The eternal 35-vs-50 war

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I had the Pentax 20-35 f4 on my *ist D2. 30-52 mme. It was great. I took most of my shots with it during a six week trip to India. It wasn’t small but very light. Not a common zoom range.
 
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gordo

Top Veteran
Location
Arizona
Real Name
Gordon
The perfect normal zoom, for me, is a pro-build, weather resistant 24-85/2.8 or 4. Not an easy beast to find these days.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I'm thinking some of the people here should invest in a zoom lens or two. Not something for a traditional RF camera- but most cameras can use them. I traded it for an RF lens, but I had an AF-Nikkor 28~85 that was quite good.
I don't have anything in particular against zooms (my new Olympus 12-45mm f/4 is one great performer, and I do like most of the others I own), but I shoot differently with primes. Can't really explain why - it's important to me, and I clearly prefer it as well as the results.

That said, I was intrigued by the Pentax 20-40mm Limited for a very long time ...

M.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Location
Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Sue
Pentax shooter, still, here. I have two 35mm and two 50mm, as well as a 55mm. I guess thats the range I prefer. I did have the FA43mm f/1.9 Ltd but I just could never adapt to it. I also have a DA15mm Ltd which almost never comes out. And a couple of WR zooms for *those* days.

I was thinking about why I might prefer the 50mm and i believe its about what I began my photography with... a Minolta SRT303 with a Rokkor 50mm f/1.4, and thats all I had, for years. Still have them.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
My first film SLR was a mid-1970s Minolta SRT-200 that I bought brand new for about $150. 100 percent manual with only a battery for a light meter. I had little money in those days, so a 50mm f/2.0 Rokkor-X prime was my only lens for at least five years. And I had no problem with it.

When I switched to digital, I went with Pentax. But I found the focal lengths of its FA Limited primes to work out oddly on APS-C. The 31mm was okay, working out to about a 46.5mm full-frame equivalent. But, even then, it typically ran in the $900 range. Enter the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. Very sharp, very fast, great depth-of-field control and offering a 45mm equivalent. Under $400 10-15 years ago. It was my favorite prime on my Pentax K200D and K-5.

When I eased my way into micro fourth-thirds (I ran both systems for several years), it didn't take me long to gravitate to the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. I gave my first version to a niece when I gifted her some of my earlier u43 cameras. But I picked up the Mark II shortly afterward and still have it.

I personally prefer the 35mm field of view over 50mm - most of the time. But 40mm is dang near perfect.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
My first film SLR was a mid-1970s Minolta SRT-200 that I bought brand new for about $150. 100 percent manual with only a battery for a light meter. I had little money in those days, so a 50mm f/2.0 Rokkor-X prime was my only lens for at least five years. And I had no problem with it.

When I switched to digital, I went with Pentax. But I found the focal lengths of its FA Limited primes to work out oddly on APS-C. The 31mm was okay, working out to about a 46.5mm full-frame equivalent. But, even then, it typically ran in the $900 range. Enter the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. Very sharp, very fast, great depth-of-field control and offering a 45mm equivalent. Under $400 10-15 years ago. It was my favorite prime on my Pentax K200D and K-5.

When I eased my way into micro fourth-thirds (I ran both systems for several years), it didn't take me long to gravitate to the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. I gave my first version to a niece when I gifted her some of my earlier u43 cameras. But I picked up the Mark II shortly afterward and still have it.

I personally prefer the 35mm field of view over 50mm - most of the time. But 40mm is dang near perfect.
Ah ... forgot about the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Art I owned for my D5500 when I still had that camera - it hardly ever left the camera (only for the even more impressive Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art - a huge lens, but a fabulous performer); the rendering was gorgeous. Its predecessor wasn't bad either, as far as I recall ...

I guess my infatuation with 45mm-e goes back some time, then ... Besides, the 18-35mm is another wide-to-normal zoom worth mentioning; that's a beast (in all respects, unfortunately), and it covers most common FoVs ... If you can live with its size and weight, it's really hard to beat. For me, it was too big in the end - but I really had a hard time letting it go because of the results it gave me.

M.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
Pentax shooter, still, here. I have two 35mm and two 50mm, as well as a 55mm. I guess thats the range I prefer. I did have the FA43mm f/1.9 Ltd but I just could never adapt to it. I also have a DA15mm Ltd which almost never comes out. And a couple of WR zooms for *those* days.

