Diseases That Plague Photographers

Photography is an art meant to invigorate our creative side and facilitate our ability to see our world in new and interesting ways. Many books, articles, tutorials, and blogs focus on various aspects of the artistic and technical merits of photography. Rarely discussed, however, are some of the strange maladies that afflict photographers. There are the occasional whispers and, “Did you hear about Joe?” types of exchanges, but all too often, such problems are rarely acknowledged and dealt with openly.

In an effort to bring such diseases to light, Dr. E.X. Posur, a leading psychiatrist that specializes in treating photographers, highlights a number of common illnesses he has encountered, and their associated symptoms and treatment. Although described individually, they are all part of a common illness labeled “photographus excessivitis”. Rarely will a photographer exhibit symptoms a single disease. Close examination almost always reveals multiple afflictions.

Diseases that plague photographers

It is important to point out that professional photographers rarely deal with these illnesses, but those that wear the label, “serious amateur” bear the brunt of these diseases. Because professionals have been inoculated by the need to earn a living, they seem to have built up a strong immunity to the diseases outlined in this article. Though they appreciate the merits of their equipment, professional photographers see their equipment as tools to achieve an end, not an end unto itself. This subtle, but critical, difference between the professional and the serious amateur prevents the former from acquiring many of illnesses outlined below. Professionals are not totally immune, however, and can succumb as quickly as any serious amateur if they are not careful.

Technology has played a major role in the increase in the number of these illnesses as well as their intensity. Until the digital age, cameras remained relatively constant – a box that controlled the exposure of film to light. While there were mechanical changes along the way, the pace and amount of change were relatively minimal compared to today’s environment. This all changed once manufacturers moved to digital sensors, and the camera became a specialized computer. Now cameras, lenses, and a host of other accessories are driven by sophisticated computer chips, and software programs that have dramatically improved their capabilities. Photography equipment is now subject to the same rapid product introduction, obsolescence, and compatibility issues as PCs and peripherals have experienced for the last thirty years.

Bear in mind that while Dr. Posur provides some basic guidelines for identifying a number of maladies, an accurate diagnosis can only be determined by a certified mental health professional with an extensive background in photography.

1) GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome

Those suffering from GAS become infatuated with new photography equipment, often to the point of temporary neurosis. Cameras, lenses, flashes, bags, hot shoe levelers, camera straps, tripods, ball heads, white balance cards, rain covers, etc. – if camera equipment companies make it, you can be sure that a photographer with a bad case of GAS will find it. This results in an obsessive-compulsive effort to keep up with the latest product cycles, reviews, and opinions. If “new is better”, the notion that “more is better” must be equally true. While this obsession is often directed toward new gear, it can also be focused on older equipment as well. It is not unusual to find those with GAS roaming eBay, estate or yard sales, and photo forums for those vintage bargains of yesteryear. GAS victims often feed their addiction by subscribing to every photo magazine on the Barnes & Noble rack, and check major gear-oriented photography blogs multiple times per day to ensure that no gear-related press announcement – however minor – escapes their scrutiny.

They are fountains of knowledge, and in some cases, sought out for their opinions. This of course, is like applause for an actor/actress – it only fuels the fire. Maxed out credit cards, storage bins worth of equipment that never seems to get used more than once or twice, and countless hours mulling over the product comparisons are the trademark symptoms of someone afflicted by GAS. Most have stellar records on eBay due to their continual buying and selling. Sadly, this too only serves to encourage their bad habits. If you happen to come across someone with a bad case of GAS on eBay, you can almost always be comfortable buying from them. They are usually very conscientious regarding their gear, and of course, they rarely use for very long. Buying their equipment is as close as you will come to buying new gear at a significant discount!

Behind every GAS sufferer lies a bit of insecurity that constantly whispers in his/her ear, “Buy it, and you will become a better photographer”. No one afflicted with GAS can bear to hear a fellow photographer utter something such as, “Are you still using that old tripod? I hear that Manflitzo is shipping their MB-2835C with twice the carbon fiber, half the weight, GPS, Bluetooth, and a battery-powered astronomy motor drive. Don’t tell me you don’t have one on order!” Such a conversation would result in nothing less than a full-fledged panic attack.

There are numerous cases on record of authorities finding those with GAS long after they have expired. Most of the victims have been single males. The scenes always look the same – the deceased appears to have locked himself (yes – GAS victims are overwhelmingly male) in their apartments for days, forgotten to eat, and surrounded themselves with hundreds of photo magazines strewn on the floor with review pages torn out. In other cases, they were found slumped over their computers with a few dozen browser windows open to popular photography sites. In an obsessive quest for equipment perfection, they died from simple exhaustion. A simple review of their flickr or other photo sites always reveals the telltale signs – a gradual reduction in the number of interesting photos of landscapes, nature, portraits, etc., and an increase in the number of pictures of their equipment, with tags such as “My new Opticon 11-500mm 2.8 zoom lens”.

GAS is not limited to photographers. Many other hobby and sports enthusiasts also suffer from very similar symptoms. Just ask any golfer’s wife…

Group therapy seems to work best. A qualified psychoanalyst requires members of the group to bring a few pieces of photography equipment to the session, but it must represent the oldest gear they own. They are required to stand up and affirm the positive aspects of their gear, share some photos that were taken with it, and explain why it is still capable of helping them take great photos. This can be a real struggle for some. Other members of the group are encouraged to support the speaker’s affirmations share related stories. During this time, reading gear reviews in any form is strictly prohibited. The success rate is actually pretty good, but it is a long process, often littered with a series of setbacks such as internet binge buying and sneaking into photography forums in the middle of the night.

2) LBA – Lens Buying Addiction

LBA is a specialized form of GAS. The severity of LBA, however, can be much more intense. Whereas those afflicted by GAS can satisfy their habit with a myriad of small, relatively inexpensive items, those with LBA are usually in for some major outlays of cash. They can often be found pouring over an extensive array of MTF charts, test shots, reviews, and other technical data that would make most people’s heads’ spin. No amount of differences between lenses is too trivial to be overlooked. LBA sufferers often lead the pack on internet forums in discussions regarding such weighty topic as, “Corner sharpness of the Canikon 50-500mm f/3.5-5.6 DX lens at ISO 12,800 at 400X magnification”.

Mild cases of LBA result in a photographer assembling a reasonable stock of lenses, with some overlap between ranges, and perhaps a few exotic pieces of glass that represent good value for the money. The more severe cases, however, have resulted in weekends dedicated to comparing lens reviews, lens hoarding, bankruptcy, and divorce. A dead giveaway in spotting a hard core LBA case is when you ask a him/her, “So what is your experience using this lens?”, and you get a quizzical look, followed by a rather measured response of, “Define ‘use’… ”.

Counseling is strongly recommended. Similar to the treatment for GAS, those with LBA are prohibited from their routine of visiting lens review sites and buying new lenses. They are given a specific project such as finding photography contest winners that used sub-$200 lenses, or assembling a portfolio of the notable photographs of the last century that were taken with relatively inexpensive film cameras and manual focus lenses. They are required to watch Chase Jarvis videos describing amazing photographs taken with the first generation iPhones. ASMP certified counselors will sometimes conduct sessions by traveling with the photographer and restricting his/her to three lenses, then two, and eventually… one! LBA sufferers gradually learn that they can indeed take some amazing photos without having the latest and most expensive gear, or a dozen lenses that have cover the same focal range. Make no mistake, however – LBA is an extremely powerful addiction. Research shows that unless it is diagnosed and treated within the first three years, it can be nearly impossible to cure. And under no circumstances, should you ever say something such as this to someone with LBA, “Gee, Ken, why do you have four of the best macro lenses ever made but no macro pictures?”.

3) PFA – Photo Forum Addiction

With internet access and popularity growing by the day, PFA is a relatively new malady. It is pretty much what it sounds like – people spending obscene amounts of time perusing photography forums and sharing their opinions with others around the globe, from everything from lens caps to digital sensor design. Of course, you are asking, “What’s the harm in some mild-mannered banter on www.mycameraisbetterthanyours.com? Fair enough. A post here, a lens review there, searching for some opinions regarding the latest camera bag, etc. is perfectly fine. There is certainly nothing wrong with seeking out the opinions of peers, who in some cases, are willing to provide valuable insights or time saving advice.

