Hilarious Craigslist Ad Captures the Sting of Buyer's Remorse in Photography

Hilarious Craigslist Ad Captures the Sting of Buyer's Remorse in Photography

We've all been there. Our creativity is stagnant, our work has ground to a halt. We begin to convince ourselves that if only we had that new lens or body, we'd be creating world-class images again. Of course, the moment we actually buy that new piece of gear, the reality that our photos are not suddenly transformed sets in. One man had just such a realization, and the result is hilarious.

One of the greatest personal victories of my life was overcoming the clutches of the dreaded Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). I would frequently go down a dark hole: reading reviews, watching YouTube videos, marveling at MTF charts, convincing myself that surely, this lens was the missing piece in my work. Of course, 99% of the time, that's not the case. I still struggle with relapse on occasion, but I've learned to call on my support network. A fellow writer, Robert Baggs, and I frequently geek out over gear, and that seems to be enough to quench the gear lust. One man wasn't so lucky, however.

After purchasing a Nissin Di866 Mark II flash, this Boston-area photographer quickly felt buyer's remorse:

OK, so let's get this out in the open, right from the start, I'm a stupid shit for buying this speedlite. An undisputed idiot.

I bought a Canon DSLR and immediately thought I was an expert, and of course, I needed the the best speedlite on the market. Yeah, baby! I'm gonna be the king of photography in my family! 

He then perfectly encapsulates the common phenomenon of thinking we need gear that far outpaces our current abilities, only to be surprised when it doesn't drastically improve those abilities:

So, I do all kinds of scientific research, you know, watch a shitload of YouTube videos and finally determine that the Nissin Di866 Mark II Flash is the speedlite for me... This speedlite has a guide number of 198. I shit you not, One Hundred and freaking Ninety Eight! I thought this meant it was bright. What I didn't realize is that 198 means it's like 500 times brighter than the sun. 

Within an hour or so, my cat's whiskers were burnt off, the curtains were smoldering, and granny had developed cataracts from this damned speedlite!

And finally, he realizes where he probably got the inspiration to purchase such a light in the first place:

What I did notice, however, was that every single photo was so brightly and evenly lit. There was nary a shadow to be seen. Where had I seen this before? It looked so familiar... and it came to me... PORN!

The only sensible use for this speedlite is porn. The light rays this speedlite produces will work their way into every nook and cranny of the human body and light them perfectly. Nothing will be left to the imagination! Imagine the possibilities! If you are a pornographer (or aspiring pornographer), you NEED this flash! 

If I lived near Boston, I would definitely consider buying from this guy. Check out the full ad in all its glory here.

[via Craigslist]

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I love buyer's remorse! In the last two months, I bought 7 lenses (4 of them L series) because people thought they needed them, then got their credit card bill, and panicked.

A little creative writing is appreciated too.

Thanks for the best laugh in ages..

It's not buyers remorse. It is type of "my loose - your gain" ad. The lowest form of salesmanship. I can't believe this still work.

I never heard of Nissin speedlites until now lol! Still would prefer a YN speedlite over most other there.

GAS is a serious thing. But in the right time when you're ready to move up to the next level I'd make that new tool purchase to enhance my portfolio and advance my skills to provide to clients. Over thinking about GAS can scare people from trying any gear or thinking about new tools that can actually make differences in skills and portfolio/perception. I rent time to time, but when I got the budget for a purchase I'll do it. I've been only using 2 lenses for the past 2-3 years not cause of choice but necessity due to lack of business skills and very limited budget, but hopefully this year with focus on my business more this will change and hope to expand my tools to improve in my skills and portfolio.

I think I have 19 lenses right now, so I'll be the first to say that GAS is not a bad thing. But I have a real business need for a variety of glass and bodies, and it's also nice to not have to rent.

One thing I would point out to anyone without a big budget is to consider used gear. And if you see a good deal on a lens you don't need, buy it anyway. I recently sold three lenses that I rarely used, but sold each one at a profit, which went to a lens I actually wanted.

I have my 2 main lenses ... 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8. I also own a 50 f1.8, a 18-55 kit, a Sigma 70-300 and my 2 recent lenses are a Canon 75-300 4-5.6 and a Canon 24-90 f45.6. The last 2 I picked up at a garage sales for 2$ total ... they are in perfect working order (no scratch auto focus works like a charm ....) not great lenses but for 2$?

I'd LIKE a proper macro and a proper wide angle but it's not crucial. My 24-70 and 70-200 are my work horses and cover me in most situations.

Your two garage sale lenses will force you to either be creative, or not take things so seriously, and just have some fun. I love my fast zooms, and my primes, but wish they all weighed as little as a kit lens.

A friend at work told me her daughter bought a camera at a yard sale for $5, and wanted me to look it over. I wasn't expecting it would be anything interesting, but she did okay. See attached.

I don't know what this guy is going off about.

I own 2 of these as backups and never had an issue with them

It was supposed to be funny. Nothing more, nothing less.

Well, there's something wrong here... 198 is a perfectly normal GN for a good flash. Maybe he didn't realize this refers to feet and not meters. 198 feet are 60 meters, which is perfectly normal. And even if it would be 198 meters it would be 500x brighter than the Sun? I think this guy didn't understand what is a GN.

Tears are in my eyes yes. lol lol