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11-11-2014, 11:32 AM   #1
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Who frequently carries two SLRs?

I'm seriously starting to think about carrying two cameras on some of my photo excursions. I'm wondering about the experience of amateurs or semi-pros who have tried doing this. Pros and cons? What kinds of situations do you find it helpful (or not helpful) to have two cameras? Do you use two SLRs? Are they same brand and model? Which lenses do you usually put on them? I'm also wondering if people who have difficulty lugging lots of equipment (I'm 5'7" and have a bad back) find it manageable (easier?, harder?) to use two cameras. Do you have both out of the bag and ready to shoot and, if so, how do you "wear" them?

The situations in which I could imagine using two cameras are my regular photo shoots as a volunteer photographer for animal rescue groups and sanctuaries and sometimes on vacation. I'm thinking that I'd probably put a zoom on one (either the DA 55-300, the DA 18-135 or the Sigma 17-70) and a prime on the other (a wide angle like the 15mm, a portrait lens like the 77mm, or a macro like the 35mm f/2.8 macro or the Tamron 90mm f/2.8).

I have a K-3 and I'm watching for Black Friday sales for the K-5 IIs or the K-3.

11-11-2014, 11:37 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
Who frequently carries two SLRs?
Always at least two, as failure is not an option for me.
11-11-2014, 11:43 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The only times that I found myself walking around with two SLRs is when I wanted to shoot both film and digital (not frequently).
The film camera will usually have a small prime so it'll go straight on the neck and my K-5 either with a small prime or the huge DA* 16-50 will go on my shoulder. If I decide to use a heavy lens like the Samyang 85 (great on film!), I'll switch that one to the other shoulder.
I can spend the whole day like that but not every day and it can be exhausting if there is a long walk involved.
11-11-2014, 11:45 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I carry two, k3 with a 500mm, and a second one with a shorter lens, either a 35, 43 or 100mm macro. I carried a Q with the 01 for a while but the IQ was disappointing. I'm tempted by the q7, but would like to try it. If I have a body with a lens that fits the scene I'll take a shot.

11-11-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Always at least two, as failure is not an option for me.
Do you photograph professionally, or are you just super-keen?

Certainly, the main catalyst for this idea is a recent experience we had when we went on vacation and Mr frogoutofwater's camera failed utterly at the start of the short holiday. So we now have three cameras between us (his original K-30, his new K-5IIs and my K-3) and I think we'd always bring three on vacation now.

Do you actually carry both cameras on your person and use them both, or do you just have one stashed somewhere nearby (your car, your hotel, your house) so you can use it if you have a problem with your primary camera?
11-11-2014, 11:54 AM   #6
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I used to carry multiple film cameras, each with a different speed or type of film. With digital you can change ISO/ASA on the fly. What need is a second camera?

I don't shoot fast action where I need to change quickly from one lens to another. For that I don't need a second camera. Some might have that need.

I never had a camera failure in 50 years. Pros may need backup in case of that rare failure. Perhaps on long trips I may take a spare for that. I have not yet.

All that said, I always bring my IR converted K10 as a second camera
11-11-2014, 12:02 PM   #7
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I'm not a pro, just an enthusiast. When I go hiking or on photoshoots, I carry two cameras (k-3 and k-30). My k-3 has either the Tamron 70-200 or the DA*55. My k-30 has either the Sigma 24-60 or the FA*24. This allows me to cover my required range without changing lenses.

Typically if I can control my situation, I have my k-3 out and the k-30 is only pulled out when I need it. But if I know that I may need the k-30 quick, I adjust the straps so that my k-3 can be brought to the eye quicker and the k-30 is on my left side.
11-11-2014, 12:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
Do you use two SLRs? Are they same brand and model? Which lenses do you usually put on them?
For serious photography (as opposed to "walkaround"),
I normally use a K5 and K50 together, with prime lenses of differing focal lengths.
Typically a 50mm or 85mm on the K5, and a wide angle on the K50.

11-11-2014, 12:07 PM   #9
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When traveling we (my wife and I) carry a total of three, but the third is almost always in the car as a spare. We don't actually carry the spare when hiking.

