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Thread: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

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    Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    I am at the point where I really think to own too many lenses for the M.
    And I understand that for good photography I wouldnt need more than 4 or 5.
    But everytime when I try to decide a lens I find some reasons why I dont want to sell it.
    For example Noctilux 0.95. In one way I find it too heavy, and use Summicron much more often, but then I tell myself it is a unique lens.
    Or the Zeiss 85/2.0 same here, pretty big and heavy, and I allways use the 75/2.0 instead. But then I say the 85/2.0 draws so nice and who knows if I would find such a nice sample again in the future if I wanted one.
    ....
    Overall however I often wonder if these minor differences in "character" of certain lenses are not really overrated. If it would be more important to just focus on the subject/photography thing and less on the gear.

    But how can one get rid of this "gear" lust?
    Same true for the MM...can I see a difference? Yes. Did I ever feel B&W from the M9 are lacking something: No. Do I want to sell the MM? No... but why?
    Strange

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Tom,

    GAS and photography are not related (speaking from experience). Neither is a bad thing to have/do. As long as you are in control, there is nothing to worry about. Even otherwise, there is nothing wrong with it. It is your personal prerogative. No one can "help".
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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    I just had this very discussion with a friend.

    It is interesting that we apply a shop keeper's mentality to a creative endeavor. "Oh, I didn't use this or that so I must get rid of it". When in truth, inspiration or circumstances happen in no certain order, nor keep to any time line. They are random and wickedly unpredictable.

    You may have some expensive tool you use far less frequently than another, so what? It is there when inspiration or circumstances arise that makes it of paramount value over any other tool. My M21/1.4ASPH is such a lens ... very expensive, less use, and irreplaceable when the call comes.

    I also think subtile differences are more for our eyes than others. They are in the service of our own enjoyment and satisfaction. We become endeared to a tool that produced a signature image for us even if the tool had little to do with the success of the image. It is just human nature.

    It is different if you have need of the money, or just flat out do not like some lens or camera, and no matter how good it is supposed to be you can't seem to get anything out of it ... that is an easy decision.

    -Marc
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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    As so often, I can let Marc speak for me! I'll just add the obvious but important fact that GAS for Leica lenses definitely has the best impact on financial longevity than any other type of GAS I have encountered because the value of these lenses at the very least holds up and generally appreciates favorably to anywhere else the money would have been placed. A rare win, win.

    Where I think GAS can be more pernicious is when having too much choice and spending too much time thinking about the tools interferes with the creative process they are meant to serve.....Peter

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Sometimes to cure it, you just gotta overdose on it.
    I got rid of my Noctilux lust by looking into medium format systems. No I ridicule myself for ever wanting to spend 10000 on a 35mm format lens....while there are Rodenstocks and Scheiders and Leica S...

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    There are times when working on a project around the house and I do not have the correct tool and spend way too much time . . . . .

    . . . . . then there are times when I ask a person who works for a living doing what I am attempting . . . . .

    I am never surprised when he has the right tool for the job and spends little time in completing the work.

    It can be gas, then again it just may be having the right tool for the right job.

    . . . . . then again it just might be gas.

    The only true way to know is sell off some items. Then if you have the need (urge) to buy them back, then you know it is just gas.

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    It is interesting that we apply a shop keeper's mentality to a creative endeavor.
    I agree completely, but only insofar as one views photography as a creative endeavor. For those who 'collect' gear for its own sake, or who use (even expensive) gear for essentially 'point and shoot' or for 'web sharing', for instance, your well articulated points have less relevance.

    First one needs to decide the purpose of owning camera gear, either as a means to a creative end, or something else. There are also various degrees of creative commitment, and many folks haven't worked hard enough to know the difference. For them, the subtle distinctions that gear may provide is not a means to an end (even though it's perceived that way); rather, it's an end in itself, e.g., as a source of pride.

    Jeff

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmbma View Post
    Sometimes to cure it, you just gotta overdose on it.
    I got rid of my Noctilux lust by looking into medium format systems. No I ridicule myself for ever wanting to spend 10000 on a 35mm format lens....while there are Rodenstocks and Scheiders and Leica S...
    The price and size of Leica S lenses has proved me, that one can get along with 3-4 fixed focal lengths for a system quite well.
    Cause by the size I even often just bring 2 lenses (35+70 or 35+180) with the S and get along fine. So thats why I know that having 10+ M-lenses is GAS IMO.

