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Does buying more gear really make you any happier ?


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On ‎07‎/‎06‎/‎2020 at 14:25, CloudMagnet said:

Also, other people are spending plently of money on other things- most people won't tell you about of thousands of pounds of debt they have on credit. Keeping up with the Joneses and all that

Strange is it not yet here in France that old/current saying keeping up with the Joneses in the UK thank him upstairs, Did not happen with my kids when growing up here in France they appreciated what they had and still do to this day. If it is needed then it is purchased. Ok Birthdays/Christmas for the named brands. As for me since being smoke free for a year have set aside a few quid albeit shared with the Boss I can have a flutter every now and then within limits like to new SW ED72 and then the FF and then...…. :) 

   

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So so with this . I regret buying Astro gear in the past when I began and all that sparkled was thought to be essential. Now I've settled on the best gear I can afford and in that way am really happy.

A resounding Yes to this. Although 'hiding it from the other half' is a kind of running joke on SGL, there was a touching and deeply disturbing post from a member who deeply regretted doing this becau

My "game changer" has been my 12 inch dob which was a 2nd hand tube and a mount made by the good hands and mind of @Moonshaneof this fine forum It's the scope that has cost me the least and yet h

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4 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

Strange is it not yet here in France that old/current saying keeping up with the Joneses in the UK thank him upstairs, Did not happen with my kids when growing up here in France they appreciated what they had and still do to this day. If it is needed then it is purchased. Ok Birthdays/Christmas for the named brands. As for me since being smoke free for a year have set aside a few quid albeit shared with the Boss I can have a flutter every now and then within limits like to new SW ED72 and then the FF and then...…. :) 

   

Good to hear, the cost of astronomy is high but so is the enjoyment :). I don't think you can really compare it to anything else really. For what a lot of people will spend on a single holiday lasting a couple of weeks, you can put together a fairly serious setup that will give years of stunning views of places we won't ever likely be able to visit-far more interesting to me than usual holiday destinations.

Not bad value when you think about it perhaps.

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4 minutes ago, CloudMagnet said:

Good to hear, the cost of astronomy is high but so is the enjoyment :). I don't think you can really compare it to anything else really. For what a lot of people will spend on a single holiday lasting a couple of weeks, you can put together a fairly serious setup that will give years of stunning views of places we won't ever likely be able to visit-far more interesting to me than usual holiday destinations.

Not bad value when you think about it perhaps.

Don't get me wrong yes it is/can be an expensive hobby, Unless buying (I hate the word second-hand) as to me when bought from someone else it is like new well cared for. And a saving on the pocket gives me the happy buzz, like anyone else looking for that elusive item. be it current or no longer manufactured. Unless you have to buy new.

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Astronomy equipment is much less expensive now than it was a couple of decades back.

I have catalogues from the 1990's and the prices compared to what you would give today for similar gear are, almost universally, a lot higher.

 

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Just now, John said:

Astronomy equipment is much less expensive now than it was a couple of decades back.

I have catalogues from the 1990's and the prices compared to what you would give today for similar gear are, almost universally, a lot higher.

 

John 

I completely agree with you as with everything else including consumer goods computer's for example when they first came out to the home owner over £1000.00 pounds back in 1991 (pc-world) for a 386 processor with 1-2mb ram the days gone by eh

 

Andy

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8 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

Don't get me wrong yes it is/can be an expensive hobby, Unless buying (I hate the word second-hand) as to me when bought from someone else it is like new well cared for. And a saving on the pocket gives me the happy buzz, like anyone else looking for that elusive item. be it current or no longer manufactured. Unless you have to buy new.

Agreed. It is amazing the results people have got from little more than a DSLR and a basic tripod. I think a lot of the fun in the hobby as well comes from improving your equipment and seeing that improvement shine through in either your pictures or visual astronomy. Thats why I think it is important to keep a record of all your nights outside and document progress.

Gives you something to look back on on cloudy nights... and also to laugh a little at some of your first attempts.

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I convinced my better half that it's better to invest in astronomy equipment - like park the money there instead the bank to get their puny little 0.85%. I threw a few keywords in like, inflation, crisis, low Pound value at the moment and things like that .... then went to ABS/Ebay and bought a new used scope for 1500 that came with a lots of bits and pieces. The truth is even though I were kidding there is some truth in it. I think considering I bought it used it will hold value. Until time to sell I will just use it. Was looking for 76 objective unit anyway so why not the whole scope when opportunity presented itself.

It did make me happy when I clicked buy :D

 

Edited by heliumstar
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I don't specifically buy kit to make me happier however if the kit helps me achieve my astronomy objectives then this will make me happier. 

