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08-21-2011, 03:19 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
How many lenses can you use at a time6 and how many duplicates are really useful?
Sometimes I leave one prime on for days. Some days I change lenses many times. Depends on the situations and my intentions. As for 'duplicates' -- mostly, they just aren't. So some days I'll carry (and use) a half-dozen 50mm's, all rather different.

I recall a day in Santa Fe NM a couple months ago. I started my walkabout towards the Plaza with the K50/1.2, a dreamy lens but not agile. Along the way I stopped in a vine-draped courtyard, and switched to the CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 (12 iris blades) to exploit its bokeh for pontillistic lights. Then I switched to the MacroTak 50/4 (1:1) to shoot details of decorated adobe walls -- a great lens but lousy for street work because of its very short focus throw over 1m. Then back to the K50/1.2 till reaching the Plaza and its lively crowds; I switched to the agile FA50/1.4.

I variously used these four till returning to our casita; evening light revealed nice textures there, so I mounted the planar Yashica ML 50/1.4 for its own special rendering. OK, that's only five 50's in one day -- close enough to a half-dozen.

Other days, I might take an entirely different suite of Fifty's: the M50/1.7 or Meyer Primotar-E 50/3.5 and Ricoh CC 55/1.8 for their open sharpness and varied bokehs; the Leitz Varob or Industar-96Y 50/3.5's on tubes for fixed-focus macros; the Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4 for its speed and rendering. Et cetera. All Fifty's are not created equal. And sometimes I'll leave the Vivitar-Komine 28/2 CFWA mounted for day after day. (It does tend to crowd out the Vivitar-Kiron and Tamron BBAR 28/2.5's and a pile of 28/2.8's, but they get their chances too.)

I don't collect lenses. I accumulate varied tools. Each has distinct qualities, different purposes and flavours. Each makes me see in its own way. Even the SuperTak and FA 50/1.4's, with the same optics, feel and work differently. Lotsa fun, u-betcha!


Last edited by RioRico; 08-21-2011 at 03:28 PM.
08-22-2011, 05:45 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I don't collect lenses. I accumulate varied tools. Each has distinct qualities, different purposes and flavours. Each makes me see in its own way. Even the SuperTak and FA 50/1.4's, with the same optics, feel and work differently. Lotsa fun, u-betcha!
reading your post, part of me is impressed by the differences you find in your lenses (mostly all old manual models, I find) and part of me is glad I simplified my process so I don't have to worry about this I doubt I would notice differences that minute anyway, most of the time at least.
08-22-2011, 11:01 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
reading your post, part of me is impressed by the differences you find in your lenses (mostly all old manual models, I find) and part of me is glad I simplified my process so I don't have to worry about this I doubt I would notice differences that minute anyway, most of the time at least.
With the disclaimer that I haven't tried any Ltd's or *'s, I'll say that modern lenses (at least the AF zooms I've used) seem more homogeneous than older manual primes, so corrected as to eliminate all character (flaws). In some work, such as 'faithfully' recording a scene, sameness is desirable. But when interpreting a scene, character rules. Again, it boils down to the difference between TAKING and MAKING pictures. Yes, that's a vapid over-generalization, but it's true nonetheless.

And note the 50's I mentioned for that Santa Fe day have very different strengths and uses. The K50/1.2 for ultra-thin DOF; the CZJ Tessar for bokeh; the MacroTak for shooting close and far; the FA50/1.4 for shooting activity. And the Yashica ML 'cause it's just a joy! Stopped-down to f/5.6 or beyond, these are all very sharp, all suitable for reportage; yet they still render differently, depending on usage.

Think of various lenses (of the same or different focal lengths) as being drawing instruments -- which they are, for drawing light onto sensors. (Remember, we're photographing light, not subjects.) To render various aspects of a drawing, we use various tools -- pens, pencils, brushes, etc. Yes, a find sketch can be made with just a Bic pen, but that's rather limiting by itself. Yes, fine photos can be shot with just a DA18-250, but it's still limiting. So I play with my nice cheap glass. Fun!
08-22-2011, 11:48 AM   #19
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It is what I have been desperately trying to do for the last 8 weeks. It causes a strange, somewhat sickening feeling. But I managed to slim down quite well. Still an awful lot of lenses left.

Old lenses indeed can have very individual characters. The differences are intriguing. That part is really hobby and fun.

Running 2 systems now too. I recently acquired an olympus e-p3 wich is really nice and super easy and ridiculously fast. I now carry K-5 with one lens and e-p3 with another complementary one, and one extra lens and adapter. Plus the usual stuff like phone, wallet, and so on.

It's amazing and wonderful.

08-23-2011, 05:22 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxMom Felua Quote
It is what I have been desperately trying to do for the last 8 weeks. It causes a strange, somewhat sickening feeling. But I managed to slim down quite well.
I agree about that feeling, but it goes away pretty fast when you start using your new glass and when you realize you don't actually miss using the "old" glass, you just miss owning the old glass.

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
With the disclaimer that I haven't tried any Ltd's or *'s, I'll say that modern lenses (at least the AF zooms I've used) seem more homogeneous than older manual primes, so corrected as to eliminate all character (flaws). In some work, such as 'faithfully' recording a scene, sameness is desirable. But when interpreting a scene, character rules.
I can understand. I don't get the same feeling and experience when shooting with my 50 or my 21, leave alone my 17-70. the 21 has the most character, the 50 is the most neutral and predictable, etc. I just don't know if I would see the same differences between various 50s (DOf considerations excluded, of course).
08-23-2011, 08:09 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I just don't know if I would see the same differences between various 50s (DOf considerations excluded, of course).
Cheap and easy test: Get some old manual Fifty's in M42 and/or PK mounts. Rikenon 50/2 and 55/1.8; Petri CC 55/1.8; Yashinon DX 50/1.8; Industar-50/3.5; Pentacon/Meyer 50/1.8; SuperTak 55/1.8 or f/2; Helios-44 58/2; Sears, Mamiya, Porst, etc. Many such can still be found in the US$10-25 range. Those highlighted are renowned, especially the Petri and Helios. See how these compare to your F50/1.7.
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