None of these images has anything to do with this topic. They just happened to be the last images shot with gear I have just sold. Other than that they have no bearing what-so-ever on what I am about to write about. I also got to use enema in a title. Very excited by that.
I am fresh home from Ace Photo which is my local camera shop. I had made the decision to give myself a photo gear enema. To be blunt, I have way too much gear on hand and it was time to let it go. Clear the system out so to speak.
The list of gear was 2 Olympus EM5’s, 1 Panasonic G5, 1 Panasonic 7-11mm, and a Nikon 55mm 1.2. I also had 3 grips for the EM5’s as well. The images in this piece were shot on the G5 and the Nikon 55.
One EM5 was my first Olympus camera after shooting Panasonic for awhile. I had moved away from Olympus because it was stuck at 12mp on the sensor and the Panasonic had a 16mp chip. It made a difference at the time. When the EM5 came out I sold my Panasonic gear and got the EM5. It made me happy. That camera has had some serious adventures in its life. It really had survived one night in Bangkok (well really more) and a few other interesting places. The guys at Ace Photo were laughing at its condition because it was “well loved”. I pointed out that the dust and dings on it add value considering the places it has been and the images it has captured. Sadly they pointed out that cameras can’t tell stories. It served its time well and each ding on that body attests to its adventures. I hope it finds a nice home with someone with a wild streak that goes on “adventures” once a year or so and relives the memories the rest of the time. The Bilbo Baggins of camera owners.
The other EM5 was used for concert shoots so I didn’t have to switch lenses as often. It made sense at the time because the Panasonic G5 I purchased for that purpose sucked at concert photography. So I now had 2 Olympus EM5’s and a Panasonic G5. Then I acquired a Panasonic G7 which made the G5 useless except for when I would put manual lenses on it because it was nearest to shooting an old school camera as it didn’t have image stabilization or focus peaking.
So I had all these cameras and I mainly shoot with a Olympus EM1. I have the most excellent 12-40mm 2.8 Pro lens and I ordered the 40-150mm 2.8 Pro lens this week. Reality is these two lenses is and are going to be my bread and butter in personal stuff and paid. It made sense to get another EM1.
Sure the new EM5MK2 is out but it didn’t impress me. Sure it can do that 40mp uber resolution crap; thats it nothing moves and you have the tripod bolted to the Earth’s core. Oh, and it flips out the LCD now. I gave it a big meh. The EM1 is shaped like a DSLR. With a nice grip! Yes, I moved to micro 4/3 gear because of weight but mirrorless camera makers love to eschew gripping points for coolness. Sorry, I’ll take uncool DSLR look that weighs less then a full sized DSLR and I can actually hold on to it. Sadly the camera hipsters will never give me a fedora so I can shoot Lomography stuff and be cool. I’ll take functional over fashionable.
The lenses I sold were also not in use. I used the Nikon 55mm 1.2 but it was never seriously. It was nice to brag I had a 1.2 lens but mostly pointless. I bought it on a whim and sold it equally as fast on a whim. Admittedly the camera nerds even at the store were cooing over it but we all knew sexy but ultimately useless. Like most Playboy Playmates.
The Panasonic 7-14 was the real value on the trade. It’s a wanted lens. Its cool at first then quickly goes into the bag to collect dust until that 1 or 2 times a year you drag it out. There was dust on it from nearly a year of non-use. I bought it by accident on eBay. I bid thinking I would be sniped at the last minute. Wrong! So when it came time to look at stuff for sale it was quickly put into the sale pile. I just don’t use it.
So why am I rambling on about all this and writing a long piece on what would make a lot of people have gear envy? Hoping it hits home to fellow photographers that sometimes we have too much crap. You need to give yourself a gear enema and focus on what you need versus what you think you need or want. Look at it and stop thinking maybe I need it or “HOLY CRAP I WANT”. Odds are you don’t.
Growth as a photographer isn’t from gear. I look at my images from a years ago which I have published recently. I don’t even own 90% of it anymore. I know for a fact that the cameras were irrelevant. I didn’t need to spend the money on the stuff. I could have equally used what I was using before I convinced myself that I need that shiny new piece of equipment.
So give yourself a gear enema. Use the money to buy something you will use and need. Even better; pocket the money and save it for something else or spend it on education. Want to be a better photographer; take some classes. You will be better served by doing that then you ever will be from buying another piece of gear.
PS – Damn those Sony A7R’s are nice! Kidding! Mostly.