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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Multiple lenses of the same focal length
Old 11-14-2009   #1
Roger Hicks
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Multiple lenses of the same focal length

Well, yes, several of us have them, but how much do we switch? And why? When I'm going away for any length of time -- basically, out for any more than half a day or a day -- I'm not going to carry (say) three 50mm lenses, two 35s and two 21s. This is why I got rid of my 35 Summicron (I use the Summilux far more) and my 50/1.2 Canon and 50/1.5 Nokton (I use the C-Sonnar far more) and why I wouldn't buy a 35/1.2 Noctilux, though if I didn't already have a 35 Summilux, I might.

Sure, each lens has its advantages. The 35/1.7 Ultron has far less coma than my pre-aspheric Summilux, for example. But the Summilux is 1/2 stop faster and has better ergonomics, so that's the one that goes with me. I can't help feeling that if we use this lens for that subject, and that lens for this subject, we are often attributing more to the lens than to our own skill -- the latter being what we need to develop.

Do others carry multiple lenses of the same f.l. when travelling? If so, how often do they change them? And how do they carry them/handle security with the ones they're not carrying?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-14-2009   #2
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In LTM I have been carrying my "Brian Sweeney" converted 1.5 Sonnar plus my 1.5 CV Nockton. Usually I will not change within the same roll but I find the 2 signatures good enough for most image goals.
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Old 11-14-2009   #3
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I own multiple 50's, but rarely bring more than one on any trip. Generally I stick with my adapted CZ Sonnar 1.5, but if I'm going out at night, or shooting with really slow flim, I'll bring the Nokton 1.1.
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Old 11-14-2009   #4
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Have them in kits, in what I feel fits together (see my signature). Once I'm out, I don't carry duplicates or worry about signature. When looking at the result I enjoy it though
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Old 11-14-2009   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Do others carry multiple lenses of the same f.l. when travelling? If so, how often do they change them? And how do they carry them/handle security with the ones they're not carrying?
I also have a few lenses in similar focal lengths, but I seldom carry more than one of any particular prime lens. I may carry a prime and a zoom that overlap, but otherwise, no.

Since I have multiple 50mm lenses, for example, I decide either based on some particular strength that I imagine one 50mm to have over another, or perhaps I wish to see how a particular 50mm will handle a particular situation. I have been known to make a decision based on what I suppose will be the prevailing conditions (ie, faster lens for lower light conditions), or I may even choose a particular lens based on nothing more than weight (I have a Sears 50mm f/1.4 that is a whopper compared to my Pentax SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4).

Of course, I may also decide based on maximum utility for my uses that day. For example, if I carry my K200D (digital) and my Pentax ZX5 (film), then I will tend to carry a prime 50mm in P/K mount along with the kit zoom, just because it will work equally well on both with a minimum of fiddling about with adapters. One lens, two bodies, good to go. In fact, last Saturday, that was just about what I carried (except it was my K200D and *ist DS, both digital).

As to 'traveling', well, I seldom do that anymore except by car or rail, and of course I tend to take what I wish. I try to avoid air travel these days; I despise what the airline / security industry have become and I have no desire to board an aircraft anymore. I wish them all a pleasant bankruptcy.
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Old 11-14-2009   #6
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Originally Posted by bmattock View Post
I also have a few lenses in similar focal lengths, but I seldom carry more than one of any particular prime lens. I may carry a prime and a zoom that overlap, but otherwise, no.

Since I have multiple 50mm lenses, for example, I decide either based on some particular strength that I imagine one 50mm to have over another, or perhaps I wish to see how a particular 50mm will handle a particular situation. I have been known to make a decision based on what I suppose will be the prevailing conditions (ie, faster lens for lower light conditions), or I may even choose a particular lens based on nothing more than weight (I have a Sears 50mm f/1.4 that is a whopper compared to my Pentax SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4).

Of course, I may also decide based on maximum utility for my uses that day. For example, if I carry my K200D (digital) and my Pentax ZX5 (film), then I will tend to carry a prime 50mm in P/K mount along with the kit zoom, just because it will work equally well on both with a minimum of fiddling about with adapters. One lens, two bodies, good to go. In fact, last Saturday, that was just about what I carried (except it was my K200D and *ist DS, both digital).