    Regarding that Leica is a good brand for GAS because of consitant prices:
    The good thing at the moment m-lens prices are quite stable. But that does not necesarly has to be like that forever!
    Look what happened with R lens-prices. What-if Leica announces a new system of weathersealed AF lenses with the optical quality of M lenses?

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Set yourself a rule: you can't buy anything until you sell something of equal or greater value first.

    Bonus: it keeps the wife happy too.
    Brad Husick

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Been mostly in purge mode having sold Hasselblad kit, Mamiya 7 kit, Bronica RF645 kit and most of my Canon lenses in the last year. All of them were great, but didn't see much use. Now I have settled on the RZ67 and Leica M. Expensive lessons to learn which tools I wanted to use the most, but all part of the process.

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Regarding that Leica is a good brand for GAS because of consitant prices:
    The good thing at the moment m-lens prices are quite stable. But that does not necesarly has to be like that forever!
    Look what happened with R lens-prices. What-if Leica announces a new system of weathersealed AF lenses with the optical quality of M lenses?
    Nothing is forever. M lenses holding thier value is close enough for me. This has and does play a role in my decisions about aquiring these lenses.

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Can someone please tell me what GAS means? Does it stand for Gear And S--t?

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

    All very good comments. Although I often feel we talk gear too much instead of just going out and creating images we like. That is the only way I can lessen my GAS because after I am back it takes me weeks of PP and printing to bring those images back to me in the way they talked to me while out in the field.
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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    One way to rationalise the size of your system(s) is to get only those 3-4 lenses for each system that best emphasise that system's most important strength, as you see it. Just like you, I use the S and the M systems - I first sold the M9 and lenses to get an S2 and lenses, then earlier this year I got one of the last new M9Ps, as I missed the portability of the M9 for the week-ends with the family etc. However, I made a decision not to buy the bulkier M lenses again and instead bought only the physically smaller lenses (e.g. Cron 35 v4), to maximise portability. So, apart from the Lux 50 Asph which I could not resist (and which is not large anyway), there won't be any other Lux's this time, nor will there be any Cron 90 Apo, etc. even though I really like the "character" of some of these lenses.

    Of course, you may value the M system for different reasons, e.g. availability of very fast lenses with characteristic rendering - in that case, using my approach, you might decide to just get/keep a Lux 24, Lux 35, Cron 90 Apo (for example).

    Another way for me to rationalise the choice of lenses is to settle on "kits" that I take with me on different types of "adventures". These "kits" also determine (or are determined by) the bags. So, for example: one of my kits is just the S2 body with the Summarit 70, going in any kind of smallish bag (or in a Lowepro 200 rucksack that has just one small padded compartment - when skiing, for instance). Or I take the S2 body with 35/120, carried in a Billingham 307 bag. If I need longer reach (e.g. for a car-based safari), I may add the Hassy 210/f4 on adapter, then it all goes in the Billingham 405 bag.

    To summarise my approach: (a) consider why I value each system most and maximise that single utility through the choice of 3-4 most appropriate lenses and (b) have just enough lenses for say 3 "kits" that I may take with me on different types of outings / assignments.

    Finally, a great way to keep your mind off equipment is to focus it (and the spending) on (a) new adventures (I'd rather take less than perfect gear on a great adventure than use the best camera and lenses on the 150th visit to the local zoo...) and (b) studying the work of outstanding photographers - you can buy a lot of interesting books for the price of one Leica lens and the benefits for your creativity and results will probably be greater (my experience).

    I am off to a week in Malta this afternoon, with wife and two small kids, so don't want to carry a heavy bag. Taking the M9 plus 3 lenses (Elmarit 24 Asph, Lux50 Asph, Elmarit 90), all fitting nicely into a small Wotancraft shoulder bag, together with 2 extra batteries, charger, wallet, phones, extra cards etc.

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Think about your children . GAS is hereditary ! I can still remember eating at a small counter in our kitchen when my Dad would explain his latest Hasselblad splurge . In those days a HB lens was equal to a years tuition at our State college .

    How could that crappy YashicaMat ever compete with Dad s Hasselblad s? Thus a life long quest for ultimate IQ and the perfect equipment begins .

