Choose one focal length for 3 months - what would it be?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Grimace, Apr 1, 2008.

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What is your favorite (35mm) focal length?

  1. 12-19mm

    10 vote(s)
    12.8%
  2. 20-34mm

    19 vote(s)
    24.4%
  3. 35-54mm

    23 vote(s)
    29.5%
  4. 55-69mm

    4 vote(s)
    5.1%
  5. 70-99mm

    8 vote(s)
    10.3%
  6. 100-134mm

    5 vote(s)
    6.4%
  7. 135-199mm

    2 vote(s)
    2.6%
  8. 200-299mm

    2 vote(s)
    2.6%
  9. 300mm+

    5 vote(s)
    6.4%
  1. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #1
    What is your favorite focal length? (Adjust for 35mm equivalent.) [Edit, copied from clarification post #10] "If you could only shoot with only one prime lens at the focal length of your choosing (22mm, 96mm, 350mm, etc.) for 3 months - what would it be?"

    This might be a focal length that shows the kind of photos you like to take. Bigger ranges might be instinctual, but I was more curious as to the exact lengths that people prefer. 135mm is my new favorite - its the closest thing to what my eye sees as art/beauty in photography.

    [Further clarification] The poll choices indicate narrow values of ranges, not zoom lengths. It is a discrete breakdown of a broader poll which might be:
    1. super-wide
    2. wide
    3. normal
    4. telephoto
    5. super-telephoto
     
  2. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #2
    If there was an option for 70-200 I'd have gone for that, mainly because I love my 70-200 f/4 L so much, it's hardly ever off my camera, but most pictures taken with it are somewhere between 100-140.
     
  3. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    Tricky. For indoor photo's of our kids I prefer 85 mm. (=135). Gives the
    right amount a distance between them and the camera.
    For landscapes I prefer something much wider.

    So for the next 3 months I'd take the 85mm (=135 equiv)

    (hurray, 3 years MR member. Cake & coffee at 11:00)
     
  4. Grimace thread starter macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #4
    Hmm, I was convinced that 85mm would be a huge hit. Nothing so far! :confused:
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    I picked 35-50. Some times I'm forced o use a longer lens because I am unable to get closer to my subject.
     
  6. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Location:
    toronto
    #6
    I don't have that much experience (and i dont know how to do adjust fro 35 mm equiv.) but so far i love my prime 50mm lens...
     
  7. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #7
    Based on my experience on using a friends 30D, the 50mm prime was great and the 10-22mm wide angle was a smidgeon behind. That being said I was using the Canon F1.8 50mm back then, I am eagerly awaiting the f1.4 version that arrives next week.

    The pain and suffering of waiting for the goods to arrive... argh! I want it and I wanted it two days ago :)
     
  8. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #8
    shouldn't everyone be flexible enough to use the right focal length for the right situation? To have a favorite focal length is like having a favorite song - i have different music tastes for different moods.
     
  9. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK™
    #9
    as scotthayes said, 70-200 should be an option, I use the 70-200 f2.8 about 90% of the time, unless i'm using the 24-70mm or 50mm ;)

    What is the Right focal Length for the right situation? Everyone is different, We use different styles and techniques, So the Question is, What is the Right Focal Length ?
    I for one enjoy experimenting with different angles on the same shot using the 70-200mm but someone else may come along with a 24-105mm lens and still take some great shots of the same subject ?
    ;)
     
  10. Grimace thread starter macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #10
    Maybe I'm being annoying with semantics but it wasn't aimed at the "right" focal length but you're favorite focal length.

    It could be rephrased, "if you could only shoot with only one prime lens at the focal length of your choosing (22mm, 96mm, 350mm, etc.) for 3 months - what would it be?"
     
  11. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK™
    #11
    The 85mm f1.4 Prime is a great lens, but a little long, I Much prefer the 50mm f1.8 especially for certain indoors architecture stuff :) i could live with it for 3 months, even if the temptation to use the 70-200mm was there :eek:

    BTW you wasn't being annoying, the reference to Right focal length (in my post anyway) was more towards the other post
    'shouldn't everyone be flexible enough to use the right focal length for the right situation? To have a favorite focal length is like having a favorite song - i have different music tastes for different moods.'
    ;)
     
  12. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #12
    Since we're talking about 35mm equivalent I'm going to say 20-34mm. One of my favorite lenses with my 35mm was a 20-35 f/3.5-4.5 Canon. Using my Nikon D50 I currently only can go as wide as 18mm (27mm equivalent) and I'd really love to get back to the superwide perspective.

