how many cameras do we really need ??

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by jnanian, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,972
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i know there has been a desert island thread
    and a fess up , how many cameras do you own thread
    and a what was your last piece of gear you purchesed thread ...

    i am just wondering in the end how many cameras do we really need ?

    i am not really one to talk about using just one camera.
    i have too many but i can't really get rid of them because
    i keep telling myself i use them all them all the time
    in different situations so ... in the end i keep them.

    i don't know how many cameras i really need.
    maybe one, that would be perfect, but unfortunately it is hard to
    stick a sheet film camera in my pocket and wander around with it,
    and even harder to do contact prints with a 110 or 1/2 frame 35mm negative.

    as much as i want to only have 1 camera i find myself torn, torn between
    what i want my final print to look like, ( teeny vs big )
    and between portability.

    i guess i answered my own question, we need as many cameras as we need.
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Probably, there isn't a good way to define how many WE need. I can tell you how many I need though.

    For a practical sense, I need two of every format that I use. One as a primary and one as a backup. Or - one with normal lens and one with something else. So two.

    How many I need in terms of enjoyment is something entirely different. I LIKE trying out different cameras. I LIKE using different cameras. That's part of how I enjoy photography. Yup, I like equipment. So for that sense, as many as I have a budget, time, and space to enjoy them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2010
  3. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,414
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Calgary AB,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    It depends on which one of my personalities wants to go out photographing :tongue:
     
  4. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,530
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There's a difference between need and want John, I rationalized my inventory of equipment years ago, and have managed to keep to an outfit that makes sense because all my SLR bodys and lenses are Canon FD and all the lenses fit and work on all the bodys , but I still have nine cameras ( two are T90s which were gifts from friend who had gone digital ) but I try to use them all.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2010
  5. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    5,888
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I tend toward one format.. one camera and one lens, with a back up, though I use two different 6"x7" systems. I find it hard to think about how I want the pictures to look when I change gear a lot, so I don't. Of course, I have some 35mm gear and a 4x5 kit on hand, but haven't used them in awhile. I think if I did, I'd use them to the exclusion of the 6x7 for a good long time so I would get quite used to them again.
     
  6. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    5,302
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Since I do photography for my own enjoyment, I need (and enjoy) them all!!!!!!! :D
     
  7. Focus No. 9

    Focus No. 9 Member

    Messages:
    243
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I ran out of fingers and toes

    along time ago and yet obviously, I haven't reached my limit. :whistling:
     
  8. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    None.
    You either do something properly, or you don't do it at all.
    That from the to-how-few-can-we-reduce-the-number-of-cameras perspective.

    Else, as many as you like.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,081
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I don't need any but I have about thirty.


    Steve.
     
  10. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

    Messages:
    740
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Isle of Lewi
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  11. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,031
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sweden/Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I agree with Suzanne on the iffy-ness of changing gear a lot. It takes a lot of energy and time to "get into" a format for me. I fuss way too much about which camera to use. So, yes I have more than I need. :smile:
     
  12. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  13. lns

    lns Member

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I always seem to need one more than I have.

    At least it's an arithmetical progression.

    -Laura
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,590
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    More! More! I need more!
     
  16. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I never have enough cameras!

    Jeff
     
  17. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,083
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    No, that's easy, just stick the film under the glass and expose. The hard part is viewing them after.
     
  18. tim k

    tim k Member

    Messages:
    237
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tucson
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you are over 50, I think two of each is appropriate.

    If your over 75, one of each should be about right.

    Those young kids may need more.

    Have I offended everyone?
     
  19. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    John, it depends.

    I can justify having a 2x3 Pacemaker Speed Graphic and a Century Graphic for 2x3 'cos the Speed can use barrel lenses and longer lenses than will work on the Century and the Century can use shorter lenses than will work on the Speed. The two together with a tiny bit of hardware make a tandem camera that works with lenses up to around 480 mm. My other two 2x3 Graphics, acquired for the lens and parts, respectively, just gather dust.

    I can justify my 2x3 Cambo SC 'cos it is a real view camera, unlike the Graphics. Also because it will work with lenses longer than can be used on the tandem Graphic and because, if I can ever get everything involved to work properly, it is the basis of a 2x3 "Baby Bertha" SLR. Yes, there's a 2x3 Graflex in there somewhere.

