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View Poll Results: Which option do you consider better for your shooting, and why?
I get the most with one camera / one lens... 131 60.37%
I have felt "more is more" and I can use well more than one camera / one lens... 86 39.63%
Voters: 217. You may not vote on this poll

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The "less is more" story... What do you think?
Old 06-22-2014   #1
Juan Valdenebro
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The "less is more" story... What do you think?

Let's comment what we've found out: from carrying less or more, to being able to use well what we carry; from controlling all kinds of light to being ready for different angles of view; from any aperture to selective focus or not, what do we prefer?
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Old 06-22-2014   #2
sebastel
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one body, two lenses works quite well for me.
typical, 50mm (resp. equiv.) or 35mm (resp. equiv.)
plus one out of [35mm | 28mm | 21mm] (resp. equiv.).

but that's just me.
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Old 06-22-2014   #3
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The less gear you have the less time you fret about it and the more you go out shooting. Given, that I have little spare time anyway, I have to fret over gear by default.
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Old 06-22-2014   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
The less gear you have the less time you fret about it and the more you go out shooting. Given, that I have little spare time anyway, I have to fret over gear by default.
I agree.

I thought much about this lately. One has to have a system that produces the kind of pictures that one likes. These decisions one has to make beforehand:
b&w vs. color,
angle of view (i.e. perspective (wide), natural (normal) or flat (tele))
sharpness & detail (MF, LF, 35mm, point-and-shoot)

Once this is clear, one tries to fit a scene into the camera one carries (in my case RF with 35mm & b&w film). If the scene requires color, or a 90mm, it will anyhow not be a shot that I would like in the end.

The tough thing is to find out which kind of photos one really likes. I think some of those who carry so much gear are not really sure what they like.
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Old 06-22-2014   #5
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Even with a tiny Domke bag I find myself able to carry an entire RF kit with me, and I frequently do. Often times I find myself mostly shooting with a 50, but it's not much of a hindrance. It ends up being quite nice to have the flexibility of a 25 or 90.
Because how many people go out shooting with only a 90?

I try to keep the weight to a minimum. That's all. When I'm shooting LF, for example, that's when I might stick with a single lens.
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Old 06-22-2014   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfogiel View Post
The less gear you have the less time you fret about it and the more you go out shooting. Given, that I have little spare time anyway, I have to fret over gear by default.
Guess it all depends on one's personality. I've accumulated a couple of dozen cameras over the years but don't remember ever fretting about what to use.
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Old 06-22-2014   #7
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I think to many set priorities onto equipment to be used instead of the subject to be photographed ...
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Old 06-22-2014   #8
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My bag usually has one camera and three lenses. If I am travelling I won't rely on one camera, and I will try to have only two lenses. For years that was 35 and 50. But then I might also need the 21. Now I take the 28 and a 50, and I don't need the 21.
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Old 06-23-2014   #9
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My main daily carrying rig is a digital point and shoot.
The main problem for me is weight.

So going "less is more" means really that.
Film means my Leica M3, the 50mm Collapsible Summicron.
I seldom take extra lenses or another camera system.
Occasionally I take my Leica M6TTL in place of the M3.
I load one film for the day. I never carry extra.
In the past I have done pro work with only that!

The Digital captures what I want and I enjoy it's size.
I have thousands of exposures available, zoom lens, filters,
variable ISO, various looks to my color etc.

My last trip being thru Heathrow UK, decided me to take only my small digital, extra memory cards, AA batteries.
It was one of my best travel times ever!
If the camera had malfunctioned/lost/stolen, it would have been
replaced immediately at a nearby Mall.
There are many Malls everywhere in South Africa.
I use the Canon 1200 Power Shot.

Carrying less simplifies choices.
I hate changing lenses or films.
I see, I shoot.
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Old 06-23-2014   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takkun View Post
Even with a tiny Domke bag I find myself able to carry an entire RF kit with me, and I frequently do. Often times I find myself mostly shooting with a 50, but it's not much of a hindrance. It ends up being quite nice to have the flexibility of a 25 or 90.
Because how many people go out shooting with only a 90?

I try to keep the weight to a minimum. That's all. When I'm shooting LF, for example, that's when I might stick with a single lens.
Dear Ian,

Exactly. This is another of the false dichotomies so often encountered on RFF. There's a vast difference between doing what you and I do -- switching to another lens when you need it -- and carrying everything you possess and switching lenses all the time.

