I’ve been sitting on some very generous gift cards for over a year. Generous enough that using them quickly would be a mistake. This is the type of purchase that takes both research and time.
Which I did. Along without a lot of internal debate on the best way to use it. I researched specs and photographic results – hovered over chat rooms and read review after review.
And finally – headed over to the camera store to buy the perfect lens for me.
And walked out with something else. I went in to buy a better zoom lens. I have a Canon 24-105mm f4.0L and I don’t love it. It gives a bit too much distortion for me – and even wide open is hard to use inside because it doesn’t let enough light in, and when my ISO has to be dialed up so high – I get grain. I just don’t love it for inside shots. And I don’t love it for outside shots as it just isn’t crisp enough for me.
I admit I’m a prime lens girl. I love my 50mm and 85mm and they are rarely off of my camera. My 50mm is my daily lens BUT it doesn’t quite cut-it in our home as I cannot back enough away from the subject to compose a good shot always. We live in an old home with smaller rooms and little light – so I find I’d rather not even take the shot than to struggle with trying to compose a shot. I had hoped my zoom would solve this issue – but it wasn’t the right lens for me.
So I walked into National Camera Exchange to splurge on a 24-70mm f/2.8L or go to the total extreme opposite and get a great outside telephoto lens(or inside stage/wedding lens) like the 70-200mm f/2.8L.
And I walked out with a 35mm f/1.4L prime.
Not surprising I guess. As I took photos in the store – the 35mm spoke to me. That sounds weird – but it did. It was crisp and beautiful and familiar. And now gives me the ability to take pictures inside in our dark, small rooms.
Here are some comparison shots with my 50mm and 35mm. The 35mm shots are on top and 50mm are on the bottom. All of these images are straight out of the camera – no editing at all – except to reduce size to post.
I was standing in the exact same spot with the exact same camera settings. I took these wide open – and while sometimes with the 50mm – my focus and depth of field is off – with my 35mm I find I have a bit larger ‘sweet spot’ of focus so I can leave it wide open even with more than one person in the picture and feel confident that I will get the shot. And it gives me a lot more flexibility in composition. But know I will still always love my 50mm for many other reasons.
I love my Canon 35mm and it has rarely left my camera in the past month – but next time I buy a lens. And there will be a next time – well I think I might go out of my comfort zone and get that zoom I still think about….because it’s not like my subjects are always sitting still.
(I could not leave Truffle out of the fun!)
What is your favorite lens and why?