Every now and then, a friend asks me why I own (and use) several different camera systems. “Wouldn’t it make more sense if you concentrated on ONE system and get some pro-lenses for it?”, is the usual question that follows.
Well, in some way, yes. But photography is not my job, it’s my hobby. And thus I do not need to be sensible. 😉
I want it to be fun. And playing with different cameras and lenses and various combination of those is definitely fun. You know that saying: “The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.” My son also likes to play with different toys. Nobody asks him why he doesn’t restrict himself to only cars. (Ha!)
After some years of wildly combining different systems, some typical sets and usages have been established within my collection.
The Canon EOS 5D I mainly use for extreme wide angle photography (with the Sigma EX 15-30 or the Zenitar 2.8/16 Fisheye), for very narrow DoF (with lenses such as the Sigma EX 1.8/24, the Nikkor 1.2/55, the Nikkor 1.8/85 or the Vivitar 2.3/135) and for my top-quality manual SLR-lenses from brands like Leica, Nikkor and some others. I like to shoot those lenses on the format they were designed for.
The Nikon D3100 is my compact “easy-to-carry” DSLR – and the projected tele-shooter (I just need to replace the 55-200 with a lens that goes up to 300mm). [EDIT: Done!]
The Sony NEX-7 is my universal “adapt-everthing” cam and my high-resolution warrior. It’s an amazing little cam that offers excellent image quality and the chance to use my M-mount lenses. What is more, it’s so small I can bring it everywhere I go.
The Sony NEX-3 was my first “adapt-everything” cam, but meanwhile has proven kind of obsolete because of the NEX-7 and will probably be sold soon.
The Leica M8 is the camera for the heart. This machine just conveys that special feeling that only a Leica can. It’s by no means my best camera, but it’s perhaps the one that is the most fun.
The Nikon 1 V1 is the “new kid on the block”.
Still just with one lens Now with two lenses but and – thanks to my friend Jörg – already with a LeicaM-adapter (and a C-mount adapter will arrive in a couple of days, or weeks from HongKong). This little Nikon is a perfect point-n-shoot and has superseded my beloved Leica Digilux-2.
The Sigma DP1s probably is the most pointless cam I own, but it’s also a lot of fun. Apart from the “toy” Polaroid x530 the DP1s is the last of my Foveon cams and if not anything else that is my reason to keep it.
The Fuji S2 Pro and the Nikon D1 are two cams to fool around with. And I can use those Nikkor lenses that do not have an internal motordrive.
The Canon EOS 300D is a remainer of my “Sturm-und-Drang” years and serves well as a digiback for lenses that cannot be adapted to the 5D.
The Canon G3 is an infrared rebuilt and utterly perfect for infrared landscape photography.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ37 is the only digital compact cam that is still somewhat up-to-date. All the other digital compacts (e.g. Sony V1, Lumix FZ20, Fuji 4800 & 4900…) are just here because they are too cheap to sell.
My film cams (such as the Nikon F, the Leica III, the Ricoh KR-10x, the Zorki-4, the Kodak, Franka, Beltica etc.) don’t see much use, really. The only one I regularly shoot with is the Leica IIIa snyc. But almost each of those cams has a special history. That’s why they still are here.
Now, I hope you can see why I still have so many systems. And honestly, I have already sold a lot! 😉