Lenses: The Ultimate Addiction

Yep … it’s the other reason your spouse or partner throws you out of the house, besides the $9000 camera body. Usually the camera body thing is more easily forgiven … because you have usually only purchased one and you can more easily be seen as repentant for doing so.

Even from a psychological point of view, it’s easier to not get into a camera body addiction than a lens addition.

I mean, once you’ve spent $9000 on a camera body, it’s pretty satisfying … sort of like buying a sports car – when you’ve got a 500hp Mustang you generally don’t need a Camero, and a Charger, and a Saleen S7 (well, you might need the S7, but that’s another blogger’s subject). With mid to high end camera bodies, there are only hundreds … and having one of those hundreds that others don’t have is still pretty satisfying.

Lenses on the other hand … that’s just an addiction. The pic above is shot of the FIRST two shelves of my camera lenses … I’m not showing the rest, because you would probably have me put in a rubber room.

Some people have drugs, some alcohol, some beanie babies … photographers have lens addictions to ruin their lives, marriages, and eventually jobs. The situation with lives and marriages you can probably figure out (bad financial choices tend to mess up your life and put stress on your marriage, etc) … the work thing is different. It’s becoming more and more typical for photographers to go on lunch time “quickie” shoots during their “real” jobs to never be seen again at that job site. It’s sad, but it happens.

Here are the root causes:

  • There are lots of different lens types and they all do different things (prime, zoom, macro, etc) … you never know when you are going to do a type of shoot that requires that type of lens – there is no excuse to not be prepared if that type of lens is sitting on the store shelf (or available online).
  • There are lots of manufacturers … and all of your photographer friends claim different ones are better quality (how can you resist testing our their claim by buying a few lenses from a friends recommended brand). It’s ignorant to not research properly.
  • They look cooler and cooler every year the new ones come out. This is the main reason photographers choose lenses … even the pro photogs. Sorry, I know the truth hurts (especially if you really have recently been ejected from your homestead by your wife for skipping six mortgage payments to buy six new lenses). I mean, really how were you supposed to get that hot pic of that snail in the garden if you didn’t have the right lens. You can always get a good refrigerator box from the local appliance store for shelter.

Below is a link detailing lens types that is actually pretty well put together for newer folks. This is really useful info when you are seriously (not emotionally) trying to choose a lens for the main type of shooting you want to do. Another is on choosing used lenses … also excellent info for those trying to save a bit, but wanting good outcomes.


Excellent lens type guide by PhotoGuard (surprisingly it’s an insurance company)

How to choose used lenses by Photography Life

-Photo Guy