But for many with PFA, it doesn’t stop there. The forum’s search fields are like drugs to them, enabling them to sift through years of data, and millions of posts on everything from the common to the obscure. After a while, they are hooked. Soon they find themselves spending more and more time the forums, and often become quite proud of their “contributions”. Like others maladies, PFA is usually associated with a sharp drop in actually photography.

And the discussions… sigh… Many start out relatively harmless enough, but all too often degenerate into a series of biting commentary, entrenched opinions, and personal insults. I chalk this up to what I call, “Snarkism”. Snarkism is that modern day phenomenon, whereby average mild mannered people, perhaps even reserved and quite shy, turn into “keyboard warriors” on the internet. From the comfort of their bedroom or home office, they can send zingers flying with a righteous zeal toward others hundreds or thousands of miles away. Others that disagree with them are quickly labeled, “fanboys” and “trolls” – and those are probably the kinder terms they use. I suspect if we look into most of their backgrounds, we would find that the snarkiest PFA sufferer still harbor grudges for being picked last by the team captains during grade school gym class…

Counselors suggest going cold turkey for people with PFA. Many have discovered that within a few short weeks of being away from the dynamics of the forums, they notice things – such as their families, pets, a room that needs to be painted, etc. Most importantly, they discover that they can actually still take pictures (of something other than lens test charts), instead of simply exchanging immature, snarky commentary with those other poor souls on the internet afflicted by the same disease.

4) TUB – The Upgrade Beast

This is probably the most common of the photography maladies. One day, Joe Photographer is admiring his Canikon 1FX8000, thinking it is the epitome of fine engineering, the standard for DSLR styling, and more than capable of capturing the world in all its wonder and splendor under the best and worst of conditions. He writes reviews extolling its virtues to everyone on the internet, and even sends a letter to the President of Canikon singing its praises. He is that elusive creature in this modern world – a totally satisfied customer.

And then the unthinkable happens… the Canikon 1FX800D is introduced. He knew this day would eventually come, but despite such knowledge, he is caught unprepared mentally and emotionally. Joe vacillates between wanting to strangle the local Canikon representative for introducing something that eclipses his pride and joy, and frantically attempting to reach B&H to determine when he can order one. Eventually, his gaze turns toward his current camera. The camera he loved so much the other day? It now looks a bit worn in the grip. He spies a few dings in the body he hadn’t noticed before. “When did I wear the paint off the edge of the pop-up flash?”, he wonders. He takes a picture of his dog scampering through the hall. Hmmm… “Why is that picture not in focus?”.

He then goes online and compares test photos taken with the 1FX700D at ISO 204,800 with those of the new 1FX800D at ISO 204,800. Horrors… the new camera’s photos may be a tad better in the deep recesses of the corners than those from his current camera!!! Joe conveniently forgets that 95% his photos are taken below ISO 800. But facts matter little now. Joe has been bitten by… “the upgrade beast”. And similar to those bitten by a werewolf, Joe’s veins now possess an unstoppable force that will transform him into a new camera acquisition machine. Going forward, he will seek out every review, article, opinion, test photo – anything to feed the beast within that can only be satisfied by feeling his new Canikon 1FX800D in his anxiously-awaiting hands. Time will slow to a maddening crawl until the camera is delivered to his doorstep.

As long as the upgrade beast doesn’t inflict the photographer more often than once every two-to-three years, this disease is relatively harmless. The side effects of any treatment, much like the warnings on prescription drugs advertised on television, are likely to be much worse than the disease itself.

In rare cases, however, some photographers have experienced the upgrade beast on a much more frequent basis. Not only do they feel compelled to upgrade their DSLRs, but they wantonly switch brands in the process. This leads to the dreaded domino effect – having to sell every brand specific piece of gear they own, and replace it with that from a competing manufacturer. These tortured souls simply cannot be helped. Similar to the werewolf, only the grave can save them from their agony.


Photography can bring much joy to our lives and those whose lives we touch. But we must always be mindful of these debilitating illnesses, ensure that we do our part to bring awareness to them, and provide the help and assistance those within the photography community need and deserve. Be on the lookout for the telltale signs of photographers spending more time reading gear reviews, participating in photography forums, and acquiring gear than taking pictures. It can seem innocent enough, but it can also be… the beginning of much more serious issues.

If you have a story that you believe may help others dealing with these afflictions, please feel free with the group. ;)


  1. 1) Andrew Ong
    March 15, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Thanks for your great article.

  2. March 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I definitely suffer from LBA and GAS around light modifiers and bags. Though I must say, D700 seems to have treated my TUB tendency for now! I hope it will keep it at bay for another year or two …


  3. 3) Scott
    March 15, 2012 at 8:40 am

    OUCH. This is NOT FUNNY; This is SERIOUS to those of us that suffer from some of these afflictions. Wonderful to be brought back to earth with a bump every now and then. Well done :)

  4. 4) John Picking
    March 15, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Bob, nice.

    I got a D700 to use the handful of Nikkor AIS I’ve had for 25 years. Now I find myself buying more of them on eBay. They are sweet on the D700 though.

    But, I think I may need a D800 to squeeze more resolution out of them though, what do you think?

    Thanks for the laughs.

    • March 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      LBA is of course, not confined to new gear! I believe Nasim is going to retest a number of lenses on the D800. I suspect some of the “oldies but goodies” will hold up pretty well.

  5. March 15, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Wow!!!! this is the best article ive read in a long long time :D :D

    • March 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks for commenting. Keep checking back for more interesting articles in the future.

  6. 6) Chris Lowery
    March 15, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Alas, there’s no hope for me! I suffer from all of these maladies, and would gladly and immediately seek professional help, as you recommend, but I can’t afford — I spent my last dime pre-ordering my new D800!

    • March 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Admitting that you have a problem is, of course, the first step to solving it. Of course, if we are honest about many of these afflictions, who really wants to be cured? They are too much fun! :)

  7. 7) Jorge Balarin
    March 15, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Man, I’m completely ill.

  8. 8) Nick
    March 15, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Great article Bob! I’m seeking treatment as we speak. Apparently I’m in denial phase of the disease :-)

    • March 17, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks, Nick. Most of us are in hard core denial, despite the fact that our friends and family can clearly see that we are seriously afflicted by one or more of these illnesses!

  9. March 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Much fun but it did not teach me much, since, as serious addict, have diagnosed these ailments for some time now. Am pretty close to saturation and consider myself in the convalescent stage :-) .

    Fun apart, its the computers and related technology that has brought us to this situation of perpetual mind extension. It all started with the Appe ll in the early 80’s and have made us all addicts. The photography is just an extension of this desease.

    Nevertheless, there are great joys, beyond pain, and accept it all with equanimity, Peter

    • March 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      Sometimes we have to admit that we simply don’t want to be cured of our obsessions — they provide too much joy for us! Indeed, much of the banter regarding DSLRs is little different than that associated with computers and other high tech products.

  10. March 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Very well written article. Alas, these illnesses are found in every serious enthusiast. Some have it under control and some dont.

    • March 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks so much. I think someone could get a Ph.D studying those with such obsessions. The resultant thesis would likely show that there are segments within any hobby/sport that share similar symptoms.

  11. 11) Matt
    March 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Fun article! I cured my LBA by selling five lesser lenses (Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D, 35mm f/1.8G DX, 50mm f/1.8G, 85mm f/1.8D, 135mm f/2D), and upgrading to just two killer lenses (Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G, 85mm f/1.4G). I’m set 99% of the time, and occasionally rent an ultra-wide, a macro, or a super-telephoto. I’ve reversed my GAS by selling off all the little knick-knacks and things that I’ve bought over the years and never used. I still suffer from TUB, having bought and sold 3 digital bodies in less than two years (Nikon D90, D7000, D700), and it looks like the D800 will be my fourth. And of course, I get my PFA fix in by coming here!

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Such progress may qualify you to be an accredited counselor of such illnesses! Of course, given that you are prone to severe TUB, you may also lead many astray! But B&H would love you for it! :)

  12. 12) Alex
    March 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Great article. I am recovering from all these afflictions. Started harmlessly with a gift of a D70 kit years ago for Father’s da, which led to a D700, 70-200mm, 24-70mmm, which I never use, etc. of course, tripods, ball heads, lighting etc. and no time to take pictures.

    What got me out of this vicious circle? Well, i found inner peace by learning how to recover from similar afflictions in my aquarist hobby. I now use homemade filters, lighting etc.! Using the same philosophy, I was able to accept my D700 and current lenses as being good enough. I have now taken 2000 photos of kids playing hockey at various angles, trying to perfect tricky white balance metering.

