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Roger Hicks
04-14-2008, 12:41
Increasingly I find that as long as a camera/lens combo isn't outrageous -- 500mm mirror on DSLR, that sort of thing -- I'm not really worried about focal length or speed if all I need is a shooting 'fix' (taking pics for the fun of it).

I grab whatever camera is handy and loaded, with whatever lens it has on it, and go out and take pictures. Then, when/if I change the lens (because I NEED the different focal length or speed) I need quite a kick to make me change that, too.

Of course I'm happier with some cameras and enses than others, but this just means I change my favourites even less often. Equally obviously, there are some lenses I use for specific purposes, e.g. pack shots and step-by-steps, but that's not the same as taking pics for the fun of it.

Anyone else find the same thing?

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
04-14-2008, 12:50
Dear Richard,

Thanks for christening the new forum.

Glad to know I'm in good company (yours and HCB's).

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
04-14-2008, 12:52
The immature owl that parked himself on the tree 50ft from the front door was the Kick I needed to use the 300/4.5 on the F2. He just sat and watched as I shot half a roll.

For a shooting fix, I try to pick a lens and camera that has "been Neglected" and take it for a walk. I enjoy shooting with almost any camera that can take film.

And congratulations on the new Forum! I just noticed where I am...

BillP
04-14-2008, 12:57
I'm in the same boat. Although I have a range of lenses, both LTM and M, I tend to use just the one when I am out and about, unless I *need* the alternate focal length. Equally, once I have changed, it takes me a while to change back. I'll therefore run off half a roll with a 15, or a 90, once I have got around to putting it on, otherwise 90% of my shooting is done with whichever 50 I am using as the "standard" for that particular body.

Regards,

Bill

Jamie Pillers
04-14-2008, 12:59
I like to select some lens and go out with it... with no other lenses at hand. Having just one lens with me allows me to relax and "go with the flow". However, I do tend toward selecting some lenses over others. These days I'm tending toward 28 & 35mm. At other times in my life I was more interested in the 50.

mfogiel
04-14-2008, 13:19
I think there are moments when you want a specific tool, because you want to shoot a specific subject, and then there are moments when you need to "enjoy yourself" and you take out a combo, and try to see if you can make it work. I find that varying the lens angle in particular, forces you to take a different view about what's going on around you, that is why I just periodically rotate the lenses I use in everyday shooting, and I think most people who carry a camera with them every day do the same.

bmattock
04-14-2008, 13:32
When I wish to hammer a nail, I use a hammer. If I find that I have failed to bring my hammer with me, I either refrain from hammering that nail, or I use some expedient tool that I have pressed into service.

It may serve well enough for the purpose of hammering in that nail, but it generally requires me to extend myself a bit to avoid hammering more or less than I intended to, or bending the nail, or other such misfortune.

In other words, I use the proper tool for the job if I have it, and make do if I do not. It does not require a kick up my pantaloons to persuade me to use a hammer for hammering and a screwdriver for, well, you know.

However, with that said, I was out driving around my small town several years ago with a Kodak Brownie next to me, and I saw a house fire. I stopped and took photos with that, then processed them at home, scanned the negs, and sent them to the local newspaper. Turned out it was a training fire for the local firefighters on an abandoned house, but the newspaper ran what was probably the last reportage in America done with a Brownie. I had it, I used it, it worked. Had I known, I would have brought a different camera / lens, however.

SolaresLarrave
04-14-2008, 13:35
I like challenging myself, and, like Brian, sometimes take the most "neglected" lens in my collection and go for a walk. It's fun, and since I don't pretend to be a photographer, I simply burn film for the sake of it. :)

bmattock
04-14-2008, 13:36
I go out to take photographs, not to test combos.

I do both. Sometimes I am interested in making photographs, and sometimes I am interested in the camera I'm currently playing with.


I think you'll find that it's the more inexperienced photographers that waste most time changing lenses.

I recently visited a wildlife preserve, and by good fortune had my 90~300mm zoom with me as well as my 'go everywhere' 28~105mm. A small group of white-tail deer came out from hiding on a ridge about 200 yards away, quite aware of me and quite skittish. Fortunately, they remained still while I changed lenses. I did not get wonderful shots - but with my 105, they'd merely have been specks in the distance.

