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One camera/One lens


Michael Patrick Ryan

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I have really been contemplating downsizing to one camera and one lens. Has anybody ever considered that here? I have a Leica M11 as my main camera and a plethora of various Leica lenses. I’m 66 years old and my back and shoulder is not what it used to be and when I go out my bag is so full of lenses that it gets very uncomfortable after a very short time. Aside from the physical discomfort, I almost go into mental anguish, trying to decide what lens to use! When I pack for a photo outing, I spend more time trying to figure out what lenses to bring that I do packing! It’s almost unsettling at times. I have looked through decades of photos And my most predominantly used lens is the 28 mm 2.8 Elmarit. It is the sweet spot for me. I am purely a hobbyist and don’t do this for money. I am just really looking to simplify my life and was very seriously considering doing this. I am going to Egypt spring of 2024 and I can’t imagine the conundrum that awaits, trying to figure out what lenses to bring, and what lenses to use when I am there. If I had one camera one lens, it would be very freeing I think. With the very generous resolution given with the M 11, I found cropping to give you many lenses in one. Also, with topaz upscaling it seems to be a home run. I am anxious to hear anybody’s thoughts or comments on this. Thank you all very much for any attention given this. 

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I have come down this 'one body one lens' approach literally 4 times over the past 2 decades.

Now I have 4 digital bodies (Nikon, Fuji, Leica M10-R, Leica M11) and 2 film bodies (Nikon and Leica M-A), and more than a dozen lenses. And as of now I am still struggling to figure out which one body and one lens to keep.

Edited by Warton
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I could travel the world with just my M10 and 35mm Summilux pre-ASPH. But if money was no object and I was going to live with it for the rest of my life, I might go for an M11 (or maybe even better: a future M11-D!) and a 35mm APO-Summicron. That's the most versatile kit I can think of today.

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I might travel with a body and a couple of lenses and a Leica V Lux 4 (backup)...but I only go out each day with one body and one lens...sometimes just the very light V Lux.

This way no conundrums with lenses.  It is a real thing worrying about which lens and/or body vs enjoying the moment. And then you also have to worry about carrying,  security and damage, chargers, etc.

Just came back from Japan and I  wished for no other equipment. I got all the pictures I wanted...for sure.

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Why not just try it?  You don’t need to sell anything; just pick a lens, put everything else away, and stick with it for a year and see what you think.  If you don’t have the discipline, and enhanced enjoyment level, to see this through, then it’s likely that you would just buy back gear soon after selling it. 
 

Jeff

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Hi Michael, when I faced the same dilemma I purchased a Q2 and enjoyed it for a good 3 years as my main everyday and travel camera. When using it I rarely felt the need for another lens, in fact I found it very liberating not to think about and carry other lenses and used the abundant resolution to crop instead if needed. 

I just moved to the M11 and while I will continue with the one camera/one lens approach I decided to try first a 35mm from Voigtlander and see how it goes before deciding which Leica lens to get, a 28mm again or 35mm. 
 
Regards,
Mauro
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For 13 years, the only Leica gear I had was an M6 and a 35mm Summicron. I took that combo - the Leica, as I used to call it - a lot of places. Going to Krakow on holiday? Take the Leica. Off to the beach with friends? Take the Leica. You get the idea. 

These days I have five Leica M bodies, and six M lenses. Too much choice, what to take, what not to take. I think it was better before.

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On 11/29/2023 at 1:52 PM, Michael Patrick Ryan said:

I have really been contemplating downsizing to one camera and one lens. Has anybody ever considered that here? I have a Leica M11 as my main camera and a plethora of various Leica lenses. I’m 66 years old and my back and shoulder is not what it used to be and when I go out my bag is so full of lenses that it gets very uncomfortable after a very short time. Aside from the physical discomfort, I almost go into mental anguish, trying to decide what lens to use! When I pack for a photo outing, I spend more time trying to figure out what lenses to bring that I do packing! It’s almost unsettling at times. I have looked through decades of photos And my most predominantly used lens is the 28 mm 2.8 Elmarit. It is the sweet spot for me. I am purely a hobbyist and don’t do this for money. I am just really looking to simplify my life and was very seriously considering doing this. I am going to Egypt spring of 2024 and I can’t imagine the conundrum that awaits, trying to figure out what lenses to bring, and what lenses to use when I am there. If I had one camera one lens, it would be very freeing I think. With the very generous resolution given with the M 11, I found cropping to give you many lenses in one. Also, with topaz upscaling it seems to be a home run. I am anxious to hear anybody’s thoughts or comments on this. Thank you all very much for any attention given this. 

Sounds like you might be happy with the Leica Q3

A very good M travel kit IMO is M11 + 35mm and + 50mm lens. You can use both FLs from landscape to street to portraits. Crop in post with the high resolution full size M11 DNGs for even more flexibility. 

If I were to skinny down the M11 to a just-one-lens kit, it would be a fast 35mm FL on a high resolution camera like the M11 for the options to crop in post when needed/wanted. 

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40 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

Not for Leica.  

You should have stayed off the forum. 😉

Jeff

I think you're onto something there, Jeff!

5 minutes ago, Le Chef said:

You need an editor/pruner Colin!

I do. That 90mm Tele-Elmarit gets hardly any use, but they're all handy lenses sometimes. At least that's what I tell myself. 

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