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Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

One Camera. One Lens. ?

Looking for that one special lens that will vault your photography from ho-hum into ohhs and awwws? Perhaps you have been the victim of less than professional equipment and its been holding you back from greatness?

Or maybe you're looking at the equation upside down. Perhaps less equipment and exploring every single possibility of that camera/lens combination is the ticket to better photography. Many great photographers of the past and present favored a single lens. For example fine art photographer Brooke Shaden only uses a regular old 50mm.

The concept of one camera, one lens is getting mentioned a lot on the Internet. What say you?

http://www.onecameraonelensonephotoaday.com/
http://www.photoventure.com/2014/04/18/9-reasons-you-only-need-one-camera-and-one-lens/
http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/06/16/minimalism-one-lens-for-a-trip/
http://theperfectpose.com/learning/the-one-lens-wedding-results/

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Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

"Cartier-Bresson himself used one camera and one lens—a Leica with a 50mm—for most of his career. But he was regarded as one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century because he knew exactly how his camera would perform. A good photographer takes the time to understand their equipment so they can get the best image, irrespective of how expensive their kit is."

http://www.wired.com/2014/06/hi-lo-dslr-lenses/

 

Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

"A year with a single Leica and a single lens, looking at light and ignoring color, will teach you as much about actually seeing photographs as three years in any photo school, and as much as ten or fifteen years (or more) of mucking about buying and selling and shopping for gear like the average hobbyist. "

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/05/a-leica-year.html

 

Andrew Pacheco

4 Years Ago

If I really had to go with just one lens, it'd be my 100mm macro....even though my 50mm is probably more versatile. I love the 100 so much, that's the one that spends the most time on my camera.

 

Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

"Jerome Delay, a photographer with the Associated Press, has been making remarkable photos from some of the most troubled places on the planet with just one camera and a 50mm lens."

http://bangkokphotoschool.com/2014/04/04/one-camera-one-lens/

 

Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

Clickin Mom on why she only uses a 50mm:

I was determined to pursue photography, even on a serious budget. I pledged that I would not let my modest equipment hold me back, regardless of what gear I thought a photographer was “suppose” to have....

Read more: http://www.clickinmoms.com/blog/why-im-happy-with-just-one-photography-lens-by-heather-l/#ixzz36yYS9JBc

 

Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

Andrew - Is that 100mm on a full frame or crop sensor?

 

Andrew Pacheco

4 Years Ago

I use it mostly with my full frame 6D, but it sure is nice with my T3i too.

 

Frank J Casella

4 Years Ago



Mine is: Pentax K-10D. 10MP CCD sensor, APS-C .... and ..... Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.4 AL ( the plastic wonder ).

 

Chuck De La Rosa

4 Years Ago

When I learned photography it was with a manual focus 35 mm SLR with a 50mm lens.

 

Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

For me its EF 35mm f/2 IS USM on a Canon 6d full frame. Its wide enough to include the story. Great for video. Fantastic for low light considering that the IS allows for (caffeine free) hand holding down below 1/30. Not bulky.

 

Frank J Casella

4 Years Ago

Here is a Flickr search for that Pentax lens known as " The Plastic Wonder ".

https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=smc%20pentax%2035mm%20f%2F%202.4

Here's my album on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fjcps/sets/72157629903920193/

 

Robert Frank Gabriel

4 Years Ago

For me and the type of images I take, it would be the Canon EOS 70D and the Canon L 100-400 zoom lens. Of course I would miss a lot of shots with such a heavy lens (3lbs), but I love the results I get as a street photographer taking candid images of people (mostly from my car as I drive the means streets of Chicago).

This lens used at 400mm compresses the image and gives a painterly look to the image which I like much.

It is also great for birds, animals, and flowers.

As far as the Canon EOS 70D goes, I find it wonderful in the way it responds to my needs.

 

Andrew Pacheco

4 Years Ago

My 100mm has IS too. It comes in handy, especially with the long focal length.

 

Andrew Pacheco

4 Years Ago

Interesting reads, Edward. Thanks for the links.

The one camera one lens concept is probably why I gravitate toward prime lenses. When I attach a fixed focal length lens to my camera, I'm forced to think in that focal length. For me, the sense of confinement causes me to explore more creative options that the ability to zoom would stop me from seeing.

Even though I have different lenses for different situations, I still feel that primes make you adhere to one lens type of thinking.

