The time has come (the walrus said) to reduce the quantity of photographic equipment I own. I have realised that I really don’t need several versions of the same thing. If there is a best or better in the set, then why do I need the others? Besides, I don’t have the time to shoot them all. And (trying to keep a straight face) the whole point is the pictures, not the cameras that take them. I can justify having one spare camera to replace an old relic that could fail, but not four. I have recognised and now need to get over my addiction.
What made the decision for me was moving house. If you stay in one place it’s easy to store things. It’s when you have to pack them up and move them that you realise how much stuff you have accumulated. Books are worse. I confess that we had close to 800 in the house. Drastically reduced now, but still enough that I could make a good Zoom background if I wanted to. Or a play fort.
So this is the opposite of GAS. Let’s call it SOLID – selling off lots of idle dogs.
The lenses it makes sense to keep though, more so than cameras. These are the important bit, after all. For all the talk about how wonderful some cameras are, they really only provide a shutter and a method for holding the sensor or film. One camera and three lenses is a lot more useful than the other way round. On the other hand there are some cameras with special functionality. Stuff that is waterproof or panoramic is unique, but M42 SLRs are all much the same. So specials can stay but the generic can go.
I did a bit of an exercise, building a table of camera types against the things I wanted them to do. The reason was to make it obvious to me where I had too many of the same thing.
So what is going? Everything I have multiples of or don’t actively use. I will keep anything I have been given, as these are special because of the person who gave them to me. Not that I’m showered with gifts (send more pies!), but these are staying.
By the time I post this I will probably have sold them, so this is the list of the dear departed:
- Pentax MV body. Auto-only body that came with a useful lens. The lens stays, the camera goes.
- Zeiss Contessa. Generic 60s fixed lens rangefinder camera.
- Nikonos III.
- Pentax A3 body.
- Pentax MZ5-n body.
- Fed 50 compact.
- Fujica STX-1 with 55mm lens.
- Olympus 35 RC.
- Zeiss Contina.
- Leidox 127 format camera with a 35mm adaptation.
- Canon Canonette 2b.
- Agfa Super Silette.
- Lomo Cosmic Symbol.
- Kodak Retinette 1a.
- Olympus Pen EE-2.
- Canon Ixus 750 with underwater housing. Very capable but superseded.
- An Ozeck 80-205mm zoom.
- Canon Powershot A590. Excellent camera, but also superseded.
- A Pentax Takumar 70-200mm zoom.
- A Chinon 35-200mm zoom.
Will I miss them? I doubt it – I hardly used them. I can use the little money they bring in to go towards something better that I will use much more. Their departue has freed space and removed a source of anxiety.
I also have a bunch of dead camera bodies that I need to find a way to give someone as a source of parts (or as a boat anchor).
This may not be the end of it. I am now evaluating my cameras agaist new criteria such as ‘do they have a special funtion that I need?’ and ‘are they tools or toys?’. Besides, analogue photographers are complaining about the rising price of old cameras, but continue to hoard them in bulk and stalk them on eBay. Time to release into the wild the cameras I am not using.
Fly free, my pretties! And the other ones.