Of course, photography requires equipment [gear or gadgets]! With different photographic subjects comes a list of required and optional gear. How much is too much?
My main drive for photography has been to explore the natural world around me. That includes landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers. My macro lens can focus at 11.92 inches from the focal plane giving a one to one life size image of the subject. On the other end of the spectrum is my wide angle lens that gives almost a 90 degree angle of view. All of this equipment is great for each specific situation.
I have been observing a lot of wildlife and have been trying to photograph them with my 70-200mm lens. What I find is that even with a 2x extender [making the lens a 140-400mm], it is difficult to fill the frame with the subject. Either I do not want to get that close, or the subject does not want me that close. This has me thinking that it may be a requirement to eventually add a 400mm lens to my collection. The other option may be to add a cropped frame camera and continue to use the same lenses [glass] that I already have. The advantage to this option is that I can get an increased focal length for a somewhat cheaper expense than adding the lens. Canon cropped frame cameras have a 1.6x increase in focal length to compensate for the difference in full frame glass. This means that the 70-200mm lens becomes a 112-320mm lens. Either way, I think another piece of equipment may be in my future.
Along the same lines of another lens comes the issue of multiple subjects for photographing. Even some landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers are difficult to photograph under natural lighting. Most of the time natural light works, but there are situations where a flash can give an added pop to make a subject stand out. Most of the time a flash is used for portrait photography.
Back at the beginning of the month, I was experimenting with portrait photography at Vacation Bible School at church. I do not currently have a flash. Some of the events were inside with very poor light. In order to get decent photos, I was bumping the ISO up which meant post processing to reduce noise. Some of the events were outside with very bright sun. It would have been nice to have a flash in both situations. Inside, I was not able to get a fast shutter speed to stop motion without out introducing noise from a high ISO, or I would have an underexposed image. Outside, I needed a little bit of fill light to reduce some of the contrast between light and shadow areas. A flash can be a handy tool to manage light in many situations, and I can see that this may be a piece of equipment I add to my collection [possibly sooner than later].
There are plenty of other pieces of equipment that are on my list. I am also certain that I may find things that I never thought of that will end up in my collection. It is just a matter of how much is too much!