    Now if I can figure out a way to cure my hi-fi addictions!

    • March 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      You are ahead of most of photographers. What I have found is that many cure one addiction by substituting it with another! ;)

  13. 13) Tomas Haran
    March 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    This is a fantastic article. I was just talking to my friend about this. I was totally caught up in it about a year ago. But I think it was mostly because I was unclear on my style, what I wanted to shoot and what I needed to shoot.
    Learning and improving your innate photography skills will do so much more for you than more equipment. Then you learn to master your equipment. I’m sure you can do most photography with just two good lenses. There are even some pros that walk around with a 50mm all the time! And they know the lens so well that they can anticipate most of their shots.

    Great article!

    • March 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      You are spot on – mastering the equipment you have is key to becoming a better photographer. The vicious upgrade cycle some are on leaves them in a constant state of being a “newbie” with respect to some of their gear, particularly as some of it gets more complex.

  14. 14) Randy
    March 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I suffer from all 4 of those diseases.

  15. 15) Amar
    March 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Ha, ha. Had a good laugh and read it to my wife, who says I am completely and terminally affected (even worse being a doctor myself) ;)

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      Physicians can sometimes suffer the most. Knowledge of an illness or an obsession isn’t always enough to prevent you from getting it!

  16. March 16, 2012 at 5:23 am

    A great read!! I guess every photographer goes through those deseases at some point or another..! :)

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Even after getting cured, many continue to fall back into their previous bad habits. And why shouldn’t they? They can be so much fun! :)

  17. 17) Twig
    March 16, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Great article full of truth and humor – It is a little like looking into a mirror and knowing the horror of having been affected/effected by each of the different conditions at one time or another.

  18. 18) Peter
    March 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I’ve been waiting a long time for someone to write an article like this. Well done and 100% true.

    These illnesses seems to have gotten exponentially worse since digital cameras hit the market. In the film days all that really changed was the film. If you had a Nikon F you were set for at least 10-15 years.

    Bass fisherman have similar afflictions: 30 rods…10 reels…100+ lures. Every year a new killer lure is introduced …a must have…this year I’ll catch 1000 bass!

    They say that “the truth shall make you free” but that does not apply to photographers and bass fisherman. In 1-2 days your truths will be long forgotten. There is another saying: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Thanks for commenting. As a golfing enthusiast, I learned to build my own clubs, and much of the engineering and other technical aspects associated with club assembly. Of course, now I have the best set of clubs that could be built for my game, but that hasn’t made me into a pro golfer. Yet… ;)

  19. 19) Fern T
    March 16, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I suffer from all 4 maladies, please help me! errr Wait wrong place to ask for help!!

    Great article!

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      Maybe buying a new lens will help? ;)

      • 19.1.1) Fern T
        March 17, 2012 at 11:08 pm

        You’re right! I Just ordered The new Canon EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM fisheye zoom lens!!!!

        Think I’ll get cured????

  20. March 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    It always amazes me how consumed avid Photographers are with gear. I’m a full time working Photographer who just moved from a 2200sf studio space to a 3000sf space 4 blocks from the beach. I usually stay in a Nikon camera body 3-5yrs. I got my first digital SLR before Nikon or Canon made one, a Kodak DCS-315, then moved to a Nikon D1, then a D70, now my primary camera is a Nikon D90, and Im planning on a D700 pretty soon. Next year, or so. I shoot everything from UFC to Weddings. I love the milage I can get out of a camera body, and how many times over my.camera’s pay for themselves. I’ve been shooting Prosessionally since 1999, and was a 35mm Nikon Film body user before with a Nikon F5, primary, and Nikon N90s with grip as a backup. Camera is a camera. I still have my first SLR I got in 1986, a Pentax K1000…I can still load it with a roll of film, and capture amazing photos with that little peace of history, and I like to from time to time just for ole times sake.

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      I always marvel at the incredible crispness of old B&W photos. They still amaze me. Indeed, we can probably take wonderful photos with just about any camera. Of course, investigating new gear and the excitement of seeing it show up on our doorstep can be like a drug to many.

  21. March 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Yep…got a serious case of LBA. But it only involves one lens. The only thing that seem to go through my mind at the moment is Nikon AF-S VR 600 f/4 G ED…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4…600/4. Sorry…had to slap myself back to reality again.

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      You definitely have to have this check into! Next you will think others responding to you are attempting to urge you to get the 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, 600/4, as well… ;)

  22. March 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    A friend of mine wanted to get into photography and had $1.5K to get in. I recommended the replacement for my camera (which is at least 3 generations back) and a couple of suitable excellent lenses. She had to have the very latest body, which came with a kit lens 18-250mm. The specs were nearly the same. Of course she can shoot at 1/8000 instead of 1/4000.

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      One never knows when one needs to photograph a bullet or other high speed object! “New” is always better, isn’t it? :)

  23. 23) Eric
    March 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Irony: a B&H ad right next to the Gear Acquisition Syndrome section.

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Since I have a tattoo of B&H on my arm, it is hard for me to be objective… ;)

      • 23.1.1) Siddharth
        March 19, 2012 at 1:26 am

        Bob are you serious ? :O

  24. 24) Fern T
    March 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Eric I just caught that! lol

  25. March 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Wonderful post! Is there a way to make this required reading for all photographers? The culture of equipment upgrading and hoarding, makes someone like me with a purposely lean pack feel like such an oddity.

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      I would like to think we could make it required reading, but haven’t figured it out yet. Recommending it to your friends might not be a bad start!
      As I pointed out, most of the sufferers of such illnesses are indeed male, but I have met a few women who suffer just as much as the guys.
      Whatever you do, never suggest to some of the purists that they can go out and shoot with a single lens such as the 18-200mm VR! You may get an earful regarding the lens’ resolution at the long end and lectures on barrel distortion! ;)

  26. 26) Chris
    March 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    never read you before but that was excellent and as a working photographer … very very true.

    most of my friends use gear at least a few years old.

    and make just as good of pictures as anyone with “new gear.”

    cheers for the post!

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks, Chris. As a professional, you probably get quite a few laughs at the expense of the serious amateurs that seem to fall prey to many of these maladies!

      • 26.1.1) Chris
        March 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm

        indeed, man, indeed.

  27. 27) Terry
    March 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Hilarious. Guilty

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      As you can tell from the responses, there are few that are not afflicted with one or more of these!

  28. 28) John
    March 17, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Hahaha I feel like i’m one of them! you are right i shall stop looking at websites and spend more time on taking good quality photos! :D

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Surprisingly, actually using your camera equipment can take your mind off the myriad of technical mumbo-jumbo that others obsess and waste time over.

  29. 29) Hooman
    March 17, 2012 at 5:03 am

    great article

    I often come to this site to find out more about photography

    I hope I am not categorized as an addict



    • March 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Nasim’s site is designed to be a mixture of technical, business, tutorials, buying advice, and of course, the artistic side of photography. If we are doing our job right, we will produce a well-rounded inventory articles that people believe provide value.
      We will keep your name off the “Addicts List”… for now… ;)

  30. 30) Patsy
    March 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    OMGosh, did my friends put you up to writing this article about me? Spot on!!

  31. March 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    So does this mean I can’t buy a new camera this year? I have a list of excuses:
    1. Niece’s wedding in June
    2. Trip to London and Paris in August
    3. Poor camera performance in-doors without a flash (current is Panasonic FZ28)
    4. Looking for a new challenge (learning this operation of a new gadget)

    • March 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Those don’t sound like “excuses” to me, but rather “perfectly good reasons” to buy new gear! :)

  32. 32) Anjul
    March 18, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Very true and interesting article. I enjoyed it thoroughly :-)

  33. 33) Jan
    March 18, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Just started taking baby steps into the photography world .. and am already down with PFA.

  34. March 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    PFA can be a real time killer, particularly when you are having debates with others regarding a piece of equipment. Quick – leave the house and go take some photos! ;)

  35. 35) Owen
    March 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Such a great article. You’re a great writer, Bob.

    Thank-you dearly for the laughs and a bit of a reality check.


  36. March 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Thanks, Owen. Glad I could provide a bit of levity to some issues that affect many of us. Come back often, as Nasim, Lola, Roman, Tom, and others intend to continue providing educational, technical, business, and occasionally, humorous content! ;)

  37. March 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    This was awesome! Thank you for the smile.

    • March 19, 2012 at 4:39 am

      Thank you for the feedback. More articles to come, and eventually books and apps to join them.

