View Full Version : best pic - 28 or 35 ?

back alley
09-22-2005, 15:02
ok, manny has a poll about which lens to use this weekend - 28 and 35 are at the top of the list, with 28 presently in the lead.

my question is a twist on manny's poll.

between 28 and 35, which focal length has given you your best shots, as in, the pics you like the most?

i assume this poll is more for those of us that prefer the wider end of things normally, that is why there is no 'other' choice.

thanks for taking the time to vote!

09-22-2005, 15:06
I have always liked my 35. Just a choice. 28 seems too wide for most of my subjects.

09-22-2005, 15:08
I am just starting to use a 28 with a RF so I voted 35. But that may change.

09-22-2005, 15:11
IMO a 35mm is more versitile. I can stick a 35 on a camera and go, but I'd find myself limited if a 28 was all I had with me. I'll plug in a 28 if there's an explicit reason.

09-22-2005, 15:11
Well, I voted for 35 - I don't have a 28 for my RFs, did have one for my SLRs, though; 28 to me already belongs into the territory of 'landscape lenses', I don't feel comfortable shooting people/city/street pics with anything wider than 35 (and even prefer my 40mm Rokkor, or a 50 for that...)


Brian Sweeney
09-22-2005, 15:14
Well all my 28's are for SLR's. I have 35's for all of my RF's. I have a 28mm and 35mm for the Retina IIIS. The 28mm is RF coupled and works with the SLR. I qualify.


09-22-2005, 15:17
My hero of the week Garry Winogrand used a canon 28 2.8 for many of his great shots but looking at them you have to be seriously aggressive to get some of his shots with this lens so i'll choose 35 because I'm an abject coward

09-22-2005, 15:32
I voted 35, but I haven't had the 28 Ultron for very long. My 35 Summaron seems to render slightly more pleasing images, but the 28 is a great lens for snapshots. If there's enough light to shoot comfortably at f/8 or smaller aperture, I just set focus at hyperfocal and forget about it. It's very liberating to shoot that way. Only the shutter control needs an occasional tweak.


Nikon Bob
09-22-2005, 15:50
Boy, I stalled out on this one. I have no 28 for my RFs but have used it and a 24 on my Nikon SLRs and really like them in a city or inside. This is from a guy who thinks a 50 is a short tele and a 35 is a normal so take it from there. Either will do but the 35 to me is generally more useful overall. I guess that means I vote 35.


09-22-2005, 15:52
The best portrait (and possibly best photo) I ever took was with a 20mm lens... on an SLR... on aperture priority mode... with hotshoe-mounted flash at full power. I took it last winter, when I still knew very little about how cameras worked. It was an unplanned snapshot taken in a speeding and rattling Hungarian train car on FP4+, which I developed myself using far too much agitation and with the light-tight lid not closed properly. The entire roll has a light leak and is extremely grainy and there's practically no shadow and highlight detail. It was one of my first wet prints and I still hadn't gotten the hang of the enlarger. And somehow the photo survived, and everyone absolutely loves it, and politely ignores all of my pristine, carefully-planned work. How sad and pathetic is that?

09-22-2005, 16:12
How sad and pathetic is that?

Can't say till you post it ! :-D

09-22-2005, 16:22
I still have my 28mm Nikkor SLR lens and recently acquired a 28 RF lens. I like the 35 a lot but I think I like the results of the in-your-face 28 more.

09-22-2005, 16:37
I'm with a lot of people here; more of my best shots have been w/ a 35, partly because for a long time I didn't have a 28. I felt a 28 was too close to a 35, and I liked the 35 better than the 50 for "normal". Now that I have a couple of 28s, I am using them more and have a suspicion they may become my "go to" lens for the wide end.

My absolute favourite photo was taken w/ a 100mm. But the percentage of good ones is higher with the 35.


09-22-2005, 16:44
On this poll I chose the 35, but that has more to do with the 35 feeling very wide to me. I far prefer a longer focal length overall and that has held true across formats. My two favorite lenses are my Sonnar 50/2 and my Jupiter 9 85/2. I have a very good 35 (SC Skopar 35/2.5) for when I want to use it, but I just don't see wide the way many of you folks do. I've tried a 28 in M42 mount and while it was a good quality lens, I just couldn't compose with it to save myself.


