“Make it do or do without, next steps” One of my photographic goals for 2016 is to see how much I can get out of the equipment I already own. Part one will be spending a week working with each lens that I own, trying to get the best I can out of it without any additions such as extension tubes. This will be done both handheld and on a tripod.
For my first week I have started with an old manual focus 50mm f1.4 manual focus lens. I have chosen this lens not only because it had been my favorite lens from my days with a film camera but also because at f1.4 it is the fastest lens I own. So not only will I be needing to practice manual focusing again, I will have the opportunity to work with as narrow a depth of field as I can get.
Because my camera is what is a crop sensor camera, all lens I use on it have a multiplication factor of 1.5. This means that my 50mm which was once a standard lens, meaning the field of view closely approximates that of the human eye, now is a 75mm lens. Basically this is because the smaller sensor in my camera has “cropped” out the center portion of the image changing how it is viewed.
Part of the challenge of using a prime lens, one which has only a single focal length, is to use it to it’s best advantage. Do you get closer to try and fill the frame? Do you need to back up to try and get a unique landscape perspective? 75mm is slightly short for a portrait. Get too close and the subject suddenly has a big nose. Maybe having them turn slightly sideways would work better.
I will first be working my way through my prime lens, one a week. First the 50mm as I said due to it’s speed. Then another older film era manual focus lens, a 28mm f2.8. After that will be a modern 35mm f2.8. Then a return to the days of film and manual focus with my 100mm f4 macro lens. that will be followed by the oldest lens I own, a Tamron adaptall 200mm f3.5. The prime lineup will conclude with a 500mm f8 mirror lens.
After that I start the zooms, they include variable apertures 18-55mm, 18-135mm, 50-200mm and 55-300mm. And of course my favorite lens, the 70-200 f2.8.
So there is the first part of my 2016 photographic resolution laid out. Along with my lens of the week I will also be working on some comparisons between zoom lenses that I own and learning focus stacking.