Talk me into/out of a 35mm equiv prime lens as an all-rounder lens.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    RambleSS
    Reputation: DefenderOfRock's Avatar
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    Talk me into/out of a 35mm equiv prime lens as an all-rounder lens.

    Hey all. Just getting into the Fujifilm world with an older XT1 body. I dig it a ton for all its manual knobs and controls, and have been shooting lots of longer (35,50,135) manual focus prime lenses. That being said, I admit I am missing the autofocus when photographing moving riders, especially my kids!

    Thinking about getting the XF23mmF2WR lens (35mm full frame equiv) as a kind of allrounder. Wide enough for landscape and environmental photos, but not too wide so I can isolate subjects a bit. Also, its a bit different than the focal length of cell phone cameras, which will be a nice change.
    My main photography styles are (in order of importance/enjoyment)
    1) landscapes (getting to beautiful places in the mountains is why I bike!),
    2) trail pics (sort of like landscapes, but featuring trail lines and sometimes a bike laying there)
    3) bike/rider portraits
    4) documentary/reportage style (oh man not another Radavist wannabe hehe)

    A look at my Instagram feed should show what I mean: @recreation_achieved

    Why a prime lens vs a more versatile zoom? Image quality, size/weight/portability, and the aesthetic and experience. I'm a minimalist by nature. Plus, I have longer focal lengths covered with my other lenses and do not mind using them manually. I also want to get a ultra wide 12mm Rokinon sometime down the line for really dramatic landscapes and rider action shots.

    Anyone wanna talk me out of this? Better suggestions? Thanks!
    Last edited by DefenderOfRock; 1 Week Ago at 08:34 PM. Reason: Rewording title

  2. #2
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    I don't have Fuji equipment, and have no experience with it. I'm a die hard Canon user. But regarding lens choices... prime versus zoom... I've had many self arguments regarding which to go with. Over the years, well, let's just say I've amassed an array of both (needlessly). What I have come to realize through years of experience, is that I gravitate to zooms. I just like the convenience. Yes, they're larger and heavier. But realistically, one zoom weighs less in the bag than three or four primes. As for image quality... yes, there was a time when zooms couldn't rival prime quality. That has changed. At least with Canon. The newer zooms I've gone with do actually produce excellent images. I have a hard time telling the difference these days. In fact, I have to look at meta data sometimes to see what lens I used. Zooms are just as sharp, and the days of chromatic abrasion are history (with the right lens). I shoot with a full frame DSLR. My most used lens by far is a 24-105mm. Medium wide to medium tele. It's my workhorse. Landscapes and architecture are what I shoot most. I do avoid wide range zooms, as optics can take a hit in those. Anyway, just my take on prime versus zoom.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  3. #3
    saddlemeat
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
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    ^I would go for the XF16/2.8 or 1.4, a little less confining, a little more context.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  4. #4
    RambleSS
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    You make a good point about one zoom being the same weight to less than a bag of primes. I'll definitely have to take that into consideration. My biggest complaints about/objections to zooms lenses are the size/weight (space is at a premium on the bike and especially when bikepacking) and my own lack of self-control or vision, taking way too many pictures at too many focal lengths. Primes help me avoid the pitfalls of The Paradox of choice.

    Perhaps I'll get Fuji's 18-55 F2.8-4 zoom and see which FL's I use the most over a year...

  5. #5
    RambleSS
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    ^I would go for the XF16/2.8 or 1.4, a little less confining, a little more context.
    That is a rad lens for sure, I've definitely considered the 16mm F2.8, but ultimately decided against it as an all-rounder prime. If I do get a wide angle prime tho, I think I'm going to get a Rokinon/Samyang 12mm. Go big (as in wide) or go home right!

  6. #6
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    Reputation: johnnyspoke's Avatar
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    I occasionally carry a Canon with a 24mm pancake (38mm equivalent-close to your 35) and I find it works pretty good..... except when it doesn't, and I want wider, or shorter! Part of the fun is making the lens I have with me work, I feel I have to think differently about composition.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  7. #7
    saddlemeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by DefenderOfRock View Post
    That is a rad lens for sure, I've definitely considered the 16mm F2.8, but ultimately decided against it as an all-rounder prime. If I do get a wide angle prime tho, I think I'm going to get a Rokinon/Samyang 12mm. Go big (as in wide) or go home right!
    My EDC is the sony 16/2.8 pancake lens. On my a5000 it makes very capable apsc pocket camera, capable of large prints, and I find just moving closer creates a more dynamic image, as a matter of personal style. I have been considering that 12mm Rokinon too.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  8. #8
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    You mentioned getting something that looks different from an iPhone shot, and I think that's smart. But, to my eye, cell phones all look like 35mm focal length to me.

    And, since you already have the 50, I'd get something truly different and try an 85mm.

    Once a year or so I take nothing but a 150mm f/2.8 and these shots almost invariably end up among my favorite images of the year, regardless of focal length.

    Point simply being that in order to get images that stand out these days, you have to shoot focal lengths that others aren't.

    I end up shooting a 14mm f/1.8 a fair bit too.

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