 

Stanislav Killer

4 Years Ago

i didnt buy mine yet, its the next investment ... i dont know, maybe bc of my hyperactivity i need room, so id go with an ultra wide angle, something in the range of 14 - 24 mm, of course a prime, zooms are bad, mkay ...

i have often the feeling that im missing some of the magic with anything bigger than 70mm, not that i dont like it, it just cant capture my emotions that well that i wanna catch, bc its an overall expirience that i have to translate into a picture

or who knows, ive been shooting too much macros in my life, really many ... so i know that magic from a macro, its a not everyday view on things, but its also just one ingridient, like liking cakes bc of sugar, but there is much more to it than just sugar, you know what i mean, im sure.

 

Frank J Casella

4 Years Ago

I've learned on primes because, back in the day, zooms were not that good. I have a wonderful zoom - Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF). - which is rally sharp. But, Like Andrew says, you learn to 'see' with a prime.

 

Mike Savad

4 Years Ago

i use only a 5d mk3, with a tamron 28-300vc lens. i used to use more, but found that each one had limitations. if i was in just one venue at a time - like just landscapes, or just stills etc - then it makes sense to specialize. when i know i may have a still, a landscape, portrait, macro, etc, then having a do all lens is better. and let the higher iso's compensate for the slower lens.


---Mike Savad

 

Kathleen Bishop

4 Years Ago

At least 90% of my shots are taken with a Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM on a Canon T4i (with a crop sensor).

 

Jenessa Rahn

4 Years Ago

When I go hiking or backpacking I limit myself to one camera and one lens. I like to carry a wide angle zoom lens like my Sigma 17-50mm because it covers the range I usually shoot at. I can shoot landscapes, flowers, and even get snapshots of my friends which covers my needs. I have carried multiple lenses on many hikes and find that I rarely take the time to switch between them so I usually don't bother anymore.

 

Bradford Martin

4 Years Ago

I almost always have a 400mm zoom or fixed focus on my camera for 20 years. Because I like to shoot wildlife from birds to whales. But the shots that made me the most money in the first 10 years were made with my 100mm macro and it wasn't the true macro shots. That cheap Vivitar lens bit the dust years ago. In 2008 I bought a 16-85 lens. The first months shots out of that have earned me over 10G. If I had to pick one it would be a top 100mm macro again, which I just can't afford right now. My Nikon D300 suits me fine. I know I should upgrade but I am very happy with what i produce with the D300.

 

John Rizzuto

4 Years Ago

Leica M Monochrom with a 35mm f2 summicron lens.

 

Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

I think zooms are a bit of a cheat in this context of one camera, one lens. If you have a some kind of zoom that has a wide range it rather defeats the idea of thinking in terms of one focal range.

But it does help with the idea of learning more about your camera's capabilities and I suppose there are some limitations involved.

 

Kathleen Bishop

4 Years Ago

Edward, I didn't know you meant one camera one prime lens. The prime I use most often is a 105mm macro.

 

Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

Well, it does make sense doesn't it? A forced constraint that makes one explore the limitations of the equipment and opens up the possibilities of creativity.

Kathleen - are you using that lens for a very specific purpose? The macro part or would you walk around with it all day?

 

Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

Just for the point of clarity. Not asking for favorite camera/lens combinations. This wasn't suppose to be one of those "if you were stranded on a desert island which combo would you want" kind of things.

The idea behind one camera/one lens is to pare down equipment so that one can focus on learning and improving.

This thread grew out of other threads in which people ask for equipment suggestions so they can improve their photography. Often people believe that if they only had the "right" equipment, more exotic equipment or pro level equipment, then their photography would become amazing. True or false? Do you need a bag full of lens? Is a $100 50 mm lens incapable of producing quality photography?

 

Peter Hogg

4 Years Ago

Digital photography has totally changed any answer with regards to one lense as manipulation after the fact can make an image appear so totally different from what a photo print might have been when it's printed conventionally.

 

Kathleen Bishop

4 Years Ago

Edward, just saw your question - I mostly use it as a macro but I don't think any of my shots really qualify as macro photography because of the focal distance. I can't get near enough to the subject with that lens to get true closeups. I've used shots from the macro to make composites with shots from the zoom:
http://kathleen-bishop.artistwebsites.com/featured/annas-hummingbirds-in-flight-kathleen-bishop.html

 

Debbie Oppermann

4 Years Ago

I use all my lens but the one I use the most is my Canon 100mm lens on a 60D, don't have to use a tripod - but my next most used lens is the Sigma 150-500mm for wildlife.

 

Frank J Casella

4 Years Ago

" True or false? Do you need a bag full of lens? Is a $100 50 mm lens incapable of producing quality photography?"

I used to have several lenses, but now I use just three ... 90% of the time is the 35mm f/2.4. I think it's more important to have a back-up camera.

