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Thursday, 07 June 2012


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Define "everything". Does this include the many cameras I own but never use for photography (i.e. phone, webcam, rear-view camera on some automobiles, ..)?

Collecting '50s medium-format amateur cameras (the Agfa Isola/Clack/et ceteras of the world) and Polaroids moves me into the rarified 20-40 bracket. Theoretically all but a few could still be used, but it's rare that I pull them off the bookshelves.

Geez, after counting 10 cameras around the house I feel guilty. I've really got to sell some stuff.

Non-photographers don't seem to understand why photographers often have more than one camera. Cameras are tools (spouses for some), and what carpenter doesn't have different saws for different jobs?

OK, OK, I admit it, I have a problem! From my WW2 Speed Graphic to my 50D, I am a junkie!

Hah, two votes from Iceland? Wonder who the other was. :-)

Great, thanks for making me take stock. Now I feel that I've over-indulged and need to seek help. Call the crew from Hoarders, they have another one.

I only counted the cameras that I still use: DSLR, Micro four-thirds, compact, and phone.

There was a point some years back when every time I opened a drawer I'd find another three or four cameras I'd forgotten about. Now I think they're all contained in just one closet and one box, and there are about 20 or so of them.

I still don't think of a mobile phone as a 'camera' so I didn't include it in my vote.

Webcam in primary laptop. Webcam in second laptop (which is actually broken and doesn't work). Webcam in iPod Touch. Actual camera. So I own 4, use 2. The Touch is handy for quick snapshots of book covers, museum exhibit ads, knitted items in yarn shops where I might want to remember it. The real camera gets used for everything else.

I have tried using the real camera the way I use the Touch's webcam (which is how I thought to try the Touch that way), and I find with the real camera I forget to download the pictures to my laptop so I can get to a web browser and actually use them. With the Touch, they're already on a computer, so all I need to do is find some wifi and start placing library holds or hitting Ravelry.

I took "everything" to mean, you know, everything. There are two in my current phone, one in my laptop, at least one in my old phone that's still in the house. There's one I'll be listing on Ebay as soon as I find it (but I'm sure it's in the house).

On the other hand, that's just me; doesn't count anybody else in the household.

Very funny! Just this afternoon I began drafting an upcoming piece for TOP which begins with the sentence: I own a lot of cameras.

Mike, I counted nine, but depending on how you'd like to count them, I have more or less.
4 inoperative fixed-lens rangefinders, kept for nostalgia,
3 working cameras in the to-be-sold pile (1 each: point and shoot, DSLR, AF-SLR)
1 working SLR, a Nikon FG, rarely used
1 working mirrorless, an E-PL1, daily driver.

I forgot about #10, a Kodak pseudo-TLR I gave to the kid as a toy. Does that count?

#11-15 don't count since I gave them away last summer. (two fixed-lens rangefinders, a 6x6 folder, a TLR, and a SLR.)

I would have more, but real life intervened, and it became more important to me to take pictures qiuckly, effectively, and cheaply, than to explore different picture-taking experiences. I'd still like to try a Speed Graphic w/ a polaroid back, a wood field 8x10, and a large format SLR (maybe 5x7 or larger.) Turning my garage into a giant pinhole camera using a cyanotype process also is on the list, but philosophically, that would turn it into a camera that I never could be rid of, which creates enough angst to give me pause.

I'm circling the 4-6 statistic and handing that to my wife.

Well, I took everything to mean everything I use to take photos with. Surprisingly, I have no webcams. I just can't stand those things.

Very interesting.... (stroking beard in a certain Fu Man Chu sort of way)....

I'm definitely in the extreme end group here - I've been collecting cameras for 40 years now. Some you might even find interesting. I'm not sure, but the total might even be over 100. This includes 5 digital cameras (2 DSLRs). On the plus side I've authored numerous articles on Camerapedia; on the minus side, eventually I'll have get rid of them, as I'm the only one who'll take the time to actually sell them off.

Could be worse, I could have collected guns or cuckoo clocks .