As to 'traveling', well, I seldom do that anymore except by car or rail, and of course I tend to take what I wish. I try to avoid air travel these days; I despise what the airline / security industry have become and I have no desire to board an aircraft anymore. I wish them all a pleasant bankruptcy.
Dear Bill,

Well, yes; but I don't wish to carry multiple focal lengths in my bag, or leave them in my car or hotel room, which is why I asked the question specifically about travelling.

I'm sure we all try to avoid air travel but (for example) it's a long drive to India from here, including journeys through several countries I'd rather not traverse.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-14-2009   #7
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I try not to duplicate focal lenghs when I travel. In fact, I have one body carrying my 'lux 35mm lens, and another with my Elmarit 28mm. Long glass (90 and 135mm) come with, and sometimes I will burn one roll with a long lens, just to get myself out of my confort zone.

However, for my next trip across the Atlantic (whenever that be), I intend to take my metered Leicas AND my M3 system (with two fifties and a collapsible 90mm). I intend to take it with every other day... just to use it and enjoy it more often.
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Old 11-14-2009   #8
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I thought it would never happen to me - having more than one lens of a focal length. It started when I bought the Nikon AIs 1.2/50 second hand and couldn't really convince myself of selling the plastic AF 1.8/50, as it was so lightweight.

Now I've got two 50s (f/2.8 and f/1.4) and two 35 (f/2 and f/1.2). As long as I use them from time to time, it's ok for me. I never actually took along more than one lens of a given focal length. At least, not until now

It's mainly about footprint and fitness for a given purpose. If the Nokton would have the size of the Biogon, I wouldn't probably have the latter.

But when I think about it, it's much worse with cameras ...
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Old 11-14-2009   #9
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I never carry duplicate FL's as I will not leave them in the car or hotel safe. I usually put them into one of three kits (a travel near kit, travel far kit and travel overseas kit). The near kit includes the heavier 90 cron and usually a 50 or the 40, the travel far kit usually a VC 21 and 40 or 50, and the overseas kit only sees the VC21, 40 cron-c and 90 elmar-c. For some reason, I only find myself using the VC 21 or any FL wider than 40 when I'm further away from home (maybe there are more narrow streets and alleys overseas?). Actually I don't have any thing between 21 and 40. Maybe it's high time that I look for that 24/25/28 that I think I'm missing in the travel near kit.
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Old 11-14-2009   #10
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Roger => I found my copy of the summilux pre-asph 35 to have some of the worst ergonomics of any leica lens I have used, with the exception being the old Elmar 50 and 35 with which one could be driven to drink if changing apertures a little too often. Being a large guy with big mittens, just accessing the pre-asph's aperture dial is a chore. You don't find it so? Also I disliked the standard shade, finding flare to be a problem when using it with a series vii filter; but using the 12526 hood -- which works better in terms of flare and is less imposing in the VF -- still creates the extreme sport of aperture dial access, as it is even harder than with the standard hood. Not even to mention the jury-rigging one must do with the 12526 hood if filter use is desired; chnaging filters started to give me leery memories of using a Elmar with a filter and wanting the alter the DoF, and thus the agony of accessing the aperture dial behind the filter. I think it must be horses for courses.

I own 2 35s, 4 50s and 1 75. When on a trip I will take 3 lenses. I pick them based on LOOK, anticipated LIGHT and the LENGTH of the excursions.