Was that a waste of time to change lenses?

Roger Hicks
04-14-2008, 13:40
When I wish to hammer a nail, I use a hammer. If I find that I have failed to bring my hammer with me, I either refrain from hammering that nail, or I use some expedient tool that I have pressed into service.

Dear Bill,

I think we'd all agree with that. All I mean is that taking pictures for fun is a bit like going for a walk for pleasure and exercise: there may be a dozen places you could go equally happily, and (depending on how ridiculously many cameras you have, and on the destination) there may be a dozen cameras or lenses or permutations thereof that you can equally happily take with you. As your estimable Brownie story illustrates.

What am I saying, only a dozen permutations...?

Cheers,

R.

bmattock
04-14-2008, 13:43
Not at all Bill.

Though if I was going out to shoot skittish critters I would take the appropriate lens.

Ah, but I did not know what I would see. I expected birds, this being a famous birding site (but I had put away my very bulky and hard-to-use 500mm mirror lens) and was merely out walking in the fields of the preserve. I had thought to leave the 300mm zoom in the car, shoved it in my pocket at the last moment.

The deer were an added bonus, one that I was glad to have the longer lens for.

bmattock
04-14-2008, 13:46
Dear Bill,

I think we'd all agree with that. All I mean is that taking pictures for fun is a bit like going for a walk for pleasure and exercise: there may be a dozen places you could go equally happily, and (depending on how ridiculously many cameras you have, and on the destination) there may be a dozen cameras or lenses or permutations thereof that you can equally happily take with you. As your estimable Brownie story illustrates.

What am I saying, only a dozen permutations...?

Cheers,

R.

Ah, yes. In that case, I agree. I have (as you guessed) quite the menagerie of misbegotten, ugly, and otherwise unloved fixed-lens rangefinders of dubious quality and state of wretchedness, and they often find themselves accompanying me on one journey or another, just because.

And, it is fairly said as well, 'when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.' I find that opportunities to take a photo that are appropriate for the camera in hand at the moment tend to present themselves.

My apologies, you are correct.

Matthew Allen
04-14-2008, 14:01
However, with that said, I was out driving around my small town several years ago with a Kodak Brownie next to me, and I saw a house fire. I stopped and took photos with that, then processed them at home, scanned the negs, and sent them to the local newspaper. Turned out it was a training fire for the local firefighters on an abandoned house, but the newspaper ran what was probably the last reportage in America done with a Brownie. I had it, I used it, it worked. Had I known, I would have brought a different camera / lens, however.


Neat story - are the photos viewable online somewhere?

Roger,

Congratulations on the new forum!

Matthew

oscroft
04-14-2008, 14:24
I often seem to take ages deciding what body/lens to take with me - I try to go out shooting somewhere every weekend and will wonder on and off during the week what to use. But once I actually get out it doesn't seem to matter and I enjoy using whatever I have with me.

It's the same when I'm getting ready for a trip East. I'll spend ages deciding what equipment to take, but when I get there I'm happy with whatever I've got - I'm never stuck thinking "I wish I had such-and-such a lens" (not even the time I took only an Olympus OM2 and a 35mm lens).

aad
04-14-2008, 14:26
Cool Brownie story, Bill.

I really have lost interest in a camera for a camera's sake, now that I have some things I like. Usually I take what fits in my pocket.

KoNickon
04-14-2008, 14:33
This is the challenge for me -- to go out with a camera/lens combination and be happy with it, and not regret the lack of, say, a 200mm to isolate that seagull perched on the roof. To continue the metaphor, to only pound the nails that are appropriate items for pounding with the hammer you have (and which you might not have considered when you set out).

But on the other hand, if you're in a place where you've got a real opportunity to photograph birds on the wing, you'd be nuts to leave that tele at home.

