I used to be a victim of G.A.S. (gear addiction syndrome) for a long time. I used to save money month after month, hunt for different cameras, lenses and other equipment in the hope that it will improve my photography. But each new piece of gear increased my options and I just started to get bored with technicalities and making choices.
I started to look back at my starting days when I had only a kit lens and one camera body and I remembered how happy I was back then. I am sure it’s not just my story. A lot of you can relate to it. So, one day, I made the decision to stick to one camera and a lens and went on vacation to see if it would actually improve my photography.
I went to the northern areas of Pakistan on vacation – a place full of interesting people and rich landscapes. I only brought a Fujifilm x70 with me on that trip. It has a fixed 28mm f2.8 prime lens. Read on further as this article is all about how one camera/lens can improve your photography and unleash your creativity.
How To Select A Single Camera & Lens
Sticking to a single lens or camera is a big decision if you already have multiple choices at hand. So, it requires a bit of research. You need to be crystal clear in your mind about what you like to shoot and what you normally end up shooting. For example, I always like to shoot street photography, but since it’s difficult (people react to it quite aggressively sometimes) I often end up shooting landscapes. It’s a different dynamic, which I find easier, and I don’t have to interact with anyone.
Since I like street photos, I have to force myself towards this, so I have selected the Fujifilm x70 (or it could be the Sony RX1r II, the Leica Q, the Fuji X100T, etc…). It’s small and sneaky, has an APS-C sensor which is large enough for a pocket-able camera, and has a fixed focal length of 28mm with a relatively fast aperture at f2.8. It’s ideal for my type of photography. If you are into landscapes or portraits or Macro, select your camera/lens accordingly. It can be a zoom lens, but keep in mind primes are always better in quality and sharpness than zoom lenses. Also shooting with primes has other advantages as well.
Below are four ways how using only one camera and lens can benefit you immensely as a photographer.
1. It Forces You To Be Creative
For me, 28mm is perfect for street photography and environmental portraits, good enough for landscapes and if you work creatively, you can have close-up shots as well. You need to work around your limitations and that polishes your creativity.
With the x70, for landscapes, I need to shoot at lower angles to get some kind of needed perspective that enhances landscapes. For portraits, I need to put the subject in the middle of the frame and crop later to my taste so it won’t distort facial features. That way I can handle all situations with only one focal length. Yes, it will not give you the best results in terms of what we may be used to see, but capturing the right moment is much more important than the quality of bokeh or wide angle distortion.