This or That? How to Spend Your Hard-earned Cash

This or That? How to Spend Your Hard-earned Cash

You may not realize it, but by now you could have financed your very own all inclusive one week stay in the Caribbean, BBQ'd for over 500 friends, and still had money to spare. Maybe you already have all of the equipment you need, but can't avoid the hype surrounding all of the latest photo-gear. Set your G.A.S. aside for a moment and take a minute to think about how you could spend your hard earned cash on this, or that.


Nikon D810 Professional DSLR camera (body only) - $2996.95

The Nikon D810 is my camera of choice for ninety percent of what I do. With this remarkable professional DSLR, you'll be able to capture the world, no doubt, but with nearly 3,000 less smackeroos in your billfold or bank account. 


Volkswagen Beetle

With nearly the same amount of US dollars it took to purchase that incredible Nikon D810, you could be the envy of, well, you could be the proud owner of a Volkswagen Beetle. Watch out Herbie, here we come! 


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens - $2396.95

The update to the popular 24-70mm f/2.8 of the past, this is a true workhorse of a lens. Coming in at nearly $2400, this price sets a standard amongst professional lenses. 


One Week All-inclusive Stay in The Caribbean. 

Jamaican me crazy! Next time you complain about not traveling enough, take a picture of your face with that $2400 Nikon lens, because for the same price, you could spend a week in the Caribbean.


3 Legged Thing Equinox Albert Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with AirHed 360 Ball Head - $400.00

We all need, somebody (or tripod), to lean on. Let's face it, we're not as solid as the latest tripods on the market. But that solidity doesn't come cheap. You're looking at about $400 for this tripod from 3 Legged Thing.


108 Pounds of USDA 100% Certified Organic Grass-fed Beef

Now that's a lot of steak. Currently the cost of USDA organic grass-fed beef is about $3.70 per pound. At that price, you could have a BBQ for over 500 of your friends (I've seen your Facebook profile. I know you have them), considering the recommended serving size of three ounces per serving.

Luckily, you can lean on your tri-pod in the event you can no longer afford to BBQ for your friends.


Hasselblad H5D-200c Multi-Shot Medium Format DSLR Camera Body - $44,995

This 50MP medium format monster of a camera is used primarily by commercial and fine-art photographers. With a price-tag of nearly 45 thousand dollars for the body alone, you wont see anyone attaching a selfie-stick to one of these beauties anytime soon.



40 Acre Farm

Raise all of the grass-fed beef your heart desires, or simply live the simple life. Either way, 40+ acres of farmland can be purchased in many parts of the United States for roughly $40-45,000. Think of all that you could do (or not do) with over 40 acres of land. 


Profoto B1 500 Air Battery-Powered 2-Light Location Kit - $4148.00

Ah, the beautiful Profoto B1 kit. So many of us would love to shoulder this kit to and from our shoots, but the $4148.00 price-tag prevents many of us from doing so.


Every Item in The MC Hammer Collectable Memorabilia Website

With just over $4000, you could purchase every item on the Hollywood Memorabilia website autographed by MC Hammer and still have money to spare (something Hammer wasn't quite able to do). This way, you're too legit to quit. 


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR Lens - $16,269

This beast of a lens from Nikon comes at a monster price. Just over sixteen thousand dollars will land you this 800mm behemoth. 


Dalmore Sirius, 1951 – $16,000

Priced in the same ball park as the 800mm monster referred to above, if you can get your paws on a bottle of this Dalmore Sirius, 1951, it'll set you back over $16,000.


SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (V30) - $34.95

Let's be honest. No one owns just one SD card, and at about 35 bucks each, the cost can add up over the years. I purchase new SD cards several times a year. Eight 64G SD cards at $34.95 a peice, twice a year adds up to $559.20. Ouch. 


For the same cost as all of those SD cards, you could enjoy a celebrity dinner for two in Las Vegas.

Whether you've been there, done that, and own all of the things you've ever desired, or you're currently kicking doors open so that you can afford to do this and that in the same lifetime, I think it's safe to say that we all stand by the decisions we make every year to invest in the photography industry and our careers with our own hard earned dollars. Possibly next time you have some of that hard earned cash set aside, you'll think twice about how it's invested. 

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Dusty Wooddell is a professional photographer based in the Southwestern United States. Self-proclaimed thinker, opportunity seeker, picky eater, observer of things.

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Awesome article. That trip to the caribbean really put things into perspective.

Dude I call the Hammer website!!!

Dude I call the Hammer website!!

Hammer fan I take it?

Great read! Kinda puts things in perspective. I'd buy the beetle tho; I think they'll be worth a mint in years to come.

I would love a vacation in the Caribbean; my wife would also. Since 1980, I've been shooting film with my Canon A-1 and various FD lenses and third-party lenses. In 2011, my wife tried to switch me to digital, but when I found her budget was a T3i, I talked her out of it; I got a used FD 28mm f2.8 lens, which I enjoy using. In 2013, when I mentioned a used New F-1 system that was Canon's flagship for the 1980's, she said "Buy it!". I didn't know that she would buy me a 5D III for Christmas 2013.

I feel like crying, just a little.

the farm for sure !!!

Lol that's what loans are for, so we can get both!

Honestly one of the most enjoyable articles i've read on here in a long time. Curious to the cost of the actual living cow.

Then again, for a lot of us that gear pays for itself in what it allows us to do for our portfolios and bringing in new work. Cry once, smile for a long time.

Great article. Funny how when you look back at all the gear investments (some providing amazing R.O.I. and some not so much) over a long career, the amount of live and learn wisdom you gain along that path. It has always been so tempting to become a total gearhead just for the joy of expirimentation.