I know it's not just me. I know I'm not the only photographer with a "camera shelf". And I know I'm not alone in having far more kit on that shelf than actually gets any regular use.
So why, then, is it so hard for us photographers to get rid of our old cameras? And this is something that professionals are every bit as guilty of as enthusiasts – perhaps even more so.
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Indeed, pros may actually be the bigger culprits. Significant cameras are often held onto as artifacts, or even trophies, celebrating milestones in a career or body of work. While working as a photography assistant, my boss' first ever Mamiya RB67 proudly sat in a cabinet alongside an array of awards and other keepsakes.
(Also, at the other end of the scale, sat ignominiously on the bottom shelf, was the "death camera", which was never to be used again.)
Conversely, pros also tend to horde kit with no sentimental value whatsoever. Only this week I was at our photo studio and discovered that there was a box of about 30 Nikon D4s bodies – left unloved, because there is next to no worth in them as professional tools or in resale value.
None of which is to say that hobbyists or weekend warriors are any better at not collecting kit. Just looking at my own array of bodies, I know the feeling all too well. "I can't get rid of that one; that's the camera I learned to shoot on. And I can't get rid of that; I photographed India on that. Ah, well that one will be a good backup body…"
And that's just my working kit; don't even get me started on the film cameras, instant cameras and other photo esoterica I've accumulated. But the whole thing is so bizarre; I didn't keep my first ever DVD player, for example, or the electric whisk I learned to make meringues with.
So why should these electronics be any different? It would make so much more sense to sell or trade in my kit to somewhere like MPB – or even give them to someone who can get more use out of them (although, I did donate one of my cameras to a friend who had his stolen while on holiday).
At least, having over 20 cameras, I know that I don't need to buy any more. Even though I know that I still will!
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