Author Topic: Do I deserve a new lens??  (Read 5528 times)

chesebert

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
Do I deserve a new lens??
« on: May 10, 2013, 12:03:50 PM »
I enjoy photography and I have a good collection of lenses (9 altogether). I have been thinking about getting another one of the nice CZ planners (approx. $1k used) and my better half says I should get face punched.

The last few weeks have been tough at work, pulling between 14-20 hours per day. I think I deserve to get the CZ, as that's something I can look forwrd to once I get over this very bad hump.

We are in our early 30s; we save about 65% of take home and we have a portfoio of 500k<x<1M. We have no cars and no debt (except mortage on a rental). 

I think after pulling all nighters for over a month with few more weeks to go, I should be able to reward myself with something I can enjoy that will also appreciate in value over time.

Agree?

innkeeper77

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 12:14:15 PM »
In my opinion, on these forums you are more likely to get face punched for using the word "deserve".

Do you want the lens? Ok, would you use it? If this isa side business, calculate the expected value you can get from it. If this is just a hobby, I would be wary of just going and buying it, especially if the better half doesn't like the idea! This is not to say that you cannot get it ever, it just might not be a good idea right now. Could you sell some unused belongings online, and perhaps cut back in another entertainment area for a month or two? An extra $1000 on top of your nomal budget is a large amount of money, but if you cut back in other areas you enjoy and therefore spend money on, could you reduce your overall expenditures enough to buy this lens and not have a net financial loss over a small time period?

You should also consider talking with your better half about having two small low balance accounts that are for "fun money" - eg, $100 to $200 each month is automatically deposited in each, and you can use yours on "fun things" no questions asked. You could let money appreciate for a few months, and buy a large ticket item, or merely use it all immediately, still no questions. I know this doesn't help right now, but what about for similar issues in the future?

unitsinc

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Houston/Denver
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 12:16:09 PM »
I think what it comes down to is if you can justify it.? Will it really bring you happiness for years to come? Will it really bring new fantastic capabilities to your photography, or will one of your 9 other lenses do what this one will do?

Also, the "reward" mentality can be very slippery. I know people who say they deserve Starbucks every day and new clothes weekly. You obviously are in no emergency and have a very nice stache going, so odds are you don't do this often, but just make sure dollars in=happiness out.

the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 12:22:26 PM »
I think you should buy it if you would find it meaningful to own. The fact that you own 9 lenses already makes me wonder what the true marginal improvement of this lens will be. How often would you use it in a situation where your other lenses would be inappropriate? If there is functionality overlap, could you at least sell another lens?

Financially you're fine, that shouldn't stop you.

What I definitely disagree with is semantics: that you "deserve" anything or need to "reward yourself." You should work hard because there is some intrinsic benefit to doing so: you enjoy the work, or there's some greater outcome in the long term from your efforts in the short term. In those cases the work is its own reward. If that's not what's happening, making money to do something you dislike so you can spend that money doing something you like can be... unstable.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13746
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 01:01:29 PM »
Do what I do with my guitar stuff.  Only fund new purchases by selling off some of the old guitar stuff you have kicking around.  If you have 9 other lenses, then sell a couple to get your new lens.  If you're not willing to do that . . . is this new lens really that much better/more necessary than what you already have?

fimoc

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013, 08:06:24 AM »
I have a good collection of lenses (9 altogether)

At what point do you have "enough"?  I'm somewhat ignorant on the subject of photography, but can't 5 great pieces of great glass do well?  But I commend you for focusing on glass instead of bodies =P

I think I deserve

I wouldn't say anybody "deserves" any consumer good, but that's very much my own philosophy ... although one I know many here share =P

we save about 65% of take home and we have a portfoio of 500k<x<1M

Using my value system, I would personally be OK with this assuming you and all influenced by the decision are honest-to-goodness just fine with literally living on $20k/yr.  If doing so is not really that big a deal, then there's not much of a cost to **this purchase in isolation**.  As soon as you feel you need to "upsize" everything else (the Diderot Effect) or feel you need more place to store "stuff", you know something is seriously wrong.

Finally:

The last few weeks have been tough at work, pulling between 14-20 hours per day

From my outside and uninformed perspective, it seems like this may be the cause of unhappiness you feel that you can resolve by buying your 10th lens.  Is buying a 10th lens really worth putting in that effort?  What about learning other things on your own, or spending time all day shooting and developing a stellar portfolio?  Do you secretly want to be a supplier of shots to Getty and then open your own studio?  Stay inspired - there's more than your current day job!

limeandpepper

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4482
  • Location: Australasia
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 09:43:04 AM »
Well, financially speaking it looks like you're pretty comfortable and spending that money isn't an issue in itself as long as it is a thoughtful purchase. I agree with others that it is best if you're buying it only if it really adds value to your life in the long term, as opposed to it just being a shiny new toy to reward yourself and bring you some brief happiness because you feel like you "deserve" it for working hard.

