How Carrying Just One Lens Has Some Advantages

Are you tired of carrying around a ton of camera gear on your outings? Documentary photographer Daniel Milnor along with SilberStudios explains why you just might want to ditch all that extra gear and work with a single camera body and lens:

Let’s face it, most of us love gear. We also love having a lot of choices when it comes to capturing an image. Milnor, however, believes that less is more, especially out in the field, for three reasons:

1. You’re less conspicuous when you’re only carrying a single body and lens.

Even though phone cameras are ubiquitous in the world today, many people get nervous around professional gear. This is especially true if you’re into street photography. A small mirrorless camera with a prime lens will draw a lot less attention than a setup with multiple bodies or lenses.

2. Using the same setup for all your shots provides a strong level of consistency throughout all your work.

If too many of your images look wildly different from each other, you run the risk of having your work come across as unsettled. For amateurs still finding their style, this probably isn’t too big of a deal. On a pro-level, though, prospective clients will often appreciate knowing what to expect, and having an established style is part of this.

3. Multiple lenses make it easier to miss shots while you’re fumbling around with gear.

As a teacher, Milnor found that his students in the field spent up to 40 percent of their time fumbling with their gear when they had multiple lenses to choose from. Having a single body and lens means that you never have to give your gear a second thought. You can spend all your time shooting.

Though he doesn’t include this in his “official” list, Milnor also mentions that shooting with a single lens all of the time gives you a chance to really get to know that lens. Most people don’t really know all the ins and outs of their gear, especially if they don’t spend much time with it. Taking a few jaunts with a single prime lens will teach you a lot about how to get the most out of it.

Shooting with just one lens

In the end, Milnor says, “If you ever question whether you need a piece of equipment in the field, you’ve already answered your question; you don’t need it.”

As a wilderness photographer I often take my 60–300mm just in case I see some amazing wildlife, while the bulk of what I do is wide-angle. But I struggle with wanting to lug it around, especially on multi-day hikes.

What do you think? Does this hold true for you? Could you get by with just one lens?

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