If you could only have one lens, what would it be?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
Vato915
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

This got me thinking if you had too choose only ONE lens money no object what would it be and why?

I'd love to play with an E-mount version of the Noctilux-M!

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KwhyChang
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Re: One lens, OK...but I'll use it on three cams
In reply to dunders, 5 months ago

dunders wrote:

KwhyChang wrote:

I'd use my Zeiss ZM 35/2, but on three different cameras... as a 35mm on my A7,-

Dave

Dave,

My Biogon 35/2 does not play well with the A7r. Can you post some photos to make me consider swapping for the A7, please? I love the lens on the Zeiss Ikon and on the Ricoh GXR, but *ouch* on the A7r.

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Paul
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http://flickr.com/photos/dunders

Here you go. I think I shot these shortly after getting it used for 8 bills and some change. You really can't see much here, sorry. I remember I forgot to reset the ISO so it was on 800.

Zeiss ZM 35/2

another with ZM 35/2

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Dave

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Chad Hardy
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

Fast prime 35mm native f1.8 or less.

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dunders
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Re: One lens, OK...but I'll use it on three cams
In reply to KwhyChang, 5 months ago

KwhyChang wrote:

dunders wrote:

KwhyChang wrote:

I'd use my Zeiss ZM 35/2, but on three different cameras... as a 35mm on my A7,-

Dave

Dave,

My Biogon 35/2 does not play well with the A7r. Can you post some photos to make me consider swapping for the A7, please? I love the lens on the Zeiss Ikon and on the Ricoh GXR, but *ouch* on the A7r.

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Paul
... lost in the Irish Sea.
http://flickr.com/photos/dunders

Here you go. I think I shot these shortly after getting it used for 8 bills and some change. You really can't see much here, sorry. I remember I forgot to reset the ISO so it was on 800.

Zeiss ZM 35/2

another with ZM 35/2

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Dave

Thanks, Dave.  Much better than the A7r, but not quite clean enough in the corners for my work.  I just love this lens on my other cameras.  Such a disappointment on the  A7r.

Enjoy it!

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Paul
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http://flickr.com/photos/dunders

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Ckrappraisal
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Re: One lens
In reply to rsurya23, 5 months ago

I'm loving the Zeiss 32mm Touit. It barely ever leaves the 5t.

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jtr27
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

Sounds like that hypothetical "which one album would you listen to on a desert island" question, which certain individuals, formerly known as "record store geeks" (back when there were record stores) loved answering, if only to demonstrate how insightful, unexpected and profound their answer was.

Thank goodness that "camera geeks" aren't at all like "record store geeks."  

IMO, a far more useful question might be "if you currently have only one lens, and you're ready to buy another lens, what lens should it be?"

And now, having rephrased the question to my satisfaction (if nobody else's), I am still going to resist the urge to give a specific answer.

Because the answer to all these "which camera is better?" and "which lens is best?" and "me or Jimmy - who beats?" questions is always, always, always - it depends.  What kind of photography do you like to do?  How much money can you spend?  Do you make prints?  If so, how large?  Etc, etc, etc.

Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

But I will say, in my opinion, and yeah it's an opinion... if you own only one lens, say an SEL1855 or the SEL1650, the next lens you buy ought to be a Sigma.  19mm, 30mm, 60mm, take your pick.  They are all outstanding, and they are all unbelievable bargains for the image quality that you get.

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Jerry Gardner
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

It would be a 10-1000mm f/2.8 zoom made out of unobtanium, weighing about 6 ounces, autofocusing in about 1 millisecond at -10EV, and designed and built by Zeiss.

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Absence Of Faith
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

If I can only own one E mount lens, my choice would have to be the 35/1.8 OSS. Creamy bokeh, OSS and a perspective that suits most occasions. I don't own it yet but I will soon. Here's to hoping I get a good copy though.

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captura
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to hyenadog, 5 months ago

hyenadog wrote:

its a very easy answer .. the 50SEL

1. you get the ability for nice defocused background portraits;

2. it performs very well wide open - great for low light/action

3. it has OIS so great for video and low light

4. for Sony E mount lenses its good value

Pity the 35SEL isnt priced like this and pity the NEX AF isnt FAR better in lower light to take advantage

no brainer really unless you just want to just take static pictures of landscapes (enter NEX fanboys) LOL

In low light I have found the 50/1.8 to be slow. The Sigma 30 too.

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Re: The SEL 18200 (1st version) n/t
In reply to Dirk W, 5 months ago

+ 1

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xpistos
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The 35mm f2 that's attached onto the RX1 :) <nt>
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

geoff35 wrote:

I recently bought a Nex 3n with kit lens, and am really glad I did its a great camera. I have inevitably though been looking for faster lenses. I have tried the Helios 44m and the Pentacon 50mm 1.8 and they are both good lenses although a little more cumbersome on the camera than I would like. This led me to looking at the rangefinder lenses, specifically the Jupiter 3 and 8 not as cheap on ebay as once was though. I am looking for a good all round focal length thinking 24-50mm (36-75mm on nex) prime lens with wide aperture sub F2, for the times when the kit lens just isnt bright enough.