If I am shooting daytime/outdoors in mountain scenes, the choices will be different than if I am shooting around town at night. The big boys with f1,2 or f1 capability come out to conquer the night. --That being said, a typical day trip will involve a one lens 50mm kit or a 35/75 kit.
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Old 11-14-2009   #11
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Originally Posted by thomasw_ View Post
Roger => I found my copy of the summilux pre-asph 35 to have some of the worst ergonomics of any leica lens I have used, with the exception being the old Elmar 50 and 35 with which one could be driven to drink if changing apertures a little too often. Being a large guy with big mittens, just accessing the pre-asph's aperture dial is a chore. You don't find it so? Also I disliked the standard shade, finding flare to be a problem when using it with a series vii filter; but using the 12526 hood -- which works better in terms of flare and is less imposing in the VF -- still creates the extreme sport of aperture dial access, as it is even harder than with the standard hood. Not even to mention the jury-rigging one must do with the 12526 hood if filter use is desired; chnaging filters started to give me leery memories of using a Elmar with a filter and wanting the alter the DoF, and thus the agony of accessing the aperture dial behind the filter. I think it must be horses for courses.

I own 2 35s, 4 50s and 1 75. When on a trip I will take 3 lenses. I pick them based on LOOK, anticipated LIGHT and the LENGTH of the excursions.

If I am shooting daytime/outdoors in mountain scenes, the choices will be different than if I am shooting around town at night. The big boys with f1,2 or f1 capability come out to conquer the night. --That being said, a typical day trip will involve a one lens 50mm kit or a 35/75 kit.
Dear Thomas,

Must be just practice: I've been using the lens since about 1980. Or maybe it's the fact that I considered a medical career, and am (or was -- I've not tried in 40 years) extremely good at delicate dissection.

My wife and I currently have between us (I think, and dealing with Leica-fit only, including loaners) 1x15, 1x18, 3x21, 1x24, 1x28, 3x35, about 6x50, 1x65, 1x75, 3x90 and 1x135. Carrying all that lot would be silly. Sure, I take your point about mountains and towns, but what if I am crossing the Pyrenees (long lenses) to the towns of southern Portugal (ultrawides and low-light)? For me, for film, it's a maximum of 5 lenses, with the extremes (15mm and 135) optional: 15mm (tiny and weighs nothing), 21mm, 35mm, 75mm and (for the mountains) 135mm. For Frances it's likely to be 1x18 and 1x50 (a different 50). She may take a 90 as well.

Then there's the M8/M8.2: 1x15, 1x24, 1x50, 1x135.

But as you say: horses for courses.

Cheers,

R.

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 11-14-2009 at 10:51.
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Old 11-14-2009   #12
Andy Kibber
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I don't think I've ever owned multiple lenses of the same focal length in the same system. I can see the point of having a large fast lens and a small slow one, but I just stick to medium-sized, medium speed lenses.

If I did have have multiples, I certainly wouldn't carry them with me when traveling.
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Old 11-14-2009   #13
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Back when color meant transparencies I had some shoots where I was shooting both B&W and color. I had two different vintages of 35/2 Summicrons, a 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit, and an 85mm f/2 Nikkor.

These days I have a 40mm Summicron-C replacing one of the 35 'Crons. For the most part I didn't choose based on the rendering of a lens.
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Old 11-14-2009   #14
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I only have multiples of 50mm lenses and enjoy selecting just one of them to take with me, usually a different one each time. The nice thing about 50's is that they're all fast enough (apart from the Elmar f3.5) to be useful across many situations.

My next overseas trip is to Stockholm in December and I think I'll take my old Summicron collapsible and some Neopan 400 with the M3. It will be grey and mstly dark but the Christmas markets and Lucia day festivities will be bright and fun.
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Old 11-14-2009   #15
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Interesting topic, just in line with my current GAS direction...
I own and use my 50mm Cron, but figured that a considerable amount of my shooting experience is low light, in-doors, events, etc...and in such situations I already encountered the cases more then once wishing having a stop faster 50mm lens...that leads me wishing for either 50mm Lux ASPH or probably Hexanon 50mm/1.2 in addition to the Cron which will not be retired by that.
Unless I'll learn to push Tri-X 2 stops with safe development...
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Old 11-14-2009   #16
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The only case of two lenses of the same focal length in my collection, are the 50/2 hex and 50/2 planar. I do bring them both travelling with me, usually accompanied by my 35mm as well. The choice of lens when it comes to the 50s is really down to the scene and the film I'm shooting with. I think the signatures of both lenses varies enough that either can drastically change the scene. I mostly go with the hex for portraits, or people shots, and most of my black and white stuff too. I prefer the planar for street shooting, especially at night and in bars and the likes.

