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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 12 Mar 2013 (Tuesday) 14:07
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Will using just 1 lens limit my growth as a photographer?

 
The ­ Dark ­ Knight
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Mar 12, 2013 14:07 |  #1

I have the following lenses - 18-55 IS, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.8, 70-300 f/4-5.6, 24-105L.

I got the 24-105 as a kit with my 6D, and basically it has become almost the ONLY lens I use with my 6D. Just this weekend I used the 50mm just to change things up for change's sake, but I felt like I didn't need it over my 24-105.

Because of the ridiculous high ISO capability of the 6D (I get pictures I'm perfect happy with at 12800), I haven't found myself in a situation where I've needed anything faster than f/4. And at the longer end of the range, I find I get enough bokeh for pictures where I want subject isolation.

For the rare sports/ wildlife pictures I've taken, I just take my 60D with the 70-300.

I guess if Sony or Canon or someone came out with a camera like the RX1 with a zoom lens then I'd be in heaven.

But I'm wondering if by not experimenting with more lenses, I'm limiting my progress as a photographer? I'm constantly wanting to improve.




  
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gonzogolf
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Mar 12, 2013 14:11 |  #2

Using one lens as an exercise in discipline is a good thing. It can force you to think in ways that having too many options will not. But that being said. There are images that a single lens solution cant do. So there is that to consider. The 24-105 is the swiss army knife of lenses, but it has limits in low light or background separation. When you want to flatten perspective its a bit short and the vignetting on the wide end may not make it as good as other wide options.




  
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gjl711
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Mar 12, 2013 14:12 |  #3

The Dark Knight wrote in post #15707070 (external link)
But I'm wondering if by not experimenting with more lenses, I'm limiting my progress as a photographer? I'm constantly wanting to improve.

The only thing your limiting is your perfecting your lens changing skilz. :):) Seriously, you have a 24mm, a 28mm, a 35mm, a 40mm, a 50mm, a 85mm, a 100mm, and a 105mm and all the ones in between. Where is the limiting factor?


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The ­ Dark ­ Knight
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Mar 12, 2013 14:13 |  #4

gonzogolf wrote in post #15707092 (external link)
Using one lens as an exercise in discipline is a good thing. It can force you to think in ways that having too many options will not. But that being said. There are images that a single lens solution cant do. So there is that to consider. The 24-105 is the swiss army knife of lenses, but it has limits in low light or background separation. When you want to flatten perspective its a bit short and the vignetting on the wide end may not make it as good as other wide options.

I think the reason the 24-105 works well for me is it covers most of what I like to shoot.

But I get what you are saying. Is it the chicken or egg. Does getting new lenses force me to become more creative and try out different shooting environments and styles, or do I try out new things with the lens(es) I have already and get new ones once I feel a limitation. I'm guessing the latter...




  
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taemo
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Mar 12, 2013 14:22 |  #5

IMO, the advantage of shooting with only body and lens is that it helps you get acquainted to your gear, at the point where you know their limitation and where and when to use them.
one you surpass that difficulty, then it's all creativity for you.

most of the time I only have one camera and a 40mm or 50mm prime with me.


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gonzogolf
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Mar 12, 2013 14:35 |  #6

The Dark Knight wrote in post #15707103 (external link)
I think the reason the 24-105 works well for me is it covers most of what I like to shoot.

But I get what you are saying. Is it the chicken or egg. Does getting new lenses force me to become more creative and try out different shooting environments and styles, or do I try out new things with the lens(es) I have already and get new ones once I feel a limitation. I'm guessing the latter...

For me, its about having the tool to create the image that I want. The problem with the 24-105 is that while it does many things well, its not a lens that does too many things great. For the most part the bulk of my photography is portraits. The 24-105 is great in the studio when you are using a drop. But for environmental portraits its not my favorite option because its f4 and perhaps not the sharpest on the long end. To improve your photography imagine the photo you want to take, then pick the gear to make it happen. I think you may still be in the mindset of getting the gear and then exploring what it can do. Its not a bad approach, but perhaps it limits you to the scope of your gear, not the scope of your vision.




  
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javig999
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Mar 12, 2013 14:38 as a reply to  @ taemo's post |  #7

As a hobbyist, I have toyed with various lenses and I primarily use only 2: 17-55 f2.8 and 30mm f1.4 - they cover most of what I do. However, I challenge myself by putting the 70-200mm, ,or 85 1.8 on my camera for a day to see what I come home with. They are also nice tools to have for specific types of uses: 8mm FE for FUN, 85mm for stage/performance, 70-200 for motorsports, 10-22 for landscapes/cityscapes. These are my pursuits and I want to have the tools that will help me engage them.

It is nice to have the tool you MIGHT need, but if the 24-105 works for what you are doing right now, and it feels right, I would not fret about using only one lens. I think you should do what works for you now. If your creative needs change there will always be a new lens to pick up when you want/need it.

