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01-20-2011, 12:07 PM   #16
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the one length one baffles me sometimes. the most common seems to be an addiction to 50mm where people have insane numbers ( I have 2 50s and 2 55s and i think it's nuts given i really only use 1 or 2 of them at most but they came as part of larger purchases and i just haven't disposed of them yet. And if i had a good fast AF 50 i'd likely never use the others even though I use MF all the time
Ira you should do a single in. it can be a real struggle some days though, and you can't always zoom with your feet some items need a longer length (i did shot 90 % of my last trip to Europe with a 28 and a 200 and my feet for anything in between though)

and I'm with Rico though my limit is $15 for the hard to pass up

01-20-2011, 12:08 PM   #17
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I'm with ya. I usually just carry a DA15 and DA40 or just one of those if I'm going even lighter. Usually plenty of 95% of the shooting I do. Works fine...
01-20-2011, 12:46 PM   #18
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To my mind, the missing piece of the FL discussion's always been that folks overlook the concept of perspective when arguing the utility, or lack thereof, of focal length versatility.

You can shuffle your feet to zoom all day with a given lens in hand but you won't change its angular perspective.

I wonder how we'd advertise, choose and use lenses today if we hadn't been pre-conditioned to think of them in terms of relative crop factor.

I find my entire approach to choosing subject matter and selecting a lens kit for the day changes when I think perspective rather than WA vs. telephoto tools. IQ aside, I can substitute cropping for "zooming" to some extent, but I can't effectively change perspective.

01-20-2011, 01:13 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
We all know about LBA, but I'm amazed at FLA, a pending Ira trademark:

How God forbid someone has a gap between 135mm and 150mm.

This issue struck me particularly due to some posts from people going on vacation and asking lens-bringing advice, and they were not only bringing an arsenal of lenses with over-lapping FLs, but were buying new lenses to fill in tiny gaps.

Thank God I don't suffer from this. I'm more than happy to go out with ONE prime lens for the whole day, and MAYBE one time out of a hundred, I wish I had a different FL on there.

I offer this thread up as a little reminder to new shooters, to stop thinking you have to have this or that lens on there to get a shot. You have FEET, so instead of wasting time changing lenses, USE those feet.

Hell--I'm almost tempted to take one of those challenges where I only use the 50 or 35 for a month.

But if I do, what excuse can I give my wife when I want to buy new lenses?
No answer to that most intriguing question, but I can say wholehearted amen to your philosophy!

01-20-2011, 01:48 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Not everybody has the physical capacity to just use the feet. Nor are all objects of photographic desire conveniently within range sans surmounting an insurmountable obstacle. I personally cannot just climb up the nearest tree to take a picture of an eagle on a roof nearby even when I badly want to, but my 75-300MM zoom can breech that gap for me and allow me to get that shot. Even if I could? Would that eagle even be there by the time I got to the spot I'd have to be in to make that shot sans the long lens? Not likely.
Talking primes here.

And the eagle would still be gone if you had to switch zooms.

And maybe the more interesting subject was at the base of the tree, not the eagle.

It's just a stupid eagle, and if you went out shooting those, you should have the right lens on there anyway.
01-20-2011, 02:39 PM   #21
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I like to split it up by utility:

Wide, Normal, Portrait, Tele.

FL's are whatever helps you take each of those kinds of shots best.

If you want every focal length, buy a zoom... it makes no sense to me to fill in every little gap. Sure every focal length has a different perspective but for the most part it does not matter enough to own a 30mm, 40mm, 50mm, or a 77 and 85, or a 90 and 100, or...

If you think about focal lengths in direct relationship to subject matter, things get easier to process.
01-20-2011, 03:12 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
You missed one Rio - there is also FLA Prime : this is where a shooter is addicted to one focal length, grainbelt above comes close to this with his 35. One focal length for virtually everything.
That's FLA Type II or maybe a separate sub-species, FLA Type IIc: Accumulates primes of one and only one focal-length. Like if I threw out everything but my 26 (currently) 50mm lenses, alas. No 49's, no 51's, none of that crap. And we might have FLA Type IV: Measures the exact focal length of each lens. I've read that the FA50/1.4 is actually a 49/1.5. Wouldn't it be terrible if a Tak 35/3.5 measured at 33mm (discard) and a Mir-1 37/2.8 measured at 35.5mm (include)?

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
It's just a stupid eagle, and if you went out shooting those, you should have the right lens on there anyway.
We campered to Skagway Alaska a few years ago, settled into a nearby campground for a few days. At first it was, "WOW! LOOK AT THAT BALD EAGLE!" After a couple days it was, "Oh yeah, another eagle, [yawn]." And me with only a P&S. Bother.

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
If you want every focal length, buy a zoom... it makes no sense to me to fill in every little gap.
We'll have none of that 'reasonable' foolishness here, grasshopper! This is a discussion amongst hardcore optics junkies. We *know* what it's like to have empty gaps, to *need* to fill those gaps. It's like back in the days when I did manual labor at a warehouse across from a Kaiser Gravel yard -- all those trucks going by with their FIND A NEED AND FILL IT emblems. We rewrote that as FIND A HOLE AND FILL IT. We're talking MISSING LINKS here. It's serious. It's addictive. If you count enlarger-projector-oddity lenses, it's not too expensive, either. Or so I tell my slender wallet...

Last edited by RioRico; 01-20-2011 at 03:18 PM.
01-20-2011, 06:01 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
We rewrote that as FIND A HOLE AND FILL IT.

I stand corrected! There's no question that lens buying is nothing but fun.

01-20-2011, 09:04 PM   #24
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The tree I'm standing next to isn't going anywhere. Eagles move quickly and I actually don't have a long prime, yet. Sorry I bored you with my example, but I'm a birder and I like long lenses! Usually when I got outside I do have a zoom on the camera or at least with me.

Around here it pays to be prepared for things like bald eagles perching on the neighbor's roof. Or hawks coming down from the sky to grab a rabbit off the lawn. Haven't actually caught that yet, though I've seen it several times, but I sure hope to someday and no, I don't think I'll be getting that shot with one of my small primes. They just don't have that kind of reach and I'm not really into getting quite that close to a big bird on the hunt that could easily tear my face off if it wanted to.

Long lenses, of all kinds, can come in useful sometimes, that's all I'm saying. To each task, it's proper tool. For some things that is small primes, for others it's a bigger prime or even a zoom. I tend to like having both.

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