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Author Topic: What is your favorite lens?  (Read 10989 times)

skierd

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What is your favorite lens?
« on: October 04, 2016, 01:30:38 am »

It seems like most photography forums are as much about the desire and acquisition of new gear, the next piece of a complete kit, the next part of the collection, etc.  Many of the discussions here bemoan the lack of certain types of lenses, no matter how esoteric, for whatever their chosen camera system is, or the camera system they're dreaming about.  Let's forget about what's next and focus on what's in your bag now...

What is your favorite lens?

Take that question however you want, but let's keep it to lenses you actually own and use.  What piece of glass keeps you in this hobby or profession?  What lens pays the bills and is indispensable to your kit? What's the lens you go to when it's all on the line? The first lens on your camera on any given outing, the go-to, the cornerstone, the "if I had to sell everything but one", the glass that keeps you in your camera system?


For me it's my Pentax SMC DA*50-135 f2.8.  It's on my camera probably 90-95% of the time.  Weddings, landscapes, portraits, chasing the dog, sneaking up on wildlife, portraits of my daughter, doesn't matter this is my go-to lens. It's sharp enough, fast enough, the perfect zoom range for so much, it's images are full of Pentax pixie dust, and it's almost so good that it's cheap for what you get.  I love it's rendering.  It seriously makes me want to just stay in the Pentax aps-c ecosystem. 
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 02:06:47 am »

Hum.. very very hard to pick one...

Until recently I would probably have said the Leica R 180mm f2.8 APO converted to Nikon mount, although it is a bit of a speciality lens. Today I would probably say the new Nikon 105mm f1.4.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 06:29:24 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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mbaginy

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 02:08:41 am »

When I shoot macros, I prefer my Canon 180/3.5 lens, mainly due to the focal length and the tripod collar.

When taking my camera out on the streets to capture images down town I prefer the 50/1.4 on my Canon 5D.  On my Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and X-T1 I usually mount the (50mm FF equivalent) 35/1.4 or 35/2.

I prefer primes and the 50mm (FF) focal length.  Usually I shoot with a wide open aperture.

I wish the lenses I use had built-in lens shades.  Seems only Leica knows how to design and manufacture such high-tech Details (in many M lenses).
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Rob C

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 04:01:15 am »

Strange question. How on Earth can you have a favourite lens?

Lenses are just horses that you use for specific courses. Sometimes you need a wide and others a long. From a pro point of view it, the question, makes no sense. However, from the amateur point of view it all depends: one day I'll put a 24mm onto an FF body and go face the world (my tiny corner of it) in order to see what visual bacon I might come home with; at other, as of late, I'll put the 180mm onto a crop body and play around with that, hand-held, non-stabilised. and see which way the images take me. Or, I may suddenly feel nostalgia for rings, slap on the 500mm and burden myself with a tripod, wheeled along lashed to a shopping bag rig, and feel like a martyr on his way to execution.

There is no favourite: it all depends on whim and what the intention happens to be.

But I do see that where the choice is limited, desire/wishes can move into play and convince one that what isn't available is the very thing that'll have one eternally written into photographic history.

Photography can be at least two things, probably mutually exclusive: a collection of equipment and esoterica; the making of images. It's like the idea of travel being the only way to make pictures that are different and exciting: if one can't go there, wherever there may be - it changes with the seasons - then of course, it can't possibly be one's own fault that one's pictures are dull, can it?

There's a lot of self-deception going down in photography.

Rob

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 04:26:51 am »

Right now I am still amazed on how Zeiss managed to pack so much quality into such a tiny package, in the Loxia 21 f2.8. I mean, the DSLR version has an 82mm diameter, the Loxia has 52mm... Gotta love MILC systems.

Is it my "favourite"? Don't know really. What I know is that last week I took only this lens on the A7 on a business trip to Muscat, went out shooting in the souk with a small tripod to try out people long exposures, or some "ghosting". Got some great shots back.

Bo_Dez

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 04:58:24 am »

Leica Noctilux
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 05:06:33 am by Bo_Dez »
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shadowblade

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2016, 05:02:56 am »

Canon TS-E 24L II.

Every other lens may or may not make it into the kit bag for any particular shooting trip, but this is one lens I'm almost never without.
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Bo_Dez

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2016, 05:03:10 am »

Strange question. How on Earth can you have a favourite lens?

Lenses are just horses that you use for specific courses. Sometimes you need a wide and others a long. From a pro point of view it, the question, makes no sense. However, from the amateur point of view it all depends: one day I'll put a 24mm onto an FF body and go face the world (my tiny corner of it) in order to see what visual bacon I might come home with; at other, as of late, I'll put the 180mm onto a crop body and play around with that, hand-held, non-stabilised. and see which way the images take me. Or, I may suddenly feel nostalgia for rings, slap on the 500mm and burden myself with a tripod, wheeled along lashed to a shopping bag rig, and feel like a martyr on his way to execution.

There is no favourite: it all depends on whim and what the intention happens to be.

But I do see that where the choice is limited, desire/wishes can move into play and convince one that what isn't available is the very thing that'll have one eternally written into photographic history.

