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View Poll Results: Which one?
Very wide (10-18mm or so on crop) 139.70%
Wide (18-24mm or so on crop) 2115.67%
Normal (28-40mm or so on crop) 5843.28%
Short tele (50-85mm or so on crop) 3223.88%
Medium tele (90-135mm or so on crop) 42.99%
Long tele (over 135mm on crop) 64.48%
Voters: 134. You may not vote on this poll

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12-01-2008, 06:01 PM   #1
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One lens, one focal length. Forever.

OK, we all love to chat gear for no reason, so let's.

Let us say that you had to pick one prime lens only to last you forever. You cannot use a zoom ever again, and you can never change the lens. What focal length and particularly what lens would it be? For which type of shooting? Why?

Please vote and post your comments. Make sure you explain WHY you would pick that focal length and lens.

If you use full frame, just consider 50mm a Normal, 28mm a Wide and so forth... if you use medium format, well, you get the idea.

PS: if anybody votes long tele as their one and only lens, I REALLY am curious as to why.

12-01-2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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What a horrible concept - one lens forever. That is just wrong on so many levels. Well you did limit me to one lens and I chose a long telephoto. I find the bulk of my shooting tends to be sports and nature and hence the telephoto. It would have to be a toss up between a 200mm and a 300mm. I currently have a K 300 f4 and a K 200 2.5. I like the extra reach of the 300 but like the speed of the 200. I guess that means a 300mm f 2.8 would fill the bill. Of the more recent Pentax offering that means the FA * 300 2.8. Thank God I'm not really forced to make such a choice.

Last edited by 8540tomg; 01-10-2009 at 10:13 AM. Reason: typo
12-01-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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How would you deal with family pictures and such?

I'd be more inclined to settle for a "normal" and dealing with its limitations. It can do a landscape as long as you don't want wide, a portrait, action if you get close enough or crop enough... I would also want speed. To me that leaves the Pentax 31/1.8 or the Sigma 30/1.4 assuming I stick with a sensor roughly APS-C size. If money was no object (and let's pretend that's the case) the Pentax would win out; as much as I love the Sigma the 31 just has a certain je nes sais quoi.

That said, I know guys who have a wide/very wide that never leaves their camera. But people who would choose tele seem to be more uncommon; why is this? Because a wider lens can always be cropped to have *something* to show, while you can never recover what a tele lens can't capture because it's too narrow?
12-01-2008, 07:05 PM   #4
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I think it's a beautiful concept and would love to have the self control to do it. If confined to one focal length, it would probably be a fast (f/1.4) 35mm lens on a crop camera.

12-01-2008, 07:09 PM   #5
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I voted 'wide' on crop.... for me my K 35 f/2 on an LX body

I do mostly travel, street, event, candid etc, and I'm finding the 35 a nice balance between a comfortable working distance and providing enough contextual detail in the composition. I suppose the FA* 24 f/2 would be the closest contender on an APS-C camera. I do use the 50-135mm range a bit too, but only for the odd lanscape and portrait/
12-01-2008, 07:09 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Matt Miller Quote
I think it's a beautiful concept and would love to have the self control to do it. If confined to one focal length, it would probably be a fast (f/1.4) 35mm lens on a crop camera.
Because it's the closest thing to a "do it all" lens?

I really tried when getting back into film a couple of years ago; I got a GA645 with the 40mm lens, and a Voigtlander body with the 25/4. But alas, lens buying got the better of me and now I have a boatload of lenses for all sorts of mounts and formats.

That said, when I do go out shooting I tend to bring one lens only and deal with its limitations. (Though I cheat; sometimes it's the 16-45)
12-01-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
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With my current knowledge, experience, and typical shooting, I would go with the 50mm 1.4 lens - very fast, good for indoor, limited light, etc...
12-01-2008, 07:24 PM   #8
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There are going to be some upset FA43 owners who can't vote for their favorite lens...

12-01-2008, 07:25 PM   #9
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My favorite shots these days are portraits, so a short tele is what I would go with if forced...
12-01-2008, 07:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
There are going to be some upset FA43 owners who can't vote for their favorite lens...
Well, I did say "or so" so I'd throw the 43 in the "normal" category in either 35mm or APS-C.
12-01-2008, 07:47 PM   #11
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Back in the good old days when buying a camera we could only afford to get one lens at a time. Generally we'd start with the normal 50/55mm the camera came with. The zooms at the time were pretty slow and not very good so we stuck with primes. I spent a year or more with just the normal lens on my SV, but then I knew the limitations of the lens and I knew what I wanted in my next lens. So for my K10D I'll use my M 50mm f/1.7 and for the K20D I'd want a new DA*300mm f/4. You did mean one lens for each camera, right?
12-01-2008, 08:00 PM   #12
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In the film days, my all time favorite was a 28mm smc f2 on my K2. I took most of my pictures with it.

today my default lens is a DA*16-50 zoom and consistent with my habits of the K2 days most of thte photos are taken on the short end of that zoom range.
12-01-2008, 08:08 PM   #13
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77mm!



.
12-01-2008, 08:10 PM   #14
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I would go with a 28mm I believe...
12-01-2008, 08:11 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
77mm!



.
QuoteOriginally posted by Stratman Quote
I would go with a 28mm I believe...
Ok, both of you... WHY?
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