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10-18-2012, 02:55 PM   #16
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I find it funny to visit this thread after one hour The original question was about a focal length that you find difficult..?

10-18-2012, 03:15 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmarkku Quote
I find it funny to visit this thread after one hour The original question was about a focal length that you find difficult..?
no, not me, you.

What focal lengths does anyone find difficult.
10-18-2012, 09:37 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote

anyone else have a focal length they just don't get along with?
My experience is quite the opposite of yours. I find that full exploitation of 15mm or even 21mm can end up in rather gimmicky territory that can quickly become tedious. Only useful in specific circumstances such as building interiors. On the other hand, 35-40mm falls squarely in the 'neither one thing nor the other' range.

(For me, 28mm on APSC is the ideal workhorse. Perhaps 31mm, if I could afford it.)
10-19-2012, 12:23 AM   #19
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I've never liked the "normal" focal length that is the diagonal of the frame, so 43mm on FF or 29mm on APS-C.
In other words, lenses in the 40-45mm range on FF or 28-31mm range on APS-C don't interest me.

The probable reason for this is that I saw way too many boring photographs
made with "normal" lenses on cheap amateur cameras while I was growing up.

I loved the extra length of the SMC Tak 55/1.8 "kit lens" on the Spotmatic I acquired,
and then added 35mm coverage for the main working duo on film.
That carries over to APS-C now, so 24mm and 35mm are my mainstays.

Timo, I'm not quite sure if you're referring to APS-C focal lengths,
but I must say I also like my DA 15, A 20, and M 20.
The twenties are a good walk-around focal length on APS-C.
Samsung recognized this with their 20mm pancake for the NX,
and for me, the FA 31 would only make sense on film.


Last edited by lytrytyr; 10-19-2012 at 12:29 AM.
10-19-2012, 01:54 AM   #20
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Any focal lenght above 85mm is of no interest to me at all. I've experimented with tele's and long tele's, but my pictures just always seem to be better when I walk up to my subject and use normal or wide lenses. Or, in other words, I like my pictures better that way.

So for me, the wider the better, untill the borders get soft and/or stretched in the UWA range. I don't like that either. What good is a UWA when I have to crop them back to WA or normal in PP?
10-19-2012, 02:52 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I use Exposure Plot. A lot quicker and easier.
Do you know an equivalent on Mac by chance ?
10-19-2012, 04:58 AM   #22
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What's a Mac?

No, I don't. Sorry.
10-19-2012, 05:02 AM   #23
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I really couldn't work with the 40 on APS-C. I ultimately sold it. And when I rented the 43 I really liked the way it took photos, but that focal length just doesn't work for me. I'm more of a 50+ person.

10-19-2012, 06:01 AM   #24
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I never met a focal length I didn't like. If I used zooms more often I expect I'd find certain lengths I tend to favor or avoid, but part of the fun of primes is making the FL fit the image, or finding an image that fits the FL.

Much also depends on the intended viewing situation. E.g, UWA images lose a lot of impact viewed at small sizes.
10-19-2012, 06:31 AM   #25
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Just checking on what I shoot with my 18-135, there are a couple of things that stand out. Using the zoom, I often take pictures of the same scene with different focal lengths. Not using the zoom would be a huge waste of time in changing lenses. Yesterday during my hike I put the 35 mm on the camera and went "single" (because Tess took the 18-135 south with her.) I couldn't believe the amount of time I spent walking forwards and backwards framing. And how many shots I lost because by the time I'd moved in to get the right framing, I'd changed the angles that made the picture in the first place. The question then becomes, if I had other lenses with me would I have changed? Maybe I would have, but my 2 hour walk would have become a 3 hour walk. SO for me, whether I'll take the time to put a lens on the camera is another issue.

Another issue with changing, I have both a 21 ltd and a 35 2.4, but the 18-135 is so strong in that focal length, if I'm not using a tripod, I'm not going to see any benefit to changing. The 35 has better color and contrast and the 21 has that soft dreamy look, so if that's part of the picture then I'll change, but if the picture doesn't fit the characteristics of those lenses then I won't switch. And when I look at the focal lengths of the images I've taken between 18-135, there is no way, I could ever carry every focal length I'd want.

So my plan is, cover every thing with your zooms, and always have a zoom on the camera. Carry primes that give you a different quality of shot than your zooms. The MTF numbers on the zooms I carry are as good as the primes for the most part. But for definition and contrast the Tamron 90 out performs the DA* 60-250. We've done side by side comparisons, and if you want the landscape to jump off the page, you're going to switch to the Tamron. MInd you you'd never know that looking at the images taken with the 60-250. You'd have to see then side by side to see the difference, and even then you might be tempted to just call it a draw. Same with the 35 and the 18-135. If you're shooting a more laid back pastel kind of shot, you want one of the zooms on the camera. (Or in that case, the 21 out does the zooms for really fluid and laid back.) And while I see the difference, I'm not sure anyone else would. But when I have the 18-135 on the camera, anything goes. I like anything goes.
10-19-2012, 06:55 AM   #26
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Nope.
10-19-2012, 07:17 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Just checking on what I shoot with my 18-135, there are a couple of things that stand out. Using the zoom, I often take pictures of the same scene with different focal lengths. Not using the zoom would be a huge waste of time in changing lenses. Yesterday during my hike I put the 35 mm on the camera and went "single" (because Tess took the 18-135 south with her.) I couldn't believe the amount of time I spent walking forwards and backwards framing. And how many shots I lost because by the time I'd moved in to get the right framing, I'd changed the angles that made the picture in the first place. The question then becomes, if I had other lenses with me would I have changed? Maybe I would have, but my 2 hour walk would have become a 3 hour walk. SO for me, whether I'll take the time to put a lens on the camera is another issue.

