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One year with Sony Alpha cameras and ZEISS E-mount lenses. Developing my own photographic eye in a in a scratch book manner. Hunting the stream of inspiration and sharing it through a popular blog platform.
This is what 'Days of Zeiss' is all about.




Too many lenses?

Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/50 – f/2.0, 1/60sec, ISO1600, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/50 – f/2.0, 1/60sec, ISO1600, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Having probably the greatest camera setup of my life comes also with some interesting ‘new problems’. One of these ‘new problems’ is certainly the possibility of choosing your focal length pretty freely between six different Zeiss-lenses. Before this setup I was used to do with just two lenses (Nex-5N kit lens and the SEL50F18) and now that I can choose pretty much any focal length with great optical quality from 18mm to 85mm brings a certain distraction to my photography. The issue is simple really: with just two lenses I needed to fit the scenes and ideas into certain focal lengths, which ultimately led into creative choices more often. Now that I can choose my preferred focal length more freely, I’m paradoxically leaning more on conventional use of each individual focal length. Interior photography? Wide or ultra-wide angle. Portraits? Medium tele. And so on. As nice at it is to be able to choose your focal length freely, I feel it also strangles my creativity as it somehow directs me into this conventional path. Nothing wrong with the conventional creative choices per se, but when one is trying to find his/her own photographic eye, leaning on ‘standard solutions’ might not be the best solution. To combat against this tendency I’ve tried to bring only one or two lenses with me whenever I head out for new pictures. This forces me to think, for example, compositional limitations more and I believe it will also lead me to more satisfying choices (more about this later). Right now, I just feel I’m finding new ways to relate to my new setup. On top of this all, it also brings up an interesting question of how many lenses is enough for the perfect camera setup. I cannot answer this yet, but with this experience I would say that having too many is likely to be less productive than having too little, as the limits often fire up the creativity. What’s your perfect setup and how many lenses does it include?