Prime Lens Magic


Did you see the four crows flying in the lower middle right-side of the picture?  I purchased a new lens, the Fijinon 35 mm f/1.4 lens and I was trying it out.  It has great resolution from edge to edge.  For those who might be interested, that picture was taken at ISO 200, f/2.5, 1/140 sec. handheld in auto mode.  I didn’t know the birds were there when I took it and I didn’t know they were crows until I looked at them at 100% on the monitor.

I have a confession to make; I probably love my camera more than most images I make.  I like a good-looking, small camera.  I like to leave it sitting out where I can see it.  I like small prime lenses since they look better on the camera and make the combination easier to carry and use.  Most people like prime lenses for their quality since they are usually better than zoom lenses.  I also like them for their light weight and small size and simplicity in use.

I recently acquired the 35 mm f/1.4 lens for my X-E1.  I like the way it looks and I know it is one of the best Fujifilm Fujinon lenses based on all the reviews.  I now have a new problem.  Do I like it so well that I can just use it for the majority of my photography?  I’m contemplating using it for most of my personal photography and using my 18 – 55 mm and 55 – 200 mm zoom lenses only for photographing events here at Homewood where my access to the performers is limited.

A decision to use just one camera and one prime lens limits what, where, and how I photograph.  I have a difficult time finding things to photograph and using just one lens will make it even harder, but I like simplicity.  I am not going to defy all logic and reason and not use my zooms when I need them, but I am going to see how far I can go with just a few prime lenses.

I have cut back on using long focal lengths during the last year and I’m still managing with that decision.  Yes, there are images I can’t get, but so far, I have not minded it.  I might have a bigger problem on the other end of the scale … not having wide lenses for inside buildings.  The fast 35 mm (effective 52 mm focal length) is great for environmental portraits but not for overall grand scale images.  If I were to travel again I would probably need to get an 18 mm lens to capture the insides of the big old churches and other buildings, as well as the urban and country landscapes.

I have another ulterior motive for using small prime lenses.  I live in a community where the average age is in the 80s (I am one of the youngest) and some use canes, walking sticks, walkers, and motorized wheel chairs.  In my past I went through two periods when I had to use a cane to get around and if that ever happens to me again I want to be able to continue my photography and be able to use a camera with one hand.  I only need to look outside my window to be reminded that a small good camera with a quality prime lens could become an imperative.

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