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Author Topic: GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome  (Read 5403 times)
Kevin Gallagher
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« on: July 10, 2013, 05:28:23 AM »
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 From a blog written by Olivier Doung, interesting reading!!  Smiley

http://www.f-stopeight.com/confessions-of-an-ex-gear-addict-how-buying-cameras-and-lenses-made-me-miserable-and-loose-thousands/
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2013, 06:13:51 AM »
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Kevin, thanks for posting this. I read the article and several more by the same author. He has an interesting viewpoint. Well worth the time.
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stevesanacore
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2013, 07:35:54 AM »
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I think we are all guilty of this to some extent. High quality photography usually requires some technical skill. Anyone technical usually appreciates mechanical quality. Optical quality is even more appreciated by those of us who see the difference in our shots. Buying Zeiss or Leica lenses over Canon or Nikon to eek out a crisper shot is probably not necessary for a job but can be for our self satisfaction. Our enthusiasm may also be contagious to the people around us, which is not always a bad thing.
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We don't know what we don't know.
Ray
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 08:27:52 AM »
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I think there's a learning curve in the acquisition of photographic gear. One sometimes buys equipment because one imagines that it will either produce better technical quality than one is used to, or because it is light and compact and may produce quality which is good enough despite the compromise due to less weight and bulk.

If one then finds that the smaller, lighter equipment, frequently disappoints technically, one may rarely use it and consider its purchase a waste of money. One has learned a lesson.

Likewise, one might sometimes buy a high quality prime lens, because it has received rave reviews, then find later that one rarely uses it because of the experience of  frequently missing opportunities that require a different focal length. One has learned another lesson.
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Rob C
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 09:01:00 AM »
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I think there's a learning curve in the acquisition of photographic gear. One sometimes buys equipment because one imagines that it will either produce better technical quality than one is used to, or because it is light and compact and may produce quality which is good enough despite the compromise due to less weight and bulk.

If one then finds that the smaller, lighter equipment, frequently disappoints technically, one may rarely use it and consider its purchase a waste of money. One has learned a lesson.

Likewise, one might sometimes buy a high quality prime lens, because it has received rave reviews, then find later that one rarely uses it because of the experience of  frequently missing opportunities that require a different focal length. One has learned another lesson.


Combined Lessons Law:

Don't buy any photographic gear - use your cellphone. You'll never run out of cheap excuses. Voilŗ! Ultimate, all-weather face-saver.

Rob C
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allegretto
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 10:46:12 AM »
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cameras, cars, watches, fishing gear, firearms...

guys just like some, or in some cases all of these things.

yes, for most they're toys... we're boys...
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Ray
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 11:39:46 AM »
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Combined Lessons Law:

Don't buy any photographic gear - use your cellphone. You'll never run out of cheap excuses. Voilŗ! Ultimate, all-weather face-saver.

Rob C

Rob,
Surely you haven't fallen that far.  Wink
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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 11:41:15 AM »
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cameras, cars, watches, fishing gear, firearms...

guys just like some, or in some cases all of these things.

yes, for most they're toys... we're boys...

Speaking for myself, I've always been able to distinguish between toys and tools.  Wink
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MrSmith
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 01:09:57 PM »
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Just hire and bill it on the job.
Keep your ££££ís in the bank.
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DanielStone
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 01:54:30 PM »
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Just hire and bill it on the job.
Keep your ££££ís in the bank.

Yup, this works well if you use different equipment for each job, or just don't take many pictures for yourself. Using the same equipment you'd use for *paid* work is kinda the "de-rigueur" for most I'd imagine...

I know of many a photographer who rent themselves their own gear, and bill it separately on the invoice. Both editorial and commercial shooters.
One of them mentioned to me that if he DIDN'T rent to himself, and simply "hired" the equipment, he'd have been out over 150K last year in RENTAL FEES(to himself, money back in HIS pocket, equipment paying for itself). Of course he doesn't own the generator trailer necessary to run all his stuff on-location, but that's another matter entirely.

Yes, most photographers simply cannot afford to plop down £/$100k on a full-blown Broncolor/Profoto,etc... lighting kit w/ all the trimmings. So we hire as needed, outside of what we CAN afford to own without living on pork-n-beans everyday Cheesy
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TMARK
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2013, 02:13:25 PM »
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Yup, this works well if you use different equipment for each job, or just don't take many pictures for yourself. Using the same equipment you'd use for *paid* work is kinda the "de-rigueur" for most I'd imagine...

