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06-18-2010, 10:48 AM   #16
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I think most have answered it fairly well.

You go out with multiple lenses but change them rarely, or go out with one only, because you want to play/experimentshoot with that lens, and then look for ways to make the lens work for you.

A lot of this comes from thinking about what shots you can take with a lens, zooming with your feet, and thinking in the perspective of the lens, as opposed to the lazy man's way of using zooms, where you see something and frame it by zooming, without thinking about the best way to shoot it.

As I said, I use zooms when on vacation because my family don't want to necessairly spend the time it would take to shoot everything by changing lenses, and moving to ideal points, to some extent you have to shoot and run, but still have some flexibility. Zooms are great for that. BUT when I am on my own, I love shooting old primes. But on my own, I am not being pushed to keep up with the family

06-18-2010, 11:19 AM   #17
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When you are using your zooms do you find that you are using one particular focal length more than others? People develop a routine in how they shoot (for better or worse). How close or far do you like to be from the subject, and often subject will determine focal length.

I prefer the longer glass so on a APS-C body 50mm-100mm is where I like to be with a prime.

Pick a focal length that works best for your style and subject matter, and then super-glue the damn thing in place. Don't think about changing it until you feel like you have mastered that particular focal length. Don't take 3 different lenses with you and spend your time swapping back and forth. Pick one - master it. Then buy the next prime and do the same thing.
06-18-2010, 11:37 AM   #18
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Here's a real life example for you:

I'm sitting in the car this morning at 6:30AM waiting to pick my wife up from work (she works overnights), and I have my 85 1.9 Super Takumar on the camera sitting on the seat next to me.

The below comes into view, and if I had my 90 Macro Tamron on there, I would have been able to get a HELL of lot closer and get a much better shot. But if I took the time to change lenses, it would have long flown away.

Great shot? No.

Best lens for the shot? Definitely no.

Did I GET a shot? Yes.

Same reason I didn't fiddle with flash at all--I just wanted to get the shot!

06-18-2010, 12:00 PM   #19
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QuoteQuote:
I use the old zoom technology. This is how it works: to zoom out, the photographer takes a few steps backwards; to zoom in, the photographer takes a few steps forward.
That does not work over significant distances or obstacles.

06-18-2010, 12:41 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Here is a demo relevant to juggling lenses in the field:
Nice cover of The Cure!

I try to minimize juggling by starting with a good standard length (35 or 40) and only switching if there's a compelling need to go either wider (21) or longer (70). Much a time bipedal zoom works well enough. And like others, many times you can make the lens that you have on work if you are creative enough.
06-18-2010, 01:11 PM   #21
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i use 16-45 when i do not have time to change lens or feel it is unsafe, like at the beach. Any other time it would be da 40, da 15, or an old m42
06-18-2010, 04:22 PM   #22
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Thank you all for helping me out here.

QuoteQuote:
I like analogies, so here's one.

When I'm out for a ride on my road bike (= prime lens in this analogy) on some county road, I might encounter a trail for which I wish I had my mountain bike instead to explore. Or I might encounter a highway where I would need to be driving my car to travel it. Does this bother me? No, I'm out for a road bike ride, not a mountain bike ride or a drive. The fact that I "missed opportunities" to ride that trail or drive down that highway is just part of life. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy the road bike ride for what it is.
That is a good one! I love this analogy! Must show this to my hubby.

QuoteQuote:
I'm curious, you now want to focus on primes instead of zooms, but you don't say why.
Yes. For a start, my kit lenses have small apertures. Second, the primes have much better image quality than my humble kit lenses and i am keen to switch. Third, the lens "juggling" process is slightly easier as i have small hands and the primes are small.
06-18-2010, 04:28 PM   #23
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I don't intend to get too many lenses but after browsing the forum for 30mins and noticing that some of you have so many lenses than i have for fingers (and toes combined), how do you guys determine which prime lens to use (re. the analogy regarding road bike vs mountain bike).

Some of you have the full prime lens combo from DA21 to DA77. How do you even begin to select?

06-18-2010, 04:38 PM   #24
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Through experience, you get to know what kind of view each focal length is going to look like through the viewfinder before you mount the lens, and you pick the one that gives you the view you want. If you guess wrong, you either accept that and shoot with what you've got, or you try again as long as you've got your bag open.

You can try to gain that expeirence with the primes themselves, but no reason you can't start on that process by attention to the focal lengths on your zoom. Set it to 40, or 21 (or whatever) and walk around a while.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 06-19-2010 at 09:11 AM.
06-18-2010, 04:38 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by ladybug Quote
.

Some of you have the full prime lens combo from DA21 to DA77. How do you even begin to select?
It's not a science, and there isn't a right or wrong. You just stick one on there and shoot with your choice of FL based on what you think is going to be most convenient for what you're going to be shooting that first hour, two hours, or more.

That's why experienced guys here agonize over questions like which brand is best, which focal length is best, what should I do in this situation or that...

Because there aren't any "right" answers to these questions. People with opposing views can do incredible work regardless of their preferences and practices.
06-18-2010, 04:52 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by ladybug Quote
Hi,

I am upgrading from the k100D with 18-55mm kit lens to a K-x. I am also thinking of getting 1 or 2 of those nice pancake lenses to go with the k-x. I have the DA15 Ltd and the DA35 Ltd in mind and if budget permits, perhaps a DA70 as well.

