35mm prime bit confused

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35mm prime bit confused

Postby the dane on Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:18 am

Hi guys I'm new here and thought I'd ask a question instead of going to the camera shop which normally confuses me even more! Ok every year on holiday for a family I normally take my Sony a 6000, gopro and the cool pics and lenses! But it's got to the stage where it annoys me seeing something I want to see on holiday and having to carry all this stuff and trying to work out do I use the GoPro or do I take a photo! So in January we are off to Bali! And I have decided to take the a 6000 and maybe 1 extra lens so that way I have no choice I can only carry One camera! So my major question is should I purchase a 35 millimetre prime or 50 millimetre prime or 80 millimetre Prime to use as a video lens? ( I have never used the a 6000 as a video before) and I've never used a prime lens before! And if I do buy a prime and if I was to take a photo of the family standing with a temple for example in the far distance, help blurry would the temple come out?
Cheers guys thanks for your help

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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby gstark on Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:12 am

Hi and welcome.

The issue that you're describing - that of what equipment to take on a trip (anywhere) - is a common and perennial one. It's certainly one that I struggle with, and when I'm traveling, I have to seriously consider exactly which system/body/lenses I will be taking along.

I would certainly recommend grabbing a couple of prime lenses. They're compact and light, which helps address a part of this issue.

Don't pre-form your ideas as to which lens to use for video (or for any other purpose). Keep a flexible attitude and open mind: for some scenes, a 35mm might be the answer, and because of the wider field of view, this might especially be the case if you're shooting stuff that wants to include some of the scenery that you're expecting to encounter.

A longer lens, such as an 85mm, will be great for bringing a person's face into the image. How much of the background might be defocussed will depend upon a few factors, such as the aperture in use and the distance between your primary, in-focus subject, and that defocussed background that you want. In this realm, using a faster lens wide open will be of greater assistance (use apertures closer to the range of f/1.4 - f/4) and if you can, have a greater distance to that background. Countering all of that, using your lens with the wider, more open apertures, means that your depth of field will be shallower, meaning that perhaps less of your subject might be on sharp focus.

There's no absolute right or wrong answer. It's a matter of what the compromises that you are prepared to take might be.
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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby TonyT on Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:55 pm

Hi and welcome.

I been to Bali twice. I had a look at my focal length for the photo's I took. I used a 18 - 55 and something longer but not sure what it was, as I have neither of these lens now.

Out of 140 photo's 54 were @ 18mm and 24 @ 55mm. The other are all in between 18 to 55. If I went again I take my 50mm 1.4 for low light stuff and dances show,s, 24 to 105 and 16 to 35. The last two are F4.
I would not take any thing longer, I would not use it. As everything is close.

But saying this, this is me I don't take a lot of being there shots. Which gets me in a lot of trouble with the wife :roll:
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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby !~DeViNe~DaRkNeSs~! on Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:18 pm

going to china recently and all i had was my 50mm prime.. cropped at 1.5x. it was a srs bugger to try and manipulate the subject to suit the lens...
get something 18-55 to cover everything first lol
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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby the dane on Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:23 pm

Cheers guys i have the 16-50mm + 55-210mm. So do i get the 35 or 50? 50 seems cheaper. But youtube 35 sony looks great! Next question iam no photography wizard by far but do i get a 35mm in 1.4, 1.8 or 2.8?
Ahhh so much to read and learn. And what about lens on gumtree? Good or not! And auto v manual with sensors etc. Is there a big difference between a 1970s 1980s prime to todays primes? Reason i ask there are 2 second hand camera shops with heaps of lenses where i live.
Cheers

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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby gstark on Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:06 am

While the old lenses are great, I think that the technology in the new lenses is very good. There are new lens coating and manufacturing techniques that help to mitigate things like lens flare and optical aberrations that the glass can impart into your images. Older glass might also have mould or maybe some physical issues (aperture blades sticking, for instance) and when a new 50mm prime is less than Au$200, I would only be looking at local dealers to find who might have the best price and ser5vice combo to suit your needs.

If you're looking at something classic, rather than just a simple basic prime, the second hand stores might be worthwhile, but in terms of where you are currently placed, probably not.

There's also the issue of compatibility: I'm not sure exactly how compatible the older Minolta and Konica glass will be with the newer Sony Alpha body; you would most certainly lose a fair bit of functionality with any lens that's over about three years old.

As to the maximum aperture for the lens that you buy: this is another good question, and it comes back to what you expect to be shooting. The smaller the number (numerically), the "faster" the lens. This means that it will have better low-light shooting capabilities. So, a lens that is f/1.4 can shoot using less light than one that's f/1.8, which in turn can shoot in lower light conditions than a lens that's f/2.8.

But we're talking maximum low light capabilities here. I know that I shoot in dark pubs and bars, and therefore I need to maximise my possibilities for getting the shot that I want, and so, where I can, I grab the fastest glass that's available. If you're not going to be shooting in extremely dark situations such as those I encounter, then a lens that's not so fast will suit your needs fine.

