One lens or a hundred?

“It’s a great temptation, especially here in Japan, where really beautiful precision cameras and lenses ca be had for a fraction of the cost in the United States, to add just one more to an already over-stuffed gadget bag.

Don’t however, be led into the error of thinking that the answer to good pictures is to be found in a complete set of matched lenses. Just the opposite is true, for there is a very definitive correlation between the number of lenses the average photographer carries, and the worth-while pictures he produces. Unfortunately, this varies in inverse order; in other words, the more equipment to worry about, the fewer pictures of merit!

Special demand will require special equipment. For example, any photographer specializing in portraits or stage photography will find the f2 Serenar 85mm indispensable, but neither this or any number of lenses will do more than allow you to take better pictures. In fact, you chances of becoming a great photographer are probably better with only one lens, than with one hundred.”

Horace Bristol, TOKYO on a five day pass; with candid camera (1951).

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