I am finally getting rid of my lenses. I recently put up all my Viltrox lenses (the 23mm f1.4 mkII, the 33mm f1.4 mkII, and the 85mm f1.8) on Facebook Marketplace. The first two got sold almost immediately. Now I am only left with the Viltrox 85mm f1.8, which is still floating in the market as of this writing.
You might be wondering why am I selling these hot prime lenses. Are you asking if I will be leaving photography for good?
The answer is a big NO. I won’t be hanging up my Fujifilm XT100 anytime soon. I sold those two lenses as a step forward to my photography journey, which sounds ironic, I know. I sold some of my AF lenses to make way for the next phase of rekindling my passion for photography: to improve on my craft by using mostly manual focus lenses – specifically lenses from TTArtisan.
You might be thinking, ‘that is ridiculous‘. I… would have to agree with you on that.
Nonetheless, these are some of the reasons why committed such unimaginable crime:
- I want to go back to my roots, to focus more on composition and lighting, and to lessen the impact of my already costly gear acquisition disorder.
- I would like to bring back the joy in taking photos again. I missed the experience of turning both focus and aperture rings manually, and to endlessly wait for the red ants to show up.
- I want to lessen the equation. Bringing even just one of those Viltrox lenses on my daily commute stopped being fun. I just want to shoot my usual street photography. I am done wasting time thinking which lens to bring, or use.
- I am finding myself shooting more with my beat-up Fujifilm X100S.
Going back to my roots
Lately I have been too caught up in the race that I feel my outputs were turning to be too safe and cliche. It’s nice to surround yourself with great inspiration in social media but I found myself just copying their style, and their obsession with gear. I am tired of myself thinking “I gotta have that too” whenever I see someone posting about his new lens. I wish to go back and do my own thing, even if it means getting lesser engagements on social media, even if it means falling behind on the latest must-haves, even if it means I will be letting go of that sweet wide-open aperture.
Read a similar story here.
Bringing back joy in taking photos
The whole thing became a chore for me. Along with the features all Auto-Focus lenses provide, I got obsessed with the sharpness, fast-focusing, and fast-paced shooting that the whole experience became devoid of joy for me. I want to connect more with my shots. And the only way I know how to accomplish that is to return to my beloved TTArtisan Manual-Focus lenses. Nothing comes close to feeling and hearing those adjustable rings for me.
Removing it from the equation
I often keep switching from one bag to another. Blame it on the mood. But it works for me. I can do stealth mode by using a small everyday carry, and when opportunity knocks, bring all gears to battle. What doesn’t work for me are the obligatory pauses just to decide which lens to bring, and which to use. I just want to go out and shoot. Stop driving me nuts.
To put it into context, most of my bags are small camera sling bags (see article here). And for me, that works because I don’t want to be weighted down with heavy gears. But having too much choice (of lenses) makes it difficult to decide.
Fortunately, I’m glad I’m not the only who feels this way. Check out similar story here.
The Fujifilm X100S
I don’t know what’s up with my battle-scarred, second-hand X100S but it is such a joy to use. I have grown accustomed with the slow focusing, the mediocre battery, and the spotty shutter. Despite these nit-picks, it has deemed itself to be the smarter alternative for a stealthy photowalk session, or just the go-to camera when commuting to and from work. This is the final nail in the coffin why letting go of those 3rd party prime AF lenses is not a total loss. See the rest of my shots taken with my X100S and let me know if you agree with my decluttering.
Read some of my reasons why I still love shooting with my Fujifilm X100S in 2023.
Bottomline, I am letting go of the things that impede me from truly appreciating the craft. At the end of the day, all I want is to shoot, improve on my craft, and just enjoy doing it. Maybe I’ll buy new lenses in the future, who knows? But for now, I just want to let go of things that wear me down and focus on shooting with what I have.