Photography is about gear, and yet it isn't, but it is... I've gone through many cameras in my time in photography, yet nowadays I can't stand having "choice" anymore. I get option paralysis if I own more than one. single. lens. What happened? This is what goes through my head when I have options:
- Do I go out with the 50mm today or stick the 35? I wanna try 50 on the street again, but 35 has been so good to me!
- Do I do these headshots on the 85mm or just use my zoom at 70mm? Surely I don't need f/1.8...
- I really should use my Rolleiflex more than never! But then I also have the instant gratification of my digital camera. But square medium format!
And so I've done an upgrade and also a much needed fire sale of gear recently. My philosophy to gear has become more concrete in the past few months. If I don't use it for a while, then it has to go. If it's on the shelf for weeks and weeks, then it's obvious that it was an experimental purchase and someone else is going to use it more than me.
But out of all of this, don't regret trying it, just make some money back and get back to the core of what makes you tick in photography. I think that's what many people need to realise in their own personal photography. Making pictures is far more enjoyable when you have a solid set of constraints. I've boiled mine down to a camera and a lens. That's it! That's all the choice I want to make.
Which camera and lens do I use?
The only one you have given yourself!
Now get out and make some pictures.
Yesterday I bought a Leica M 240 and a Summarit 35mm f/2.5 lens to replace my Fujifilm X100s, yet before this momentous upgrade, I had recently bought the 50mm tele adapter for my X100s and had that familiar feeling of option paralysis by having a choice between 35mm and 50mm focal lengths on my favourite little picture taking camera. I sold it within a month and didn't regret it whatsoever.
So why then did I buy the Leica? Well, after about two hours using it, it was obvious that I'd made the right decision. A digital Leica with 35mm lens is like the Fujifilm X100s, except it's 135 format, built like a brass tank, has a stunning 13+ stop dynamic range sensor with 24mp, and well, is a Leica.
Seriously, it's lovely to use.
But ignoring the brand and price tag that comes with it, that's all the camera I need; a rangefinder and a 35mm equivalent lens. Hell, I'm selling my Canon EF 85mm lens because it's sitting on the shelf doing nothing! What that will leave me with is one DSLR with its 24-70mm lens and this rangefinder for taking my own pictures.
I couldn't be happier. I have two choices, one professional DSLR for accurate commissioned work using strobes and all the bells and whistles, and one picture taking camera, though of the Rolls Royce variety. Two cameras for two distinct purposes, each with only one lens to choose from.
I strongly suggest you take a look at your gear and really figure out what you need and what was a good idea but now is just going unused and unappreciated.
Honestly, it will do wonders to your photography (and your sanity). Not only that, you might realise that you've spent quite a bit of money on gear you don't use. Whether that goes into your perfect camera like I did, or you save it, you're going to be better off and more at ease when practicing photography.