Thursday, October 1, 2015

Signs that You Are Addicted to Gear and May Have G.A.S

G.A.S = Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  A disease that affects mostly men.  It infects the central reasoning area of the brain and makes men vulnerable into thinking more gear make them better photographers, and thus buying gear that they don't need.  There is no known cure, but there is a silver lining; some men are able to recover as the photographs they make shift from pictures of cameras, lenses, brick walls, and resolution charts to other form of pictures.

I just realized I have a lot of "normal" lenses between 40mm and 58mm, probably in the 40 to 50 in total, so I decided to see how many of them are f1.4.  The tally?  13.  Just the f1.4 lenses.  I thought I should write down some of the things that might be signs of gear addiction, and was very surprised how quickly the list came out.  Duh!  Of course it's quick.  Most of these apply to me!  Without further ado, here is the list.  Feel free to add your own in the comments:

  • You buy printed photo magazines just to look at the ads
  • You have a copy of A Lens Collector's Vade Meccum
  • You know exactly what a "normal" lens is
  • You have all 5 versions of the same lens
  • Words like Noctilux and Otus motivate you to make more money so that you can buy them
  • You name your daughter Tessar, and your son's name Nokton is not misspelled, and your dog's name is Skopar
  • You think Hologon is the most beautiful word in the world
  • You scare your partner at night uttering words like "Fisheye", "Bigma", in your sleep
  • You justify all your gear purchases as investment
  • You buy similar looking cameras so that your significant other can't tell the one that you use is not the same as the 4 others in the locked closet that only you have the key to
  • You tell your wife it's worth the expense of the 85mm f1.2L because it would make her look more beautiful in the picture
  • You convince yourself that the purchase of a Leica Summilux will one day make you as good as Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Every time you see a red band, or gold band, it reminds you of your favourite lens
  • You are a Pentaxian, and you know the word "Limited" is not a disadvantage
  • You have been buying K-Mount lenses for the last ten years, because you believe one day, there will be a full frame Pentax camera, like you believe in Santa Claus
  • You get excited when you hear words like Holly Trinity, Magic Drainpipe, The Dust Pump, Sigmarit, and you know exactly what they refer to
  • You use Ikea shelves to store your cameras/lenses because you can't afford better shelves since you spent all your money on cameras/lenses
  • Decimal numbers like 0.95, 1.0, 1.2, 1.4 bring tears to your eyes
  • You just realized that the lens you bought yesterday is exactly the same as 2 others that you didn't know you had
  • You take pictures with enlarging, projection, and printing cell lenses on your mirrorless camera
  • You have many lenses without apertures
  • You have many lenses without focus mechanism
  • You have drawers full of lens adapters
  • You have a large bin of lens hoods, and most of them don't fit your lenses, but you tell yourself one day, you will get the lenses that will fit the hoods
  • You can't understand why anyone needs to use the aperture on the lens, since you always shoot wide open
  • You feel no shame when others look at your ugly self-made lens contraption in disgust
  • 100% of your pictures contains 99% bokeh, and 1% subject that's in focus.
  • Your favourite pastime is to browse antique/flea market for vintage cameras/lenses
  • You never miss a single camera show
  • You created an app with a SQL database to catalogue and keep track of your cameras/lenses because a spreadsheet has reached its capacity
  • You remember the minute details of a lens, but forget your kids birthdays
  • Your wife is annoyed that you spend more time with your gear than with the kids, or with her
  • You blog about your favourite lens in length, and the only picture that accompanies the blog entry is the picture of the lens
  • You have 9 camera bags, and all of them are full of gear
  • You have 8 different tripod heads, and each one has a specific purpose, and each one is used exactly once
  • You fondle your cameras/lenses and talk to them like they are your lover
  • You spend more time on Flickr and online forums than taking pictures
  • You carry your camera with you everywhere you go, but you hardly take any pictures
  • You can't understand why anyone would read whatever Ken Rockwell has to say, and you visit Michael Johnston's theonlinephotographer blog religiously
  • You tell your wife you paid $20 for the very beat-up Speed Panchro that you actually paid $2000 for and she believed you
  • 80% of the photo in your Flickr stream is picture of cameras and lenses
  • Your wife thinks your planar is something to organize your daily tasks
  • Your wife can not understand why all your lenses do not zoom or focus themselves
  • You made your kids call you Prime Master
  • You have a RAID 10 storage setup to protect the terabytes of pictures you took of your cameras and lenses
  • You have another RAID 10 storage setup to protect the setup above
  • You drove 4 hours to photograph a sunrise, only to find out you shot everything wide open out of habit, and all the pictures are overexposed
  • You made penholders out of broken lenses
  • You have a box you call treasure that's full of parts from dismantled cameras and lenses. 
  • You hope that you can use them to repair lenses/cameras, but deep down you know that will never happen because that's why they became parts in the first place
  • You use a stack of filter rings in place of a hood
  • You have a dozen rolls of exposed film in the drawer from 1998, but never developed
  • You get bored of the auto focus lenses you spent tens of thousands of dollar buying, and are having a blast with a $20 enlarging lens taking pictures of your AF lenses
  • You know by heart the first two digits of a Vivitar lens serial number corresponds to which manufacturer who made the lens
  • You love pictures in RAW, and hate those cooked in jpeg
  • You have thousands of tiny screws harvested from dead cameras/lenses

Fabulous Fifty f1.4s 


  1. i think i got GAS... nice article (or confession.) regards

  2. I love your sense of humor as well as your photos
    and your endless quest
    Regards from Paris (not in Texas)

  3. Hilarious, Yu-Lin - and sooooo true :-)

    Have a great weekend!

  4. >You have been buying K-Mount lenses for the last ten years, because you believe one day, there will be a full frame Pentax camera, like you believe in Santa Claus

    See, that investment is about to pay off in spring of 2016 :-)

    1. Well Mike, even if they do have a full frame digital next year, kinda too late to the party, no? I mean, do they even have any full frame AF lenses made in the last few years, perhaps except the 55mm f1.4?

  5. I'm a recovering G.A.S.
    I have the draws if lenses, the SQL database, the k mount lens, the weird diy lenses and a bunch of other points

  6. LOL - beautiful post :-)

    Be strong people, recognise that you have no control over lenses and seek support of family. Go to meetings at places like Astigmatic Anonymous

  7. Sure too late, Yu-Lin, but recently they introduced a 2.8/24~70mm FF for their upcoming cam:

    1. To be fair, Mike, some of their FA lenses are still quite good, especially the FA* versions, but hard to find and expensive.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Very funny, I recognize all the G.A.S. symptoms! But seriously, looking yat your 1.4 fifties, you seem to be missing the Canon FD 50mm Chrome nose version, as well as the FL version 1. Did I mention I suffer from G.A.S. too?

    1. My marriage is already floating on thin ice and you are hinting me to get more lenses :)

  9. Wow! Thanks, that's a loooong list.

  10. Request permission to repost GAS, thanks.

    1. Please spread the word. It may save someone's marriage :)

  11. Replies
    1. I think women would be more sensible? But then again, it could be worse than men, at least when it comes to shoes or clothing :)

  12. Handbags, YU-Lin - you forgot the handbags!

    Most women have a common mutation of GAS, known as HAS (Heels/Handbags Aquisition Syndrome)

    Their problem, though, is that they can't claim those purchases to be investments...

    Have a great time!

    1. LOL Mike!!! You know best, my friend. And I must agree with you regarding the residue value of the handbags, Heels, etc :)