Another issue with changing, I have both a 21 ltd and a 35 2.4, but the 18-135 is so strong in that focal length, if I'm not using a tripod, I'm not going to see any benefit to changing. The 35 has better color and contrast and the 21 has that soft dreamy look, so if that's part of the picture then I'll change, but if the picture doesn't fit the characteristics of those lenses then I won't switch. And when I look at the focal lengths of the images I've taken between 18-135, there is no way, I could ever carry every focal length I'd want.

So my plan is, cover every thing with your zooms, and always have a zoom on the camera. Carry primes that give you a different quality of shot than your zooms. The MTF numbers on the zooms I carry are as good as the primes for the most part. But for definition and contrast the Tamron 90 out performs the DA* 60-250. We've done side by side comparisons, and if you want the landscape to jump off the page, you're going to switch to the Tamron. MInd you you'd never know that looking at the images taken with the 60-250. You'd have to see then side by side to see the difference, and even then you might be tempted to just call it a draw. Same with the 35 and the 18-135. If you're shooting a more laid back pastel kind of shot, you want one of the zooms on the camera. (Or in that case, the 21 out does the zooms for really fluid and laid back.) And while I see the difference, I'm not sure anyone else would. But when I have the 18-135 on the camera, anything goes. I like anything goes.
Funny how people and their styles can vary. With me it's the other way round. I mainly shoot primes. I don't mind switching from time to time. And framing with my feet is fun. But when I don't want to switch, because of weather conditions, moist / wet / dusty, I'll mount my 18-135. I'm freakishly protective of my gear and I would hate to have any dust in my camera. So the 18-135 does all the dirty work. And does it well too, I might add! Because I agree, my copy of the 18-135 is also good enough to not really miss the primes. I know, lots of other tend to disagree very strongly though.
10-19-2012, 08:10 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmarkku Quote
I find it funny to visit this thread after one hour The original question was about a focal length that you find difficult..?
i avoided answering this for a long time, not because I am a great photographer, just the opposite, I find that EVERY focal length is difficult

OK now that the fun response is out of the way, I think the bigger issue is that with zooms, you get lazy, and only use them at extremes for a very high percentage of shots. Often the middle gets left out, because you never position yourself to use the middle of a zoom, you are either too close, and back up just enough to frame at the widest FL or are too far and approach until you are framed at the longest FL. The problem is, you are never forced to look at anything other than the two ends.

I think the OP did not spend enough time at the focal length to start thinking in terms of only 30mm. nothing more and nothing less.

Don't get me wrong. I love my zooms too, but have also assembled both K and M42 MF prime kits, that I use when i am in control of the schedule, and are shooting for pleasure.

In K mount I have 8, 24, 28, 35, 50, 85, 100, 105, 135, 300 and 400mm
In M42 Mount I have 16, 24, 28, 35, 50, 55, 58, 85, 90, 105, 135, 200, and 300mm

I take them out, usually 3-4 lenses at a time, and shoot primes exclusively with limited focal lengths, and work on what I can do with each. do i have favorites, yes, but I shoot them all, and work with the focal lengths to learn how to see with each. it takes more than a week however. What I suggest the OP should do is pick up a cheap 28-35mm MF lens and learn how to see with that lens. He may then go back and get one he likes after he figures out uses for it.

It could be he is still in the same position, maybe the styles he shoots do not fit with the focal length etc, but the lenses have a use, it is just identifying how best to use it,
10-19-2012, 09:46 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
I use Exposure Plot. A lot quicker and easier.

As far as the original question; yes. I have a love/hate relationship with my 40 Ltd, and to a lesser extent my 31 Ltd. I would love to have a 24 f2.0(ish) Ltd pancake.

I ran ExposurePlot on the files in my harddrive here.

Oddly enough I seem to have big spikes in the graph at 15, 21, 35, 43, 55, 70, 100 and 300, wonder why ......... Dohh !!

Fairly even spread around the few occasions I use my zooms, but it seems theres a slight dip in the action around 180-220mm.
This means either I don't particularly like that FL range or I should buy a DA*200 to fill it.

Oh no, I can feel, I'm being lured onto the rocks again, with the Pentax prime lens siren call
10-19-2012, 10:59 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
I've never liked the "normal" focal length that is the diagonal of the frame, so 43mm on FF or 29mm on APS-C.
In other words, lenses in the 40-45mm range on FF or 28-31mm range on APS-C don't interest me.

The probable reason for this is that I saw way too many boring photographs
made with "normal" lenses on cheap amateur cameras while I was growing up.

I loved the extra length of the SMC Tak 55/1.8 "kit lens" on the Spotmatic I acquired,
and then added 35mm coverage for the main working duo on film.
That carries over to APS-C now, so 24mm and 35mm are my mainstays.

Timo, I'm not quite sure if you're referring to APS-C focal lengths,
Yes, I was referring to APS-C throughout. I find even the DA21 a touch too wide for general walk around purposes, although I like the lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
but I must say I also like my DA 15, A 20, and M 20.
The twenties are a good walk-around focal length on APS-C.
Samsung recognized this with their 20mm pancake for the NX,
and for me, the FA 31 would only make sense on film.
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