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10-18-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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ever not get along with certain focal lengths?

How many others have bought lenses or shoot with zooms only to find you avoid certain focal lengths? or not really avoid just not shoot in that specific range.

For me thats 30mm on APSC or 50mm on 35mm format. This past weekend I turned in some savings to purchase the FA 31mm limited and the Sigma 30mm 1.4 with the intentions of keeping the better of the two and returning one.

My findings?

FA 31 is much nicer in its color rendition and sharpness. A little soft at the edges wide open, but I don't care about that, because if I wanted corner sharpness I'd stop down at least to 2.8 or more. The focus was accurate and my K5 needed no AF correction. The contrast was very very nice. Overall I believe it renders the same as my FA 77mm just in a wider lens. The 3D effect is just amazing, the creamy bokeh just makes the subject pop.

The Sigma was not as colorful, images seemed a little dull feeling. Bokeh was a bit smoother and not as busy. Its a much larger and heavier lens. Still had some nice contrast to it, and was very sharp.

However both lenses... bothered me quite a bit. I find that they are two short for doing portrait work. But they are also too long for doing landscape or cityscape work. The only place I really enjoyed them was shooting in my confined little 10x10 studio where the focal length works perfect for waist up portraits. But I usually use my 16-50 DA* so I can go from headshot to full body to waist up quickly and easily without disrupting the shoot.

So, did I keep them? nope. Both went back.

So then I sat down and ran through my gallery on lightroom, noticed very very few of my shots are between 28-35mm on APS-C.

Will I buy another 30mm lens? probably not.

anyone else have a focal length they just don't get along with?

10-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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Well, first of all, I'd be happy with the 16-50mm lens you have. I own the close equivalent from Sigma and it is a work horse in my use. Shorter focal lengths (than 16mm) might be of interest for indoor shots, architecture or large landscapes, but on average rarely used.

The biggest trouble I am having is with longer focal lenghts, mainly due to the fact that I am using old K- and M-lenses. I am looking for telelenses with AF, just haven't got any good ones within my budget. Let's say 400mm and above are my weak spots, to answer your question.
10-18-2012, 01:16 PM   #3
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28mm and 200mm do little for me. I do a lot of work at most other focal lengths but not those. I tend to spend most of my time around 50mm,100mm, and 300mm actually which is why I really want a decent 300mm prime. I have plenty of zooms that go there but I'm ready for a 300mm Tak or a Viv maybe...
10-18-2012, 01:25 PM   #4
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I am all for very wide or medium telephoto. I do have some 50's for portraits but find 18-40's range totally unusable for me anyways.

10-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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Well, zoom lenses might not be as good at some focal lengths as others, but I do agree that some focal lengths just.. work better in terms of framing. And I guess this is a person to person thing, some people do great stuff with a focal length that to me is just.. hard to use.
Can't really explain it further
10-18-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Well, zoom lenses might not be as good at some focal lengths as others, but I do agree that some focal lengths just.. work better in terms of framing. And I guess this is a person to person thing, some people do great stuff with a focal length that to me is just.. hard to use.
Can't really explain it further
exactly. I love what people do with the 31mm limited, brilliant work all over the forums with that lens. I just prefer 55mm+
10-18-2012, 01:35 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
28mm and 200mm do little for me. I do a lot of work at most other focal lengths but not those. I tend to spend most of my time around 50mm,100mm, and 300mm actually which is why I really want a decent 300mm prime. I have plenty of zooms that go there but I'm ready for a 300mm Tak or a Viv maybe...
Don't fall for the older Vivitar/Tokina 300mm f5.5.

To the point, for me it's 28mm on APS-C. I have tried many lenses, know that it's theoretically a "normal", given myself some time and practice, but it's kind of too wide and not wide enough. I like 24mm and 35mm better, so it's easier to simply skip it.

Then again, I haven't committed to selling the lenses I have and buying something else.
10-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
To the point, for me it's 28mm on APS-C. I have tried many lenses, know that it's theoretically a "normal", given myself some time and practice, but it's kind of too wide and not wide enough. I like 24mm and 35mm better, so it's easier to simply skip it.
I haven't shot that many photos with my 18-55, but I'm guessing most are at closer to the extremes, unless I'm working a crowded room with it.

Is there really that much difference between using a 28 and a 24? I have a 28 that doesn't get much use, and I'm pondering a cheap Vivitar 24 at the moment, but this post made me wonder whether I'd use it.

10-18-2012, 01:44 PM   #9
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The direct answer to your question is yes I have. I can't seem to come to love a 135mm prime lens on a cropped sensor. Just can't do it. Can't explain why but given that it used to be one of my favorite lenses on my 35mm film cameras my lack of love of it now is puzzling. Up until recently I felt the same about a 50mm prime but I recently acquired the DA 50f1.8 and shot with it all through September. Now...I'm more than ok with it. Just gotta use my feet a bit more with it. It's funny too because I sold my FA 50 f1.4 last year because I could not get my head around that lens.
10-18-2012, 01:50 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
To the point, for me it's 28mm on APS-C. I have tried many lenses, know that it's theoretically a "normal", given myself some time and practice, but it's kind of too wide and not wide enough. I like 24mm and 35mm better, so it's easier to simply skip it.
Me, too. I use my DA 35mm a lot and enjoy it. My Sigma 24mm wasn't giving me the results I wanted, but it wasn't the FL, it was the lens. Now I've tried a Miranda 24mm f/2.8 and find I like it much better.
But my 28mm hardly ever gets used, not quite wide enough for scenics and too short for a "normal" lens.
Same thing with my zoom results; I seem to work "around" 28mm, for some reason.
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10-18-2012, 01:53 PM   #11
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I have the 15/21/40/70 limited series, and I find I rarely use the 40mm. 70mm for photo shoots and portrait work, 15/21mm along with my 8mm Rokinon Fisheye for landscape.
I also have the Bigma, where I usually am in the 100 to 300mm range and then zoom to 500mm, with a barely used 350-450mm range.
10-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
To the point, for me it's 28mm on APS-C. I have tried many lenses, know that it's theoretically a "normal", given myself some time and practice, but it's kind of too wide and not wide enough. I like 24mm and 35mm better, so it's easier to simply skip it
Same here, except that I don't own a 24mm! I also don't resonate very well with even moderately long lenses on APS-C. I have the FA 77 Limited, but it sees little use. I also have a very competent Vivitar 135/2.8 that seldom makes it into the bag.

What a waste


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10-18-2012, 02:38 PM   #13
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Oh, those 28mm's on APS-C never did it for me. Got a 31mm Ltd., and no surprise, I still struggle to fit it into my repertoire.
But put the DA35mm Ltd. on any of my bodies, and WOW, I'm happy all week!

Love the 135mm length on my K-5. Even have a converted Canon FD 135mm f/2 that I use on occasion... delightfully different from the DA*50-135mm. Also have a bias against 400mm, which is an oddball length anyhow - too short or too long, never just right.
10-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #14
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I think it depends on subject and style. I find all focal lengths useful under some conditions.
10-18-2012, 02:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
So then I sat down and ran through my gallery on lightroom, noticed very very few of my shots are between 28-35mm on APS-C.
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.

Last edited by Parallax; 10-18-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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