Rethinking focal length conventions

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Phil A Martin
Phil A Martin Veteran Member • Posts: 6,340
Re: Rethinking focal length conventions
1

f1point4andbethere wrote:

I've been a professional wedding photographer for 20 years this year, and have gone through multiple camera and lens systems over the years. I'm definitely a prime lens guy, and have kind of settled on 35+85mm being my bread & butter with 20mm and 135mm being my secondaries. I used to do the Holy Trinity of zooms, but really prioritize the benefits of the faster apertures that f1.4 primes bring over the conveniences of zooms.

All of this being said, after a recent conversation with some other photographer friends, we came to the idea that our ideal kit actually doesn't really exist. This kit would consist of f1.4 primes of 20mm, 40mm, 80mm and 160mm. We were suddenly questioning the odd focal lengths that prime lens convention has settled on; 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, etc...

Is there anyone else here who shares the same desire for prime options in less conventional focal lengths? I know that 40mm would be my most used by far, followed by 80mm. I guess we can get close, but would love to hear some others thoughts.

To me this looks like a solution in search of a problem. 20, 40, 80, 160 might look like nice whole numbers but in comparison with the 35mm film derived full frame sensor, they are just as arbitrary as the conventional focal lengths. If you want a true standard lens for this format, it would be the Pentax 43mm ltd, which corresponds more closely to the FF sensor diagonal of 43.27mm.

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