Having to many lenses kill creativity?


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Jeff

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#1
Well, I was very happy when I got my first prime. Experimented with all sorts of ways to maximise its usage. Then I became greedy, I bought another prime 6 months later. I started to indulge in that new lens and neglected the older prime. Also, I found that I have to lug along these lenses whenever I go shooting cause I "do not know" when I'll need them. Most important, I have become more lazy to try different ways of shooting due to the increasing weight on my back. Then I broke the vicious cycle of lens collection (thank goodness) and decided to get my priorities right. One by one, I sell them, though with good sadness :cry:. Now, I am much happier although my choices are more restricted.

Further, I found my shooting habits change as I grow(me not that old). Is that normal? Previously I would only shoot avians (guess it's a work hazard)but now I am infatuated with portraitures. (really, i m 2nd yr into serious shooting only :sweatsm: )

So having too many lenses is bad for creativity? & health? & pocket?
 

Jeff

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#5
renegade said:
okie i'm still in my 1st year into phtography and my answer to the above 3 is NO, YES, VERY YES!
Well, occasionally the light bulb will go BING!! but not as frequent as before.
 

rainman

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#7
Jeff said:
Really doesn't help. It either wide or tele end. Been there done that. Once prime, forever prime. A
Get zoom lens...more versatile. Unless u know u will be shooting at that focal length frequently.

I agree that prime is good..not only it is sharp, it is light and in a way it "forces" to move ur feet, and when u does....u actually shoot at diff angle and mayb at diff perspective.

Is this the creativity u r trying to say? :)
 

ST1100

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Jun 18, 2003
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#8
i wouldn't say that having too many lenses kills creativity.

In fact, i don't feel the number of lenses should influence your creativity. i'd rather have 'go through' more lenses so that i can 'learn' that lens' point of view. The 'learned' point of view becomes one more way i can visualize the picture in my head before i pick the camera.

Exceptions would be fisheyes, ultra-wides (12mm-19mm) and maybe tilt-shift lenses. These lenses distort reality somewhat and are very hard to pre-visualize without actually looking through the viewfinder.
 

Jeff

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#10
ST1100 said:
i'd rather have 'go through' more lenses so that i can 'learn' that lens' point of view. The 'learned' point of view becomes one more way i can visualize the picture in my head before i pick the camera.
Ah, finally something true to the heart. I only started to understand the 'visualise the pix' part recently. It does help in imparting more soul to the shot.
 

jsbn

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Jul 24, 2002
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#11
Hmm... Not sure abt u guys since I'm juz a newbie.

But I think, IMHO, for any new photographers aspiring to shoot, the best is to start with 3 lens:

The new EFS 10-22mm, the stock EFS 18-55mm and a EF 75-300.

Wide angle, medium range and long range looks well covered in my ameuter opinion. At least dat's wad I think. Wad do u guys think? :)
 

Snowcrash

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#12
ST1100 said:
i wouldn't say that having too many lenses kills creativity.

In fact, i don't feel the number of lenses should influence your creativity. i'd rather have 'go through' more lenses so that i can 'learn' that lens' point of view. The 'learned' point of view becomes one more way i can visualize the picture in my head before i pick the camera.

Exceptions would be fisheyes, ultra-wides (12mm-19mm) and maybe tilt-shift lenses. These lenses distort reality somewhat and are very hard to pre-visualize without actually looking through the viewfinder.
I share the same view as you and additional pointers:

the learning process of that lens 'point of view' is different for everyone.

YOU must learn to visualize it then move on. Prime have the advantage here over zoom for beginners.

Try reading the book "learning to see creatively" 2nd edition. The author had switched to a 'street zoom' compare to 50mm in his 1st edition.
 

mpenza

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#13
I've quite a few lenses but don't bring everything out at one go. Generally at most two lenses (24-85 or 35 and one tele zoom or prime).
 

espn

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Dec 20, 2002
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#14
I normally bring 1 out that's all. (In case everybody thinks espn owns the WHOLE of all the Nikon lenses, IT'S A LIE, I only own about 25%... that's all :bsmilie:, j/k).

:) Go shoot with a 50mm and sometimes a zoom and sometimes a wide, it really makes a different in style.

I remember I only had a 50mm to play with, then a zoom and finally a wide, took them out individually and learnt quite a bit in composition (although till now still nothing breakthrough).

In short, you don't need a lot of lenses, you just need to know what you need. I do bring ALL out, but that's on very special occassions.
 

