Lots of mouth-watering stuff presented in this post.
Just now for me the hottest and most favorite gear is my two new CLARINETs !!
Bought last week and still in the burn-in phase (meaning that they have to get used to humid air passing through them, so that the wood of the corpses gradually pick up a suitable level of humidity). They are equipped with special silent pads, and mouth-pieces will be selected for my style of playing (no red rings - but same concept).
While they are not exactly weather sealed, I can assure you that the Dynamic Range is extraordinary.
You need two of them for serious orchestra work (like two bodies for sports).
One of the key characteristics of good clarinet-playing is to produce a well focused sound that can be projected both wide and far. Sharp is normally not the most sought after characteristic, while soft (like in bokeh) is very much. Well in tune across the whole spectrum is a must, too. (Cf. exposure and white balance)
All in all many similarities - the list of analogies can be extended - feel free to add some.
And as for photography the tools are important, but the output depends first and foremost on the 'artist'.
OK, to leave my other passion, music - and get back on subject, I add a detail picture of one of my still in use older clarinets.
(It was made with my old 450D, and my 50mm f/1.4 - while now my 6D is the favorite photographic tool).
Edit: the image turned out rotated - In my own view it is vertical.