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  1. #1

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    Choice of prime lens

    I'm aware, the answer would be "well... depends on what you want..." but I would still like to get some opinions from folks far more experienced than I am.

    For my 35mm gear, I decided that I'd want prime lens in standard to wide range. I already have 50mm but the problem is wider range. The choices are, 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm. When I shoot digital (sorry), I tend to use wide end of my zoom more which is 18mm. That would translate to 27mm in full frame.

    I could just get 28mm or get both 24mm and 35mm.

    I ask for opinions because I tend to shoot differently when I have prime lens on body, rather than zoom. Obviously (is it?), it won't make sense to get all 3. I can cover similar range by "foot zoom" by neighboring focal length to a degree.

    I know there are prime lens fans here. Opinions and recommendations, please.

    By the way, I tend to be agnostic in shooting subjects. Question really isn't what lens fits better with what subject. Question is, how do I avoid unnecessary near duplications?
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2
    5stringdeath's Avatar
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    24mm + 50mm = all you need

  3. #3

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    For me the most important issue in deciding what focal length to use is whether I want to expand the relationship between fore ground and back ground objects, (as in with a wide angle) compress them (with a long lens) or render them neutral (with a normal lens.) With this in mind, even with a zoom lens on the camera , all zooming is done with one's feet. When the stars are aligned It's never about getting closer to a subject with a long lens, or getting more stuff in the frame with a wide.

    When I started using a 40mm lens (dead neutral, assuming cropping for standard size enlargements) on 35mm it took a while to adjust to seeing subjects without any compression or expansion between elements. But it was very helpful insofar as it made me more aware of the effect of compression and expansion when using other focal lengths.

    Any way-- If you've already got a 50 I'd concur with the above suggestion of 24mm. It gives a more dramatic perspective expansion effect than a 28 mm and is wide enough that it's really easy to set up leading lines that take the eye right into the picture, yet it isn't as hard to handle as a 21mm or wider lens which really demands careful positioning to avoid converging parallel lines etc. It's also the widest you can get for shooting people without doing weird things to their heads if they end up at the edge of the frame. A 24 35 50 combo is overkill-- good to own, but I'd never take all three of those out with me unless I wanted to spend all my time dickering about which lens to use rather than shoot. Id go 24+50 or 35, but that's just me.
    Last edited by jpberger; 05-27-2010 at 04:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    My perfect 2 lens outfit for 35mm is a 35mm and 90mm. So in answer to your question a 35mm lens would be best. I have both 24 and 28mm lenses as well and only use them very occasionally. Generally if I am in some tight place like a church. For people and general grab shots I love the look of the 35mm lens.
    www.ericrose.com
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    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

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  5. #5
    ajmiller's Avatar
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    On my FM2n it's the Nikkor 35mm f/2 that I use all the time.

    - Tony
    regards,

    Tony

  6. #6

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    I've used two different two-lens kits. For a long time it was a 35mm f/2.8 and either an 85mm f/1.8 or 105mm f/2.5; later I started carrying a 50mm f/1.4 and 24mm f/2.8 or 28mm f/1.8, adding a 70-210mm f/4 zoom when needed.

  7. #7

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    Hum....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8
    Rick A's Avatar
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    21 and 35
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  9. #9

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    Double Hum....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10
    phaedrus's Avatar
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    25 and 50, both Zeiss ZF'es.

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