« Print for Sale on TOP | Main | What Telecasters and Slide Film Have in Common »

October 06, 2009


What would one call a Purist/Prime Fetishist/Artist? That is what
I am.... thin lenses are better... and never carry more than the
lens on your camera.

Love your descriptions

omg, i've been almost all of them, i guess they (we) are called 'the pathetic'

You left out the "Wannabe"... Right now I'm a newbit Kit-Zoomer but I "Wannabe Better" but haven't figured out how to consistently take decent photos and is waiting to figure out what kind of nice lens I really want...

How about "indecisive' and doesn't know what he wants. It's all changing so fast, so I really don't know what to do. In the past I carried about three lenses most places, and I don't know what that makes me.


A great bit of humor there, Gordon. I would have to say that right now, I'm a Purist. If it can't be shot with my 50mm lens, then it ain't worth shootin'! :-) I have transitioned from the Lugger! I'm now in recovery!!!

Great post!

Interesting. I am a different one of these on different days.

When shooting outside of my comfort zone - different country, unusual subject matter, etc - I take on the lugger mentality.

When going some place familiar with people I know, i am a purist.

Events? Kit zoomer.

If I had the money I'd probably be a prime fetishist.

Great article! Really funny! Maybe you left out the birder and their ultra telephoto lenses. I am definitively the purist (preferably 50mm or equivalent fov). I do own a zoom too!

Using your descriptions I guess I am a hybrid, if that's allowed. I'm cheap/poor, and now own 4 lenses. 2 are primes and 2 are zooms (none are kit lenses). I bought 2 used. I prefer primes because I like the wider apertures. I can't cover every focal range, but I do like to lug at least 3 of my 4 lenses with me when I can. So a lugger-prime-fetishist? Does that count?

Don't forget about the "Poser", those who always buy the newest and preferably most expensive equipment only to apply technique more suitable to a Polaroid Instamatic. These connoisseurs of camera marketing tactics are always eager to share with you why their equipment is the best and will be equally quick to explain why they don't have any portfolio images to share for all their efforts. If they were able to produce insightful images, their quest would inevitably end, thereby rendering the entire process of acquiring new stuff pointless.

Since it's all about stereotyping (I love a simple world) i believe I'm The Prime Fetishist for now. I'm currently scanning eBay for a M42 adapter, so I guess the choice was obvious.

I guess there could be the travel shutterbug. He walks a lot so he has to stay light, but he doesn't want to miss any photo opportunity. Therefore, he opts for a one-do-it-all lens with an insane zoom range even if he knows that this will kill image quality and focus accuracy. He always craves for a more versatile lens, has a 18-200, lusts after the new 18-250s and he would sell a kidney to afford a 10-250 but fortunately for him they do not exist.
The illuminated version of the travel shutterbug admits that one spare lens, perhaps a luminous prime, for the really tricky situations might actually be a good idea, but only if it doesn't add too much weight and space.

On a side note, please let me know if the 10-250 do exist... I just happen to have a spare kidney ^_^'

You forgot the superzoomer, the people who think that the kit zoom has not range enough. I am not sure who I am, have to think... But great post, really love that stuff!

I'm no lugger...

I carry a body and a prime every day... but the focal lengths vary...

I can't afford the exotic primes, I make do with what I can find used for good prices...

If I'm doing an "event" (kid's birthday, office party) it's kit zoom and full-on flash all the way, baby!

So I guess I'm a mix!

I'm the prime lugger. I have 3 lenses, 2 of which are primes, and all of which I carry everywhere. I think I may add the artist appellation after I purchase a used m42 lens (P.S: Karl Storck - pls. drop me an email if you find one worth buying!)

I guess, I am a purist-prime fetishist-hybrid, I try to use only one lens for a week or so and then change to another prime...

I have aspirations to be a purist/artist, but fear of regret at the *missed opportunity* leads me luggerwards. Just off on a trip with a Sigma 18-50 f.28, the Nikon 55-200vr, and the Sigma 30mm f1.4. Contemplated leaving the d90 behind and just taking a Voigtlander-Cosina rangefinder with a 40mm lens, but chickened out at the last minute, for fear of the missed shot.

Henry's Birder/Sports Shooter is definitely missing -- someone who never mounts anything smaller than a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom, and preferably 300 or bigger, even indoors. The distinction between Birder and Sports Shooter is easy: the Birder is exactly the same, except the lens is camouflage coated.

Both types also always have their cameras on burst mode, firing off 6 or 10 frames at a time, hoping (usually in vain) for one that isn't shaky. Bonus points for always using a monopod, mounted to the lens of course.

I was a Lugger for a long time, but I've become more of a Purist recently, mostly because of age and lack of muscle tone.

