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07-12-2013, 06:17 AM   #1
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What to do with a 24mm?

Hey all,

I suffer from the poor man's LBA, meaning when I find a nifty lens for under $25 or so I'll pick it up. At a recent yard sale I found a Vivitar (Kiron made) 24mm f/2, and thought it'd be neat to have a wide prime, as I'd never seen an (affordable) one before.

So I got it, snapped it onto the camera, admired its condition and build, and after taking some shots over a few days I realized... I have no idea how to use this focal length!

What do you all typically use a wider prime for? Any tips or technique to get the best out if it? Thanks!

Last edited by dmeadows85; 07-12-2013 at 07:49 AM.
07-12-2013, 06:25 AM   #2
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For me that is a perfect length for full body shots up fairly close, like in an anime convention.
07-12-2013, 06:26 AM   #3
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Nice find. Wider is for tighter spaces, landscapes, architecture, and bigger groups. 24/2 is nice and wide and fast too. That will make interior and low light photos easier for you, as long as you like manual focus and have the time. We used to have a member here, RioRico, who was the King of Poor Man's LBA. Your purchase is right in there with many other solid finds. Use the lens, play around with it, try it in low light, close and far away, etc. See how it performs for you and get a feel for when it should come out of the bag. Have fun.
07-12-2013, 06:31 AM   #4
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Hello dmeadows85,
Well, you got a bargain! 24mm in aps-c (cropped) translates into a 36mm in 35mm terms, one of the handiest focal lengths you can have in a prime.
I have a similar 24mm, the Miranda f/2.8 MC Macro and use it for nearly everything. In the past month it's done duty for fireworks, lightning storms, live music concerts, 'street' or walk-arounds, scenics, groups of people, and a night photography outing that switched between time exposures and neon sign photos. With the 24mm, a fast 50 and my 135mm f/2.8, I'll go pretty much anywhere. Your version, being a full stop faster, is even more useful in low-light situations.
My suggestion is to put it on the camera and use it for a day. You'll see!

07-12-2013, 06:43 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I find U use my DA21 for landscapes and cityscapes mainly, and low-light "environmental" shots (children playing, for instance). I don't like wide FL for studio because they tend to show barrel distortion.
07-12-2013, 06:44 AM   #6
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I bought myself a Sigma 24mm 1.8, and it's a great lens...its nice to take those portraits where you have the background just a biiiit defocused...makes the subject pop a bit, it's pretty great...
Using it in low-light is great too, specially considering i can hold it with SR at 1/10th and f/1.7...
It's kind of an all-around prime, not too specialized in anything...
07-12-2013, 07:26 AM   #7
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Great bargain! I don't know that you need to worry about how to use your 24. On APS-C, it is a moderate wide-angle and should work well for street photography and many other tasks where you need a little wider FOV. On 35mm film, your lens is considered to be an ultra-wide and would work very well for interiors and urban landscape.

How is it for weight and barrel distortion?

07-12-2013, 07:29 AM   #8
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I use FA * 24/2 on portraiture

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07-12-2013, 07:52 AM   #9
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A lot of 24s can focus pretty close; I had that one once but I've forgotten the specs My SMC-A 24 is nice for the outdoors, including getting really close to flowers. Given a bit of cropping at times to remove any clutter, it's a nice lens to have on when nothing specific comes to mind. The hard part is refraining from buying 'a few more primes' to fill in other focal lengths!
07-12-2013, 08:13 AM   #10
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I think 24 mm is probably one of my most used lengths on my 18-55 kit zoom. I don't own a 24 but I do have a 25 and a couple of 28s. My Super Tak 28/3.5 gets a lot of use.
07-12-2013, 08:48 AM - 1 Like   #11
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This is a funny but good question. I asked it myself for a long time. I never think about it when I use my 12-24 lens and am quite happy snapping at 24 mm with it yet, I always thought that a 24mm prime would be limiting on an APS-c sensor. I now own 2, 24mm lenses (one of them is the Sigma Super Wide II) and get it. It is a good length, you get wide but not distorted wide. You also tend to get close as well. As I still shoot film, it's also nice to have this length available.

07-12-2013, 08:51 AM   #12
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone! First time I looked through the viewfinder with this lens I admit I felt a little disoriented, as I'm used to the tighter view of the 35-58mm range with my primes.

I went through some pics I took with it yesterday and am starting to get a feel for it; definitely brings its advantages indoors, though wide open it's fairly soft. It'll still take some practice, glad to hear it's a good "all-round" focal length
07-12-2013, 11:26 AM   #13
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With wide angles, you have to get close. And be mindful of shapes in the foreground as well as the background. Um, thats about all the advice I can give
07-12-2013, 12:40 PM   #14
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I have a A24/2.8 and an F28/2.8. They are both great but I find the 24mm easier to work with. That said, the 28mm gets much more use because of AF. As others said, it´s an "all arrounder". The low limit for a normal, a bit on the wide for APS-C.
Here is a good excercise for this focal length:
Set your camera once (green mode, Av, M with a general setting, whatever you prefer). An aperture of f/8 at hyperfocal distance is a good idea too (focus at 4 meters and you get everything between 2m and infinity in focus). and shoot without looking through the viewfinder. Use the camera as a gun, from your hip, extending your arm, whatever you can imagine of.
07-12-2013, 01:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmeadows85 Quote
What to do with a 24mm?
Just get out there and take photographs, it's amazing how different the world can look with a new lens.

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