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What 1 or 2 LENSES would you choose...

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by dixeyk, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    ...of the lenses you own.

    I was reading an article about one of my favorite photographers (Jane Bown) and reading how she shot with a simple kit consisting of Olympus OM1's + 50mm and 100mm lenses. I don't want to start down road talking about the merits of Olympus, OM lenses or anything like that but it got me thinking about the idea of just going about things with one or two focal lengths.

    I think I could limit myself to 2 lenses for the kinds of things I like to shoot. Since I shoot an APS-C sensor the specific choices are different than what they would be on film but I think I would go for a 40mm (the wide end of normal) and a 90mm (short tele) or zoom for flexibility. Also close focus ability is a real attraction for me.

    The first one is a bit easier because a good 24/28 would suffice. The second is a bit tougher as readily available (and good) fast 50's are a bit short and short telephotos like a 85/100 a bit long. Of the lenses I currently own:

    1. a 24/2.8 or 28/2 (whichever had better close focus)
    2. a 50/1.4 (but I wish I had something like a 55/1.7 or 58/2)
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  2. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    If I could only have 2 of my lenses to cover the focal length range you’re referring to, it would be these two, which also includes close focus via Macro…outstanding lenses on my NEX-7. Both have the same size 72mm front end for interchangeability of filters, hoods, etc.


    Canon FDn 24-35/3.5 Zoom - L Version


    Canon FDn 35-105/3.5 Macro Zoom.....has “L” like IQ.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I usually only bring one lens, but which one depends on what I want to shoot.

    For general photography, walkaround or "I don't know what I want to shoot" I'd definitely go for a 50mm (or equivalent). Everything wider simply doesn't give my images the "intimate" feel I want, everything longer is too restrictive when framing images. Currently I use a 35mm T/0.95 Mitakon on my NEX-7, however I already got a 1983 50mm f/2 Leica Summicron (which is amazingly tiny!) for when I get my Leica M body - more on that later.

    When I'm planning to do landscapes, I alway choose my Touit 12mm (i.e. 18mm equivalent, though 21mm would be okay too). It's a wonderful focal length and works amazing for ANY type of landscape -- just composing images is a tough challenge when you start shooting this wide.

    For portraits, obviously a roughly 90mm long lens is the ideal choice (personally I think 135mm is too long to work comfortably). The 50mm Touit currently plays that role - it's the best lens I've ever used by a fair margin. Though I'm perfectly happy shooting most portraits with a 50, so that longer lens is just a bonus.
     
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  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I'd pick my 16-35 and 24-240. Is that cheating? :p
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I have an MD 35-105/3.5-4.5 macro zoom that I almost picked over the fast 50. That lens is absolutely terrific and i love the versatility.
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Not at all, I like options and I am big fan of zooms. In fact, I think we focus a lot on primes in adapted lenses that I think sometimes we don't realize how good some of these zooms can be. I have n MD 35-70/3.5 macro that is every bit as sharp as my primes at 35 and 50.
     
  7. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    Either the 16-35/4.0 or the CV 35/1.2 or 35/2.8 (if landscape the former, otherwise one of the two latter depending on whether Speed or AF/smallness are a priority). And the FE 55/1.8, always.
     
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    For me, 35mm and 85mm are just right. My love is photographing people, and those two focal lengths let me include as much or as little environment as I want in a given shot at the working distances I prefer.
     
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  9. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    651
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Comming from film with a 3 lens setup 24(25), 50 and 105mm macro Im surpriced how much I like the 25mm zf lens on My A6000. That said Id probably go for a 16mm and something around 60mm macro. If only one lens then the 24mm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Two lenses only? :eek-30: I now go out with the A7 and the 3 native zooms 16-35mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm. My back won't take more lenses so that'll have to do. If I'd have to limit myself to 2 primes they would be the Olympus OM Zuiko 40/2, accompanied by the OM 24/2.8 for landscapes or the Minolta MD 100/2.5 for other stuff.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. pbizarro

    pbizarro TalkEmount Veteran

    349
    Nov 24, 2014
    Portugal
    Unless you really need specialty lenses, for all the rest there is nothing wrong in going with the usual lens set about 1 stop focal length apart. Say 24 - 50 - 100 or something similar.

