Which do you personally prefer: More or fewer lenses?

Matero

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Jun 22, 2013
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Finland
Autofocus gear:
Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
PL 25mm F1.4 (glued on)
Oly 12-40 f2.8 for weather sealing
Oly 17mm f1.8
Oly 45mm f1.8
Oly 75mm f1.8
CV 35mm f1.4 VM adapted for manual

Oly 17mm glued on wife’s Pen E-P5
45&75 too low use, I should sell, but I love the 75. CV 35, maybe one manual focus system is enough :hmmm:

Manual gear:
Nikon Df
CV 58mm f1.4 Nokton (when it finally arrives), gonna be glued on
Nikkor 50mm f1.4 Ai
Nikkor 135mm f3.5 Ai

But, to the answer, easily way too many lenses, many rarely used, so how those could make my photography better?!?

I should just sell more lenses and focus on those left. Weather sealing is nice to have, otherwise I don’t need zoom. Old Nikkors can stay, no value for anyone anymore. So Oly 45 & CV 35 probably just need to go. o_O
 

Bob T

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Yes, I have too many lens, and yes, four is too many cameras....but....I like them.

What I generally do, unless it is a multi-day trip, is only take a couple primes, plus occasionally a long zoom.
That keeps me focused on taking photos, not figuring out which lens to use.
 

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ToxicTabasco

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I prefer a few. Over the years I bought a lot of lenses, just to have lenses and at the time really liked what each could do. A few years ago, I sold off a lot of DSLR lenses and 2 bodies. After switching to mu43, I went in with the goal of getting a holy trinity for the system, plus 2 primes for their specific applications. And I use these lenses all the time, and it covers everything.

With DSLR I never got the holy trinity because of size, weight and cost. Thus , always had regrets not having them. But could not justify carrying around 2 DSLRs with 4+ lenses in the wild. Thus, restricted myself to travel and landscape type photography in the night.

The Lumix G9 system opened up a new world of photography shooting in conditions and locations I would have never did with a DSLR. BIF, wildlife, longer hikes & roadtrips, and street photography style event shooting at night. Size does matter when it comes to photography, mu43 is not for everyone, but it is for me.
 

bikerhiker

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For me, m43 provides a fantastic balance of function, style, weight, compactness and performance in a small package. And most of the good lenses are sharp, characterful and a great value especially when bought used now as some people are migrating away from m43 towards full frame. I personally never found my E-P5 to be limiting, except perhaps the continuous AF is lacking. That can be mitigated with a used GX-8, but that darn camera kept getting sold as soon as my dealer got in one! :daz:

Personally, I HATE having lenses that don't do anything other than hibernate inside my bag. That's money I could use towards trips and even a more appropriate lens.
 

jeffbuzz

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Nov 25, 2018
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I prefer to own a limited selection of lenses that are right for me. Trouble is, if a particular brand or system happens offers only a limited selection of lenses the odds are slim that those few lenses will exactly match my needs. So I want the manufacturers to offer a wide variety of lenses for me choose from. That requires choosing the few best lenses for me from among that large flock. That usually leads to owning more lenses than I really need.

Trying new gear is fun. The abundance of information available today (good and bad) makes it both tempting and easy to justify buying a new lens that might work better than one I already have. This is definitely a slippery slope.

How many lenses do I need? Just one more...just one more...
 

Ted_G

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Less is more for me. And I prefer high quality zooms. In the old days it was the 17-40L and 70-200L. More recently Pentax 18-135 and 55-300. With Fuji it was just the 18-55.

Having switched to M43 and the excellent small zooms I am covered in high quality from 12-300 (ok 24-600!!!) in 2 lenses. Two lenses...that's crazy .

Down the road this might change to the 10-25 and/or 50-200...but it will remain 2 lenses.

Although saying that I have been shooting a lot of flowers and bugs lately...that Oly 60mm may land in the bag....or the PL45...or....:hiding:
 

PakkyT

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I prefer fewer and have been pretty good over the years with spending some money to get a better lens (I usually skip any sort of "kit" or lower quality lenses over a better but more $$$ one) and have also been pretty good about keeping GAS in check if I take the time to really ask myself if a "better" lens is going to actually help me or make my photos better or if I am really getting everything out of my current lenses. Typically I am good in shaming myself into trying to do more out of the lenses I already own. I am also good at realizing that there are some lenses that despite not being anything like what I already own, I am very unlikely to get much use out of. For example, i rarely shoot anything needing a really long lens, so my old ZD 50-200mm is plenty. While I have nothing in the -300 or -400 range, I am realistic in that I don't shoot anything that needs those focal lengths either.

