Rethinking focal length conventions

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
John Crowe
John Crowe Senior Member • Posts: 1,516
Re: Rethinking focal length conventions

I have never given it much thought. I have never owned a wide or normal zoom that would have allowed me to evaluate what my shooting needs/style would be. I grew up with the 50mm standard lens. I would admit that it is likely longer than a standard lens should be. It is supposed to be the same as the diagonal of the camera format, so for full frame should be 43mm. Someone back in the day chose 50mm, so the general rule of thumb for a lens set would have been 24, 50, 100, 200. Hence the commonality of these lengths, with 35 and 85 to fill in the gaps.

Of course with the advent and popularity of zooms, particularly over the past 30 years, the idea of a prime lens set has gone out the window.

However, I am at 8, 12, 17, 55, 70-200, 300, 800 on full frame. I have owned 24, 28, 35, 85, 135 but could never make good use of them. For many years my go to focal lengths were 14 and 400. I just received a lens that will get me 24 and 35 again ( too complicated to explain) so I will devote more effort into "seeing" with these focal lengths.

I hope I will never give up on my 55, but I suspect that a 43mm lens would be more appropriate. I am naturally a superwide shooter so 50 and 55 have always been almost too telephoto for me.

 John Crowe's gear list:John Crowe's gear list
Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 AF 1.4x Venus Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D +15 more
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