  38. 38) Shubho
    March 19, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Bob, great article ! :)
    Glad I am not single (read – responsibilities on my shoulders :) ) .. thus though I flip through sites / forums and read about the latest gear in the block, my purchases are on the conservative side!
    I couldn’t agree more that it is indeed the “desire to own” which is the compelling factor, rather than the urge to ‘use’.
    I always ask myself, do I really need it, what are the ‘x’ things I ‘will’ do (mind you, not ‘can’ do) if I buy it and what do I really stand to lose if I don’t have it. And that contains me most of the times ! ;-)

    • March 19, 2012 at 4:37 am

      I think you may be onto something with that philosophy. Of course, your popularity has to be much lower with B&H, Fedex, UPS, and others… ;)

  39. 39) Shubho
    March 19, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Forgot to mention that Nasim & Lola’s site is becoming richer (in content :-)) by the day !
    Good job all – I certainly look forward to all postings on this site.

    Thanks again ! ! You are an integral part of my photography journey !! :)

  40. March 19, 2012 at 4:38 am

    The goal is to build a site rich with a diverse set of content. Thanks for the feedback and keep it coming!

  41. March 19, 2012 at 11:51 am


  42. March 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Also, the time we spend on reading reviews and purchasing the product, if converted into reading manual, tips, and applying them will also help (at least to me). Once we become master on operating our gear in worst situations, then it can also help if we plan to upgrade something better.
    But i am sure, learning to use our gear requires atleast 2-3 years.

    • March 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      Absolutely correct. I have an idea for an upcoming article on “Getting To Know Your Gear” – or something like that. There are far too many people buying more complicated gear and not taking the time to get to know how to exploit its capabilities.

  43. 43) Scott
    March 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I got a question, I know a guy who wanted to show me some photos he was very proud of, during this exchange he asked me to set his camera to the same settings i use to shoot!?!? I tried to explain that i dont have a special “setting”, and during this i asked him about one of his photos, think it was something about the iso or something, anyway, he turned to me a flat out said “I dont know what that stuff all means……i just know how to take good photos!”………………………….on that note i placed his setting to auto and left!……………What what you call that one? lol

  44. 44) Marianne Golding
    March 20, 2012 at 1:02 am

    What a blogger!!! Loved reading your thoughts Bob. Would also love to follow your blogging (which I have done!) keep it up – I could identify with so much ;-)

    • March 20, 2012 at 6:54 am

      Is that like one addict following another? :) Thanks and keep checking back often.

  45. March 20, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Having less money to spend is the prevention for everything except PFA :D (not cure, prevention ;) )
    I am personally starting to show signs of passive PFA (i.e. reading through all forums, commenting a few times). GAS is next :O
    Great article.. cheers.

    • March 20, 2012 at 7:00 am

      PFA can be a real killer. Snarkism is rampant on the internet, particular in some photography forums that will not be named! If you disagree with some of the forum members regarding their camera, lens, etc. not best thing since sliced bread, they will unleash to demons of hell upon you… well… at least label you that worst of all possible insults in their world… “Troll”!
      As with anything in life, a little moderation goes a long way. The forums can be a good source of information/advice at times, but some of the conversations can become pretty silly pretty quickly. Beware of being sucked in! :)

  46. 46) ADRIAN
    March 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Wow! I was reading first part of this article, the GAS syndrome, but when to move to LBA one, I came to realize that I don’t have any time left to read, because I need to check out on amazon and ebay a couple of lenses I wanted to buy to complete my arsenal…
    But, excellent work, anyways!

    • March 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      Uh-oh… It sounds like you have a serious case of each. In such cases, only an exorcism can help… ;)

  47. March 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Fantastic article – not laughed so much in a while :)

    • March 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it. Tune in next for how to sell your gear on ebay! ;)

  48. 48) borlup
    March 21, 2012 at 4:28 am

    hahahaha wonderful, not laughed so much – ever!!! –

  49. 49) Dan
    March 21, 2012 at 5:40 am


    A very funny article, made even funnier as I switched tabs from a eBay to view it. i am humbled by my addiction and my Wife would probably go along with all of them. I don’t quite have the TUB problem but I have on a low (I hope) scale both GAS and LBA. No matter what you spend your money on, if your not seeing the image, you’ll never reproduce it on a screen or a print. We have a saying in our Club “All gear, no idea” which sums it up perfectly.

    Thank you for such a humorous post. Now back to eBay….


    • March 21, 2012 at 5:48 am

      You are quite welcome. Thanks for sharing your experiences. If we can’t laugh at our own behavior once in a while, what fun would life be?
      While our fascination with gear can be fun to indulge in, it shouldn’t overshadow the fundamentals associated with producing interesting and intriguing photos. A $3,000 camera in the hands of an unskilled photographer merely allows him/her to take bad pictures faster and print them at larger sizes!
      Let me know what goodies you found on ebay! ;)

      • 49.1.1) Dan
        June 15, 2012 at 7:32 am


        I left eBay alone, cashed in a savings scheme, gave my Wife half and went and bought a 70-200 f2.8L.

        For my penance, how many Lord’s prayers must I say???

        (I have taken some really good images with it though so surely that must go towards my contrition!!)

        Love the site,


        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          June 15, 2012 at 7:18 pm

          This is a tough one. I think you probably you will likely have to organize a Novena to have others pray for your soul… ;)

  50. 50) Fern T
    March 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm


    All gear, no idea”

    I love it, see u on Ebay…


  51. 51) Zero_Equals_Infinity
    March 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I am a well adjusted, and high functioning GAS-LBA-PFA. I still hold my job, which means I am not spending (all of) my work hours pining over gear to acquire, while sending vile e-mails to forums, sales reps, and presidents of camera companies.

    I take at least one photo a month, (honestly), and most people cannot understand anything I say about photography.

    • March 23, 2012 at 5:06 am

      Ha! Ever since digital photography took off in ~2000, it does seem as if it attracted many more technical types who were far more interested in the bits and bytes vs. taking photos. Some of this is for good reason, given the rapidly evolving technologies. At other times, it does feel as if the obsession with technology detracts from some of the very reasons you pick up a camera in the first place.
      Might I suggest you set a goal of taking 2 pictures per month? :)

  52. 52) Coeurdechene
    March 22, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Good article, great laughs!
    BUT i’m not sure if i should thank you or curse you! Now a glimpse of sanity might have struck me and the horrible doubt about “with that body and lenses i’ll be able to work!” argument has just creeped in!
    Might i’ve been rendered delusional? not sure if all the time spent in front of the computer checking forums, dxo tests , thourough reviews of lenses (even cine lenses since the camera has pro video features!), 100% sample crops, and even ancient history about fuji and kodak DSLR’s has just started to fry my brain…
    hope it’s just a psychological pathology and not fully fledged brain damage.

    • March 23, 2012 at 5:13 am

      Most people probably curse me, so you may want to buck the trend! ;) It doesn’t sound as if you are too far gone, just in the entry level stages. There is still hope for you if you will seek treatment. But getting sucked too far into the photo forums can be the photography equivalent of the “kiss of death” . If, when out and about (assuming you are still taking photos, right?) with your camera, you find yourself obsessed with finding a “good brick wall” to test out your lens, let me know, as you may need an immediate intervention! ;)

  53. 53) John Price
    March 22, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I’m Terminally ill.

    • March 23, 2012 at 5:19 am

      It happens. As long as you don’t find yourself planning for “weekend marathons” on http://www.mycameraisbetterthanyours.com, you may still be salvageable. I suggest swearing off the photo forums (but leave Mansurovs.com as your home page, of course! :), leaving your house, and actually taking a few photos of something other than brick walls, test charts, and cute stuffed animals to test high ISO capabilities! Hang in there. ;)

  54. 54) Charles Geoge
    March 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I’m definitely diagnosed with mild GAS and moderate LBA. So glad to know i’m not alone in this suffering and that there is hope out there. Now if I could only convince the wife that it’s a real medical condition ;)

    Great read, good laughs… absolutely made my day, Thanks Bob!


    • March 24, 2012 at 8:45 am

      Thank you. If you need, we can have a Mansurovs-certified physician give you a prescription for shopping at B&H and an official statement regarding this being a legitimate disease! ;)

  55. 55) S N Ghosh
    March 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Think of it this way. Say you play the violin (not as a pro in orchestra though). You know the physical act of playing the violin is so difficult that buying a Strad ( ;-) if you can pay for it) will not make you another Itzhak Perelman.

