Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve I took some time to look at my gear and re-arrange my photo shelf. As I went through the lenses, flashes and other items I came to realize that some items were just collecting dust. I have the unpleasant habit of hastily buying stuff and then not having enough time to use it to its full extent. Some kind of hunter-gatherer disorder if you like to say so. After realizing that some impulse purchases might not be as vital to my photographic survival as initially perceived I opted to put some stuff on eBay.

Sifting through your gear can have several effects: You might discover that some items are rarely used and therefore not really necessary for your needs (as explained above). Time to make some cash. But you can also look at it the other way around. Unused equipment can also be regarded as a source for inspiration. You might create a project based on that item. Found a neutral density filter ? Long exposure is a keyword that springs to my mind. Remote camera trigger – some goofy self-portraits are always funny.

Of course you also might discover that you don’t have any „surplus“ photography gear. In that case: Congratulations ! You can focus on what you really need. This leaves more time to do what we love most: Taking photos.

Bottom line. From time to time, think about the gear you have. How much of the gear have you used in the past month / three months / six months / 12 months ? You might be surprised to find out that some items are not as necessary as they appeared in the first place when you bought them.


  1. Wise words. When I began with DSLRs back in the early 00’s, I’ve was under the assumption, that I needed more or less all lenses ever made for my camera brand and FX was the path to the promised land. After all that was what everybody on the forums were saying. Life would get so much better with lens X og camera Y. A good decade later, I know now, that I very rarely shoot wide, and that my main workhorses are the 85mm 1.4G, 105VR 2.8 and 180 3.5 macro (Sigma). Do I need FX? No. Do I need 100fps? No. Besides my DX camera and a few prime lenses, I need a good tripod w. a geared head, a Sekonic light meter and a small handful of speedlites and modifiers/stands.

    If I knew 10-15 years ago what I know now about photography, I could have saved maybe 8-10k€ on stupid acquisitions (and selling with loss) based only on net reviews. As we grow older we learn, and I learned that experience is king, and that browsing forums and reading lens reviews by talentless idiots who are just echoing Rockwell and Hogan are time wasted. Time You’ll never get back. Everybody want to be talkers instead of do’ers these days. It’s like some kind of internet X-Factor euforia where everybody wants to be heard and seen. Talent is not something that weighs much it seems. One advice: „Less internet more X“ (X=whatever you’re interested in, whether it might be fishing, photographing, cooking, music etc). Go out and do it instead of reading about it. Experience is king. Always has always will be 😉

    Thomas Schreiber

    1. Hey Thomas,
      thank you for the insights, appreciated ! I have kind of a split personality here. On the one hand I _know_, that gear is just a tool and what matters are skill and experience. On the other hand I am a techie and I enjoy new gear. Toys ! Shiny, precious toys !
      I wrote another blogpost on that a while ago: http://lumenatic.com/2014/09/14/gas-and-gearporn-a-confession/

      So please don’t feel offended when I will post lens and gear reviews in the future (because there is something coming soon, *uncomfortable cough*).

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