It’s easy to get caught up in YouTube reviews about the perfect lens or the one with “magic” qualities, but the truth is that the only gear you need concern yourself with is the gear that works for what YOU shoot.
It doesn’t matter if your lens has the dreamiest bokeh or the shallowest depth of field if the subjects you shoot don’t lend themselves to being photographed wide open. (For instance, street, travel, architecture, or documentary photography).
It’s a waste of money to invest in a f/1.4 lens if you rarely photograph anything under f/2.8.
It’s irrelevant if your camera body has IBIS if you never need to photograph something handheld at very slow shutter speeds or perhaps with a long telephoto lens.
Too often we want the “best” but we don’t stop to think of what that means for us. The best for a portrait photographer isn’t the same as the best for a landscape photographer. I feel like we all know that deep down but still need to be reminded from time to time.
Here’s my dirty little secret though. And it has taken me some time to come to terms with it… I’m a bit of a gear junkie. Even though I may not need it, and even though I know different gear won’t make me a better photographer, I enjoy playing with and being inspired by fresh tools – more often than not, older tools.
Now, I don’t like to accumulate gear. Clutter stresses me out. But I do go through distinct phases with gear. Sometimes that phase will last several years, sometimes only a few months. Then I sell it all and get different gear. I think learning how to use and master various tools is part of the appeal of photography for me. And I’m okay with that.
Sometimes the gear itself can be an inspiration to get out and shoot. As long as you don’t expect a change in your camera or lens to automatically make you a better artist with a more refined vision, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with switching things up from time to time.
I’ve certainly learned by now that there is no such thing as the perfect camera. They all have pros and cons. I currently own three and they serve difference purposes. They can each do things that the others can’t and I’m going to grab whichever tool allows me to capture my vision in any given moment to it’s full potential.
Sometimes, that’s as simple as pulling my iPhone out of my pocket. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that for you either. But you can be sure I’ll share any new toys I get with you regardless…