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Hoarder to minimalist....an awakening

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by pixelpuffin, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    Further to my last post (Letting go) I have now sold the bulk of my camera and lenses. Letting go of the 5D was hard, even though I hadn't used it in over a year, except for lazy spur of the moment..I'm bored..fit a lens..take a snap situations. But still, packing it up was tough.

    The lenses, I wasn't so bothered. Flash guns and other photography related paraphernalia didn't create any emotion.

    Since trying the MFT system I feel even more behind the times. The technical feats and modern EVF is mind blowing. I appreciate the weight loss and smaller size plus the smaller optics. Like most I've had numerous sleepless nights throughout this transition period. Reading endless online forums. But instead of being enlightened, I felt as though each contributor was trying to salvage some self assurance over their choice. They all argued Bokeh, limitations of sensor size, durability etc etc. Many even contributed pictures to highlight their point . It was this more than anything that made me sit up.

    Most of these contributors had high end gear, be it Canon FF with the obligatory attached L or Olympus MFT with expensive glass. Yet of all the capabilities that these two systems were able of, their choice of pictures would be so dull and lazy that I was left wondering where all the fabulous files were that they had created using these fantastic camera systems. Surely its easy to just go through your files whilst online and select a picture that defines what they were referring to, than to go to the whole trouble of creating the blandest photo with god knows how much moneys worth of camera gear.....

    Ah, wait a second GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) the modern trendy name for SAD (Self Appointed Dullard). of which I regrettably realise I was once making rather good progress in.

    Tragic isn't it. We have the most amazing image capture devices we could ever imagined. Indeed when I cast my mind back to college days, where I would once have been mortified if I had used up a 36exp' film in the time it takes me to rattle off the equivalent of a dozen rolls today.

    I can vividly recall going into a charity shop and looking at books, this is when I was a student and photography was my life. I had absolutely no other distractions, I could sit and stare out of the window trying to conjure up amazing images in my head for ideas for photo assignments. Yes, I lived for photography..with no distractions whatsoever.In that charity shop I stumbled upon a book on Praktica, back then Praktica was like skoda, the brunt of all the bad jokes. I scoffed at the book and opened to sneer...
    I was actually blown away. The images were a revelation. Compositions, angles, all wonderful pictures that were a blast of fresh air. Ofcourse, I bought that book and still have it to this day, it reminds me everytime that it matters not one jot what kind of camera you use, but how you interpret what you see.

    Sadly I had forgotten this and over the years had secumbered to what we now call GAS.

    So, I'm leaving the burden of too much gear behind and hopefully will find my feet as I try to recall the huge amounts of imagination I once had.

    I really do feel liberated
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    If it works for you then that's a good thing. On the other hand I like having all my cameras to choose from. Every so often I'll pull out one I haven't used for a while and see what happens. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not but I enjoy myself. Horses for courses and all that.
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  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Andrew,

    Exactly. I have cameras I haven't used for years. But when I want a particular effect...

    It's hard to duplicate a whole-plate enlargement off 56x72mm Linhof "6x7" digitally, and 12x15 inch Gandolfi is another trick again. As is half-frame on Delta 3200 in my Olympus Pen W.


  4. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Perhaps that is where the real problem now lies!
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It cuts both ways. While I never felt particularly constrained using 35 mm (unless near the end of a film), I had the problem using 120 with only 12 exposures to convince myself to actually press the shutter release! That feeling goes away with digital.
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  6. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Indeed. I use both film (35mm) and digital, but have been dabbling in MF film lately, and have found exactly what you describe.

    It's a slightly strange experience - particularly after years of the digital gung-ho approach: "I'll just take another six frames, to make sure I got the shot"... :rolleyes:
  7. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    ...and that's the main thing (bold highlight).

    I partly concur with your point about having a range of equipment from which to choose - which can be satisfying - but the reality is that it irritates me to think of good equipment sitting in a cupboard, unused, when someone else might be very glad of it. It's not the money, or even the space, it's just the wastefulness that bothers me... :(
    SXH likes this.
  8. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The cost and relative lack of frames available with medium format did mean that we were selective about pressing the shutter release, it did mean that the success rate tended to be higher. Using digital capture does mean we can experiment as much as we choose, it also tends to lead to machine-gunning rather than thought in many cases.
  9. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Well done!
    I remember what an imagination I had when I only had my Sony DSC in my bag all the time - and a very basic post processing program. I still go back to some of those photos (unfortunately rather small images) and use them or tweak them up a bit. I definitely used more imagination then and worked harder for an image.
    Since downsizing home and contents and moving to town, I now only use my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 and am happy. My Nikon D300S sits on the table unused as do my lenses. Arthritis has had a say in that, I have to admit, but on the whole, I've got my enthusiasm back again.

    Have fun!

    Craig20264 likes this.
  10. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I very much doubt that.
  11. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    An often used saying among camera collectors is .. "he (or she) who dies with the most toys wins" ;)
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  12. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    Your reference to Sony DSC made me stop and smile.
    The tiny Sony T30 was my first venture into digital - I still have it. I took thousands of pictures with the Sony, the often limiting lens 3x zoom never stopped me from having a go. I used it so much I actually managed to capture birds in flight at bird sanctuarys. Often I would switch to monochrome and enjoy seeing things in stark black and white. Wonderful memories.....
    What happened? I got caught up on the whole 'must have' syndrome. My picture taking deterioted, my imagination became reliant on what each of my many lenses could interpret the scene before me. Suddenly I needed a bag, then bigger bag, then a tripod. Before I know it the whole set up is being left at home due to its bulk, weight and value. Not happy I tried other types of photography just so I could use the equipment I had purchased - how ridiculous does that sound.
    The MFT is great, really is....but I'm still not 100% sure I want it.

    I charged the battery up on my old Sony T30....it's actually in my jacket pocket today. Like an friend reunited.
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  13. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Every few years, I sort my kit by what I use and what I don't. Stuff I really don't use goes in my oldest bag, and if it's still there next time I do it, it gets sold. I used to be terrible about not selling gear, but now I do sell lenses at least if they've been replaced in my kit without going through that process. But I really do like having what - for me - is the right kit for the right job.
  14. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    It does sound ridiculous - and it is ridiculous, of course. However, I doubt that there are many photography enthusiasts who have not fallen victim to GAS, to some degree, at least. The digital era seems to have magnified the problem greatly, and the manufacturers were - unsurprisingly - quick to see their cash cow, and have been milking it ever since.

    Well done, for cutting back in one fell swoop. I have more stuff than I need, and I'm trying to carry out a similar exercise, except that I'm attempting to do it by a gradual process - we'll see just how well that works! :rolleyes: My 'collection' was accumulated (almost imperceptibly;)) over many years, rather than in a frenzy of purchasing - however, the resulting problem is the same, and the cure is the same.

    Meanwhile, hopefully you'll enjoy your photography much more now. I reckon you will.
  15. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Is that even possible? :confused:
    peterba likes this.
  16. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Good point. Perhaps it isn't that I have too many lenses, just not enough shelves... ;)
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