However, in the studio I have just started using that spare to save lens changes. Last shoot I had the DFA 100mm macro on the k-3 and the F 35-70 on the k-5IIs. This worked out remarkably well as I could get both very narrow focused shots as well as wider ones with out shifting lenses. I definitely plan on doing that in the future.

I have also used two bodies when traveling with the DA*16-50 on one and the DA*60-250 on the other. A quick pull off to shoot something and you just grab the lens/body you need rather than always having the wrong one mounted.
11-11-2014, 12:11 PM   #10
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On my wildlife excursions I always have two bodies. 95% of the time I use long telephoto lenses, usually a 500mm or a 300mm on one body, and a 80-200 on the other. This kind of gear is too heavy for carrying it around, I shoot either from a hide or from a jeep. The reason for using two bodies is that with wild animals the situations are totally unpredictable. When things start to happen there is usually no time to fiddle with lenses, you shoot with whatever you have readily available. Another reason is that sometimes it is really dusty- especially when shooting from a jeep, and you wouldn´t want to let the dirt get into the camera.
In far-away places redundancy is of course a bonus. So far my bodies have never let me down completely. But would definitely hate to see that happen in the middle of nowhere!
11-11-2014, 12:15 PM - 5 Likes   #11
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A picture is worth a thousand words, although days like today, I went out with the 18-135 and one body.

11-11-2014, 12:18 PM   #12
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there are multiple good answers for this post.

When i shot film, i had for the last 10 years of shooting film, 3 bodies, usually loaded differently, 1 with B&W, one with low speed film for short lens use and one with high speed color film for use with tele lenses, where 2 stops could help keep shutter speed where it needed to be. I got the bodies one at a time, but just never sold any of them as i updated.

now lets look at digital. i have 4 DSLR bodies, the *istD, a K10D, K7D and K5D. today,
- if i am out and shooting while on vacation, i generally take 2 bodies and 2 lenses, make this more specific, the K7 with a sigma 10-20 and the K5 with a tamron 28-75. this just about does it for any city shooting.
- if i am out doing wild life, i may have 2 bodies, one with anything up to 500 mm perhaps tripod mounted, and one with something shorter foe anything that goes past. again this is with the K5/K7 pair.

My *istD is used for some wildlife with manual focus and flash because it supports TTL, or for general MF use with K mount lenses
my K10D is the heart of my M42 kit, with the M42 adapter permanently installed because the mount lock and drive screw have failed, but the camera otherwise works fine.

For MF work i only take one body and 3-4 lenses at a time.
11-11-2014, 12:20 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
Do you photograph professionally
Well it's how I earn a living and yes both cameras are in use with different focal length lenses as I normally only shoot primes. This set up is usually another well known brand, I shoot Pentax for my pleasure.

QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
are you just super-keen?
So no, it's a job and a really hard one at times.

QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
one stashed somewhere nearby (your car, your hotel)
Now that's where all the back up kit resides.
11-11-2014, 12:25 PM   #14
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I carry two camera bodies most of the time. Mostly my K-5 with battery grip and my smaller K-m, but sometimes my K-5 and K10D....both with battery grips. I have carried all three at times, but not very often. Too hard to keep three...from clanking together....when walking around. Tiring too for a senior citizen.

I'm bigger (6'3" , 240 lbs.)....but as mentioned before...I'm older and I, like the OP, also have a bad back. I know what type of physical movement throws my back out...so I'm careful to avoid that kind of movement.

When I go on photo day trips...I carry all three...and also my small Canon G 12. Then I usually have them packed into the back seat of my car. The K-5, has the 150-500 Sigma, the K10D...either the 55-300 or the 10-17....or the 12-24. The K-m usually has the 70 or the 50 macro.

Be prepared as the Boy Scouts say.
11-11-2014, 12:30 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
A picture is worth a thousand words, although days like today, I went out with the 18-135 and one body.
Looks like a cross between a swamp monster, a crazy photographer and a guerrilla fighter!
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