Photography can be at least two things, probably mutually exclusive: a collection of equipment and esoterica; the making of images. It's like the idea of travel being the only way to make pictures that are different and exciting: if one can't go there, wherever there may be - it changes with the seasons - then of course, it can't possibly be one's own fault that one's pictures are dull, can it?

There's a lot of self-deception going down in photography.

Rob

I don't think it's strange to have a favourite. If the rendering and focal length resonate with you and match your vision, then, why not?

Some of the very best have spent their lives shooting with one or two lenses only. Some, just one. Making some of the best images in history.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 05:11:18 am by Bo_Dez »
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stamper

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2016, 06:18:12 am »

I don't think it's strange to have a favourite. If the rendering and focal length resonate with you and match your vision, then, why not?

On the other hand the danger is that you tailor your vision to suit your focal length. That is one of the reasons that I don't use a prime when shooting Street. If you use a prime then the advice is to move closer to the action.

muntanela

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2016, 07:41:44 am »

I have very few lenses, the one I have been using most of the times for the last three years is the Leica R Elmarit 100 apo macro (with the Elpro), not only for close ups.
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Rob C

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2016, 10:12:36 am »

I don't think it's strange to have a favourite. If the rendering and focal length resonate with you and match your vision, then, why not?

On the other hand the danger is that you tailor your vision to suit your focal length. That is one of the reasons that I don't use a prime when shooting Street. If you use a prime then the advice is to move closer to the action.


...


Absolutely correct, and that's why now, when it's just for me, I take along one body with whichever lens I feel to be flavour of my day.

It is precisely because of its limiting ability that I like to do that: I find there is nothing worse than the grasshopper mindset that having a zoom would bring into my work. Knowing that what I have with me is all there will be, is translated into freedom of mind and visual thought/recognition. Yes, there will always be the moment when I say, bugger! why didn't I bring whatever along too! But one has to learn that that's how life is: you may as well look at your wife, the love of your life, and say yeah, but Kim has a bigger ass. Which if you suddenly discover that a big ass might be your thing, you may have made the wrong life-decision some time ago, and have just realised it.

I stress, this is the way I work as an amateur; as a pro it was even the kitchen sink that came along, in a manner of speaking. Different situations. If I were going off on a trip somewhere, I'd probably max out at two: a 35mm and the 180mm, not because I prefer one to the other, but because those two focal lengths would cover pretty much all of my current visual interests, the 500mm being too bulky as well as too stylised for an entire body of work that doesn't depend on, or seek that personality.

Rob

NancyP

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2016, 10:48:16 am »

I have a full frame body and a APS-C body. For the APS-C body, almost always it's the 15-85mm as an all-purpose travel lens. For the full frame body, whichever prime suits my goal.
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Otto Phocus

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2016, 10:52:18 am »

A friend of mine talked me into getting a 35mm.  I had never shot any prime that wide before and did not think I would like it.  Boy was I wrong.  The 35mm is the lens that stays on my camera most of the time and I have really grown to appreciate that FL.
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Herbc

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2016, 11:06:25 am »

Leica 24mm f3.8 on my A7RII. 8)
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Rob C

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2016, 01:25:33 pm »

Taking a second look at the same topic, and making it slightly different in that I were to be allowed to own but a single lens, then based on current practice where poor sight has forced me into af and a 1.8/50mm for a lot of the time (effectively 75mm on cropped) then I could be tempted to put all the chips onto an 85mm for my FF, which would translate into a short tele for the cropped D200 camera I also own.

Why that length? Possibly because of my past, where models were my subjects, and apart from a period during the 60s/70s where I almost only ever used 35mm and 135mm on the small cameras, the then fashionable shape of women through short lenses isn't what I like today, not that I am fortunate enough to work with any of them now. Hardly that I expect that to change, just that old habits die hard, and I know that hope springs eternal; if it's realised, then longer lenses will rule.

;-)

Rob
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 04:19:47 pm by Rob C »
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Allen Bourgeois

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2016, 03:25:38 pm »

35 Summilux 1.4 ASPH FLE on my MM, M-E or M 262. I tend t see at 35mm FoV on 135 format.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2016, 03:49:52 pm »

Hi,

Most used? Canon 24-105/4L.

Most loved? Contax 28-135/3.3-4.5 and Canon 16-35/4L.

Best regards
Erik

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Erik Kaffehr
 

MattBurt

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2016, 04:12:32 pm »

Tough question. I rarely designate a single favorite anything.

I'm pretty happy with the majority of lenses I own and that's more than a few.
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-MattB

Chairman Bill

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2016, 05:46:52 pm »

Not sure about favourites, but I tend to use my 50mm f1.8 more than any other lens

Ghibby

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Re: What is your favorite lens?
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2016, 06:30:29 pm »

An open ended question for sure but valid on many levels.

Mine is my Zeiss 100mm F2makro. It's fantastically sharp and the bokeh is beautifully smooth. I got more mileage with it handheld on my 5d2 with the nice Ef-s focus screen that made it easy to use with the viewfinder. On the 5Ds it's more difficult to use with the viewfinder so ends up being more of a tripod use lens. Perhaps the thing I love most about it is the way it can slice the depth of a scene with such precision.

Ben

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