Rick Lewis

What is Your Favorite or Most Used Focal Length?

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Through Lightroom, I just did a metadata check on all of my images shot during 2017.  I was startled to see the results.  I shoot primarily with a "standard" or "kit" zoom lens on both my Nikon D500 and my Fuji X-E2, both are APS-C crop sensor cameras.  The Nikkor is a 17-55mm f2.8G lens that translates to about 25.5mm (FX) to roughly 83mm (FX).  The Fuji kit lens is the 18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS that translates to roughly 27-83mm (FX).

 

What shocked me was how often I used the long end of the zoom.  Speaking in full frame (FX) terms my three most used focal lengths were 35mm, 50mm, & 83mm, and I mean by a wide margin.  I had no idea I was using the 83mm focal length so often.  (+/- 5mm).

 

My favorite focal length, and one that if I could only choose one prime lens, is 35mm (FX).  It just seems to work for me.  For convenience purposes I shoot with a "standard" zoom.  I hate changing lenses.  It works for me but I really could get by with a Fuji 24mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4 and 56mm f1.2.  I don't think I'll be going that route due to the utility of the zoom but the results did surprise me.

 

How about you?  Do you have a favorite or one that you tend to gravitate to?

 

Rick  

 

 

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Interesting observations. I think it is similar for me. I shoot mostly on kit lens 16-55 cropped sensor, similarly for you for convinience mostly.

I often notice however that out of the entire focal range i only use two extremes, either 16mm (26mm  FX) or 50mm (80mm FX), and would prefer even wider/longer. If I could I would opt for say 12mm & 75mm (19mm-120mm FX) but as you do, I hate changing lenses.

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In film days I usually carried a 3-lens kit: 24, 50 and something from 85 to 105mm for a short telephoto. (Or, sometimes it was a corresponding wide-normal-portrait in medium format.)

I'm another one who doesn't like to change lenses in the field and find that I'm using either the wide or long ends of my 18-55mm, only infrequently the middle.

Currently I carry one body with Fuji XF 14mm and another with the 18-55, but I'm thinking of replacing the latter with a couple of f/2 "Fujicrons" -- the 35mm and 50mm.

That would mean carrying a third body, of course. The 50 would get more use than the 35, but about the same as the 14. A long tele would be nice on occasion, but isn't something I want to lug around.

 

P.S., for tabletop I use almost exclusively a PC Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 (last version, black knob) with a Kipon Tilt NIK-FX N adapter.

The lens and adapter rotate 360° independently of each other with click stops at 30° intervals.

The combination gives me a wide range of rise-fall-shift and tilt-swing options, almost like having a mini-4x5.

Edited by DDoug
clarification, postscript

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I use mainly ex film fixed focal length lenses on my Sony CSC, as a result I cannot use the metadata to check usage.

 

My fitment of choice is a 28mm (equivalent to 42mm FF) as I leave the house.

 

However I use my bagful of lenses, but probably the least used (pity because it's a star performer) is the 35mm f2, or 52.5 mm FF equivalent. I make quite a lot of use of a 50 (75) as  I like the slightly compressed perspective, and that lens too is a great piece of glass.

 

I did find myself making use of the kit zoom yesterday trying to snap items of central heating gear in the airing cupboard, with one hand holding a mirror to show the maker's details in the cramped conditions. Autofocus was, for once, a godsend. PS then came in handy to show the mirror image!

Edited by Bryan

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Something like 90% on the 18-55 with peaks at either end, at 26 and a smaller one at 35.

So evidently I need something shorter but it's not going to happen.

Edited by spacecadet

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7 hours ago, Rick Lewis said:

Through Lightroom, I just did a metadata check on all of my images shot during 2017.

 

 

How can I do this check on Lightroom? 

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Tick the "metadata" library filter and select "camera info".

Edited by spacecadet

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Sigma 180mm macro + or - a 1.4x teleconverter is my most used, closely followed by my Sigma 105mm OS macro (newer shots) and Tamron 90mm macros (older shots).  The joys of specialisation :)

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28 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Tick the "metadata" library filter and select "camera info".

 

I clicked on "Metadata" in LR but could not see "camera info" in the dropdown list?

