After years of cheap flings with over a hundred partners in photography (er, in other words, cameras!), I’ve come to appreciate and appreciate the joys of sticking to a very small selection.
Even if I’m not quite a one camera man (yet), here are five of the major benefits I’ve appreciated by moving ever closer to cameranogamy – being faithful to just one camera.
1. You know how to set up the camera to get the look you want.
For a while it was fun to see how different cameras and lenses render the same scene. But once you find a camera you really love, it’s more satisfying to learn how to set it up once and then use it time and again to make the photographs that look how you want them to. Without endless hit and miss, trial and error, and wasted photographic opportunities.
2. You know how and where any buttons, dials, knobs and menus are when you do need to make adjustments.
Even when you’re well versed in the basics and impact of adjusting aperture, shutter speed and other core variables of a camera, if you’re constantly switching between different machines, you’re also constantly try to remember where these crucial controls are on each.
When you’re a cameranogamist, the muscle memory of your mind and fingers instinctively makes any adjustments, without having to think twice.
3. You’re free from paralysis of choice.
I can’t tell you the hours I’ve lost sat at home staring at dozens of cameras, lenses and rolls of film, wondering which possible combination to choose. Even three cameras, three lenses and three films gives 27 different options. Trying ramping that up to 20 of each and you have 8000 different combos. Terrifying!
By being loyal to one camera, lens (and film if you’re shooting film, or preset look with digital (see no1 above)) you just grab your camera and go. Meaning more precious time spent out in the field enjoying the photography pursuit you so love.
4. You know how to frame before you even raise the camera.
If you change focal length more often than your underwear, you never come to learn what the world looks like just through a 28mm or 35mm or 50mm lens. With cameranogamy, you already know what the scene in front of you will look like through the camera’s viewfinder or screen, so finding compositions that work best at that camera/lens’s focal length come far easier.
5. Your finances are far healthier.
The silent killer for me was buying a cheap camera or lens or batch of expired film two, three, even 10 times a month, then eventually realising that £10 here and £20 there soon adds up to hundreds. Invest a little more in just one or two cameras you love, and then your cash is freed up for other things.
I also found tremendous relief by stopping this spending and seeing how much better my finances were looking overall. When the money you’re spending on a hobby causes more worry than the hobby itself helps relieve, something needs redressing.
Hopefully you can see from the five points above, there are major benefits to sticking to a small set of cameras you know inside out.
Even if, like me, you can’t quite yet pledge allegiance to just one!
What benefits have you found from using the same camera consistently?
We’d love to hear in the comments below (and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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