    Now my youngest daughter has it . Gee Dad can I get that Canon 85 1.2 for Christmas ?

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    As the last person in the land to know how to reduce gear addiction, I'd say just listen to your heart and make more photographs. When you no longer hear the Magpie urging you to buy more stuff, you can start selling what you no longer want.

    G

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Shoot more and spend less time on online camera sites
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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    baudolino makes many good points and I tend to operate often the way he describes.

    However, another approach has arisen since I succumbed to Monochrom GAS, is to pick lenses which can use same B&W filter sizes. 46mm being my most favorite. 55mm also has its uses and then there is 60mm.

    Once you GAS yourself to death with lenses, then you can begin to GAS yourself with filters, lots of filters. I speak from experience.

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post

    Once you GAS yourself to death with lenses, then you can begin to GAS yourself with filters, lots of filters. I speak from experience.
    You are a newbie when it comes to this. In addition filter sizes and a few colors, add various IR and UV bandpass filters, then you will know!

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Last edited by jlm; 29th March 2013 at 14:03.
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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    I look upon my gear as a luxury buffet dinner. Every day before I leave my home, I ask myself: What do I want to shoot with today? Choice is great

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Overall however I often wonder if these minor differences in "character" of certain lenses are not really overrated. If it would be more important to just focus on the subject/photography thing and less on the gear.
    I think you've already answered your own question.

    But how can one get rid of this "gear" lust?
    Don't expect answers to such questions on a Leica forum?

    Although not photo-related per se, perhaps you'll find your own reasons for downsizing with some inspiration from blogs such as this:

    Nothing to Steal miss minimalist

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Many helpful answers here, thank you.

    I will enjoy and keep "choices" and more than what I will need as an everyday-base-kit. However I will indeed continue to try to sell at least some stuff.
    And even if it is in small steps - the overall direction shall be to slowly reduce gear.
    By the way in my case it is a "lust for less" which is not only happening for my photography. However I have to admit that I have had a tendency to want to do too many things for many years.
    I stay with my theory that up from a certain quality level the differences between lenses are minor. Just yesterday I took some images with different 50mm Leica lenses, and I really wonder who could tell which image is from which lenses. There are differences if you view them side by side. But they are all very good.

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Just yesterday I took some images with different 50mm Leica lenses, and I really wonder who could tell which image is from which lenses.
    If you conduct a controlled blind test using prints (of 'reasonable' size) of multiple subjects by multiple photographers, under random lighting conditions, nobody will be able to tell, beyond luck, the camera or the lens. There are far too many variables in the entire chain from camera to print. [And if one doesn't print, and merely looks at screen shots, buying expensive gear is already a waste of time and money.]

    The only one you need to satisfy is yourself.

    Jeff
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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    If you conduct a controlled blind test using prints (of 'reasonable' size) of multiple subjects by multiple photographers, under random lighting conditions, nobody will be able to tell, beyond luck, the camera or the lens. There are far too many variables in the entire chain from camera to print. [And if one doesn't print, and merely looks at screen shots, buying expensive gear is already a waste of time and money.]

    The only one you need to satisfy is yourself.

    Jeff
    Jeff

    I can t agree that printing is the only way to see and appreciate the IQ. I know that printing is an important part of photography and nothing surpassing a large print . I was printing 16x20 black and white prints when I was 15 (thats a really long time ago)and large negative always won .

    With Kodachrome you could easily see the difference between a hasselblad slide , a leica M and a Nikon F ..even easier when projected . You can see those differences on a screen or in a book with digital . Agree completely that you can create stunning IQ from equipment less expensive than leica . But if you mix images from a Leica and say a Nikon ..you can for sure see the differences if they are viewed together . Now consider a bride looking at jpegs of her wedding ..she can describe it but she can pick out the Leica images .

    I ve worked as hard as I can to create a common aesthetic that can be used across different platforms ..I can get there in daylight but not across the light spectrum . I know it can be done ...the NYT routinely mixes Canon files with Leica for example . But they process the images one at a time .

    Keep in mind I am not speaking to resolution or the ability to scale up to large prints but rather the aesthetic ...micro contrast and color tone separation .