This got me thinking if you had too choose only ONE lens money no object what would it be and why?

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john-photoguy
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Re: One lens, OK...but I'll use it on three cams
In reply to KwhyChang, 5 months ago

KwhyChang wrote:

I'd use my Zeiss ZM 35/2, but on three different cameras... as a 35mm on my A7, as a 52mm/2 on my APSC, and as a 70mm/2 on my µ4/3 cam.

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Dave

That lens would be a good reason to drag around the FM2, D300 and A7 too

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Let just all take more photographs!

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scrane
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

Since the Sony is not my primary system I'll take the easy way out with the Sigma 30/2.8.

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KwhyChang
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Re: One lens, OK...but I'll use it on three cams
In reply to john-photoguy, 5 months ago

john-photoguy wrote:

KwhyChang wrote:

I'd use my Zeiss ZM 35/2, but on three different cameras... as a 35mm on my A7, as a 52mm/2 on my APSC, and as a 70mm/2 on my µ4/3 cam.

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Dave

That lens would be a good reason to drag around the FM2, D300 and A7 too

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Let just all take more photographs!

I drag around the old Canon 5D, but its sensor is now being eclipsed by my µ4/3 cams.... what a difference 10 years makes.

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Dave

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KwhyChang
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, 5 months ago

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

I wouldn't count on a stabilized Zeiss Alpha (ZA) prime though, not even at 85mm. It will take a non Zeiss lens (as is the case in Canon's world too, non-L lenses) to have stabilization at shorter FL. In case of Canon, the shortest stabilized L prime is: 200/2.

This is wrong. Canon has the 100mm/2.8 L IS.

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kcamacho11
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

geoff35 wrote:

I recently bought a Nex 3n with kit lens, and am really glad I did its a great camera. I have inevitably though been looking for faster lenses. I have tried the Helios 44m and the Pentacon 50mm 1.8 and they are both good lenses although a little more cumbersome on the camera than I would like. This led me to looking at the rangefinder lenses, specifically the Jupiter 3 and 8 not as cheap on ebay as once was though. I am looking for a good all round focal length thinking 24-50mm (36-75mm on nex) prime lens with wide aperture sub F2, for the times when the kit lens just isnt bright enough.

This got me thinking if you had too choose only ONE lens money no object what would it be and why?

SEL35F18

By far my favorite E-mount lens.

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NowHearThis
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

To answer your question...sort of

Zoom: 16-70/4 Zeiss.

Prime: 35/1.8 OSS
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120 to 35
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

My favorite lens is the Zeiss Contax G 2/45. It would be great if Zeiss release a manual FE-mount lens with the same optics but with a proper focus ring and electronic reading of aperture setting for EXIF.

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ottonis
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Re: If you could only have one lens, what would it be?
In reply to DtEW, 5 months ago

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

This got me thinking if you had too choose only ONE lens money no object what would it be and why?

Sony E 35mm f/1.8 OSS

Small, light, very good (even wide open), excellent build quality and a perfect match for APSc bodies as a normal lens. Also, stabilized.

^This.

Or if there ever manifests the currently-fantastical OSS-equipped version of the SEL24F18Z, which I think is a more useful FoV.

Of course, 1) "money no object" is merely rhetorical fodder, and 2) you have an ILC - to choose only one lens misses the entire point of it being an ILC. Like buying a Rolex to use as a hammer. Because there are some very good fixed-lens cameras out there these days.

The much better questions for a photographer would either be:

1) "I can only afford to buy one lens right now. What would be a good do-it-all-lens?"

2) "I have a limited budget right now. What lenses would be good to start with that I won't feel compelled to upgrade from in awhile?"

Otherwise:

3) "I'm an aesthete. My camera is part tool, part fetish. I want that *one special lens* I can put on it so I can stroke it like a bauble-extension of my ego.  What is the one lens, money-no-object, that I should consider?"

Y'all know its true.

Excellent points!
As an one-do-it-all lens, the kit zoom is unbeatable, since it covers a very useful focal range and is stabilized.

As a cheap, affordable alternative with a better quality than the kit lens, I would go with either one of the two sigma lenses (19 & 30mm). Both are stellar performers for everday use.

If you need a truly fast lens and if you don't mind manual focus, then the Voigt 35 or 40 mm are real beasts, providing a fantastic IQ as fast as f/1.4.

The good thing about the Nexes is you have really awesome choices, many of which have a great bang for the buck.
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Amamba
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Jack of all trades = master of none
In reply to geoff35, 5 months ago

If you want to be stuck with just one lens, get RX100 or whichever model is the latest.

Otherwise, the question is what do you shoot, this will determine what you need.

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