Addiction takes on many forms, and can sometimes be a master of deception.
A few years back I fell into the trap of buying every last lens and film camera than turned my head, and ended up cycling through perhaps a couple of hundred in as many weeks.
The nadir was surveying my “collection” in early 2016 and realising I had over 50 cameras with two thirds of them yet to be used.
I gradually got back on track, steadily selling off all I didn’t use often, which coincided with my move towards using only digital cameras.
Aside from two film cameras kept for old times’ sake, my core kit at the end of 2018 consisted of one Sony, two Ricoh, two Pentax, and two Panasonic Lumix digital cameras.
Then this year I had an idea for a project – in fact it turns out, something of a combination of two previous projects.
I would aim to shoot just one camera each calendar month in 2019.
Partly for the benefits of cameranogamy, even over a shorter term, and partly to prove that a rewarding experience and satisfying images can be had with older, cheaper, lower MP digital cameras, as my three 4MP camera experiments last year showed me.
Whilst the One Month One Camera (OMOC) project has gone very well, and met both of the above aims in abundance, it has opened up an old addiction.
I’ve found that even though I’m only using one camera per month, I’ve been looking out for possible candidates for future months, and picking up interesting options here and there.
Before I realised it, I have enough cameras for most of the rest of the year.
This wasn’t the plan.
I don’t know about you, but I just don’t like finding myself slipping into old addictions like this for no good reason.
In addition, because those two initial goals of the OMOC project have been met, I don’t feel the need to try our half a dozen other fairly similar bargain digital compacts in the coming months now anyway.
In the same way I didn’t need 15 lenses of near identical focal length (50/55/58mm) in the same mount back in 2016.
I’ve also noticed that half way through a month, while I am enjoying the camera I’ve committed to, I already have half an eye (and more than a few dusty corners of my mind) focused on what the next month’s camera might be.
Which of course takes my energy and enthusiasm away from the camera in hand a little.
In reality though this is a minor blip, more akin to hanging one’s foot (or perhaps leg) over the side of the wagon rather than falling off spectacularly and ingesting a face full of dirt.
I really liked the Canon IXUS 870 from January, and don’t have anything that small that offers similar spec and performance, so for now it’s a keeper.
But whilst February’s FujiFilm and March’s Lumix have been fun, they don’t spark enough joy to keep them beyond the experiment, so won’t be staying.
Which I suspect would be the case for most other cameras I’ve gathered as potential candidates.
If I continue as I have been, by the end of a year I’ll likely have kept very few, and had 12 fairly similar experiences.
So I think for next month’s OMOC I’m going to use a camera I already have, to enjoy the benefits of sustained use of just one camera, without thinking too much (or buying any more contenders for) the next month.
How about you, how do you keep check of addictions – to buying cameras or anything else?
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