Getting G.A.S. and Gear Change

Since my son turned one I honestly have not picked up my camera as much as I should have been to keep up with my photography learning. Many things have seemed to get in the way but during this time I began to notice that I’ve started falling into the G.A.S. trap that many photographers happen to do.

What is G.A.S?

Well besides being something eating beans may give you, in photography circles it is known as “Gear Acquisition Syndrome”. It can be triggered by many things but usually comes from seeing other photographer’s work and knowing they use “better” or “more expensive” gear than you and it triggers the urge to go out and get the same gear thinking that it will improve your photography. Or for some it’s the feeling that they can’t do something with out some piece of “better” gear than they currently have. There are other definitions of G.A.S. and if you think you will never fall into the trap think again. Most all photographers fall into it, I know I did! I suggest reading the article on Olivier Duong’s Blog for how he describes G.A.S. and how he overcame it.

I think my only saving grace is that I have not spent as much on gear as others I know or read about in various forums and blogs. Most everything I have coveted for photography was still listed in one of the many wish lists I created out on various photography shopping sites.

Wish lists like what I have listed here (and these are just from Amazon!):

Photo – Gear 31 items
Photo – Books/Software 57 items
Photo – F/4+ Lenses 3 items
Photo – FF Camera 9 items
Photo – Film 6 items
Photo – Fujifilm Gear 15 items
Photo – L Primes 7 items
Photo – Non L Lenses 6 items
Photo – Tamron Lenses 3 items
Photo – Sigma Lenses 7 items
Photo – Studio Gear 28 items
Photo – TS Lenses 4 Items

That is A LOT of gear! If I were to buy all that at once I’d need a medium-sized loan…. also my wife would kill me!

One night after listening to an old interview with Zack Arias it hit me that I’ve been sitting around and learning by only reading and watching everyone else do photography while at the same time I was feeding my GAS by convincing myself that I need X gear to be as good as others I was admiring. It became time that I really focus on what I need versus what I want to have and get over this gear want.

First thing I did was rid my online accounts of all photo gear and only kept one for photo books I can use for learning and inspiration.

Next was making the decision to focus my photography on finishing my NYIP School work, doing personal photo projects, shooting events and get working on head shots/portraits part-time. Keeping what this in mind I looked at the gear I had as well as the reality of being a new father where camera gear is often not the only thing I’m carrying day-to-day and came to the decision that it is time to change my set up and shed things and switch to Fuji system from Canon.

You maybe thinking though, “Jason, why get new gear? Why not use what you have now? Are you not just feeding your GAS but spending more money?”

There are a few answers but I want to focus on the two main reasons for me.

First is that I got tired of carrying a big DSLR around to family and non-family events. While my 60D is not the largest camera in the world it’s still weighs a lot when you start carrying it all day everyday. Also I am currently recovering from back surgery #3 and have another baby coming in the month that rhymes with soon this year. I wanted to move to something smaller that gave me the same or better image quality and allowed me to carry it around without needing a large camera bag.

Second was the cost of good fast lenses. For what you spend on one of Canon’s L Glass lenses I can get several amazing lenses from Fuji for my shooting style without loss of quality. Bonus is as a parent this means more money for the kiddo’s college fund and family savings which makes my wife happy.

About a month ago I traded in my Canon gear and now have in my kit the following Fuji gear:

  • X100T for day-to-day shooting and personal projects
  • X-T1 body with 10-24mm, 35mm, 56mm, and 50-140mm lenses for everything the X100T doesn’t cover.

Since then I’ve been working with my Fuji kit and I am very happy with this change. The X100T has gotten back out to shoot more because it’s easy to grab it and go on a daily basis. When I need something more I grab the XT-1 and lenses and even that is a lot lighter that my Canon kit was. So my back is thanking me as well. This in turn has refocused me to work on my NYIP schoolwork and get going on finishing it.

Additionally my G.A.S. is pretty much gone now and I feel motivated to get better at shooting with what I have. Of course I still get excited at some nice pieces of gear here and there but I no longer feel like I will need it now to be a better photographer. I know I can now wait and max out the capabilities of my current gear before moving up to the next level instead rushing to it and waiting money and getting frustrated.

It honestly has been a great feeling to be motivated again to shoot, work on projects and get back into completing my NYIP Course.

Thanks for reading.

Jason