I voted 7-12 though I could probably dig through the cupboards and find a few cheapies I've forgotten about. My count also does not include my iPhone or my beautiful, pristine looking Argus brick which I recently picked up off of Goodwill.com for $5. Don't know if it works but it looks great on the shelf.

Wow, counting everything? The shelf full of questionably ornamental film cameras that will never be used again, check. Half a dozen web cams 'borrowed' from the office, check. At least one tiny little thing in every device, check. I'm losing count before I even get to the two or three I actually use to take pictures.

I see that very few have 100 + cameras like I do. I have my fathers camera collection of about 70, I have added to it extensively and it keeps growing. People just keep giving me there old cameras, let alone the ones I keep buying... the sadist one is the Leica CL which was his favorite is in pieces in a box, followed by my first SLR an OM-1 in pieces. I took apart my first camera too, a German box camera, too see how it works, so in many ways I followed in his footsteps, even at ten years of age.

Well, I only counted the ones that work ....... not the collection of old junk shop 110 and 126 cameras I seem to be building up for some unknown reason.

That was fun! Old cameras new cameras, broken cameras all tallied! Found some film and some classic 128Mb memory cards as well. Ahh Memories and evolution.

I was disturbed to find myself in the "rarified" company of the 20-40 bracket. All are functional except for a home-made 8x10 which is currently in pieces, and a couple of Canonets with stuck shutters. Can anyone recommend a good 12-step program? :)

And I was disturbed to find myself in the 13-20 bracket...and I confess to "gaming" the categories (semi-consciously) so that I'd fall into the more modest 7-12 group. I really do need to stop buying so many cameras and start shooting more with the ones I have.

Then again, buying cameras may be one of the things we do to console ourselves for not having the time, or energy, or focus, or opportunity to shoot more.


A follow-up poll, counting the cameras we actually use, would be be interesting. I could easily divide the cameras I own in five groups; used frequently, used occasionally, used in the past, used ever and never used (by me) ever.

I fear you may be right. Maybe I should make a goal/project out of this - something along the lines of taking one decent picture with each one before the end of the year. If nothing else, this should discourage me from acquiring additional cameras, for fear of making life more difficult for myself.


oh dang i forgot to include my iPhone… make that 3 for me (hoping to make it 4 soon!)

Well I feel much better once I saw the 7-12 group was the "norm". Mind you the norm for this readership is probably shifted a tad to the left of the curve.

Not In Use versus In Use (mostly):

Nikon F100 c/w 18-105 macro zoom and 20mm glass,to be sold to KEH or?

New Pentax K-R c/w 18-135 zoom, hardly ever
in use, will sell to KEH;

Pentax 108 film camera, not in current use;

Two or three year old very cheap when purchased Canon point and shoot and as it operates on AA batteries is
my preferred device.

However I simply have been turned off by the act of photography for some time. My world has changed for what was shall never return!

I counted to 40 and figured that surely I have fewer than 100, but then when I see that this includes cameras that are part of something else and cameras that I've never used, and I'm not so sure.

I've got more cameras than you've got, nyah nah ni na nyah.

If your pictures aren't good enough, you haven't got enough cameras.

Everyone knows a better camera takes better photos, don't they? ;-}

Gee, I haven't bought a camera for a year. Must put one on the list. :-)

I also collect cameras, so I have a few. I'd estimate that maybe 10 are not usable, so give or take I would have just over 1000 cameras that are usable....

How many do I use on a regular basis (well run a film through at least once a year?) - say 50..

Andrew definitely wins.


~15 here (depending on how you count cell phone and computer cameras)

I have about five cameras though which, while I've used them a few times, I really keep as decorative objects.

But yeah, even just the shortlist of cameras I have and use, I'm still in the 7-12 range.

Also, I shudder at the follow-up poll asking how many lenses I own...

When I thought about it I discovered I have more cameras than I realized. I'm in one of the upper brackets, but not (yet) into collector levels.

I counted cameras I actually use. A couple of the cameras I have were gifts meant to be decoration. They probably work, but are for abandoned formats I can't get film for.