In other words, you and I carry the minimum kit likely to be needed to get the pictures we want: sometimes one camera and one lens, sometimes three cameras and five lenses. It's easier to carry less, but sometimes you need more.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-23-2014   #11
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Neither poll option is the case for me, but I probably enjoy photography more when I use just my Rolleiflex, and nothing more, rather than carry a big load of gear around. However, enjoying photography and getting the best results I think are quite different. So many times I'd wish I'd had a tripod with me, or may another camera loaded with Velvia instead of XP2. Or maybe a longer lens that the one on the Rolleiflex.

I suppose if I wanted to get the very best results, I'd be out with an 8x10 early in the morning, but this is a hobby to me, and I want to enjoy it more than I want to work at it.
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Old 06-23-2014   #12
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I've been travelling for the past few months with just a 50. It's great, but I've missed quite a few important shots in tight places which has made me wish I had a 28mm point and shoot like a GR for my pocket while I have a primary camera off my shoulder. I really dislike changing lenses.
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Old 06-23-2014   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Dear Ian,

Exactly. This is another of the false dichotomies so often encountered on RFF. There's a vast difference between doing what you and I do -- switching to another lens when you need it -- and carrying everything you possess and switching lenses all the time.

In other words, you and I carry the minimum kit likely to be needed to get the pictures we want: sometimes one camera and one lens, sometimes three cameras and five lenses. It's easier to carry less, but sometimes you need more.

Cheers,

R.
This.

Nowadays 1C1L is the 35mm FoV equivalent of the X100 for me.
If not digital I carry the 28mm on a RF. But adding a CV50/2.5 in the bag is not really an extra effort to carry!
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Old 06-23-2014   #14
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In my case, I can answer very definitely..."it depends". I don't use a bag very often and can only shoot one camera/one lens at a time any way, so my general practice is to have that one camera and lens on my shoulder and perhaps a second lens in a pocket.

I do like having choices but I try to make the choice beforehand. I don't struggle with nor fret over the descision though; if I have a plan or a particular photo in mind, then I'll choose the camera/lens to suit and if I'm just carrying "in case" then I try for photos that suit what I'm carrying. Seems to work well enough for me.

Given that no one else is waiting on my results, and that this is my hobby, I try to keep it as stress free as I can.
Rob
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Old 06-23-2014   #15
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I find that one camera one lens namely the ones I have in my hands work best for me. This not to say that I don't have additional lens in my bag but rather that I simply don't spend a lot of time question my choice of lens. Be it right or wrong I simply live it, even in situations where I think one of my other lens will give me better results I'll often walk/explore the scene with the lens I have on the camera to see what shots I can find and only afterwards will I switch and shoot with the other lens. Some people handle the question of not having the right lens at the right time by using/carrying one lens, I handle it by not worrying about it.
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Old 06-23-2014   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcary View Post
I find that one camera one lens namely the ones I have in my hands work best for me. This not to say that I don't have additional lens in my bag but rather that I simply don't spend a lot of time question my choice of lens. Be it right or wrong I simply live it, even in situations where I think one of my other lens will give me better results I'll often walk/explore the scene with the lens I have on the camera to see what shots I can find and only afterwards will I switch and shoot with the other lens. Some people handle the question of not having the right lens at the right time by using/carrying one lens, I handle it by not worrying about it.
Yep ... that s my attitude .
I`m certainly not going to carry around a whole lot of gear on the off chance that I might need something.
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Old 06-23-2014   #17
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I go out with one camera, one lens. (90% of the time, it's a prime lens.)
Which camera and lens, depends on where I'm going and what I am looking for. (90% of the time, these days, it's the X100.)
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Old 06-23-2014   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Valdenebro View Post
Let's comment what we've found out: from carrying less or more, to being able to use well what we carry; from controlling all kinds of light to being ready for different angles of view; from any aperture to selective focus or not, what do we prefer?
For what kind of job?
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Old 06-23-2014   #19
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My mind says 'more', my back says 'less'. Sometimes one wins, sometimes the other.

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Old 06-23-2014   #20
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I find shooting with a Leica + 35/2 v4 very liberating.
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Old 06-23-2014   #21
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I have multiple cameras/lenses of different kind and for specific purpose to use.
But I do not mix photo genres. I prefer one lens/camera to take pictures with.
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Old 06-23-2014   #22
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When all I had was my M2 and a 35mm Summaron, it seemed to be all I needed. But then I added a 90; and then a 50; Then a Nikkormat with 55mm micro-Nikkor; and a Hasselblad with 2 lenses; a Rollei; well you get the idea.

