« Song Seven (OT) | Main | Song Eight (OT) »

Friday, 02 January 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The new EPSON SureColor P600 printer is In Holland [Europe?] already available.

I'd just start the doggone project and quit worrying about the next "great leap forward" technology in printers. The next great thing is always in the pipeline. But all the same, I salute you sir, I sure don't have the discipline to stick to such a endeavor.

I did a small review of the Epson P600 and it does indeed produce very deep blacks, but it is also - on glossy paper - capable of printing all 255 shades in such a way that they can be seen as separate tones. On mat paper the first ± 15 all are as black as the black can be, despite the nice profiel I made for the paper.

I really like that Canson paper for b&w prints, using the Epson Advanced Black & White driver. Even with that running, be sure to go into the Advanced Color Settings dialog and make sure it's set to Basic -- for some reason, "Darker" shows up as a default setting. That's in Lightroom, anyway.

Keith Cooper has received a P600 for review.


The printer is generally available to buy in the UK.

I thought you advocated the use of a 50mm-equivalent lens? Isn't the change to 35mm-equivalent significant?

OC/OL/5Y so far for me. I bought a Oly E-P1 when it was the new news with the Lumix 20/1.7 as a starter lens.. but never quite got around to adding more. Something about my type of photography. On the few occasions I want something wider, I hold my nose and create a stitched pano.

If/when I replace this camera it'll be to shed more weight, maybe a used Sony RX100iii.

Interestingly, and unusually, Amazon UK is already shipping that printer. Looks good, but my Epson Stylus Photo 1400 is also good and is shamefully underused. New Year resolution - do more printing.

Hi Mike and Happy New Year. This September a friend and I drove to the Photokina show and the one item that impressed us the most was the new Epson printer. There was a photo of a hand painted black, hovering over a black suede backgound with something painted black in the hand (cannot remember what that was). Everything was quite visible in the detail. Truthfully nothing at the show impressed either of us half as much.

Is this camera/lens combination just a faster, bulkier X100T?

Oh god. The photo accompanying this article has a bag that looks nice / I haven't seen before / might have to go on The List... Any details??
(Sad, sad, sad...).

I had no idea I was starting a OC/OL/OY mid 2013 when I bought the Sony DSC/RX1 but as I think back on the time spent I'll admit that's exactly what the experience turned out to be.
Cathy and I were dealing with a health issue in 2013 and I found myself close to home and unable to get out on the road until early 2014 when I had to make the first trip to Bethlehem Connecticut.
I had been a faithful devotee to the 35mm lens on the M-6 when I was still trying to learn black&white but the first digital DSLR came with a zoom. I found the zoom interesting but confusing. I was constantly changing the focal length rather than looking at whatever the subject of my attempts to make a picture.
I keep thinking back to what my Paul reported that Callahan told him. 'When you get stuck, try a new lens.'
That was in the days before zoom lens' and suggests to me that one of the 'Masters' only used one prime lens at a time.
Mike, I think your project of OC/OL/OY is a terrific idea and a highly worthwhile project for any of us.

Hey Mike,

I´m thrilled to see my image on your site! ;-)

Regarding your choice of printer: I am assuming you intend to print one 13x19 each day!?
If that is the case I´d strongly suggest to go for the Epson R3880. Aside from the lesser ink costs, I don´t think that the R3000 class of printer is up to the task of such printing volume. Consider that the R3000 (and I suppose it is the same with the SP600) does not have a waste ink tank. Instead the waste ink is dumped in the bottom of the printer and supposed to dry out (you can reinstall a waste ink tank DIY though).
Might be working for small amounts of of prints, but my feeling is that your printload might be too much.
My R3000 is becoming 3 years old and that seems to be the age where the problems begin. Sure whish I had gotten the R3880 in the first place.


having used X-T1 w/ 23/1.4 and X100s in parallel, I can say that there are a lot of differences between the two beyond just speed and size/weight. The X-T1 is better in every way except for flash sync, where the X100(s/t) excels thanks to its leaf shutter. The X-T1 combination, on the other hand, has full support for 1/4000 regardless of aperture and the lens doesn't let you down even wide open at close distances (which on the X100/s/t... let's just say: it's not the sweet spot).

