Does too many toys make playing less fun?

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Jul 8, 2019
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
I read somewhere that when a photographer (not a pro) accumulates more and more lenses and bodies, the actual act of taking photos becomes less fun. The idea is you get wrapped up in what to pick for a shot, not actually taking the shot. I've never been on the high parts count side of photography, so wonder if the idea is true. I only have one body and two lenses, so there is not a lot to pack or pick from when out in the world, and I have fun on every outing. If true, this could save me a lot of money in the future. :)
I think this is because the person can't decide on the shot.
As was said, once you decide on the shot, the lens selection usually becomes easy.
I first start by elimination, then from what is left, the best fit.

If I want a wide panorama, I am not going to consider my tele lenses, I will look at what WIDE lenses I have.
If I am going to do a close up shot, it will most likely need a macro lens, not my tele or wide.
If I am going to do a tight head shot, it will probably be something around 200mm, not my wide lenses.
If I am going to do a full length shot, will probably be a 50mm, not my teles.
If I am going to shoot the soccer goalie on the other side of the field, it will be with the longest lens that I have.

If I need to use 75mm and I have two lenses with me that does 75mm, then it is a flip of the coin, which lens I will use. Other than bulk of the lens, it does not matter, 75mm is 75mm.
In thinking about it, if someone looks at a scene and thinks "which lens do I use?"
IMHO, they have not thought enough about the shot to decide what they want.

However, sometimes you are backed into a situation, where you want shot X, but only have lens A and B. So then the decision is which lens gives the the closest image to X and with what trade-offs?

Another situation is when planning a trip, and trying to decide on what 3 lenses out of kit of 10, to take.
But this is long before the shooting situation.

In can see this decision confusion more when buying a lens than using a lens.
Example1, do I get the 24-70/2.8 or the 24-120/4,
Example2, do I get the Tamron 35-150/2.8-4 or the Nikon 24-120/4 or the Nikon 70-200/4?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
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Hamilton , New Zealand
I recently started selling off gear I don't really need to have - mainly prime lenses and my second D7200 body. As the gear dwindled I found myself having a lot more fun shooting - especially after buying an old Panasonic FZ200 for $95 as my walkabout camera. For 'serious' shoots I take my D7200 with the 18-140mm lens [smoke bomb photoshoot] and then I also have the GH4 I bought recording in 4K and I sometimes take screenshots from that as well.
A few days ago I dug out my old 6 meg D50 and put the Sigma 10-20mm f3/5 I got for $150 and took pictures with that 'just for fun'. I've still got quite a bit of gear but I feel more relaxed as I reduce the number of choices I have to make for a shoot.
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Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
I think you contradict yourself here. They are thinking about which lens to use but your seem to crticize them for not thinking enough?

Hmmm!
I understood the OP meant something like this scenario.
Kit has 24+35+50+85+135+200+300 (primes just to make the example easier)
But then which of the 7 lenses to use ???? :confused:

If they are totally confused, as how I read the OP, then they needs to think more about how they want to shoot the scene, to narrow it down.

It would make more sense, to me, to narrow it down:
I want a wide shot, so 24 or 35?​
I want a shot of the distant barn, so 200 or 300?​

Having said that, there is nothing wrong with taking BOTH a wide and tele shot of the same scene. Each calling for a different lens, and the images tell a different story. This is not confusion, but a decision to take two different images. I will sometimes do this myself.
Example:
shot 1 - 24 wide angle, of a pond,​
shot 2 - 300 tele, of a group of animals on the edge of the pond.​
 
Back in the day I had several macro lenses. Not just a couple -- I had like five, or maybe it was six.... At any rate, there were duplications in focal lengths, but each lens did have its own unique characteristics as well, especially the older "legacy" lenses such as the wonderful "Bokina." Some times I would know that I wanted to go out and just see what I could get with the "Bokina", other days I wasn't sure what I was going to shoot so took one of the more modern lenses that could do more than just macro, and at other times I needed more flexibility in approaching the macro subject, such as was offered by the 70-180mm macro. Nowadays, life is much simpler if I want to shoot macro. I have two choices, a 90mm or a 50mm macro, and that's it. Most of the time I find myself reaching for the 90mm, and it's a gem. I am more than happy with this, although, yeah, I miss the "Bokina" and the Lester Dine and the 70-180mm macro, but having just two choices makes life simpler and not only that, frees up space in my house as well!
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,717
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Massachusetts
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David
I can relate, I've personally try to define "kits", why I do my best to sell things off regularly, and why I recently went through consolidation. I'm all m4/3 now, I sold off my Nikon gear last year, and finished selling off my Fuji stuff just after Thanksgiving.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
5,064
Location
Alaska
I read somewhere that when a photographer (not a pro) accumulates more and more lenses and bodies, the actual act of taking photos becomes less fun. ...
If you take the entire arsenal with you in the field I suppose this could happen. Particularly with those inclined to struggle with making decisions. I've got plenty of overlap/redundancy in both bodies and lenses. But the decisions on what to use are made before I leave the house and have no impact during the shoot. Sure there is the occasional moment of regret when in the field. But that is mostly mitigated by a life philosophy of driving the car looking out the windshield rather than in the rear view mirror.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
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24,417
Location
Moscow, Idaho
If you take the entire arsenal with you in the field I suppose this could happen. Particularly with those inclined to struggle with making decisions. I've got plenty of overlap/redundancy in both bodies and lenses. But the decisions on what to use are made before I leave the house and have no impact during the shoot. Sure there is the occasional moment of regret when in the field. But that is mostly mitigated by a life philosophy of driving the car looking out the windshield rather than in the rear view mirror.
It took me a while to learn that lesson. Now when I'm out "walking the camera" I take one body and one lens, and maybe a CP filter.
 

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