In the late summer of 2018, life got hard. I started questioning photography as a business and wondering if I had sabotaged myself by turning my passion into my profession. It was also a transitional period in my personal life and truthfully, I felt a little lost. So, I simplified. It seemed a good idea at the time. I sold off all my gear and the great gear trial and error experiment began.
It was dumb really, all predicated on feeling a loss of control and trying desperately to control what I could. I have regretted it many times in the past three years. Prior to that very rash decision, I had been happy with my kit for over four years. No buying and selling like a mad woman. I had one camera and four prime lenses and that was all I needed or wanted.
As I closed my business and life stabilized, I made another mistake. Instead of just going back to my roots and recreating that kit, that nearly perfect kit that met all my needs, I decided to go a new route and try a bunch of different gear, seeking that same kind of perfection.
Three years, three camera brands, nine camera bodies, and ten lenses later, I’ve come to my senses. You can’t make yourself like something. It doesn’t matter how good other people say it is (and yes, I tried Leica). It doesn’t matter what the spec sheet lists (and yes, I tried the gear with the newest sensor and tech). It doesn’t matter if it looks the best aesthetically (Leica again?). None of those things mean it will match our personal qualifications for perfection.
I made the switch to mirrorless in mid-2015 with a Fujifilm X-T1, which I had previously rented. And you know what? The X-T line is still my favorite. It’s not the prettiest or the smallest, but it does seem to be the best fit for me. Maybe not every iteration of it, but in general, it seems to be the best mix of comfort, style, and performance.
That said, I’m really over buying the newest camera bodies. They’re updated too frequently and therefore, the amount of depreciation is too great in my book. I also realized I don’t like owning multiple bodies. I really only need one and if it breaks, I’ll get a different one. I really hate deliberating on which camera to bring. I wind up brining all of them and then only using one.
I am however, going to begin building up my lens collection again. Nothing crazy, but since gifting my daughter my X-T1 and now sharing my lenses with her, I find I need a few more options. We tend to favor the same ones and often, when I pick I up my camera to shoot, the lens I want is upstairs, mounted to her camera.
It’s been a wild ride these last three years. I’m sure I’ve wasted some money along the way. Yep, definitely. But I learned a valuable lesson and while I may be more stubborn than most, three years isn’t really so long in the span of a lifetime.