Early GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome): How I Started to Believe in Film

Text-y post first of 2 parts...

I was intrigued with Lomography since 2011 and was drawn to the "kawaii-ness" of those toy cameras. I loved the whole "shooting from the hip thing", probably because I was a bit irritated by the cockiness of DSLR totting acquaintances. (I have nothing against DSLRs and people who love DSLRs in general - having a DSLR doesn't mean you are a skilled photographer, it just means you have the moolah to buy it). I love how discreet shooting with film cameras can be. I love that it makes me feel unique in a sea of point of shoots and smart phones.  I loved everything about it - until I did the math. 

Lomography was gonna turn out to be an expensive hobby - the cost of buying one of those eye candy cameras, film, film processing and film scanning. When I added up everything, it seemed to me that going digital was more cost efficient. At that time Instagram was the rage, so I ended up getting an Ipad and a Canon A300 instead hahaha... I was happy shooting foodporn for the meantime.

In Bangkok, I discovered that getting into film photography won't hurt that much. Especially, when Holgas and Diana Minis go on sale. For about 50 dollars you can buy a holga and 3 rolls of film. By the time I decided I was going to buy a Holga they ran out of models I liked. However, the prices for Holga accesories were such a good bargain that I ended up buying a 35mm adaptor, a fisheye, a wide angle lens and flash with built in color filters even if I didn't have a camera. 

Looking for a digital alternative - eventually, I clicked on a link to the world of digital toy cameras (mostly from Japan). I pined for the yashica EZ and a carbon one mini digital camera. They cost more than 100 dollars each, if I got either one it would still be cheaper than owning a film toy camera and buying film and paying for processing. 

I had this weird mindset that everything was cheaper in the US - probably because of Amazon and outlet malls. I was planning to buy an instax on a trip there but when I factored in tax, it was going to be cheaper it if I bought it in Asia instead. Also, those toy digital cameras may be readily available via Amazon but they still cost a pretty penny. 

Back in Bangkok, I bought an instax mini 8, a yashica EZ and a carbon one mini digital camera. The last two cameras I mentioned were on sale so it was less than what I would have paid if I ordered it on amazon. So for the first few weeks, I was happy and contended shooting with my toy cameras with endless film. Initially I was ecstatic with my "stealthy cameras". 

Passed by the Lomography store and saw the Konstruktor which was being sold for about 50 USD (I'm converting prices to USD). I think that was the cheapest lomo camera in the store and it was an SLR, it was DIY and it was by Lomography! My inner nerd and my inner hipster was shouting "buy it, buy it, buy it" and I eventually did. I wasn't even planning on using it as a camera. I just wanted to build it.

On another day, while I was on an e-mook hunt in Kinokuniya. I saw the Gakkenflex TLR - the original one! Not a Recessky. A real Gakkenflex! So I snapped it up as well. Again, I wasn't going to use it as a camera. I was planning to use it as a display after assembling it.

I was on a camera buying spree and I didn't even know it!

I still wasn't shooting film.

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