Pherdinand
04-14-2008, 15:05
me too, a bit.
Moreover, i usually go t a trip with a fixed lens camera or two :D
Earlier this year I went to south africa with two friends for three weeks (cool place!), carrying a tlr, a konica hexar af with the glued-on 35mm lens, and a digi point and shoot. The latter for macros (and i banged it badly on a rock up in the Drakensberg, so now it doesn't even zoom - still does macro though, so it's all fine!!).

edit: And who says you need a long tele for shooting wildlife?
http://bacsavilag.extra.hu/Aflika/Pilanesberg_files/rap5_001kr.jpg

a tlr will do!

http://bacsavilag.extra.hu/Aflika/Kalahari_files/portra5_002kr.jpg

rbiemer
04-14-2008, 15:30
Roger,
Thankfully, all my shooting is for the fun of it.

But I am happy to simply use which ever I have with me. And I also happily spend time seeing what I can do with the various "combos" I have; not so much "testing" as seeing if I can get something on the film that I like regardless of which lens/camera/film I have with me...OK, testing myself, I guess.

Today, for example, I'm shooting some 800 speed color print film. Mainly so I can reload the 17mm lensed "single" use camera it came in. But I hope to get a few decent shots and learn the camera a bit better before I load it again.

Rob

tripod
04-14-2008, 15:45
Hey Roger, congrats on your new sub-forum!

I enjoy the experience of using a variety of cameras. When going out to take photos, unless there is a plan and specific requirement, I take a camera that matches my mood at the time, choosing from cameras of different styles (RF, slr, TLR), different formats and degrees of automation.

bmattock
04-14-2008, 15:57
Neat story - are the photos viewable online somewhere?


http://photo.net/bboard-uploads/00Bz8Z-23119384.jpg

Original Thread on RFF (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6014)

This is what they wrote up in the Wilson Daily Times, Wilson, NC:


Training Day for Firefighters

Bill Mattocks of Anderson Street came across this fire scene at the corner of Hines and Pender Tuesday afternoon. Mattocks had a 50-year-old Kodak Brownie camera with him and shot a series of photos. The outdated, 120 film format worked just fine to capture this image of Wilson firefighters engaged in a training exercise. An abandoned house was burned as firefighters practiced their techniques.

tripod
04-14-2008, 16:03
Jeez, I didn't realize that the 120 film format is outdated! ;)

Brian Sweeney
04-14-2008, 16:07
> I have always refrained from carrying a camera on vacations and the like, since it seems to get in the way.

I always refrain from bringing a computer for the same reason. Today at work, I had four running in parallel debugging a piece of code.

On Vacation, I select four cameras. Last time it was a Canon P, Leica M3, Canonet QL17l, and Nikki's digital imager. We went to Williamsburg. Kids pay much more attention to what's going on when they have a camera in hand. Something I learned as a kid.

Bill, one of the last Brownie pictures to make it into print!

do you respool onto a 620 reel?

bmattock
04-14-2008, 16:12
do you respool onto a 620 reel?

No, I was too lazy. I had previously taken a Dremel to the guts of the Brownie and 'fixed it' so it would take 120. Didn't work that well, but I did manage that one roll.

Now, a normal Brownie Hawkeye, that's easy - they will take a 120 feeder roll with a 620 take-up spool. Works a treat, but 6x6 instead of this one, which is 6x9.

Gabriel M.A.
04-14-2008, 16:22
HCB was once asked which lens he used the most, "The one on the camera" was the reply.
Si franšais. ;) When you get the question asked for the zillionth time, there's a bit of shrugging of the shoulders involved.

In answer to the question "Who cares?": I do.

But like to use whatever I have at my disposal. I'm an equal-opportunity button-pusher. ;)

Thardy
04-14-2008, 16:36
I've been forced to use one camera one lens for quite a while with my Med Format kits. Years ago I used a Holga and one of those Russian 6x6 cameras (they were both fixed lens).

Later I bought a Rollei 6000 series, and used only the 80mm lens. I really didn't feel the need for another focal length until I saw them in advertisements, and boy were they expensive. Needless to say i still only have the 80. Even with those big cameras I could shoot pretty quickly and have fun.


