On my astonishing lack of gearlust

I'm very stingy with gear. When I purchase anything, I spend a lot of time researching and agonizing over it. I think more than a hundred bucks is a lot of money to spend on a lens. I make lighting bits out of cardboard and gaffer's tape.

And I tend to hate spending huge amounts of money in one go. I like figuring out ways to purchase things incrementally, so I wanted to work out what the incremental purchases would be and how I'd save.

My daddy gave me a Canon TX when I was in sixth grade because he saw how much I liked cameras, largely because this way I'd be able to borrow his lenses and other gear if I needed to.

And in the 2001 timeframe, I was married, working a real full-time job, and wanting to get The Camera. So I researched the heck out of it and tried to figure out what I wanted. This was during the days where digital cameras were totally not good enough for hardcore use. I wasn't sure about how I could source gear for it, given that it's obsolete and stuff. And I was in a phase where I kinda wanted nice shiny new things. So I started to research things and pondered getting a nice new EOS camera and a nice set of lenses. But I never really felt comfortable making the jump to buying the camera and digital SLRs came along, where the game then was to not buy a camera till the market got a little more stable.

There was a missed opportunity there. See, I think that were I to have jumped at some point and gotten a film EOS setup, I would probably have ended up upgrading gear.

Then the A95 came along, which was supposed to be my wife's camera. And when I'd thought for a period of time that I'd lost it, I started thinking about getting a digital SLR then, but my wife talked me out of it on account of budgetary reasons and I ended up rediscovering how much I liked my 35mm camera.

The universe fits together quite well, I think. This started me down the road of using gear that was different from what people would expect. Everybody else moved to digital SLRs, I moved to medium format. I realized how Canon shipped a full lineup of reasonable prime lenses for the FD mount, where they weren't incredibly fast lenses, just reasonable well-corrected lenses, so I could have a whole bunch of interesting lenses and pay less than a hundred for each one. And then I realized that the most bang for the buck was shooting a medium format camera and only taking good shots.

And so I end where I am now, where my work is a little more interesting than it would otherwise because I'm shooting film, but also where I continue to see how to do fun things for not much money and I still think a few hundred dollars is a LOT of money to spend on camera gear. So this is why I have a massive Mamiya RB67 and won't be buying a fancy digital SLR as long as I can still get film.


This actually makes me weird, even for a film shooter. Most film shooters I know have more film cameras than I do, too.

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