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Anyone prefer 85 to 50 general walkabout
Old 04-22-2018   #1
jgrainger
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Anyone prefer 85 to 50 general walkabout

Hello,
I wondered if anyone here has adopted 85 / 90 mm as their standard walk about focal length (35mm/full frame) rather than 50?

I usually stick to a 50mm due to being common and cheap / low light ability / usual good performance / being just wide enough but still practicably long to crop from. Also, things like camera cases are generally designed for a 50.

I would just try it but I'm presently out of good 85mm lenses and didn't really consider it enough / have sufficient faith to do it before.

To anyone who has or does go the 85/90mm way, what do you prefer to use them for besides portraits?

Jonathan
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Old 04-22-2018   #2
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I've definitely used longer lenses for landscape work, and have generally been happy with the results. Both the Elmar 90/4 and the Canon 100/3.5 are really good for this sort of thing, and both are light and small, making them perfect for easy carrying.

I haven't tried it yet for street photography, but I intend to. I'm normally a 50 shooter in the street, but I have seen several places where I would like more reach (mostly unusual perspectives that keep me further from subjects). I have a couple of lenses that should work, but I will probably use the big and heavy Nikkor 85/2 LTM as I love the rendering.

I doubt it would ever get to being a regular thing for me, but I can certainly see where it would be useful at times.
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Old 04-22-2018   #3
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Jupiter 9 (85mm) is my favorite lens. I think that has something to do with the way my brain processes what I see, looking at details instead of my entire field of vision. The short telephoto lens allows me to fill a frame with the part of the scene which interests me.
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Old 04-22-2018   #4
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Mostly 50mm as that's the way I see the world.

But I always take an 80mm lens with me, as sometimes I want to "zoom in" on something if I can't or don't want to get closer to my subject. Also carry a 35mm as I - more rarely - want to "zoom out".
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Old 04-22-2018   #5
Michael Markey
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Yep .... I often use an 85 or 90 .
Short telephotos have always been a favorite
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Old 04-22-2018   #6
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While 50 has always been my most used lens for street and other applications, I will on occasion pull out the 85 just to change things up at bit. It is refreshing.

On the other side of 50, many street shooters prefer 35mm and even wider but I find some, myself included, frequently too far from the subject and thus produce images needing a good bit of cropping.
I often should be much, much closer than my comfort zone when using a 28 but have a hard time doing so.

85 helps a lot in "de-cluttering" even compared to 50 for we shy types

Agree that 85 is often a good choice for landscape.
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Old 04-22-2018   #7
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I have done this for a short time period only. I was fascinated with the Zeiss Planar 85/1.4 which I first used on the Rollei SL35 and then I used it cropped 50% on M 4/3 cameras. It is a dream lens . I then bounced back to using 35mm or 50mm as my everyday lenses. Then I started recently going wider, and I got a Zeiss Hologon 16/8 which I want to use for a while as my "walk around lens". Tele to Normal to Wide.

Zeiss 85/1.4 with Olympus E-PL1










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Old 04-22-2018   #8
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Zeiss 85/1.4:



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Old 04-22-2018   #9
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Yes, my "normal" lens has been a 90 for many years. It suits the way I see a scene, and of course is great for portraits. A 135 is good for portraits too if you have large noses due to the compression factor. Currently use a Leica R 90 2 Summicron on a Nikon SLR body. Superb lens in every way you could measure it.
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Old 04-22-2018   #10
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Like Steve M. I found my 85/90/105 felt better on an SLR. When I want that look I already have focused on a framing in my mind so a RF doesn't hold as much advantage for me.

I tried the 85/90 on RFs for years and while it worked, for me it felt like I was forcing it to work. It just feels more natural on an SLR.

