Saturday, October 14, 2006

Equipment Lust

Back before I bought the EOS-5d, when I was doing essentially all of my landscape photography in large format, I had managed to engineer an escape from equipment lust. 1997, I was feeling the pinch of the Wisner I was using, and I sat down and made a list of what my dream 4x5 kit would look like - camera, lenses, tripod, pack, accessories. And then I went out, and in one horrific binge, bought it all. I proceeded to use that gear constantly for the next ten years, happy and content with what I had, blithely ignoring the introduction of new lenses, new tripods, new tripod heads. When I wanted to do a project that couldn't be done in large format, I bought Leica M6 gear, which I proceeded to be happy with in exactly the same way. For the better part of a decade, essentially ALL of my visits to the camera store were to buy film, or chemicals, or paper.

But now, I've bought the 5d, and all of a sudden, I'm suffering from equipment lust. In particular, I'm suffering very badly from lens lust. My three lenses for the 5d are old (great performers, but old). There's the workhorse 28-70 f/2.8L. There's the other workhorse, the 70-200mm f/2.8L. And there's the narrow application 100mm f/2.8 macro (not even the USM version, this is the old, slow version).

So I'm seeing these Canon TS-E lenses, the 28mm and the 45mm and the 90mm, and there are image stabilized zooms. I've started reading lens reviews. Several times, I've had the 28mm TS-E lens page at B&H up on my screen, with the mouse pointer over the 'add to cart' button.

I can feel it coming. I know that the lenses I've got are fine lenses, that they're not holding me back in any meaningful way. But with lens lust, that's not the real issue.

But when you find yourself searching the WWW looking for comments on the out of focus drawing of a lens, you know you're a goner, especially when you're irritated because you can't find anything you believe.

Maybe if I rent a few lenses for a few days, it will bleed off enough of the pressure that I can last a year or two without buying lenses. But there's always the risk that I'll rent something and then find I can't live without it.


Blogger Paul said...

Boy! Don't I know that feeling. This year I bought a Nikon D2X and that was the start of the downhill slide! Since then I've purchased a Tamron 11-18mm, Tamron 200-500mm, etc.

I've got my eye on that Nikkor 500mm f/4.0, but it just costs too much! $7,500. So, I had to satiate my lust temporarily with the Tamron. I've been very satisfied, thus far. But, there is that Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 that's been calling me ...

6:14 PM  

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