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  1. #1
    Steve Mack's Avatar
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    Recommendation for prime lens.

    I have a 50mm f/.18 Nikkor lens for my F100, and I'm looking to get a wide angle lens, a prime, to go with it. I'm sure that I don't want a 35, or even a twenty-eight, but I'm not sure how wide to go. I've seen the view through a 24 mm lens. How challenging is it to use something wider yet, like a 20 or even an 18? Do any of you use such a lens on a regular basis? I'm looking to learn how to see differently than the 50, and I'd like some feedback if you would.

    With best regards,

    Stephen

  2. #2

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    Hi,

    It is all a matter of personal preference. I find 28 to be the perfect wide companion to a 50-58 mm lens. Any wider seems too extreme to me for general purposes, and too extreme a difference from the 50. And using them becomes much more difficult to me. I also find them to be "gimmicky" if overused. Kind of like "forced drama" in a way.

    This being said, I do like to have a super wide and a 24mm for occasional use. For me, these are a 20mm f.2.8 Canon S.S.C. (new to me after ditching my 17mm Canon to look for a 20) and a 24mm f/2.8 Nikkor pre-AI. Since they are lengths I don't use that often, I don't bother seeking out the fast versions. But I do want fixed-length lenses, not zooms. They are small, light, cheap, and optically superior, in general, especially in terms of minimizing distortion. There are some exceptions in terms of optical quality, but not many.

    So, I think a good thing to do might be to rent a wide zoom that covers about the 17-40, 16-35, 20-35, etc. range. Rent it over the weekend, keep track of what FLs you are using the most, and what shots you are liking the most.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  3. #3
    nhemann's Avatar
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    I have a 19-35 for my Minolta's and for a long time it was one of my favorite lenes but the big challenge for me was to make sure I had interetsing things further up in the foreground than I otherwise would due to the "wide angle effect", for lack of a better term, making every thing look too far way. The image would just start to miss the corners as well - which I liked. It also depends on how much you like or dislike lens distortion - my 19 is pretty tame - things are still for the most part straight but you do start to notice things fisheye-ing.

    I have found that my particular vision is wide angle - I use a 28 a lot these days. In fact I usually find 50 to be too close for what I do - and I would love to have a Minolta MD 35mm if any y'all got one hanging around. lol
    "There is no such thing as objective reality in a photograph"

    My flickr and (gasp!) dpug photos - take a look if you like.

  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    My favourite combination is 24mm, 35mm and 85mm. But the emphasis needs to be on the fact that that is my favourite.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #5

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    My "wide" is 28mm and really wide is 24mm. I rarely have a need to go wider than that. Often, 35mm isn't wide enough. Very subjective and highly personal. I had 16-35 zoom once. It was more novelty thing for me than practical. At the wide end of things, effects are so extreme, I didn't like it.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  6. #6
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    I used a Tokina 11-16 for a weekend (it was on a digital so 17-24) and found it too wide for my personal taste. I like the 24mm a lot, dislike the 28mm but love the 35mm which I like to use as the standard lens. On my RZ, I shoot the 65mm probably 60% of the time which is equivalent to 35mm in the smaller format. I also prefer primes over zooms as they have less distortion and if you can see the focal length you have on the camera, shooting is always easier as there is less decisions to be made once the camera is raised to your eye (although I do walk backwards and forwards a lot to get the field-of-view I want but I try to do that before raising the camera).
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  7. #7
    Pumalite's Avatar
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    My wide is a 28mm. I use the 24mm too. In general wides are "tricky". They are not use to incorporate things in the picture. Sometimes a 35mm is good for the street. Many times I find myself quite comfortable with a good 50mm. My favorites are Canon S.S.C. and Nikkor pre AI and AIS. I have a 20mm AF f/2.8 for the F-100,but rarely use it.
    " A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~

  8. #8

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    I don't care for anything wider than 24mm. I had a 20mm for some time, but the perspective was just too wide. The FD 24mm f2.8 I have now is perfectly fine for when I need something wider than 35mm.

    My suggestion would be to lend a cheap wide zoom somewhere and check it at common prime lengths (17, 20, 24, 28). This will give you an idea of what suits you best.

  9. #9
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    What exactly is the definition of a 'prime' lens? Is it your one and only, your favorite, etc? How can you have multiple prime lenses?
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  10. #10

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    In this context, PRIME lens refers to a fixed focus length lens. In another word, NON-zoom lens.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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