Focal length question... 35 and 50 necessary?

Started Jan 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 23,964
That is a good one Bob.....

Bob Tullis wrote:

tedolf wrote:

There is Hope, always Hope.

One can recognize that they have no tallent by, for example comparing their fireworks photo's to the firework photo's of other.

But then comes Hope!

Hope that somehow, someday, someway through dilligent study of out of print Kodak photograpy books, contemplating the Rule of Thirds, etc. one might imitate tallent, or perhaps apply formulatic compostional rules to fool the masses into thinking they have talent or even recieve tallent in a dream through Divine Inspiration!

Thus, there is alwas Hope!

But, none of that applies to focal lenght selection.

You still need to know what you want to shoot and what you want to accomplish before you select a focal lenght.

Everyone has their own way. But yes, that's what an experienced photographer does. The inexperienced can come at it any way they like, though some ways are more productive than others.

Otherwise, it is no different than giving a Chimpanzee a point-n-shoot superzoom, a fully charged battery and letting him out of his cage.


I recall when I was buying my first DSLR kit I bought expensive.

Now that was a mistake.

No, it wasn't for me. Take that to the bank.

First reason was to insure if I took bad photos I couldn't blame the gear. The 2nd reason was because I wanted to learn how and for what various lenses were good for, and for me that means hands-on.


Trial and error, eh?

Of course I had sense of what lens was good for what. That came from forum members who tried to understand my position in the journey and offer helpful guidance.


So, you never took a course, read a book or studied photographs taken by others?

Yes, there was that, but it was a joint operation in conjuction with trial and error.

I've had condescending Tedolf-like feedback too,

I don't think so.

I can't remember critisizing any of your photo threads, but maybe there was one?

First, I was talking about comments I received years ago on these boards, back when it was less popular and there were less troublemakers. You weren't around at the time - but now that you mention it I recall your first week here too, when you took it upon yourself to be the arbiter of aesthetics and [sic] talent when a topic with the word 'artistic' was created. It was a memorable first impression.

but all that did was help me learn who the arrogant blowhards were, they did nothing for helping me find my way otherwise.

Well, if Tedolph had given you condescending feedback, he would have refered you to an out of print photography book from the 70's.

You always say you don't understand. I can relate - I don't understand why folks have to ask about what lens to take on a vacation. But I'm past that question, and in order to be helpful I have to try to understand where I was when I would ask such a question. If I don't care to be helpful ignoring the question (for others to field) is much more helpful than a lecture. Practicing tolerance isn't easy at times, granted. But like anything worthwhile. . .

Well, I think you see "intolerance" where others (e.g. Tedolph) sees the Socratic Method.

Yea, except this is not that type of "forum".


Made me laugh.

Wait a minute, wasn't the Forum in Rome?

Do you think it is helpful to get the OP to think about why he doesn't have a clue as to what lens to take?

Is it possible to do w/o condesention and sarcastic jibes?

In theory?


In practice?

No, not really-it just doesn't work like that.

Do you think inducing him into that thought process, however painful the method is might actually result in far more insight for him than just giving him a focal lenght?

It is possible that making people uncomfortable with their current "comfort zone" of indifferent intelectual laziness might be more beneficial than just giving them the easy answer?

Is it possible for YOU to do w/o condesention and sarcastic jibes?

Neither in theory or in practice.

You can debate this if you like, or you can think about it if you want to understand why things go as they do all around you, all the time.

So, you are seeing a pattern?

-- hide signature --

...Bob, NYC
"Well, sometimes the magic works. . . Sometimes, it doesn't." - Little Big Man


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