Don't forget 'The Old Pro' with a couple of black paint camera arranged so they bang into each other for the 'herd-working' look. Lenses are uncapped and unfiltered for fast action. Uses either a photo vest or a Domke style bag - no fancy systems or knapsacks for the old pro! He needs fast access and doesn't have time for extra flaps and zippers. Not concerned with babying his equipment - 'They're only tools.'

When I shot Canon, I used to be a Lugger. I had 6 lenses: 3 zooms and 3 primes from 8mm fisheye to 70-200. Your observation about low light is very funny and true: I like evening light but missed it many times, because when I finished to select and pack the lenses the sun was already down:)

Now that I switched to Sigma, low light shooting is out of question. I have only 3 lenses: 17-70/2.8-4.5, 28/1.8 and 70-200/2.8. The telezoom is too darn heavy to lug it around with no particular purpose, 28 prime isn't very sharp in the corners and good only for indoor and macro, so now I'm a Kit-Zoomer having 17-70 on most of the time.

However, I'm constantly thinking of buying Sigma DP2 and becoming a Purist.

Three cameras, each carried about 1/3 of the time (and obviously indicating a schizoid personality). I've taken pictures that I like with all of 'em.

1. M6 with 50mm lens. These days it's always loaded with B&W film (TMY2, exclusively). I used to have another lens but I sold it. By far my favorite to use; nothing beats a good rangefinder.

2. Ricoh GR-1 point-and-shoot with fixed 28mm f/2.8 lens. Also loaded with TMY2. A pain in the tail to use seriously, but it has cpatured some of my favorite B&W pictures, it's tiny, and weighs nothing. I don't think it's produced single color photograph that I have affection for.

3. Olympus E610 with 24-120 equivalent lens. JPGs from the this camera have such lovely color that I'll likely never shoot another frame of color film. I missed my Nikons with the 35, 85, 180 combo, until I got the 12-60, a *very* sweet lens.

When carrying #1 or 2 # I'm a purist. They were all I had for a decade. On #3 days I'm a happy kit zoomer.

Hmm well in the past i'd have to say across between a purist and a lugger, i went through a long faze of using a FD 24mm prime shooting Tri-x but still loved my FD 135mm ƒ2.5, which, by the way, almost qualifies me as a lugger in its own right. These days i Have a Canon G10… So i guess a purist/kit-zoomer is my fate (unless i dust off my Ftb and beloved FD 24mm! Sadly the 135 was stolen…)

"On #3 days I'm a happy kit zoomer."

I must respectfully disagree, Semilog. The Olympus Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4 hardly qualifies as a kit-zoom. It's one of the very best lenses Olympus offers. It's also one of the best on the market. The fact that you also carry only one camera at a time, with only one lens attached, shows you have strong Purist tendencies. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I'm definitely a Kit-Zoomer, and rather disappointed by it. My father was a rather talented photographer back in the film days. He doesn't have a website, or online albums, or any of that. Just shoe boxes and reel after reel of slides in the back of his closet.

As well as bookshelves full of books on the subject; every one of which I have devoured. Neither my library nor school has a photographer's book left in it that I haven't absorbed every page of.

So I'm definitely learning. I'm doing my research. And I'm going out almost every day to practice. The technique behind taking a photograph fascinates me; looking at other exposures and trying to figure out how it was taken is a great past-time.

I'd love to, someday, be one of the "artist" types on your list. Grain? Over exposed? Whatever; I don't care. All that really matters is that the image is beautiful and conveys it's message as intended with a sense of appreciation. And sometimes those "flaws" help to that end.

Apologies for rambling- what I meant to ask, is if you could do a follow up post. Perhaps with some advice on how us "out of the box" photographers could work towards evolving. Your advice or links that might help us become more enlightened upon the intricacies of f-stops, or just how to find our own motto. =)

I have been following your post for some time now. I can say that this is the best ever.
Apparently, in this article you presume that all photographers use SLRs.
There is a rare variety of photographers who use the simplest and the oldest camera possible and also claim total ignorance of hard ware. The second part is difficult to verify. If you ask them the brand of their camera they even pretend not to know that too. They would prefer to use a Kodak Browni Box if possible. Some prefer the wood and brass view cameras. But so far I have not come across pin hole camera man.
"All-that-I-know-is-to-click-the-shutter" is their standard calling card.
I do not know what you would call them. They are the diametric opposite of the "I need to get the absolute latest" types. I would club them into a super snob class of shutter bugs.
Thanks for the wonderful post.
Ranjit Grover

Fantastic read...I would put myself as a Lugger and artist...Though I tend to take more than I need, I really only lug around a short zoom like a 10-20 or 17-35 on a DSLR + a film body and 28 or 35mm lens...

The comments to this entry are closed.

Tip Jar

Thank you!

Tip Jar