Kin Lau
09-22-2005, 17:03
On my 35mm RF's, I don't have any 28mm's but I do have 3 35's (J12, 35mm Elmar & Oly XA) and a few close to 35mm's such as the 40's & 42's (Canonet's & Oly SP).

The widest (only wide) RF lense I have is actually a 3 1/2" for the 4x5 Speed Graphics, a 25mm equiv, but I only just got it and haven't been shooting with it yet.

09-22-2005, 17:30
the 28 is great, nothing like getting close enough to your subject that they fog your lens :)


Gabriel M.A.
09-22-2005, 18:43
28mm vs. 35mm in digital (actual FOV), 35mm vs. 28mm in film

09-22-2005, 19:06
If you can only have one lens , it should be a 35mm. I have no doubt that over the past 40 years I have shot more what I consider "good" pictures with a 35mm than any other lens.

If not a 35 my next choice would be my 24mm Nikkor. The 28mm always has been a odd focal length for me--too close to a 35 and not enough wider to be worth much. Never understood why they still make 'em.

09-22-2005, 23:05
between 28 and 35, which focal length has given you your best shots, as in, the pics you like the most?Well, I couldn't say I got / get better shots with one or the other. For moving subjects I tend to use the two lenses differently, thus I get different types of images from each: scale- or hyperfocal focussing with the 28mm, sometimes even shooting "from the hip"; framing and focussing through the viewfinder with the 35mm. For static subjects I just use whatever lens gives the most appropriate field-of-view / perspective. Now if I could keep only one lens it'd be the 35mm just because it's more versatile.

back alley
09-23-2005, 05:28
so far the 35mm is in the lead.

anymore votes?


Film dino
09-23-2005, 07:26
I've got the feeling this poll may have inherent bias towards 35mm since this is probably by the far the more commonly used/ owned of the 2?

back alley
09-23-2005, 07:32
i'm not known for my statistical background or lack of bias for that matter. ;)

i'm also asking for a vote based on favourite pics, not comfort level with the a lens.

my favourite pic, as of this week and it could change tomorrow, is from a 28 and i have 3, 35mm lenses, go figure.


09-23-2005, 07:49
I can't decide, so I'm not voting. I like both fl's a lot, and have gotten satisfying results from both. The poll's wording seems to try to avoid a preference based poll, but things seem to be going that way. So, if I had only these two lenses available and had to choose one, it would be the 35.


09-23-2005, 08:22
I've got the feeling this poll may have inherent bias towards 35mm since this is probably by the far the more commonly used/ owned of the 2?

That's certainly why I voted for the 35, although (not meaning to be difficult) my best shots were mostly taken with a 50MM but I couldn't seem to find the button. ;)


09-23-2005, 09:32
I don't as yet own a 35mm lens but it is the next lens I will be buying. I do have a 24mm and love the look and results from it. I also have a Tamron 28-70mm zoom that is very sharp.
I voted for the 35mm in anticipation of all the great shots to be taken with it.

09-25-2005, 02:08
My best shots were taken with a CV 28 f3.5 Skopar, I've only had a 35 for a short time but that is the one that is usually mounted to the body. It's more versatile for daily use and is better for shooting from the hip than a 50.

Otherwise it is very close. Shots I like from other people using a 28 show more dramatic perspective than the 35 but these are sometimes shots that would possibly benefit from using an even wider lens (say 25 or 21). There are some superb 35mm shots out there that have a slightly more natural look.

09-25-2005, 02:22
OK, first a rule change. I don't have an interchangable lens 35mm rangefinder. So how could I vote for 28MM? My Mamiya Super Press 23 has 50mm, 65mm, 75mm, and 90mm available. I have the 65mm which is a 28mm equivalent. I don't know what would be a 35mm equivalent, perhaps the 75mm would be closest.

I don't have it and don't want it as in SLRs I have found 35mm just isn't my cup of tea. I just don't care for it. I don't know why. I have had one for about 30 years and I bet I haven't put 10 photos through it. Just me I guess, as I know it is a favorite of many. I love the 50mm (100mm on the Press), but when I want to go wide, I want at least the equivalent of 28mm. I once took a photo of a mill in Clarksvill, TN, that I really like. It was done with the 65mm. If I had a wider, I would have used it, but really, the 65mm gave me a more interesting shot.

All that to say, I voted for 28mm.

