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What focal length(s) do you NOT use?

Posted 04/04/2024 - 09:50 Link
As a result of John Riley's articles on the 'standard lens' (i.e. approx 50mm for full frame, 35mm for APS-C) and his current weekly competition topic, I had a quick look through my files to see how often I used the relevant focal length. To my surprise, the answer was ... almost nothing in the last few years with APS-C. And that is in spite of having two 35mm primes and several zooms covering FL around 35mm. It's a bit different for the Q as the 01 prime is what I use for record shots of the collection of sempervivums. Apart from that, though, there are very few Q shots with the 01 or the 02 zoom at the relevant FL. It seems that I'm avoiding the 'standard lens' field of view without either realising it or knowing why I'm doing it.

Which got me wondering ... what focal length(s) do you not use even though you have the lens(es) for it? And why? Are we all avoiding the same FLs? Or do we each have our own personal aversions?

Your answers please... or am I alone in not using all the FLs at my disposal??

Posted 04/04/2024 - 10:22 Link
The only focal length I do not use are for lenses I do not own. All the lenses I own I use, some more than others.
Pentax K1-ii and MZ6
Pentax Lenses 28-80 F, 300 DA*, 80-200 F, 35 F2.4 AL, M50 F1.7, 28-105 DFA, 20 F4 SMC
Posted 04/04/2024 - 11:08 Link
Over the years I've bought lots of lenses with plenty of reach beyond 50mm, examples being DA 50-200mm, DA 55-300mm etc. Other than the occasional bird/wildlife photo I've never managed to put them to full use, so ended up selling them on.

I've yet to settle on a perfect focal length for the photography I do (mainly UK travel), I reckon it's probably around 24mm on APS-C, but feel more comfortable using a short zoom such as a 18-50mm, since I find myself using any focal length within that range as I walk around.
Pentax KP / HD 18-50mm / Ricoh GR iii
Posted 04/04/2024 - 13:17 Link
I don't use anything very long (more than 200mm) because I don't really have anything - newer lenses are too cheap to be good or too expensive for my pockets and vintage lenses at long focal lengths tend to be poor too.

And until quite recently in my photographic progression I never used ultra-wides but now that I have a few options available I'm finding them quite useful.

50mm and 35mm are certainly my most used FLs though, and their equivalents on APS-C. There's nothing more useful or flexible than a fast fifty.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X and Panasonic L digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses
Posted 04/04/2024 - 14:38 Link
I consciously go through my lens collection fairly frequently with to ensure I still use and need them - hence the regular culling you may have seen

Currently I use 21mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm and 200mm most often and some of my longer lenses only really used on specific trips.

There are a few lenses that don't get used a lot but I can't bring myself to part with them (for the moment at least) - these include my Silver FA Limited trio (31mm, 43mm and 77mm) and my K28/2.0. I do have the A* 300/2.8 that hasn't left the house in 5+ years (nobody wanted to buy it when it was up for sale) but it is fun to use in the garden every now and then.
Posted 04/04/2024 - 14:47 Link
Probably the lens I've used less than I should is the Pentax 15mm Ltd, it's a great lens but I find it a difficult focal length to use effectively, my fault not the lens. As my APS K-50 is now only semifunctional (grrr ... solenoid) I could use it on the K-1 but for some unaccountable reason I haven't. So I must give it a go.

Posted 04/04/2024 - 15:44 Link
The lens I don't use much at all is one purchased in a rash of over indulgence, DFA * 85mm f1.4
Too much value to be sat on the shelf really, Note to self 'must use it more'
Posted 04/04/2024 - 16:25 Link
loadoftripe wrote:
The lens I don't use much at all is one purchased in a rash of over indulgence, DFA * 85mm f1.4
Too much value to be sat on the shelf really, Note to self 'must use it more'

I also purchased the DFA*85/1.4 - rather impulsively in my case - and apart from a few "look what I've got" shots at the start I hardly used it for quite a few months but over the last few weeks I've been using it for family photos quite a lot, it's not as flexible as the 70-200 zoom but for those shots where you catch a subjects eyes just right, that beautiful thin depth of field and lovely Bokeh really come into there own. It's not an easy lens to use - but it's certainly worthwhile
Posted 04/04/2024 - 17:51 Link
I dislike 35mm on 35mm. I nearly always go for a 50 or a 28, or fairly often my 30mm. Dunno why, nothing logical about it. The 28 probably because that was the first wide angle focal length I had, and the 30 because its the 30 and lovely.

On my APS-C camera I use the 31mm an awful lot. Then the 12-24 and the 50-135.

Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.
Posted 04/04/2024 - 18:30 Link
I have a Pentax 135mm lens that I just haven't used since I bought it, much prefering the Tamron 90mm and the Pentax 200mm.

K1000, Espio 140, ist, istD, K70, K3iii and numerous lenses, just don't tell my wife.
Posted 04/04/2024 - 20:59 Link
I've recently settled in to carrying the 16-50 PLM, 55-300 PLM and a 1.4 teleconverter. These fit neatly with my K3-3 into a 6L Black Snipe bag, plus a set of magnetic filters. It's the 16-50 that gets used most
For macro I have the 100 mm and for fun the 10-17 snap-yer-own-ears lens. And some others!
Posted 05/04/2024 - 11:35 Link

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The Legendary Terry Pratchett once said:
At the beginning there was nothing... which exploded
Posted 05/04/2024 - 20:05 Link
Spad wrote:

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The focal lengths I don't use are the ones I don't have (yet...) eg 500mm.
C.O.L.B.A.S victim
(Compulsive Obsessive Lens Buying Addiction Syndrome)

What you need are lenses, more lenses, bigger lenses, better lenses, faster lenses, vintage lenses and when you have these, your pictures will be perfect!
Posted 06/04/2024 - 00:03 Link
I have just hauled the A series f1.7 50mm off the shelf and plonked it on my desk to remind me to give it an outing. I can't remember the last time it was on a camera!
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd

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