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Guest JoanMarianne

28mm versus 35mm

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Guest JoanMarianne

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On looking through a Voigtlander finder that covered both 28mm and 35mm, I was struck by the small difference between the angle of view of these lengths. This suggests that, for black-and-white at least, 28mm will be the better option since the 35mm area can be enlarged out of the frame without noticeable stress. Does this seem a reasonable philosophy or is there a catch somewhere that I have missed?

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Hi

 

Perceptive person.

 

The 35m is ok for relatively static shots the 28mm better for fast moving situations with no control over subjects or anything, the depth of field helps a little as well as the angle..

 

I believe Winograd used the 28mm for preference for close in street shooting. A Canon 28mm f/2.8 LTM on a M.

 

But you need good technique, like tabular grain 400 ISO because some of the time your subject will be out at ten feet and much smaller on the neg then with a 35mm.

 

I get obvious failures with 35mm, groan (lux at f/5.6)

 

Noel

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But then the 24mm is so close to the 28, and so on, so you may as well just use a 12mm Voigtlander and be done with it!

 

The difference may appear small but to me at least they are quite different lenses. Distortion is an issue too, a 35mm lens is relatively distortion free. It really depends on your choice of subject and shooting style.

 

But choosing a 28 because you can crop out stuff is flawed logic IMHO.

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The catch is at the 28mm end, the edges of the frame get more distorted than the 35mm. That, and DoF is easier to deal with, at least I found that, on the 28 than on the 35. I was in Istanbul, and I had my lens at f/16. I found that the DoF covers from 0.8 meters to infinite. On the 35 it would be down to 1.3 meters, meaning you get more "coverage" on the 28mm. But that also means the 28mm makes everything smaller and you need to get closer to get the same picture.

 

Robert Capa once said, "If it's not good enough, you're not close enough."

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I think everybody goes through the 28 vs 35mm dilemna at some point in their career or hobby. There is a lot of difference between those 7mm

 

My take on it is that most photographers have a comfort zone area where they feel the most at ease composing a shot. There are basically 3 comfort zones....wide, normal, and tele. If a photographer's comfort zone is with wide angle lenses, then he might feel a preference for the 28mm since it is very much going to feel like a tight wide angle lens. Meanwhile, the 35mm is probably going to feel a little too long and close to normal (or 50mm) to a person that has a comfort zone in wide angle.

 

The opposite would be true for somebody that has a comfort zone in 50mm or normal focal lengths. Photographers that are most comfortable in the 50mm range usually feel that a 28mm is going a bit too loose and is starting to distort too much, while they feel the 35mm gives them a bit more of wider perspective while still staying tight.

 

Hope that makes sense...It's difficult for me to explain in writing something that is a feeling or a sort of sub-conscious preference...or intuition. But I think there are people that have a comfort zone with wide or normal lensses and that comfort zone is what will usually end up deciding the preference between 28 or 35

 

Of course, there's no reason that people can't use all lenses....long, short normal or whatever .I'm just saying that most people have a comfort zone and a particular sweet spot where they tend to relate to subject matter and make the best compositions.

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Of course, there's no reason that people can't use all lenses....long, short normal or whatever .I'm just saying that most people have a comfort zone and a particular sweet spot where they tend to relate to subject matter and make the best compositions.

Hi

Very pregnant statement, unless I leave the 35mm lenses at home I cannot/dont use a 28mm lenses. The plural is cause I carry at least two bodies.

Cannot/dont use a 5cm either...

It is almost like Frodo in JRR Tolkeins lord of the rings I discover my hand is in the gbag and it is holding a 35mm lens.

Noel

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I think the 28 focal length is the perfect for the M-system. Im loving my 28 1.9 Voitglander as it perfectly matches my Nikkor 28 1.4 AF D on My D3. The 35 summilux is still in my bag but more often than not I reach for the 28 mm as the "go to lens", out in the field. I don't think that the 28 replaces the 35 but for me the 28 is the focal length to have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gregory

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Guest JoanMarianne

Thanks but, James, I was really only thinking of 28mm and 35mm. It is well-known that, the wider you go the more marked is the difference in coverage and perspective, so 24mm would never be an option if 28 or 35mm were the first to suggest themselves in a picture situation. I conclude that 50mm and 28mm are a good combination but, if travelling with one lens, then 35mm would be a viable choice.

 

Elsewhere, edge distortion was mentioned; not something I associate with Leitz lenses...or even the budget Russian Orion-15!

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Hi

There are two effects you need to be aware off.

 

- the lenses rectilinear distortion performance, and the Orion is as you suggest, remarkable, it is a clone of the Zeiss Topogon

 

you will see family res, they are more then skin deep...

 

Zeiss Contax 25/4 Topogon

 

Gary Powers had a derivative of the Topogon in his U2, 1st May... when the Sveits decided i was the 4th of July and fiired 12 Sam2s, they said that they could photo diples on gulf balls...., not quite true

 

- there is the perception distortion of a persons face as the person moves off lens axis, and this is independent of lens distortion, even assuming an Orion or similar low distortion lens. (I got two Orions)

 

But I scallop bits off people with a 35mm when I use instinctive point at six foot, see earlier post.

 

Noel

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Gregory (Nikkor AIS),

 

I'm becoming a big of a fan of your work!

 

Back on topic - I bought and practically wore out a Leica summicron asph, with some great results. It was my M lens of choice for many years.

