The Perfect Number Of Cameras To Own Is..

Going from one camera to over 51 in a couple years, and now currently back down to about ten, with much relief I’ve finally discovered the formula for the perfect number (PN) of cameras to own.

PN = n + 1 (where n is the number of cameras you currently own)


Now having read first discovered this nugget of wisdom, I thought about how true it was.

But then considered a little further how my pattern of owning and buying actually unfolded throughout those binge years.

A far more accurate version of my personal formula was this –

PN = n + 2 – 1

In other words, if I buy just these two more cameras, test them out, then sell the one I like least, I’ll have the perfect number of cameras in my collection.

But sometimes I liked both of the new cameras, so neither were sold. The formula cycled around again, and another two were added.

And so it went on, two became 10 became 25 became 50…

What are your thoughts on these formulae? What does your perfect number of cameras look like? 

Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.

10 thoughts on “The Perfect Number Of Cameras To Own Is..”

  1. My perfect number of cameras is four…my old Pentax film camera that I keep for sentimental value and the occasional shooting of film and one digital camera….just something cheap and easy and tiny to put in my handbag and the camera on my mobile and the camera on my MAcbook air. I didn’t realise I had four until I remembered the lap top one xoxo susanJOY

    1. Oh I hadn’t thought of device cameras, in that case I also have one on my MacBook, one on my iPad, one on my old iPhone which I now use exclusively as an iPod, as well as the one on my current Xperia phone!

  2. I bought the new Fujifilm X-T3 on Thursday, just in time for a typhoon to come through and keep me trapped in the house. It’s supposed to clear up tomorrow . . . . .
    I bought the kit with the 18-55 lens (27-82 equivalent) and I’m hoping it’s the last thing I’ll need to buy (hahahahaha). My Nikon D810 and film cameras are now in a cabinet. It’s a small, light kit and the camera makes colours I really like. I might buy the 27mm pancake lens (40mm equivalent) for walkabouts. I usually only use a normal lens anyway, so that would be great.
    I’m not going to make the mistake of selling all my camera gear again. I did that once and regretted it later. Who knows if I’ll get the urge to use a bit of film?

    1. Marcus, interesting you bought a kit zoom, from what I’ve read my impression is most people buy a Fuji X camera to then using a fast prime like a 35mm on them and use them essentially like a super capable fixed lens compact. Yes I would have thought the 27mm pancake you mention makes a lot more sense for the Fujis.

      I’m finding a similar thing with my Lumix GF1. Fantastic camera, and with a very compact and light 12-32mm (24-64 equiv) zoom. But whilst much smaller than a DSLR, it’s not anywhere near as small as my Lumix LX3, which arguable has a better (fixed) lens too. So I’m kind of struggling to see the need for anything beyond digital compacts for me these days. Even micro four thirds seems unnecessarily bulky and sophisticated.

      I haven’t shot film in over a year, but have kept just two film bodies, my two favourite ever – Spotmatic F and Contax 139 Quartz. Plus I have a handful of M42 lenses and half a dozen rolls of Fuji Superia 100 in the freezer, should I ever get the urge again. Never say never, eh?

      1. I bought the kit zoom because it’s a good lens and it’s very cheap when you buy it with the camera. It’s 400,000 Won when purchased with the camera and 900,000 Won when purchased alone. A 28-85 on my Nikon is very heavy, but this Fuji lens weighs almost nothing, so I like it. I will probably buy the pancake lens when I have enough pennies in my piggy bank, but I’m in no hurry.

      2. The zoom seems a sound investment! IT will be interesting to hear how you get on if/when you get a prime and whether it makes the zoom redundant.

  3. For me the perfect number would be one camera system. The number of bodies, lenses and accessories is pretty much irrelevant, as long as everything is interchangeable. My problem is that I have two such systems – thread mount Leica and V-System Hasselblad – and I can’t bring myself to put one aside and work exclusively with the other.

    1. Yes but from what I understand, they are very different systems Doug? It’s not like you have a Nikon 35mm set up and a Canon 35mm set up that are going to give you pretty much identical pictures on identical film.

  4. Same for me really, one camera, one system. I got the stage of life of realising that you can only use one camera at a time, so I have settled for just one camera. Although it’s nice having the other camera makes and models in the cabinet upstairs to fall back on.

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