Have I Lost My Way?


For nearly two decades I had been slowly and carefully collecting lenses and cameras with the goal of improving my photography. Having the right tool for the job does help.

And I just sold nearly all of it!

Don’t get me wrong, I never had a bad case of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), so my collection was not anywhere near what other photographers suffer from. If I don’t count the old broken stuff, I had precisely 13 lenses, 2 DSLRs, a bridge Nikon camera my wife bought me for birthday some years back, which I use for kids’ videos and taking pictures of various house projects, and an IR converted Ricoh GR II.

I had been pondering this move for many many months and finally pulled the trigger after New Year. Sold both my Pentax K-5 all my Pentax primes (including the Limited) and also sold my Infrared Canon EOS 20D + all its lenses (also primes). Once all done and shipped, I was left with my GR, the Nikon bridge and a broken old film Canon Elan II and a wobbly Tamron lens mounted on it.
I did keep 3 very specific lenses I was most attached to, not only emotionally (all three were bought from Japan), but also planning to buy a Pentax DSLR one day again to do more nature and landscape photography. Kept my razor sharp Sigma 17-50 2.8 and two vintage Asahi Takumar manual M42 lenses – the 200mm f4 and the highly coveted 1st generation of 135mm f2.5, both of which are 50+ years old, in pristine condition and portraits coming out of this old glass are just surreal.

Went into this whole deal with a hefty dose of trepidation and emerged free and joyful. Now I ended with a broken film camera I couldn’t shoot, three DSLR lenses I couldn’t use + my infrared GR.
Life was good!

Surviving solely with an IR pocket camera (no matter how I love shooting infrared) is not very practical, so I used the proceeds from the gear sale and bought a second GR, this time version III.
Life is better than good!

I no longer believe that gear is what makes me tick, or what makes me a better photographer. That is a fantasy many of us believe and get tangled up in. I’ve woken up into a realization that my gear has precisely zero to do with my creativity. The best camera is the one you have on you at any given moment. Truth.
And pre-COVID I had found myself shooting so many more pictures, just because my first GR was so pocketable and went with me nearly everywhere, always in my day bag. Now its younger sibling will take its place. This new GR is as sharp as I’ve ever seen and colors from its Positive Film simulation are so lovely, I’ve actually nearly abandoned RAW and started shooting mostly JPEGs again.

After selling majority of my DSLR gear I’m sure of one thing: I’ll be shooting way more from now on and spend less time in the post.
And that’s a good thing…

Categories: Daily LifeTags: , , , ,

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