Photo Gear No More – the ones we regret.

As collectors, Carol and I have to make some tough decisions from time to time (actually a lot). While we would love to own every camera, lens and photo thingy that strikes our fancy, we, like most people, have a budget. Well not really a budget per se as a budget requires planning and thought – something we rarely do. What we have in reality is limited space (and funds) just like most people. Compromises must be made – negotiations entered into and decisions rendered.

So our collection is a dynamic thing – a living, breathing thing that must be fed and then purged. Buy – play with – cherish and then sell. Here (in no particular order) is some of the gear that we wish we still owned…

Canon FD 17mm f4 super wide angle lens ⇓

Why? It was in mint new condition with no issues. The glass was pristine and we had the proper Canon lens hood and both Canon lens caps (and case). It just didn’t wow us! I had always wanted it since day one (1978) and had to settle on a Canon Fd 24mm wide angle instead due to the silly cost of the thing. I LOVE the 24mm – it is one of my most widely used Canon lenses. When we finally got this 17mm in 2014 and shot with it, well, nothing special. The images weren’t dramatic enough to justify owning it so it was sold. Why the regret now? We didn’t give it a fair shot. Maybe we shot a roll and a half with it. Not enough time really. The other reason – when it’s mint you freak out all the time about messing it up and messing with the resale value. Stupid reason but it happens.

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Asahi Pentax Spotmatic with the Takumar f1.4 lens ⇓

Why? Beautiful camera in nearly perfect condition. We’ve always appreciated the early Asahi Pentax 35mm SLRs and this one fell into our hands. We would have rather had a working H2 or something along those lines but none were available at that time. Why the regret now? See above. Another case of a mint camera (for the collection) and unlikely that we’d ever shoot with it. Now we wish we had kept it to at least shoot some film with it. Oh well, it’s gone and unlikely to be replaced.

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Nikonos II ⇓

Why? It was my first ever 35mm camera! Purchased new by me in 1971. I took it everywhere and used it both above and below the surface of the water constantly. She was in great shape when I sold it in 2011- my SCUBA diving days were over and no reason to keep it. Right? Wrong! My regret is purely nostalgic. My first 35mm camera! What was I thinking!!! It’s still the only Nikon I’ve ever bought!

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Canon T70 35mm SLR ⇓

Why? Built-in motor drive, multiple auto exposure modes and drop dead simple to use. Uses the complete family of Canon FD lenses and exposures were as accurate as our A-1. Why the regret? We’ve owned about 10 of them over the years and have used them extensively. We’re just used to the little beasts and this happens after each acquisition and sale. We begin to miss that goofy style and its other quirks. (This one was sold to a collector in Australia).

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Fujifilm XP100 FinePix go anywhere digital camera ⇓

Why? Fun little Fuji that we often took to the beach for some awesome surf shots – plus it’s a cool green! We made some neat videos with it too – great images and sound. I decided to sell it as we didn’t need a closet full of seldom used digital cameras. They become relics quickly in the fast paced world of pixel capturing. We regret it now whenever we’re at the beach and the waves are killer!

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Asahi Pentax 6×7 medium format camera ⇓

Why? A gem of a camera! Mint condition and it took some stunning pics! Eye-level finder with meter and we had the big wooden hand grip and at least 2 new lenses for it too. Weighs like 2 kilotons or close to it! The 6×7 format can enlarge very nicely and the Super Takumar lenses were sharp. Why the regret? We can’t find one as nice to replace it without spending crazy money and we let ours go for too little. We have a Fujica GW-690 now so the need for the 6×7 format is lessened. Besides, the Fujica is as beat to hell as anything we own and that’s a good thing. No worries about scratching it up so we actually use it.

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Canon FD 300mm f4 telephoto lens ⇓

Why, why, why? We bought it because we’ve always wanted that focal length and couldn’t afford what we really wanted – the FD 300mm f2.8 L white lens. Another case of a mint condition lens that looked like it was made yesterday. In reality it was a dark lens (f4) and a bit clumsy to use. We used it mostly on a tripod and our little town is not a telephoto town. What we mean by that is that our town is made for wide angle shots (old buildings with lots of details) and not tripod mounted lenses. Plus I’m just too old to hand hold 300mm lenses anymore and don’t want to be bothered straining my neck with it. The regret? I wish I could still hand hold a 300mm lens damn it!!! Actually I still want the f2.8!

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So there you have it. Certainly it’s not all the gear we miss – just a small sample. If we can round up the images of some of the others there may be a part two.

Do you have a favorite piece of gear that you regret selling (or heaven forbid, gave away)? Let us know. Thanks

Chris and Carol ^.^

4 thoughts on “Photo Gear No More – the ones we regret.

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