Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
12 days, one camera..but so few focal lengths!
#1
I certainly do not wish to steal Matthew's thunder here: to the contrary, I felt inspired by his methodical approach to have a cool look at my own modus operandi.
Man, I bet your sock drawer is sooo neat! Big Grin
Anyway, today I finished my magnum opus, the Italy galleries(I must still be Romanizing...I keep using Latin epithets.. :/ ): I found some stats to be both revealing and a bit of a shock:
Out of 1500 or so shots, I ended up with 201 keepers: better than I expected, as I'm pretty rigorous at weeding out and culling, but no huge surprises yet.
However, I had a big surprise when I looked at my lens usage as reflected in my final shots....
I took 3 lenses: 21mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, 70-200 f4(IS) with x1.4 converter. I discovered the following:
I never once used my eminently sharp and fast 50mm.
Of all my gallery shots, 49% were with the 21mm: much to be said here for Matthew's point about using the lens that has the best comfort, feel and I.Q. Mind you, I expected the biggest slice of the image pie to represent this lens.
What has come as a big surprise is the use of the 70-200: 26% of my entire shots were using this lens at full stretch, i.e; at either 200 or 280mm(depending on whether I had the converter on). Also, of all the shots that were taken with the 70-200, 81% of these were only with the extreme focal lengths...with hardly anything in between. In other words, all my tele-zoom shots apart from a few strays were either at the extreme long end or the extreme wide end.
It seems, then, that either I simply have not learnt to "see" at focal lengths between 100mm and 199mm...or that there were far fewer natural compositions out there that lent theselves to this range of focal lengths.
I find it odd that there is such a lot of my kit's potential being, by extension, largely unused...yet I was aware of a panoply of shots at around 30mm to 40mm that I would have loved to have had the lens for!
Maybe this is a case for ditching the 70-200, getting a cracking prime of either 200 or 300 mm and sticking with the Tamron 90mm to cover the "wide tele" end, I ask myself...? Big Grin Anyway, just thought I'd share my musings...
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
Reply

#2
I know how much you love both the 21mm and the Tamron. I think given your stats that the idea of buying a long fast prime makes total sense. I'll be interested in how it works out.
Reply
#3
Great discovery... one step closer to nirvana, until you get your next itch... Big Grin
Reply
#4
Zig Wrote:I certainly do not wish to steal Matthew's thunder here: to the contrary, I felt inspired by his methodical approach to have a cool look at my own modus operandi.
Man, I bet your sock drawer is sooo neat! Big Grin
A dozen pairs, all black, all the same style, and all of them thrown in loose. Life's too short. Big Grin

Zig Wrote:I never once used my eminently sharp and fast 50mm.
I do find that surprising, since I'd force myself to use it from sheer stubbornness. (I may have had a bit of that in my recent trip, feeling that I needed to use my two less-common lenses to justify carrying them all that way.) But looking at your photos, it doesn't seem like you were pushing darkness that often, and the difference in hand-holding the 21 v. the 50mm lens is only about one stop in the 50's favour. So yeah, that does make sense.

Zig Wrote:Of all my gallery shots, 49% were with the 21mm: much to be said here for Matthew's point about using the lens that has the best comfort, feel and I.Q. Mind you, I expected the biggest slice of the image pie to represent this lens.
You're a good step ahead of me here, in that you've able to compare the numbers for the finished images that have made it through your selection process, which is much more revealing than the breakdown of the bulk quantity that I've been able to report. But I'm wondering: if you go back and look at the numbers for all of the photos you've taken, are the proportions about the same, or does one lens stand out with a particularly strong 'keeper' percentage?

Zig Wrote:What has come as a big surprise is the use of the 70-200: 26% of my entire shots were using this lens at full stretch, i.e; at either 200 or 280mm(depending on whether I had the converter on). Also, of all the shots that were taken with the 70-200, 81% of these were only with the extreme focal lengths...with hardly anything in between. In other words, all my tele-zoom shots apart from a few strays were either at the extreme long end or the extreme wide end.
That used to bother me when I found that I was using a zoom as a two-position prime, feeling that what I was really saying was that I wanted a lens that was longer/wider than the one I was actually using. That might still be true, but I've stopped worrying about it so much - and I've found that there are certain lenses that I'll use that way, like my Olympus 7-14 and 50-200, and others that I won't, like my Panasonic 7-14 and Olympus 35-100. I don't really know why I'd use two lenses with identical ranges differently, but that's photography for you.

Zig Wrote:I find it odd that there is such a lot of my kit's potential being, by extension, largely unused...yet I was aware of a panoply of shots at around 30mm to 40mm that I would have loved to have had the lens for!
I wonder if a lot of people will sell off their Zeiss 35mm f/2 once the ZE-mount 35/1.4 becomes available? I've almost touched one of the new 1.4 lenses, and from what I've seen of the sample images, it's a stellar lens - but really, either 35mm Zeiss should fill that gap in your lineup. Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

Zig Wrote:Maybe this is a case for ditching the 70-200, getting a cracking prime of either 200 or 300 mm and sticking with the Tamron 90mm to cover the "wide tele" end, I ask myself...? Big Grin Anyway, just thought I'd share my musings...
A 200/2.8 (or 300/4) and the 90 Macro will still be bigger than the 70-200/4IS, cost more, and be more difficult to use. So would replacing one zoom lens with two primes improve your photography? I mean this as an honest question, because (even as someone who predominantly uses primes) I can see a solid advantage to both options.

