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Thread: If...

  1. #1
    LePetomane's Avatar
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    If...

    you only could use one focal length for the type of photography you enjoy the most, what would it be? Mine would be my Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 on my Fujifilm XT-1 for general outdoor photography.

    What about you?

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    One focal length, 85mm 1.8 on D750. At times it's a bit too large for my shooting style (street photography) but versatile enough to shoot sports, lowlight, portraitures, etc. I'm basing my answer on the prime lenses I own (40, 50, 85).

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: If...

    Interesting question. Probably 35mm. That would be for my landscape photography.

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    Re: If...

    Quote Originally Posted by LePetomane View Post
    you only could use one focal length for the type of photography you enjoy the most, what would it be? Mine would be my Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 on my Fujifilm XT-1 for general outdoor photography.

    What about you?
    Can't really say, because I own crop 2, 1.7 and 1.5 cameras.

    If the question had been about angle of view, then 43 degrees or so. Almost normal . . .

  5. #5
    LePetomane's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    Ted, that is probably a more accurate way of looking at it. My camera has a crop factor of 1.5, the horizontal angle of view with my Touit is 40 degrees.

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    AlwaysOnAuto's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    I'd have to go with my Nikon Micro Nikkor 55mm on my A7ii. It does well with most everything I want to shoot and has the option of doing very good macro work too. I liked my first one so much I went and bought a second one, something I've never done with any other lens.

  7. #7
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    If I shot a single favourite type of genre, that would be an easier answer, but I don't, so I find the question a bit meaningless.

    Even if I stuck to a single genre, like portraiture. Head shot, head and shoulders shot, full body, environmental portrait? Studio or outdoors? I prefer different focal lengths depending on the type of shot. I went back to some of my recent work and looked at the focal lengths used. They range from 70mm to 200mm, which does not surprise me as I use a 70-200mm lens for this work. The distribution showed a few spikes but was reasonably even across the entire focal length range.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 23rd October 2017 at 02:33 PM. Reason: corrected typo

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    Re: If...

    I'm with Manfred with this. There's a reason why all of my lenses other than my macro lenses are zooms. And for that matter, I often find a single zoom inadequate. To take only one example, I shoot a lot of candids of kids. I use two lenses for that (FF): 24-105 and 70-200. If I had to pick a single prime for this, I would probably choose something near 85 mm (a classic portrait lentgh on a FF), but I would end up loosing a lot of the shots I now get. For example, I sometimes simply don't have room to back up enough to shoot at 85mm.

    I often walk in a nearby nature reserve. On those walks, I have used everything I own except for my widest-angle, ranging from macro on FF to 100-400 on a crop-sensor camera. My wife will tell you that at least half the time I walk with her there, I end up complaining that I didn't bring the lens I ended up most needing.

  9. #9
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    I find the question reasonable enough, being an hypothetical "what if?".

    Questions like that so remind me of the days when an ordinary person only had one camera due usually to financial circumstances, unlike the present day when sufferers of GAS like myself can have half a dozen or more cameras and a dozen lenses, even on a fixed low retirement income

    I remember also (in 50's England) the classic cartoon American tourist with several cameras hanging round his neck and always that big fat King Edward cigar . .

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    More pertinent would be - If I were to use only one lens, which one would it be? My 70-200mm f/4L IS!

    I own multiple lenses but, I could do very well for most of my imagery (very probably 90%) with the 70-200mm f/4L IS and 17-55mm f/2.8 IS on a pair of crop cameras (Presently a 7D plus a 7D2 but, I have used various camera pairs such as 30D plus 40D or two 7D cameras). This would be especially true if I threw a 1.4x TC into my travel kit. Bodies change but, lenses are just about forever...

    When traveling, I most often shoot about 2/3 of my photos using the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens and 1/3 using the 70-200mm f/4L IS. However at home, I shoot ALL of my formal portraits - both human and animal using the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens on a full-frame 5D2...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 23rd October 2017 at 10:26 PM.

  11. #11
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    On my Fuji it would be the 35mm f1.4 which I actually use more than any other lens I own already - I'm just a nifty fifty boy at heart

  12. #12
    LePetomane's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    I had a similar conversation with a couple of fellow fly fishermen. The 8'3" 5 weight fly rod is the "nifty fifty" of the fly fishermen.

  13. #13
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    I like a 9-foot 6-weight... Because that is the rod I started fly fishing with... And, because I tend to cast bugs and streamers more often than dry flies. But, like lenses I don't have just one rod, I have a selection of rods ranging from a 7-foot 4-weight which I almost never use to a 10-foot 10-weight for salt water.

    Did you ever see a golfer with a single club except on a miniature golf course?

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    Re: If...

    Why exactly this lens and not Fuji XF 35mm f2.0 or Fuji XF 35mm f1.4?

  15. #15
    LePetomane's Avatar
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    Re: If...

    Quote Originally Posted by Valdo View Post
    Why exactly this lens and not Fuji XF 35mm f2.0 or Fuji XF 35mm f1.4?
    My shop didn't have the Fujinon XF 35 mm lenses at the time. The Fujinon XF lenses are very nice. I think that the f/2.0 in weather resistant as well.

  16. #16

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    Re: If...

    And also the sunglasses and ugly Hawaii beach shirt hanging out to cover the beer belly, expatUSA, don't forget that! But much more important (and culturally unbiassed) to an answer to this very fair question is your comment, whimsical , nostalgic, whatever, that once upon a time we could hardly afford one camera and its 50mm lens, which came as a package; that being the case in my memory, I'd choose any one of the three 50mm Nikons I currently own, guided by the fact that some of the world's best known surviving prints made from 35mm monochrome negative film were probably created using a 50mm lens.

  17. #17

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    Re: If...

    Quote Originally Posted by LePetomane View Post
    My shop didn't have the Fujinon XF 35 mm lenses at the time. The Fujinon XF lenses are very nice. I think that the f/2.0 in weather resistant as well.
    I'm not promoting any of the mentioned 35mm Fuji X mount lenses.
    You can have unbiased reviews of mentioned lenses here:

    http://www.opticallimits.com/fuji_x

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