I can ease my mind with the fact that my count is inflated by my need for duplicate cameras when shooting stereoscopic photos.

Until last week it was around thirty. This has now doubled as I have taken possession of my late father's collection.

At the moment I have 7 - but that number is going to be reduced to 1 in the very near future as I have to sell lots of stuff to raise some money. Still, I'll be more than happy with the one camera I'll be left with!

Well, that's a surprise. I've always thought of myself as a one-camera-guy, but then a quick totting up on my fingers reveals 12 cameras in the house. I have an unusual number of fingers...

I haven't done the poll - not sure I want to do the counting - however there are a lot of viable reasons for collecting cameras, even if you don't use them. I like using certain older cameras because I feel it gives me a connection with the past, and if nothing else let's me fantasise about iconic photographers and their gear. HCB with his Leica, Adams with his 4x5 (or whatever) McCullin and his Nikon.

The Rolleiflex 2.8c that I have is unusual in that it does this (Ronis eg) and ticks a lot of other boxes as well. Still a great camera to use, and produces images unlike anything from 35mm, or smaller formats.

I find the current state of affairs in the camera market abit off-putting though - cameras seem to have become just one more consumer electronic item. I don't think in 25 years I would have a collection of digital cameras.

Don't know how accurate the geographic data is, only 1 from Edinburgh and it wasn't me.

I counted fifteen, including five on the 'museum shelf' and four Minolta manual focus SLRs. Wait, there's a Minolta 9000AF, an oscilloscope camera and a Polaroid Swinger which I'm having the lens out of to put on the Pentax. So that's eighteen.

The ones I use are:
Pentax K20D: DSLR
Ricoh FF-9: 35mm P & S with a 35mm lens. I also have a spare one of these, not tested yet.
Minolta SRT101: 35mm film SLR, used occasionally.

As well as four Minolta standard lenses, I have three Tamron Adaptall 2 80-210 zooms. This comes from buying secondhand; stuff just gets included in the deal.

Must get Ebaying and clear some cupboard space.

Whoops, I forgot the one in my laptop, the second one in my phone, and the two in my iPad. So I counted 3 when I should've counted 7!

I get by with just one wife and one camera.
I may go for an upgrade at some point but
It's unlikely I'll have two at the same time.
Same for the camera

13-20 without counting the phone and webcams and such. I've been trying to keep it to around 12 and to be sure that each one offers something the others don't.

Instead of a "collection," I have one of every format that I actually use - Arca Swiss 4x5, Pentax 67, Sputnik stereo (medium format), Leica CL 35mm, Olympus E-PL1 digital, iPhone. Each used for what it's best for. OTOH, I do have a spotless collection of a half dozen 8mm movie cameras with lens turrets on them. THAT's the collector side coming out!

20+ and still looking for "the one"... My Kodak Instamatic is the most fun. Still haven't found a digicam to fall in love with.

I think the poll might be a bit inaccurate.

After clicking the 7-12 button, I then remembered a couple of old Zenits I haven't taken apart yet... and that box of Practikas I acquired a while back for no good reason... and the old but functional Coolpix 880 I never got rid of...

Still counting.

(A similar lens poll might be even more informative/embarrassing.)

I'm pleased to see that a few readers have, like me ONLY one camera. I can't claim (reversing the quip) to have more sense then money - although as I have very little of the latter I must have more of the former - and the pixel count race leaves me mystified... so I just get on with my everyday job/hobby of taking and uploading images (8,000+ and counting in the past four years) to various stock image agencies with my old 12-mega something Nikon D300 and three very old (two I bought 30-years ago) manual fixed-focus Nikkor lenses. What else do I need?

Wow, I never realized that I had that many cameras, not sure if that is the final count. Surprisingly, I have more film cameras than digital cameras by more than a 2:1 margin.
Of course, if we count bikes, skis or small boats (kayaks,canoes etc.), the number of toys around this house is astounding!

The total is six, which includes every camera I've ever owned, going all the way back to my first, which is a Minolta SRT101 purchased in 1973 at age 13. I could never bring myself to sell any of my old cameras, so they all live in a box on the shelf. I only use the newest one, which is currently a Pentax K7.

