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Fabian
06-12-2006, 10:27
Those of you who really love shooting with a 50, how often do you need a 35?

My problem is that I don't know which lens I should get to assist my beloved summitar.
This year I only have money for one lens + viewfinder.
I am torn between 9cm elmar or 35 summaron.
I am afraid that by the time I changed from 50 to 35, I also could have walked few steps back. I know sometimes its not possible to walk back but most of the times for me it is.
I need the 9cm for potrait because with the summitar I can't get close enough sometimes.
So someone please tell me a 50 and a 90 is good enough for 90% of all shots.

thanks

Fabian

Socke
06-12-2006, 10:31
If I had only a 50 and money for one more lens I'd take the 90.

OTOH, I don't use my 90 much and got a 35 because I changed between 28 and 45 all the time. So for me the 35 is what gives me the possibility to step back or forth instead of changing lenses.

back alley
06-12-2006, 10:36
if your standard lens was a 35 then i would go for the 90.
with a 50 as standard i ,ight head the other way and go for a 28.
the 28 is very different but not too wide and pretty easy to use for street shooting.

FrankS
06-12-2006, 10:43
Do you prefer blondes, red-heads, or dark hair? It's purely a personal choice that others cannot answer for you. (Ouch, fence, ouch!)

Solinar
06-12-2006, 10:59
It depends on how you wish to portray a scene. A 90 gives a way different look / perspective than a 35 or 28. I try to reserve my 90 for crop shots, usually head and shoulders.

Also, the choice of lens should be influenced by how close you want to or have to stand in relation to the subject and how wide a scene I wish to include. Sometimes in a tight room, you don't get much of a choice.

Jason Sprenger
06-12-2006, 11:09
For me, a 35 and a 50 are good for 90% of my shots, whereas a 90 is good for 90% of portraits.

A 35 works best for me indoors and in town where I might not be able to frame what I want because there's no room to step back, otherwise I keep the 50 on these days. If I go out with only one lens, it's usually a 50.

I use the 90 only rarely. Normally with people where I know I'm going to take a portrait. Though I sometime use it when I know I won't be able to get as close as I might like, eg. a parade.

Jerevan
06-12-2006, 11:39
The 35 and 50 seems to me too close in focal length, it's either one, not both for me. For more formal portraits and for people or things I can't get close enough to, I'd pick a 90. With portraits where DoF plays a big part you mostly have to imagine the DoF with an RF, whereas with a SLR you can do a DoF preview (if it's a decent SLR, anyway).

I would stick with a 50 and a 90, if the budget is tight. If you feel the need to go wider than 50 I like the 28mm focal length. An interesting take would be to use a 35/90 combo. As you can see the variations are endless! I use 28, 50 and 90, with the 50 most frequent, in 98 of 100 photos.

And no, I never feel like I would need a 35. (want is another thing, yes...) ;)

Gid
06-12-2006, 12:08
Do you prefer blondes, red-heads, or dark hair? It's purely a personal choice that others cannot answer for you. (Ouch, fence, ouch!)

Any room on that fence for me :)

I have a 35 and 4 50s, but I have an RD-1 so that gives me 35 on the M6, 50 on the Hexar and 50 on the RD-1 (which = 75 in 35mm terms), oh and I have the 35mm equivalent of 28 and 40 on the Bronica. Hmm, maybe I need a 75 or a 90 and a 28 and a 21 .........

Depends how much you are going to use your RF for portraits - if its a low percentage of your shooting then I'd go with a 28 as already suggested. However, if its a significant proportion of your work and its important then the 90 looks a good bet. You'll eventually have a 28/35 and a 90, its just a case of which you get first :)

oftheherd
06-12-2006, 12:35
I just can't get used to using a 35mm with SLRs (I don't have interchangable 35 rf). It isn't that much wider than 50mm, at least for me. If I need wide, I usually want 28mm. But that is just me. I like wides. I now have two 35mm lenses for SLRs and just don't use either. I suspect there are times when using a wide zoom that I might get close to that, but I don't know. I almost never check. Just zoom where I want and shoot. I don't use telephoto that much, but that is just me.

You have to know what type of photography you prefer and choose based on that. Oh, I guess someone already said that. Franks, got room on that fence? :D

Peter Klein
06-12-2006, 16:17
When I was in my teens and 20s, I shot with only a 50 and a 90, and rarely missed anything wider. Some people naturally prefer wide, I don't.

Other issues are your height and if you wear glasses. A tall person like me (6 ft 3 inches, 190.5 cm) may find that when you get close enough with a 35, you're towering over people, so your photos have that "child taken by an adult" feeling, or you tend to have too much space over their heads and not enough under. With a 50 you back off a bit and things are naturally less "from above."

Also, if you wear glasses, you may find you're not seeing the entire 35mm frame on a standard .72x M viewfinder. Ditto some external finders, including the Leica Immarect multi-finder. For LTM, the new Voigtlander "torpedo" 35mm finder is just right, and good for a glasses wearer.

I started using a 35mm more when I got contact lenses, but I think I'm more natural with a 50.

--Peter

ChrisN
06-12-2006, 16:49
Personally, I use the 35 for about 80% of my shots, and split the rest between the 50 and the 90. If you have to shoot portraits, you need the 90 first.

rover
06-12-2006, 17:35
If need be I can use a 50mm lens for 100% of my shooting. That is just me, a 50 sees what I am seeing. If I am going to use something else, 99% of the time I will stray wider. Funny, again when I use a wider lens best it is when I am right up close to my subject and am shooting what I would be seeing with a 50mm lens from a few steps back.

Don Parsons
06-12-2006, 17:51
I love the 35mm focal length. I have 4 of them. I use my 50s as loupes. Never could see with a 50.