Another point though, I usually bring two bodies unless it's a particularly short trip, and in those cases, I'll mount each lens on a body with film to suit it, so no swapsies required unless the 35 feels better.
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Old 11-14-2009   #17
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For a trip, I usually pack two 50's, one built for speed and one for a compact size. Usually it is the Canon 50/1.2 for speed and a Sonnar to be compact. Bring two bodies, one with a 35, and drop an Elmar 9cm f4 in for a telephoto. Does not take much room, and is light.
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Old 11-14-2009   #18
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The only time I've ever taken two lenses of the same FL traveling, it was my two CV 35s - the tiny 2.5 and the 1.4 SC.

They're really very different lenses, and I prefer to use the very well corrected 2.5 for colour slides, and anything vaguely architectural, etc.

I prefer the 1.4 for black and white (it's hard to describe it, but the character is unique - to me anyway, cos I've never used the Summilux that it is based on), for street shooting, and obviously for low light shooting.

So if I'm on a planned trip to a specific site, I'll use the 2.5, but just wandering round town I'll use the 1.4.

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Old 11-14-2009   #19
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I hate carrying stuff, so no focal length duplication for me. I carried a CV 21, the Nokton 35/1.2 and a Planar ZM 50/2 on a UK trip last month. Think I used the Planar twice.

On air travel: I agree that it is an unpleasant and often demeaning experience. Sometimes, though, you can't get There from Here unless you fly.
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Old 11-14-2009   #20
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I tend to take two bodies when I travel, one for high-speed and one for low-speed. As a result, I'll usually end up with two 50mm lenses. One is always my Jupiter-3 (fast lens), and the other will be something slower ... an Elmar, Industar-10 or 61. Usually the low-speed body will have a wide-angle on it, but I like having a 50 for it just in case. I never pack more gear than I can carry with me in a Domke F2, so security isn't something I worry about.
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Old 11-14-2009   #21
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When shooting street, I often carry two bodies, loaded with slide and B&W, or color and B&W and to avoid switching lenses all the time I take duplicate focal lengths. The Hexes are the 'average' size, the Komuras/Acalls most are really small, albeit a bit heavy.

I carry a dirty Billingham with the rucksack straps and a small belt pouch with enough room for a body with lens. Old black military jacket to stuff most of the lenses and film. I look like a homeless man, I guess. When its hot, I take one body two lenses in the belt pouch only and lose the other gear. Goes in the hotel safe, bag and all.

I have been to England in October (Broadstairs and Canterbury, Kent, and London) and most of the luggage I took on the EuroStar was camera gear.

Roger, Stuart Heggie says hi!
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Old 11-14-2009   #22
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When on the road I rarely take doubles of any FL, but if shooting the M8 I'll bring 2 28/2.0's. I love that lens on film and on the M8, and will often shoot them side by side. This last time I had the 50/1.4 ASPH, the 28/2.0 on an M7 and the 28/2.0 on the M8. I also shot the G2 with 16. Lens choice depends on the assignment or the place, but I'll always have the 28. I've got four 50's in M mount, and would never shoot anything but the Summilux pre-ASPH in the woods. In town, it's most of the Summilux ASPH, but the Elmar-M or Summicron gets in there too. I love the Summicron for FP4+, and the Elmar-M for color.

When I'm away the stay-at-homes are safely locked up.
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Old 11-14-2009   #23
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For me, I often consider two things:

1] If the conditions are rough, which lens am I willing to submit to some abuse. I don't like to take a super lens to a windy, sandy place. I'd rather take a Canon (super, but cheaper).

2] If the size is dramatically different and the speed significantly different, I might take two polar opposites, such as the UC Hex 35/2 and CV 35/1.2 One for night, one for day.
Just leave one at the hotel.
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Old 11-14-2009   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Do others carry multiple lenses of the same f.l. when travelling? If so, how often do they change them? And how do they carry them/handle security with the ones they're not carrying?