Having said all that: my personal choice for a one-camera-one-year project would be the X100 (either model) - not despite but because of all the limitations that will force me into "think first and know what you are doing".
However, right now I have a baby coming up... so my choice of camera is a very unsexy E-M1 with 12-40 and the new 40-150. I can rinse it off with water - this seems and important feature for the months coming up.

@ Patrick: The bag is a Artisan&Artist ACAM 7000. It usually comes in black, the brown has been a limited edition.

Hi Mike and Happy New Year! I've just started my OC/OL/OY project, but I am afraid there will be some deviations from the rules. I can't afford daily inkjet printing, and laser prints aren't good enough. I will probably print week's best images once in a few weeks using Zenfolio photo service.

My camera of choice is the Samsung NX30 with the 30mm F2.0 lens (46mm equivalent), however in some rare cases I may use the Pentax K-01 with the 35mm F2.4. Both lenses have almost the same field of view and the Pentax is much better in low light because of its built-in stabilizer and has a proper multi-exposure feature in raw.

Using the Samsung most of the time I hope to get the "feel of the wheel" with it.

Thank you for the inspiration!

B&W on Baryta is pure heaven. Also, I picked up the 23/1.4 two weeks ago and it's a joy to use.

Good luck!

Mike, this sounded like a great idea for me to do also until I considered how much money I've spent on lenses in the past year. If I only use one of them for a whole year it might invalidate future discussions with the house banker regarding my "need" for the next lens. Just sayin'...be careful. ;)


One focal length for a whole year?

I have to say this is, to me, in one way almost contrary to a my philosophy of photography, although that sounds very pompous. And I am not saying that OC/OL/OY won't produce some wonderful photos, or give happiness to some folks.

But OC/OL/OY, as far as I can see, is a product of a particular time and place. It is from a time when zoom lenses were clearly and possibly uniformly inferior to primes. And it comes from a place - schools of photography - that would not suffer penalty - indeed, their cachet might even prosper - if they were flinty and forbidding to their students.

OC/OL/OY was like boot camp - designed to break down their will more than to teach them some arcane mystical secret of photography, a nirvana which could only be reached after enough blood was spilled on the altar. And who could question the masters, or criticize the exclusive club into which they were inducted?

There are a lot of things we can do as photographers to create images. And with our lenses, we can do two things - control DOF and control perspective through focal length choice (and hence, where we put our feet). But when you assign one focal length only for a year, you remove part of the deliberate control of perspective, and replace it with only one option. Moving your feet changes the photograph from what you might produce with a different focal length.

So, now you have your best students running around trying to find stuff to shoot where the fore- to background elements work. For one focal length. And let's be honest - was not the classic OC/OL/OY exercise to use a normal lens - a lens which sees the world with the same field of view AND perspective as the photographer?

Why??? Why do this? The whole point, at least as I see it, (and here comes the philosophy of photography thing) of having an arsenal of focal lengths in a collection of lenses, is to allow the photographer to envision, to choose the perspective he or she wants to impose on what they see in the world in order to make art. Yes, that focal length might be normal. But normal is easy! Learning how to envision the world the way non normal lenses see the world - that is hard, that takes practice, that is the challenge. That's why even experienced film directors walk around sets with a lens to their eye.

The best focal length to use for, say, a landscape, when a photographer is out in and confronted by the real world, might be a 500mm telephoto. Or it might be a 14mm wide-angle. It might be both, in the same area, but with the photographer's feet in different places. It might be both, with the photographer's feet in the same place.

Now THAT would be a difficult and, I think, more valuable exercise. One camera, one year. But a different focal length each day. Or, find one place to put your feet, and produce two worthwhile shots with very different focal lengths. Now, that would be a huge challenge, and might make for some pretty interesting ideas to be generated from the juxtaposition. Hmmm... maybe that will be my own new project for the year.......

