Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Happiness is a New Camera?

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I'm not 100% sure why, but it always seems like the broker I am the more I want to buy some new photography gear, be it a camera, a lens, lighting equipment, whatever.  On the surface, it seems to me the reasons I want to invest in more gear -- often gear I don't need and/or can afford -- is probably due to a number of different reasons:  most if not all of those reasons likely being psychological.

Just yesterday, a photography Facebook page I follow posted this: "Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you camera gear and that's pretty much the same thing."

And you know what? They're right. Whether I'm broke or flush, buying camera gear (with money I have or don't have) does bring me happiness.  It even brings me happiness whether I actually need or end up using the gear I buy or not. Go figure, right?

Perhaps this explains why so many photographers purchase nearly every new upgrade the big camera companies come out with, and they do so whether that new camera will make any difference to their photography or not. They just want to be happy. And what's wrong with that? Everyone wants to be happy, right?  Even manic depressives want to be happy whether they know it or not.

The Beatles sang, "Happiness is a warm gun."  That might be true for some people -- definitely not for me -- but for many photographers, myself included, happiness is a new camera. Happiness is a new lens. Happiness is new lighting equipment. Happiness is new...?

Fortunately, I have this thing called self-control. I'm not saying I have it in spades but I have enough of it to control my impulses for buying new gear, especially when I can't afford to buy new camera gear. I even manage to control my gear-buying impulses in spite of having some credit cards with enough of a balance on them to make the purchases, a PayPal "Buy it Now, Pay Later" account in good standing, and a relatively decent credit rating. (Probably for the first time in my adult life.)

I'll admit my level of self-control isn't driven by practicality or good sense.  I'm totally capable of buying gear (or many other things) I neither need nor can afford and have done so often enough. And I haven't been Mister Self-Control my whole life. In fact, for much of it I've been anything but.  But the older I get the more self-control I seem to possess.

My Dad was a master of self-control. Especially, when it came to money and buying things. He tried his best to teach me to be the same way, although he wasn't very successful at it... until now.  Apparently, I was slow to respond to his teachings. Very slow.  But the older I get the more I must be turning into my Dad, leastwise in terms of self-control and, more specifically, buying control. And that's a good thing, I think, because there's a couple of things I'm really tempted to buy right now, camera gear things, and I've been doing an excellent job resisting those temptations.   Perhaps this update is something of a self-pat on the back? And you know what? I deserve it. The pat that is.

Well, that's all for now. I want to log onto eBay and check on the camera gear I've been watching.

The pretty girl at the top is Faye (again.) I love that girl. If I were ever lucky enough to have Faye test my self-control, I would have none of it... self-control, that is.  You might remember I also featured Faye in my last update if you read that one as well. This is another photo from yet another set we shot that same night at Faye's digs just for fun. 


Winston Cooper said...

Yeah Jimmy..I track down the same path you do. I have the same paypal easy purchase and 6 months to pay thingy you do. My big hope was for the one of the lenses I was really considering to complete my set would go on sale. Nikon said up yours, ya gotta buy a body. Well the body I have will last me many more years, so no thank you. So what did I do, I buy a new printer and new speed-light instead. But I really wanted those things. Gad,instant gratification!!! the point being that even hobbyist like me can take a little comfort when very accomplishes pro's like you wrestle with the same issues.

Keep on rocking dude..If no one has told you lately, your stuff is really very helpful..Thanks..!!

WillT said...

It is, of course, an illusion -- one stimulated by marketing types -- that happiness can be found in a piece of gear. With that said, whatcha watchin' on eBay?

jimmyd said...

WillT-- You're right. It's an illusion. I've been keeping an eye on some glass: 85mm f/1.8 (cuz I stupidly got rid of mine a while back) and a 135mm f/2 L prime (cuz I lust for that lens but don't want to go into debt to get one.) I have thought about selling my Fuji x100, tho, and using that money to get a 135mm f/2. But then, I like my Fuji x100 and, if truth be told, I wouldn't mind upgrading to one of the newer in the "X" line from Fuji, one with interchangeable lens capability. Course, that would mean I'd have to buy glass for that camera which would mean more debt.

WillT said...

Last year sometime I got a chance to shoot with a Fuji X-Pro1. Shortly thereafter I sold my Canon gear -- all of it -- and started buying Fuji. And I never looked back. The files are gorgeous, the lenses awesome, and the lack of weight a welcome relief.

Now I have a Fuji X-Pro1 and an X-E1 with assorted lenses, and I just recently picked up an x100s. I've been doing all of my photo work with these cameras and can't even imagine going back to DSLRs.

That said, I am thinking of selling the X-Pro1 only because the eye relief is a bit short for eyeglass wearers like me.

jimmyd said...

WillT: That's close to exactly what I'm fairly certain I'll be doing in the not too distant future. Goodbye heavy dSLR, in fact goodbye Canon and hello to Fuji's much smaller and lighter hybrids. They (Fuji) still need to add a bit more selection to their glass for me to take final plunge. Something longer than what they currently offer. Doesn't have to be a zoom. Prime's are fine. But I need something in the 85mm range which, to my knowledge, isn't currently avaialable.

WillT said...

Currently you can buy the XF60mm F2.4, which is a 90mm equivalent.

But available now for pre-order and shipping in February is their new XF56mm F1.2, an 85mm equivalent. (see http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1021630-REG/fujifilm_xf_56mm_f_1_2_r.html ).

jimmyd said...

Cool! Thanks for the 411 :-)