Remember though that the faster glass will likely have better optical qualities, but for me the bottom line recommendation is that nobody should be without a 50mm prime, (or 35 or 24 on a crop sensor body), and for 95% of users, f/1.8 on a 50 will do the job just fine.

And yes, the learning is just beginning, but it can be a richly rewarding hobby.

As an aside, we've found it helpful if all members add their location into their profile. There may be someone who lives nearby who can offer some guidance.

Cheers.
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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby the dane on Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:33 am

Cheers gstark. I think i wil go new! Still not sure i might need to visit a camera shop to see different lenses in my hand! Looking at Sony E-Mount 35MM F1.8 and Sony E-Mount 50mm f1.8 Lens! But now i see a 30mm in Sony E-Mount 30mm f3.5 Macro! Or am i confusing myself more! So if i was sitting in a bar now and my wife said take a few photos of our group of friends the 35mm is the way? But if i was to take a photo of people standing and a statue of an elephant in the background 50mm?


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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby Mr Darcy on Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:06 am

50mm lenses are cheap because they make a heck of a lot of them. They just happen to give a field of view that is very close to the human eye on a full frame (35mm film or equivalent) camera. The a6000 however is a crop sensor camera. A 35mm lens will give you that "human eye" experience on that camera. So for video work, that would be the first lens to buy for me for video if I had that camera. However, your sweet spot may differ. You already have the camera and a few zooms. Go back over your old photos and check out what zoom settings were used on the photos you liked best. And what was most frequently used. Hopefully it will be the same answer, but not necessarily. This will give you a good indication of what focal length floats your boat. If you are not already aware of it, all digital cameras record a lot of information along with every photo. Time, date, focal length, aperture used and so on. But be wary of focal length. Many of the programs used to show this report the full frame equivalent focal length rather than the actual focal length. Make sure you are comparing apples with apples.

As Gary says, but it cannot be stressed enough, older lenses will almost certainly run into compatibility issues. It may not fit on your camera at all. If it does, autofocus may not work. Or metering. Or both. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but something to be aware of before buying. DO your homework for that particular lens and body combination very carefully.

I would NEVER buy a second hand lens from an online seller unless I was absolutely sure I would be able to return it for a full refund if it didn't meet my expectations. Aside from the compatibility issues mentioned above, you also need to consider its history. Is it showing signs of mould? Very common on old lenses. Has it been dropped? scratched? Does the mechanism work smoothly? Are there focussing issues? I would want to inspect the lens carefully before parting with my cash. Ideally I would want take photos with that lens and MY camera and check them out. before committing.

As for the maximum aperture, it depends on your planned use. In the film days, film was pretty slow. 25 ISO film was not unheard of. That made slow lenses pretty useless in anything less than full sunshine. So fast lenses had a well earned cachet. And were especially prized by professionals. These days digital cameras will happily go to "film" speeds unheard of in the old days. 64,000 ISO is not uncommon. That makes fast lenses less important for everyday use. However if you are shooting in a dingy pub at night (Hi Gary!) you may still want all the speed you can get. If you are just planning on shooting on the beach in the middle of the day, save your money. That said, the fast lenses are made for professionals. That means they tend to be made to a higher standard than the slow lenses. Usually you will get better results from a fast lens stopped down to the same speed as a slower lens. But you will probably have to "pixel peep" to see the difference. So unless you are blowing up to extreme levels, I wouldn't worry too much. And with video, the movement will almost certainly disguise the difference.
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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby the dane on Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:16 pm

Ok just been looking at a lot of my photos, a lot full under
Lens focal 16.0mm
35mm equivalent 24mm.
But some did hit low 40s

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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby Mr Darcy on Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:37 pm

Clearly you prefer photos taken with a wide angle rather than telephoto.
So the answer to your initial question is 35mm. But given your shooting history, even 24mm would not go amiss.

as for the macro...
Do you like taking close ups of things? flowers, insects, details of clothing etc.
If yes, then a macro would be a good choice. They often make excellent general purpose lenses too. Though I cannot comment on that specific one.
Otherwise, don't bother. You are paying for features you won't use. It is also a fairly slow lens

When you use a prime lens, you need to use what is commonly referred to as "Sneaker Zoom". If you want more in your shot, walk away from the scene. If you want to concentrate on the detail in the middle, walk towards it. Not always possible I know. Which is why zoom lenses are so popular. Even though they almost invariably give you inferior results compared to a prime lens on the same camera and with the same photographer. Of course if the zoom is worth $15,000 and the prime $50, all bets are off.
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Re: 35mm prime bit confused

Postby the dane on Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:04 pm

Cheers Mr Darcy, i only looked at around 10 face shoot photos, but i will catch a train into the city this monday to look at the 35mm

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