OC/OL is a joy. It's really all I've ever done, starting way back at the beginning in the early 70's. Minolta SRT101 w/ 55/1.4 for a decade, Mamiya twin lens w/ the 'normal' 80/2.8 for 5 or more years, Fuji GW690 for 5 or more years, Nikon D100 with a Sigma 20/1.8 (30mm equivalent, too wide for me) for 5 years or so, and now, Pentax K7 (moved up to the K5 not too long ago) with the DA35/2.8.
Yes, I've dabbled with the occasional longer or shorter lens, but I always found that it took away rather than added to the purity of my vision.
I enjoy the Canson Papers. Platine Fibre Rag is my paper of choice.

You can't go wrong with the Epson 3880, even if there are new inks coming out. It's under $1k now with rebate, and produces some very fine prints up to 17x22. I've printed several shows and portfolio reviews with the 3880. Excellent output. Will be interested in seeing what Ctein thinks of the new inks, but won't be buying a new printer until the 3880 gives up the ghost.

It's nice to see Epson concentrating on new photography technology. I'm very curious to see if the new V850 scanner is an actual improvement to the 750 and capable of making a quality scan. Right now it seems the least expensive scanner that really works is a $14K Hasselblad FlexTight.

Mike, You're going to print images that fill a 13" X 19" sheet of paper!?! Wow, you are going to expend a lot of ink and money. I started my OCOLOPOY project at Thanksgiving, and therefore began printing at Christmas. But I'm printing the daily prints small, within 5½ X 4¼. Those I really like, I am doing bigger.

My niece spent half of 2014 in Northern, Western, and Eastern Europe with just a Nikon FM, 50 1.8,
and a few dozen rolls of B&W film and 5 rolls of
color film sprinkled in. She had a wonderful time with such a light kit, but then that's the only camera and lens she has in her possession. The results look so fabulous that I'm tempted to dust off my FM2...or should it be 8008s....or manual nikkor 28 2.8....or 85 2.0.... or 35 2.0...or...

I started my single camera/lens B&W project some years ago. My favorite printer is still Costco.

Now that camera and lens technology has finally slowed its advance to the point where "last camera syndrome" can be defeated, are we to succumb to "last printer syndrome" and its attendant photographic paralysis?

I'm along for the ride, but only part way.

  1. Take my camera every day: I walk 22 blocks total and ride the train to work with a D7100, usually with a 50mm f/1.8.

  2. The are a few shots that I am trying to take, will keep trying, and new ones to try always pop up.

  3. Will start printing every day, 8"x10" matte or 8.5"x11" luster. Where do you get one of those boxes? There are many choices on Amazon, but they seem too small. I will try to use my R3000 and see if Christian is right about missing the waste ink tank.

    But, perhaps missing the whole point of the exercise, I'm not going to use only the 50mm for two reasons. First, there are pictures along the way that I try to take over and over till I get it right. I shoot the same subject from different angles and in different light and different backgrounds or foregrounds till that itch is scratched. Sometimes that calls for a different lens, so that's what I will try. Second, I'm old enough to know that if something feels too puritanical, suffering-will-make-you-strong kind of thing, I won't do it. Call me weak.

    Anyway, photos everyday and a print every day to stare at, then into the box.

OC/OL/OY, but nothing said about number of printers, so start with what you have Mike. When my last photo printer died I vowed to never own another. It was an HP Photosmart and maintenance seemed to be a constant woe.

I'm going to try with a print service, ProDPI. I'll develop daily but submit the orders weekly to keep shipping costs under control. We'll see how it goes.

With a toddler underfoot and another due this spring I have an abundance of subjects but little free time for development. I'll get done what I can and not worry about the rest. This is optional and will only be done as long as it is adding to my enjoyment of life. It shouldn't cause stress of another deadline missed or chores not done. It'll be fun.

[It's a good time of your family's life to be doing that project too, Kirk. You'll appreciate later the work you do now. My only advice as the parent of a soon-to-be 22-year-old is to make two or three videos every year too, with sound. You'll appreciate those in the future too. I didn't do that and I would love to have just a few videos now. --Mike]

As I've mentioned before, I started your OC/OL/DP/OY challenge a couple days after your article in November (DP meaning daily print). I have prints all over the house and need to order some kind of box or cheap portfolio binder. For me, 8.5 x 11 is a good size. Leave a half-inch margin and I have 7.5 x 10, so it fits my 4/3 camera well.

