range of fixed lens to have

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by jeff, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. jeff

    jeff Guest


    I am looking into photography with fixed focal lens, my first lens will be
    the Carl Zeiss 85mm/1.4. I am thinking about getting a few more but i am
    very confuse about whether to get the 50mm or 35mm or 28mm or 135mm, can
    anybody please suggest to me??


    jeff, Aug 3, 2003
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  2. I'll just second what Joseph has to say but also say if you had the money,
    that whole lineup is perfect for general all round shooting.
    drhowarddrfinedrhoward, Aug 3, 2003
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  3. jeff

    Fuzzfactor Guest

    On the wide end, I carry a 28mm, but would like to get a 35mm in the case that
    I wan't to carry one lens around. The 50mm is sharp and fast, great for
    available light and copy work.

    On the tele end, I carry a 135mm. It is a big step up from 50mm with out having
    another focal legth in there, but I hasn't really bothered me much given the
    50mm is lightly tele (compared to what I call a slightly wide "normal" 35mm
    Fuzzfactor, Aug 3, 2003
  4. jeff

    jeff Guest

    Thanks for the reply.

    I am looking to get two more lens at most, the people in the store
    suggested the 35mm for the next lens but i am asking myself whether if that
    is wide enough for for indoor group photo. Or should I get the 28mm??

    jeff, Aug 3, 2003
  5. jeff

    Joseph Kewfi Guest

    I use Nikon gear myself, the kit of primes I use consists of: 28/50/85. This
    covers mainly everything *I* need, although I have just bought a 20mm lens
    for ultra wides. It may work for you too, it may not.
    Joseph Kewfi, Aug 3, 2003
  6. jeff

    Hickster0711 Guest

    There is a very big difference between a 24 and 28 and less between a 35 and
    50. I'm happier with a 28 as a 24 can cause outrageous distortion. Unless
    that's what you want, of course. If I started with an 85 and wanted to carry
    one other, I'd probably get a 35. If I wanted to carry three, I'd add a 28 and
    a 50. As it is, I usually have a 28-50-135. The 28 is fine for indoor shots,
    if I'm careful about keeping the camera perfectly level, and the 135 is
    excellent for picking people out of a crowd. But the 85 is, I'm sure a much
    more flattering portrait lens. Good luck Bob Hickey
    Hickster0711, Aug 3, 2003
  7. jeff

    John Miller Guest

    For most people, if they can have only one WA lens, I recommend a 28mm.
    Myself, if I had only one, it would be a 24mm. It all depends upon how
    wide your personal visualization tends to be, and how close in you like to
    work, for purposes of perspective emphasis. Some people are better off
    with a 35mm.

    John Miller

    For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat, and wrong.
    -H. L. Mencken
    John Miller, Aug 3, 2003
  8. jeff

    T P Guest

    I would suggest a three lens outfit with 25mm, 35mm and 85mm. The
    next lens you should buy is the 35mm, because it is a general purpose
    lens whereas the 85mm f/1.4 is primarily for portraiture and short
    telephoto work. The 25mm is a superb wide angle lens and will nicely
    complement the 35mm and 85mm.

    All are outstanding optics.
    T P, Aug 3, 2003
  9. jeff

    T P Guest

    That's good advice. The 35mm is probably the shortest focal length
    that is suitable for group portraits, as the 28mm produces more
    obviously elongated faces and bodies near the edges. This is
    extremely unflattering.
    T P, Aug 3, 2003
  10. Since you have an 85 a 35 is a good complement and if you find that is
    not enough you can go to say 24 which is more than the 28 would do. 24 is
    not too bad and not that difficult to work with, 20-21 gets more difficult
    to master, but it can be done if you are willing to be a little careful with

    It is really difficult to pick for someone who is not you. Your needs
    and work are different than mine (you should be glad).
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 3, 2003
  11. jeff

    Slingblade Guest

    Assuming you are using a 35mm camera correct? If so...

    That 85mm lens you mentioned would make a great portrait lens, and
    some people use an 85mm as their "standard". All those focal lengths
    you mention are well worth having, if you can afford it. If money
    prohibits getting them all then I'd suggest that the next lens you get
    after the 85mm would be the 35mm.