    However, the physical act of taking a photo is so simple – just press a button! No wonder we get GAS and LAS.

    Me, I use a simple stratagem to protect myself. I do not keep money in bank. No money, no buy. I also shy away from photo mags and sites. And as for those agent provocateurs, when they say my $1000 AF-S F4 300mm lens in inferior to AG-S VR F2.8 300mm, I just say, give me $10000, and I will buy one.

    My list

    AF-S 35mm F1.8 DX (for low light, normal lens stuff, bit of landscape)
    AF-S 55-200mm F4-5.6 IF ED VR DX (flexible tele)
    AF-S 105mm F2.8 micro IF ED VR (micro and tele)
    AF-S 300mm F4 (long tele)

    and the camera? A crummy D3000 nikon

    anything else, not required, or beyond my means

    • March 24, 2012 at 8:47 am

      It sounds like you have insulated yourself from most, if not all, of these illnesses. Unfortunately, others lack such photographic fortitude! :)

  56. 56) Don
    March 23, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I have thought of writing an article like this on my blog for quite some time, but now I won’t because it has been pulled off perfectly here.

    Well, back to the forums…

  57. March 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Repeat after me, “Must… stay… out… of… forums…” – it will be difficult at first, but with time, you may find yourself winning over your compulsion! :)

  58. 58) Marianne
    March 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Hi Bob – you are having fun aren’t you?! Hee, hee!

    • March 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

      Indeed! If we can’t make fun of ourselves (and others that share our interests/passions/hobbies/etc.), what is the point? :)

  59. 59) Marianne
    March 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Absolutely 100% Bob! :-)

  60. 60) RKT
    March 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    A good read … now I need to introspect !!!

  61. March 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Be careful – too much introspection can sometimes result in the opposite reaction – the purchase of additional gear! :)

  62. March 26, 2012 at 4:37 am

    In remission from the disease, one lens, one body, no tripod, just make pictures

  63. 63) Gojira1976
    April 3, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Help! I can’t find your forum! How can I rant about your post,and receive sympathy, if I can’t your forum!

  64. 64) Alex
    April 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I don’t have invisible friends. They are real and alive. D700, EMac and iMac.

  65. 65) Robert
    April 6, 2012 at 1:06 am


    I think what we really have here is not any kinds of “afflictions” at all. Everything described here falls under various categories of perfectly normal human behavior in written communication, collecting, and the undertaking of hobbies. Indeed what we really have here is an author who is in denial. Unwilling to admit that his life is just as simple and normal as everyone else’s. So instead of embracing, enjoying and finding the beauty in his life he turns on it labeling the pastimes he has chosen as afflictions, addictions, illnesses, syndromes, and so on. This is basically just an unhealthy externalization. For if there is some disease or illness operating on him as if from some outside force which he must face or combat he can then excuse himself for himself.

    Sorry bro! You’re human, normal, and conventional just like the rest of us. These things are not illnesses, afflictions, syndromes, addictions, diseases, or anything else outside normalcy. Deal with the fact that sometimes life is simple and human nature is both predictable and common. Then maybe you can enjoy yourself instead of labeling your your behavior as “sick”.

    To put it in a shorter, more direct way: Stop being a wimp and just have fun!

    • April 6, 2012 at 2:32 am

      Robert, I think you are taking the article a bit too seriously – just enjoy the humorous read! :)

    • April 6, 2012 at 5:45 am


      Interesting analysis, but far too complicated and off the mark. It was simply having some fun by laughing at my own as well as the behavior of fellow photographers. Whether you agree or not regarding my humble attempt to pull it off, this post would go under the category of… “humor”.

      And last time I checked, finding humor in ourselves and others is just as important as finding beauty in the world – if not more so at times! If we have to psychoanalyze everything, we are in for a long slog in this life. But based on the feedback associated with this post, I am pretty confident that no one is worrying too much about being afflicted by any of these conditions!


      • 65.2.1) Robert
        April 6, 2012 at 7:21 am

        Well that’s what I thought at first too but then I read a few of the replies and it looked like you were more the “dead serious” type. So I thought I’d give ya a jab with your own jig. But OK, I see. As Roseanne Roseanna Danna would say: “Never-miiind!” :)

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          April 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm

          Glad you saw the light. Would have hate to have diagnosed you with a case of “Snarkism”! :)

          • Robert
            April 7, 2012 at 12:18 am

            Oh, I am DEFINITELY a snarkist!

            I just love telling people how they really sound. I usually wait till they show that they’re totally full of themselves first though. :) And then… just when they tell others how they should be or what they “really need to do” I blast them with the snark-canon!

            I have had it backfire a few times though. Especially with Zeiss users. Those guys stick together like like old carmel-corn in a cluster of elitism thick enough to melt one’s shoes if one should happen to step in it. :D

            Of course it’s different when I talk about how good my Zeiss lenses are though!

            • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
              April 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm

              It is always “different” when it is our particular passion we are obsessed with!

  66. 66) Pat
    April 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

    After a couple of years “suffering” of all of the above mentioned afflictions, I think I have a partial cure. I and a friend (also one of the afflicted) have decided to pool resources! We have our own camera bodies but lenses etc are shared. Now we’re much less prone to getting new stuff, but when we do upgrade/acquire s’thing new it’s at half the cost.

    A positive side-effect is that we’re now competing not on gear but who gets the most out of the gear, photography-wise.

    Moderate-to-high likelihood of TUB in the near future though, what with the D800 and all:-)

    • April 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      I am not sure B&H or Nikon would appreciate your “solution” for the problem! Too healthy and it leads to lower sales volumes!!! ;)

  67. 67) George Gravett
    April 8, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Bob, wonderful article. I recognize all the symptoms! Got it from my dad, I suppose it’s hereditary…

    Another world that is very much the same is the world of guitars – exact same symptoms, exact same behaviour. Only difference is, there GAS means ‘Guitar Acquisition Syndrome’ ;-)

    • April 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Indeed GAS takes on many forms – just substitute your addiction of choice! I do think it may be hereditary as well! :)

  68. April 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    My family always say that I am wasting my time here at net, except I
    know I am getting familiarity every day by reading thes good content.

  69. 69) Crimson Kat Garnet
    April 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Fantastic article and so very true! (Been looking at the Pentax line for a few yrs now but the economy grabbed me by both shoulders, so waiting *sigh*)

    • April 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks, Kat. Pentax makes great cameras and some stellar lenses. Their market share remains a concern for many, however. Lens selection and the availability of accessories caused me to switch from Pentax to Nikon in 2008, and I haven’t looked back!

      • 69.1.1) Crimson Kat Garnet
        April 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        Makes sense but Im willing to try so long as they can handle the market until I manage to at least get something. Thanks for the input :)

  70. 70) A
    April 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    fave quotea: I hear that Manflitzo is shipping their MB-2835C with twice the carbon fiber, half the weight, GPS, Bluetooth, and a battery-powered astronomy motor drive.

  71. 71) John Burger
    April 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    OMG!!! I started laughing reading this article to my wife,who just smiled and laughed along w/me saying “that’s you!” LOVE IT!! I have just recently returned to my passion of photography,after selling my equipt. nearly 8yrs. ago due to financial hardship and spending the last year an a half driving my wife nuts,I finally was able to replace my lost equipt.Digital is all new to me since my last camera was film,reading article after article and slowly learning what I can and trying to keep up with the latest everything this article just hit home!! Spent the last 3hrs. on your site here-LOVED the cheap photographer video-I half to say I have put your site on my favorites and I look forward to reading your tips I briefly had time to look at,also like the fact it’s NIKON related,seeing my camera is the D7000,i will be checking this site on a regular basis.

  72. 72) Patrick
    April 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I didn’t find any other articles on this Dr E.X. Posur on the web.

    He must be happy that you are now giving him some exposure :)


    • April 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Indeed he is. He gave me a few hours of free therapy for the “exposure”! :)

  73. 73) Picsl8
    April 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I genuinely know a guy who is so fixated on his equipment and all the technical aspects of it that he is simply no longer capable of recognising a ‘photo opportunity’. Unless his wife is with him he will walk past everything short of a UFO landing on his own head. Shame really because when he does actually take a photo it tends to be rather good. . . . when.