DSLR, IR modified DSLR, Mirrorless, Compact, Film SLR, Cellphone, Polaroid Sun660 and Polaroid Land 230.

Dang, I forgot to count all the 'incidental' cameras - iPhone (2 cameras), laptop webcam, desktop webcam (both of these never used), moribund mobile phones etc. That makes a lot more than the 15 I admit to. Do I have a problem?

Yeah, thanks Mike, for making me realize that I have 6 serious digital cameras that I use, and one serious one that I don't. Guess I should cull the herd somewhat...

- Primary camera: Panasonic G2
- My old 35mm SLR: Canon EOS 630
- Canon G3 (my first digital)
- Holga
- iphone
- Yashicamat
- Russian medium format that I bought for $20
- Canonet
- My grandfather's Minox
- 8-10 cheapo rangefinders from the 60s and 70s that I bought on ebay.

Does a squirt gub disguised as a camera count? And does my stereo camera count as 1 or 2? and i only counted my current use cameras, not my waiting for that moment of resurection cameras. Like my 1960's Yashica, or my old nikons, or that canon pellix a friend gave me a couple of weeks ago, or the box brownie with some of the original box, or the kodak 35 rf camera (the ugly one) or that ...

Nuts. I counted 8 immediately, and answered the poll. But on reflection that doesn't include the two 1930s-era folding cameras, the cell phone camera, the two iPods with cameras, the webcams (at least 3), and a few other odds and ends.

I got into the 20-40 realm fairly easily. Broadly categorized:

5-in iPhone and iPad and webcam
4-regularly used digital cameras/camcorders
6-older film cameras that are still useful as tools
10 or so older film cameras that are really "objets d′art"


Perhaps we need a similar poll on numbers of lenses??

I'm in the 20+ bracket but never use my 35mm cameras and only use a compact Ricoh GX100, Pentax K20d with one of three lenses and my Mamiya RB with two lenses for film. Don't know why I cannot bring myself to sell my 35mm film cameras.

Well, every time I think I've done it I remember another. Up to 30, no 31... dedicated cameras now but I can't be sure it's not more. sadly it's not even a collection ranging from Several (Japanese) Contaxes with Zeiss lenses through Pentaxes, Exas, Minox 35s, Olympus rangefinders to the Purma Special and a Corfield Periflex...

At least I know that there is only two non dedicated cameras, one each in my iPhone and my Macbook.

Next poll...how many lenses do you own?

Gah! I voted incorrectly. I said 3 (dslr, pocket-camera, cell-phone). I forgot that I own a small folding camera (ansco viking) and a film slr (pentax k1000). I don't shoot the film cameras (the folding camera needs at least to have light-leaks in the bellows patched, possibly might need mechanical repairs; I've never tried it) so I forgot about them.

And I was so proud of myself for counting "EVERYTHING." It just goes to show ... something.

Damn. I forgot webcams in the notebooks, although I did count the mobile as usable, alongside the usual compact, m4/3rds, LF and small historical collection. Call it ~9-10ish; at least, around here, it makes me look normal.

With digital cameras and collectables, it may be around 40. If you include phone/tablet cameras, the odd toy cam and such, it is well more.

I'm not ashamed!

Well, I am a little. I hesitate to review a new camera on my blog, because I realize many can't afford it and I just had a new one half a year ago.
But heck, I don't smoke or drink, and I save a lot by working from home, so I can afford cameras and gadgets. It could be worse, I could be addicted to sport cars or ladies of the night.

Oh, thank you, Andrew. You and Mike Reichmann (Luminous Landscape) have saved me from useless guilt.

@Andrew: "... just over 1000 cameras ..."

@Mike: "Andrew definitely wins."

Indeed I think he does. I only have about 125. Nice to know that's not excessive. ;-)

What might be a fun column, Mike, would be one that just contained a few lists of what those of us in the 100+ club have.

Down to only 8. I'd tried to only keep the cameras that I use or expect to use and sell/give/throw the rest as we're moving next week.

