I sometimes get an aimless gear envy. That is just the feeling that only if I had a particular piece of equipment it would be so cool and I’d make much better images. Gear envy is a well known and prevalent problem among many people.
I have a very good set of gear already – full frame Nikon body, 700-200mm telephoto, 28-70mm mid zoom, 35mm DX F1.8, Speedlight SB800 and so on. Like any other gadgetry, it never feels enough though. There is always something tempting me with all kinds of fluff – so many more megapixels and so much higher ISO and HD video etc as if they matter when making photos.
Good gear doesn’t make a good photographer. I know that but it is my selective memory that forgets all that and I just clamour over newer and shiner releases each month.
A couple of days ago, I was fortunate enough to watch an hour long documentary/interview on Natalie Fobes, who used to shoot for National Geographic. One of the interesting things was that she was not using anything special. Her gear was simply something that I see a lot in the media pits. If Canon 5D MKII – equivalent to my current Nikon body – is good enough for a world renowned photo journalist why should I stress over anything better?
After a little banter with my guy about how I would one day own a Hasselblad and that then I would know that I had made my name, that notion went out the window after that interview. It also reminded me that I had the original Rolleiflex which is a loan from my friend. I realised I haven’t touched it for months. I got off my lazy ass and took it to a pro camera store to get some film. Yes, it takes a medium format film being a camera from the early 60s. The old gentleman who was the only guy in the shop who knew anything about this type of camera and film asked me what kind of film I wanted. I think I answered something random and he had to rephrase it by saying ‘did you want colour or black and white?’.
He loaded the film since I didn’t even know how to open the machine to load one. And the excitement of shooting with a Twin Reflex Lens camera was so high until he looked at me and said that it wasn’t going to happen as the film loader was not functioning. He kindly rescued the film out of the camera and I had to pack this beauty away to give it back to the owner.
No matter, it is a beautiful machine to look at and to hold. Buying brand new costs over $5,000 these days. I could get one from eBay for about $1,500. Do I need one? No. Will it make interesting photos? Perhaps. Is this another ‘gear envy’ item. Definitely, Yes. Will I succumb to it? Maybe.