Here we are again. I’m sure you won’t be surprised.

On a beautiful sunny day in early February, I went hiking with my family and ended up fracturing my ankle. I spent seven weeks in one of those clunky medical boots, except mine was marginally cooler because it pumped up like Air Jordans. It was annoying, but at least it was successful. My second X-ray showed that the fractures had healed. Unfortunately, I’m still experiencing so much pain and swelling that my doctor is sending me to see an orthopedic surgeon.

As you would imagine, this has significantly impacted my photography. I haven’t been nearly as mobile as I was before the injury. My photo walks are a thing of the past. I’ve been photographing my home more and more, which I actually love, but I have no idea when I’ll be able to do more than that.

I’m not going to lie. I’m embarrassed to share this next part after all I’ve posted about gear and the many, many mistakes I’ve made in that regard. But I know I’m not the only one who has struggled in this area so I think it’s important to be honest. Even when it makes me look like an idiot. Maybe especially then.

I have very much regretted not going with my gut last August and buying the Ricoh GR IIIx. I thought it would be the perfect companion to my life. But I talked myself out of it because I didn’t think it would be practical enough or versatile enough, and frankly, because I think it’s too expensive for what it is. What if I decided to get back into professional photography? I have always love the idea of fixed lens cameras while at the same time being terrified to commit to only one focal length. Silly, right? Who knows, maybe I’ll still pick up a Ricoh at some point.

But now here I sit, not really getting much use out of my interchangeable lens gear, mostly because I can’t seem to manage carrying around even that small amount of extra weight. I’m in near constant pain as it is. The tiny little Ricoh would be perfect right about now.

So, why am I telling you all this? Simple. I do it in the hope that you won’t make my mistakes. Stop filling your head with dozens of reviews, including mine. It’s impossible not to be swayed by the opinions of others. When you’re considering a purchase, rent it. Form your own opinions. You have a gut for a reason. Use the photographic tool that makes you the most happy and brings you the most joy, even if it’s the most impractical tool of all. Maybe especially then.

5 responses to “Here we are again. I’m sure you won’t be surprised.”

  1. Hi Leah,
    We’ve all been there – changing gear.
    And believe me, it’s not making mistakes, it’s just like everything else, learning.

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  2. Thank you, Marc. I appreciate that. 🙂

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  3. Ugh, so sorry to hear about the pain you’re experiencing. I hope the orthopedic surgeon has answers and can help. As far as the camera gear goes, as you know I battle with “G.A.S.” all the time so I can completely relate. Some of the gear I’ve bought and tried has made zero sense, but other times trying it has helped me get the itch out of my system for that specific camera or lens. Sometimes I keep it, other times I sell it. Sometimes I sell it and regret it and buy it again lol. But maybe that desire for the Ricoh is an itch that won’t go away until you try it, whether that’s next week or next year. You make great images with every camera you’ve had from your iPhone to your X-T3, so I have no doubt that will continue no matter the camera. That being said, you might as well love your camera setup. I hope you feel better soon!

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  4. Thanks for that. I think it will be a good while before I’m fully mobile again. I really love your perspective. I tend to think of gear as a tool and not get emotionally attached (except for maybe my first Fuji camera, which my daughter now has because I couldn’t get rid of it) so there can be a high turnover rate. I like what you said about the “itch” as well. That’s exactly it, isn’t it? Until you try it, you don’t really know if you’ll love it or not. Sometimes that itch can be scratched by renting and sometimes, you need more time with gear to determine if it’s really a good fit or not. Kind of like breaking in a new pair of shoes. You might not know until a few months in whether it’s a good fit.

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