I know of many a photographer who rent themselves their own gear, and bill it separately on the invoice. Both editorial and commercial shooters.
One of them mentioned to me that if he DIDN'T rent to himself, and simply "hired" the equipment, he'd have been out over 150K last year in RENTAL FEES(to himself, money back in HIS pocket, equipment paying for itself). Of course he doesn't own the generator trailer necessary to run all his stuff on-location, but that's another matter entirely.

Yes, most photographers simply cannot afford to plop down £/$100k on a full-blown Broncolor/Profoto,etc... lighting kit w/ all the trimmings. So we hire as needed, outside of what we CAN afford to own without living on pork-n-beans everyday Cheesy


Back in the day Conde Naste had this deal with Fotocare and Splashlight in NYC.  When you rented gear you had to get it from their vendor.  The rental fees were billed directly to Conde Naste  which cut deeply into profit for editorial.  Good for Fotocare and Splashlight.  Bad for shooters.
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2013, 02:57:26 PM »
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Yup, this works well if you use different equipment for each job, or just don't take many pictures for yourself. Using the same equipment you'd use for *paid* work is kinda the "de-rigueur" for most I'd imagine...

I know of many a photographer who rent themselves their own gear, and bill it separately on the invoice. Both editorial and commercial shooters.
One of them mentioned to me that if he DIDN'T rent to himself, and simply "hired" the equipment, he'd have been out over 150K last year in RENTAL FEES(to himself, money back in HIS pocket, equipment paying for itself). Of course he doesn't own the generator trailer necessary to run all his stuff on-location, but that's another matter entirely.

Yes, most photographers simply cannot afford to plop down £/$100k on a full-blown Broncolor/Profoto,etc... lighting kit w/ all the trimmings. So we hire as needed, outside of what we CAN afford to own without living on pork-n-beans everyday Cheesy


My clients would split a gut if I invoiced rental gear on an invoice unless it was a VERY specialized piece of gear I was not expected to own.

And once they recovered from their sustained laughter, they would ring up the next guy on the list and book the next job.

Its a wonderful idea that I'm sure worked great in some markets, it just has zero play in mine.
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Craig Lamson Photo
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DanielStone
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 04:33:37 PM »
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My clients would split a gut if I invoiced rental gear on an invoice unless it was a VERY specialized piece of gear I was not expected to own.

And once they recovered from their sustained laughter, they would ring up the next guy on the list and book the next job.

Its a wonderful idea that I'm sure worked great in some markets, it just has zero play in mine.

Well by "itemizing", I mean it goes onto the invoice, but it's an individual line item on said invoice.

Totally understand where you're coming from though, many are penny-pinching as much as possible to keep profit margin as big as possible... 3 day jobs cut down to 2(but with 3.5days worth of shots), etc...
I've been cutting my teeth as an assistant the past few years, learning as much as I can, and learning about the BUSINESS end as much as possible. You can't keep shooting unless you have the coin to do so, so I keep my fingers in a few pies, not just in photo...

Really like your RV & Transportation work btw Smiley

cheers,
Dan
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2013, 12:33:14 PM »
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He has posted the next piece on this topic:

http://www.f-stopeight.com/the-self-talk-retorts-of-an-ex-gear-addict-how-i-started-breaking-free-from-gas/

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2013, 04:19:25 PM »
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Hi my name is Simon and I am a camera junkie. :-)
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Simon Harper
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MarkL
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 07:35:26 AM »
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Interesting, this is a very easy pitfall especially with the turnover of DSLRs in the early days and now mirrorless cameras Ė every few months there is something better that people on the internet are raving about.

I donít think going through lots of gear is necessarily bad. In my first two years back when film cameras were being dumped I went through lots a rock bottom prices selling them back for what I bought them for because I was finding out what I liked/didnít like. I have done a similar thing with lighting tying out lots of modifiers and strobes vs speedlights. After all this I know how I like to light and only own two light modifiers, one DSLR, and one mirrorless camera. I think it is OK if it is a journey but if the gear is a means unto itself then it becomes an issue or thinking gear will improve ability.
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