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Old 04-22-2018   #11
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With the MP/IIIf it's 28 or 50 and for fun street with a 15. With the SLR / dSLR I often shoot 10.5cm f/2.5 and 100 f/2.8 Macro respectively... with the latter I can add some close-up details. Also have but rarely use the 135 f/3.5 with the IIIf - maybe it's time to try ; )
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Old 04-22-2018   #12
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I used my Nikkor 8.5cm 2.0 for landscape when I went to the Steens Mountains in Eastern Oregon. However, I don't normally carry it around as it's too heavy. For carrying around, I like the 35mm and 50mm lenses. Once in a while, I will use my Voightlander 75mm 2.5 if I need something longer than 50 but don't want to carry around my much heavier Nikkor 8.5cm
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Old 04-22-2018   #13
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I often prefer my 75 Summilux or 85 Nikkor to a 50 or wider when walking around. I find that rather than feeling like I'm missing out on anything, using longer focal lengths forces me to consider different types of composition, which can be pretty cool. For instance, the two shots below would not have been possible, or at least would not have been as good (in my opinion) if I had used a wider lens.
Cowboy hat and Parasol... Contradiction? by Nick Chase, on Flickr
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Old 04-22-2018   #14
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An 85mm feels more natural to my way of seeing smaller portions of a scene vs a 35mm taking in lots more context for the subject.

A 50 is a good compromise for me so gets more use and I've been trying to force myself to see more of the 35mm way, but the longer lenses feel more comfortable.
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Old 04-22-2018   #15
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75 feels a lot more natural to me than 50. Unfortunately, my M bodies dont have 75 lines and Nikon doesn’t make a 75 in F mount. Guess i’ll stick to 35.
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Old 04-22-2018   #16
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On RF, I've found the best setup for me is one of the Canon RF bodies with the auto-adjusting parallax viewfinder. I have the matching brightline VFs for 85, 100, and 135, so it's easy to switch as needed, and the large body (relative to the smaller Barnack bodies) tends to balance better with long, heavy lenses.
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Old 04-22-2018   #17
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As a general rule I do. My kind of shooting relies on being able to shoot candidly so the extra reach of a longer lens is appreciated. As is the ability to blur the background. 75mm, 85/90mm and even 105mm all work for me.

Through the window. Shopping by Life in Shadows, on Flickr

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Old 04-22-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayernfan View Post
75 feels a lot more natural to me than 50. Unfortunately, my M bodies dont have 75 lines and Nikon doesnít make a 75 in F mount. Guess iíll stick to 35.
I am using an AI'ed Nikkor-P 10.5cm f/2.5... you might enjoy shooting with the 105/2.5 or 105 f/1.8 in F-mount.
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Old 04-22-2018   #19
farlymac
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I like my 85. I don't use it enough, but it's always there.


The New Water Hole by P F McFarland, on Flickr

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Old 04-22-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimokita View Post
I am using an AI'ed Nikkor-P 10.5cm f/2.5... you might enjoy shooting with the 105/2.5 or 105 f/1.8 in F-mount.
I have a pre-ai (sonnar) Nikkor 105/2.5 that I like very much. I use it on occasion, but it's a little too tight compared to 75.

But you make a very good recommendation with the Sonnar or Gauss F-mount 105/2.5.
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Old 04-23-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrainger View Post
Hello,
I wondered if anyone here has adopted 85 / 90 mm as their standard walk about focal length (35mm/full frame) rather than 50?
On a full-frame 35mm SLR body, I have used 24, 28, 35, 50, 55, and 85mm focal lengths for street photography.

On a full-frame 35mm rangefinder body, I have used 21, 28, 35, 40, 45, and 90mm focal lengths for street photography.

On the full-frame 35mm bodies, I have used 28, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 55 as a single walk about focal length. The 35mm focal length is my personal favorite. The 21 and 24mm lenses are too wide for me to use a single walk about lens. The 85 and 90mm lenses are too telephoto for me to use a single walk about lens.

The street scene below was shot with an 85mm equivalent lens but it was not the only lens I was carrying. I also had a 35mm equivalent in my bag.


Photographer by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 04-23-2018   #22
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I walked with 70-200 on my FF DSLR many times, in the past.

Late HCB used 90mm, where was an article (on RFF?) how he snatched one French-English couple in Paris and some of them get to this photo later.