09-25-2005, 02:35
I have a 28 for quite some time now, I was pretty quick to assemble my 28/45/90 Contax G2 system. Just recently I added a 35 and so most of the pictures I like are taken with the 28 instead of a 35.

But last year in cuba I realized that the 28 was often a bit too wide and the 45 to narrow for what I wanted, so I think the 35 will catch up soon.

My vote went to the 28, ask me again next year :-)

09-25-2005, 03:49
I'm a wide boy. But that' s partly bacause I have a 28/2.8 Rokkor for the SLR and a lovely GR1s with the ricoh 28/2.8. And the 28/3.5 on the XA4.

The 35 / 2.8 on the Nikon 35Ti is great and I like the portability of the XA, mju II and Yashica T4, but they just don't seem quite right.

Mind you, careful placement of foreground interest and leading lines in an image can help a lens look wider - something I'm keen to try when the Rokkor 40/2 arrives next week.

However, if someone said "here , have my Hexar I wouldn't be complaining " :D

09-25-2005, 06:09
Interesting to read oftheherd's comments about SLRs and 35mm. I felt exactly the same way and never had a 35. My 28 Nikkor was my focal length and when I bought my first RF cam I immediately bought Stephen Gandy's adapter so that I could use my 28 Nikkor on it.

Then I got a CV 35mm Skopar and that was rangefinder coupled and I loved it. Recently I bought an RF 28mm lens and it looks like it is going to be my regular wide. To me a 35 looks like a normal but the 28, especially when you are up really close gives you a sense of immediacy (without distortion) that no other lens can give.

09-25-2005, 06:29
I had to vote for the 35mm glass... I'm still trying to get used to the 28mm focal length, and still have large expanses of negative space in my slides. With the 35mm it is relatively easier to fill the frame, but I won't give up on the 28mm yet.

So, joe, another vote for the 35mm! :)

09-25-2005, 07:29
Count me in for 28mm, I ALWAYSs carry my Ricoh GR-1s [28mm f2.8] consequently this has produced more good [and published] stuff than anything else...................
That said, I PREFER to work with a 35mm , so when "working" use Bessa R2a with 35mm f1.7 and Bessa T with 28mm f1.9 .[Bessa R with 50mm too,but that doesn't count here...................]

Anbody looking for a Bessa R body or three ?- CHEAP! Take a look at classifieds......................

Gabriel M.A.
09-25-2005, 07:34
I abstain. I have no 28mm in RF to speak of, but do in SLR. I have no 35mm in SLR to speak of, but do in RF. Not correctly worded question, imho.

09-25-2005, 09:27
Of the choices you offered, joe, I picked 35mm. Lately, though, I've been using my 21mm and 90mm Elmar as my "walking around" kit.
Shooting abit of TriX and my lab can't/won't scan those so I have nothing to share from those rolls :bang: But I really like this cpmbo. The pictures are fair to good and the lenses are great! Love the "look" of the 90! Gonna stick with this pair for a while--at least until I get some worth sharing/hanging.

10-12-2005, 11:45
I'm printing from 35 at the moment...very happy with it... the casual portrait of a stranger with his infant, someone who was initially a little hostile.

I generally avoid candid photos...this is straight into the face of someone of whom I asked permission, promising to send a print...35 was good for the brief relationship and it created respectfully little distortion.... 28 wants to create freakism, but it doesn't have to.

It'd have looked better with a 50, but the personal contact might have suffered.

01-24-2006, 22:44
Hmmm, my fav is definitely the 12mm but probably the best shots I've taken have been with 16mm.
pssst! I don't count my pro stuff here, that is all defined by the customer anyway.

01-24-2006, 23:11
started using a 35mm with the panny fx-9, and having to step back or not having room to step back, or having to step forward and creating a wide angle look when i don't want it is very annoying. more often than not, i wish i had the 28 or 50, and rarely is the 35 just right. i wish i had the gr digital, but it's so freaking expensive. =(

sorry, just being an equipment grouch.

01-24-2006, 23:32
I love them both very much, but if i had to chose it'll be the 35mm I love my distagon 35mm f1.4 it's so sharp at.................. f2.0!

01-25-2006, 01:53
I don't have either focal length, but my 45mm on the RF645 is close to 28mm - and I love that lens, so 28mm for now. I like to be able to crop panos from my frames too, when the need arises.

