One lens?

Discussion in 'Cameras and Photography' started by cratz2, May 23, 2018.

  1. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    I used to shoot a prime lens exclusively 30+ years ago. The lack of being able to crop within the lens just became a source of frustration for me. I still will use my trusty 50mm lens from 1985 for special shoots, or when I need good low-light performance. But if I had to choose only one, then a zoom has to win it.

    It would be neat, however, to do a photo challenge (even here at AK!) where we all take photos using our prime lenses only. Maybe a bi-weekly photo challenge series of threads? There could be a lot of themes. I can think of a half dozen right off the bat. :)
     
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  2. old_tv_nut

    old_tv_nut See Yourself on Color TV! Subscriber

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    With the 1.5 crop factor, this is equivlent to a "normal" lens, so an ordinary print seems to have normal perspective. To me, using only this lens for a year seems restrictive. I would go for something wider, like a 28 or 30 mm [correction , 24mm], (about 35mm eqivalent, what you might find on a 35mm film rangefinder camera) to give me a chance to "zoom with my feet" or crop a bit in the print.
     
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  3. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I could almost get by with just a 35mm on a crop body. When the D300/D90 were my main bodies, a 28-75 f2.8 and the 35 1.8 got the most use.

    In fact, I just ordered a lowly Yongnuo 35mm lens for Nikon as theirs work on a crop and full frame. I ordered through Amazon in case there are any issues.

    In my opinion, esp for crop bodies, that Nikon 35mm f1.8 DX lens is probably the best value going. I think it does almost everything the 50 1.8 does, but just a little bit better.
     
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  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    In fact, I think two of my favorite guitar pics were taken with the 35mm on a crop body.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    I always enjoy hearing other people infer that I made a wise purchase.

    Yum.
     
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  6. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Valuable info and all valid points but it kind of is the opposite of the OP question (1 lens):idea:
     
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  7. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    All discussion is good discussion. :beerchug:
     
  8. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Sort of?

    If I had to live with only one of those, it would be the 24-105.

    But if I were going on a trip, and could only take one lens with me (like when I'll take just the camera, and not the entire camera bag), it might be one of the others like the 17-35.
     
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  9. asilker

    asilker Bible Reader Subscriber

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    This may well be my experience. So far I've used 2 lenses: the 35mm Nikon prime and the AF-S 18-55 kit lens that came with the body. As you might guess, it was an underwhelming intro to zooms.
     
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  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    Underwhelming due to picture quality? That is a good basic zoom range, but with zoom you might lose slight image quality (not that I'd notice unless I were extremely nitpicky), and it is not as "fast" as a prime lens can be due to the smaller apertures. That is roughly 28-80 in 35mm (aka full frame sensors) which is why it's a popular zoom.
     
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  11. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I've given all my 18-55s away but from about 24-50mm, as long as I was stopped down one entire stop, I don't see a whole lot of difference between the 18-55 and a pro 35-70 or 28-70 2.8 at the same aperture. Maybe in the extreme corners when the subject is much closer than the background but in those conditions, it's completely expected.

    I took a D90, an 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR on a trip a few years ago. I'll see if I can dig those pics out. I would have done maybe 5% or 10% better with a better lens, but I don't think those super cheap 'free' lenses held me back much at 1/3 the weight and 1/5 the cost.

    Personally my biggest beef with the 18-55 and 55-200 is the plastic mount, not the optics.
     

     

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  12. hi*ball

    hi*ball Records & Coffee Subscriber

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    I'm a LONG way from pro, and don't have any amazing lenses.

    Right now, if I had to choose just one of my lenses, it would be the 50mm f/1.4

    *I do have a 17-85mm f/4-5.6 lens, but the picture quality from the 50mm is just so much better. Knowing what I know now, I would have passed on that 17-85.
     
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  13. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    That is the one thing that bugs me about some of the newer DSLRs--they also have plastic mounts. Granted, there are many different types of plastics, some that are very hard and durable but still...it just doesn't sit well with me. I don't know if it is possible or not, but if the ring for the lens mount is simply screwed onto the camera body, I could probably order a metal mount for it and replace it myself.

    My original Minolta glass is heavy, but I certainly can't fault the quality of it.
     
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  14. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    It would not be quite that easy to replace the mount as AF lenses have several contacts through which they communicate with the CPU of the camera.

    I've had several lenses with plastic mounts and still have a 55-250 STM lens. I think they are fine for 90% of people but common sense needs to come into play. If that lens is on a 70D or 7D or one of the heavier crop bodies, you should always directly support the body with one hand and when ready shoot, support the lens with the other.

    I think that particular lens is a fantastic value, esp for nature photographers. So much, as I said, that even as a Nikon guy, I'd steer someone towards a Canon body specifically to get the 55-250 IS or STM. The Nikon 55-200 is pretty good, but the Canon is definitely better and has more reach.

    And like I said, on down the road if her fancy strikes, that first gen 100-400 IS is probably the best value in a peo telephoto lens for reach rather than blurred background.
     
  15. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I never had a Canon 50 1.4 but still have my early AF Nikon 50 1.4. Great lens.

    I had two 17-85s. One was my first medium range zoom for Canon autofocus. The first one was pretty bad from 60 to 85 but the second was ok. After I got a 28-80L, I still used the 17-85 on occasion when thought I might need something a bit wider.
     
  16. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    My dad had a Canon AE-1 Program, and he always wanted to get the 50mm/f1.2L for it. He never did though, largely due to the price. Back then, we both used to shop at Adray Appliance (Dearborn MI) since they had a fantastic photo department. Bought all of my early stuff there.
     
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  17. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    A pro in the family has the current 50 1.2. Pretty neat lens. Pricey and heavy.

    I've used it a couple times. It's easy to miss focus due to how short the depth of field is, but if you get the focus perfect, it's actually pretty sharp even at f1.2.

    Definitely a niche lens though. It doesn't really do much at f1.2 that the 70-200 f2.8 doesn't do at 200mm and f2.8.

    Edit: I'm sorry. He has the 50mm f1.0. The 1.2 is about 20 Oz whereas the 1.2 is 35 Oz. They are both chunky, but the 1.0 is the super heavy one. It actually weighs more than the 70-200 f4!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
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  18. Old Ears too

    Old Ears too Well-Known Member

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    I've got an old Nikkor 50 f1.2 that I use on my Sony. It's OK if you want to get that picture that has that 'taken with an old lens' feel, but I much prefer the shots I get with my Micro Nikkor 55 2.8. I guess I like the 'crispiness' of that lens. It's a lot lighter in the carry dept. too.
     
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  19. cratz2

    cratz2 Addicted Member

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    I don't think I've ever used the Nikon 50 1.2 but the Canon 1.2 and 1.0 are pretty awesome. But heavy and pricey.
     
  20. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

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    Nikon has the 70-300 VR AF-P which is pretty good. Not the sharpest lens ever made but eminently usable. And it has lightning fast AF.
     

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