One Camera One Lens


Photography Prints

Looking for that one special lens that will vault your photography from ho-hum into ohhs and awwws? Perhaps you have been the victim of less than professional equipment and its been holding you back from greatness?

Or maybe you’re looking at the equation upside down. Perhaps less equipment and exploring every single possibility of that camera/lens combination is the ticket to better photography.

Many great photographers of the past and present favored a single camera and signal lens combination. For example fine art photographer Brooke Shaden only uses a regular old 50mm. For street photographers a Leica M with a 35mm is all they need.

Here is what fellow Fine Art America artist Andrew Pacheco has to say about the one camera/one lens concept:

“The one camera one lens concept is probably why I gravitate toward prime lenses. When I attach a fixed focal length lens to my camera, I’m forced to think in that focal length. For me, the sense of confinement causes me to explore more creative options that the ability to zoom would stop me from seeing.

Even though I have different lenses for different situations, I still feel that primes make you adhere to one lens type of thinking.” – Andrew Pacheco –

Another FAA photographer Chuck De La Rosa ( says: “When I learned photography it was with a manual focus 35 mm SLR with a 50mm lens.”

The idea behind one camera/one lens is to pare down equipment so that one can focus on learning and improving. Here are some examples of professional and amateur photographers utilizing this aspect of pared down photography. Consider a master photographer like Cartier-Bresson:

“Cartier-Bresson himself used one camera and one lens—a Leica with a 50mm—for most of his career. But he was regarded as one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century because he knew exactly how his camera would perform. A good photographer takes the time to understand their equipment so they can get the best image, irrespective of how expensive their kit is.”

Or press photographer Jerome Delay:

“Jerome Delay, a photographer with the Associated Press, has been making remarkable photos from some of the most troubled places on the planet with just one camera and a 50mm lens.”

Or even a Mom on why she only uses a 50mm:

“I was determined to pursue photography, even on a serious budget. I pledged that I would not let my modest equipment hold me back, regardless of what gear I thought a photographer was “suppose” to have…. “

Art Prints


This blog post grew out of forum threads in which people ask for equipment suggestions so they can improve their photography. Often people believe that if they only had the “right” equipment, more exotic equipment or pro level equipment, then their photography would become amazing. True or false? Do you need a bag full of lens? Is a $100 50 mm lens incapable of producing quality photography? What say you?


The concept of one camera, one lens is getting mentioned a lot on the Internet.


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