Uncle Bill
02-27-2006, 07:24
I do own a CV 35 Skopar and a Jupiter 12 for my Kiev and they get used a lot.


02-27-2006, 07:40
It's almost an even split. I'm using old glass, so my 28 is an f/3.5 whereas my 35 is f/1.8, so it get's used in more low-light work. I prefer the 28mm view, but switch to 35mm in poor light, and that ends up being where I take the majority of my favorite photos.

03-21-2006, 12:23
28 is my favorite focal length, followed by 21.

J. Borger
04-13-2006, 12:22
None of them: 50mm & short tele is all i need. The rest is a waste of money and energy on my part. I'm simply not a big fan of the wide angle look!


04-13-2006, 18:31
90cron 40cron 15cv

jan normandale
04-17-2006, 22:29
Joe this may be a tilted survey. I'm for a 35 because most of my cameras are fixed lenses. None have a 28mm. As an aside I prefer the 35 to the 40 or 50mm lenses. I like the ability to put a subject into context. Up close and uncomfortable I like the 50mm. Bigger than that and I personally am uncomfortable using those larger lenses.

04-19-2006, 07:36
This is an enjoyable discussion. I use both the 35 and 28 often, mainly a 4th gen. 35 Summicron and a 28/2.8 Canon (the lens Winnogrand used for most of his street photography). I enjoy using a 28 more than a 35. I often feel more engaged with the environment and the work when shooting with the 28 (but of course the environment often demands its own focal length).

back alley
04-19-2006, 07:41
some very nice shots there!

04-19-2006, 08:41
very nice shots!

05-15-2006, 18:45
I have just received back some scans form my first roll of film with the old Canon 28mm/3.5 lens, and I am thrilled by the creamy rendition of faces. I am sold on this lens.

05-15-2006, 18:48
I voted for the 28. I have a 28 Summicron ASPH that has such a unique look to it's pictures. My 35 Summilux goes everywhere with me as my "Normal" lens and then the 50 as short tele and environmental portraits. The 90 goes along every so often to be free in the light.

Ken F.
05-15-2006, 18:51
Hi Joe,

28mm for me, the new Zeiss to be exact.
One of these days I'll figure out which scanner to buy, and finally get around to posting some photos!


05-15-2006, 20:31
Before there were any 28mm lenses, there were 35mm lenses.

Before there were any good 28mm lenses, there were great 35mm lenses.

This, to some degree, IMO, explains the poll results here, thus far.

I came to photography when there were great 35's, great 28's, great 24's...you get the idea. Sky was the limit if you had the bucks. The buck, for me, stopped at 24mm (Canon FD f/2.8), but I was in heaven. Briefly had a faster 35mm companion (f/2.0), but the 24 got more use. Only when I switched to Nikon gear some years later did I get happy with a 35mm optic (and, at f/1.4, why not?) but I eventually got another 24 for that setup as well, and the 35 got progressively less use.

Last SLR system I had found me with 20mm f/2.8 and 28-70mm f.2.8 optics on the wide end; the zoom got the lion's share of use, and most of that at 28mm, which I became quite fond of, but I wasn't fond of the thing's weight (but that lens, a Minolta AF "G", might've been the best damn zoom lens I ever owned, hands-down). This helped inform my next move, away from SLRs and back to rangefinders. When I got my first Hexar RF, the only M-Hexanon lens in the entire store was a lone 28mm f/2.8. I was hoping for a 50 for starters (and to save a few bucks), but bit the bullet and got the 28. Awfully glad I did – it's the most-used lens of the trio (the 50 f/2 and 90 2.8 rounding out the set), and I find it highly versatile, but at the same time it's not too hard to be careless with it, which might also explain some people's preference for 35mm, which is a bit more forgiving in some circumstances.

That lens, along with the rest of the Hexar rig, got a workout last night doing a photo shoot at a benefit event honoring Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson (words and pictures to follow; BTW, Wallach's favorite focal length to shoot with is 60mm...we had a most interesting series of conversations). A 35 wouldn't have come in quite as handy, while anything wider would have been occasionally unweildy.

