Rethinking focal length conventions

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 19,061
Re: Rethinking focal length conventions

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...

You can get near some of those with the Pentax "Holy Trinity" of FA Limited primes - 31/1.8, 43/1.9 and 77/1.8. They are prized for their rendering rather than their focal lengths. Deigned for film they are equally useful on digital (at least, the 31 and 43 that I use are).

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.

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I'm happy for anyone to edit any of my photos and display the results
First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006

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