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?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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18 thoughts on “An Addiction By Any Other Name”
My 2018 was pretty financially disastrous thanks to a bunch of unfortunate reasons. So I’m resisting buying new gear in 2019 because frankly that money would be much better spent on debt payoff. God I hate debt with a purple passion. But I couldn’t avoid it last year.
Sounds very sensible Jim. And from what I gather from your reviews, you’re not short of variety in your camera collection!
Sorry to say I am not making great progress Dan, and I’ve the same problem with bicycles. I just can’t seem to refuse a bargain. A (1997) Cannondale Mountain bike turned up for $50 last week and I couldn’t resist. Regardless, I am determined to rationalize my “Collections” this year.
Hi Jon, are you trying to reduce your bicycle collection?
I always wanted a Cannondale, they were very expensive bikes when was first into mountain biking in the early 90s.
But then I could also say that about half a dozen bikes – Kona, Specialized, Gary Fisher, GT…
I had a 90’s Specialized that I used to ride on public footpaths (as in – following OS maps off road) – best bike I ever owned.
They are great bikes… I bought three last year, but realised two of them might have been ideal for me about 20 years ago but my needs have changed. Kept the hybrid one though!
Hybrids are cool – I had a Bronx one for a while, great bike.
Mine’s a Specialized Crossroads. Essentially a slightly skinny mountain bike with 700C wheels, though I’ve put fatter tyres on (Fat Franks) and removed the front gears so I just stay on the middle cog on the front and just use the seven speeds on the back. Looking forward to getting out on it more as the weather improves.
Good idea on the front cog – I never used the large anyway.
Me either, or the little one. Useful on a mountain bike when you’re going off road, but on a hybrid bike used almost entirely on the road, six or seven speeds across the middle cog is fine 95% of the time.
Beware the addiction – I have far too many cameras as well – although I’m glad to say not as many as you 😀 My addiction was model aircraft – I had nearly 60 un-built kits in my stash until I sold them all off at the end of last year – and I feel so much better for doing it.
When it comes to cameras what I like to do now is have one good example of each type of camera, rather than too many of each type.
Going into double figures with cameras I start to feel it’s too much.
The size is a factor though, a typical digital compact in a box is still small, about half the size of a shoe box, so even with all the box and accessories, 10 of these take up a pretty small space.
I think your approach is very wise, keeping a very good example of each type of camera. Which would mean I have to get rid of about seven or eight AF digital compacts!
Ah but you’ll ‘feel’ better for it 😀
At the moment I’m undecided about my little stash of as yet unused digital compacts. I might try each one for a week, I might continue the one month one camera project with them after a break and using a different type of camera. Or I might just steadily give them away. Or donate them all in one batch!
I find it best to go with the flow in these cases, I’m sure a solution will present itself! 😀
Easy fix. Change the project title to ‘One Year, One Camera’.
Now that would be a challenge Bear, and I suspect a challenge too far. Though I would likely get around it by picking an interchangeable lens camera, using native and adapted lenses and so on. My Sony NEX was pretty much my only digital camera for a couple of years, and I used it like this. Though I did own at least 100 film cameras over the same period!
It would be interesting to pick just one fixed camera though like my Ricoh GRD III and see if I could use it for a year…
Umm.. no, I don’t think you could!