Interesting musings…
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
Reply
#5
I'll reply more fully once I'm awake(!)., but as a coda to your last point Matthew, I found myself starting to be swayed by the new 70-300(IS)...but my ardour cooled somewhat when I saw how quickly it drops from f4. Also, I reckon because of the relative effort involved, if I did have 2 primes on a similar mission, one of them wouldn't get used as often as the tele-zoom(my 2 position prime, as you rightly nail it).
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
Reply
#6
Do you walk around with your 70-200 at the same time as your 90 prime at the moment Zig?
If you do, then maybe replacing the 70-200 zoom with the "Magic Drainpipe" (200mm f/2.8L) or a similar prime (300mm f/4L) wouldn't mean carrying an extra lens after all, it just wouldn't mean being able to carry less than you currently do.
That extra stop is handy to have, and as good as the IQ is from all the 70-200's... the primes are still better IMHO.

I haven't looked too closely at the new 70-300 IS, but I know previous versions of the x-300mm (non-L) lenses have been ordinary at the long end. If you're used to the IQ of a 70-200L then you'll be very fussy to begin with.
Adrian Broughton
My Website: www.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
My Blog: blog.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Reply

#7
Thanks for your input, Adrian: no, I don't, despite both the extra light gain and better IQ. In fact, you've helped me realise another kit-fact: my summer "everyday" kit is made of different lenses...or rather, in direct and strong light, it'll be: 21 + 70-200 + x1.4 converter. If the light's not as good, or I'm purposefully "looking" at these focal lengths, it'll be the 21 + 50/1.4 + 90. In fact, depending on the weather, I'll lock into "seeing" at the focal lengths I want to take. Oddly, I'll do the same if I shoot mono: I'll tell myself to "see" in terms of mono, taking the lens that I feel in advance will make the most of the textures and lines of where I'm going.
Hmm..yes..."primes are better": I'm not being obtuse, and of course agree with you fully in sharpness/acuity respect...yet sometimes "Canon sharpness" is not what I need..indeed, sometimes I just feel that the 70-200 "draws" in a certain way...
And I confess, having looked back at the Italy shots, there is a small(but perfectly-formed!) percentage of shots at really nuts focal lengths, like 141mm, 247mm, etc, that seemed to be the exact focal length that worked.
In response to Matthew's point about "overall keeper likelihood of all shots": well, it is certainly the 21mm. And, yes, whereas again I notice it "draws"/renders in a unique way, is bogglingly sharp...I reckon also that there is also a more prosaic reason: I can shoot with a big margin of error in focal length, as long as I focus on the right thing(I mean hyperfocally, much more leniently with the 21 than I ever could with the 16-35. I think this has upped the proportion of 21mm keepers...
..And as a result, because I'm using the 21 more, getting better results, getting more confident...it also becomes more my lens of choice the next time...and with its liberatingly manual focus instead of AF, I find that ease increases proportionally.
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
Reply
#8
Some thoughts on the 70-300. I took one home for testing a couple of days ago. Zig is right about the fast drop from f4. once you hit 100 it drops to 4.5 and at about 150 you are already at 5 and 200 you are at 5.6. The lens is sharp enough alright - but is quite heavy and slow. I tested against my 70-200 f4 IS and then tried it with the 1.4 teleconverter. This combination is almost an exact match for the 70-300 - but much lighter and smaller.

The 70-200 with teleconverter at 280 (full stretch) was pretty much line ball quality with the 70-300 at 300. The only difference being the autofocus hunted a bit more with the teleconverter in low light then with the 70-300.

Given the price for the 70-300 and the weight I would definitely recommend the 70-200 f4 IS with a teleconverter for travelling.

Zig - the Canon 200 2.8 prime is a stellar lens - but has no IS. I really think you would be better just sticking with the 70-200.

Cheers,

Chris
Canon stuff.
Reply
#9
That's great, Chris, thank you. I reckon I'd already reached the same conclusion but nice to have a man in the field saying so in practice..and I'd not even considered the weight. I confess I'm reaching that point where crystalline primes at longer lengths are counterbalanced by the encumbrance factor. Oddly enough, since getting the Zeiss 21, I'm aware now (for my own needs that is) that Canon razor-sharpness might not be as "real" as the experience itself(am not sure I'm putting that into words very well). Another confession is that, apart from around 35-40mm, I reckon my armoury is just about complete: I get a sense of resignation with this rather than joy, for some reason... Smile
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Your Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Camera and Lenses Jeffbridge 1 2,102 Aug 5, 2019, 01:31
Last Post: jogesh12345
  What Camera?? (Thread Two) Barbara G. 75 57,063 Jul 13, 2019, 00:29
Last Post: jogesh12345
  Camera Bag Review- PhotoCross by MindShift Gear admin 3 3,022 Jul 8, 2019, 05:40
Last Post: jogesh12345

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)