I currently have six camera systems: Hasselblad V, Rolleiflex TLR, Nikon MF SLR, Nikon AF SLR, Leica LTM and Fuji X-Trans. My efforts to choose just one have failed. No sooner have I brought one down to our living quarters and packed up all of the others than I see something or read something that makes me question my choice. The result, in practical terms, is that I have shot just three rolls of film since Thanksgiving Day.
My attempts to rationalize a choice by means of comparisons – 35mm vs. MF, SLR vs. RF, AF vs. MF, with batteries or without, etc. – have gotten me nowhere. I think that is probably because I have no strong feelings about these differences. Is there another way of looking at the question?
What if, instead of asking which system or systems to keep, I asked myself which system or systems I would be willing to part with, or said another way, are there any I would not part with under any circumstances, and there was an answer staring me right in the face.
The heart of my Leica LTM system is a camera that belonged to my father. That by itself is enough to make the Leica system a keeper. And I have a similar attachment to another of the six systems. When I began a project documenting the aftermath of the 1967 Newark riots my parents bought me a Nikon F and three lenses. Sadly, I sold the body and two of the lenses years ago, but I still have the 105/2.5 Nikkor and I have replaced the body and 50mm lens. Just as with the LTM Leicas I can not imagine not having a Nikon F.
So that is what I am going to try. I have both the LTM Leica and Nikon F kits downstairs. Hopefully there are enough similarities – 35mm, Manual Focus, no batteries, etc. – to make switching between them easy, and enough differences – SLR vs. RF, easier to focus with shorter lenses vs. easier to focus with longer lenses, etc. – to keep things interesting. We’ll see.
Do you ever find yourself with so many choices involving your photography that it keeps you from going forward? And if so, have you found a way around them?