How do you guys actually use these lenses in the field? Do you keep swapping lenses to achieve the field of view you want? Seems like a tedious process to keep changing lenses all the time....no?
I go into the field generally with a bag full of primes.
Heres what's in my kit right now:
10-17, 15, 21, 24, 28, 35, 50 55, 70, 100macro, 60-250.
If I coulda got a 10mm prime rectilinear, I wouldn't have the 10-17. If Pentax was making any primes at all between 70 and 200, I wouldn't have the 60-250 (which is a good lens, but truly is a porcine object).
Sometimes I'll leave the A28 and DA35 at home and take the 31 instead of both.
So, I have a bag of lenses, and I want to go for a walk.
I look at what is the likely subject matter and take a few lenses that I think will be useful.
I will always have something in the "normal" range because I like that angle of view.
I don't like the 28 so much, but it's small, so not a burden and I do use it from time to time if the 31 isn't along, so either the 31 or 35 is on the camera.
I'm finding as a walkabout lens, the DA35 is just about perfect, albeit somewhat slow.
OK, so I want a wide, and I really like the 15. The 21 is a very competent picture maker, and is pretty small, so I take it too, though it isn't an angle of view that I care for.
Sometimes it's the right lens.
I find the 70 to be a really nice short tele, and so it goes in a pocket as well, and if I'm feeling ambitious, I'll also toss the 50/1.4 into a pocket.
This gives me a five lens kit, with all lenses close enough in size and weight that I can carry them easily.
If I feel like a smaller kit, the 21 and 50 stay in the truck, and I rarely feel as if my creativity is being impinged upon by having such a small and widely spaced lens kit along.
If I'm carrying the 60-250, there is probably some purpose in mind, and I'm not carrying it very far. It's just a brutally big and awkward lens to hump around.
I've tried to get into the habit of always having a tripod close at hand, and so chose a Feisol Tournament with their CB-50D head as a lightweight camera stand. I'm sure there are better out there, but this kit is very good for the price.
At some point I'll spoil myself with a carbon fiber monopod.

I'll probably also have a second bag in the truck with my big glass. That's a 200 macro, 300, 400, and 600 mm lenses. Again, if they come out, it's an occasion and I have a purpose in mind, that purpose probably being in mind when I loaded the truck.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 06-18-2010 at 08:41 PM.
06-18-2010, 05:52 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ladybug Quote
I don't intend to get too many lenses but after browsing the forum for 30mins and noticing that some of you have so many lenses than i have for fingers (and toes combined), how do you guys determine which prime lens to use (re. the analogy regarding road bike vs mountain bike).

Some of you have the full prime lens combo from DA21 to DA77. How do you even begin to select?
You also need to consier some of us have been shooting for a long time,

I have 27 lenses at last count, that is less than 1 per year on average, since I started photography, BUT, I did make a determined effort to build an M42 kit, which accounts for at least 1/3 of this over the last 2 years, this kit which includes some very fine lenses like a super tak 85mmF1.9, and a lot of other takumar and 3rd party screw mounts cost about $700 to put together, and covers the range of 24 to 200mm, with the slowest lenses being the 200F3.5, and SMC Tak 135 F3.5, all others except a 50mm F4 macro are Faster than F2.8. this is an entire kit of primes, all manual focus, for the cost of one current day high end lens.

The lenses I have are a lot of fun to use, some like the 200mm and a tele-lentar 135 have apertures with 15 or more blades and unusual boketh that make them unique. All are great lenses in their own right. on any given day when I want to go out and shoot MF, I take my K10D, (split image installed) and 3-4 lenses and have fun. I take my time, look at what angles I can get with the lenses, and experiment. This is a hobby, it should be fun
06-18-2010, 10:49 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by ladybug Quote
How do you guys actually use these lenses in the field? Do you keep swapping lenses to achieve the field of view you want? Seems like a tedious process to keep changing lenses all the time....no?
I would switch lenses often when composing shots, since I would look at a scene a couple different ways and decide that I wanted a couple different shots of a given scene. It got tedious after awhile, and now I mostly use a wide-normal zoom for travel or casual shooting.

One thing to remember that can help cut down on unnecessary lens changes is that you can crop or stitch images to get different fields of view. It works better adding resolution than removing it, but you can still get some perspective flexibility from one focal length.
06-19-2010, 02:23 AM   #29
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no juggling involved. I already know the FOV of my lens, I zoom with my feet.
06-20-2010, 01:26 AM   #30
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Being female and on the petite side handwise, I find the primes much less fatigueing to use when going on an extended photo taking jaunt. What I have found helpful for changing primes in the field is to use a sling bag which creates a bit of a shelf inside for changing lenses. The advantage with a bag like a Lowepro slingshot, is that I can both keep my lenses upright for the change and have a flap to work under if it is windy/dusty. It also helps me steady a shot when being buffeted by the wind. I think I have solved the too many lenses to carry problem. Some members may laugh, but when I am going out to take pictures someplace that has a pretty level surface, I take a modified (without the removabe car seat) baby stroller and set my camera bag in it. The one I have has a tray with a couple spaces for water bottles up near the hand grip. The wells for the bottles are just the perfect size for setting prime lenses down in, when changeing lenses. I haven't lost a lens cap in a long time :-) My monopod rides along in the storage bag under the carriage. When changing lenses, I usually turn over the lens I will be putting on and loosen the rear cap. I then remove the lens that is on the camera and place the loosened cap on it. The last step is to put the new lense on. It gets easier with practice. I agree with another poster here that turning away from the wind when changing lenses is a good idea. I also try to angle the camera slightly downward until I am ready to attach the next lens.
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