Think Twice Before You Buy More Camera Gear

I know you probably didn't enjoy reading that title. We all enjoy buying and playing with new gear. But before you push that buy button, take a few minutes to consider the points made in this video.

Coming to you from Jeff Rojas, this great video discusses some crucial things you should consider before you pull out your wallet for your next big gear purchase. Of Rojas' many helpful tips, one that has always particularly stuck with me is how helpful it is to stay on top of selling gear you aren't really using anymore. It's very easy to keep a piece of gear you're not using much in the closet where you almost forget you own it, but a lot of photography equipment (particularly lenses) can hold its value quite well, especially if you take good care of it. Ask yourself if you're really making money off of that lens that's been sitting in your bag for months; often, you can fund a significant portion of a new gear purchase by jettisoning something you really don't need to own anymore. It's a fun way to try out lots of gear without breaking the bank. Check out the video above for more helpful tips. 

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19 Comments

David Pavlich's picture

I must admit, when I saw the title the FIRST thing that popped into my head was, "not another 'it's the photographer, not the gear' article.

Most of us tend to be hoarders when it comes to parting with gear. You just know that the day that someone buys that dust covered lens, you'll need it, so you don't sell it. Human nature.

Edward Blake's picture

One supposes that it is your world class camera that makes you a world class photographer.

user-156929's picture

You know... people say that about others all the time but I've never met anyone who feels that way. I think it's a myth.

David Pavlich's picture

I'm not a world class photographer like you, but I buy what I can afford and that's exactly what I tell other prospective buyers that ask my advice; buy the best gear that you can afford and buy as much as you like as long as you can afford it.

My camera doesn't make me a better photographer, it just makes taking images easier. Not sure why you had to make such a snarky reply.

user-156929's picture

He can't help it; he lives in LA! :-D

I'm also getting pretty tired of this new wave of "Don't buy new gear" articles and videos.

David Pavlich's picture

Chances are that if you haunt F-Stoppers, you're well aware that it's the photographer that runs the equipment. Just about any internet site that discusses photography will have a post or two a week about 'it's the photographer' in one form or another. We get it! But in the same breath, every one of those sites will have discussion after discussion about the latest high end gear which is fine with me. I'm a gizmo oriented guy, so gear talk is fun for me.

user-156818's picture

I think that's because there are a wide variety of people reading this site. Some are happy using old gear and just creating. Others are techies and love the lates and greatest gear. There's nothing wrong with either. The site is just providing content for everyone.

I have made some amazing savings buying second hand, I have picked up a big lens and some lighting that was ex demo in perfect condition from a local store when they were doing a 10% off use kit sale. All of it came with a one year guarantee and has worked really well :-) I checked the price against ebay and was cheaper...

Used and Refurbished gear is a great way to get the stuff you want.

not a camera. shutter is very sensitive and will fail sooner then later. lenses can be bought used
shutter can and will fail even 10000 clicks after you bought it. the risk is too high.

user-156818's picture

I would have sad the same thing you did had I not had a lens that I bought used fail on me. I got a couple years out of it, but then it stopped working. So, I think everything has an expiration date even lenses.

in what way fail? failed because it was dropped? what lens?

user-156818's picture

Nope, never dropped. Took great care of it. It was a 100mm f2.8 macro...not the L version. It was an old lens. I don't know how many previous owners had it. It no longer focused...auto or manual. I could hear something rattling around in it like s set screw or something came loose. However, the cost to repair was too much for an old, used lens.

those screw driven motors are cheap. I would follow videos on youtube and repair myself. ive done it before.

user-156818's picture

I'll look into it. Thanks!

Stop buying new gear! Buy new tutorials instead!

EL PIC's picture

You should think of the new mirror less wave as manufactures wave to increase their revenue and not yours !!

And especially if you are not a pro and so you don't need to make money with your equipment, it doesn't matter that much. Or probably it doesn't matter at all. The composition in most cases is much more important.

I know plenty of guys who pixelpeep from there to the pixelpeepheaven and share their content on Facebook and/or Instagram. They obsess about the quality of their lenses and the sharpness of their pictures and share their content on the worst platforms you can find.

If you are a pro and your pics are published in high-end glossies or printed to enormous sizes, it might matter. But in all other cases, the equipment is probably less important than people might think.
With possibly action/wildlife photography as an exception.

In my case, half my lenses were second-hand. Some looked brand-new when I bought them and the owners told me they had taken less than 100 shots before they ended up in the cupboard.