Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?

Started Jan 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
rrr_hhh Veteran Member • Posts: 6,022
Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?

S. Miller wrote:

Sorry, here's another one of those "Can you help me decide which lens is best for me, even though you don't know exactly how I'll use it?" threads.

I played around with a 35-100/2.8 and was very impressed with the build and image quality. I viewed that lens as a great walk around mid-tele zoom that could also do double duty as an indoor low light lens. Unfortunately though, for the the typical low light shooting that I do in my home or similar settings, f/2.8 isn't fast enough. I usually shoot friends and family just hanging out.

The 75mm is a 150mm equivalent : for typical indoors home shooting it is too long IMO, especially if you are rather looking for environmental portraits of the Arnold Newman kind. You will just get head portraits in most homes. I got this lens, but it is rather for its incredible sharpness at F4. Also : the 75mm is so sharp that it is not so flattering for portraits, specially not for older women portraits.

My favorite indoor portrait lens is the 25mm F1.4 or sometimes the 45mm.

So now I'm looking at the 35-100 as just an outdoor mid-tele zoom but know that in good light, I can use my cheap Oly 40-150 and get quite nice results, especially in the 40-100 range of that lens. Sure I won't get the relatively shallower DOF of the f/2.8 lens, but I think you can still get good separation with a slower lens based on FL, distance to subject, and subject distance to b/g. In short, I'm not sure if I really need want this lens.

When I look at the 75/1.8, however, things get really interesting. I would get the low light capability of a f/1.8 lens, and also get a great outdoor mid-tele lens (albeit one for which I'll have to walk to zoom).

My experience with this lens is that I can barely use it indoors because it is too long most of the time.  I'm so accustomed to the 90mm equivalent focal length, that I have to think twice before using it. I just don't see as much possible pictures with a 150mm equivalent than i do with a 90mm. Although I'm slowly getting the hang.

How many more Fstops will you get ? 1.3 stops, that is not the end of the world.

Yes, you will have to zoom with your feet and the distance may be bigger than you think and you may the loose the framing you wanted, due to other elements getting in the way.

I love this lens due to its sharpness, micro contrast and rendering, but it is not a very versatile lens, not only comparing it to a zoom, but also compared to other primes like the 45mm.

The best way for you to know would be to set your 40-150mm at 74mm and spend some hours shooting at that length and only that length. (The 40-150mm can't be set at 75mm, only at 74 or 78mm).  If it is just to test framing, you can let the ISOs climb for indoor shooting.

For those of you that considered both of these lenses, I'd love to hear your thoughts. FYI, my other lenses are:

9-18, 17/1.8, 25/1.4, 45/1.8, 12-50 (kit w/ E-M5), 40-150

As to my self-deprecating comment at the top, I always loved shooting tight portraits. Over the past couple of years, I've tried to expand my skill base focusing on wider shots, be they city/landscape, environmental portraiture, or street photography. I have two areas on which I want to focus right now, though they're at opposite ends of the normal FL spectrum (not including long tele): 1) getting back to traditional portraits (think 85mm on APS-C) or 2) forcing myself to get closer to my subjects while including more of the surroundings (thus the reason for the recent 17/1.8 purchase) - I'm a huge Arnold Newman fan.

85mm on Canon makes a 136mm and on Nikon a 127.5mm. 150mm would be quite narrower.. But less than if you were accustomed to shoot with a FF camera like I was. So may be you'd get the hang of it easier than me.

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