 

Dan Richards

4 Years Ago

I just upgraded to a D3100 with a 18-55mm VR lens. I can already see the difference, even with my good days, I can still have shake effects on some of my shots, with this camera, which the body has shake reduction so it benefits my other lenses, I have a lot less movement blurs in my shots and more are coming out useable. I did a band shot on the Fourth, and out of fifty shots, only lost one to my movement. It also handles low light better than the D100. I am finding this an excellent body to use, and the 18-55 kit lens is actually a very good lens as well. Not a perfect one, but very good.

 

John Rizzuto

4 Years Ago

Do you need a full bag of lenses? Depends on what type of shooting you do. You need the right tool for the job. If you want to shoot macro photography a macro lens would be the way to go not a wide angle lens. Same way you wouldn't want to use a wide angle to shoot portraits. If you shoot one type of photography then one lens can work. A 50mm could work but you are not going to get to close to wildlife or close enough for certain types of architecture shots.

 

Andrew Pacheco

4 Years Ago

Do you need a bag full of lenses?

That's why I point to my 100mm macro. I shot all sorts of subjects at all sorts of ranges. Portraits, 1:1 macros, architecture, and even some landscapes. (Tight landscapes, but landscapes just the same)

If I had to pick only 1, that's still my pick.

 

Peter Tellone

4 Years Ago

I use what ever I need to Fulfill my artistic Vision. For me I don't want to only have one perspective and one FOV. I use what is necessary and don't feel a need to do something that is popular on the internet...except if that happened to be my artistic vision

 

Dan Richards

4 Years Ago

Peter, I agree. Even though I usually take out a number of lenses, it does not mean I'll use them. Especially when shooting wildlife, one never knows what they might need.
Lenses are like any other tool. It is good to have the option, but it is not something you'll need for every shot.

 

Frank J Casella

4 Years Ago

The Photographer Spotlight today on Flickr ... a fine art photographer who uses a Point and Shoot and Gimp. ... says : “I want to let people know that it is possible to make it in this business and that random factors such as your location, experience, or equipment shouldn’t get in the way between you and your dreams.”


http://blog.flickr.net/2014/07/09/photographer-spotlight-eduardo-acierno/

 

Andrew Pacheco

4 Years Ago

I'd say that's not your average point and shoot shooter. :)

 

Edward Fielding

4 Years Ago

In a CreativeLive workshop Brooke Shaden showed how she uses a 50mm and expands the canvas by taking multiple shots and then combining in Photoshop. Interesting concept that could be use to create wider views in landscapes with multiple shots.

 

Andrew Pacheco

4 Years Ago

I've been busy working in the garden and around the yard, so I haven't been doing much photography...but this thread inspired me to take my one camera and one lens and do some shooting.

Over the past few days I've been spending at least a little time each day with my 6D and 100mm macro. The stripped down kit makes it easy and fun for me to shoot. I haven't even been using my tripod! It makes it really easy to go for a quick walk somewhere and have some fun with the camera.

 

Robert Frank Gabriel

4 Years Ago

I shoot just about every day. If backed into a corner about using just one lens (the one camera would always be a Canon EOS 70D or higher if I had the money) the one lens would be a 3lb monster Canon L 100-400 zoom. But only because of the type of photographs I take....Animals, Flowers but mostly candid images of humans in the public domain as I ride about town in my car.

If I could walk for long periods of time (chronic pain/pain killers), I certainly would not use a 3lb Canon L 100-400 zoom. I might then use the best Canon 50mm that I could afford.

 

HW Kateley

4 Years Ago



@Frank. Excellent link. I've often mentioned gimp when people lament the cost of photoshop, but i think people equate cost to value so tightly they don't see it as viable.



 

HW Kateley

4 Years Ago

This is an interesting thread. I've considered the same point. I tend to lug around lot of gear. Since I like using both film & digital I would have to give one up, at least for some period of time.

 

Randall Nyhof

4 Years Ago

My walkabout camera, when I have nothing particular in mind to photograph is a Canon 70D equipped with a Tamron 16mm-300mm zoom lens. It also has a so called macro capability. Great all purpose lens for the lite traveler. Quality may not be the same as an L lens but is more than acceptable.

 

HW Kateley

4 Years Ago


My most used walking around camera is an lx5. Very compact but with a lot of flexibility. It can also be fit with a lens tube for filters or as a sun shade. (for digital)

My favorite film camera for just taking with is a yashica t4, usually loaded with either portra 400 or some c41 process b&w.

 

This discussion is closed.