Too Many Cameras?

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.

Certo-Phot

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.

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7 thoughts on “Too Many Cameras?

  1. hehe
    It was a funny coincidence!
    But yes, I am finidng the same thing. I have many cameras that sit on my shelves. I realised that the most recent roll I’ve shot was on a camera I have owned for 4 years but have only ever shot 2 rolls through it.
    I’ve got at least sitting on a shelf that don’t even work!

  2. I was just thinking about this yesterday. I can’t buy anymore until I feel I have really spent time with the ones I have. But it’s oh so hard to resist.

  3. So smart, as usual. And I completely agree! That’s why I stopped lugging around so many cameras with me, and why the Bessa and the XA are my trusty everyday companions. I want them to be my best friends and know them inside and out.

    Oh, and that bag (with room for my make-up, of course =) turns out to be good for me – it forces me to resist the urge to carry the ENTIRE COLLECTION. Which I have been known to do…

  4. it’s at least a 10 minute decision each time i leave the house… which camera… but just recently i’ve realised it pretty much always the k1000 & sx70. they are my bff’s. so now i just grab them and go, and try not to think about it too much.
    of course there are always those moments when you think, damn! why did i not bring that camera. idiot!

  5. yes, yes, yes. i actually started giving away some of my cameras for this very reason – the ones i should be shooting with were not getting needed attention. and i agree with the girls – it is an ordeal when it comes to packing – just like amanda i think i packed and unpacked cameras and film over and over again for the trip to italy – it was ridiculous. one side of me just wants one go-to camera {aside from the polaroids of course} – but that go-to camera happens to way 100 lbs and is pain in the arse to lug around!

  6. Hey! Just came across your blog 🙂 I totally relate to what you’re saying. My Holga is always my go-to camera and the one I’ve spent the most time with, so I usually get great shots from it. I feel bad for the rest of my cameras though and am trying to make an effort to use them once in a while. Really liking the Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim lately too.

  7. I don’t mind having lots of cameras, but I find if I have more than one in my bag then I’ll be taking bad pictures on them all. I don’t take more than one out at a time any more…

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