I don't give a flyin' hoot about gear anymore...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dixeyk, May 24, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I am a gear-head (or was) but over the past several months it has become increasingly clear to me that I simply do not give a rip about gear anymore. I have a few cameras and a small pile of lenses and with the newest spate of announcements I find myself about as disinterested in weather or not it's "pro" gear, megapixels, CA, EVFs vs OVFs (and whatever else you care to throw in there) as is possible and not be deceased.

    I'm not sure what prompted this change...I have always gleefully marched out and dropped whatever amount would have brought me the latest and greatest tech but as of late that seems like a bit of a fools errand. I still enjoy seeing peoples photographs and answering the odd question here or there but I see the great tomes on noise, or sharpness and I wonder if it all isn't just missing the point somehow. When I create images (whether I am drawing, writing or using a camera) the important part for me is the act of creation. The tools (even really nice ones) are secondary in my process. Up until now I have always enjoyed the gear itself. I still appreciate it but it's become more of an appreciation of the form and shape of it rather than the features. I find myself being curiously drawn back to using film at times. I find about the only gear (camera wise) that I still find interesting is stuff that is remarkably simple like my old OM1n or my Konica Auto S2. Of course everyone is different and I cannot speak for anyone but myself but I have definitely come to some sort of crossroads when it comes to my thinking about gear. Perhaps it's because I have been slowly moving towards being a Taoist. It's part of my daily sword practice and I guess after twenty some odd years it's starting to sink in.

    Anyway...all the announcements are interesting and I look forward to seeing lots of new images from very happy new EP3, G3 and GF3 owners.
    • Like Like x 21
  2. zpuskas

    zpuskas Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2011
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Thanks for the post-- I agree, it's all about being creative.
    However, if one doesn't care about the gear, who's going to buy the stuff I no longer want?
  3. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I just heard from Gear, they just said that tjhey don't give a hoot about dixeyk ... a bit of a quid-pro-quo - Mexican stand-off ... wonder who's gonna blink first ...
    • Like Like x 7
  4. Trigeek

    Trigeek Mu-43 Regular

    Interesting. I have been headed this way in my life as well over the last several years. Simplification. Every rev of a camera requires a new round of acquiring. Different batteries & plates go with a new camera (not huge, but adds to cost, time, etc). You have to relearn a new set of controls and settings for the preferences. No one thing is big, but I am becoming tired of it.

    I have attribute it to a life change... I'm headed towards retirement and my wife and I have been rethinking priorities. Smaller house, get down to one car, consider living in a small city where you can walk or bicycle to the grocery store, etc. Spending more on travel and experiences and less on things. After the traveling that we have done, we feel fortunate to even be thinking about these things, rather than surviving every day.

    Regarding photography, I have been less picky about pixels and more about the process of creating a body of work that tells a story. I'm not that concerned about the sharpness of an image at 100%, or noise at ISO 800. I shoot film (Hasselblad) and digital (GF1) and frankly, when printed at 8x10 or 11x14, u4/3 easily holds it's own and I'm happy with that. I look at the work of photographers in late 1800's and early 1900's (Eugene Atget comes to mind) that did not have the technically advanced cameras that we have today, and concluded that the equipment isn't what I'm after.

    That said, I totally get why someone would like the gear or a combo of gear and composition. It's fun to see what the companies have come up with and I appreciate the discussions in this forum. I'm not saying that I won't buy another camera, but the inertia needed to get me to by one is getting larger.
  5. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Real Name:
    Kelly Gibbons
    I like having curtain tools, but I agree with the opinions in this tread :)
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Ah...that's gonna be pretty tricky in that my not caring for gear means I also don't care what gear thinks. I think gear is in for a long wait. I hope gear has some good moisturizing eye drops on hand.
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm not anti-gear I am simply finding myself no longer gear oriented. I appreciate people that love gear (even lust after gear)...Up until recently I was right there with them.

    As I said, I'm not sure what has changed but I am finding myself slowly getting rid of all the stuff I have and wanting nothing more than to travel and explore. The idea of spending the next 50+ years (living well past 100 runs in my family) accumulating more stuff is not my idea of fun. I thought for a while I might be heading toward some sort of minimalist thing (like a Leica M and a 50mm Summicron and nothing else) but that doesn't seem to be happening either.

    If this is a mid-life crisis it sure is taking a strange turn.
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I agree I see why folks would be excited about gear (especially if it's your profession).
  9. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    LOL ... nice gear is ... well nice ... but all the nice gear in the world can't take a photograph ... et cetera.

    I think your epiphany is part of the natural evolution and photographic growth. A pro photog, (my definition for pro is one who consistently captures the exceptional image), does not require 'pro' hardware in order to obtain the exceptional image ... pro equipment just makes the job easier.

