Here's my system for tracking personal gear history

Location
Finland
BeginEndBuySellSystemTypeFL equivGear
2006-Dec0Compact35-140Canon PowerShot A530
2017-Jun2019-Sep3000(2750)Compact28Leica Q
2019-Sep2020-Jan(2350)1900Canon EFILCCanon EOS 5D Mark IV
2019-Sep2020-Jan(150)140Canon EFLens40Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
2019-Sep2020-Jan(250)250Canon EFLens50Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
2020-Mar230Compact35Fujifilm X100S

This is a table format that I use to track my gear, with some sample items.

Begin: when you got or bought or received in trade the specific piece of gear.
End: when you sold or traded the gear. If this is empty it means you still own it.
Buy/Sell: how much you paid or got for the gear. Zero means you received/gave it away as a gift. Sometimes you trade more for one, now you have to apply creative accounting and imagine how the trade was constructed. Usually bodies devalue more than the lenses. I mark these trades in parentheses.
System: camera system if it's a system camera or lens.
Type: compact, ILC, Lens, flash, whatever.
FL Equiv: fill this in and play in Excel to get funny graphs of your FL coverage. You can split the range into two columns, perhaps easier that way.
Gear: description of the gear.

In this example I bought Leica Q for $3k and then traded it for a 5Dm4 setup. That is implied by the dates and the parens.

In this example I own two cameras (or pieces of gear more generically), those that don't have an "End" date.


This is one way to keep track of your actual expenses because it's all bought minus all sold that's your expense for this hobby/profession. In my mind if you buy $3k worth of gear you're not $3k in the hole. The final cost is formed the minute you sell it for money probably less than $3k and you subtract what the gear actually cost you.

Further improvements possible:

I also mark in mine if it was bought brand new or preowned.

You may also expand this idea by describing condition perhaps.
 
Location
Finland
I originally started to track my finances using double accounting because of my hifi gear hobby. It has been a tremendous success to my financial life.

Aside keeping that double ledger I started this camera gear specific table on the side.

I like the fact that this will also track my history down the road. So these dates are important to me. Older entries are year-month accuracy but all recent ones I account to the day. I can build timelines as I accumulate things and data. I could also study this history to see for example what point in time I had the widest coverage of focal lengths.
 

AlwaysOnAuto

Regular
I've mentally kept a list like this because my wife has a hobby too.
Quilting.
Her hobby is not cheap. So far, I'm still short of her spending. And I'm not talking about the fabric being used either. That's a whole other list.
 

Petrochemist

Regular
Location
N Essex, UK
Name
Mike
I have a spreadsheet for my gear that includes a lot more data (such as guide no, aperture filter size.. where relevant) & includes very minor items, but doesn't have a sold/end column it would apply to far too small a proportion, much less than 0.1%.
Unfortunately the column for where the item is doesn't get updated often enough.
I probably ought to get rid of the columns for equivalent focal lengths on different bodies, as well as FF, APSC (1.5x) & MFT(2x) I now have a pentax Q (5.7x) & SD14 (1.7x crop) not to mention the lesser used 5x4, cs mount...
 
Last edited:
Location
Boston Burbs
Name
David
I really don’t want to know.
Me neither.

I don't track buy and sell dates or $$, Just to I have anything in my hobby account and / or do I need to sell something to buy something else.

I do keep a list of what I have, had (and # of times I've owned it), and what I want. But I just use DPR's gear list. I think it's up to date:
 
Location
Finland
In my table I only count cameras (both fixed-lens ones and ILCs) and lenses. I have 69 records on it over years 2006-2021. A few lenses are duplicated there because I've bought and sold them, then bought them again.

Inspired by what others do, I added a S/N column in my trackings.
 

Petrochemist

Regular
Location
N Essex, UK
Name
Mike
In my table I only count cameras (both fixed-lens ones and ILCs) and lenses. I have 69 records on it over years 2006-2021. A few lenses are duplicated there because I've bought and sold them, then bought them again.

Inspired by what others do, I added a S/N column in my trackings.
S/N are certainly a useful thing to record, I also include date of manufacture (where known) as the vast majority of mine is brought 2nd hand.

For most photographers I suspect flash & tripods might be useful to include, but as I shoot IR & adapted lenses I've added in filters & adapters etc which most would find fairly irrelevant. I used to have a total in the cost column but took it out years ago when it reached over £6000
A quick calculation suggests my most expensive item cost about the same as your average price and even then only if the initial purchase & subsequent IR conversion are combined! :)
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Name
Martin Connolly
I have a simple spreadsheet where I record my cameras. Apart from that I just keep a mental tally of whether what I have sold will cover what I have bought or want to buy. Mostly it does. I have only ever lost a lot on one lens, a Sigma zoom for a Pentax SLR.
 
Top