GAS


In Spanish we have a sentence which says ‘Dios los cría y ellos se juntan’, that means more or less that people with similar opinions, likings, hobbies, etc tend to meet somewhere sooner or later.

I belong to an internet community of photographers and camera lovers which enjoy sharing work and information and talking regularly in the cyber agora of the rangefinder forum. It was long ago that somebody there came up with a word for describing our sometimes compulsive need to lust for new photographic gear, G.A.S. or Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

Then of course, sometimes one likes to get something just for the pleasure of having and using it. That said, it also may act as a trigger for developing newer approaches whey they force you to work in a different way.

That’s not probably the case of my last two GAS attacks, or maybe yes, who knows…

First place today is for the Voigtlander Bessa-T. The T is a 35mm film rangefinder camera with Leica-M lens mount and TTL meter built by Cosina Voigtlander, responsible also of a rangefinder renaissence with the models R, R2, R2s and R2c, T, R2a/R3a and now with his partnership with Zeiss for the new Zeiss Ikon rangefinder camera.

Curiously, this camera only has a coupled rangefinder built into the body, and not the usual viewfinder window. Apart from giving it a funny look, it also helps to reduce the price. Stick an external viewfinder on the accessory shoe and you’ll have a great inexpensive M mount camera with an incredibly easy to focus and accurate rangefinder thanks to the 1.5x magnification. I plan on using it mainly with the (seen in the photo) truly excellent Voigtlander 35/2.5 pancake lens from the same manufacturer.

The coffee mug in the shot is also another newcomer, in this case from my NZ buddy Abel who is currently working for a network hardware company there.

My other (so far) GAS attack is a tiny and very nice Canon rangefinder lens. I just threw a playful bid on the infamous auction site and who was going to think that, I ended getting it for my maximum bid amount. It was still cheap (I think) mainly according to the going rate for similar lenses in the past.

The lens is a late version black/chrome 35mm f/2.8. I simply love 35mm lenses, to some people they are the rangefinder focal length par excellence. Maybe or maybe not, but to me 35 is my all time favorite length, the field of view suits very well my street shooting preferences, being wide but not too much, and offering a nice depth of field range for scale focusing and shooting a bit in the ‘point & shoot’ way, nice lens to register life around you.

The lens will probably live permanently attached to my Canon P who was claiming for a proper 35 since long ago. Of course I could have used the Voigtlander lens on the Canon, but as a friend of mine likes to say, ‘Canon on Canon’. Then I added ‘Voigtlander on Voigtlander, Leitz on Leitz, Jupiter on Zorki’ etc 😉

In the end, it’s clear that pictures will not improve by adding more equipment, but GAS is real and has no cure, so it may be better to simply accept it 🙂

And let’s face it, finding bargains always makes you feel good !

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