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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 28 May 2013 (Tuesday) 02:38
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Excessive gear manipulation

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May 28, 2013 02:38 |  #1

First off I am not intending this conversation towards pros who need to keep current with the latest gear to be competitive. This is more directed at hobbyists such as myself.

So I was looking through some "gear lists" of other hobbyists here and it got me thinking. Some people here have only been into photography a few years, like since the T2i came out and have since owned 4 or even 5 different bodies and a plethora of lenses they have also owned and since sold. I have read about one guy on DPreview who has owned 4 different copies of the Tamron 28-75 because he doesn't know if he likes it or not!

On the other hand, I have been shooting SLRs since the early 90s and have owned 3 different bodies. My Minolta x700 died, my 350D/XT is alive but has become the wifies, and my current 7D. I sold the Minolta lenses after the x700 died and I have sold 2 lenses in Canon mount: one was the kit 28-135 that I intended on selling to recoup the cost of buying the 7D.

So what is everyone's take on this? What makes one want to buy and sell so much gear? Is it because they don't know what they want? Is it just simply the GAS syndrome, although the selling part to me doesn't seem like GAS. I usually do extensive homework before making a purchase and when I finally pull the trigger, I am very satisfied with the choice.

If I described you, please chime in. I am very curious.

Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

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Cream of the Crop
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May 28, 2013 02:46 |  #2

I think some part of us believes that new (and by consequence, better) gear will make us better photographers. I know I'm guilty of thinking that way, especially when I was new to the "game". Also, I do know some people buy gear to try it out, then sell it on and buy other stuff, just to see if it suits them.

Now I'm happy with my gear and have no plans to change or replace it until it breaks. It isn't the best, nor the most expensive, nor indeed the cheapest I could use. It is probably more than I ever need, in fact.

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May 28, 2013 03:07 |  #3
bannedPermanent ban

It's like other hobbies. People think it's fun to buy and sell the latest equipment. They have money to do that. I like to ride subways on vacation and check them off my list. That doesn't sound very exciting to most people, but I spend money on it. Same thing here.

Now buying and selling the same lens 4 times seems extreme to me. Apparently the guy likes it enough to have bought it 4 times so he should just keep it.​oldbough (external link)

5D II, Canon 100 macro, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Canon 24-105 L, Canon TS-E 45, Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4

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May 28, 2013 05:42 as a reply to  @ goldboughtrue's post |  #4

I started shooting film back in the 70's. Only twice did I upgrade a camera body that was working perfectly, because there was something the new body had that the old one didn't and I wanted that functionality. I'd bought and sold a couple of lens that didn't work out, otherwise I have what I bought that worked well for me. I've moved to digital a few months ago and still have the kit lenses that came with the camera body and added another plus some adapters to use my previous film lenses on the digital body.

I'm an amateur and enjoy shooting pictures so it's not my livelihood, just something I enjoy doing.

Will I sell off any of the lenses etc. I have, it's possible but then again if something works then why not use it?

Senior Member
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Location: Western MA
May 28, 2013 06:01 |  #5

As mentioned by Sirrith above, some people just like to try out some gear and then try something else, selling what they have to fund their next 'toy'. If one has the money to do it, then good for them.

I'm on the other side of the fence...decide IF I need to upgrade something and for what reason, then make an informed decision on what to purchase. In my film days, once I settled in on a pair ofCanon EF bodies, I never replaced them...nor the lenses I bought to use with them. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" was, and still is my plan.

Unfortunately for my wallet, and good for the credit card companies, I kept running into the limitations of what I had. First with a Canon G3, then a G5, 30D, 60D with slow glass, and to some degree using fast glass on my 60D. Low light shots at church events (not weddings) without a flash have been my goal. As newer technology came along, I upgraded to take advantage of it. First, for better IQ and cropability (more megapixels), then for better ISO capability. Finally moving to a 5D3 six months ago, my problems were solved at ISO 6400.

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." General George S Patton, Jr 1885-1945

"Sorry for being a noob"
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May 28, 2013 06:13 |  #6

Note that buying+selling can often be way, way, way cheaper than renting gear. So buying the same item multiple times isn't much different from renting it multiple times.

