I went through a series of digital point and shoots until my son bought me my beloved Olympus EPL-2 for my fiftieth birthday a couple of years ago. Because he couldn't afford a lens as well he bought a converter so I could use my old Pentax lenses.
I'm not a wealthy woman, what I earn in three months tutoring at the university has to last me the rest of the year (though I'm exploring other ways to earn at the moment), so buying myself anything at all feels like a huge extravagance. And it feels hideously selfish. If I run out of money before I can earn any more, Dave will have to feed me. I already live here rent free. So I don't buy clothes, or shoes, or make-up unless I absolutely have to, or they're very cheap. I considered replacing my five year old, almost daily worn boots this sale period, but decided they'll be fine for another year. I do buy books, though I've just managed to break my Kindle so that temptation has been removed, and food, and cigarettes, and the odd bottle of wine or drink down the pub, but all these things can be, and are, shared with Dave. They all contribute to our shared life, and chosen lifestyle, so I can, to myself at least, justify them. Not so easy when it comes to a new lens.
And believe me I have tried! For the last several months all sorts of dubious reasoning has been filling my head. The best I've managed is that Moffat Music Live uses my shots to promote its doings, as Dave's on the board he gets some benefit from my hobby, and a new lens will mean better photographs for their posters. But it's pretty feeble. Not quite as feeble as me though, because I fell for it.
However, it did take a while, and I wandered between yes I'll definitely get one, and no no, don't be stupid you don't need one, for weeks. And once I'd decided to allow myself to look it took even longer for me to decide on which sort. For ages I got hung up on sharpness, one of the things that really irritates me about my photos is that shot through a dirty window look. They too often tend to fuzziness, but I'd have to have been Hitler to have been able to convince myself to spend everything I have on a super-duper prime lens. So I read a lot of reviews and articles, thoroughly considered the type of photography (and environmental conditions) I indulge in, and veered between a wide 12mm and a 50mm, both fast.
Then I woke up yesterday morning and thought: 'Eryl, you're such a plank!' So I ordered a second hand, 12–50mm, 3.5–6.3 zoom. And no sooner had I done so when an email led me to an article by a professional photographer about why, and how, kit lenses are much better than their image leads us to believe. He showed lots of examples of splendid photos taken with his kit lens, and linked to a blog post by a fashion photographer in a similar vein. I'm not a professional, and never will be, so don't need high end equipment. I just need something to play with. Something to explore with.
An email arrived this afternoon to say my order's shipped. I'm so excited I can barely sit still. I can't justify spending nearly ten percent of my entire year's earnings on what is, ostensibly, a toy. But I've been looking at the world through a lens since 1979, it's one of the things that makes me, and I love it.
Sometimes you just have to admit to, and feed your passions.