I own loads of kit that I chop and change on a regular basis, researching, buying and then setting up / using an assortment of astro equipment is more rewarding for me than using the same equipment for several years - each to their own.  

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3 minutes ago, A40farinagolf said:

I don't specifically buy kit to make me happier however if the kit helps me achieve my astronomy objectives then this will make me happier. 

I own loads of kit that I chop and change on a regular basis, researching, buying and then setting up / using an assortment of astro equipment is more rewarding for me than using the same equipment for several years - each to their own.  

thats why FLO love you 😁

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11 minutes ago, bomberbaz said:

thats why FLO love you 😁

My last purchase from them was 9th March so I'll be off their Christmas card list this year. my FLO shopping trolley has a few items in it though so might be able to redeem the situation.

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I'm going to add a boring response now.  Sorry :D

I believe there is research suggesting that in general people have a sort of "base level" of contentment which may vary from person to person, but that anything which happens to increase (or decrease) happiness is usually relatively short-lived and the individual concerned tends to return to their base level.  I'd have to look up the details to be sure, but I think it's partly attributed to the body having a natural "normal" level of chemicals such as dopamine that can be raised (or lowered) temporarily, but over time will return to that normal level regardless.

If true, I guess this means that buying more gear in and of itself can never make you happier in the long run, but perhaps it can give you the opportunity to have "happy" experiences more often if one is clear and honest with oneself about the reasons for buying it and what owning it might achieve.

(And again if true, on a more philosophical level it might give us pause to consider more deeply what "happiness" is actually all about.)

James

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17 minutes ago, JamesF said:

I'm going to add a boring response now.  Sorry :D

I believe there is research suggesting that in general people have a sort of "base level" of contentment which may vary from person to person, but that anything which happens to increase (or decrease) happiness is usually relatively short-lived and the individual concerned tends to return to their base level.  I'd have to look up the details to be sure, but I think it's partly attributed to the body having a natural "normal" level of chemicals such as dopamine that can be raised (or lowered) temporarily, but over time will return to that normal level regardless.

If true, I guess this means that buying more gear in and of itself can never make you happier in the long run, but perhaps it can give you the opportunity to have "happy" experiences more often if one is clear and honest with oneself about the reasons for buying it and what owning it might achieve.

(And again if true, on a more philosophical level it might give us pause to consider more deeply what "happiness" is actually all about.)

James

Good point and well made James.

However in the long run just owning something that oozes quality can continue to give you that feeling of contentment.  I have some very quality eyepieces, as do many members on here. There is something very satisfying in occasionally taking these beautiful instruments and simply admiring them. Holding them in your hands, knowing it's a thing of precision, maybe just giving a bit of buffing with an appropriate cleaning cloth. 

Although you don't need to own top of the range eyepieces, just something you can look at and admire for the qualities you know it possesses.  

Steve

Edited by bomberbaz
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Forums like this provide a constant and responsive flow of feedback and opinions on equipment from those who actually own and use it. Far more influential and pursuasive than magazine reviews and advertising I reckon.

As the volume of positive information on a product builds it can be quite difficult to resist the feeling "well maybe I would like that better than the one that I have" and also quite easy to forget the positive experiences that you have had with your existing gear :dontknow:

In pre-online forum days the only information that I had on the relative merits of products or even that they might exist was through the pages of the monthly astronomy magazines and the very occasional and usually rather non-committal piece on "The Sky at Night" on buying equipment.

The first time I saw the name Tele Vue mentioned was in a small advert in the back of a 1980's edition of Sky & Telescope. I remember thinking what a cheesy name for an astro equipment brand and that their stuff was likely to be rather cheap and nasty :rolleyes2:

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, John said:

The first time I saw the name Tele Vue mentioned was in a small advert in the back of a 1980's edition of Sky & Telescope. I remember thinking what a cheesy name for an astro equipment brand and that their stuff was likely to be rather cheap and nasty 

And you weren't wrong, John.  But because I'm a decent chap and have plenty of storage space I'd be happy to do everyone a favour by offering them a place to send it should they find they have bought such complete tat in error.  Just think of it as a public service...

James

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8 hours ago, JamesF said:

I'm going to add a boring response now.  Sorry :D

I believe there is research suggesting that in general people have a sort of "base level" of contentment which may vary from person to person, but that anything which happens to increase (or decrease) happiness is usually relatively short-lived and the individual concerned tends to return to their base level.  I'd have to look up the details to be sure, but I think it's partly attributed to the body having a natural "normal" level of chemicals such as dopamine that can be raised (or lowered) temporarily, but over time will return to that normal level regardless.