    I used to be able to justify having two Nikons, an FM2n and another -- there have been several, the current one is a N8008S -- with aperture preferred auto exposure. I used the FM2n at 1/250 with KM and flash for closeup shots in the field, the auto exposure capable alternative with, depending on the situation, a b/w emulsion or an ISO 100 E-6 emulsion. Also used the auto exposure body behind a mirror lens, for that application continuously variable shutter speed is handy. But now KM is no more and the N8008S also has a 1/250 flash sync speed. Unless I'm going to shoot two emulsions there's no need for the FM2n.

    When I was shooting S8 I always needed several cameras, eventually refined the kit to a pair of Beaulieus -- 5008SMS to use cheap short-dated sound film, 4008ZM2 for high and variable framing rate, both for C-mount lenses --, a Nautica for underwater and ultrawide shots, and a 310XL for whenever it could be used. The 310XL is unlovable because it is hard to control and communicates nothing to the user except "its too dark" but when it could be used -- 18 fps, focal length needed in 6 mm, 8.5-25.5 mm -- it took better footage than the Beaulieus. I'm not shooting S8 anymore, no longer need any of them.

    If I ever make the move to 6x12 I'll probably be able to justify a 4x5 Crown Graphic. If ...
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,940
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I think that answer works for me, depending on how one counts.
     
  21. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Messages:
    7,114
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    In a darkroo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think I will answer, Ron. But as I am not in the tongue-in-cheek thread, I might try a more serious approach.

    CJ has an article 'Advice for Aspiring Photographers'. To paraphrase: 'perfect the equipment you have and don't get caught up in the next piece of equipment to come down the pike.'

    This is not a one camera, one film, one dev, on paper mentality; not for me anyhow. I have a few cameras and have settled on a couple as my gonna use one or the other. I do not do professional work, have not for a few years. Then it was delusions of grandeur. f I ever were to do so again, it would be form a different perspective. For what I do I don't need alot. I honestly have held it down to one camera in the last year plus. The 4x5 Press. And I absolutely love it. I still have the Minoltas and I drag them out every now and again to remember what they feel like.

    I guess I say all that to say this. Hobbyists generally have a couple or a few that they use regularly and with love. Collectors will have dozens, even scores of bodies (with a few favorites). Pros probably have duplicate systems for redundancy. It all comes down to the individual as the responses have thus far implied.
     
  22. David William White

    David William White Member

    Messages:
    1,179
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just One. Seven emergency backups though.
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,530
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree Suzanne, I feel that my best cameras are the ones that I'm most used to, the ones I can operate without thinking, which is why I've had almost all of my cameras more than twenty years and am still happy with them, constantly changing the tools and working methods is counter productive.
    I realized long ago that it's not the quality of the cameras and lenses I have that's holding me back from being a brilliant photographer just my lack of talent :smile:.
     
  24. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,301
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I don't have just myself to think about...I have three 13-yr old boys. They have very different personalities, so having just one type of camera available for them won't do. I am in the process of getting a Mamiya 330 system together in case one decides to go medium format, plus I already have a Graflex TLR for lighter travel. I have an old Speed Graphic (wood front standard and a list of 24 different shutter speeds!) in case one wants to go 4x5 (it has a nice looking Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 150/4.5 in a Compur), and I have a Nikon N2000 and some lenses if one wants to play with 35mm. I have a "spare" 8x10 (2D with 8x10 and 5x7 backs and a barrel lens) that they can use -- with supervision.

    So I need all this extra gear in case they show some interest!

    If they want to go digital, they can buy their own -- one boy saved his money and bought a Canon P&S digital. I never have had a darkroom at home, so the boys have not been exposed to that much. I hope to get them into the darkroom some this summer. They do get involved in my work on the other side of the lens.

    Two images with boys
    Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
    Scanned 8x10 pt/pd prints
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2010
  25. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ventura, Ca
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    All of the cameras that I've built and the one I have not built!!

    Jim
     
  26. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

    Messages:
    463
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Waltershause
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If I can afford it (and luckily I can) one for every mode of working and perhaps a backup. So it changes with the way I work, which makes the industry and Ebay sellers happy.