Cheers,

R.
I am definitely of the "learn to make use of the camera body / lens / film" that you have in your hand. I don't even own more than one lens of any focal length. I do have a small amount of options. For instance my 28mm lens is a light f3.5 while my 35mm is a faster f2.0. But I only have one or the other while shooting. And I just deal with things like shooting the f3.5 lens indoors.

When I am out shooting, I only have one body with one lens. I may have something else in the car. If so, my camera bag is stored inside a cheap cooler so it is not visible. If I don't have a car, everything except my one body / lens is locked in the hotel safe. If no car and no safe, I will just bring one body / one lens. I never carry a bag when shooting, just a pocket full of film and a spare battery.
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Old 11-14-2009   #25
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My RF kit has always been a one of each FL one. My reflex kit, on the other hand, has multiples of several FLs. When traveling by air, I keep it all down to the minimum and what is most suitable to the destination.
Travel kit might also depend on the nature of the trip. Is it to take pictures (for sale later) or to see, enjoy and document. If it is the latter, I might even take a zoom with a weatherproof DSLR and the M8 + one lens as a back up.
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Old 11-14-2009   #26
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Roger, Stuart Heggie says hi!
Gosh, that's nice. Thanks!

Changing the subject, it's an interesting question as to how one acquires multiple lenses of the same f.l. My main excuse is that I review 'em and when I find one I like I can generally get a good press dscount on it -- though sometimes another lens (or two) will go if the new one replaces them. Then there are lenses which come in 'deals' with cameras: my 50/1.2 Canon was more or less free because I bought it on a Canon 7, then sold the Canon 7 for about what I'd paid for the pair. And a few are unique, such as the Thambar. I'd not want it for my only 90 but equally it does things the Summicron can't.

How have others acquired duplicates?

Cheers,

R.

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 11-15-2009 at 02:09.
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Old 11-15-2009   #27
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Well, as written before, I mainly seek for an alternative in form factor or speed. I wanted to have a very compact walk around 50, so I've got the Elmar-M. And I've got quite a good deal on a Nikon 50/1.2 which was too good to pass.

For now, I can resist buying the Sonnar 50. But that's mainly because I don't know, if I get along with the focus shift well. Don't really know what would happen if I'd ever start to review lenses
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Old 11-15-2009   #28
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Then there are lenses which come in 'deals' with cameras: my 50/1.2 Canon was more or less free because I bought it on a Canon 7, then sold the Canon 7 for about what I'd paid for the pair..
the opposite Roger!....I bought a Canon 7 with 50/1.2 - kept the camera, and sold the lens for the price of the pair! - contrary to popular opinion, I was not impressed at all!.
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Old 11-15-2009   #29
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the opposite Roger!....I bought a Canon 7 with 50/1.2 - kept the camera, and sold the lens for the price of the pair! - contrary to popular opinion, I was not impressed at all!.
Dave.
Dear Dave,

Well, I later gave the lens away -- and it impressed me more than the camera!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-15-2009   #30
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I think I am the odd man out here. I often travel with more than one choice in a focal length and like to be able to choose the image qualities based, in part, on lens design. I really start the "what do I need in the bag" question by asking, "what are my anticipated subjects?" Since I do a lot of portraiture, the answer is going to be different if I am headed to a someone's wedding, than it would be if I were photographing a someone's mother. But if I'm photographing someone's mother at the wedding? Well then the Summitar may just wind up in the bag.

Recently a friend got married and to the extent there was a style theme to there was more than a nod to the 1940's and 50's (small band versions of big band tunes, American songbook -- you get the idea). It was great to be able to choose lenses from that era for my snapshots. My gifts will be of a piece with the bride and groom's other choices and I'll bet that they won't even be able to pinpoint why. All the more poignant because the bride's father was gravely ill with a brain tumor and I have a picture of him dancing with his baby girl all grown up.

