Unless you are a camera collector, it sounds like a lot to me.
I guess having 50 lenses would qualify a person as a collector whether or not that was the intention. But I think it's very easy to accumulate 50 lenses just by wanting to try out different cameras and formats.
I shoot and print full frame. Looking back over the past few years, I don't think any of my photos would have been better cropped. If I had wanted a different image, I would have framed it differently in the viewfinder.
'superior' is the wrong word, as I think composing in the viewfinder adds to the simplicity and execution of the photographic process. If you make a painting or drawing, do you then take it back to the studio, do you then cut a bit off with a pair of scissors?
It is not cheating, but many who use zoom or telephoto lenses have no regard of perspective. As for cropping, why not compose within the viewfinder of your chosen format?
I used to shoot only 35mm slides, so composing full-frame was a necessity. And due to the small size of 135, I didn't want to lose any of it. I still do compose full-frame; I strongly prefer it. I've been thinking of switching from 645 to 6X6 for the challenge of composing within the square (plus cropping is an option if I can't make a shot work). I see 6X6 as more versatile because of that.
And there's something in me that just likes working with the format I have. My approach is to always strive to use the full frame, but if a different proportion to the picture makes it better, cropping is not somehow wrong.
It's the guys who would declare that anyone who didn't shoot full-frame were dishonest or somehow cheating that amazed me. It's like a moral thing with them. To them, "no serious photographer crops". Of course, many well-known and admired photographers had no qualms about cropping. I think it's fine to be a purist for oneself; I am, just not fanatically. It's important to me to use the full frame, but not essential. I recently unframed a favorite full-frame print from135 I took decades ago, cut it to a square, and re-framed it. I did it because I realized it's a lot better that way.
Same with AE or AF. The same sort of guys said the same sort of things about automation- it wasn't as pure, so it was somehow wrong.
I never use either. I always determine focus and exposure manually, and have never wanted to entrust either to the camera. It's a part of my process, begun when there was no other way. And it's valuable to understand, which is why photo courses start students off on manual cameras. But automation works well for others, and the quality of a photograph is not determined by the means through which it was created.
I do admit to having "cheated" with cameras that have an exposure lock: I'd meter and let the camera find the exposure I liked, then lock it. Scandalous!
Composing full-frame has one very good effect: it promotes "cropping" in-camera. Regarding the viewfinder image as the final image encourages removing extraneous elements at the time of exposure.
I still do compose full-frame; I strongly prefer it. I've been thinking of switching from 645 to 6X6 for the challenge of composing within the square (plus cropping is an option if I can't make a shot work). I see 6X6 as more versatile because of that.
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