Leica envy and GAS . . .

Leica. Of course if I had a Leica camera (digital or film, depending on the fever dream) and a few lenses (I guess a 35mm, 50mm, 90mm and 135mm to cover all the bases) I would be content. I would never need another camera or lens. I would use them all the time and . . . on, the crazed argument goes.

The truth is I have never used a Leica, in fact I have only ever seen them behind glass in a shop window. I have read ridiculous amounts about their legendary build quality, drooled over the images people post, but never have I even held one. So why do I want one? Probably because everyone online tells me I should.

But what is the reality? I cannot afford one. Not a new one. Not a second hand one. Even the older or the “less desirable” Leicas are hundreds of pounds away from anything I could remotely justify spending on a camera. The truth is I will never own a Leica, film or digital, because there is just no way I will ever be able to spend that sort of money on a camera. I know this, but still I want one.

This is just one type of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) I suffer from. It goes well with the “this cheap camera is actually a hidden gem and will be so great I will never buy another camera again” and the oft-used “but this camera does something none of my other cameras do, so I will love it and use it all the time”. The latter of these is currently trying to convince me I need a Horizon Kompakt, it may well win if I see one going cheap. The former led me to a Canonet QL17 that required considerable DIY to get to semi-working condition, well probably -I will find out as soon as I actually get around to using it.

So, how do I defeat these demons and learn to be satisfied with what I have? I think if I knew the answer to that I could probably bottle it, sell it and make a fortune. In the meantime I will have to settle for the simplest cure for GAS, not having enough money to buy any more cameras!

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