One Camera, One Lens, One etc. etc.

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Sophist, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    5,851
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Using one camera-lens-film would remove a lot of dithering from the equation, an all manual camera forces one to slow down a bit and think.
    But, it could be any camera, from a Kodak 35 RF to a Rollei to a 4x5-5x7-8x10, saying it must be a Leica is gratuitous (and pretentious) nonsense - although a Leica would be a perfectly valid choice.
     
  2. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,539
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The really sad thing about this entire thread is really not that one of us wants to try to do this, it is how many of us immediately jump in to poo poo the idea and discourage him from doing it at all. Just because you do not think you can benefit does not mean that someone else can't.
     
  3. jamesaz

    jamesaz Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If it's this project or something else, anything that helps instill discipline will also stimulate creativity. I try to have a couple projects going all the time. Right now, I'm doing 'the cameras got nothing to do with it' with a $30 from craigslist m-42 fujica and VDB portraits with 4x5. I think the LF will be good, not too sure whether my camera premise is all that valid though. If so, good. If not, I'll have learned something at the very least.
     
  4. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,908
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Out on a walk today I thought what fun it would be to stick to a square format camera for a year, like a Rolleiflex (could be any 2 1/4x2 1/4 )...

    Then print to 8x10 cropped (instead of using the square, always crop).

    Since I rarely crop, it would force me to look at things a different way.
     
  5. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

    Messages:
    1,301
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think the whole Leica thing came out of wanting to remove any kind of existential nonsense about "should I buy a 'better'/ more expensive camera/ lens etc" from the equation. The whole point is to spend your time making images, printing them, learning from them - not working yourself into a lather over lenses, cameras & other things that are irrelevant to actually learning to see & think photographically. An awful lot of boring photographers don't want to admit that a vast arsenal of lenses is no substitute for seeing & doing.
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    5,851
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Specifying Leica also opens the door to the existential nonsense of "what if I cannot afford/don't want/don't like Leica am I doing it wrong?", it seems the author's insistence (on Leica) itself is existentially corrupt. There are Leicas, and there are Leicas, of all ages and at this point in time in all conditions. They're not all equal, and few users are capable of evaluating one for correct function. That's a huge pitfall right there.
    Any basic mechanical camera - and I agree with the rangefinder specification because it forces one to really pay attention to the subject before framing it in the viewfinder - will fill the bill. You could do it with a Canonet in manual mode and a Gossen N100 for a meter. You could do it with a Retina, a Rollei, a Tachihara 4x5, any decent camera. An 8x10 would be good, with the price of film you'd tend to think pretty thoroughly about each exposure.
    I've found keeping a log of each exposure to be an extremely valuable aid.
     
  7. Craig75

    Craig75 Member

    Messages:
    530
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Location:
    Uk
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Or just maybe author was gently trolling his readers so they'd comment on the article and generate some hits and ad. revenue for him.

    Such is the way of the internet
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    5,851
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah, I wasn't very impressed by the author. It's a much older (without the Leica rubbish) idea than that article.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    26,415
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    I recommend starting one camera, one lens, one film, one developer, ... until you know the camera. Then add lenses until all are comfortable or change film but not both. Slowly build or confusion, errors and frustrations grow.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Sophist

    Sophist Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Care to expand on this?

    As previously mentioned, I've used most types of camera over the years, but I'm not sure I see what you're getting at, though it sounds like a good thing!

    I myself would favour a rangefinder due to small size (yes, I know there are some exceptions, as well as some small SLRs) and concomitant ease of transportation. I'd even favour a Rollei 35, if only it had a rangefinder.

    (and wow, my first post for 5 years and it generates three pages of replies!)
     
  11. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    5,851
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The viewfinder in most rf cameras does not show as much detail as that in a typical slr, some - like the Kodak 35RF that was my first proper camera - are pretty dismal. I pretty much stick to 35, 50, and 85, and I know what these lenses cover - so I study the scene and decide what I want, then focus, frame, and take the picture. I sometimes - not very often - use a 135, but that's really a pita on a rangefinder and I work very slowly usually with a tripod.
     
  12. Harry Green

    Harry Green Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA 90035
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One of the most valuable lessons I was personally given as a photographer, was when I was at USC. I took a photography class, before going to Brooks Institute of Photography, in 1977. The instructor at USC gave me the assignment of only using my Rollei 35mm camera and not looking through the viewfinder. He knew I knew the focal length and how to zone focus and how to set the shutter speed and f/stop, in all lighting situations. He "challenged" my inner self to make photographs, with the knowledge of the camera stuff I already had. I did make a few photographs that were important. In reality, when you know your equipment you do not need a viewfinder. After USC, majoring in Psychology, I did go to Brooks and graduated with another degree, and worked in advertising for a a decade. Of course, I learned how to control the contrast of black and white film, by processing and how to focus a large format camera, and use lighting to master the environment of the photograph I was making. The experiences were totally different.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    26,415
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    Welcome even though you did not go to UCLA. The ex got her masters in psychology at USC. She is the ex and that plus football and basketball explains a lot about my comment.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,776
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I used only a Nikon Photomic FTN & a 80-210 Komura for 2 yrs. Those are my most successful focal lengths.
     
  16. blockend

    blockend Member

    Messages:
    3,397
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Location:
    northern eng
    Shooter:
    35mm
    That's a good exercise, with some caveats. If photographing people, it shouldn't be used sneakily and from fear of your subject. That's dishonest and you've get more grief if caught photographing surreptitiously than openly. It works best with some cameras and certain types of photography, generally wide angle lenses with faster film at smaller apertures. A good compromise is the Voigtlander Kontur finder, which I've used extensively with a 50mm lens, frequently at f2.8, but you have to be good at judging distance. It's the least intrusive viewfinder yet invented.
    https://obscurecamera.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/voigtlander-kontur-finder/
     
  17. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,916
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Chillicothe MO
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That worked well with a Leica M2 and M4. The focus lock on most lenses let one roughly focus without even looking at the camera. Setting aperture and shutter by feel was easy. After smashing the external 21mm viewfinder, I quickly learned to estimate the framing through the camera's viewfinder. This also worked well enough for a 200mm lens.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    26,415
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    When I sold cameras to someone who was buying their first camera, if they had the money and were willing to buy more lenses, I would caution them and say, "Buy one lens and shoot several rolls of film before you buy the next." I would also take time to explain the uses and advantages of each lens that they were interested in. If they listened to me, they became good repeat customers. A few who did not listen and bought multiple lenses came back and told me that I was right and they felt overwhelmed. To those I would encourage them to start with using one lens and slowly add one lens at a time to their use.
     
,