Gear Excess or Minimalism: What Makes You Happy?


Lately, in a conscious quest to simplify my life, I’ve found myself thinking:

  • Why exactly do I own what I own?
  • What could I sell and not miss, practically speaking?
  • Do I really need that?
  • What is it costing me to own that?

I have way too much stuff. Cameras and lenses to be exact. It’s a first-world problem, no doubt, a function of an affluence we often don’t recognize because it’s become so common. It starts with the best intentions, but usually ends up where I find myself – with a surfeit of beautiful, shiney, pleasing things I never use. Which is a shame, because the mechanical cameras and lenses I’ve collected – whether they be Leicas or Nikons or something else – deserve to be used.

When I hold onto camera I don’t use, even though just the possessing gives me pleasure, (and this is especially true for the mechanical cameras I tend to buy and collect), it does indeed cost me something, if only in the time spent organizing, contemplating, and/or servicing the camera I’ve accumulated. And it costs the larger gearhead community something too – a camera that could be being used by someone as opposed to sitting on a shelf.

So, I’ve decided to start selling off the things I can’t justify sitting on my shelf. It’s difficult, as I can always find a reason to hold onto something. But usually the reason I find is the same reason I bought it – it’s beautiful/cool/iconic/historic etc and I want it. Good enough reasons, I suppose, but not compelling enough to convince my wife, who is currently in desperate need of a shiney, new, large capacity refrigerator.

With this in mind, I’ve started a new page you can reach from my homepage entitled, simply enough, “For Sale.”  Everything you’ll find there is mine. It all works. There’s nothing wrong with any of it. I’m not selling it for any other reason than I just don’t need it.

I’ll be listing further items as current items sell, so feel free to check back in for other items in the future.

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3 thoughts on “Gear Excess or Minimalism: What Makes You Happy?

  1. Superdutytuffwork


    First, thank you for the blog as it is both insightful and always a joy to read.

    Second, can the W-Nikkor 3.5cm 1.8 be mounted on a Leica CL?


  2. Bernardo

    I recently sold all my stuff (some Nikon bodies and several lenses) and I bought the new Leica M-D with a 50 mm Summicron without paying any extra ney. Now I’m a very happy person 🙂
    Good luck for your sale!

  3. Toby Madrigal

    I sold a lot of Nikon Film SLR cameras and lenses on ebayuk earlier this year: 2 Nikon F (leaving me with 2 plain prism -crome and black) 2 F2A (leaving me with a black F2AS) 2 F3 (leaing me with 1), 1 FA, 1 Nikkormat FT2, and about 8 lenses. I’m not selling any Leicas though. I’ve also sold 3 Billilingham bags that were not being used.
    Why do we collect these things? The answer is simple in my case: I set up a business and needed the tools to make it work. Now I’m semi-retired, I can get by with far less.

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