The problem I have with taking more than one lens with my RF is that I keep changing back and forth, every shot has to be done in 3 different focal lengths. Play then seems to become work.

charjohncarter
04-14-2008, 17:16
I met a girl (too young for me) on the beach the other month. She wanted to know why I was using a Rolleiflex. I said, 'It's simple no lens changes, and I had film in it.' Surprisingly, she said, 'Yes, its the Indian not the arrow in photography.' That is probably is an old one, but I liked it. What ever is handy, and do your best.

drewbarb
04-14-2008, 17:48
Reading this thread, two phrases, stand out for me- Gabriel's "equal opportunity button pusher", and charjohncarter's beach-going friend's mark that "it's the Indian, not the arrow." Unless I'm shooting a job, I generally carry only one body and one lens. When heading out the door I'll grab whatever strikes my fancy, and spend the day looking with that focal length's angle of view in mind. I too will often grab a camera or lens that seems to have been neglected of late; or if I know I'll be encountering a given kind of situation, I'll take something that seems to lend itself well to the subject.

In a painting class in college, a professor told us that the 18th and 19th century English watercolor masters had basically two colors commonly at their disposal- a bright blue, and ochre. They could mix a surprising range of greens browns, blues and even get near yellow and red with these pigments- but they had to be creative and flexible to accomplish their goals. The lesson of limiting the palette to increase the creativity has stayed with me.

Dave Wilkinson
04-14-2008, 23:52
When I was much,much younger, on holidays and day trips I'd lug my Nikkormat with six or seven prime lenses,-most of whch never saw the light of day!, recent years it's been a r/f and two lenses, my next hol. (Turkey) is four weeks away, and I'm getting familiar with a little Olympus XA, to use, - sublime to the ridiculous, eh!, how minimal can you get!, but now there's that nagging doubt that maybe I should have spent a little more and got a Contax T2, and I hear that Sigma now has a shirt pocket camera that performs like an SLR!.......where's it all going to end, I ask myself, and will my pension take still more punishment? :(

Cheers, Dave :)

delft
04-15-2008, 01:02
... I had thought to leave the 300mm zoom in the car, shoved it in my pocket at the last moment.


Is that a 300 mm zoom in your pocket, or....:)

jmilkins
04-15-2008, 02:00
My Dad always said "Don't make your hobby your profession, it'll end up more a job than a joy!" or words to that effect.

For me, one of the great joys of a holiday/trip is the chance to visit new areas and take along a favourite camera or a new (old) exciting one to get to know better.

I've made the mistake of trying to take 15 kg of SLR gear on a 5 month trek in South America. The only benefit was when I had a machette held to my throat and they took my camera bag they ignored my pack, which had most of the same gear in it again ha ha suffer banditos.

I'm trying to be more efficient these days. I still suffer from the agony of selection before a trip. That's not a thing to complain about really in all honesty is it...

Roger Hicks
04-15-2008, 02:16
My Dad always said "Don't make your hobby your profession, it'll end up more a job than a joy!" or words to that effect.


Do you know the story of the fellow who got a job backstage at Le Crazy Horse? The same story is told of the Moulin Rouge or the Windmill Theatre or anywhere else they have 'Twenty lovely girls in nineteen lovely costumes'.

The first month was heaven.

The second month was hell.

After that, it was just a job.

Apart from that, I can't think of anything I'd rather do than what I do now, except being a gentleman of leisure. That's not the same as saying it's always perfect: just that it's better than every other job I've done.

Cheers,

R.

maddoc
04-15-2008, 02:17
One camera / one lens .... A couple of days the 35 mm, then again the 50mm. Rarely the 21mm ... (With one Leica body) In MF, either the 35E or 500 C/M with the 80mm (I have only this one lens) On my last short trip, I took only the M3 with a DR Summicron. Shot 6 rolls in three days and had more photos I liked then ever before ...

jmilkins
04-15-2008, 02:39
Do you know the story of the fellow who got a job backstage at Le Crazy Horse? The same story is told of the Moulin Rouge or the Windmill Theatre or anywhere else they have 'Twenty lovely girls in nineteen lovely costumes'.

The first month was heaven.

The second month was hell.

After that, it was just a job.

Apart from that, I can't think of anything I'd rather do than what I do now, except being a gentleman of leisure. That's not the same as saying it's always perfect: just that it's better than every other job I've done.

Cheers,

R.

Now that's a good one!

In the local Cadbury chocolate factory employees are apparently allowed to eat as much chocolate as they like while at work. Lasts a week, tops.

