28mm as standard lens: What do you think?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Markok765, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I have a 28mm f2.8D AF lens on my nikon as my all purpose lens.
    I find it is pretty good for most of my photography [I can move in most of the time] and the only occasional problem is the lack of out of focus areas.

    I'm considering buying a 50mm lens, but I don't really have a big budget for photography right now [its either the 50mm or the SB-600]

    What can't I do with the 28 that I can with the 50, and what do you think of my choice currently of 28 as a standard lens. I want to get documentary style shots and I think a 28 is good for that. I just have to remember to include the surroundings.
     
  2. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Marko, I find that I use the 28mm and 50mm for most of my photography. The lenses are small and fast and I usually keep one on each of my Nikon FE cameras. For your style of shooting the 50mm may be more practical than the SB-600, but I guess it all depends on why you want the flash.
     
  3. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I would like the flash because my Metz is taped to a hotshoe to sync cable adapter, because the bottom broke off. I would also like to utilize the in camera flash metering, and I think the flash is more powerful than my current one.
     
  4. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Yeah, but WHY do you want the flash? Is it to replace your existing one, or because you have a specific goal in mind to use it? I got my SB-28 because I thought I needed one, but it wasn't until I was asked to shoot a wedding two years later that I actually found a reason to start testing and using it. That being said, it tends to stay in the bag more often than not because I prefer shooting in natural light conditions.
     
  5. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Its mainly to replace my current flash, to gain auto flash exposure and more power from the flash.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    A fast 50mm f1.4 would be far more useful than a new flash. I like using a 28mm or it's equivalent in MF or LF but not for every shot it's restrictive.

    Ian
     
  7. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    Unless you use the flash for commercial shots I have no doubts that a lens brings more value to your photography. I use 28mm and even 24mm most of the time but I have the 50mm handy for that "one time" situation. I bought a second hand SB-28 for my F100 that I used once in the last 3 years. There are cheaper alternatives gthat cover your needs for film cameras then SB-600; we don't discuss digital bodies here:tongue:
     
  8. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    I'd suggest a fast 50mm as a nice back up for your 28mm. I use a 35mm and have a 50mm with me "just in case". For your intended style, documentary, i think you've got a great idea using the 28mm. A 50mm (or possibly a fast 85mm) would be a nice back up to allow for tighter portraits if the story demanded something more compelling - IMHO....

    Admittedly, i prefer to use natural light for my street photography so buying a real flash is simply never a consideration - new glass on the other hand is ALWAYS on my mind!
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Like with most of your questions, the answer is: it depends. Go. Shoot. Don't ask us for permission.
     
  10. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    "ditto" *L*

    I have shot for 21 years with just a 35mm and a 105mm on my Nikon. Since you like things a bit wider, perhaps you might try a 28mm 85mm combination. Learn to use the flash you have and don't worry about no stinkin' TTL flash control.

    tim in san jose
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Marko. Only you know what kind of pics you shoot the most and whether a 28mm is on balance the best. I do a lot of shooting requiring wide vistas in confined spaces and a 28mm is invaluable. I shoot a lot at what in the U.K. is called National Trust properties which are very large country houses and gardens where wide angle is important. It is also great for street photography and groups in confined spaces as you have tremendous depth of field at f8 and the camera almost becomes a point and shoot with everything in focus.

    If you then need to concentrate on a particular person or object then cropping on the enlarger easel is an option but only if you have a darkroom or access to one.

    On balance if I had to be confined to possession of one lens, I think the 28mm would narrowly win over the 50mm.

    pentaxuser
     
  12. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    It is excellent disciplin to use only one lens, whatever focal length you choose. I find it concentrates the mind on subject matter rather than on the equipment. I suppose it depends on the type of subjects you prefer, eg. when I go hillwalking in the English Lake District I only now ever take a 28mm. after years of carrying two or three others which I never used. If you do decide to go for more glass, which would be my inclination, take care not to get bogged down with decision making as to which is the best to use, by the time you've decided, the shot will be gone. Instead, use one for an hour or two and concentrate on subjects that suit its focal length and then switch and do similar. Of course, photographers who use those zoomy things don't have this problem. They just frame the subject and shoot, or do they need to zoom a little closer or perhaps it would be better a little wider!!!!!
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    For quite a number of years I used one 35mm camera for personal work & one lens, it happened to be a 50mm Summicron and I never found it to be a problem despite liking WA lenses.

    On the other hand my wife decided my 17mm Tamron was just perfect as the standard lens on her Pentax :D Needless to say it didn't work out and I got it back. Not all shots work with a wide angle.