Most of the time I like to have more than one focal length available. If going light, a pocket size digital P&S works great. If I want to go with one camera and one lens, it's either a Leica with a 35mm, the Fuji X100 (essentially 35mm), or a small P&S with a zoom. The advantage is convenience and readiness for a shot, with little or no equipment fiddling.
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Old 06-23-2014   #23
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Depends on what you're doing. In my case, for example, if I'm just walking around and want to take grab shots, candids, or do "street photography" (a term for some reason starting to dislike? How about just "photography")? I have an ever growing appreciation for (a) point and shooters like my Yashica T3 or my Oly XA rangefinder, hell even my Windows Nokia cell phone (Zeiss f2.0 28mm -- which is why I have a Windows phone, of course). The key criteria here is NOT to have a lens protruding from the camera body -- a clam shell design, at least an f2.8 lens so you can do available light, and have a small light inconspicuous camera. Manual control not necessary here. Clearly less is more here.

It I'm taking portraits of family members? Yeah, I'll carry a few lenses and an (D)SLR. Definitely a 50 -- probably my Tac 1.4 or Juperter 9. Maybe a 35mm for group shots. Definitely want manual control or at least aperature priority.

This is not "boolean". Answer is "it depends".
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Old 06-23-2014   #24
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For the past fourteen years pretty much (baring the odd digital) it’s been a M6 and 35mm Summicron as my everyday kit, simply because this is what I feel most comfortable and in tune with.

This year on a whim I bought an Elmar-M 50mm, which hasn’t been off the camera for two months.

At first it was hard going. Compared to the 35mm the 50mm seems like a tele, and only now am I getting my eye in for this focal length, but at last I’m having a ball.

Definitely, for me, less is more. My days of lugging tons of kit about are long-gone.

One M body and two lenses are about all the kit I need. But, who knows?...
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Old 06-23-2014   #25
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I just can't carry more than one camera/one lens anymore. I'm old and skinny. Now I'll have to carry a tripod, because I'm not as steady as I was once. But one cam/one lens has always been my happy place. Currently, it's Nikon FM with 50mm 1.8 and always BW. Slik F630 tripod.
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Old 06-23-2014   #26
Juan Valdenebro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hepcat View Post
For what kind of job?
You're right: I am talking about street photography.

In my case, I spent some years using a single lens, even for long trips... I did it with a 20, with a 28, with a 35, with a 40 and with a 50. Now I think it's not the best option: yes, I got the photographs, but for some of them, a different angle of view would have been MUCH better...
I have also tried for years one camera with 2 lenses, and with 3 lenses too: not the best idea either, I guess... Changing lenses can be a problem... And it isn't really a comfortable / fast / relaxing option...
Lately I've been doing it in a way that's been the best one to my liking... I'm carrying 3 cameras inside a small handmade leather bag made for them: 3 defined separate places inside the bag, all with clean access from above, and now I never change lenses. 2 of them are Bessas T (very light cameras), one with a small 28 and the other one with a Jupiter-3 (the lightest fast 50), both cameras with Tri-X at 800 for street shooting at f8 from 1/2000th to 1/125th: with those 2 I act a lot faster than I did when I used to change lenses, and 28&50 are different enough but normal enough to cover everything in natural ways...
The other camera has a 40 1.4 with Tri-X at 3200, for low light, indoors and night, or for great DOF with poor light...
Those three are easy to carry for hours, (to my surprise) and the bag is incredibly small!
No matter where I am, or what time it is, I am ready for every scene, and for all kinds of light, instantly... In my case I am sure more is more. Not that I can't use a 50 only: it's just that some things can't be inside a 50's narrow angle of view, and for other subjects, with a 28 you need to be too close to the subject... And for low light, a different film or development is required...
Cheers,
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Old 06-23-2014   #27
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I use a 55mm (4.5x6) for about 80% of the time, but for those other 20% I do have what it needs with me. And sometimes I really want to use 6x9 or 6x6. Even use digital sometimes.

I did found out that different formats on the same outing is not a good way for me. Or digital and film if they do not cover a different goal. But different focals is a must, it just feels natural.
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Old 06-23-2014   #28
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Visiting Europe 30 yrs ago (car, rail, boat-train) I had my M3 & 50 DR.
Today I have the range from 35 to 135mm, but even in retrospect (& knowing how clumsy & absent-minded I can be) I'm glad I just had that gear... and of course plenty of film.
Photography was not the primary reason for making that trip; had it been otherwise I might have acted differently.
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Old 06-23-2014   #29
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Given the chance I always shoot with more than one body. With small modern cameras taking two is hardly a burden, and you get a nice coverage by using a wide and standard lens (or a wide and tele).

If I knew exactly what I wanted and how I would be shooting it, then I might only take a single camera/lens combo. Otherwise, it never hurts to have another option...
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Old 06-23-2014   #30
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This single camera and one lens thing is so overrated nowadays.

I use different camera's and lenses, even on the same day. When I know, I have to walk a lot, than I try to reduce weight, but on photographic trips I have a big bag, with a lots of gear and just pick the friend for a day for a smaller bag.

