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  1. #1

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    "Second-guessing GAS

    Heading out this am to do some shooting, and trying to decide on which Nikon to use, I found myself thinking back to a question I posed here some time back regarding the storage and rotation of camera bodies. When does GAS become a problem?
    Or more narrowly, how many bodies - in a particular format - is too much? The impetus? I have reached a point with my Nikons that I almost have to resort to leaving a written reminder as to when a particular body was last used! My F6 is always loaded with E100G; an F5 always has E100VS; and one of: a second F5 (x3)/F3HP(x3)/F2(x3)/F2AS(x4)/F2A(x3) will always be loaded with HP5/Tri-X.

    Why so many Nikons? I have tried to justify with a number of answers: 1). New professional 35mm SLR cameras are virtually non-existent ( i.e. so I need to make sure I don't run out (LOL)); 2). I like cameras, much like some folks like guitars or model trains, etc.,3). Prices are so low, how can any one resist a bargain ( I have picked up three F3HP bodies in the last two-and-a-half years in the sub-$100 range; one of my F5s was $212, the second was $230 and change); 4). I shoot both color and black and white - sometimes concurrently - so I need several bodies; 5). Even Nikons break down/wear out, so... and, 6)."3" allows me to try out a number of cameras that otherwise I would not have bothered with.

    All said, the issue of "too much" aside, I have, by my own admission made only one questionable purchase, camera wise: the F4s. I ran a few rolls through it, gave it away to my sister who returned it after one roll, then donated the beast to Nephew 3 who, after two years (?) has yet to even put batteries in the thing. Today he asked if I wanted it back (he prefers the F3HP I gave him).

    So...do others here ever question the size of their photographic "stash"? Any regrets? Do your "justifications" parallel mine? Do I/we have to justify why GAS leads up to make the purchases we do?

  2. #2
    Fixcinater's Avatar
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    I've recently bought and then sold a large bit of gear. Macro set ups, flash, medium and large formats and I'm whittling it down now to the stuff that I like to use the most.

    If I had unlimited funds and space, sure, I'd keep some more of it than I am. Alas, I don't, so a bunch is moving on to new homes. I'm not much of one for triplicate backups being a valid reason for keeping it though...not to say I'm judging you on that decision, but my brain would start asking if it wouldn't make more sense to sell it now and buy it again later *if* you end up needing to.

    I get camera confused quite easily, so having more options ends up seeing me shoot less and worse than when I self impose limits of format, film, and lenses.

  3. #3
    rince's Avatar
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    I try to keep my camera stash at one system I love in each format. Everything else I can not justify and even that is a stretch. Most of my 'regrets' I sold again. The only one big regret I still keep around is my investment in a digital setup. I have not touched it for 18 months, but I am still not quite ready of getting rid of it
    My workhorses are my Mamiya RZ and my Toyo 45, so having to finish a full roll of 36 exposures before I can change films does not apply. I usually keep 2 loaded backs for the RZ around, allowing me to change in mid shoot. In the end you have to ask yourself how much is too much. As long as you can afford them, I would say do what feels right for you and if it is one facet of keeping you excited to go out and shoot, I would say go for it. The moment all those beauties start collecting dust in the shelf, it might be time to see if your money is still invested good in gear you don't use.
    ---
    There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
    ~ Ansel Adams

  4. #4
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I have five Canon FD S.L.R. bodys,(3 new F1's, an EF, and a T90) and two Mamiya T.L.R 6X6 bodys (C330F) and a set of lenses all of which that I use almost every day especially since I retired I've owned the vast majority of my equipment for more than 30 years. I realized many years ago that having more equipment than you actually use on a regular basis is counter productive because it's the more you have to protect, insure, maintain, and worry about.
    Ben

  5. #5
    Rick A's Avatar
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    So much cool gear, so little time, and theres only one of me. That being said, I've gotten rid of most of my gear and shoot mostly LF. I keep some 35mm and MF gear for those times I feel like doing snap shots, which is getting rarer as time goes by.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I have five Canon FD S.L.R. bodys,(3 new F1's, an EF, and a T90) and two Mamiya T.L.R 6X6 bodys (C330F) and a set of lenses all of which that I use almost every day especially since I retired I've owned the vast majority of my equipment for more than 30 years. I realized many years ago that having more equipment than you actually use on a regular basis is counter productive because it's the more you have to protect, insure, maintain, and worry about.
    +1

    Jeff

  7. #7

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    i recently went to an estate sale where the folks had been serious collectors of fine porcelain and german beer steins -- they had $40,000 worth of statuettes on a table left by this couple who, being dead, no longer needed them and their kids were stuck selling them for 30 cents on the dollar -- porcelain doesn't re-sell for what it cost.

    i went home wondering, do i really need all these cameras? I mean -- 4 Leica SLRs is a bit much, not to mention 3 Ms, 5 Barnacks and a massive Nikon systems....

    Getting rid of all that is another matter. At least my sons say they appreciate the stuff, but I am slowly weeding...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by summicron1 View Post
    ...snip... At least my sons say they appreciate the stuff, but I am slowly weeding...
    Not having any children (or even a wife for that matter), I had never really considered the inheritance issue. I do, however, have a niece and two nephews that I have introduced to film photography (via gifts of Nikon F2 and F3 bodies) whom I frequently take out on my shooting excursions around the Lower Mainland and to Vancouver Island. I would love to be the proverbial fly on the wall when it comes time for them to divvy up the stuff! LOL

  9. #9
    ArtO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Switch to Hasselblad then you only need one camera body & system and as many film backs as film types you would use. Plus spare backs.

    When you have the best, you will not need more.
    Have one with 2 backs and both 80mm and 150mm lenses. Enough? No way. I'd love to get hold of a 40 or 50mm lens and maybe an additional body maybe a 503C, a prism finder, and at least two more backs. BUT I'm waiting for my ship to come in.

    I'd like an F6 Nikon too and also an FM3a.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Art

  10. #10

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    My biggest regret is that where I live, it isn't easy to sell your regrets . I had to give away my digital system (2 bodies, lenses, flashes) as it just wasn't being used and I didn't want it to break so I gave it to someone who needed it a lot more than I did.

    For me, I came to the conclusion last year that photography is my hobby, and it gives me the most joy other than family and friends, so I don't need to justify spending on it once I can afford it (buying something and affording something is 2 different things). I gladly make a lot of personal sacrifices to support my lifestyle, and though my camera collection is only 3 cameras (4x5, 6x7, 35) - all of which were bargain basement prices when I got them; I do spend a lot more money on props, lighting, grip, film and processing than on cameras (thankfully I have all the lights and grips that I need, but film and processing costs will unfortunately keep rising).

    Some people spend money traveling, some on clothes, some on gambling, some on drugs, some on their cars, some on their houses and we choose to spend ours on photography; as long as you can meet your obligations and no part of your life is suffering because of it, and you enjoy it, then there is no reason to feel guilty about anything. Life is just too damn short for that!

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