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  1. #1
    darinwc's Avatar
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    Shooting with a 17mm

    I recently acquired a 17mm f4 lens for Canon FD system.
    My widest lens for 35mm thus far has been 28mm.
    I went for a walk in the local nature area and I must say, shooting with a 17mm is a totally different experience.

    I instinctively spin the focus ring looking for the image to blur and sharpen. But a half turn of the ring makes almost no difference. Everything just seems to be in focus from about 5 feet on. So a certain amount of 'trust' that the exposed image will turn out sharp is required.

    Also, to get any person-sized object to appear prominently in the image, you must get close.. really close. About 3 feet or less than 1 meter seems to be about right. For smaller objects you need to be damn near on top of them. Remembering to get close enough to objects can be a burden. We have a tendency to shoot from a safe distance and if you do so, most things will just be too small in the final image.

    Another issue I have is the sky. Around here the sky is rarely interesting. It is a gaping hole in the artistic sense and burning pan in the exposure sense.

    I really like the way the 17mm works with trees. With other lenses, its is a rare occasion that you have enough room to get the whole tree in frame. And the perspective works well as it can accentuate the size of the trunk, especially nice with massive oaks. Another nice thing about it is that you can single out one tree, its neighbors quickly diminish in size.

  2. #2
    David Brown's Avatar
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    I have a 19mm. Yes, it is different, to say the least. But I don't worry about getting close enough, that's not the point. I use this lens when I can't get far enough away.

  3. #3

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    Welcome to the club of super-wide users !
    As you get more and more experience with this lens you will love it more and more.
    You allso will see the limitations and its real use over time.

    Discover and enjoy !

    Peter

  4. #4

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    I also have a Canon 17mm f4 FD lens. I really enjoy mine. I wouldn't trade it for anything. The more you use it the more you like.

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    My wife decided to use my 17mm as her standard lens, she loved what she saw through the view finder but not the prints

    They are great lenses used carefully.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    Ironically I see the 17mm as a close-up lens, which is unobtrusive. The Wide angle means you can raise the camera compose and expose, without too much worry for focus. It means taking picture quickly while being sure all the information you want is in them is suddenly easier at close quarters. I guess in the end it's about what pictures you like to take and how you take them. I'm sure that if you practice with the 17mm you will find that it's just as versatile as any other lens. HAving said that,my favourite focal length at the wide end is 24mm. K

  7. #7
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Be sure to keep your feet out of the picture.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  8. #8
    darinwc's Avatar
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    Feet I can deal with.. My shadow however likes to steal the limelight.

  9. #9
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Good morning, Darin;

    You are right; the 17 mm focal length on a 35 mm camera is very interesting.

    My own sample used most recently is the Tamron Type 51B 17 mm f 3.5 Rectilinear lens with Adaptall-2 mount. For me, it has been a special purpose lens used when I cannot get back far enough to get the view I want. Some care is helpful to avoid unpleasant distortion is many subjects. Then there is also the application for "wide sweeping lanscapes."

    The next one down is a 16 mm f 4.0 "full frame fisheye" that is used mainly for such things as recording meteor trails in the night sky and clouds taken with an intervalometer. Again, another special purpose lens.

    Continue playing with it. It is an interesting lens.
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

  10. #10
    darinwc's Avatar
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    I didnt see much use going wider than 17/18mm. I really didnt want a fisheye.
    I missed out on a deal for a nice nikkor 18mm f4 but in the end I think i made the right choice since the nikkor does not have a floating element (the nikkor 18mm f3.5 does however)
    The examples from both the canon 17mm and nikkor 18mm ive seen have shown very little distortion. As soon as I can ill post pics.

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