The Multi-Camera Shooter

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Or ” How I learned to juggle chain saws “.

I used to marvel at pictures in MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY and LEICA FOTO INTERNATIONAL that showed war correspondents and press photographers with two cameras strung on their chests. They were hung one above the other – mostly on two straps but sometimes on a harness that depended them both from a single loop. I thought it was way cool.

From the captions, it appeared that they were using two prime lenses; frequently a 50mm and a 21mm – and these in a day when the 21mm lens was a very rare and expensive beast. The rationale stated was the need for fast response to street or battlefield action. No time to change lenses as the shooter charged through machine-gun fire…I have now come to suspect that it was done so that the shooter could look way cool.

I doubt the idea now – particularly as those two focal lengths are covered in many zoom lenses from many manufacturers. And for the sort of resolution and light gathering power needed in action shooting, they do just fine. The shooter can wind the zoom manually faster than they can lay one camera aside and pick up another.

It also has the advantage that there is only one weight depending upon the neck and one mass whapping up and down on the chest as the photographer sprints away from the conflict. No mean thing…

As for the harnesses that allow two large camera bodies to hang from two shoulders with enormous zooms attached to them…well, you still look way cool, but spinning around makes you resemble a fairground ride. And your chiropractor will get enough work from you to buy a bass-fishing boat.

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