    The 35mm is wide enough for many situations, but not too overly wide,
    and will give you an idea as to whether you want to go with a wider
    angle lens. If you do decide that there are many instances where
    you'd like a wider lens, then I'd suggest a 24mm over the 28mm you
    mention. Or even a 20mm if you can find a good one at an affordable
    price. If money is no object, then get them all eventuallys, but as a
    rule I've noticed that you need to put about 10mm to 15mm difference
    between the sizes of your lenses to get a truly noticable difference
    in field of view.

    About the others you mention. 50mm lenses are usually not very
    expensive comparably, and are very useful in many situations...and you
    might be able to find a great deal on a used model in excellent
    condition. The 135mm will be great if you need to bring distant
    subjects closer, but if you get the 85mm first, then I'd wait on the
    135mm until after you've covered some of the "normal" to "wide angle"

    To me an ideal and economical fixed focal length lens setup would

    20mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm

    That would be 5 lenses that would cover the majority of most anything
    you'd ever encounter.

    Does this help any?
    Slingblade, Aug 3, 2003
  12. 28-50-85

    or 35-85
    Michael Scarpitti, Aug 3, 2003
  13. jeff

    Slingblade Guest

    In follow up to my last reply to your first message...let me say that
    for indoor shots, especially of groups...quite often a 28mm is nowhere
    near wide enough...but that all depends on the amount of space you
    have inside the building. If you are planning on taking a lot of
    indoor shots of groups of people, then you might be better off getting
    something in the 20-24mm range, if finances permit.
    Slingblade, Aug 3, 2003
  14. jeff

    Slingblade Guest

    Who makes a 25mm? Is this a Carl Zeiss model?
    Slingblade, Aug 3, 2003
  15. As the OP mentioned a CZ 85/1.4 as being his first purchase (and a wise one,
    I think... usually available for slightly less than the Nikkor) I think it's
    safe to assume he is buying into the Contax/Yashica system. The 25mm f2.8 TP
    mentioned is a C/Y fit Carl Zeiss lens (also available in Rollei, IIRC) of
    some renown. My former lecturer loved his, but like a fool sold it.

    When I considered the Contax system I planned for 25/35/50/85, but the price
    was prohibitive. Most of the above cost 50-100% more than the equivalent
    Nikkors on the UK used equipment market, 85/1.4 excluded.
    Martin Francis, Aug 3, 2003
  16. jeff

    T P Guest


    The OP has purchased an 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss lens, so it is safe to
    assume he's buying into the Yashica/Contax system. The Carl Zeiss
    wide angle lens closest to 24mm is actually a 25mm.

    Don't ask me why!

    T P, Aug 4, 2003
  17. jeff

    Rico Tudor Guest

    Two ways to explore focal lengths on the cheap: first, P&S w/zoom and,
    second, lower tier primes from the used market.

    I have the Yashica T4 Zoom (CZ glass) which has discrete FLs of 28,
    40, 55, 60, and 70. After the testing, keep it as a 2nd camera for
    traveling light.

    You can find all manner of lenses on Ebay for the C/Y mount, and at the
    right price, who cares about optical quality and condition? Remember,
    you're just testing. Meanwhile, Yashica ML primes are cheap and actually
    good: I bought the 200/4 ML C in a LN- condition from KEH.com for $130.
    Even though I already have the CZ Planar 50/1.4, I also picked up the
    Yashica 50/2 ML for $15... think of it as a body cap that takes pretty
    good pics!

    28mm is reasonably wide for indoor and as wide as you can safely go for
    group photo. I primarily shoot groups (inside or out) and when 28mm
    doesn't serve, jump directly to fisheye.

    Rico Tudor, Aug 4, 2003
  18. jeff

    Marko B. Guest

    You have the same collection as me :)

    I use them all 20, 28, 50 and 85. They're amazing lenses.

    Marko B., Aug 5, 2003
  19. jeff

    Joseph Kewfi Guest

    They're amazing lenses.


    Joseph Kewfi, Aug 5, 2003
  20. Well, I'm close to you guys....I've got the 20, 28, 35, 50 and a 100.
    William Graham, Aug 5, 2003
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