Surely I can't be the only one who wants a compact FF with a fast 50mm?

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rkny
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Surely I can't be the only one who wants a compact FF with a fast 50mm?
1 month ago

Growing up in the 70s and 80s, anyone paying attention to photography and consumer photo gear was beaten over the head with the 50mm lens. Every SLR ad featured a 50 mounted on the body. School photography courses forbade wide angles and zooms. The Pentax K1000 and a 50mm was de rigueur. It was HCB's lens of choice. Erwitt's too, and probably countless others. And it became mine.

At some point, the 35 took over. I must have been napping because I totally missed the shift. Now every retro styled mirrorless compact features a 35 or its crop equivalent.

When the Fuji X100 landed, I drooled at its tactile M3 styling. But the 35 equivalent lens stopped me cold. By the time the Sony RX1 launched, I was starting to get annoyed.

Some have suggested just cropping a 35mm frame in PP. As if that were the same as shooting with a 50. Can you crop a fisheye image and get a headshot?  Why is cropping a 35 image any less silly?  And why even buy a full frame camera with the intention of cropping?

I cut my teeth on a Leica M6 with a 50 f/2 (thus my website' URL). But a modern M Type digital is out of my price range. And as much as I'd love a Leica, I couldn't give up autofocus.  Plus they seem unnecessarily large by modern mirrorless standards.

The Sony RX1 would be my ideal compromise, if it weren't for that darn 35.  And the rumors are already flying that the RX2 will also have a 35, this time an f/1.8.

To me, the 50 will always be the perfect lens. Just long enough to keep distortion down.  Just wide enough to capture a meaningful landscape. Just enough depth of field control to isolate a still life subject.  Fast enough for low light shooting.  Small enough to go anywhere.

Why has the 50mm become the Doberman Pinscher of lenses? When I was a kid, like the Doberman, the 50 was fierce and fiercely popular. Like the Doberman, everyone respected it and lots of people had one.  Today, like the Doberman, the 50mm lens it seems like a throwback.  It has lost its bite.

Anyone else hoping for a full frame compact with a good old fast sharp 50mm?

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sony RX1
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