    • April 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Yes – with the move to digital, photography has attracted quite a few “gear heads” who seem to be more interested in the technology than actually using it to take photos. Many of them inhabit certain forums and endlessly debate meaningless minutia for days. Fewer still post any interesting photos. Sad, but true! :)

  74. 74) Brent Eades
    April 22, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Good piece, sounds awfully familiar :)

    The guy in my local camera store, when I go to the cash to pay for whatever item I’m buying, has a habit of asking, “Is there anything else you NEED?”

    As he explained once, “I know most of my customers WANT everything in here, but they only NEED a bit of it.”

    Anyway, I’m off to buy a nice Sigma 10-200mm that I’m pretty sure I NEED :)

    • April 22, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Thank you. A Sigma 10-200 zoom has to be something we all NEED. A Sigma 10-20mm might just be a WANT! ;)

  75. 75) Brent Eades
    April 22, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Er, that should have been Sigma 10-20 mm, not 200 mm! Though come to think of it… :)

    • April 22, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Damn! I started looking for it online convinced that I also NEEDed this lens! :)))

  76. 76) trialcritic
    April 23, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Too late, I suffer from both. I upgraded to Nikon D800 and got the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. I am waiting to see when to buy the next lens. I am not in denial, but do not know how to get out of it.

    • April 23, 2012 at 4:29 am

      Not to worry – you are not alone! The D800 and 14-24 must be a wicked combination. The new 28mm 1.8 looks like another winner, and is reasonably priced. Nikon has been able to find a formula recently for making excellent 1.8 lenses that cost ~1/3 of their 1.4 counterparts.

  77. 77) Leila
    April 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    At least it’s not deadly, I’m a novice here so I should be in the clear (for now)?

    • April 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Nope… sounds like you are in denial. Those cases always turn out the worst… :)

  78. 78) Thomas
    April 27, 2012 at 1:14 am

    That is truth. But fortunately I think I have found the remedy for all that: Buy a JEEP, the desease vanishes. You have to buy gear for the Jeep! Sincerely,


    • April 27, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Nikon, Canon, and the others don’t appreciate photographers switching addictions. They have to stay “in the family”.

  79. 79) Bela
    May 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    It was very funny and really true.
    Well, I do not suffer any of the syndrome’s mentioned above. I do not have any money to buy the newest and latest equipments so this problem’s solved.
    I’m not interested in other’s opinion about my photos (or new equipments etc.) so I do not publish photos on any of the sites neither commenting others photos. I used to did this but I was fed up with the so many useless comments they made on my photos…
    Okay, I have one addiction…I’m still replying and commenting this article well beyond midnight ;-)
    But your articles and the whole site always worth to read….

    • May 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      If you don’t suffer from these, you must have some form of addiction not yet diagnosed! Being addicted to Mansurovs is a healthy addiction of course! :)

  80. 80) Christopher
    May 4, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Great article – applicable to much in life I feel….

  81. 81) Christopher
    May 4, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Great article – applicable to much of life I think….

  82. 82) Patrick C.
    May 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Guilty on all counts… time to get off the computer and go on a photo walk!

  83. 83) VP Vaiphei
    June 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Good article Bob!i have along way to go.All these diseases had advanced more than i could have thought…i had inherited the love of DSLRs with these diseases in it,i feel like suffering a little more after these revelations. ha ha…

  84. June 14, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Thanks VP. These afflictions transcend photography and are also well known to other enthusiasts of others sports/hobbies as well.

  85. 85) Mark Franco
    June 28, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Nice article, i upgraded by Sony A300 to Canon 5DM3 and hope to stay like that for another 3 yrs.

    • July 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Good luck with that! When the 5DM4 comes out, the temptation may be too great! ;)

  86. 86) Bijoy
    July 30, 2012 at 2:35 am

    That is so well written.. it was a joy reading it.. And i too seem to be showing initial symtoms of the LBA setting in.. hope the other deadly plagues don’t follow :)

    • July 30, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it. LBA is usually the first of the afflictions. Many more to follow! :)

  87. 87) Tanvir Alam
    September 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I think this is going to save my life, at least I have GAS and TUB :) , not with photography gear, because I am just beginning this, but I had GAS and TUB with my bike and all others that grew my interest in them.

    Thank you very very much for writing this one and all others , I’m learning a lot from here. I don’t have PFA, so this is only one I’m reading for a while.


    • September 11, 2012 at 5:12 am

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Indeed all these afflictions are to be found (with slightly different names) in those that are enthusiastic about any sport/hobby. Golfers, cyclists, runners, etc. – each has their own set of high tech “toys” and obsessions. Golfers in particular have been known to change brands quite a bit, always searching for the “perfect” club, ball, etc.

  88. 88) Michael
    January 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you for this great article! Ever since Nikon came out the the D600 and Canon came out with the 6D the net has been flooded with people with all sorts of photography related diseases. I just hope they aren’t contagious…

  89. 89) HEW
    January 20, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I can’t remember laughing so much while reading through a photography article, to the degree that everyone at home came down to see what is going on !!

    I can proudly say I suffer all the stated maladies par excellence .. and I am enjoying that without any remorse .. and let me tell you why;

    GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome: I always look for gear that solves a practical problem, i.e. a bag that carries a tripod, a second plate to my tripod head so I stop changing from one body to another, a cleaning kit for my sensor, and the more I go out taking photos the more practical problems I face and the more gear I buy .. so it is actually caused by taking photos ..

    LBA – Lens Buying Addiction: I buy lenses because I want to achieve this fantastic Bokeh, or take a Macro shot, or catch that football player etc .. so it is driven by purpose and by trying to take more photos of something different or more exciting ..

    PFA – Photo Forum Addiction: I would not have missed your article for anything .. and as a matter of fact we are so lucky in the computer/internet age that we have so much knowledge accessible instantly, reducing lifetime quests to a night infront of the computer to decide on the best lens calibration kit and whether they are actually worth it ..

    TUB – The Upgrade Beast: As you said digital cameras keep changing so quickly .. so nowadays to keep your cameras from depreciating to nothing you need to keep investing in every other iteration or version of your cameras .. this way you keep your gear worthy for longer .. and in the process enjoy all the new features .. this means an upgrade every 36 months on average with minimal financial loss

    OK I am guilty of all of the above but I hope I have good reasons for not getting treated !! I have never stopped taking photos .. tens of thousands so far .. the moment I stop photographing I will know I need treatment ..

    Thanks for your fantastic article which I emailed to my whole family and to all my friends hoping they will now have some more sympathy towards me ..

    • January 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks for the feedback – much appreciated. I have to admit that I wouldn’t count on my article to win any sympathy from your family – it hasn’t worked for me! :)

  90. 90) Hei Lung
    February 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Kind of a dumb essay . His idea of an affliction, is somebody else’s idea of great pleasure. I am new to digital. My Nikon D800, is a GREAT beginner camera, with top notch lenses, is outrageously excellent.
    Hei Lung

    • February 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      According to our team psychologists, 99.9% of people that thought this was a dumb essay have one or more of these diseases and completely oblivious to the severity of the damage they are suffering from. The worse ones are those that consider a D800to be a “beginner” camera… :)

  91. 91) Leo Williams
    March 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Hi Bob,

    Wonderful article. You brought the light back to me. If I may add one more syndrome to the list. Its the RBBYFCS (Researching Before Buying Your First Camera Syndrome). Its the worst. I think I will need to talk to my wife about this. She is a Psychiatric Nurse. Trust me I am not joking.


    You research and workout a budget for what you are planing to buy, and then you research more and get completely confused and rework your budget. The only difference is the price tag keeps going high. And to make things worse if you have to wait until you get the funds ready for the purchase.

    Read this article : https://photographylife.com/nikon-vs-canon-vs-sony By NASIM MANSUROV .

    • March 20, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks, Leo. No doubt the budgeting exercise is little more than an intellectual ruse to let your emotions go berserk and buy whatever fancies them. You then find “rational” reasons to adjust your budget to what your feelings decided! ;)

      • 91.1.1) Leo Williams
        March 21, 2013 at 4:40 am

        Thanks Bob. That makes a lot of sense.

  92. March 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    This is a fantastic and very valid article. From time to time I tutor and give lessons to new photographers. As soon they learn the concept of what a lens or camera can and can’t do they are busy going online and reading on “what is the best” lens.

