GAS, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome is a very dangerous virus that is known to impact roughly 80% of the population involved with photography. Though relatively benign for your life functions, it can cause severe damage to your financial estate and mental stability. Here is therefore a list of symptoms to help you detect early whether you have been infected with G.A.S. :
1) you develop an alien type of language. Words such as bokeh, Foveon, aspherical and acronyms such as APO, DOF, IR, or DC become part of your daily vocabulary.
2) you start a new ritual where all your photographic equipment is placed on a tripod one after the other and aimed towards a bookshelf.
3) you spend endless hours staring at your computer screen, contemplating pictures of brick walls (or … bookshelves) at full magnification.
4) you wait for hours at the window waiting for the DHL truck.
5) you get up at 3 in the morning to snipe a lens on an Ebay listing from Japan.
6) you acquire 3 Kievs and 2 Zorkis from Uzbekistan. Just because they are cheap.
7) the first links you consult every morning are the classifieds sections of photography websites.
8) you develop a tendency to hide photographic equipment when your spouse/husband enters the room. When the hidden gear is eventually discovered, you lie shamelessly about how it ended up here. (“I borrowed it from a friend” … “I paid only a few bucks for it” … “I found it in the street” … etc).
9) a high percentage of your pictures are featuring your dog, cat , spouse or … bookshelf.
10) you are about to sell the family car to fund new equipment.
11) you are about to put your house on mortgage to fund new equipment. (This is often a symptom of a more severe variant of the virus; LGAS, Leica Gear Acquisition Syndrome)
12) your wife/husband leaves you because you have sold the family car and mortgaged the house. But above all, she got tired of hearing “Don’t move honey, I am checking for back focus on this lens”.
So, do you think you are infected with GAS ?
Luckily for you, this virus can be treated. In a next column, we will look at some methods to eradicate it (and make sure it never comes back). Stay tuned.