    I think you have transcended to a level of photography where you realize that photography is all about the image not the equipment. When one is shooting purely for oneself ... often the 'challenge' is as important as the image. Capturing the exceptional image with lesser equipment increases the challenge and heighten the resulting satisfaction.

    More on Equipment:

    I see a lot of threads starting with "Help me choose my next lens" or "What lens should I buy next?" I remember growing up with photography never wondering what to buy next. One purchased a lens and shot the hell out of it until you knew the lens inside-out ... like your right hand. At that point you knew what lens you needed/desired to expand your system. Every time you shot you thought about how that 'desired' lens would frame and enhance the shot. Then the cycle starts again. That's how systems were built in the days before digital.

    • Like Like x 5
  10. SMaturin

    SMaturin Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 30, 2011
    New York's Backyard
    I think you have distilled the essence of this thread.

    I have seen rich playboys with very nice "pro" camera's who had no clue how to capture a stunning image, and were using them for tourist snapshots.

    Conversely, I have seen folks with an artistic sensibility, standing right next to the playboys with a pocket P&S, who created stunning images of the same scene. They had the eye and the vision to use the tool they held effectively.

    Good gear helps the artist, but does not make an artist out of a rich fool.

    • Like Like x 4
  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I know I don't have a problem with new gear, since I own nothing released later than 2009, and my last purchase of brand new camera gear was a Sigma 10-20mm back in 2006. It's the second-hand stuff that kills me...

    That's okay though, the cleanout has already started. 4/3 gear, telephoto lenses, and legacy lenses are the first items on the "bump list".
  12. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Real Name:
    My youngest "graduated" to kindergarten last night. I took vids with my E-PL2. There was anotherfather in fornt of me with a Canon 5D, grip, 580EX and some big L lens. This was the first time I'd been in a camera scenario with other photogs since dumping my Nikon kit for m4/3. I felt a little twinge of NOT having the big gun in the room...

    ...until he about wet himself wanting to get his hands on my E-PL2. He said he hated the weight of a big camera and bag to take family photos, and had wanted to get one of the m4/3 cameras he'd seen in ads.

    I sent him here.

    I guess I'm saying I agree to an extent. I'm still looking for a m4/3 that is made a little better, maybe the mysterious "Pro" coming soon, but that's a longevity thing and liking old-school metal, not the new bells and whistles of a new model.
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    With the rapid advancement of "revolutionary" equipment these days, it's impossible to keep up. I still get excited when some of the "milestones" come out, like the E-P1, the E-5, and the E-PL2. It's hard to tell what's a milestone anymore though, because the next thing coming out could so easily make your height of technological advancement obsolete. The E-P1 for instance was revolutionary without a doubt. However, both the E-P2 and the GF-1 coming out only 6 months later made it redundant.
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    I'm not opposed to buying gear if I need something. The thing is I am starting to realize is the difference between THINKING I need something and actually needing it. A few months back I bought a Panasonic 20. I bought it because I found myself in low light quite a lot and it seemed like a good solution for what I was doing. I like it. It's not without it's quirks but I can't complain about the images I get. When I'm traveling I like a zoom and I found that 14-45 is a nice range for me. I had a 40-150 for a while and while it was very nice it (like most of my other lenses) just lay fallow.

    A bit of gear (I guess it qualifies) that I do like and use is my printer. Like everything I have I bought it used and out of date. It's a Canon Pixma Pro 9000 II and despite not being even remotely current it allows me to make prints and I really like seeing my images made flesh (sorry...I've been reading a bit too much Lovecraft recently).
  15. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    Perhaps it's time (again?) to consider the words and images of HCB:

    [ame="http://www.vimeo.com/20047490"]The Decisive Moment[/ame]
    • Like Like x 7
  16. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    I dragged a bunch of gear all over Spain and Portugal last year and I swore I would never do that again.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. tool

    tool Mu-43 Rookie

    May 13, 2011
    Yep, i agree, dixeyk. I did the same last year on a trip to Budapest, i will never do this again. My E-PL2, 1 or 2 lenses instead of my ex-5d an 3 primes will fit me for every photographic situation i get in by less the weight and less the big bag needed to transport the dslr. I've lost the fun taking pictures, got it back now. But: it came back with new gear...:biggrin:...with reduced gear.
  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That is terrific
  19. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    I go through this all the time...do I NEED it, or WANT it? I find that most of the time it is a want, not a need. This has become so much more relevant in the last year, I now truly know the difference. I NEED a kidney, I want this or that. Prioritizing is the issue. Then again, with age comes wisdom, and it's normally not the old guys who are first in line for the latest bobble. Maybe they have been there before, and realize that new is a time dated and some of us I'm sure have a closet full of stuff that was the newest and now is collecting dust.

    P.S. I'm not saying your old, buddy.
  20. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Now, that's just crazy talk!
    • Like Like x 2