    They read reviews and see that this or that lens is best for portraits or for weddings etc. They see that some pros use them or on photographer’s websites. So they then spend their hard earned money to buy something before they have mastered what they have.

    Its great to show the new photographer that photography is not easy and that it is learned in stages. Once it is learned, you learn what your style and preferences are. After that you figure out your budget and what works for you best.

    I suffered from some of these in the past and have a vast array of zoom lenses. Later I went to only primes and haven’t looked back.

    The tip I have is: Photography takes a life time to learn and it never is truly mastered as it is an art. Appreciate the growth and learning. No one becomes a pro over night. And never stop loving it.

    • March 27, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the article. Indeed we all get a bit too wrapped up in our gear. And that comment is directed as much toward myself as anyone else!
      I think everyone should take a daylong trip with just one lens and learn to find subjects that can exploit its capabilities, while dealing with limitations as well.

  93. March 28, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Hi BoB,

    Loved your article.. Specially because I have come across hundreds of such victims in past few years :D .. And they always point me for why am I using old age 6 mp Nikon D50 ;) .. And I always respont “More than sufficient for me :) ”

    And yes.. you are absolutely right.. Lesser the equipment we carry, more the time we will spend on planning and more creative output will come..

    Keep such articles coming..

    • March 28, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks, Deepak. We should all learn how to get more out of the equipment we have and become better photographers – not just collectors of photography gear! ;)

  94. 94) Abigail Cross
    April 3, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I’m definately sick, but thank goodness for an extremely tight budget and a skeptical husband, I can never actually purchase the fancy lenses and upgrades…doesn’t stop me spending hours looking and comparing though. ;)

    • April 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      We all are. But don’t dismiss the addiction of reading the various forums. It is amazing how quick the rationalizations come after your gut tells you that you need a given lens! ;)

  95. 95) suchindran
    April 5, 2013 at 7:41 am

    hi bob
    i have 3 dslrs (1:1.6, 1:1.3 & 1.1 :-), 7 slrs, some 40 + lenses, and peripheral gear that goes with all that. i also have some 50+ rolls of film stashed in my fridgidaire. so wonder what that pegs me as :-) … though i would hasten to add: no, the wife has not left me yet. cs

    • April 7, 2013 at 9:11 am

      You are definitely afflicted! And “yet” is the key word here… :)

  96. 96) nicolae
    April 22, 2013 at 10:32 am

    :)))) thanks for article laughing all day reading and re-reading it I recognize myself in FPA and LBA Like Ken I own two macros and now serious macro photography so far :)))

    • 96.1) nicolae
      April 22, 2013 at 10:33 am

      sorry , no not now :)

  97. 97) Jake C.
    July 22, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    If your comment about ken the macro lens guy is a dig at a certain well known ken that fuels the poor addicts’ addiction, then kudos, I found it absolutely hilariou!! Even if it’s not I’m jut gonna imagine it is and giggle for the rest of the day.

    Btw should I sell all my gears waiting for Fuji to release a full frame mirrorless camera? :D

    • July 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Actually, the Ken I referred to makes quite a bit of fun at gear junkies! Until mirrorless cameras have viewfinders, I would hang on to my DSLR. If a camera doesn’t have a viewfinder, I might as well have a cellphone! :)

  98. September 8, 2013 at 7:48 am

    I was going to upgrade to a Canon 70D or Nikon D7100 but after reading this article I will keep my Nikon D40 and 50mm f1.8.

    Thank you!

    • September 8, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Nothing wrong with upgrading. It is the obsession with it that is the problem! :)

  99. 99) Oivind
    September 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Dear Dr. Posur
    I think I´ve got an until now unknown disease. I my daily work as a fulltime journalist i use a NIkon D7000 with some wide angle and some telephoto lenses attached to it, but when I go home it stays behind at my desk.
    I love to take pictures and I own a lot of cameras (about 20-30 of them) that I use frequently on my time off. My favorite is my first camera ever. A Nikon EM with a series E 50 mm on it. I never owned another lens for that one, and since 1980 i probably have put trough about 50 rolls of film… In the 90´s I was seriously thinking about upgrading to a Nikon FM and a 85 mm, but the money never came by. In 2003 I had the money (and 3 mpix Sony cybershot – of course I still have it and use it). And finally I upgraded to the ultimate tool for happy amateurs a FM2 with a 105/2.5 a 85/1.8 and a 35-70 for everyday walks. All manual of course. The lenses are still in use but because it is hard to get colorfilm developed nearby, the lenses now stays in a beat up Domke bag with my 90K+ exposures D2Xs and with supporting company of my Yashica D TLR and a Yashica Minister 700. Both loaded with Neopan or HP5. That means that my Zeiss Super Ikonta is part time retired for the moment, together with the Voigtländer 6×9 and also the Zeiss Ikon 6×6.
    Two years back I was hit hard by nostalgia when Olympus E-P1 started to hit the lowest gutter of the camera world. People started throwing them after me for about 50 -75 USD included kit lens. A pancake lens set me off almost 120 USD. I checked the counter the other day and it have just turned 4.000 clicks. I am ashamed to tell that I only own one hard drive for my pictures and it is filled with only the lousy amount of 7.500 pictures from the last 35 years. About 1/3 of them actually are printed and I cnnot tell how many dips where used, but they look okay- about 100 are printed in 16×24″ and framed. I actually change the now and then on my walls. and about 400 are printed in 8×11″. My problem is that I dont see any situation where I would need anything else to capture the moment i want, at the time I want, in the area I want. On a sunday walk with my five kids I maybe take 24-36 pictures (film or digital), dump half of them and enjoy the rest. Workflow in private life photography is set at a pace where I dont want to snap away, but actually make photographs. Strange habit in these days where gigabytes comes for almost free.

    So dear doctor can you give me a diagnoses for this. I am worried that I might become a photographer and not obsessed with cameras if this continous to develop for another 30 years.

    best regards from Øivind in Norway (that explains the somewhat unorthodox use of the english language)

    PS: I had a very weak moment not long ago, where my Yashica Minister almost were substituted by a design marvel that according to the internet (a phenomena which by the way is probably here to stay…) is made by Fuji and called X-E1. It will probably be on the second hand marked in a couple of years for 75 USD or so. I can wait. I think.

    • September 21, 2013 at 9:48 am


      I think I see your problem… This seems to be a very serious condition. My learned opinion is that you are using your camera equipment to take actual PICTURES of your world and are not obsessing enough about your equipment! This puts you at odds with many of the people with the various maladies I describe, who usually spend every waking minute (and probably some time in their dreams) TALKING about photography. At best, they take photos of brick walls.

      While your condition can be considered to be more healthy than the other diseases I listed, it has its own set of problems:

      1st – You are not supporting any of the camera companies financially, and thus not doing enough to promote R&D and helping ensure future innovation. Just what are you doing to help the profitability of the camera companies? Do you really want to personally be responsible for Canon, Nikon or others not making their quarterly profit projections? That may be a heavy burden to bear… :)

      2nd – You might actually be missing out on as few technological advances that actually prove beneficial in real world conditions. Digital camera technology is still in its infancy, with the first commercially available model available in 1990. And it would take another 9 years before the first serious DSLR was produced by Nikon – the D1. In other words, digital camera technology is evolving rapidly. It doesn’t make your current gear obsolete by any means, but some upgrades may have give you new found advantages in some situations, such as low-light, vibration reduction, HDR, etc.

      So while obsessing about new gear is an issue unto itself, complete lack of concern about upgrading technology can have some minor downsides as well.

      A word of caution: You might wish to stay away from those that I describe in this article, as they will clearly not understand you and look at you a bit oddly. :)

      Thanks for sharing your story. Keep shooting and enjoying your gear! It is always better to have less but use it more than to accumulate tons of gear and never put it to work!!! ;)


  100. 100) Dan Carter
    October 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    So….Is there a “12 step program” similiar to the program offered by AA?
    I fear that I am too weak to do this on my own.

    • October 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Unfortunately, the few I attended degenerated into discussions of new lenses, cameras, and other accessories. Before I knew it, everyone in the group had downloaded the B&H application to their smartphones, talked themselves into needing more stuff, and racking up quite a few orders with more gear! :)

      • 100.1.1) Dan Carter
        October 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

        Ah! Self-medication….!
        I guess I am resigned to my fate! :)

        • Profile photo of Bob Vishneski Bob Vishneski
          October 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm

          The best you can hope for is to use a good credit card that gives you a healthy % of cash back for your purchases! :) Good luck and perhaps I will see you in rehab!

