Lately, I’ve been wondering, is there such a thing as having too many cameras? The obvious answer is: of course not! But think about it, all the excitement of buying new cameras all the time, the gleeful eyes when you unpack it, and try it out for the first time. Then it goes on your shelf to sit with the other cameras in your collection. From time to time you pick it up again, stuff a roll in it, and go out to shoot with it.
Notice a theme here? That’s not the first time that has happened, right? I know it’s like that for me and my cameras. I fancy a new one, find out it’s reasonably priced, and eventually I’ll hold one in my hands. There’s joy in that sure, but lately I’ve come to think about not buying any more cameras until I feel that I’m ready to buy a really nice one, say a Bessa or a Leica, or at least until I have the feeling I’ve played enough with the ones I have to really know their strengths and weaknesses.
I’ve even started to give some of my cameras away, mainly Polaroid cameras, because I simply didn’t use them anymore. So what’s the point of owning them? I’ve also refrained from buying new ones I kept an eye on to avoid having more cameras that will be used less and less. Of course I won’t just give away most of my cameras, I still like most of them, and they come to good use in their times.
But, and here’s the kicker, when you have so many cameras, spend so little time with each, how do you get comfortable with them, how can you really get to know the upsides and the quirks of each and every one of them? I sure as hell don’t have the time to shoot a dozen rolls of film every week whilst also keeping up the Polaroids spirit. Using a specific camera comes and goes like the seasons, so there’s always a time when I use a specific camera for a longer time. But still, I get the feeling, I could get more out of it, if I just played around with its features, restrictions or quirks a bit more.
So that’s what I’m gonna do. Ignore my recent purchases, of course, the Lomo LCA and the Olympus XA are my trusty companions from now on, every day cameras, I’ll take with me wherever I go. Their size is just right, and their features allow for just the right compromise between having some influence on the photo and just shooting as you go. But I do love my Holga, the Pentacon, and the Yashica, all of them. So each of them will get playtime, and I’ll try to play with them in good detail.
Also, see Amandas post on deciding what cameras to pack. Not exactly the same, but a similar situation, and posted just yesterday as chance has it.