I have wound up with focal-length multiples for any number of reasons. Sometimes it is being impressed with the look of photos I see from a photographer whose work I admire. Sometimes it is because (e.g. a recent modern Sonnar purchase) the lens simply does things that my other lenses don't do when used wide open. Sometimes I have had a glancing curiosity about how a lens performs and a good deal comes up. Sometimes it is just curiosity (I have a 52/1.8 Helios acquired for that reason). I love making pictures, but I have come to terms with the fact that I am a bit of a gear-head. Now excuse me -- it's a foggy morning in central Vermont with desaturated colors and an insulated Sunday quiet settled on the land. I am off to take some pictures with a . . . Summaron. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Ben Marks
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Old 11-15-2009   #31
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I ran into my Kyoei Acall 35/3.5 for little money on that auction site and was the only bidder. Just happened to acquire it when in an adventurous mood one day.

As I shot it I was impressed with its sixties color rendering and its build quality.
Since then I have found more Acalls and Komuras at really reasonable prices and loved them all. My vintage kit now consists of M3:28-35-Canon 50/1.2-80-135. My modern kit is M6:28-35-50-50/1.2-90.

I feel decadent having two sets, but I cannot get myself to part with them.
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Old 11-15-2009   #32
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I am going to a short trip next weekend, one of the larger cities in Japan, and will bring my M7 + 50mm Elmar red-scale + Noctilux. The Elmar for daytime (very light and small) and the Noctilux for night time. The Noctilux fits nicely in my messenger back together with film, small map and other things.
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Old 11-15-2009   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Marks View Post
I think I am the odd man out here. I often travel with more than one choice in a focal length and like to be able to choose the image qualities based, in part, on lens design. I really start the "what do I need in the bag" question by asking, "what are my anticipated subjects?" Since I do a lot of portraiture, the answer is going to be different if I am headed to a someone's wedding, than it would be if I were photographing a someone's mother. But if I'm photographing someone's mother at the wedding? Well then the Summitar may just wind up in the bag.

Recently a friend got married and to the extent there was a style theme to there was more than a nod to the 1940's and 50's (small band versions of big band tunes, American songbook -- you get the idea). It was great to be able to choose lenses from that era for my snapshots. My gifts will be of a piece with the bride and groom's other choices and I'll bet that they won't even be able to pinpoint why. All the more poignant because the bride's father was gravely ill with a brain tumor and I have a picture of him dancing with his baby girl all grown up.

I have wound up with focal-length multiples for any number of reasons. Sometimes it is being impressed with the look of photos I see from a photographer whose work I admire. Sometimes it is because (e.g. a recent modern Sonnar purchase) the lens simply does things that my other lenses don't do when used wide open. Sometimes I have had a glancing curiosity about how a lens performs and a good deal comes up. Sometimes it is just curiosity (I have a 52/1.8 Helios acquired for that reason). I love making pictures, but I have come to terms with the fact that I am a bit of a gear-head. Now excuse me -- it's a foggy morning in central Vermont with desaturated colors and an insulated Sunday quiet settled on the land. I am off to take some pictures with a . . . Summaron. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Ben Marks
@ Ben: No, I don't think you are the odd man out. I select lenses for particular jobs. It's just that when you're traveling, and don't know what's coming up, how much weight do you want to carry (or worry about in the car or the hotel room)?

@CLE-RF: You have my full sympathy. Why do you think I have so many (Nikon F fit) Vivitar Series 1s?

@Gabor: Yes, but it's only a short trip to one place -- and I think I'd be happier with just the 35/1.4 than with ultra-fast and slow 35s or 50s. When it's one individual lens, be it Noctilux or Elmar, size and weight don't worry me all that much. When it's two or more lenses of the same f.l., even if together they weigh less than e.g. the Noctilux, I still resent the bulk & weight so I'll carry just one (almost invariably the faster/fastest except with 21mm) when I'm travelling.

Cheers,

R.

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 11-15-2009 at 06:20. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-15-2009   #34
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I have multiple lenses for the same focal length because I am always curious to find out if I can get something different. My favorite lens always has been a 50mm lens. For many years I was using only old lenses, but more recently, I have been tying out modern lenses. I often take with me on a one day trip 2-3 50mm lenses plus a wide angle lens and maybe a short tele. Among the 50mm lenses I may have a Zeiss Jena 5cm 1,5 and a Heliar 5cm 3.5 or a Summicron rigid 50mm 2.0. It is great to have access to many different variations of same focal length lenses, but it can become quite a costly hobby in the end.