  101. 101) Heather
    November 10, 2013 at 6:17 am

    LOL this by far is the funniest post I have seen yet regarding photography and TRUE. Guilty as charged on some of these accounts. I thank you though because at the end of reading what I really understood was that there is always going to be new gear and new lenses that will catch my eye but if I don’t spend my time shooting with what I do have I cannot hope to get better and grow into such equipment. I would also like to say that this is by far the best photography website I have found yet. Things are explained in such a simple way for folks like myself. I love it and keep them coming.

    • November 10, 2013 at 8:41 am

      Glad you enjoyed the article. It is indeed so easy to get wrapped up with specs, megapixels, and the myriad of new features such that we take our eye of those things that matter most for our style/type of shooting.
      We certainly try to keep up with technology, but also mix in a variety of other articles we think might interest our audience. Thanks for the comments – much appreciated.

  102. 102) Jether
    November 21, 2013 at 2:54 am

    This just saved me from a down spiral which would of led me astray from what i truly love.
    Thank you for opening my eyes.

    • November 21, 2013 at 6:26 am

      It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while, we make a profound difference in someone’s life! :)

  103. 103) Roberto
    March 16, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    HAHAAH .. Uh. guilty as charged. But now it’s dwindling down, trying to actually take some pictures, however, I heard that a new Canikon D5600Ds could be out soon…
    20 years ago I used to wait for the Victoria’s Secret Catalog to come in the mail, now it’s the B&H Catalog, and when that big bad boy is in my hands, I am so gone for a few days… ;-)

    • March 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Aren’t we all? :) Victoria Secrets models come and go, but a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8? Its beauty lives on forever…

  104. 104) Roberto
    March 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    How true that is.. I am partial to the curves and beauty of the 85mm 1.4 .. a true supermodel ! ;-)

  105. 105) Nicholas B
    April 13, 2014 at 4:26 am

    I would like to point out that not all suffers of GAS have an insecurity problem.
    I am fully confident I can take a great photo with the cheapest gear, because I have… but the problem is it’s always a matter of ‘what a beautiful piece of technology I could just kiss it, maybe I can do X with this’.
    I never buy gear thinking it will help my photography, because I know it won’t. I know I get much the same results whatever I use. Yet I want the better gear anyway!

  106. 106) Boris
    April 28, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Great article, Bob. Was laughing for a while on a subway ride to work. But as an amateur allow me to justify my desire for new, greater and better gear, which is in the mild stages of TUB. I was always amazed by astrophotography, but as a someone who is carrying a D90, the ISO doesn’t hold to levels where a star will be a perfect round dot and noise levels will be exceptable.Please help me cure my sickness.

    • April 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you. But… I hate to break it to you, the advice that follows is hardly a cure. If you want to get into Astro Photography? Nikon D800 or Canon 5DMIII and…. the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. If… of course, you want to do it “right!” :)

      • 106.1.1) Boris
        April 29, 2014 at 7:25 am

        Yeah, that request has been filed with the wife for couple of years now. Since I am an amateur and susceptible to GAS, it’s not feasible or justifiable at this point of my amateur career. Unless I hit the lottery ;-)

  107. 107) steve paxton
    July 31, 2014 at 4:49 am

    sorry Bob i hit reply too soon loved the reading above as i am doing my fair share of building around my D600 just love the Samyang 14mm and the price and results. reading thats what …… where can i go to next.



    • July 31, 2014 at 6:07 am

      I have the Samyang as well. It is an incredibly sharp lens. Looking forward to testing it out on some beautiful western night skies in the next few months! Not to worry, there is plenty more photography gear calling your name! ;)

  108. 108) Malcolm Lyons
    August 18, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Don’t want to re-iterate the wisdom, humour and ethos that has been discussed here. GAS is a pretty well understood process. There are perhaps about ten common factors that drive it.
    I have had GAS since 2006. But in the days of film I used a Canon EF SRL happily for 20 years. No chance of GAS and only LBA to a mild degree. But digital has changed all this as Bob has so clearly explained.
    I have stated over and again over the last 4 years that my days of buying are over, only to buy again.
    So I’m a hopeless case. I was resigned to that fact and just decided that this was my collectorship. My destiny.

    Maybe not so quick to resign to failure. I am down to 4 camera bodies from 7. I am left now with 14 lenses for 3 inter-changeable lens cameras. I have sold 6000 dollars worth of gear in the last 18 months.
    I have a Pentax 645D and do not wish to upgrade to the 645Z. Not a chance.Where would it get me? And thats despite a mouth watering inheritance that could buy 45 new 645Z bodies.

    With what I have I can do HD video, diorama, fisheye and really just about anything.

    So is having the funds and not buying into a big upgrade signs of a real cure?
    I also now feel mindful of the process and content with what I have.
    Has my own personal GAS now gone? I would REALLY like to think so. What do the forum contributors think?

    And I can and will contribute (on this forum) something genuinely interesting and pleocentric in its emphasis. All in due course.

    Malcolm in New Zealand

    • August 18, 2014 at 5:01 am

      While I can say with some certainty that it appears that you are in “remission,” it is also safe to say that one never truly gets cured of GAS. Sure, you seem ok for now, but perhaps with the introduction of the Pentax 745Q or Nikon D910, you will find yourself face-down in the gutter surrounded by one of these cameras and the 5 new lenses announced with each of these cameras? You just never know… But I will keep you in my thoughts and hope for the best! ;)

  109. 109) Sumit Banga
    September 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Very nice article, I have initial symptoms of GAS and LBA.. thanks to your article, I shall stop thinking too much about what I don’t have and use the gear I already have…

    Sumit Banga

    • September 8, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      Too late. The very thought of these maladies will likely result in your buying 3 new lenses that you don’t need! ;)

  110. 110) Prashant
    September 12, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Just realized I am suffering from GAS. Thanks for the article.

  111. 111) Malcolm Lyons
    September 19, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    In my life I never say never.
    I have learnt that.
    The GAS God shone on me again. Weak tart that I am.
    I have just bought an Olympus OMD-5 plus kit, and an Olympus E-PM2
    This is now my latest gear list and I thinks its why its end of GAS. I have every conceivable use nailed .

    Pentax 645 D
    SMC 300mm
    SMC 200mm
    SMC 80 -160mm zoom
    SMC 135mm
    SMC 75mm f2.8
    SMC 55mm f4
    SMC 35mm
    = 7
    Landscape monster- what I have dreamed of for 40 years (excuse)

    Olympus OMD-5
    Panasonic 14-45
    Olympus 40-150
    Pentax M42 50mm 1.4 

    Samyang Fisheye 7.5mm
    = 4
    To replace Sony Full Frame and camcorder. Almost as good as FF (excuse)

    Olympus E 410
    JML 28mm (Miranda) M42 with adapter
    Olympus 14-42 4/3
    = 2
    Minimised Infrared set up (excuse)

    Olympus E-PM2 SMALL
    Olympus 25mm 1.8
    Always in the car (excuse – I have a cellphone)

    Now I am down to only (!!!) 4 cameras and 14 lenses. Yeee Ha ! Brothers and Sisters.

    This is now why I can stop GAS. I am mindful that GAS can metamorphose into GRS. It takes thought and satiation to get to GRS. Yes GRS is Gear Replacement Syndrome. When gear fails then just repair or replace.
    Getting from GAS to GRS is work in progress.

    I will let you know how I get on in therapy. My therapist says that change IS possible but it requires work, clarity of mind and a project to work on requiring photographs to be taken. I believe her. I hope to have a major show in 2015 (gallery space permitting). On the subject of “Pantopia”.

    So I DID invite the GAS God into my house.
    AGAIN !!
    And we had a great party and I listened to what he said. Some of what he said made a lot of sense but he’s a bit nuts you know. We all had a good laugh about GAS
    He can come back any time, but I wont take him so seriously again. He seems to be a bit less God like now and more fallible. He’s sooo funny. He’s a bit of a twit but really mostly harmless.

    • September 20, 2014 at 9:49 am

      I am afraid that you may be bereft of hope… On the other hand, the rest of us are probably insanely jealous of all your new gear! ;)

  112. 112) Malcolm Lyons
    September 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you for coming into my house to talk about GAS. Your comments are well received and I shall take your word for it. At least as much as I take the word of the GAS God.
    Yes what lovely (nearly) new gear.
    What a lucky tart I am.

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