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?
3 thoughts on “And the beat goes on…”
I’ve been on a project for many months now to shrink my collection to a usable number. Because the sheer size of it meant I sometimes had analysis paralysis over which camera I was going to shoot that day! It wasn’t pleasant, and the whole point of the collection is pleasure.
Agree, with my collection too
I’ve been following your Thin the Herd blog posts with interest for some time. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one.