So what made the cut?
Leica IIIf
Nikon F2
Zeiss Ikonta
Voightlander folder
2 Speed Graphic 4x5 - these are the most often used film cameras I own any more.
my late mother's broken Canon AE-1 - sentiment makes one silly.

And the one that does 99% of my shooting these days, my Olympus E-PL1.

Considering all I've owned over the past decade of churning, that's an interesting list in itself. Some things that have come and gone include:
Lots of Kiev & Contax cameras
Oodles of folders, the Iskra being the one I miss.
A couple of Yashica TLR's
A Leica CL
An enormous pile of Canon's from a IVSb to an A2E with a beautful T90 in there too.

And others I've forgotten.

I could use a nice TLR again, I suppose, but I'd rather save the money I once spent chasing these and buy native glass for m4/3 as it does everything I want and lets me use my classic glass as well. Anyone willing to trade a PL 25/1.4 m4/3 lens for anything? Just joking... I think... ;)

I'm in both the 13-20 and 20-40 tranches. These overlapping options are annoying.

My number (4-6) includes some film cameras I own...which are rarely (never, to be honest) used anymore. Maybe you should have a separate poll for cameras we own that we actually use regularly, in which case I only have 2, and they're both digital.

Voted the 20-40 box. They just seem to multiply no manner my good intentions to cull the herd. In last 3 months it's grown by 5 more, 6X9 Voigtlander, with 110mm f4.5, 6X9 Kodak Tourist(with the 105 f4.5 triplet),Fujica ST 605n, Sears KS 500 w/50 f2, and a Canonet QL17! Still think I'm under 40 cameras but I'm not sure of that.

I'm trying these days to reduce the number of cameras. I am currently down to 4. It's always been a bane for me because I tend to buy before thinking something through, when a nice camera or lens tempts me.

By the way, the poster from Williams Lake: if you are on here, would you mind emailing me? I have a special affinity for Williams Lake. laurence dot d dot smith at boeing dot com.

I am really just a hobbyist now, so I only have 2 working cameras, Olympus E-5 and E-M5 (well 3, if you count the Canon S90 I rarely use). But I started a collection of my old loves, the cameras I used when first got into photography seriously and later when I was making money with it (limiting myself to 35mm). So I now have my little stable of very clean and working examples of Kodak Retina 1a (first 35mm, hand-me-down from Dad), Pentax H3 (first SLR), Nikon F (represented a major commitment to photography), Olympus OM-2n (what I was using when I discovered the urban street landscape), Nikon F3 (I passed on some others I used but didn't have the emotional resonance). I loved using them back in the day, and I love having them again. BTW, if you are patient, clean copies can be amazingly cheap.

I didn't think of computers, webcams or phones. They're not really cameras to me. I have 6 real cameras besides all of that. I generally use just the one: my 5D.

Now you need a poll asking how many interchangeable lenses we own.

Me-- two. One film SLR, one digital SLR.

I was shooting with vintage cameras in an attempt to get into medium format and 4x5 film a bit more cheaply. Everyone I knew took it as I was starting a vintage camera collection. I bought a few of these myself, but many were given to me. Some of these don't work. I've tried out most of the camera that do (that I could find, cut, or adapt film for). A few I shot with regularly: Widelux F6, Ansco Titan, Rollei 3.5e Planar, Norita 66...


Fortunately I lost at least some of my fascination with the gear in the transition to digital. I'm much better these days at limiting myself to acquiring gear that I actually need and will use.

Previously mentioned what was mine and available. My requirements versus my wants & desires have now changed even more.
The F100, two lenses,and the two Pentax with glass are off to KEH Monday June 11, 2012. The cheap Canon point and shoot suffices for my now very limited needs. If it dies, so what? No great loss!
My joy and the desire of photography has been waning for years. Best dispose of the non-essentials while I am ahead. One less burden in my world.

I just counted all the cameras that I use for photographic purposes not including things like webcams and phone cams etc.

Interesting to see that there are more people with more than 100 cameras then there are with 40-100 cameras, which incidentally is where I fell on the scale.

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