I grew up as a camera geek. When I was about 10 my father set up a simple darkroom in the corner of the garage - one of his flying buddies had a darkroom. That year for Christmas I got my first Instamatic camera and I was hooked. I think I was 15 when I bought my first 35mm single lens reflex camera. By the time I finished high school I had two top of the line Cannon 35mm bodies and a bag full of lenses and two professional large format cameras. In my late 20's when I was making really good money for a couple of years, I added more lenses and a motor driven body. Over the years I have sold or traded almost all of it, I still have a 35mm Nikon, and a 120 twin lens reflex, oh and my father's first Cannon 35mm SLR. I have not shot film in nearly a decade, there are two very good digital cameras on my desk, an ultra compact Samsung, and a Fuji fixed lens SLR.
Needless to say, once a camera geek, always a camera geek. I actually know what all of this means, and how most of it works. I made a living doing commercial photography for a year or so one time.
Back in the 1970's the cheapest place to buy camera equipment was New York city, and if you were not in the city, you could order from the big dealers there. The back 1/3rd of Popular Photography and Modern Photography magazines were packed with advertising from the big discount camera dealers. I would check the mail every day waiting the for the latest issues to arrive and then spent hours searching the ads for what I wanted to own next. And I discovered that if I had the number and expiration date for my father's credit card, I could call the toll free number, order stuff and have it delivered to the farm. I'd slip my mother the cash and she would pay the bill when it came in. I don't think my father figured out that I was doing this for a couple of year (and I was spending a thousand dollars a year on cameras and lenses.)
So when we were in New York recently and I looked down the block and saw B&H, I had to stop. I had spent many hours drooling over their ads, and had ordered from them several times (the first time they sent me the wrong lens a 35mm instead of 135mm.) I had to go in, it is photo geek heaven.
The equipment has changed from the days of fine German and Japanese brass and glass, but the place is absolutely amazing. If I ever win the lottery, I could drop a couple-hundred-grand in there in an hour. Who knew that the new top of the line Hasselblad was over $45,000 - then you need to add lenses.
So what is your geek trigger?