The Downside of New

Isn’t it easy to envy those that have all the best stuff. The Leicas, the Hassleblads, the Phase Ones. All the great classics or high-end or all the latest kit. The few wealthy folk that decide to collect classic cars or supercars. Or even the tech reviewers that jump from one new phone or tablet or laptop to the next. It seems like the ideal world. But I wonder if each new purchase makes each one of them a little less (maybe a lot less) special.

When I started to photograph seriously, I was using a Fujifilm X-E1. And one lens. That was it, and I used that camera for years although I did gradually add a couple more lenses. And I still have it. There's something special about it being a 'first' camera, but also something about the time I used it. If I'd upgraded it a year later I doubt that camera would feel quite so special.

My next camera, a Fujifilm X-T10, I used and used until eventually one of the buttons sunk into the body and the repair wasn't worth it for the value of the camera. But more recently I've chopped and changed more. An X-T1 replaced the X-T10 but had a few issues. Then came the beautiful X100F (which I bought used) which I traded along with the X-T1 for the new X-T3 when it was released. Each are technically better cameras than the last, but I haven't kept them long enough for them to become special, for those memories to build up and the camera feel totally familiar.

I doubt I'll stop wanting new stuff (looking at you, X100V!), but I do plan to hang on to what I have now and make sure they get years of good use. For as long as they last, or become special enough to be retired on the shelf alongside the X-E1.


Headshot, portrait, street and documentary photographer in NYC and Jersey City

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