My Madness Thus Far

writer: russell j.t. dyer; posted: may 2012; revised: oct 2017; readers past month: 964

In case anyone is interested in charting my madness and sadness, here’s an update on how far down this path I have gone thus far — see my previous post to this topic (Almost Everything Must Go) in which I explain my plan to sell almost all of my cameras and lenses and switch to a new system.

I have sold all of my fixed-lens rangefinder cameras. I have put for sale the two Leica screw-mount lenses — the store has a buyer who’s coming in soon for one. One of the two micro four-thirds lenses I have for the Lumix GF1 is up for sale: I am so pleased with that in particular since it’s the only zoom lens I own. I started eliminating all of my zoom lenses in July of 2010. It’s taken until now to finish that plan.

Last week I turned in my Canon flashes to be sold. I’ll get something else later to replace them. I’m keeping the PocketWizard triggers and my studio lights and all of the other studio equipment.

Today I brought the Zeiss ZE 85mm lens and the Zeiss ZE 21mm lens to the photography store near me to sell. I really like that ZE 21mm lens. I will miss it. Since I only have left one Canon EOS lens, there’s no longer much point in having two EOS cameras. So tonight I’ve packed up the Canon EOS 33v film camera. That’s such a nice camera and in excellent condition. Everything I own is in excellent or like-new condition.

There are only a few things left that are on the list to eliminate: I still have the Canon P — which I may keep and buy a good Leica lens for it later. The big item left is the Canon 5D Mark II camera and one Zeiss ZE lens, the 50mm. I have a few minor projects coming for which I’d like to have a full-frame digital camera. So, maybe one more week before they could go. I also have the Lumix GF1 and the 20mm pancake lens. I’m thinking that I will hang onto it until I get the Leica M9, but maybe there’s no need for that security blanket. I’m basically trying to straddle: I’m concerned about going too long without a digital camera. I guess it doesn’t matter, though.

My timing at this point is to get the cameras and lenses in the store window before the natives go off on their long summer vacations in August, thinking that they’ll buy my items for their holidays. I’m hoping to have everything sold by the end of July. If so, I’ll sit on the cash until after Photokina in October — as bwcolor suggested above — to see how the Leica M10 looks (assuming it’s released then) and to see what it does to the price of used M9’s. This is why I’m worried about being digitally exposed — or should that be digitally unexposed? Of course, the world did just fine with only film cameras for quite a while. It might be a good experience for me to work from film only for three months or so.

The money, after commissions, for everything I’ve sold or have for sale will give me something over $3200. If I sell the Lumix GF1, I should be approaching $3500. That puts my piggy bank $2300 short of the cost of a used Leica M9 in excellent condition. The Canon 5D Mark II and the Zeiss ZE 50mm lens would put me over the top. However, I’m rethinking my plan slightly on these two items.

I’ve looked into cheap DSLR cameras for special situations as a couple of you have suggested. Without a full-frame sensor, I’ll be very disappointed with the results. If I want a full-frame EOS camera, that’s the 5DII. So, there’s a small chance that I may keep the Canon 5D Mark II and the Zeiss ZE 50mm lens until after I buy the Leica M9. I think I can swing the difference until I’m totally weaned off of the DSLR. I’m not cowering, but stepping a little more cautiously. But maybe I’m not since I’m putting more cash on the line during the overlap.