, but just realized that tools was in the toolbox stolen. Hoarding is probably the closest to a real syndrome as it’s based on some sort of trauma or formative experience. I doubt many people buying cameras are hoarding (unlike gold or ammunition, cameras are unlikely to be very valuable in any zombie apocalypse). They might be impulse buying, but that might reflect more a lack of planning and financial self-discipline

    However, the recent craze to minimalize for the sake of minimalism, I don’t understand. If it makes somebody happy, more power to them. If they are stressing out about disorganization in their life, again, reducing and organizing the mess is likely to help. In some cases, I think they are stressed out more over not meeting some theoretical ideal of minimalism, than whatever they are trying to minamalize.

    What I find especially interesting about this fad (I had several sections of the book you mention read to me against my will — FWIW) is the focus on physical items.

    Unused physical items don’t stress me out unless I know they are improperly stored and rust, mold, or some other aging is damaging them through neglect. For others, this extra storage might stress them, and I understand that. What many advocates of minimalism appear to overlook sometimes are all the non-physical stressors in their life.

    I’ll use myself as an example. I have probably 75-100 accounts with passwords, most of them separate passwords. Most sites, even if I only use them once, want me to create an account with password to interact with other users. All I want is a recommendation for place to service my Leica, to have a peep sight mounted on a Winchester, or to find a part for an airplane, but I have to create an account. Worse, every site seems to have their own password rules. Then, they require the password be changed at regular intervals.

    Email is also bad. I have an account through my employer and two through my customer. I have two through my school (one public, one just within classes). I have my personal account and a separate one for use on a long-term business venture.

    Social media is worse. Line, Skype, Google, Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter, and all the Apple flavors – FaceTime, iMessage, etc. I also have a Vimeo and YouTube account. I don’t have Flickr or Instagram. I wish I could delete Facebook.

    Anyway, my point is, in trying to minimize stress in their life, people should also look beyond the physical. Email, social media, websites, credit card accounts, store accounts, bank accounts, and investment accounts all require usernames, passwords, histories, and many involve statements, notifications, and validations.

    Sorry, I guess it’s a bit of a rant.

    People should do what makes them happy, in the way that makes them happy. Sometimes that means stepping back to re-evaluate and consider whether our decisions are good in the short-term or long-term decisions. If that means getting rid of unnecessary stuff, great. If it means acquiring stuff you don’t have, great. If it means holding onto stuff because you might use it in the future, great. If stress is an issue, one might want to look at the electronic life in addition to the physical one.

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