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What's your favourite lens …….. and WHY?

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Done_rundleCams, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. art

    art Well-Known Member

    I can't honestly say I have a favourite lens. I do have many favourite photos though.

    I bought a Canon EF-S 10-18mm a couple of weeks ago and, never having had anything wider than 17mm before, I've been enjoying some different perspectives as a result, but that's a very long way from making it a 'favourite' lens.

    Having a favourite lens seems a bit like having a favourite tool - fine if appropriate for the task in hand, but if you only ever use a hammer then everything starts to look like a nail. ;)
  2. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    I was a great fan of the Sigma manual focus lenses, then I went off the marque a bit, because of the decentering issues with the wideangle AF zooms. I decided to take a punt on the 30mm and 60mm M43 lenses, when I saw them at a silly price and I'm glad I did. The 60mm in particular is a joy to use for graphic style pictures...

  3. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    My favourite lens is always the one I'm planning to buy next... :eek:
  4. AlexDenny

    AlexDenny Well-Known Member

    Yup. I've changed my mind, I like the lenses in my glasses best!
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    My most recent example:

    [​IMG]Blossom by Zou san, on Flickr
  6. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    ^ ^ ^ :)

    Just don't tell Benchista ... ;)
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Why not? :confused:
  8. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I've told it before, but about 1995 I was down in Mauritius and met a French tog on assignment for Paris Match. In his bag he had just a battered old F3 and an 85mm Nikkor prime.

    I asked why and he said simply "the Nikkor 85mm is the best lens ever made. If I can't shoot it with that, I don't want to shoot it."

    He removed all other variables, so the only thing he had to concentrate on was the picture.
  9. brumtog

    brumtog Member

    Seems like a good plan to me.
  10. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Seems to me that's a bit dumb. I'm sure that there must be a proper word to describe that attitude but it escapes me.

    I certainly don't agree with those who carry dozens (!) of lenses but to carry only one is very shortsighted. What about the world shattering image that's going to sell pictures for evermore and can't be 'had' with your single lens.

    My favourite lens is my 200mm macro and it's on my camera well over 90% of the time. I also carry a short zoom 28- 105 I think. For everything else.

  11. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Wish I could remember the guy's name, but he is well known in those circles. The lens also dictated (or reflected) his personal style to some extent. Must say "dumb" wasn't what sprang immediately to mind when I saw him work.
  12. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    It's not dumb if it works for him, is it?

    Even if it doesn't work for most people, it's still not dumb. Everyone to their own path, say I...

  13. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    I did say that I was struggling for a word and I agree that 'dumb' really wasn't the right one.

    I wasn't suggesting that he should dilute his style by using a different lens but I was suggesting that, maybe, it was a bit short sighted not to carry something different just in case. After all he was earning a living at it and I can imagine how hard he would kick himself if he missed 'that' shot - the one that would have made his fortune!!

    I'm reminded of all those days and weeks I spent on the fells - walking, eating and sleeping. I always carried emergency gear - and used it only once but that once (maybe) saved a young man from something serious.

    Anyway each to his own!

  14. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

  15. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Not really sure I have a favourite lens - too many options I suspect - but the lenses I most tend to favour are my Sigma 17-70 and 10-20 pairing in EOS mode or their Nikon and Tamron equivalents when the D50 is out and about...:)

    Mind you I bought a new toy this weekend which might change the game...;)
  16. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I think he judged what was and wasn't a shot through the viewfinder, so if he missed something, it wasn't a shot. Was not opportunism like we do.
  17. alindsay

    alindsay Well-Known Member

    Not sure about a single favourite lens, it's perhaps more a question of the focal length I use most often, and the lens for that is almost always my 35mm Distagon.

    If it's not that, it's either the 50mm Planar or the 85mm Sonnar.

    The Distagon seems to cover what I 'see' rather well when I'm sizing up a shot, and it's a beautiful and reliable performer.

    And I'm not biassed by the fact that I got it for a ludicrous price, from Jessops, in the days when they handled used equipment, a mere £86.
  18. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    A 135 mm F3.5 Canon FD used with my FTB is just my most perfect all time combination of feel and performance. Although I've been all digital for some years it still represents to me everything I like about cameras, the photographic equivalent of a steam train.
  19. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    It's easy, even for those who were there, to forget how well we coped with a single lens, when that was all we had. You zoomed with your feet and what wouldn't fit in the frame just got forgotten. Somehow, it still worked out OK.


  20. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Mike,

    Exactly, and beautifully summarized.

    This is why I have no time for extreme range zooms. Yes, I take aide-memoire shots, but I don't imagine that I can make a picture of everything that catches my eye. One clue is in the word "picture", with merit in itself.

    Of course there are nearly as many ways of approaching photography as there are photographers, but it does seem a little eccentric to call a successful professional "shortsighted" because they don't think like an amateur.

    He'd be just as likely to miss "that shot", as MickLL puts it, because he's piddling around changing lenses or fiddling with the zoom ring. With just the one lens he knows where to stand and how to frame it. The 85 is not the lens I'd choose for that, but what the hell? If it works for him it's the very opposite of "dumb" or "shortsighted".

    I've also notices that as I get older, I use fewer and fewer lenses: I just don't feel the need to carry every lens I possess in the hope that something will catch my eye. It's easier (and for me, results in better pictures) to look for pictures with the lens I'm carrying, rather than dithering all over the place about what to shoot. I find I think more about the pictures that way, and less about the kit.



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