As an (ex?)scientist you would expect me to be interested in technology and to avidly consume any information about new photographic equipment and you would be right. I love reading about the latest cameras, the specifications and performance of lenses, the weight and stability of tripods etc. I can’t pass a window of a camera shop without stopping and gawping at the nice new shiny kit in the window. I’ve done this for a few of years now and have often made up an imaginary shopping list of what I would like to buy if I had some spare cash. Sometimes my list was realistic and just consisted of one item which I could possibly afford if I really saved my pennies, sometimes my list was what I would like to buy if I won the lottery.
Recently though I’ve had a good think about the equipment I currently own and created a realistic list of the equipment I would like to spend my hard earned cash on. Here is the list:
What do you think? Yes, that wasn’t a mistake on my web page, I don’t want to buy anything. When it comes down to it the equipment I have got does pretty much everything I want it to, and where there are limitations I can’t justify or afford to spend hundreds of pounds overcoming those limitations.
Before you ask the reason I don’t want to buy anything isn’t because what I own is already top-notch, here is my current kit:
- Nikon D80 (was replaced by the D90 in 2008 which in turn has been replaced by the D7000 in 2010).
- Nikon 50mm f1.8D (costs less than £100 brand new)
- Nikon 18-55mm VR (again costs less than £100 brand new)
- Nikon 70-300mm G (a kit lens I got in 2001)
- Nikon SB400 speedlight (their cheapest flash)
- Joby Gorillapod SLR (about £20)
- Pyramid tripod (£7 on e-bay for something from the 80’s)
What’s wrong with any of this kit? Nothing. I get great results from it, the only limitation I have come across is that the D80 is too noisy at anything above ISO400. Would I love a D90 or a D7000? Of course but I aren’t going to pay hundreds of pounds to overcome that small limitation, at least not for a couple of years or until my D80 breaks.
So what’s my point? You don’t need the latest kit to get great results. Spend the money on trips out and holidays to places that inspire you to take great photos and to make the most of the kit you have got. Those photos and memories will last forever, your brand new expensive DSLR will last a few years and will then be worth nothing.