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  1. #1

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    How useful is that 20mm?

    I'm more of a wide angle shooter and I'm currently shooting a 28mm FD that I like. I've thought recently about going wider but am wondering how useful something like a 20mm would be as a cityscape and landscape shooter. I'm wondering if it's a focal length that's just occasionally useful or is it something that you reach for often enough to justify it. Obviously it depends on the subject matter at hand, and your own preferences (likes), but where does it wind up with you? Is it worthwhile out to 11x14?

  2. #2
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
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    My wife has a 20mm and I use a 17mm. Both gets lots of use. You will notice a big difference between the 28 and a 20 for sure. Opens up all kinds of extra opportunities. Both are very sharp, but any extreme WA will show some distortion in the corners.
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  3. #3

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    I have a 19mm. It's a long way from the 28!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Northern Aquitaine
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider View Post
    I'm more of a wide angle shooter and I'm currently shooting a 28mm FD that I like. I've thought recently about going wider but am wondering how useful something like a 20mm would be as a cityscape and landscape shooter. I'm wondering if it's a focal length that's just occasionally useful or is it something that you reach for often enough to justify it. Obviously it depends on the subject matter at hand, and your own preferences (likes), but where does it wind up with you? Is it worthwhile out to 11x14?
    Well, I use 21 a lot, and 38mm on 44x66mm (almost exactly equivalent to 21mm). I also use 15mm, albeit rarely, and my wife's standard lens on 56x84mm (6x9 nominal) is 35mm, pretty close to 15mm on 35mm.

    But an awful lot depends on what you shoot...

    Cheers,

    R.

  5. #5
    Markauf's Avatar
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    I love to use the 20mm when I shot infrared. It adds the "dream-like" effect.

  6. #6

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    I have an 18mm for my Pentax. I will never part with it. I once had a 15mm, I'm still kicking myself for selling it.
    Wide is nice, but super-wide is super-nice.

    -- MW
    Men, said the Devil, are good to their brothers: they don’t want to mend their own ways, but each others.
    -- Piet Hein

  7. #7
    jstraw's Avatar
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    I was so dependent on a 20mm when I shot for newspaper publication that when I went to digital and had chip that was smaller than the film frame I *had* to get the 14mm to achieve the same end.
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  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    20's are incredibly useful in the city. I usually carry a 20, 35/50 and 85, and usually have either the 20 or the 85 mounted.

  9. #9
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
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    My favorite w/a is a 24 mm, I find with 20 mm it's hard to avoid your own shadow in a lot of shooting situations, but I do also have a Tamron 17 mm for when I'm in a super-wide mood.

  10. #10
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    I think 20mm is a great focal length and I shoot there a lot.

    I wonder, though, if you should get a 24 first. 24 is much wider than a 28, but not with ridiculous dramatics. It's harder to get a normal-appearing image with a 20 - it takes a little more practice and experience. It's much easier with a 24. I also find that a 24 is a much more useful lens to me than a 28.

    Some might argue that 24 is too close to 28 but it is a very noticeable change. Also, if you end up loving the 24, as I think you will, and get a 20 later, you'll still find the 24 is a good one-lens solution when you need to pack lightly. It won't be wasted money. 24s are also cheap so if you find that you've gone too wide, you haven't spent a lot to find it out.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

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