Of course, I also make use of the options in lenses to take along the more common and less expensive lenses if it is raining or we are close to water and sand and wind.
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Old 11-15-2009   #35
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Roger,

I have thought about bringing only my 35 Summilux pre-ASPH but 50mm is more my preferred focal length .... I could also only bring my 50/2.0 M-Hexanon but then would miss the Noctilux ....

Cheers,

Gabor
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Old 11-15-2009   #36
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I'm finding the simpler I keep things, the better things are for me.
I've been doing a lot of portrait work lately with some local actors/actresses in community theater.
At first, I was taking lots of lenses (think I took 3 50s to one of the first shoots), but quickly found they were getting in the way of my photography. It's working much better for me to just take a couple lenses - 90 percent of the shots come from a combination of an M8 with a 50 pre-asph lux and a D300 with an 85/1.4.
In turn, that's actually led me to sell a few of my duplicate FLs. Just wasn't using them enough for me to want to keep them.
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Old 11-15-2009   #37
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I can certainly understand the above comment (I'm lying).

So if anyone feels the need to sell a 1953 J-3 because it is a duplicate focal length and goes unused, be sure to let me know first....
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Old 11-15-2009   #38
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I have a positively foolish array of lenses in some focal lengths:

50mm:
Canon f/1.2, f/1.5, f/1.8, f/3.5 collapsible
Leica f/2 Summicron Rigid, f/2.8 Elmar classic
Nikkor f/1.4, f/2
Voigtlander f/1.5, f/2.5

35mm:
Canon f/2.8
Konica f/2 UC-Hexanon
Leica f/2.8 Summaron
Voigtlander f/1.2, f/2.5

28mm:
Canon f/2.8, f/3.5
Minolta f/2.8
Voigtlander f/3.5

Plus a 21/3.4 SA, Canon 25/3.5 and CV 15/4.

How did that happen, you ask? Partly (mostly?) plain old GAS. Partly an appreciation foe some of the vintage lenses as fne objects, apart from their use as photgraphic tools. Partly the desire to see the different looks that different lenses impart (Sonnars, Tessars, etc.) Partly stumbling across a lens too cheap to pass up.

And partly to have the right lens for different situations. For example, the Canon 35/2.8 is nice on my R-D1 in sunlight as I don't get blown highlights. But the Nokton 35/1.2 is a superb lens if I'm at an indoor event where lighting might be dim. If I had a 35/1.4 Summilux, I might get rid of most of my other 35s; but maybe not.

If I'm going on a trip, The only redundancy I'll bring is a fast lens, in addition to the smaller lenses in several focal lengths.

How do I choose which to bring in each length? Depends on the focus of the outing. If I'm bringing a 50mm because I'm expecting to shoot portraits, then I'll bring a Nikkor or Canon Sonnar-type. Indoor general-purpose is the Summicron. Indoor low light is the Nokton. Outdoor lanscape it's the Summicron, or the Skopar if I need compactness above all. For all of the above, it's the Summicron.

Carrying 4-5 lenses on a trip is no big deal, as these are mostly pretty small. Airport security is not an issue I've had trouble with for photo gear.

Ari
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Old 11-15-2009   #39
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With Minolta SR - mostly retired these days , it would be a 50 f2 Rokkor [ light and compact ]or the f 1.4 Rokkor if available light is an issue .
The M 8 sports a Fed 50 3.5 collapsible because it has a unique [ to me ] ' sparkle ' with colour , and the dreamy Summitar which can be pushed wide open at a pinch .
My 35mm CV color scopar now performs sole near 50 on the M 8 .
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Old 11-15-2009   #40
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Quote:
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If I had a 35/1.4 Summilux, I might get rid of most of my other 35s; but maybe not.

Ari
Ari,

You spke out what sometimes goes on in my head ...
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