5DMk2 + BG-E6 | 40D + BG-E2N | 350D + BG-E3 + RC-1 | Elan 7E | Minolta Dimage 7U | (Gear thread)
10-22 | 16-35/2.8 L II | 20-35 | 24-105 L IS | 28-135 IS | 40/2.8 | 50/1.8 II | 70-200/2.8 L IS | 100/2.8 L IS | 100-400 L IS | Sigma 18-200DC
Speedlite 420EZ | Speedlite 580EX | EF 1.4x II | EF 2x II

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May 28, 2013 06:27 |  #7

Agree with the above...

I sold a lense for $100 less than I bought it for, about 9 months later.

So that's less than 50c a day 'rental' if you want to think of it that way.

Not that I've had a massive turn over of lenses.

Cream of the Crop
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Location: Cleveland, OH
May 28, 2013 06:34 |  #8

As my main hobby, trying everything out is enjoyable for me. I love to use it all, which is why I have owned so much in the past. I generally sell what I had for little to no loss.

Part of the fun!

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Senior Member
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May 28, 2013 07:09 |  #9

romanv wrote in post #15974708 (external link)
Agree with the above...

I sold a lense for $100 less than I bought it for, about 9 months later.

So that's less than 50c a day 'rental' if you want to think of it that way.

Not that I've had a massive turn over of lenses.


One of the parts I enjoy about the hobby is trying different gear. If I buy cautiously, meaning buying used with attentiveness to condition and price, I can try out gear basically free, as I can turn it back over for at or near what I have invested in it.

Gear: 5D MKIII * 6D * 35L (1.4) * 135L (2.0) * 24 - 70L (2.8II) * 70 - 200L (2.8ISII) * 200L (2.0IS) * 580 EX * Induro CT213 * PCB AB B800 (X3) * Pocketwizard Plus

1,288 posts
Joined Apr 2013
May 28, 2013 07:16 |  #10

I have bought and sold several (20?) Canon lenses since going with a DSLR in 2009. Most of them cost me nothing. Used 135L, ~$800, sold for same. Used 200 2.8L, ~$700, sold for same. I went through a laundry list of used regular EF glass, too. 100 2.8, 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 & 70-210 f/3.5-4.5, 24 2.8, etc. None of those cost anything either. Buy used, shoot, sell. The only lenses I have that actually cost anything are the ones I keep and the two major mistakes I bought new: 18-135, ~$450 new, gave it away because I couldn't find a buyer, and the 70-300 IS USM, $649, sold for $300.

After all that, I had a much better feel for what I wanted. I bought a 100-400L new because I knew I was never going to spend MORE than that for a long telephoto zoom. Ditto the 15-85. Everything else in my closet was purchased used. I recently put myself and my camera into new situations where my available optics came up short. Hence, new (used) glass.

Right now I have a Tokina 19-35 and a 28-135 that don't get used much. I could sell them, but why bother, they aren't worth much. Besides, the 19-35 is my only FF wide angle zoom, and the 28-135 is convenient when I don't want to lug a 70-200 2.8 around.

My film stuff is another story. I had accumulated so much that it was actually in the way. I kept 4 lenses (28 2.8, 50 1.9, 135 2.8, 70-210 f/3.5) and two identical bodies, and gave the rest away. The nice thing about film stuff is that nobody wants it anymore. Even the good stuff goes for next to nothing. Well, that depends on how you define 'good stuff'. I paid $99 for my Vivitar Series ONE 70-210 f/3.5. How long do you think it will be before you can get an EF 70-200 f/4, in good shape, for $99?

Edit: While I freely buy and sell several lenses a year, I tend to use the bodies for some time. While upgrading is tempting, I am still looking for one GOOD reason to sell my 5D and get a 6D, or even 5D3. None yet.

Senior Member
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May 28, 2013 07:16 |  #11

Trying things new is a great way to learn. Yes it can get expensive and buying/trading you are taking some chances but for me it is all worth it. I have gone from zooms to primes back to zooms a couple different times. Mostly though it has forced me to max out the capabilities of the camera.

A quick example: I once thought I would never shoot above 3200 ISO on my 7d so it was all primes for me. Now that I am shooting 12,800 with the same camera all zooms is working great for me.

