A conversation I had over 20 years ago now still resonates in my mind.
I was talking with a friend about relationships, and how I saw them to an extent like a building you enter, with multiple rooms.
My most important requirement for entering the building was knowing where the exits were, even just a small window I could escape through in an emergency.
Fortunately I managed to overcome this kind of mentality, and a relationship close to 10 years and my current one of even longer (and with three dependents) shows I no longer I have one eye on the fire escapes.
That said, I do tend to still have remnants of this approach in other parts of life. One of them being photography.
When considering what I might need or want next for my camera kit, I often consider the get out clause.
In other words, if I buy this camera or lens and don’t like it, for whatever reason, how easily can I get rid of it without losing too much of what I invested?
This seems eminently sensible on the surface.
The problem is, as with relationships, if you have half your mind on the exit strategy, you’re not going to fully commit to either seeking out the best fit for you, or making it work when you have it.
The attitude of “it doesn’t matter, I’ll just sell it on” (I’m talking about the camera gear here!) means I’ve bought stuff I’ve then barely used, because I didn’t really want it all that much in the first place.
In addition, I tend to forget that although selling is not particularly difficult, either through a page on 35hunter, or eBay, I greatly dislike the general fiddling about of taking pictures of said kit, writing a description, setting up the listing, packaging up and taking to the post office etc.
Plus this selling process just embeds the feeling that I shouldn’t have bought the thing anyway. Having it hidden away in a shoebox make this easier to ignore!
So going forward, I plan to be more considered in any purchases I do make.
Back to that original analogy, I want to look for buildings I really want to explore and spend time in, regardless of how easy or otherwise they might be to escape.
Inevitably, there will be cameras or lenses that, however much I may research them, I might simply not gel with anyway.
I suppose like going on a date with someone who is, as the expression goes, “100% my type on paper”, and seems to tick most of your metaphorical boxes, but when you meet there’s just no chemistry.
So I’m curious – how does this work with you? What kind of considerations do you make before you buy a camera or lens? And how often do you end up selling something on because it didn’t work out like you’d hoped?
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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