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01-16-2010, 04:54 AM   #16
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in response to my op, i just wanted to purchase a new quality lens. looking at all the f#'s and ranges it was a bit confusing. i wasn't sure what to base my decision on. the 1.8 for prime and 2.8 for zooms seems to be a good rule and gave me a general idea of which way to steer.

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01-16-2010, 05:05 AM   #17
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I think something to remember is that almost any lens is going to be better stopped down a little. Every so often you'll see a comment about a lens being tack sharp wide open. That is unusual. Even the kit lens is much better at f8 than wide open. Some of the upper end lenses (for instance the DA* 50-135) are quite sharp wide open, but even they have their weak spots.
01-16-2010, 05:41 AM   #18
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If you really want fast, get a 50mm/0.95 I think it will be fast enough; you need to change brands.

I encountered them in the 80's when I got interested in photography. I thought it was a Nikon, but I can only find references on the net to Canon and Leica.

I'm aware that it was not your question.

Last edited by sterretje; 01-16-2010 at 07:50 AM.
01-16-2010, 10:06 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
If you really want fast, get a 50mm/0.95 I think it will be fast enough; you need to change brands.

I encountered them in the 80's when I got interested in photography. I thought it was a Nikon, but I can only find references on the net to Canon and Leica.

I'm aware that it was not your question.
That's still too slow for Stanley Kubrick.

Think f/0.7.

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01-16-2010, 10:49 AM   #20
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Getting back to the original question

I'd have to ask, "fast enough FOR WHAT?" What do you need fast lenses for? What and why are you shooting? For money, for satisfaction, for learning / experimantation, for showing off hardware, or what? Street shooting, or studio, or action / sports, or nature, or architecture, or just random snaps? Can / would you compensate for a non-super-fast lens with a tripod, image stabilization, ISO adjustment, external lighting? There's a lot more to image capture than the speed (and cost) of the lenses. For macro work, speed is NOT your friend, and image stabilization and autofocus are irrelevant. For much landscape and architectural work, speed is irrelevant. Ask yourself what and why you're shooting, and you'll have a better idea of where to blow your budget.

EDIT: Ah, those f<0 lenses! For that f/0.7, think Kubrick and NASA (that's where he got the lens). But hey, let's get kinky, and MAKE a superfast lens. I'm sure the appropriate glass can be had from Edmund Scientific, some shallow-focus simple or mencius lens, or we could just sacrifice an old eyeglass lens. Mount it in a tube or gasket ala the original LensBaby (there ain't no bellows thin enough), fiddle with the focus, and watch the aberrations fly! (Sonny, back when I was a kid, we had to hand-grind our own lenses -- and we LOVED it!!)

Last edited by RioRico; 01-16-2010 at 11:01 AM. Reason: addendum
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