A while ago I wrote a post about traveling with just one camera and one lens (read the post here). My conclusion was that I would be just as happy with just a camera and a 35mm lens – instead of bringing a heavy bag with multiple lenses and cameras. Did I practice this as I went to Copenhagen the other week? The answer is; noooo…
I see myself as a 35 mm person – but at the same time I want to learn the 50 mm better. I think the 50 mm can give really interesting pictures. Also, I recently bought a 90 mm lens, and wanted to try it out in an urban environment. This is of course not nothing new – I have had dozens of lenses from 8 mm to 300 mm for my SLR:s and mirrorless cameras. However – using them on a Leica rangefinder, is something else. My photography has changed a lot since I started using rangefinders.
All this in mind; for my trip to Copenhagen I brought a 35 mm lens, a 50 mm and a 90 mm.
Walking the streets of Copenhagen with my small camera kit was fun. The 35 was just as nice to shoot as always, the 50 gave nice shallow depth of field and the 90 compressed the streets in a beautiful way.
This is all fine. The problem is – me. Three lenses in the bag is too much for me. As I look back at the journey I realize that I should have stayed with just one lens. This is for multiple reasons…
First – convenience. Carrying around multiple lenses for a whole day means that I have to carry a small bag. If I carry a bag I tend to put more things in the bag – which means that the bag gets heavier and heavier. With just one lens I could leave the bag at home or at the hotel.
Second – risk of theft. If I walk around a big city I expose myself and my gear to thieves. If I leave my bag at home/the hotel, I only risk my camera and one lens. If I had my bag with me, I would probably have my Ipad in it as well, so I can take it out as I drink a cup of coffee or so.
Third – changing lenses. If I have more than one lens with me, I find my self constantly changing between them. Instead of concentrating on finding a good composition with the lens I have, I try and find the best focal length for the shot. This way I put less time into the actual picture, and more time into changing between lenses ant just throwing away shots.
Forth – a consistent look. If I only use one lens I can get a consistent look of my pictures. The viewer may look at a series of pictures and feel that they somehow are connected.
Fifth – and last – keeping the GAS down. GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome – is an illness I find myself in too often. There is always a better camera, a cooler bag or a lens that will change everything. One camera and one lens is better for the wallet. Before Covid I hade started to learn this – I often made journeys with just my 35 mm lens. I realize that more than one and a half year at home has made me forget this. I must start over. This time I have written it down…