 

Allan

 

 

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By far a Sigma 10-20mm f4.5 mounted on various Sony APSC cameras (I mostly shoot architectural and contemporary art photographs); yet, my arguably most successful photo ever was made with a quite ordinary 50-200 Sony SAM lens. For close-ups I haven't found anything better than my old Minolta 35-70 f4 so far.

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7 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

I clicked on "Metadata" in LR but could not see "camera info" in the dropdown list?

 

Allan

 

 

Go to the right of the filter bar and click on the dropdown.  It's the top option.

Edited by spacecadet

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Just now, Allan Bell said:

 

I clicked on "Metadata" in LR but could not see "camera info" in the dropdown list?

 

Allan

 

 

Ctrl-F (windows) to bring up the search facility.  Metadata filter is the third option

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I shoot with my 24-70mm f2.8 90% of the time. I find it covers almost all the ranges I need, which means I don't have to keep changing lenses. 

 

The downside is that it's quite heavy and bulky.

 

Other fav is the 50mm f1.8, makes for some beautiful portraits. 

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In the order of usage 50mm, 85mm, 35mm for most of my shots, all fixed focal length lenses. 

I usually mount the length I expect to use but take the other two in my rucksack. 

I rarely change lenses in the field and mostly stick to the focal length mounted unless really justified. 

For wildlife I almost exclusively use a 120-300zoom, occasionally mounting a 1.4x extender.  

 

A 24-70 f2.8 is on my shopping list for some time in the future. 

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90% of the time, I have my AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR on my camera... a cheap lens which I believe was sold as a kit lens with some Nikon models but it's what I can afford and it does the job. Occasionally it gets swapped out for my nifty-fifty but as many of the photos I take are opportunistic as I am walking around somewhere, having the zoom over the prime lens is helpful.

  • Upvote 1

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My 24-70 is on one of my bodies around 75% of the time, followed by my 14-24.  Next is probably my 70-200 then my Tammy 85 1.8.  I never use my 50mm any more, might have to sell it. 

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For stock, my 18-135 is my most used lens. I use all ranges of it. I started to write that I used it at 50 on up mostly, but then remembered when I went out with my 50-140 and was hampered at the wide end. I guess it depends.  For shops, 18-135.  People doing things, 50-140. (The rendering, ya know)

When I’m home, I never use the 18-135 but work the 80, 100-400 and 56 and 18-55. When I go downtown, my 10-24 is the one.

 

Betty

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Most used this year Nikon 28-300, not a great lens but ideal for travelling. Other than that Sigma 105 macro, tends to be my favourite stock lens. After that 24-70, 70-200 and 50mm.

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I don't keep track of the lens on my camera. However I do keep track of the cameras, lenses and focal length of the images that have sold.

Last week I added up what my RX100 I and II had earned me on Alamy. (Because of a very steep repair estimate of the II.) 

Really useful exercise: 5155 gross so far. Net is less than half because of some distribution and the money that gets lost in translation.

 

wim

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I go through phases. Mostly (fx) a 35mm, then a 50mm and then back down to a 28mm. All these lenses are f1.4 which covers me in low light. I rarely go longer or wider as I mainly shoot the street and people. If I could only take one lens then my 50mm f1.4 with a TinRay close focus adapter on an A7r  would be the choice. 0.25m close focus, 1:2 magnification and I can crop the daylights out of it for anything distant. 

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24mm - since I mostly photograph architecture... and use a 24mm Tilt and shift lens...

Edited by Michael_Jacobs

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For travel it is always a 24mm-70mm f2.8 and 70mm-200 f2.8, (and for Live news)  and at time a 16mm fisheye. Nature and wildlife 300mm f2.8 and I know the weight can be limiting the blistering image quality of the 600mm f4. Mounted either on a D3s or D5. 

 

Alan

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5 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Go to the right of the filter bar and click on the dropdown.  It's the top option.

 

Thanks Mark.

 

I checked and the number of lenses used in the last 12 months is almost the number of images posted.:)

 

The one that stood out though was a 24-70 @ 89 uses.

 

Allan

 

 

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Not being a Lightroom user, does anyone know how to get focal length stats using Bridge? (or Nikon View perhaps?).

I'd find these data useful for me too.

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19 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Thanks Mark.

 

I checked and the number of lenses used in the last 12 months is almost the number of images posted.:)

 

The one that stood out though was a 24-70 @ 89 uses.

 

Allan

 

 

I mean this

Capture.jpg

Perhaps your lenses don't report focal length.

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