If you get M3, and VF magnifier, then 90 frames are just as 50mm frames. And 90/4 Elmar is cheap, small lens by its price, but not performance.
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Old 04-23-2018   #23
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Don’t know if I’ll prefer it as I only bought it today, a Zuiko 85mm f2 for my OM-1.

Paul
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Old 04-23-2018   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
(...) Pensacola Beach:

Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Zeiss 85/1.4:

I like these 2 photographs very much. Very well done!

To the original question:

I sometimes use a 85mm (Pentax-A 1.4/85) or 105mm (Nikkor 2.5/105 AiS) as my standard walk-around lens. But I have a 35 or 28mm lens with me -- just in case...

As an only lens, no, then I choose a 50 or 35mm.
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Old 04-23-2018   #25
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Thank you Thomas. These two images have a 50% crop, like using a 170mm lens.
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Old 05-04-2018   #26
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Sorry for the delay in responding, nice pictures Raid, along with some others

I'm surprised how many people seem to like the 85/ 90 as a standard focal length.

By the sound of it the viewfinder magnifier is an interesting idea. I wonder if one could be modified to work practically on an old contax or kiev to make the 50mm viewfinder an effective 85.. might have a look for a cheaper 3rd party model.

Jonathan
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Old 05-04-2018   #27
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I've been using a 75mm a lot lately on the street... been thinking of 90/100mm too.
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Old 05-04-2018   #28
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I usually use either a 35mm or a 50mm when I shoot in the street (I have several fixed-lens RFs that dictate I use 45 or 50). I do, however, like to use something longer if I’m shooting candids of people in crowds or from a little bit of a distance. When shooting SLRs I’ve often used a 100mm or the 70mm end of my 35-70 zoom.

I’m currently shopping for 85mm primes for all four of the lens systems I use because I like that focal range so much.
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Old 05-06-2018   #29
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I like the Elmar 90mm that I got with my Leica M3, but I don't use it a lot because it isn't very fast. Its f/4 maximum aperture requires a pretty bright day, or flash photography. On a bright, sunny summer day it does the most beautiful portraits. It has that lovely "Leica glow" too, and I love that. However, it's no the first lens I choose to put in the M3.

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Old 05-07-2018   #30
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35mm is my "natural view" lens. That's the baseline, from which I go up or down as needed. If I tried to "walkabout" with an 85 or 90, I would be taking it off to switch to a different lens, every time I saw a shot. However, in the mountains, there are certainly enough compositions to be had with the 85mm and even the 135mm, to be worth having them along. For me. My dad used to use a 105/2.5 Nikkor for his standard lens.
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Old 05-07-2018   #31
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Quote:
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Donít know if Iíll prefer it as I only bought it today, a Zuiko 85mm f2 for my OM-1.

Paul
That is one lens that I am quite sorry I sold.
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Old 05-07-2018   #32
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I use the 90mm sometimes when I seek to get the impression of compression in a photo. Some photos work better when background and foreground are seemingly brought closer. That said, the 50mm and the 35mm are generally more useful to me.

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Old 05-07-2018   #33
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It's really all about whether you like to show the subject in relation to its surroundings in a three-dimensional "you are there" perspective--a complex composition--or if you prefer to eliminate all but the most essential part, simplifying to show only the subject that caught your attention. In the first case, you need a wide angle to normal lens. In the second case, you need that 85 or 90mm.
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Old 05-07-2018   #34
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I built a hyper rig by combining a Noct-Nikkor on a Leica CL. Still a small rig by SLR standards, even with an added grip. The 1.5X crop factor makes the 58mm F1.2 into an 87mm F1.2.

The F1.2 on wide open really has a wonderful focus snap, the electronic VF'er is an asset under dim lighting, and the 3X and 6X zoom in for nailing focus makes this a very fun, interesting and creative camera to use.

By using the sweet spot lens performance is kinda perfect. The soft corners get cropped out. Pretty much renders like a Noctilux without the light fall off in the corners. Smooth OOF and wonderful bokeh. I love that I can close focus also. Mucho fun.

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