 

It's now been replaced with the 28 2.8 asph. Whilst it's taken me a while to become truly familiar with the extra 7mm, I do like it enormously. It's also as wide as one can go before it starts to look like a 'wide angle'. It's also as wide as you can go without having to use those irritating finders (although the 28mm frame is a little tight).

 

I did have the f2 version, but it was too big, the hood was oversized, and it flared too much in extreme conditions. The 2.8 asph is virtually flare free, distortion free, and most importantly for me it is small and light.

 

I've not used the Voitglander, but the Leica 28.2.8 aph works brilliantly on film giving real bite to the pictures. Perfect.

Edited by marcusperkins

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- there is the perception distortion of a persons face as the person moves off lens axis, and this is independent of lens distortion

 

 

Thanks for mentioning ... This is exactly what I was referring to as distortion in my previous post. I was referring to distortion of perspective, not lens distortion

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Dont worry I understood, I'd a used a photo to illustrate but I dont have many on my web book, I did not dare try a sums style description.

 

I dont find the distortion too bad, the scalloping seems worse, but that is mainly because the evil Sauron keeps telling me to put the 35mm back on the camera.

 

I gbag three bodies and at the end of the day all three are wearing 35mm,the 3x 28mm are lurking in the gbag recesses, along with the 21, 24 and 5cm, I use el chepo CV or FSU...

 

Noel

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Guest JoanMarianne

Thanks, gentlemen....and the difference between the two types of distortion is clear. Actually, I do use both 35mm and 28mm. The former is a 1953 f3.5 Summaron and I have fourth-version 28mm f2.8 Elmarit-M and an Orion-15. If I was producing photographs commercially or if technical perfection was an objective, I would get a more modern 35mm to use with the Elmarit. However, I only take photographs for myself and the older, cheaper types are perfectly adequate, great fun to use and no cause for alarm if they get knocked about in use. (On that rationale I ought to sell the Elmarit - but perhaps not!)

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Hi Joan

 

The f/3.5 aron is ok if you can keep the aperture /5.6 or smaller, except in corners, the v4 Elmarit was the best until they went to ASPHs, /4 or smaller, I'm happy with my Orion-15 at f/8.

 

The pros had to use arons in 50s... suggest you could do with a f/2.8 aron but one is well expensive, at f/2.8 they hold up well in to corners, the new fanged arit f/2.5 is even better but unless your technique is superlative, not necessarily detectably so, and I mean Delta 100, D76 1:2, and heavy heavy tripod, the /2.5s, will have more contrast, which you might like in color or not, very subjective.

 

I'm happy with small aperture CVs cause I carry the gbag all day, weight transcends everything, price wise they are comparable with the f/3.5.

 

Noel

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...I have fourth-version 28mm f2.8 Elmarit-M...

 

You got one of them:eek:. Oh. Match it with a late version pre asph 50 and you would be set wouldnt you?

 

But I scallop bits off people with a 35mm when I use instinctive point at six foot, see earlier post.

 

It woud help if you composed and focused. It might mean you have to bend at the knees or sit in the gutter but you cant just point and squirt with a short lens specially under six feet.

 

This what you were on about off axis? Not a good look but there are things you can do about it if there arent other things you need to keep in frame.

 

....

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Guest JoanMarianne

Thanks for the advice, Rob; but I think I will sell the Elmarit and buy a nice dress or two with the money.

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Ah well. I would put up with the burlap sack myself:(.

 

Still you are right here. You can cover 95% of the bases with a 35 as a single lens, and Ive travelled extensively with only a 35, and on other occasions sent other lenses home with someone and travelled on with only the 35. A number of times Ive taken a 24 and a 50, and the fifty was pretty much a passenger.

 

...if travelling with one lens, then 35mm would be a viable choice...

 

Sure you cant get used to jute:rolleyes:?

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It woud help if you composed and focused. It might mean you have to bend at the knees or sit in the gutter but you cant just point and squirt with a short lens specially under six feet.

 

This what you were on about off axis? Not a good look but there are things you can do about it if there arent other things you need to keep in frame.

 

.... [ATTACH]191594[/ATTACH]

The reason I use instinctive point is I'm looking for an expression or a hand position, and they are so transitory even with some anticipation that time for composition or focus does not exist. I also don't want a 'my photo is being taken scowl', people normally hear the shutter fire as I don't often use an M for street shooting (the one in this thread above was an exception), but it is too late for them to do anything other than complain, most people don't trouble to complain.

 

If I get an opportunity then yes I'll try and frame but that needs either more anticipation, or a more static subject.

 

The reason I use 6-7 foot as a prefocused position for 35mm shots is to get the perspective that the photo was taken close in to convey intimacy, for 28mm I use 5 foot.

 

I'm prepared to throw away scalloped shots.

 

Your shot does not seem extreme enough - if you use a 24 or 21 mm lens the elongation of a face is more extreme, I don't find it disturbing with a 28mm, but it is with a 21mm, it is a strong caricature, even if you don't know the subject. They don't have to be close in merely off axis, It is an angular thing, it would be real bad with a 12mm at frame edge. I don't have an example on my web book, and I don't use a 21mm often for that reason, - mainly only for church interiors.

 

Noel

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Thanks Marcus, I really appreciate it.

 

 

 

 

 

Nikkor 28 1.4 AF D on D3

I love the 28 mm focal length for environmental photographs.

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