My gear desires shifted a little with the project, from the usual lenses and bodies to better paper, a lighter tripod (Christmas gift!) and even a better printer that doesn't chew through cartridges as fast as my 2880, so I will keep an eye on the new models.

The main thing I need to do to keep myself happy with the project is take better photos at least somewhat consistently. The last thing I want is to be making high quality prints of crappy, uninteresting shots, which is a danger as time goes on.

I sort of did this when Mike published the "Leica as teacher" article back in 2009. I used my Pentax K10D and 43mm Limited for a year. My wife told me at the end of the year that my photos really had gotten demonstrably better. I think it is more about clarifying your vision then necessarily making great art. It's the equivalent to me of practicing scales for a musician.

I'm going to do it again, with my GX7 and 25mm f1.4 lens. I've spent too much time reading about photography and not enough time doing it; gonna change that today.

I'm going to KO/SO/OC/OL/OY (kinda/sorta...) by process of elimination. I recently bought the Nikon D750 with 2 lenses, 50 and 35, and for me at least it's a dream. I've been kind of lost in the mirrorless wilderness for the past 3 years but once I put my eye to the nikon viewfinder I realized how much I miss seeing the world through a prism as opposed to through a miniature TV monitor. I've sold everything else (no back sliding!) save the OMD-E1 (uh-oh), but it may not stay with me much longer - I haven't used it in several weeks.

I find I only really like using the 50mm on the new camera and it feels somehow very liberating to use only it. Was it Joni Mitchell who wrote the lyric 'the crazy you get from too much choice'? I don't know if it's that 50 just suits what I like to photograph, or that what I photograph has been changed by using only the 50, but it works.

Since retiring a few months ago I realized I can't willy nilly print 17x22 or 13x19 regularly, it's just too expensive, and storage becomes (well, IS) a problem. The coop gallery I belong to recently had a show dedicated to prints no larger than 5x7 that impressed me, so that show combined with my pecuniary constraints caused me to stock up on 8.5x11 Canson Infinity Platine on which I'm printing 5x7.5 images. I own the monster Epson 7900, and it seems ludicrous to be printing such small prints on it, but I'll probably print larger eventually. And I have space for it for now; if that changes then I'll probably have to downsize.

I'm content with all this for the time being, hence the KO/SO. So two months down, 10 to go.

@ BA: You can built in a waste ink tank DIY. Look here for further info on R3000 maintenance and the waste ink issue:


I ordered one for myself as well now.

Doing the same here with my X100T. Have fun.

@Rodney Topor

A normal lens is one that has the same focal length as the diagonal measurement of the film or sensor. An (non-Canon) APS-C sensor is around 28mm diagonal size. A crop factor of 1.5.

27mm on a Sony (err, Fuji XTRANS) APS-C sensor is just slightly wider than normal. About 40mm equivalent. A focal length that Mike has written about before. A couple of times.



@Stephen Almond: "Is this camera/lens combination just a faster, bulkier X100T?

It would be if the X100 had a 40mm eq lens. :-)

I just started my OC/OL/OY on New Year's Day yesterday. It will also be an X-T1 and 23mm (it's just too good a pairing not to use, plus that 23 is so gorgeous a lens), but there may be days the X-Pro1 is used instead, so it might be One X/One Lens/One Year). I may print at various sizes, though, e.g. 8.5 X 11 on Ilford Galerie. Haven't decided yet. 365 prints on 13 X19 Canson Baryta is quite an expenditure. Heading out right now for today's photo.

My photo from yesterday:

My OC/OL/OY project (with modifications) is underway... printed second image today.

I've modified my project in a couple of ways. First, I've fixed on the 50mm focal length, but I'm doing it with two kits: X-Pro1 plus C-Biogon 35/2.8 and Nikon 1 V3 plus 18.5/1.8. Both give me the 50mm focal length. And I'm going to try to stick to uncropped b&w images. For years now, I've been using almost exclusively color and I've been cropping a lot. With this project I want to see what new skills and knowledge these restrictions bring.