And I agree that if you are both lucky and determined in life you can find a profession that is deeply rewarding.

To bring it back to photography, I'm certainly sometimes jealous of the perceived creativity and freedom of the profession. But I'm sure a working photographer winces on being assigned the umpteenth ribbon cutting ceremony they might have to cover for a month.

Roger Hicks
04-15-2008, 03:03
But I'm sure a working photographer winces on being assigned the umpteenth ribbon cutting ceremony they might have to cover for a month.
Better than shooting pack shots of baby food boxes, which I recall as the nadir of my life in advertising!

But you've given me an idea for the site. Around 20 years ago Frances and I did a book on the American Civil War, which was very well received. The trouble is that battlefields are, well, fields, and there's a limit to how much variety you can pack in. As a result we did an article for Shutterbug in the early 90s called '101 ways to shoot a cannon' (Frances's idea for a title).

Maybe I'll revise the idea and do it as a module on www.rogerandfrances.com.

Cheers,

R.

Gadge
04-15-2008, 04:59
<When I was much,much younger, on holidays and day trips I'd lug my Nikkormat with six or seven prime lenses,-most of whch never saw the light of day!, recent years it's been a r/f and two lenses, my next hol. (Turkey) is four weeks away, and I'm getting familiar with a little Olympus XA, to use, - sublime to the ridiculous, eh!,>

Sounds familiar Dave,

In my case I went from a SLR straight to only carrying good quality compacts. Normally taking two on holiday. In the search for quality optics, I eventually acquired loads over the years inc Minox PL and ML, Rollei 35, Contax T2 and Olympus XA/XA2 plus a pretty good Panasonic (leica lookalike).

Then I started to miss the joy of using a manual camera with interchangable lenses and got a Leica and daft amount of lenses inc portrait lengths :-)

Nowadays, I use the Leica for best quality results. The Minox ML backs it up and is fun for lighter weight outings.

I make a beeline for the Contax T2 whenever photography is far less important than enjoying my familys time together. The total automation and little built in flash come in very handy then. That Zeiss 2.8 lens is a wonderful lens too!

Frankly, when travelling I could capture almost everything, except good portaits, on high quality compacts but I really enjoy working with the Leica when time permits.

tripod
04-15-2008, 05:04
Vacation is "my time" and "my time" includes photography! Sometimes it's tough to include photography in your day to day grind (I still try though) because your mind is pretty full and occupied.

polaski
04-15-2008, 05:30
I've got a ridiculous range of lenses, but I tend to keep a normal lens on a camera and that's the conbination I pick up when I go out the door. Of course, with fixed lens cameras, I have to think about it even less.

It's time to maybe cut down on inventory, but don't noise that about.

charjohncarter
04-15-2008, 07:45
Roger, can you get me on there for a month?

kuzano
04-15-2008, 08:53
HCB was once asked which lens he used the most, "The one on the camera" was the reply.

To add to that, even if I am packing an interchangable lens camera, I rarely carry extra lenses, and I rarely use Zooms. I really don't remember the last time I ever changed a lens in the field, IF I had one with me. I use the lens on the camera, combined with bipedal zoom. If I need a closer shot of the subject, I walk or hike to it. It's also called SM Zoom (Shank's Mare)

Added: I do have long lenses and occasionally use them, but only when I know I am going out specifically for such images.

shadowfox
04-15-2008, 09:11
Yay! for the new sub-forum.

I was wondering for a while when will Roger get his own sub-forum :)

And from the looks of it, this will be quite a lively place.

Is Frances going to hang around from time to time? :D

Back to topic:

I carry different film format, more than lens variety these days. For example, on the road trip that just ended last week, I brought the Mamiya 645 and the Bessa RF because I wanted big negatives of landscape shots. Then the XA-4 for food on the table and other candids. Then my current favorite, XD11 with 35/1.8 Rokkor-X.

There's not a whole lot of lens changing going on :)

jan normandale
04-15-2008, 10:04
Bill, cool post! About the comment "120 .. outdated" sounds like a FID thread! j/k

thirdeye
04-15-2008, 10:55
Roger, I couldn't agree more. It's the reason why I have photographs of the dumpster behind my garage and of the hole in my sock. And, sometimes, between those occurrences you discover a real interesting photo.

