The more you learn…

…the more money you spend. One of the highlights from Lisa and my trip down to Florida was a stop in The Pro Shop in Delray Beach. What started as an attempt to purchase an inexpensive telephoto lens resulted in a 2 hour discussion with the owner, Art NeJame (pictured here with beard). I can’t even begin to describe how much I learned from that conversation – not just about photography, but also life. Art was not just a great salesman, but a wonderful teacher.

Sure he talked me into the $500 lens, when I was originally looking at something in the $200 range, but there was good reasoning behind it. Even Lisa (who is far more frugal than I) encouraged me to make the buy. And the following day while taking some shots of a Great Blue Heron, some far more experienced photographers confirmed that he purchase was wise. And so did the photos I took!

But along the way he explained the benefits of various lenses and what other accessories I might need. The best comment he made was when he saw that I had the Digital Rebel and he noted that it was an excellent camera and a great unit to start with. He later added that between the stock lens, the 50mm f/1.8 Lisa got in Staten Island, and the 75-300mm IS USM I was picking up, I would be pretty set on lenses for awhile. So the only other major purchases I should look at would be a tripod (Lisa already has two, but he agreed with me that a monopod would be a smart buy), a better camera bag (since I’ve outgrown the original one), and maybe an external flash and a cable release (which will come later).

Looking at the UV filters I had smartly picked up for both lenses, he also recommended getting hoods for them all. They help cut down on excess light and glare and, along with the filters, protect the lens. Unfortunately he didn’t have the one I needed in stock, but now I’ve got all three in my Amazon cart, along with a replacement eyecup since mine managed to be pulled off somewhere. But Amazon’s helpful suggestion has led me to start poking around at all of the various purchases I could make. Now I’m reading about how extenders add better macro capabilities to your current setup and looking up prices on Tamron lenses.

The more I learn about photography, the more I want to buy all of that pretty, shiny equipment, and the more my paycheck dwindles. This time around I’m limiting myself to the more essential purchases. But I fear that has more to do with my desire to physically pick and choose items like a bag or a monopod than my need to conserve funds.

But what can I say, once I get into a hobby and really fall in love, it’s tough for me to hold back.