I'm one of the ones that goes with a 35/90 combo.

don

rool
06-12-2006, 17:56
35 is my favorite and 90% of what I shoot is with this focal length.
2 steps back and you have a 28, 2 steps forward and you have a 50... well, not exactly, but you know what I mean.

sf
06-12-2006, 18:08
You can always crop from 50 to get 90. You can never crop from 50 to get 35 or 28.

Buy the wide angle.

Rich Silfver
06-12-2006, 18:27
Personal preference.
You'll get replies that are in line with what various people like - not necessarily what you like.

Me - I use a 50mm 80% of the time and a 90mm for the rest.
But that's me.

GeneW
06-12-2006, 18:47
I like lenses in the 85-105 range, though I use them more with SLR's than with RF's. It sounds as if you'd like more reach when you're shooting. If that's the case, a 90 seems like a good next purchase for you.

Gene

John Shriver
06-12-2006, 18:50
You can get a good 90mm Elmar so cheap, so do that first. Should be possible to get an optically excellent one for $100. I've taken some portraits I love with my 90mm Elmar.

All the Leica 35's are so darned pricey by comparision. Of course, that reflects that they are more popular. The Elmars are overpriced compared to their quality due to rarity. The 35/3.5 Summarons are common, but still not that cheap because they are good lenses. The 35/2.8 Summarons are crazy priced.

rbiemer
06-12-2006, 20:46
Those of you who really love shooting with a 50, how often do you need a 35?

My problem is that I don't know which lens I should get to assist my beloved summitar.
This year I only have money for one lens + viewfinder.
I am torn between 9cm elmar or 35 summaron.
I am afraid that by the time I changed from 50 to 35, I also could have walked few steps back. I know sometimes its not possible to walk back but most of the times for me it is.
I need the 9cm for potrait because with the summitar I can't get close enough sometimes.
So someone please tell me a 50 and a 90 is good enough for 90% of all shots.

thanks

Fabian

Fabian,
Couple of things I'll say: First is that I think you've answered your own question pretty well--I've added emphasis to your posting.
And, as has been mentioned, the screw mount 9cm Elmar can be found pretty inexpensively--that will help your budget.
I am fortunate to have a 35(but not Leica/Leitz)mm and a worn, but optically excellent, 9cm Elmar and do use both lenses. And I don't use either nearly as much as I use 50mm.
I use 50mm about 85%, 35 and 90mm about 10%(more with the 90 than the 35), and other lengths about 5%(mostly 21mm and very occasionally 135. Plus I use a pinhole lensed body cap).
My suggestion? Go with what you seem to be leaning towards--9cm Elmar--this year and by this time next year you'll know if you need to add/change your lens set.
Rob

pvdhaar
06-12-2006, 22:35
Those of you who really love shooting with a 50, how often do you need a 35?

Love the 50mm. I never ever need a 35. The 50 is just too flexible to require the assistance of a 35. I do occasionally use a 25 when I need to get everything in the frame, but that's it.

The only 35 that I have is the fixed lens of a Minox-35, which I sometimes take with me for its ultra-compactness, not for its focal length..

wlewisiii
06-12-2006, 22:51
I'm another one who thinks that the 50 is the ultimate in flexability. As a result of getting a collapsible Summicron, I sold my 40/2 Summicron-C & my Jupiter 12. I just didn't use them enough to justify keeping them.

I use 50's (or other normal lenses, depending on the camera) about 90% of the time. The next most often used is a longer lens - 90/4 about 5% & 135/3.5 about 2.5% and all other focal lengths picking up that last 2.5%.

Now if your budget allows, I'd suggest to first get a 90/4 Elmar for a portrait lens. A nice uncoated prewar lens will be dirt cheap and the slightly different - almost less sharp, but that's not quite the right word - look that it gives, especially with the muting effect on color film, is quite special for portraits.

Then get another 50 that has as different a look from your Summitar as is possible. Cheap options ($20 to $150 USD) are the Jupiter 8 50/2 Sonnar clone, the Industar 61 L/D Tessar derivative & the Canon 50/1.8 (Mutant love child of a Planar & a Sonnar... :) ) - any of these will give you a noticably different look from your Summitar without breaking the budget. A wee bit more and I might be persuaded to part with a Sweeney/Jupiter 3 50/1.5 that is know to be capable of excellent results.

Good luck however you decide. I just want to see the results from your decision <LOL>

William

sf
06-12-2006, 23:51
I just have to say that there are shots I really treasure that I would not have been able to get without a wide angle lens. It would simply have been impossible.

this shot : http://www.shutterflower.com/street%20scene%20gallery/pages/tunnel-to-the-louvreRFF.htm

is my favorite. Would have been impossible with the 65 or the 100 because of the architecture.

but there are shots like this :

http://www.shutterflower.com/street%20scene%20gallery/pages/old%20ladyRFF.htm

that would have been impossible with a wide angle lens. This one is with the 100mm (65 in 35mm). I HAD to be a ways back to avoid breaking her trance.

of course, 95% of my work could have been done with an 80mm (50mm in 35mm)

tetrisattack
06-13-2006, 00:14
I use and love 50's more so than any other lens type. Or, I should say, 50's and their equivalents on the larger formats.

I also use a 35 perhaps 30-40% of the time, but I find it more challenging than a 50, due to the extra scene-clutter that the generous perspective of a 35 offers. But for cramped quarters and situations where the environment around a subject is especially important, that's when a 35 is indispensible.

George, you've picked some good shots there to demonstrate the difference between wide and tele, any closer to that woman and it would have changed the mood entirely.

payasam
06-16-2006, 10:50
If I'd had the money in the early 1970s, I'd have got myself an M2 with a 35 and a 90. Because I didn't have the money and planned to do work down to macro point, I ended with an SLR and 35, 50 and 100 lenses. And extension tubes.