After purchasing my first DSLR, I distinctively remember being very excited and my choice. Since my aim was to learn, I purchased every magazine out there that had a “How To……………” on the cover. Inside every one of these magazines, I found a new camera or new lens review, a camera comparison and with all that came camera envy.
I started thinking that the Nikon D40 that I had purchased was not good enough and a better and more expensive camera is what I needed for my images to improve.
I then came across an image that won a competition by Julia Ana Gospodarou. The image spoke to me and I found myself looking at the camera that she used for this image. I was shocked to find out that the image was captured using a camera similar to mine. After further research and further understanding into the craft of photography, my view on gears changed for the better.
After exhausting my Nikon D40, I traded my Nikon gear and upgraded to my current kit. I’d purchased the Canon 5D, 17mm – 40mm and a 70mm – 300mm lenses. I quickly realised that I rarely used the longer zoom lens which further narrowed down my kit.
It is not bad to have a backup camera or a few lenses, especially if your work is on the commercial side, or involves travel. Since my work is personal, I have made the conscious decision to keep it simple. There are several advantages to having a smaller kit. My work involves quite a lot of walking so keeping my gear minimal means that my bag is not too heavy on my back and when I am travelling, my choice is simple and suited for my purpose.
Other than being easier to carry around, my choice also forces me to be more creative and to think outside the box. Since, I do not overthink about which lens to use, my focus is solely on what is around me and what I see. All my images after they are captured which means that my gear is no longer my focus. The camera simply became a tool.
Being so familiar with my camera and lens means that they both become and extension of myself. This means that I instinctively know what to do in any given situation.
There’s also and aspect of safety involved when I am out on my own. Using a tripod means that I attract attention to myself so I carry what I can replace. The more attention I attract, the more expensive the gear looks.
Although I had used the first camera and its kit lens for many years, it wasn’t until my understanding of photography changed that my photography improved. As I mature, my work changed and so has my point of view on gear. My current gear has helped me focus on improving other aspects of my photography that needed improving.
Using one camera, one lens is what is working for me at the moment. What works for you?