Whats on the shelf?

So, ebay auctions and sales have finished, everything has been boxed up and taken to the post office and my largest ever equipment sale has ended. Above is what is left. My entire stock of professional equipment, my camera collection, now consists of two camera bodies and three lenses. Fujifilm X-E1, 18-55mm and Voigtlander 90mm lenses and Nikon D800E and 50mm f/1.8.

I really can't remember when I last worked with something this small. It could well be back in the 1980's. It is I admit an odd sensation, and I of course can't get over the feeling that something (a great deal!) is missing, which of course it is. Just a few weeks ago there was hardly room on the shelf to put anything else and I had 11 cameras sitting there. I never actually counted the lenses. As I have outlined before this has been done in order for me to avoid being penalised in terms of the tax I pay. I haven't gone broke, far from it, and I haven't had a sudden epiphany that has made me realise the evil of owning too many cameras, its just a financial strategy that has restored my business bank account to a healthy state and means I don't have my money tied up in depreciating assets. 

I have of course often thought over the past few years that I should cut down what I use. In reality this is probably closer to cutting down on what I don't use. Some of the cameras I sold on have very low picture counts. I have in fact hardly used them. Some of the lenses were also very underused. I sold my Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 zoom. I think I actually only used it twice. This was of course crazy and economic nonsense. Partly it was out of enthusiasm to try new things and I got quite keen on becoming some sort of 'reviewer'. However, despite the large number of page hits that usually accompanied these 'reviews and user experiences' the increase in revenue from the blog, generated from the Google Ads, was nowhere near enough to compensate for the losses I was continually making. 

The situation was made worse by the fact that camera manufacturers now drop prices much quicker than they used to. It was the case that the 'early adopter' price, which of course is the one I usually pay, would hold for a while and then there would be a gradual decrease in that. So keeping a camera for a few months meant that I could sell it on without making a huge loss. However with this latest round of sales, I have had to accept that I just haven't been able to get back the % that I did before. In many cases the price I would have expected to sell the gear on for, is now the price you can buy it for new. So all the 'reviewing' I was doing was at my expense.

Now a lot of sites do this as well as me, but in the main these are much longer established and get a lot more visits than I do, so consequently have a higher income stream than I do. At the same time I am of course competing with the full-time review sites that get sent review samples by the manufacturers. The situation is that I've given this a try for the past year and while its been enjoyable, it has been a slow drain on my bank account and because of current tax legislation here in the UK has caused some problems. Now these will hopefully be rectified in the coming financial year, but basically enough is enough. What I hoped would happen hasn't and its time to call a halt on the constant buying and selling of gear. 

So will I be sticking with whats in the picture above for the next year? Probably not, but future aquisitions will have to be considered very carefully. For example I like the idea of the Fuji 14mm. But then I have to think, how often would I use it? The answer to that is from all my previous experience of owning wide-angles, not a lot. I have no property shoots on the horizon at present so thats not even a reason to get one. It may also seem strange to keep the D800E with just the cheap and cheerful 50mm f/1.8. But its an outfit I've used a lot, and it does work well for me. Plus it isn't heavy, which is its main advantage.

I am enjoying the Fuji. It really is the nicest handling camera I've had for a while. In fact I can't really think of one that was better. The 18-55mm is also certainly the lens I will using the most.

So something different for a while, and of course I won't now be having 11 different battery chargers flickering away, which has always been the price of owning different camera brands.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.  

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