Cream of the Crop
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May 28, 2013 07:48 |  #12

I buy what I think I need and keep it. At least until technology makes things obsolete...

I bought my first SLR (my Canon FTb) in 1973, with a 28 mm f2.8, a 50 f1.4 and a 135 f2.8. Later I added the Vivitar Series I and a Vivitar Thyristor flash. The FTb, 28mm and Vivitar Series I are still with me in full working order (the 50 was stollen and the 135 I dropped while being threatened during an attempt for street photography...).

I moved on to the Canon 630 because of the AF technology. It is still in working order and mint condition.

I went through a series of digital P&S the last of which I still use when I go skiing.

I am sure that by the time I complete my dream kit, Canon will change the technology...

Canon 5D MkIII/Canon 60D/Canon EF-S 18-200/Canon EF 24-70L USM II/Canon EF 70-200L 2.8 USM II/Canon EF 50 f1.8 II/Σ 8-16/ 430 EXII
OS: Linux Ubuntu/PostProcessing: Darktable/Image Processing: GIMP

Sliced Bread
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Location: Twin Cities
May 28, 2013 07:55 |  #13

I try to buy only what I'll use frequently. Only upgrade bodies every 2nd generation. Wait until I have saved enough to get "the best" thing-a-me for my type of shooting.

Canon G1X II, 1D MKIV, 5DSR, 5DIV, 5D MKII, 16-35/2.8L II, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, IS, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS II, 500/4 L IS II, 24-105/4 IS, 50/2.5 macro, 1.4x MKII, 1.4X MKIII, 2X MKIII,580EX II, 550EXs(2), ST-E2.
Gitzo 1228, 1275, 1558, Lensbaby 3G. Epson 3880, Bags that match my shoes.:)

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Location: Montreal, Quebec
May 28, 2013 08:09 |  #14

I think part of it has to do with the learning curve for photography. I started out several years ago with an XTi and kit lens, and added a longer zoom shortly afterwards. After a year I found the 18-55 a bit short and wanted to experiment with DOF, so I sold it and bought a Tamron 28-75 as my general zoom (which I loved and kept for many years). I also discovered a passion for sports photography, and bought a used 40D and a faster-focusing long zoom, which I funded in part by selling the XTi, 18-55 and 70-300. Next, I took several photography courses, during which I discovered, first, wide-angle photography, which led me to buy a 12-24, and second, studio lighting. As I used my home studio more, the Tamron's slow focusing in low light became a problem, so I moved on to a 24-105. And, of course, Canon released the 7D ...

It's sort of a natural progression. I've always bought used equipment, mainly to keep costs down, but it's also meant that I've not lost too much money when selling lenses. Like you, I tend to agonize over decisions and do a lot of research. The only lens I really didn't like was the 70-200 f2.8 (too heavy, no IS - I sold it for the same amount I paid for it, and bought a f4 IS instead); I've been very satisfied with all my other choices, and when I've replaced gear, it's always been with a specific goal in mind (faster focus, IS, more versatility, etc.).

I'm very satisfied with my current setup and don't expect to make any purchases for the next year or two.

Gear: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4, Canon 24-105L f4, Canon 70-300L, Canon 60 macro f/2.8, Speedlite 580 EXII, 2x AB800

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May 28, 2013 09:16 as a reply to  @ ceegee's post |  #15

I started with my first DSLR in 2010, a T1i. I used it for a year, did a lot of research. Picked up 3 lenses (17-40 L, 60mm macro, 70-200 f4 IS), sold the 17-40 after 6 months to buy the 17-55 as a better fit for me. Then I felt like I wanted some features/controls which weren't available on the Rebel, so I bought the 60D and 100mm L macro with a bit of an inheritance from my parents. That's where I am now 2 years later and I've no plans to go any farther.

I did my research while learning the ropes with the T1i, put together my kit, and I'm happy with it.

60D - EF-S 10-22 f3.5-f4.5 -- EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS -- EF-S 60mm f2.8 Macro -- EF 100mm f2.8 L IS Macro -- EF 70-200 f4 L IS w/1.4 II TC

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Excessive gear manipulation
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