Fuji XT-1 and 18-55mm zoom. Still only one lens, but many focal lengths. Fewer missed photo opportunities.

[Well, a zoom, and "not missing photo opportunities," is antithetical to this particular exercise. Not that there's anything wrong with that. --Mike]

PROBLEM: How to do OC/OL/OY until the new printer comes out?

SOLUTION Don't print until the new printer comes out.

@Christian - thank you.

Thats funny, my resolution is to try and use all of the 30 or so lenses between 50mm and 58mm that I have here and maybe narrow them down to 6 or so.

My current infatuation is the Wollensak Raptar 2.04" 51mm lens, but at least I'm down to one camera

Kevin Purcell,

Unless I'm mistaken, you might want to read the original post again...

Gingerbaker made some good points. I have all too often been in a position where I couldn't move to frame the image I wanted correctly. Yes, a zoom helps, but isn't always the solution. Much depends on what kind of images you want to record. And while Pshop and high pixel count sensors permit cropping with less loss than in film days, sometimes that won't work either. So I continue to use 3 lenses on one camera. And I still don't always get what I want.
As for printing, large daily prints gets mighty expensive with the overpriced inks we use. I suggest 4x6 'proof prints' of your best shots in a day/session, with one weekly large print. True, some images work better at one size or another,but those small prints will cue you to issues not visible on your screen, before you do any lorge ones.

Good luck to all of those who embark on the OC/OL/OY project! Myself, I'm converging more towards a two lens setup everyday, but remain flexible in throwing in other lenses. Maybe one day I could do a one lens project for a prolonged period of time, but that day is not now.

I used one lens from about 1962 or whatever to 1966 -- whatever was on the Pixie 127. And then I used the lens on the Bolsey 35 until 1969. Never have had a camera that could do it for more than a year without adding at least one lens, though, and very probably never will. I associate being stuck with a single lens with being poor and not having access to equipment; I associate interchangeable lens cameras with being more serious.

Heck, the lenses I'm using right now don't even zoom or focus the same direction. And that is a bit of a problem now and then.

I plan on doing this year in color. I have shot mainly in BW for the last 40 years, and feel I need to learn about color to improve my photography. Sticking with a Sony A7s and Loxia 35mm F2 for the duration which is my "new" Leica with Summicron 35mm that I have carried in various incarnations for most of the four decades.

I was initially going to use an X-Pro1 with the 35mm F1.4 lens for this project, until the comment by 'Kirk in PDX' above reminded me that my second child is due this year (thanks, mate). Now I'm considering using an X100S instead since I'm assuming that I'm anticipating taking photos in cramped spaces.

But I loooove the 35mm F1.4. I'm flip-flopping between them as I write this.

Choice is a luxury which we can all too easily buy with money these days. Agonising.

I'm not sure how to start with printing at home on a budget for this project. Should I just print using whatever I have?

I think we should be lenient. If you can use that camera/lens combo for, say, 75%-80% of your shots, I'd call that compliance, a passing grade for your project. I mean, it's part of your "job" to use other equipment, after all, and that means taking pictures.

I've been shooting my Ricoh GR almost exclusively since Nov 2013 - with its wonderful 28mm-e lens. I'm pretty content with this little camera, especially cycling/hiking/everywhere I go. However, my mind does wander towards what it would be like with a ~40mm-e lens, which is why the 27mm fuji appeals to me. But then I'd need a body. And then I'd lose the size advantage and the wonderful Ricoh UI.

I've sort of been doing this for a while since getting the x100. I found I'd leave the house with it and leave the rest of my bag behind. It's really liberating not fretting about gear when you're out and about. You get to know the lens and you begin framing pictures before even raising the camera to your eye. When I actually do pick up another camera with a different lens I find I see better with it before I started mainly using the x100.

@Craig: I have the Fuji 27mm f/2.8 pancake and it is an absolutely wonderful little lens. Wonderful FOV and quite sharp. It's a sweetie.