If true, I guess this means that buying more gear in and of itself can never make you happier in the long run, but perhaps it can give you the opportunity to have "happy" experiences more often if one is clear and honest with oneself about the reasons for buying it and what owning it might achieve.

(And again if true, on a more philosophical level it might give us pause to consider more deeply what "happiness" is actually all about.)

James

Can I conclude this must mean that if I buy enough astro gear frequently enough I could keep myself permanently happy?  😉

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Firstly I am scrupulously open with my partner about what I am buying and discuss all purchases before buying. If my partner says it's no it's no. I'm reluctant to spend anything over 100 euros and left to my own devices tend to buy cheap and then regret it. Actually most of my bigger purchases have been when my partner suggested out of the blue that I should get something really good.

I am always thinking of the next purchase, but it is mostly to extend what I have not to replace items with "better" ones. I keep a list of stuff I am dreaming about, and it is humbling to see how this list morphs over time. It makes me more cautious about buying anything as I can look back at all the "must haves" that have been dropped from the list after lengthy consideration.

I find a steady trickle of new bits keeps me excited about going out in the Winter cold or past midnight in the Summer months. So I try not to buy too frequently or too much at once, so I can enjoy each new item properly.

Edited by Ags
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I enjoy owning lovely scopes and get pleasure from just having them, but the real enjoyment is just having the weather to get out and use them. The run of clear skies we had after the start of lockdown was amazing and something I will keep treasured memories of.

I buy and sell a lot of kit, and would rather spend my money on tangible things, rather than less tangible stuff like drinking or smoking for instance, or even expensive holidays which are kept for very special occasions, not every year.

Whilst buying new things does give a burst of happiness, I actually think having a settled setup and being able to relax, observe and enjoy the views is much more positive. For example, I played around with many  different solar setups a while back, then finally settled on binoviewing with my Tak and a Baader Coolwedge. I’m as sure as I can be that there aren’t many 4” (or even 5”) setups which beat the views so just get on an enjoy the views without considering changing anything now.

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1 hour ago, Paz said:

Can I conclude this must mean that if I buy enough astro gear frequently enough I could keep myself permanently happy?  😉

Isn’t it a bit like hard drugs? The high from the first hit is massive but then you just keeping chasing that initial high until eventually you keep purchasing just to stand still? At least the dealer connections are more straightforward.😉

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Buying and selling is part of it for me. That said over the time I've been in this Hobby (30 years). I've had fine buying & trying.. but my goal has been to settle on what works for me, then try to keep it!. Works most of the time, but temptation always knocks the door with new kit releases.

I'm happy that I have an investment in kit. I'm with @stu mind.. I want to keep the balance of enjoyment with using it also, and not panic that I have too much money invested.

Rob

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2 hours ago, Rob said:

Buying and selling is part of it for me. That said over the time I've been in this Hobby (30 years). I've had fine buying & trying.. but my goal has been to settle on what works for me, then try to keep it!. Works most of the time, but temptation always knocks the door with new kit releases.

I'm happy that I have an investment in kit. I'm with @stu mind.. I want to keep the balance of enjoyment with using it also, and not panic that I have too much money invested.

Rob

This, I love trying new things and since I revisited this hobby 3 or so years ago all kind of equipment went through my hands. I have pretty much a good idea what works for me in regards to scopes (and I am kind of restricted by my balcony width) but not eyepieces :D Everything from TV, Tak, Baader, Pentax and many others went through my hands and eyes and I am still on the hunt. It is very interesting that the most enjoyment at the moment I get with BCOs and Barlow. I tried SLVs extensively. Bought a few used and like what I am seeing so am selling them and ordering new ones in the focal lenghts I like. Absolute best views were with Pentax XW but they are just humongous.

Philosophically I don't know anything about happiness. I just know that at different points in my life I was either content or not. When my daughter was born I was happy but emotion that was overwhelming me was actually fear (this little thing is now with us and it's the whole other 'game' than easy going no caring life) and happiness was pushed down so to speak ;) I don't know whether this feeling when buying and opening packages of astro equipment is happiness but I sure feel good and happy.  It might not be up to standards of other people and there might be some raised eyebrows in regards to relation of buying->happiness but I kind of don't care. Give me that box :D If that is shallow, so be it....

Edited by heliumstar
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18 hours ago, bomberbaz said:

Although you don't need to own top of the range eyepieces, just something you can look at and admire for the qualities you know it possesses.

good point as each person is on a different budget

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1 hour ago, Mick H said:

Buying more gear around this neck of the woods defiantly makes people happier, but also Schizophrenic. 😉

Might be because English is my third language and I don't get this - can you explain furter?

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