Clown

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Mar 24, 2003
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#15
espn said:
I normally bring 1 out that's all. (In case everybody thinks espn owns the WHOLE of all the Nikon lenses, IT'S A LIE, I only own about 25%... that's all :bsmilie:, j/k).

:) Go shoot with a 50mm and sometimes a zoom and sometimes a wide, it really makes a different in style.

I remember I only had a 50mm to play with, then a zoom and finally a wide, took them out individually and learnt quite a bit in composition (although till now still nothing breakthrough).

In short, you don't need a lot of lenses, you just need to know what you need. I do bring ALL out, but that's on very special occassions.
only on NC wanking sessions rite? hahaha...
 

denniskee

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Oct 26, 2003
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#16
24mm, 50mm, 100mm, if add 100mm+ 2xtc (cheap cheap $70 MC7) = 200mm. I have to walk alot more to explore all possible angle because i find changing lens abit troublesome.

not sure if you consider 3 lens + 1tc is too many. This is only my personally opinion.

I used to shoot with zoom lens alot, but find that I tends to be very lazy due to the convenience of zooming in and out to frame the subject. As such, I find zoom lens does kill creativity to a certain extent.
 

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#17
Jeff said:
Well, I was very happy when I got my first prime. Experimented with all sorts of ways to maximise its usage. Then I became greedy, I bought another prime 6 months later. I started to indulge in that new lens and neglected the older prime. Also, I found that I have to lug along these lenses whenever I go shooting cause I "do not know" when I'll need them. Most important, I have become more lazy to try different ways of shooting due to the increasing weight on my back. Then I broke the vicious cycle of lens collection (thank goodness) and decided to get my priorities right. One by one, I sell them, though with good sadness :cry:. Now, I am much happier although my choices are more restricted.

Further, I found my shooting habits change as I grow(me not that old). Is that normal? Previously I would only shoot avians (guess it's a work hazard)but now I am infatuated with portraitures. (really, i m 2nd yr into serious shooting only :sweatsm: )

So having too many lenses is bad for creativity? & health? & pocket?
Shooting habits, styles, and interests will change as you go though life in general (become more mature etc.) and as you go through the photography world (more shooting, seeing other peoples photos, seeing works by famous photographers etc.).

I found that that for my shooting most of the time I need only 2 lenses. A moderate tele / normal and a wide-angle. I do have 4 primes (18mm, 28mm, 50mm and 100mm) but I only take 2 with me, maximum 3, and when revewing what I shoot I realise that I may have used only 1 lens, maybe 2 but rarely 3. So most of the time I take the 18mm and 50mm.. some times I will take the 100mm too.

I have found that for what I shoot (I am assuming 35mm rather than digital or other formats):
- 24~35mm can be covered with the 28mm
- 40~70mm can be covered with the 50mm
- 80~135mm can be covered with the 100mm

Amusingly enough I have replicated the same list of lenses in my 645 set up, since I shoot the same things. I think the limited set-up helps me to understand "how" to take the shots since I know what the these lenses can do (i.e. how the world would look like through these lenses).. I guess with less choices I get more practise?

One possibility that you may consider is to save yourself some money and go through your negs and see what you usually shoot and understand what lenses are usually needed for that. Then focus on buying/practising/pushing the limits of those lenses.

In my mind, I think too much of anything is not healthy :)
 

Ah Pao

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#18
denniskee said:
I used to shoot with zoom lens alot, but find that I tends to be very lazy due to the convenience of zooming in and out to frame the subject. As such, I find zoom lens does kill creativity to a certain extent.
Zoom lens ultimately brings about more convenience compared to a prime in many aspects--weight and price (compared to a range of equivalent primes), but loses out in optical performance.

I find it rather interesting to hear how zoom lens can 'kill' creativity. Being 'lazy' to zoom with the feet doesn't make a picture less good, and since the zoom lens allows the photographer to look through every possible framing within the zoom range, it's tough to argue that it 'kills' creativity. (denniskee, no offence, not attack you, but the point at hand. :) ) I hope we are not having the mindset of "prime wins zoom because less people know how to use it"... :eek:

Very often I find myself visualising a picture, and yet unable to capture it, not because of the lens I use (zoom or prime), but the wrong moment, wrong angle or wrong light.
 

BraveHart

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#20
I don't think having too many lens kills creativity....its getting too hung up over the specification and limitations of any particular lens that kills creativity.
 

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