A 'fixed lens' camera bag

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by Boid, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    I'm one of those people who like fixed lenses on cameras. I find it liberating to not have to worry about changing lenses, or modules (like the GXR). I love the fact that I don't have to debate the relative merits of various lenses for various situations. Picking a camera from a plethora of alternatives was hard enough in the first place. In fact I'm pretty sure that if I buy into an interchangable lens system, I'll ony ever have my favourite fixed lens on the camera, and ignore every other alternative out there.

    A few years ago, if someone told me to shoot with a fixed focal length ONLY, I'd have shooed him out of the room. But I find my fixed lens cameras have shaped the way I take photographs. To get the right picture, I need to get close, to talk, to interact, to cajole a reaction at times. At times it means to intefere, not because I particularly want to, but because the camera demands it. At times it demands that I take a few steps back.

    Doing all this, translates to better pictures somehow. Maybe it's because one isn't as passive as one would be with an option to zoom in. Maybe it's because one is a lot more aware that one needs to be at the right place to make the shot, and not spy or evesdrop into making an image. The camera sees what you see, so you'd better be at the right place or you miss it. So in some sense, you're operating yourself rather than the camera.

    Do I miss having the ability to zoom at times? Sure. I can't shoot sporting events and wildlife for sure. But those are not images that I'm all that interested in making right now.

    Given the current line-up of some really nice fixed lens cameras, here's what I'd like to have in my camera bag -

    1. Portrait/low light - X100

    2. Street/Documentary - GRD4, RX100 (set to 28mm? yep that's cheating it a bit)

    3. Grainy BW - GRD1

    4. Landscape - Sigma DP1M + tripod

    What would be in your "fixed lens" camera bag?
     
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  2. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    Aside from my phonecams mine would be;

    1- GRD 3 for everyday carry, street and urban decay shots.

    2- Oly XZ-1 for Night, again cheating at 28mm-e only
     
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  3. thekeddi

    thekeddi SC Top Veteran

    539
    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    I'll go with my X100 any day :)
     
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  4. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    I like the idea of shooting "urban decay". Thanks, now I have something else to look out for specifically.
     
  5. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Interesting you should post this, Rajiv... I've got my X100 and GRD3 which go with me all the time. The XZ-1 doesnt come as often as the others, and the poor old Pentax K-5 is languishing in its bag, alongside its lenses. But when I do take it out, its almost always (of late) with a 50mm. Does this tell me I, too, prefer the fixed lens (and even the fixed focal length). I think it does. It certainly *is* liberating, not to have to think about which lens to use, when you have only the one on the camera.
     
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  6. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    It's an old adage that you can improve your photography by focussing upon using one focal length - it makes you work harder, for one. It also comes down to how you "see" the world. Some of us are wide-boys, some tele-tubbies. I visualise the world in 50mm terms. As it happens I am on my way into town this very morning; in my briefcase alongside my laptop are my Leica II with 5cm collapsible Elmar and my GRD III, so I suppose that is my answer ;)



    Sent from another Galaxy
     
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  7. Julien

    Julien SC Top Veteran

    749
    Jan 6, 2012
    Paris, France
    Julien
    Portrait/low-light/landscapes/street: X100. And that's it.
     
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  8. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    well the X100 is all one would ever need, but certainly any of them will get the job done.

    Rajiv, how could you post this when I thought I had clarity of mind? Now I'm racked with self doubt.
     
  9. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    Tell me whats your thinking on this Luke. Maybe I have it ass backwards. What are you looking to get/keep instead?

    The two reasons I would prefer the GRD or the Sony over the X100 for street is the wider lens and the fact that no one would comment of whether it's a film camera and how pretty it is, like they do the X100. Very distracting.
     
  10. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    There was a post on The Online Photographer a few years ago about shooting with one camera and lens for a year. It made some sense to me. In November 2009 I grabbed a GF1 and 20mm, and sold my 5D and L lenses. I loved the Canon, but I knew I could get another one later. My purpose was not to downsize, although it was nice having less bulk and weight.

    My purpose was to stretch myself by imposing some limitations. A year later I added the 14mm lens. For two and a half years that's all I have used. I have had fun, learned what I really want to say with my photography, and the gear I need. Personally, I wouldn't go fixed lens in terms of gear because it reduces flexibility over time, and doesn't seem very cost effective. But I have gone fixed lens in the sense of only using one lens.
     
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  11. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Rajiv, those are sound reasons. When you're holding a little piece of black plastic at arms length, people just think you're a tourist and no one hassles you, but that little bit of metal on top and everyone is curious.
     
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  12. Penfan2010

    Penfan2010 SC Top Veteran

    747
    Jul 21, 2012
    NJ, USA
    Ed
    Great, thread, Rajiv. I have noticed an improvement in my composition now that I use my primes more frequently. With respect to fixed lens cameras, for a while I loved shooting with the Olympus SP Rangefinder and its 42mm 1.7 fixed lens, but since getting the X100, I find the winning combo to be my X100 and my old Olympus Pen F with the 38mm F1.8 "fixed" on it (I believe with the vertical half-frame of the Pen-F the crop factor is 1.5 so it's an effective 57mm).
     
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  13. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    If I had to choose it would probably be the X10. I live in a rural area and sometimes I need a bit of reach to avoid climbing barbed wire. I also like my Q with the 8.5 (47 equivalent) for street work.
     
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  14. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    LOL, I just walk out the door....
     
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  15. marlof

    marlof Trying to focus

    Dec 25, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Marlof
    For me, that's the OMD with 25 and its sidekick the EP3 with the 12 or 45. But I'm still happy that I can replace the 25 with the 12-50 or even 14-140 at times.
     
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  16. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    After some thought, I think a nice compliment to the x10 would be a prime fixed lens camera with max IQ, like the Ricoh or Sigma Merrill series. I didn't mention this before since I don't own either of these, but I can imagine the advantages of a "this can get a shot in any light" coupled with a "Great IQ in good light" body.
     
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  17. jhowell39

    jhowell39 SC Veteran

    243
    Jun 23, 2011
    norcal
    Jim
    My only camera is a grd iii right now. Its the first 'real' camera I've had since I quit lugging a couple of Nikon F's around 20 years ago. I find the use of a fixed prime to be a focusing experience, not on the camera, but in my mind. If I have a previsualization in mind I may have to spend a bit more time pondering the shot and also, how to make it with a fixed prime. That's a good thing, I think, for the artsy in us. I'm no longer thinking of photography as machine gunning life as it runs past, but capturing specific moments. I am lusting after a bit bigger sensor though, so a Fugi or a Merrill could be a spring xmas present. Learning to see in different focal lengths is liberating and on-going, new views everyday!
     
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  18. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    758
    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    X100 is in its bag, along with attendant accessories; have to make a conscious decision to bring it along. GRD3 rides my belt; always available.
     
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  19. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin SC Top Veteran

    681
    Nov 15, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    My camera bag at the moment IS a fixed lens camera bag. Sigma DP1s and DP2.Plus a couple of accessories.
    Works well most of the time.
    I like not having to change lenses. Just picking the camera.
    (Having said that, the call of the OMD EM5 is getting louder and louder: -)
     
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  20. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    After going through maybe 8-10 cameras and as many lenses or more, in the last 2 or 3 years. I have only an E-p2, that has a sigma 30mm on it today. yesterday it had the Vivitar 70-210. But the most used lens, is the Vivitar 24mm. Rarely will I mount a 50mm. One lens only would be a 24/25mm. I'm not much handicapped with the 24mm and an adapter for close up/macro.
     
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