View Full Version : fave focal lengths
Hey, so I'm new to the rangefinder world. Just got my Bessa r2 and a 35mm classic and have been having a lot of fun. I'm feeling like I'm ready to expand my lens collection a little bit. I'm deciding between the 15mm and the 21 for a super wide, and the 75 and the 90 for a short tele. I'm curious who has what out there. What's everyone's favorite lens kits?
I mostly shoot in 3rd world countries, using local transport and don't want to carry more than 2 - 3 lenses tops, so I need to make these count. Any advice anyone has would be greatly appreciated.
i can't speak to the wides - 35mm is about as wide as i normally go. for travelling small and light i think the 75 is your best bet and it's a bit faster too.
Knowing your own usage best, you're the one who will have to be comfortable with your choice... obviously. I'd suggest somewhat conservative choices in the regions of greatest interest... That is, the 21 rather than a wider one, and the 75 rather than a longer one.
Then if you find, while using the 21, that it's more often too wide than not wide enough, you know which direction to shift. I think both the 21 and 25 are marvelously flexible. The 15 I find tricky to use, though great in its own way.
At the other end, I like "long normals" such as 60mm (or its equivalent in other film formats), and I think 75 is more in that category than 90mm. I've had a 90 Tele-Elmarit for 35 years, and it's found rather little use. Recently, the Voigtlander 75mm has been more useful. Here again if you get a 75 and often find it too short, then you've learned something. :-)
Using 75mm or 90mm on Bessa isn't the best idea, if you ask me although it really depends on what you're shooting. I have trouble focusing 75mm Color-Heliar with my R2 but this lens is used purely for street portraits. That is being used wide open, close distance and can't afford taking more than a second to adjust exposure, framing and focus.
I've just got a 35mm lens myself and boy, it's pretty hard for me to see this wide.
Well, I do not use a Bessa, but I do use a rangefinder. I normally have a G2 on my hip, and a small bag over one shoulder. My minimun carry kit is ussually 28 / 45 (you wourl probably use a 50) / 90. 75 interests me... but I would never give up my 90.
For wide angle, I prefer to have wide but distortion free. And I would not like to carry an extra viewfinder, which kind of kills a 21mm for me.
Now for straight up street, I use a 28 / 35 / 45 kit. Whcih sounds insane... but I love it.
Welcome shaaktiman, I think that it is best for you to answer the what lens is next question yourself before you buy. I bought a Bessa R and 35mm and lived with that for a while before running into a great deal on a 75mm. To be honest though, I should have gone wide before long. Tonight a 21/4 Skopar should be waiting for me when I get home, making my kit 21/35/75.
Think of what you see when you are photographing, and what you can't do because your 35mm lens limits you. You can't always step forward or back to make the 35mm work, which limits you more? I chose the 21 because I often saw things, brought my Bessa to my eye, and just couldn't make the wide image I wanted to.
Another thought for you may be to add a fast normal lens to use in lower light situations. Maybe adding the 21 and 50/1.5 could be a consideration if you find yourself shooting where speed is needed.
My Leica CL came with a 40mm, which is very close to 35m in look and feel. I added the CV 21/4 partly because the CV 25 is not rangefinder coupled and partly because the 21 comes with an aux viewfinder. I'm only beginning to learn to use a lens this wide and wouldn't want anything wider. 28mm is too close to 35/40 for me.
On the longer end, I'm an old SLR guy and I tend to think of 135mm as a *short* tele. So I went with the CV 90/3.5 and I use it a lot. I has more reach than a 75 and is a wonderful length for portraits. I think the 90 is a better travelling lens.
Mind you, I'd love to have the 75 too :)
i quite liked the 90 rokkor when i had my cle but went with the 75 for the bessa. so far so good.
however, i also have been thinking about a 90 also.
on ebay, the elmar? 4 goes for less than 150 u.s. and i'm wondering how it might compare with the cv 90?
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