Most of all, if you are having fun, then you are on the right track! Enjoy that 6D and 24-105!


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maverick75
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Mar 12, 2013 14:40 |  #8

Using one lens will probably make you a better photographer. There's going to be times where you wont have all the gear or the gear breaks down and you'll have to problem solve and make do with what you have.

The Dark Knight wrote in post #15707070 (external link)
I guess if Sony or Canon or someone came out with a camera like the RX1 with a zoom lens then I'd be in heaven.

RX1 sized body with good 128,000 ISO, in body IS and a 18-300mm fixed 2.8 and I'd be set for life! :D


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Mar 12, 2013 14:44 |  #9

The Dark Knight wrote in post #15707070 (external link)
But I'm wondering if by not experimenting with more lenses, I'm limiting my progress as a photographer? I'm constantly wanting to improve.

I think that your skills and knowledge will grow most by using different lenses to shoot the same subject at the same place at the same time.

The more focal lengths and apertures you use, the more you will be able to see the comparative effects of these variables on the final images you create. Having different lenses available will cause you to shoot the same subject from different perspectives - different angles, different distances, and different light.

Furthermore, using different lenses from the same perspective will really teach you a lot about how different factors affect the final image.


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jt354
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Mar 12, 2013 16:15 |  #10

I think using just the 24-105mm will severely limit your growth as an outdoor sports and wildlife photog. Aside from that, it's a great range on full frame that opens up many creative possibilities.


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JohnB57
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Mar 12, 2013 16:29 |  #11

Some of the most memorable images in the history of photography were shot in difficult conditions with extremely inflexible equipment. The eye judges the shot. The camera merely records it.

What you have is highly flexible and extremely capable - make no mistake about that. It's taken me forty five years, many cameras and plenty of film to get here but my FF plus 24-105mm outfit is such a beautiful combo that I feel undressed without it. Go out there and look for images that suit your gear. You'll soon realise how unlimited the potential for great pictures really is.




  
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Preeb
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Mar 12, 2013 16:33 |  #12

The Dark Knight wrote in post #15707070 (external link)
I have the following lenses - 18-55 IS, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.8, 70-300 f/4-5.6, 24-105L.

I got the 24-105 as a kit with my 6D, and basically it has become almost the ONLY lens I use with my 6D. Just this weekend I used the 50mm just to change things up for change's sake, but I felt like I didn't need it over my 24-105.

Because of the ridiculous high ISO capability of the 6D (I get pictures I'm perfect happy with at 12800), I haven't found myself in a situation where I've needed anything faster than f/4. And at the longer end of the range, I find I get enough bokeh for pictures where I want subject isolation.

For the rare sports/ wildlife pictures I've taken, I just take my 60D with the 70-300.

I guess if Sony or Canon or someone came out with a camera like the RX1 with a zoom lens then I'd be in heaven.

But I'm wondering if by not experimenting with more lenses, I'm limiting my progress as a photographer? I'm constantly wanting to improve.

If you use the one lens because it's right for your preferred shooting, then I see nothing wrong with it. If you only use it because you're too lazy to change lenses, then you're more like me. ;)

Seriously though, my 17-55 is on my 60D more than all of my other lenses combined, but that's just because it's more in the range of what I shoot most often. I use other lenses when needed.


Rick
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0.0f
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Mar 12, 2013 16:51 |  #13

I sold my 7d, 10-22, 17-55 and 70-200 mk2 for my current combo and I am very happy. Would love to get a wide angle, telephoto and fish eye however, I am constantly (now) thinking how to work with the one lens which I have to get the shots I need. I believe it is helping me develop.


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ed ­ rader
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Mar 12, 2013 16:57 as a reply to  @ 0.0f's post |  #14

with the 24-105L you should be okay. way back when my kit was three primes: 28mm, 50mm and 80mm.


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Pepe ­ Guitarra
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Mar 12, 2013 18:28 as a reply to  @ ed rader's post |  #15

About 28 years ago, I was forced to learn to play golf, to entertain our clients. I was not interested, so I just bought one club: A 3-Wood (made of real wood). Everyone showed up with a bag full of clubs, while I showed up with my club. No heavy loads for me. Everyone laughed and made jokes about it. After one year, I was tee-ing off with the 3-W, sand-wedging with the 3-W, puttering and everying else with the 3-W. I even made a hole-in-one with the 3-W. I really enjoyed the challenges one club offered, but I mastered it in every situation. I think of one lens, the same thing. My first camera, a Pentax ME, and my second camera Canon AE1 had only one lens, the 50/2. All my old albums show photos taken with that lens. Now, I have too many, and I am not a better photographer. At the end, I won a golf tournament and they gave me a set of clubs as a prize. Then, I quit the company, and quit golf. The set ended up at the Salvation Army, someone got a nice set of clubs for $20.:D


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Will using just 1 lens limit my growth as a photographer?
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