I know one guy, likes Panasonic stuff and has more disposable income than me, who buys almost every lens Panny makes. Always showing me his newest lenses. But then he rarely carries his cameras out with him and probably 90% of hit shots are of his bird feeders in his yard. Does he really need every zoom Panny makes to shoot through his not so optically perfect kitchen window at a bird feeder? :doh: But you know what, if it makes him happy, then more power to him.
 

cdmicha

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Just for the sake of discussion.

Which do you personally prefer -- many more lenses, or a more limited selection?
I want to say I like limitations, but looking at my gear, it's just not the case. I love the flexibility of a large kit. Most of the time, I just take a camera and 2-3 lenses with me places, but sometimes, I load it all up (it's really convenient that I can get 3 bodies, 8 lenses, lighting gear, and everything else in one rolling pelican 1510).

I'm also eyeing that 20mm... Thanks a lot, Amin.
 

NCV

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I often find that less is more.

One of my favourite projects was done with just an LX100. Crostolo

But there are times when I want the choice of several lenses.
 

Walter

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@wjiang
Definitely fewer. I don't take all my lenses out on all occasions.

Same with me. I most often have no more than two lenses with me, as I know beforehand what I'm going to focus at. Lately I've restricted myself often to one lens only on outings with rewarding results.

I've realized when having a look into Lightroom that my most-used lenses are the 12-50 (which I'd like to replace by the 2,8/12-40), the 2,8/60 macro and the 1,8/75 .
 
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Walter

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@NCV I often find that less is more.
One of my favourite projects was done with just an LX100. Crostolo

Beautiful photo album. I also use a Lumix (TZ-61) which is excellent in good light conditions but has its limitations in low light due to the small sensor. Better less zoom and big sensor.
 

alex66

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I keep lenses that will see semi regular and frequent use, but have bought gear for a project or job and then sold it again. The main is 17,25 and 12-60 where two bodies one of the primes and the zoom go in the bag, the 45 is used for gigs and along with a Sigma 60 portraits. There is a tele zoom for the odd things where it is used as it was low cost its no biggie. If out with one lens it can be any of the first three or a 12-32, I do find primes especially the 25 to be less confusing, have been working on getting the 17 to that instinctive level.
 

dobro

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Jun 4, 2017
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Definitely fewer. I don't take all my lenses out on all occasions. But they all (with the exception of the 7.5mm fisheye these days, hmm) get used reasonably regularly.
It's pretty much the same for me. Occasionally, I'll carry the full bag (let's see...right now, that's Panasonic 7-14 and 25/1.7, and Olympus BCF, 17/1.8, 45/1.8, and 40-150/4-5.6, so six lenses). I did today and used four of the lenses. But more often, I'll take just the 17, or the 25...sometimes with the BCF. I think it depends on whether I'm going out to "take photos", or I'm taking a camera out with me. In any event, I've never questioned "did I bring the wrong lens" that I can remember. Like a lot of us here, I do like the equipment....and they're small enough to take everything I have in a fairly compact bag!
 

ac12

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SF Bay Area, California, USA
I prefer MORE.
Then I can select which one(s) to use, based on the shoot.
As a general rule, the GP lens will be used 90% of the time.
But I have had a need for various other lenses, enough to justify my buying them. Except for the O-500/8 mirror, which I just had to get.

This is the same reason that I have both an EM1 and an EM10.
I select which one to use, based on the shoot.

As small as the EM1 + P-12-60 is, compared to my D7200 + 18-140, the EM10 + 14-42EZ is even smaller.

The main thing is the ability to make a decision, and select the best tool(s) for the job.

If you can't decide what to use, then less is better, with just 2 lenses, and make-do with those 2 lenses:
  • a decent GP zoom lens (P-12-60 or O/P-14-150) and a 17/1.8 for low light
  • a short GP zoom (14-42) and maybe a longer zoom (40-150R)
  • a 2-lens prime kit: 17 + 45
 
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Joined
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Adelaide South Australia
When I am not travelling, I put on this lens or that lens to play with, to see effects that I can get. With MF lenses, I concentrate on getting focus and exposure after I get the composition more or less OK, and at times getting into "the zone" which is great when that happens.

When traveling, I take with me two bodies with a zoom each, and they now cover 12 to 300 between them, plus two primes, which I have but very very rarely used. I wish to be artistic with choice of lens, but end up too lazy to change lens in the field.

When it all boils down though, I really don't need any camera. None.
 

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