As you need a body, I would recommend the camera I use with this lens, the little Fuji X-A1. 16 megapixel Bayer sensor that surprised even Fuji with it's performance and image quality (superior to the original X100 AND my Oly OM-D E-M1).

Fujifilm X-A1s can be had for around $450-$499, and comes with the Fuji 16-50 f/3.5-5.6 consumer level zoom, but I leave the sweet little 27 pancake on it pretty much permanently. It's clear Fuji designed this pancake for the X-A1 or X-M1. Nice thing is that the body and lens are compact enough to take with you everywhere. And the image quality you can get from this combo is NOT to be underestimated.

Perfect for this project!

For all practical purposes I finished a OC/OL/two-years-and-a-quarter with the X100, and the last 6 months in black and white (although not exclusively). In total this resulted in 6104 captures and 460 photos after editing.


From yesterday I am starting a new project: X100T. We'll see how long it lasts.

There is no way I can use just one camera and lens for an entire year, as the photography I do is just too diverse for one combo to do it all and do it effectively. I like the idea quite a lot, though, so maybe someday...

Well, this is the only way one should take pictures - one camera and one lens. Not just one year, but every single day. At least, I'm practicing this for mote than 50 years !!!!

QUOTE: doing B&W only, and printing on 13x19-inch UNQUOTE

When I had a wet darkroom I used to print a lot of large format portraits with a (more or less) black background.

When I moved to digital I continued this practice (printing 13x19 inches, or, as we say in Europe A3+) on an Epson R3000. I knew that the ink cartridge that came with the printer was only partly filled, so I did not worry too much that it did not last for very long. Well, the regular ink cartridges did not last very long either.

I now shoot portraits against a light grey background. That is good ink economy.

Backwards, OC/OL/OY spells "yo loco." But it's a good kind of crazy . . .

I'd like some elaboration on why a new printer is a "wrench" in the OC/OL/OY discipline. From you comment about paper I suppose it's because you're also committing to one paper, and presumably one printer, to the regimen--an end-to-end image-making discipline.

I'm also curious to see how much of the project will be shared. If a new printing product is a wrench, then surely the decision whether to routinely share via small web jpegs, and whether of files or prints, could have as much effect. Not that any decision in that regard could be "wrong" or "right".

And would you take time off to test cameras and lenses? Delegate reviews and testing? Again, I don't see a right or wrong there, just a different approach.

I look forward to the fun!

Dear Eduard,

The substantially-improved D-max and expanded color gamut is in prints made with the photo-black ink. most especially on papers with the “microporous” ceramic coatings. Matte-ink papers will not show that marked improvement. In fact, the scattering qualities of matte surfaces make it very hard to improve D-Max or get better tone separation. Think "veiling flare."

I will be testing the P600 with the matte papers that I normally use to see what, if any, improvements there are there. It wouldn't surprise me if there are some. But that's not where the biggest changes will occur.

To forestall requests, I'm going to be testing the printer with papers I normally use. Do not request that I test it with your particular favorite paper.

Okay, on second thought, I'll modify that a bit. If you want me to test it with your favorite paper, you have to order a box of that paper and have it sent to me. No, not a few sample sheets from your inventory, you have to order a fresh box from B&H or somebody like that and have it shipped to me. Then I'll test your favorite paper with the new printer vs. my Epson 3880 (that should set the bar high enough that I won't be flooded with requests**, and I'll have some other papers to print with to compensate for the extra time and effort).

**[Famous last words]

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

I also started a project on 1 January, but not a OC/OL project. Rather I'm trying to do a 365 project of SF and Fantasy pictures.

I'd like to hear from others doing this and anyone who has suggestions on doing a 365 project. I'm posting them at http://gregedwards.viewbug.com/

Thank you


The following refers to my use of a travel camera in Europe.

Instead of a Fuji X100, which I understand is a superb camera, I use an Olympus EM 10 with a Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens. This lens stays on the camera most of the time, and for me, the combination is not much larger than the Fuji X100.

In a pocket I carry the Olympus 45mm f 1.8. This is a tiny lens, great for portraiture and for concentrating on one element in an image.