    This is a tough question, since 50mm is a great overall normal lens and I also agree that 135mm at 35mm equivalent is a really nice focal length, especially with a fast lens. I had a classic Pentax 135mm f/2.5 once upon a time, and it was an amazing lens.

    Still, if I could only choose one for three months, I'll take the 20-35, or 10-20 or 12-24 DX format lens.
     
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #13
    But then you go on to add zooms or ranges of zooms (despite they don't exist for the most part) in your poll. :rolleyes:

    If I get a prime and zoom that's a whole other story.
     
  14. Grimace thread starter macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #14
    None of those ranges correspond to any known zoom lenses. I'm sorry if the poll was confusing. I couldn't list every single value between 12mm and 300mm. The poll choices indicate narrow values of ranges, not zoom lengths. It is a discrete breakdown (in millimeters) of a broader poll which might be: wide, normal, telephoto.

    I was trying to get at a specific value by saying that it should be a prime focal length in one of the narrow poll ranges. Responding with info about a zoom lens don't offer as much data to feed my silly curiosity (at the extreme, an 18-200 lens indicates broad/variable interests.)

    I am just interested in the hypothetical commitment to one fixed focal length. In some cases, it may say something about the style of shot that you like to take the most.
     
  15. saxondale. macrumors 6502

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  16. SuperDaddy macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    #16
    70-99. Which is why love my 55-200 so much.

    For outdoor "people photography" (BBQs, parties, sporting events) I love to use my 70-300 (105-450 with my D50) and get people from so far away they never have a clue I've captured them.
     
  17. sonor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    20-34 is a great range for reportage/photojournalist style shooting. You can always crop if it's a little too wide. It would be a good discipline to just stick with that for a while.

    If I could have 2 lenses I'd add a 70-200/2.8 and that would cover 95% of my needs.

    But I'd struggle a bit in low-light without a 50mm/1.4.
     
  18. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #18

    This is pretty much the direction I've gone, although it still needs some work in the '1.6x crop' digital era. For my last big vacation trip, I carried a 20-35 and a "98-280" (70-200 f/2.8 with 1.4x). In general, it works out as "wide for landscapes and long for wildlife".


    -hh
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    Oops, I should have chosen 20-34 mm. I accidentally chose 35-54 mm, but I'm a bit slow, you see.
     
  20. Holgapics macrumors newbie

    Holgapics

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    North Oregon Coast
    #20
    I've been using a single focal length for the past 5 or 6 years, 60mm on a square 120 format. Any discipline along this line can be a wonderful creative exercise.

    When first starting out a mentor gave me an assignment. Spend one summer photographing in only a one square block area. Take one picture a day but only in that block. It seemed very restrictive when first starting out but then I began to realize he was forcing me to narrow my field of view and concentrate more on light and composition. I can't help but thank him for that early insight and training and believe it has served me well over the years.
     
  21. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #21
    Hmm... one lens... three months...

    I'd go with a 21mm Distagon.
     
  22. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    I put 70-99 (I think that's what it was), because I've got my eye on either the Pentax 77 mm limited, or the FA* 84 mm F/2.

    I prefer primes to zooms any day!

    SLC
     
  23. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #23
    I think that would be my choice as well... except on a full frame body like the 5D.

    Of course, I don't own a prime at that focal length, nor do I own a 5D. I just know from using my 350D and 17-40mm lens what my ideal setup would be.

    Now I just need to find an extra $3300 or so to make it happen. :D
     
  24. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #24
    Those types of assignments are fun.

    Another one I heard of was students were tasked to go outdoors, find and photograph all letters of the alphabet. You could NOT photograph letters from any type of sign. It had to be naturally occurring, and for the assignment a crack in concrete counted.
     
  25. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #25
    I picked 20-34 because of the flexibility - wide enough for most landscapes and architecture shots, but in a pinch could also be used for things like portraiture. I'd probably go for 24mm if you really wanted to pin it down.
     

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