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Old 06-23-2014   #31
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In this case, less is not more.
But it is, just as much.
With one camera/lens, the possibilities are already infinite. More can't get you more.

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Old 06-23-2014   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Atherton View Post
My days of lugging tons of kit about are long-gone.
One M body and two lenses are about all the kit I need. But, who knows?...
I think there is an age related thing going on here
I know there is with me.

I`ll take a digital either the dp3m or dp2m and maybe a film camera with a different fl.
Either that or take the two Sigmas.

Today it was just the dp2m.
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Old 06-23-2014   #33
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Sometimes I carry one camera and one lens

Sometimes I carry one camera and more than one lens

Sometimes I carry more than one camera and more than one lens.

It all depends on what I expect to do and how far from home I am.

But even with several cameras and several lenses I find I take most of my pictures with one camera and one lens.

Figure that one out? Personally I think I am just lazy at heart.
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Old 06-23-2014   #34
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Quote:
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Sometimes I carry one camera and one lens

Sometimes I carry one camera and more than one lens

Sometimes I carry more than one camera and more than one lens.

It all depends on what I expect to do and how far from home I am.

But even with several cameras and several lenses I find I take most of my pictures with one camera and one lens.

Figure that one out? Personally I think I am just lazy at heart.
Me too. But maybe experience and talent play a small part too.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-23-2014   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Atherton View Post
For the past fourteen years pretty much (baring the odd digital) itís been a M6 and 35mm Summicron as my everyday kit, simply because this is what I feel most comfortable and in tune with.

This year on a whim I bought an Elmar-M 50mm, which hasnít been off the camera for two months.

At first it was hard going. Compared to the 35mm the 50mm seems like a tele, and only now am I getting my eye in for this focal length, but at last Iím having a ball.

Definitely, for me, less is more. My days of lugging tons of kit about are long-gone.

One M body and two lenses are about all the kit I need. But, who knows?...
Amazing! This is just the opposite of my situation. I normally shoot with the 50mm Elmar-M, a truly great lens. But I find there are situations where a somewhat wider lens would work better. So, now I'm carrying, in addition to the Elmar-M, the 35mm Cron Asph.

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Old 06-23-2014   #36
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I like to carry M3 + 50 + 21 + 90, with 21mm VF 'permanently' mounted on the M3. The 50 stays on most of the time, but if I see a situation where I need another perspective, I like to have the flexibility. All of the fits in one small bag.
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Old 06-23-2014   #37
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In the past, I often took an M body, 50mm and 35mm for travels and weekend trips (plus a backup body for international travels). Looking back, I think I stuck with one M and one 50mm for the most part. My next travel will be with just one M and one 50mm, plus Ricoh GR as a catch-all backup.
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Old 06-23-2014   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Valdenebro View Post
Changing lenses can be a problem... And it isn't really a comfortable / fast / relaxing option...
Lately I've been doing it in a way that's been the best one to my liking... I'm carrying 3 cameras inside a small handmade leather bag made for them: 3 defined separate places inside the bag, all with clean access from above, and now I never change lenses.
I did something similar for France. I had two 3Cs CLA'd for the trip. I kept a 35/2.5 CV on one, and a CV 25mm on the other. Sometimes it was a 35 and a 28, and sometimes a 35 and a 50; but always one was a 35mm. I used Tri-X and a Delta 400. I also had along an M7 with CV 40/1.4. I could fit the Barnacks in my vest pockets along with a D-lux 3 and a D-Lux 4, and have only one camera out at a time. If we were going to be out at night, I left one Barnack and one D-lux in our apartment, and brought the M7 with the CV lens. That was well thought out, and worked out well. I think I would do it again, or something similar, on a similar trip.
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Old 06-23-2014   #39
BillBingham2
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After having close to a dozen LTM/M RFs less is more.

Right now it's an iPhone 5 or a GRD III with no extra glass.

I was very happy with a Bessa L and a CV 25/4 Snap-Shot, other times equally happy with a M6, M4-P, and a mix of 15, 25, 35, 40, 75, 90, 105, 135, and a rapidwinder or two. Other times the dread-SLR-Nikon and a few choice Nikkors.

I find that I can get a shot that I'm happy with regardless of the lens(es) I have. Can't say it's always a good shot, but I capture what I can with what have as good as I can.

Having lugged around way too much SLR-stuff for vacation shots, I've seen the light. I'm happy with what I have when I have it.

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Old 06-23-2014   #40
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I tend to ask myself "what's the point of an interchangeable lens camera if I never change lenses?" Especially when a change in angle of view, perhaps to explore different subject matter, seems desirable after shooting with one lens for a while.

...Mike
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