I was thinking about why I might prefer the 50mm and i believe its about what I began my photography with... a Minolta SRT303 with a Rokkor 50mm f/1.4, and thats all I had, for years. Still have them.
Sure. I started with a Spotmatic and a 55. I then had some 50’s (Pentax made a bunch of these) and then the 40 2.8. All of those lenses never failed to please.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
That said, I was intrigued by the Pentax 20-40mm Limited for a very long time ...
I've mentioned before that I once rented the 20-40 Ltd during the time I owned a K30. It was one of the best lenses I've ever used from an IQ standpoint. I just couldn't see myself carrying a camera/lens combo that big regularly out in the woods, especially if I'm on a bike.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I've mentioned before that I once rented the 20-40 Ltd during the time I owned a K30. It was one of the best lenses I've ever used from an IQ standpoint. I just couldn't see myself carrying a camera/lens combo that big regularly out in the woods, especially if I'm on a bike.
There you are ... Compare what I've said about the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 - wonderful lens, but *huge*. I actually consider the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 somewhat big (on the small :mu43: bodies I tend to own). I let go of other lenses, most notably the Sigma f/1.4 Art primes, because I found them clearly too bulky for my liking ... I think that a lot of my fascination for Leica M springs from the fact that you end up with a superbly compact setup (for FF) that performs superbly well ... I've looked into the MATE (28-35-50mm step zoom) - not a really big lens, but still somewhat off for my taste. I'll stick with the small 35mm and 50mm primes I own (with 28mm, 75mm and 90mm options to choose from).

M.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I admit one zoom that tempts me is the Fuji 16-80 f/4. Perfect zoom range for a "normal" with some real reach at the long end. It would be great on the XH1, although the whole package would be heavy. It would also work on the XE3 (which I may end up keeping) because of the OIS, although it would be one your hold by the lens.
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Do you get more of a panorama?
On a 3:2 size sensor, I am thinking so. Mentally I think I measure a frame by the horizontal, as in what I can fit into the frame on both sides, more so than the top and bottom. So in a sense, 40mm on 4:3 seems tighter to me because there's less on the sides. Though, I have used 40mm on 35mm film and feel the same level of comfort with that frame.
 

rflove

Veteran
This is a conundrum for me. When I began to play with the DSLR (a Nikon D60), I had the kit tele lenses. When I went to the Olympus M43 system I began to get primes.. Now with the M240 I'm face with the different options and their advantages/disadvantages. I've managed to fall to the GAS syndrome so I have 15mm, 21mm, 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm lenses.
I love the 50 'Lux and how it renders images, but the angle of view is definitely a hindrance when trying to get more than the 50mm FL allows... I've carried the 35mm but never can quite "cotton up" to it. The 28mm gets a good bit of use but invariable I find myself wanting to narrow the FOV... I like the 40mm too, and I've put it to good use at times. Interestingly, the 21mm CV Ultron has proven to be quite nice except for its heft. It's built like a tank and weights about as much :), however, it actually work very nicely for people, it doesn't exhibit very much distortion and at f1.8 it allows a lot of light in...
I haven't shot with it much lately though... I think I'll have to carry 2 or 3 lenses with me if I want to be prepared for eventualities.

Not much help am I, eh?
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
And very heavy by comparison with the Pentax lenses. Thats why I never went Sigma for any lenses, every one of them weighs a lot more than either the Pentax or Tamron counterparts.
I loved the 30mm f/1.4 Art on the very grippy little Nikon D5500 - fantastic combo, worked out very well overall. In fact, the camera handled so well that it actually took the 18-35mm f/1.8 Art surprisingly well. Still, compared to its little brother (or cousin), the 30mm f/1.4 Contemporary (which isn't a particularily small lens, either), the 30mm f/1.4 A felt indeed huge. And the 30mm f/1.4 C is better behaved, too ... But yes, Sigma values optical prowess over compact size - or did so for quite a while. But now, they have my new favourite AF lens, the 45mm f/2.8 C - not a compact f/2.8 lens, but still reasonably small, fantastic build quality and gorgeous images. I like it ...

M.
 

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