Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gear Bug Attack... again!

     I've been through the same phase last year.  I thought I got rid of it but apparently it comes and goes.  At least, last year, I got some good advises from other forums.  But now, when I confessed my new dilemma ("new" being it's a new set of gears) to some photographers I met, I was told, "A photographer can never permanently avoid that.  Only suppress it."

    There are times when I get frustrated with photography when it comes to gear.  There's just so many good-yet-expensive lenses that makes me think this hobby is for rich people.  I'm not one of them and I don't think I could ever be one of those people; affording collecting already expensive items such as antique lenses.  But I hope I'm not alone admitting, "I often have the desire to get this and that."

     Past blogs can easily tell that I'm fond of manual lenses.  I got 2 of my own now.  I wanted to support Samyang for its excellence in very wide appertures and really cheap price.  But I'm confident that their price lowers the longer I wait.  My 85mm f/1.4 was bought at $350, and now it's about $300 new.  It's the C/Y Zeiss lenses that's scaring me, though.  My 80-200 is apparently the cheapest of the whole C/Y family but the price is increasing every year. And the time that I purchased mine, I was supposed to be saving up for a C/Y 28-85mm.  But I think that was when I got through the rutting phase, that's why I stopped yearning for more gear.

     But here I go again!  For whatever reason, I was looking at second-hand lenses sold at the only online shop I could buy from (local... I don't have Paypal nor a credit card for Ebay and such... thank God for that!), and saw a bait.  Voigtlander 40mm SL II at $300!  That's less than half of the price brand new!  There were some items missing like the hood and the close-up lens, but I think that's the trade-off.  Something I don't mind.  I took the bait.  I sent text messages to the seller but got no reply, so I assumed someone already bought it.

     It turns out to be another typical local-seller scam (it's been done before).  She (the seller) immediately took off the ad, called me to ask if I'm still interested, with the predictable routine question (when I asked how much the item is): At what price did you see the item was on the ad?  To anyone reading this who resides here in Korea, you should know that this question already raises the red flag.  When I told her "$300 or $400" she exclaimed, "What?  $300 not $500?"  The discussion went on as I showed my interest on the item.  Little did she know that she already lost me.  I was just being polite.  5 minutes after the call, I saw the ad again but this time it's $500.  Forget it!  A week went by and I got another call, but I refused to entertain it and just said, "I'm a foreigner and I don't understand whatever you're saying."   Funny enough, though, I was speaking Korean.

     But I really was interested with the lens even before I saw that ad.  I was looking for a replacement for my nifty-fifty, should there be a very reasonable one.  Nifty-fifty is one lens that's hard to beat.  It's very light, it's very cheap, it's got excellent image quality, it's quite fast focusing, and oh-my-God the wide aperture!  If I was to nitpick, the 2 things I see bad (in comparison but not really bothersome) is the plastic built, and the noisy auto-focus.

     Voigtlander 40mm is quite expensive (about $650 at this time) and that's the reason why I held back from buying it for months, and even forgot about it.  But this stupid scam ad sent me back to wanting them lenses.  For one, Voigtlander just released a new version of the same lens.  That means this older one will drop its price in a short while.

     All of a sudden, here comes Canon's new 40mm at less than $200!  Yes, it's not a Voigtlander (and I really want to support the company) but being Canon has an edge since I'm a Canon 60D owner.  The electronics link, the auto-focus, the auto-exposure, and the price!  I could've bought one already (just to spite that stupid seller mentioned above) if I wasn't waiting for reviews.  So far, I hear/read raves about this Canon lens.

     But my gear fever didn't stop there.  Despite the obvious points Canon has over Voigtlander (in regards to 40mm focal length), I was really rooting for the latter. So I checked some Voitlander distributors here in Korea... very bad move.  I ended up staring at oh-so-many-lovely-old lenses! ...they call this, "lens porn."

     My attraction to C/Y Zeiss lenses was rekindled as I saw some of them sold online.  Even more, I saw the 28-85mm that I was hoping to buy last year.  And even more, there was the 35-70mm-- contender to the 28-85mm, which makes almost every buyer debate to themselves which one to get... and now, even just through fantasy, I'm one of them again!  But there's more!  I found out there's more to Contax lenses than these C/Y mounts.  Contax "N" has more ranged yet a bit pricier lenses.  But after a couple of days, I got over them "N" versions.

     As if that wasn't enough, I was also flashed with the many Leica R lenses.  I almost fainted when I saw the prices, though.  But comes another wave of faint-inducing lenses-- the Hasselblad!  A Hasselblad-lens-to-EOS-body converter alone costs an arm and a tooth.  I survived looking at these lenses in tears... I want them... I just can't afford even one of them.  So I decided to move on to the next page.  Yes, I'm masochistic that way.  Page after page were the old Rollei lenses.  The old Bronica lenses.  And finally, another brand I could only dream of collecting, the Schneider lenses.  I think I'm gonna die!

     This is one of the reasons why a childhood friend of mine and I, agreed to not go window-shopping anymore.  It just makes us crave for those things we really can't afford.  Sending us back home upset, yet wanting for more torture.  Well, that thing has invaded my life again.  Now in the form of "online shopping."

     I know it's a phase so I'm just keeping myself on-check.  But it's a bit difficult, really.

     Any chance I'd be looking at cameras next?

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