    You need a bit of flexibility one lens can be a problem, when I shot with the Leica & Summicron I was usually also shooting LF with 3 or 4 lenses always including 2 wide angles, equivalent to 18/20mm and 28mm on a 35mm camera.
     
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  15. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Many years ago I made do very happily with a Nikon FE2 and f1.8 28mm lens accompanying me on all my bicycle touring journeys. I used that lens for 'portraits' of my cycling companions. I think that's what a 50mm lens woudl be excellent, for — portraits. The 28mm would be too wide and the perspective a little unnatural as I remember it.

    My standard lens is a rectilinear (no distortion) manual focus Canon 24mm TS-E f3.5L which I use for landscape and nature imaging and sometimes with creative flash use: I rarely shoot 'straight' shots with it, mostly I raise the foreground or tilt the background, manipulating depth of field (wide open) and using selective focus 'splitting'. Remember that the wider you go with lenses, the more in tune with the perspective you must be and 28, 24mm, 20mm, 17mm all demand care with subjects which need to be considered in scale and place in the image and that's why I would lean toward the 50mm for its normal perspective and versatility, especially for people and close-in candids. Remember the National Geographic images of 30 years ago? Heaps were done with 50mm in far flung destinations around the globe. As for flash, I bought a big 'bells and whistles' Canon flash in 2003 even though at the time I didn't believe I'd ever use it. Wrong! I add a twinkle of (manually output) light to river rocks in flat light, or selectively 'paint' long-exposure subjects. Take the plunge and buy both!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2008
  16. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    i tend to think of 28mm as 'normal' and 50mm as a fast lens for low light. you may think differently.
     
  17. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    27 years ago, my first 35mm set up for my budding photojournalism career was a 28/3.5 Nikkor AIs, a 135/2.8 E, and a Nikon FM because that was all I could afford. A wise and more experienced friend suggested skipping the 50 and I've never looked back. Many cameras and lenses have come and gone since but I've kept that 28/3.5 as it pretty much made my living and paid for all the other lenses I bought in those first few years.
    The 28 helps make your photos stand out with a look that is not "normal" but not gimmicky either if you discipline yourself to get close enough and keep your vertical lines more or less straight. Unless of course you want to bend them on purpose.
     
  18. GraemeMitchell

    GraemeMitchell Member

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    28mm is my every day lens for walking around.

    But I move to a 35mm and 50mm when doing portraits.
     
  19. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    The only lens that I have for my M3 is a 28mm f/2.8. I can't say I've ever missed a shot because of not having another lens. Simplicity concentrates my mind delightfully. In general, and as several others have [in]delicately alluded to, success comes from the using rather than the having.
     
  20. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I think I could manage at a pinch with My 35mm f2 as my standard lens, but not my 28mm.
     
  21. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    marko

    use your lens and the flash you have
    and take lots of photographs.

    i shot newspaper stuff for a while with a 28.
    it is a good choice for a single lens if you want to shoot
    wide and with context.

    don't waste your money on the flash unless you NEED it.
    use the flash you have and learn how to judge the light from it
    instead of having a computer do it for you.

    have fun!
    john
     
  22. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Sure why not.... the 28/2.8 is beautiful
    I have it also attached most of the time to my camera, it has replaced the 55/2.8
     
  23. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Hello,

    Which Metz do you have?

    Regarding the damaged foot - You can send it to Bogen in NY and they will be happy to repair it for you - at little or no cost. I find that the light from my Metz flashes if far better than the light from my Nikons (although I do not have the 600 and cannot comment on it).

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.

    Jeff M
     
  24. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Regarding the lens choice - I use a 28mm, f/2.8 almost exclusively on my Leica M5.

    My favorite lens on my Minolta cameras has been a 28mm, f/3.5 when it was bright enough to use. My most recent purchase is a Rokkor 28mm, f/2.0 and I'm looking forward to enjoying the extra speed I'll get for indoor shots now.

    The 28mm is a friendly ranged lens that allows you to get up close and personal with a subject and still have some background. With a narrower lens, like a 50mm, to get the same shot you'd just be photographing the subject's nose.

    Jeff M
     
  25. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Metz 32CT3 I think it's pretty old. Do you think you could give me contact info and what I need to do for them to repair it?
     
  26. takef586

    takef586 Member

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    Winogrand shot most of his photos with a 28mm... A 28mm and 50mm are a classic combination, when I normally go out shooting "light" i take two bodies, one with a 28 and the other with a 50mm - only that I normally prefer rangefinders - the SLR's are used only if I need to do macro or tele work. BTW, I'd normally shoot 80% with the 50mm... I would say too : forget the flash, buy some Tri-X and Diafine, this will eliminate the need for flash in most instances.