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    But if you mix images from a Leica and say a Nikon ..you can for sure see the differences if they are viewed together .
    Nice theory, but wrong. Jono's informal experiment here, which was already directed to you, shows what really happens when real life intervenes and nothing is known in advance. And, as he said, he didn't even begin to mix in work from different photographers, of different subjects in different lighting conditions, with different lenses, etc, etc.

    Jeff

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Make less money, GAS cured for good

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
    Nice theory, but wrong. Jono's informal experiment here, which was already directed to you, shows what really happens when real life intervenes and nothing is known in advance. And, as he said, he didn't even begin to mix in work from different photographers, of different subjects in different lighting conditions, with different lenses, etc, etc.

    Jeff
    Ok we are going back to the experiment that was never shown to us as the standard of proof? I let that one go then but not this one .

    Let consider how images might be used in say a collection ..like Jono s faces . If he had taken a few hundred images with the M9 and then tried to merge in the M files ..they would stand out like a sore thumb . So if I was using one M9 and one M the files would look different . I could tell the differences between the M8 and the M9 and they were close .

    I just did this with 50K images most taken with the m8 and M9 but some with the Nikon s . The Nikon images have a different aesthetic and it was obvious . I ve done this hundreds of times when using Nikon s and the Ms at the same venue . I work my *** off to get them as close as I can using calibration profiles etc . They are as different as different film stocks were with film .

    Jono s test provides no frame of reference and you can always fool some photographers . I know a dozen M9/S2 owners that share information thru emails and across the board the comments are ...the M files are different from our m9/S2 . I asked the question about WB and camera calibration and Jono said no ..these were files straight out of the camera . Pure nonsense ..facebook M240 users group is full of examples that show the M is substantially different from the M9 .


    Don t think I can t tell....ask Jono if I didn t write him before he revealed that his vacation shots on facebook were the new M not his M9 .

    Further ..go read the M tests .....Putts ,Ming ,Huff etc each points to a distinctive difference in the files .

    Keep in mind I am not trying to prove one is better than the other . I am not trying to slam the M9 brilliance on anyone . Thats worth a different debate . I am pointing out the aesthetic is different ..which it absolutely is . My interest is in bring the aesthetic of the new M as close to the M9 as I can get it . Thats why I was trying to better understand the perceived differences .

    Yeh so I guess I was proven wrong by Jono s blind test ? Seriously

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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    I'm in camp that thinks the aesthetic has changed with the M240, and that it is obviously different from that of the M9.

    I'm also on record that the change isn't for the better, but instead has moved closer to the look and feel of other CMOS cameras and has diminished the M signature look when CCD was combined with M lenses ... at least as it stands now with what samples and information is currently available.

    However, being a brand new camera with a brand new custom sensor, it may be as simple as the imaging chain is immature, and as users dig into it, profiles are developed, and Leica issues firmware etc., it will distinguish itself from the pack just as the M9 did, only in its own way.

    Frankly, the S2 imaging chain was also immature when it was first launched, and it took awhile to get to where it is at now.

    There are those like Keith L who argue that just give me a data rich flat file and I'll make my own aesthetic. Valid argument, but a difficult one for those who shoot a lot of images like street shooters, wedding photographers, reportage, heavy travel/location coverage ... even just vacations ... where a body of work collects, and it is incredibly labor intensive to go at it one at a time to pull it altogether into a cohesive oneness representing photographer's intent, approach and signature style.

    I experienced this first hand when shooting with a Nikon D3x with files that were data rich and flat ... excruciating post process. Switched to a Sony A900 using the same sensor as the D3X, but different output, and the final images looked better with far less work.

    -Marc
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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Ok we are going back to the experiment that was never shown to us as the standard of proof? I let that one go then but not this one .
    Don't need Jono's test.

    Your examples are based on a few cameras, known in advance by like minded folks. If you had no advance info on anything... format, camera, lens, paper, processing methods, etc...I could show you a dozen varied 8x10 prints, from a dozen different photographers, and you would have no idea about the camera used, other than a lucky guess here or there.

    Seriously.

    Jeff
    Last edited by Jeff S; 30th March 2013 at 18:13.
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    Re: Any ideas how to heal from GAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    (snip)...just give me a data rich flat file and I'll make my own aesthetic.
    I've read comments regarding the MM, remarking on roughly this same file characteristic, i.e., robust and infinitely malleable files, as one of its key virtues.

    Jeff

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