I was just reading a post that was talking about how the resolution power of a lens exceeds the ability of a digital camera to record an image, and it struck me that my lenses are also far sharper than I am. I have been spending vast amounts of money over the last half year (at least they are vast amounts of money for me... people who are either very rich or who don't pay cash upfront for purchases like we do may not think it is a lot of money) to buy equipment. 2 D80's, a D40, an 18-200 VR, a 50-500 BigMa, a 105 2.8 VR Macro, SB-600 flash, a 1.8 50mm, 5 4gb memory cards, a new iBook laptop for image editing on the road, Capture NX software, etc... and now I am saving up for a D300, a 70-200 2.8 VR or 80-200 2.8 (have not yet decided), plus a studio setup. Last night, I was looking back over the stuff I have shot since moving to a DSLR a few months ago (March of this year... previous to that I had been using a 4mp junk P&S) and I notice that while I am certainly "getting back in the saddle" so to speak, my stuff is still vastly inferior to what I used to shoot back in the day, when I shot professionally. On the one hand, I know that getting "back in the game" after not taking a picture in earnest in 15 or so years means that my skills are "rusty" to say the least... on the other hand, even at my best, the picture taking capabilities of my equipment exceeds the skills I had even when I was at my best. The resolution of my lenses are much higher than the resolution of my mind's eye. My point for bringing this up here is that I am one of those people (I think it is a pretty common thing) that gets caught up in the "equipment" aspects of photography... "if I just had a better lens" or "if I just had a new and better camera" then I would be better... I don't think I am the only one here who falls into this trap, either. There are times when one really DOES need to upgrade equipment. For example, I have been shooting some local sports, and I need a 2.8 zoom lens... you just can't shoot sports well at night under the cruddy lights that a lot of these stadiums have without fast glass. Now, it is just a matter of whether I want to spend an extra 1200 or so to get the VR 70-200 over the every-bit-as-sharp but no VR 80-200 (doesn't matter one whit for sports, but the VR would be nice for birding in low light and zoo work). Having said all that, it is MUCH more important to work on using the equipment I already own to take sharp, properly exposed pictures. The equipment I own already is more than good enough to take sharp pictures... if a picture isn't sharp and well exposed, then it is the fault of the photographer (me) not the camera or lens. Right now, I think the pictures I am taking are "good" but they fall far, far below the level of some of the work that you all are doing. Looking at the stuff being posted by LostProphet, DigitalMatt, NJman, Chiller, ThorHammer, Abraxas, AlexB and Sw1tchFX (just to name a few of the most outstanding, there are MANY more here that are just fantastic) I realize that I have a LONG way to go to be in their league... and they give me inspiration to stretch out and challenge myself to get better. It really isn't all about the equipment... I need skills. You know, like photography skills, nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills. Anyway, the point of this wandering mess of a post is to see if there are any other "equipmentaholics" who want to fess up with me, and explain what I am talking about.