From time to time I do a picture of what's on my camera shelf (shelves). Currently in terms of numbers this is higher than it's ever been. Below are images of the whole lot and the various systems I'm using and / or testing.
NIKON Df - 'FULL-FRAME' DSLR
FUJI X APS-C MIRRORLESS
(N.B.To the right I've also included all my Nikon f-mount and g-mount lenses which can be used on the Fuji X cameras via the Kipon adapter pictured. )
SONY E-MOUNT APS-C AND ''FULL-FRAME' MIRRORLESS
(N.B. To the right I've also included all my Nikon f-mount and g-mount lenses which can be used on the Sony cameras via the Metabones adapter pictured.)
OLYMPUS MICRO FOUR THIRDS MIRRORLESS
(N.B. To the right I've also included all my Nikon f-mount and g-mount lenses which can be used on the Olympus camera via the adapters pictured.)
LEICA T AND FUJI X100s
1" SENSOR SUPERZOOM 'BRIDGE' CAMERAS
SMARTPHONES - 'SMART' CAMERA
Maybe now people might get some idea as to why I find camera brand allegiance so pointless. As a fanboy of nobody (or everybody!) the notion of restricting yourself to gear with only one logo on all of it has always struck me as ridiculous. So counting the iPad air that took the picture at the top of the post, that's 14 cameras. Plus 31 lenses and two add-on flash units. Made by 13 different manufacturers. So I guess I've got most eventualities covered!!
This has occurred, of course, because I'm changing what I do with the blog. Normally I would sell something to pay for buying something new. But at the moment I'm in the middle of all sorts of comparisons and tests and items will start heading for ebay once I've completed those. Though I would like to keep it all. In fact there is very little I've sold over the years that I didn't want to keep.
I guess I do have a bit of the 'collector' mentality. I've also got 5 guitars and 5 bicycles, but cameras is what I 'specialise' in. I would also say however that it's not particularly unusual for a professional photographer to have this much gear. I've known pro's who have a lot more than this. I've also known hobbyists who have more than this as well.
And for the most part, it all gets used. Certainly the cameras do. I can't remember the last time I used my Fuji 14mm for example and some of the other lenses have seen limited use, but with the amazing sunny weather we have had in the UK over the last 15months or so, I've been out making pictures on most days and using all of this.
As of yet I've not decided what's staying and what's going, apart from the Nikon Df and Leica T which are my 'personal' cameras and the phones and Samsung galaxy which I'll never sell because of security concerns. After learning about the people who buy any phone they can get their hands on because it is apparently impossible to completely wipe them, I've decided to forego the money I would get for them and keep my personal details to myself.
The lenses need a lot of rationalisation. There's an awful lot of duplication there. And of course there is the question of which of these works best for video. This is not as important as stills for me, but it is a consideration. The FZ1000 with it's 4K is obviously very appealing, though if I'm going to pursue that I need to upgrade my computer.
Finally I would say that I really enjoy using all of this. Each camera / lens combination offers a different way to work, but I doubt I'll get round to using all the combinations. I've never seen why what I do shouldn't be enjoyable in terms of the means of production as well as results of that.
So is there a favourite, one I think is the 'best'? Well that changes on an almost daily basis. But for the best it is hard to get past the Nikon Df with it's amazing sensor as a shoot anything, anywhere, anytime camera. No video of course, but for stills photography I can't think of anything it couldn't do. Plus the FZ1000 is an incredible machine that offers so much.
But the one I 'treasure' the most? Well that's the Leica T. And if I could only keep one that's what I would choose. Because of all the gear above when I pick it up it's the one that feels completely different to all the others. That smoothed metal body is just a different class to everything else. Plus I've started to explore just what detail I can get out of the image files and they are nothing short of amazing.
The prestigious (not!) SOUNDIMAGEPLUS CAMERA OF THE YEAR award is only three short months away and in terms of all-round wonderfulness the FZ1000 is currently in the lead, but if I follow my heart rather than my head, don't be surprised to see the Leica T get nominated as well.
So feel free to comment and maybe even share your own collections. But do be warned, if I see any mention of a three letter acronym beginning with a G, do not expect your comments to be published. The abbreviation, plus what it stands for, is a phrase I hate. It's bandied around all the time and it's meaningless, judgemental and irrelevant.
Because after all, everything on the shelves above is only meaningful if it's used to create pictures. Just owning it may be fun, but there is a purpose to it as well. And while I have no difficulty in admitting that I get pleasure from owning what I think are fine examples of the camera and lens makers craft, I get much more pleasure from using them to create new images on a daily basis. And should I be unfortunate to have my house catch fire, it's my pictures I'll try to save and not the gear. I can always get another camera and / or lens. Whereas that picture of a couple dancing on a Mediterranean beach at sunset, that picture of my late father, who spent a lifetime in manufacturing staring down at me from the Ironbridge in Shropshire where the industrial revolution started and all the other precious moments I've captured are much more important to me than any chunk of metal, plastic and glass.