So for me, in terms of general use, 28 is the Good, anything wider is the Bad, and 35 is...okay, anything but Ugly, but it doesn't quite do it for me (and this was a cheap analogy that I couldn't help using, okay?). ;)

- Barrett

05-16-2006, 00:03
i love the 28mm m-hexanon. color, sharpness, tonality, flare resistance, bokeh, size, weight, the ingenious hood, the feel of the focus and aperture rings, and overall build quality...it's got everything.

05-16-2006, 00:34
My favorite? The one that's NOT on my camera at the time!!!!! I gotta learn to walk forward and backward faster.

07-11-2006, 04:18
I love 35mm focal length (about as much as i love 85mm).

I used to shoot 28mm quite often when I had 'cheapo' zooms, but now with prime lenses on my SLRs and RFs, I use 28 less and less. I'm beginning to feel like 28 is an ultra-wideangle. BTW: some time ago (like '60s and '70s) 28mm lenses were really marketed as ultra-wideangles :D

07-11-2006, 04:23
I used to shoot with a 28mm and a 50mm but it never felt quite right. Nowadays I'm shooting a 24mm and a 35mm combo and it's perfect for my needs.

07-11-2006, 07:24
I also started out shooting 28 and 50, but I switched to 35 and 75 and find it better for my uses. I usually have a 25 in there too. There is really not that much that you can shoot that can't be handled by either a 25, 35 or 75mm lens...unless you are shooting sports, wildlife or macro...

Flyfisher Tom
07-11-2006, 07:38
i love the 28mm m-hexanon. color, sharpness, tonality, flare resistance, bokeh, size, weight, the ingenious hood, the feel of the focus and aperture rings, and overall build quality...it's got everything.

Totally agree with that ... it is one of the most underappreciated lenses around, incredibly smooth signature.

07-11-2006, 09:44
I have found the 28 to be too wide for all around use, and not wide enough for when I want something to look wide angle. So 35 gets my vote. I'll break out something in the 21 - 24 range if I want really wide.

07-11-2006, 09:45
I think that every photographer should experience the perspective of 18mm.

this is generally considered ultra wide angle.

07-11-2006, 18:45
Often depends on what other gear combos we own I suppose. And shooting habits. I often like to get wide and low with foregrond interest when using a wide - but that's landscape , not street.

Therefore 28 for me definitely, because I'm always backing away with a 35 or40.

However, I don' t own one in RF because I can't justify it in a lineup at the moment that (wide to standard) includes 15, 25, 35 Hex AF, 40, 3x50s...

So I use the Oly XA4 or the great GR1s for a 28mm.

I reallly like the 24mm in SLR, but I just can't get the hang of the 25mm for RF - I don't know why, but I'm much more comfortable with the 15mm.

Guess it is time to practice!

07-14-2006, 13:55
btw I also step back with 35mm, I am starting thinking about 28mm ZM :)

back alley
07-14-2006, 17:42
btw I also step back with 35mm, I am starting thinking about 28mm ZM :)

think about the 25!

it's fabulous.

07-16-2006, 06:08
25mm definetly :) actualy I just need free time to take some pictures and stop buying some lenses, I have amazing setup :)

07-16-2006, 06:39
If I had to use only one lens for the rest of my life, it would be my slightly wide 35mm f/1.4. This fast slightly wide-angle lens and my fast slightly telephoto 85mm lens are my "bread & butter" lenses. Approximately 80% of the 35mm film format that I shoot and sell is made with those two focal lengths.

However, if I used the 35mm format to capture primarily scenics and architectural shots instead of people shots, the 28mm focal length would definitely be more important for me.

07-16-2006, 07:58
The CV 25mm Snapshot-skopar is a really intuitively designed street-shooting lens. The focus stops are placed at just the right increments. The field of view is also wide enough that I usually don't bother with framing and shoot from the hip without anyone noticing.


07-16-2006, 11:10
IMO like the 50mm, 28mm is pretty much a useless focal length.

"Excelsior, you fathead!"

back alley
07-16-2006, 11:17
no 28 or 50?

what's your fav chris?


07-16-2006, 11:50
For me, 35mm is a "normal" lens; 28mm just
isn't wide, and 50mm is a too-short telephoto.

35-40mm ~ 75% of my shots;
85-105mm ~ 20%;
24-28mm - <5%.

I keep buying other focal lengths, but they never seem "right",
so I never use them. They become useless ballast in my bag...