This two-lens combination gives me a great deal of flexibility and prevents all my travel photos being near-on wide angle, which can get boring.

It's extremely light, and the lenses are fast enough for indoors or evening images.

Why limit myself to one wide angle lens (even though I love the 40mm effective focal length of the 20 mm on M4/3, from film days) when I can carry a 4 ounce portrait lens in a side pocket?

As an alternative, I can use the Olympus 45 mm as my walk-around lens and carry the pancake 20 mm in a pocket in case I really need a wider angle. I crop a lot of my 20 mm photos, and I find I can see potential pictures better with the 45 mm in many travel circumstances.

Added to all this is that the Olympus EM 10 has a 2x Optical Teleconverter available at the touch of a button.

A lot depends on how one sees things. Someone proudly posted a photo of the Trevi Fountains in Rome, saying that only with a lens as wide as a 9mm (with the Oly 9-18) could he get the entire fountains in one picture, and he proudly said that none of the crowd of people in front of it were in the picture with that focal length!

But the Trevi is one of the most romantic spots in Rome, filled with throngs of young people, talking, playing the guitar, enjoying the evening. The poster had successfully excluded them. With a 20 or a 45 they could have been included, with part of the fountains as a backdrop.

Good plan. I look forward to following your results. Of course, as soon as I held an X-100 for the first time I was pretty much there for the OC / OL thingy. Have fun

I'm quite sure I have a certain degree of attentional deficit and cannot follow stringent rules like OC/OL/OY. May be OC/OL/OW or at most OC/OL/OM I'll be able to do. So, good luck to all that can.

I did the one camera one lens twice in my life but not on purpose.
First time was in 1967 when a bought a nice used Rollei 2.8 twin lens. Fixed lens makes it difficult to switch lenses.
Second time was in 2011 when I bought the Leica S2 with 35mm lens. I had not bought the camera when it was introduced with a 70mm lens and waited a bit until the 35mm was introduced. Then had to wait a year for the 120mm to be introduced. So it was accidental that I did the OC/OL/OY. Really learned that camera and point of view.
Relieved to realize I had already done your project and I didn't have to do it again. But I recommend it.

Thanks for sharing, as always. I have a brief story, then a question.

A few years back my photography became stunted. I sold all my gear, and invested in a GF1 and the 20mm. For two years I shot with nothing else. Eventually I added the 14. My photography was reborn - the love of the art and craft, the fun. My photographs improved enormously.

I now shoot with an X-Pro 1 with 3 primes.

Before I get to my question I'd like to add to those who suggest getting an Epson 3880. A very powerful and relatively economical printer now available at well under $1K. The new printer might offer some improvements, but unless it's a massive improvement the 3880 just seems smart. My jaw is sore from dropping so much with the delicious prints this thing produces.

The question, and I'll cheat and combine two in one: why 13 x 19, and generally what is your preferred size of actual photograph on paper that size (and /or preferred ratio).

With regards,

Since I started photography 15 years ago, 80% of my photography has been 50mm - family, travel, even outdoor portraiture assignments. I do like wide & tele, though, so this year my resolution is to shoot more WA & tele!!

Most of all, I have realized the D750 & 50/1.4 will get left at home most of the time. What I need above all isn't another magical IQ camera (and the D750's files, believe me, are _magic_ - as were the D600/D610 files. Sublime! It's my 10-year camera for sure.)

So my camera of choice is the V2, with a 10-30mm lens. It's small & will go with me on all my travels. And it will net me the WA and tele FOVs in my pocket (figuratively speaking). The thing is so diffraction limited I will be shooting it wide open all the time, and it's only useful outdoors. Check out B&H, Nikon is having a great sale on the V2. Just ordered an 18.5/1.8 lens to go with it (oops- normal FOV tractor beam) - thru TOP links of course.

