After buying cameras for a few years, you notice patterns.
Indeed it’s not unlike relationships. Although they’re with different people, the common factor is yourself, so it’s likely that familiar cycles will repeat themselves, and hopefully these will be (or become) healthy and positive ones.
Back to cameras, and one I’ve noticed in my own purchasing that usually doesn’t end so well is what I call “lens love on the rebound”.
Typically I’ll have my eye on a particular lens, be watching it for a while (on eBay, of course, my old comrade/nemesis), and for whatever reason miss out on buying it to someone else.
Now it doesn’t have to be that someone sniped it from under my nose at the last second. Often it’s simply that the bidding goes beyond what I was willing to pay.
Either way, I’m left with a feeling of having missed out, an itch is unscratched.
So to satisfy that need, or fill that hole, I then turn to other, cheaper lenses.
Something I can buy (it now!) that will soothe some of that feeling of lacking.
This nearly always results in me buying a lens without much research and it turning out to be average at best, with me wondering why I purchased it at all.
Like most rebound relationships, it quickly becomes apparent it shouldn’t have happened and you move on as quickly as you can, hopefully with lessons learnt and no-one getting (too) upset or hurt.
So why does this pattern of lens love rebound happen at all?
I think as soon as you start looking at something that you don’t have, even for a small period of time, you start to develop an emotional connection with it.
We can go from being entirely oblivious to the object’s existence, to wanting it more than anything else, within a matter of minutes sometimes.
I know I’ve experienced this with certain cameras and lenses.
So although we don’t actually have the item in our possession, it already feels like we do.
It’s ours, we’ve seen it, we’ve longed for it, and in the case of a lens, we’ve already imagined how it will feel in our hands, the beautiful images we’ll make together.
So of course when circumstances conspire to snatch it from our grasp, we feel cheated and like we’ve lost out.
A simple analogy might be this.
You go to a friends house to catch up, and they offer you a cup of tea. You might expect this, but nonetheless be grateful.
Whilst in the kitchen preparing your beverage your friend calls out “Oh, I’ve made some of that amazing triple chocolate cake, there’s one piece left, would you like it?”
So, said chocolate cake being the best you’ve ever tasted, you agree enthusiastically.
Your friend returns to the room, and you see the cake plated up in all its resplendent gooey chocolatey gorgeousness, and your mouth starts to water.
A split second later, their dog crashes in, knocking the plate from your friend’s hand, then the clumsy canine just as quickly slathering their tongue all over the cake – YOUR cake – now upended on the carpet.
One’s natural instinct is perhaps not to think, philosophically, “Oh well, five minutes ago I didn’t even know they had any cake, let alone I might be eating some, so I haven’t lost anything”.
Instead we feel annoyed, perhaps enraged, at the ditsy dog that has cost us the delicious taste experience that was mere moments from our lips.
I’m not sure what the solution is with lenses, other than staying off eBay altogether, which I seem to be doing quite well in the last few weeks since my Lumix FZ38 arrived.
How about you? Have you experienced lens (or camera) love on the rebound?
As always, 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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