"Excelsior, you fathead!"

back alley
07-16-2006, 11:52
I keep buying other focal lengths, but they never seem "right",
so I never use them. They become useless ballast in my bag...

sounds like a good time for a sale!!


07-16-2006, 11:54
IMO like the 50mm, 28mm is pretty much a useless focal length.

"Excelsior, you fathead!"

thanks for sharing your wisdom. :D

back alley
07-16-2006, 11:56
as i've said before...i would pick 35 if i had only one lens and the 25/50 combo if it were a 2 lens kit.

i'm pretty sure i could survive without a 'long' lens but it's nice to have a 90.

07-16-2006, 12:02
back alley : you think 85mm sonnar worth a try? I don`t quet like long portraits I am more into wide angles but close up datails are also very good

07-16-2006, 12:11
thanks for sharing your wisdom. :D

Sorry, but it's a quiet Sunday.
This crank is just stirring the pot... ;)

"Excelsior, you fathead!"

back alley
07-16-2006, 12:11
you mean the new zm 85?

i'd like one to play with.
so far, i don't think there have been any seen or photos from one posted anywhere.

when i shot with slr cameras one of my favourite focal lengths was the 85 - i had a canon, iirc.

07-16-2006, 12:21
sonnar pictures here:


back alley
07-16-2006, 12:30
oh yeah, i forgot about those.

07-16-2006, 12:51
anyhow, lets wait and see.. Thanks for the info!

08-20-2006, 10:26
I shoot both 28mm and 35mm. I prefer the 28mm (28mm for 35mm small format and the equivalent 65mm for 6x9cm medium format) when shooting architectural and scenic shots. I prefer the 35mm or 40mm when shooting people shots with the 35mm camera. However, since I shoot more people than buildings and landscapes, I voted for 35mm.

jan normandale
08-20-2006, 11:24
"has given you your best shots, as in, the pics you like the most?"

Joe, I think I have had some outstanding shots from my 28 but a 35 is my "go to lens" day in day out. Sometimes I'll pull out a 40 or 45 but the 35 is a workhorse for me.

The 28 is a specialty/WA lens in my opinion, at the narrow end of viewline for wide angle lenses. I've been able to jam some great shots into that frame that I could not have obtained with the 35mm.

09-10-2006, 22:45
kewl. 60 to 120.

10-27-2006, 16:22
35 is my go to, along with 85 (in the SLR world) though lately I'm liking 25 a lot as well.

12-08-2006, 11:22
I have a 28 on my G2 but I find it too wide, I will be buying a CV 35 for my M6.

12-08-2006, 23:49
I also find 28mm too wide... and too narrow, and just right... plus the same can be said for 35, 40, 50... But I do have a 28 (or its other-format equivalent) for every system I use; it's a necessity. I like a lot of my pics shot with the 28 field of view, and I suspect my favorites are in that group. I have only a couple of 35's, which have gotten less use, but more in the 40-45 range that might produce favorites too, yet that's outside the scope of the poll. :)

12-09-2006, 07:45
One of the first snaps I took with my first Hexar RF & 28mm M-Hex. W. 34th Street, NYC, Feb. 2002. Fuji Press 400.

- Barrett

12-21-2006, 04:49
With less than full frame sensors on digitals (M8 for example) do you think there will be a move away from 35 to 28?

01-26-2007, 13:31
between 28 and 35, which focal length has given you your best shots, as in, the pics you like the most?I vote "yes." ;)

12-03-2010, 05:33
This is a close finish... I like the dynamics of a 28mm shot. But I would not want to mis my 35mm Biogon.

Pickett Wilson
12-03-2010, 05:58
Good to see this thread resurrected. Definitely whatever gets me closer to a 35mm FOV. Usually a 28 on a crop sensor body. 35 full frame.

12-03-2010, 06:59
definitely 35mm

in fact I'm still wondering why I bought an elmarit 28 asph that sits for all the time in my bag...

12-03-2010, 09:16
28mm for me. I carefully selected a lens that would give me a useful 42mm focal length on the R-D1 but a nice wide size on the M4-P and also a fast lens. I'm very happy, if I want to switch from 28mm to 40mm I switch my body!

Generally 28mm really suits me and the sort of pictures I take. It feels very 'open' and natural, like widescreen, and isn't so wide that the picture becomes like an 'effect'