RML
04-15-2008, 22:10
One body (the R-D1) and the lens that happens to be on it. Used to be the ZM 50/2, changed to the Summarit 28, and now the J8 50/2. I only change lenses on a basis of need. The ZM was swapped for the 28 because the Summarit was a new lens for me. Great lens but 28mm is a bit too wide for me. I saw the J8 standing neglectedly on the shelf and decided I wanted it back on the R-D1. I reckon it'll stay there for weeks or months.

sfb_dot_com
04-18-2008, 04:26
At one stage, I had five cameras in the boot of my car... Then I whittled it down to just one... Now it's back up to three. However, the one I use most for that spontaneous get up and go scenario is currently the Leica III with CV35mm f2.5 lens attached. It's probably paradoxically the least user-friendly camera I own, but I find most pleasure in using. Wrapped in an inconspicuous Jessops camera bag it doesn't attract too much attention from grey-bearded men (Sorry Roger) and at a concert in the Carnglaze caverns this week produced sharp and accurately exposed pictures in artificial lighting of a truly bizarre and entirely Cornish experience. Otherwise for my plant pictures, I'd carry the D100 with 'Ugly Betty' the 60mm macro attached.

regards

Andy

Ben Z
04-19-2008, 06:32
Increasingly I find that as long as a camera/lens combo isn't outrageous -- 500mm mirror on DSLR, that sort of thing

Hey don't knock that combo, what with restrictions these days, if not for a 20D and a (forget the brand but it's a small T-mount) 500 cat lens, I wouldn't be able to shoot sports from the stands. I was turned away twice with a 400/5.6, but the cat looks to the dumb guards like a kit zoom. Given the performance of the 20D @ ISO1600 I can get some decent shots.

F456
05-04-2008, 14:45
For me it's usually 35, 50, 90 (or 85 or 105 if not a rangefinder) that I naturally reach for - the moderate focal lengths.

Yet looking back over some of my favourite shots taken with both colour and b&w film many of the very best were taken with an AF-Nikkor 180/2.8 IF-ED. This lens has been my best for sport, dog pictures - portraits and running shots (the AF was indispensable), and some action shots that I'd hardly call sport. Good for across the street shots too, though I'd naturally EXPECT to take a 50mm or moderate length for this.

A great lens, the 180mm, but one that doesn't instinctively come to mind when I am going out to take pictures. Physically too long as well to be unobtrusive.

Does anyone else find this: that they do best with a lens that doesn't spring to mind when choosing? My mind's eye always works in terms of moderate focal lengths, but the 180's perspective has often brought the most pleasing results. I like 135mm as well, perhaps because it is more unusual these days.

Tom

dee
05-16-2008, 13:37
Hmmmm ...having gone dee'gital ...

Right now I am re-dee,scovering the dee'lights of long neglected Rokkors in their new x2 guise on the Leica Dig 3 .. so that staying with one lense tends to go out of the window !

Also , I am persevering with the Leica zoom on the twin L 1 , though my ASD tends not to like zooms or auto focus ... being able to alter aperture / shutter / manual at the flick of a dial / lense ring helps enormously with thinking rather than auto pilot !

... then there is emma the M 8 ... here I tend to use one lense - usually one of several Russian variants - I 22 rigid / I 50 /rigid / Fed collapsible / J 8 [ have not got the I 61ld etc to work with the M 8 ]

Recently , I have been trying out the uncoated Summitar - a little nervously , 'cos it's very low contrast and flair [ if there is any ] is tempered by equal flare !

But I am beginning to appreciate it !

As for the cv 35 f 2.5 classic ... it's my sole new lense ... but it now , post 67mm , seems like a wide angle , so I am reluctant to take out just that one lense ... however it is in keeping with the vintage lenses .

iWhen I return to film , it will almost inevitably be a 50mm , 'cos I have one on my kIev 4m and on the Zenit 1 / Fed 1 '' Leica , the II and iiic ...

Oddly , I prefer the old cameras to my lovely Minolta SRs / SR7v now ...

dee