    Unless you require fast lenses, you can do the above with a nice zoom lens.
     
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Your back can handle 3 lenses? :eek-30:

    Of course the OM 40/2 and 24/2.8 are tiny (they should only count as one lens). I bet if you taped them together they would barely be the size of an average 50. I'm a big fan of zooms actually, I have very fond memories of shooting with the Olympus 14-54 back in the day and the Fuji the 18-55 was also really handy. In adapted lenses the MD 35-105 macro is pretty cool as well. Do any of the native zooms allow you get really close?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  13. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    651
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    In my early analouqe days i shot with an OM1 and a 28mm, 50mm and 135mm. I carried the camera by the shoulderstrap and the 2 extra lenses in a tiny unpadded beltpouch. Never again did I have such a compact kit.
     
  14. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Well, the A7 with the 3 native zooms 16-35, 24-70, 70-200 and stuff add up to 3 kg, not including the bag's weight (a LowePro Slingshot 202) and that's about the maximum I can take for several hours riding a bike and/or walking. The 24-70mm focusses reasonably close, 40cm throughout the zoom range which is fine for me, I'm not really into close-ups in the field. Sometimes I replace the 24-70mm by a Minolta MD 50/2 (supersharp!) or Macro 50/3.5 (also very sharp and focussing up to 1:2).

    Using FF as opposed to APS-C really incurs a weight penalty with the lenses, the 70-200mm weighs about 900g by itself. But I'll stick to FF for now.
     
  15. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    When I leave the house with my small bag, indoor show, concert usually it's the nikkor 35 1.4, FL 55 1.2 and vivitar 85 1.4

    Outdoor 551.2, 135f2 and 200 2.8

    So if I had to choose one, the FL 55 1.2 is my favorite.

    Out
     
  16. Alex66

    Alex66 TalkEmount Regular

    74
    Dec 23, 2014
    I spent so long with just a 50mm that I can live with a normal and not be bothered with other lenses, though I do have a liking for a 135mm, it was the second lens I got and its quite nice for close portraits i.e. just the ace.
     
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Are you using APS-C or FF?
     
  18. Alex66

    Alex66 TalkEmount Regular

    74
    Dec 23, 2014
    I use 4/3, Aps and just got an A7, I tend to describe in the 35mm equivalent.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Some of you guys are cheating!! :)

    OP asked what two FOCAL LENGTHS. Which means two primes, not two lens. So, no zooms. Even though if I were to go 'light', a kit zoom would be one of two.

    I too found that I prefer 24mm. For APS-C, most often it will do landscapes, close up wide angle DOF shots, indoor, and group shots.
    And I really like my OM Zuiko's results. So, it would be one of the focal lengths and my specific 24mm lens, at f/2.8.

    The 2nd is a toss between a fast fifty or a 100mm f/2.8.
    I like landscapes, and found 100mm is as long as needed. But a fast fifty is more useful in low light and good for portraits and pseudo macros.

    So, I'd take my new favorite 50, the Nikkor-SC 50mm f/1.4. But I may pack a reversing ring to flip it for macros. :)
    If I were to substitute for a 100mm instead, it would be my Nikon Series E 100mm f/2.8.
    Very small, and Nikkor sharpness.
     
  20. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA

    Actually he didn't... :) ...This is a direct quote from the OP:

    ".....I think I could limit myself to 2 lenses for the kinds of things I like to shoot. Since I shoot an APS-C sensor the specific choices are different than what they would be on film but I think I would go for a 40mm (the wide end of normal) and a 90mm (short tele) or zoom for flexibility. Also close focus ability is a real attraction for me....."