My man is majorly into photography, so I sort of know where you're coming from, but while he has accumulated quite a bit of gear over the years, he also thinks that at some point, more gear isn't going to help you as much as refining your skills. It's kind of like cooking. Yes fancy pots and pans are great and if you want to dabble in molecular gastronomy you'll need some special stuff, but at the end of the day you only need some basic decent wares to cook up a delicious meal and it is better to know how to do that before buying more expensive things and hoping they'll be a miracle fix.

chesebert

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 11:52:00 PM »
All good points. Will think about this proposed purchase further, particulary the motivation.

I wouldn't necessary call lens "consumer goods" as they are tools to do a job. I don't have a 85mm prime, so that's where the need came up. I could buy a cheaper/generic 85mm for 1/3 of the price, but I beleive CZ lens hold their value very well over the years and I should be able to enjoy the glass and sell for a profit if that need ever arises.

All of my other lenses have risen in value since the time I bought them (mostly used).

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 06:37:49 AM »
All good points. Will think about this proposed purchase further, particulary the motivation.

I wouldn't necessary call lens "consumer goods" as they are tools to do a job. I don't have a 85mm prime, so that's where the need came up. I could buy a cheaper/generic 85mm for 1/3 of the price, but I beleive CZ lens hold their value very well over the years and I should be able to enjoy the glass and sell for a profit if that need ever arises.

All of my other lenses have risen in value since the time I bought them (mostly used).

Unless you are using it in a professional capacity, it is a consumer good. If you are earning/saving money on this, then it is a tool, and any investment in it must be judged as such (will this earn/save me more than I will pay for it, and will it do so in a way I could not before).

I'm not going to jump on the 'deserve mind-set' issue, it's been talked about, but it seriously, no one deserves a consumer high as payoff for hard work.

I'm a fellow photo-nerd, and I understand the want for new gear. No question, the Zeiss optics are nice, but here's my question - will the improved sharpness bring any extra value to your system? I recently jumped into the Medium Format (film) pool, and chose to go with a Bronica setup instead of a Hassy. There is no question, the Hassy has better (somewhat) glass, but the chance of the Hassy making a a picture I take any better than the Bronica is infinitessimal. There's a lot more holding my photography back than a line or two per mm of lens sharpness.

Will the CZ prime improve your photos $500 worth over a similar lens? Will the enjoyment of using that lens be worth $500 to you?

You mention selling it later down the road for profit as a justification. This rings hollow to me. Generally speaking, lenses are depreciating assests, even Lieca lenses sell for less used than new. Unless the CZ is a screaming deal, any increase will likely be related to inflation, not increasing value. Which means you'd be better off investing the money and getting dividends.

So, assuming the CZ is $1k, and a near equivilant lens is $500 (you said 1/3rd, so I'm bumping it up to 1/2 to play it safe):
-Will the CZ make improve your images in a meaningful way beyond the alternative?
-Will the enjoyment of using the CZ be worth the opportunity cost of going with the alternative?

The opportunity cost is $500 investments + $20/year dividends. Put another way that's $500 stached plus:
     -5 rolls of film if you swing that way
     -or 75 4x6 prints from a pro lab
     -or 5 8x10 prints from a pro lab every year

One last thing that can't be measured: Your wife's feelings need to be considered in this.

davisgang90

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1255
  • Location: Roanoke, VA
    • Photography by Rich Davis
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 05:40:33 PM »
My wife and I each have an allowance of money each month we can spend on anything we want.  If I want something more than my "allowance" I have to save up for it.

Just a thought.

chesebert

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 12:08:46 AM »
So it's been almost 2 weeks since I had the urge to buy the $1k lens. After much virtual face punches the urge to get the CZ has subsided and I am looking more in the $500 range for a used fast lens for low-light applications, with no specific plan to purchase.

So spending 10 minutes writing the OP has saved me over $500!

cerberusss

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 04:19:30 AM »
Awesome, man. I think it's great how you wrote that down, opening up for criticism. And then following up like that, kudos.

limeandpepper

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4482
  • Location: Australasia
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 04:27:46 AM »
Nice one!

happy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5095
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Do I deserve a new lens??
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 05:38:21 AM »
I'm glad you reconsidered
BUT please don't start up the "can I buy a...?." or "do I deserve a....?" posts again. :(