Finally, I too am starting to love printing. My volume and freq. of usage will not justify a pigment printer; so I do have a couple questions for the informed TOP readership:

1. How good or bad is my Canon Pro-100 inkjet printer? I am using it exclusively with Canon's Luster/Semi-gloss papers.

2. Will my prints with said printer & paper, properly stored, stand the test of time?

3. Can I use baryta papers with dye-based setups like my Canon Pro-100? If so which paper is best?


I got myself a EOS M with the 22mm F2 lens plus a small Canon Selphy printer for Christmas to start this journey. I would have loved to try a Fuji, but this setup is less than just half the price and already includes the printer. I hope the M will prove to be the underrated cam that many people say it is. The printer is my first opportunity of printing a photo at home and I already love it.

I will allow myself some exceptions at times, but I am very happy to re-ignite my photo enthusiasm with this inspirational project.

Mike: Thank you for this task!

For my project I have a used Lumix Gx1 (eBay) with a 20mm f1.7. I use the camera in the Ex-Tele, M size mode (I.e. 8Mp and 60mm eq. focal length). This gives me a fast, slightly over standard lens in a compact, easy to carry package. 8Mp is quite enough for prints up to 12 inches for the purpose of this project. If I need a wider view I revert to to 16 Mp and 40mm eq. I program one of the Fn buttons to picture size so swapping is easy. This is a single prime lens so I don't feel I am cheating.
My biggest dilemma is which viewfinder to use. I have an EVF and a 40mm Voigtlander optical finder. Years of rangefinder use make me favour the optical finder when using the setup at 40mm eq. but the EVF offers more control and is used at 60mm eq. Who would have thought that standardising and minimising gear would be complicated by viewfinder choice!

This is a nice conceit, and often involves buying just one more camera and lens; too often just another excuse to buy one more brand new and very expensive toy that I will use as art.

Let's take an even longer leap: Let's prove it's the eye, not the machine. Let's prove this is not an excuse to buy yet one more consumer product. Use an older camera, say a Nikon D100 or Canon G3 or even Fuji F10 if we need low light/high ISO.

Let's take dynamite pictures. No excuses, let the image stand.

Fly fisherman take pride in artificially restricting their ability to harvest fish. They use difficult equipment, techniques, and processes. A successful result is therefore all the more rewarding, in terms of accomplishment. They know their ability to read, to be aware, to be in the moment is the secret of their success. Theirs is sport, is skill, is art. If all they wanted was to catch fish they could just use bait.

I’ve been thinking about Gingerbaker’s comment for a while, and while he does raise some interesting points, I’m absolutely certain that, for me at least, a single focal length is the right way to go for a project like this. The problem with having more focal lengths available is one of choice. How does one choose which to use? By a wealth of learning and experience, of trial and error, of intimate familiarity with each possible variable, so one knows instinctively, when presented with a scene, which will give best realisation to one’s artistic vision.

Brimham Rocks - monolith (P1170696.RW2)

Despite years of practice, I cannot claim to have mastered each focal length. So, by voluntarily donning the straightjacket of restricted choice, I accept that there is more to learn, and demonstrate that I'm taking the steps necessary to do so. By the end of a year with just one lens, I believe one could, with some justification, have claim to have mastered it. I’m about seven weeks in, and I now see everything in terms of the 50mm field of view. Everything. To change lenses now would mean sliding down a snake right back to the starting square. No thanks.

It’s incredibly liberating not to have to consider which camera to pick up in the morning. And, rather than one’s creativity being stifled by the lack of choice, in actual fact it can paradoxically be set free. Or subjects are limited - we can't simply go anywhere and shoot anything we wish. Surely the sign of a competent photographer is the ability to turn out something good to look at even in the face of such restrictions. Indeed, today I was limited to 15 minutes with a couple of gasometers and a bit of wasteground. It turned out fine.

OC:OL:OY Day 8 - kid's bike (_1060901.RW2)

Having said all of that, one’s adoption of the rules is entirely voluntary. The true beauty of the project is its two sides - input and output - and those two sides apply whether you use one lens or ten. The “one camera, one lens” thing is the input, the “one print a day” thing is the output. And it’s in the output stage that things really get interesting - where the positive feedback loop happens. So it doesn’t matter all that much which lens you used, or which camera, but whether or not the print is any good. That’s where, IMHO, the real learning is to be found.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007