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Again, the old question: which one lens to carry


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Posted (edited)

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Assuming you are traveling to Norway, or Iceland, or …, whatever your most favorite place. You want to avoid changing lens, either to avoid dust attack or simply to avoid distracting. Which one lens would you carry with your S?

Edited by Einst_Stein
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Posted (edited)

Einst_Stein,   To start off the replies to your OP thread, I would have to write;  "It all depends".    If you are doing mostly landscape work, my experience would be to suggest using the S 45.  It gives you flexibility to photograph people, urban sprawl of Iceland (lol) and more.  Others would suggest take the S 30-90.  It would be a very good choice if you have a good copy of the lens.  In my past business life, I have personally used the S 24, 30, 45, 120 and 180 in Iceland.  I would highly recommend you ask Stuart Richardson a fourm member via a PM.  He lives in Iceland and does landscapes and other genres of photography.  He also uses(ed) the S, SL etc.  You can find Stuart via members or in one of the various S threads.  I am certain Stuart would be more than happy to make recommendations.  Just drop him a PM or he might pop up here with a reply too.  There are others too, but Stuart comes to mind due to his location and profession.  Hope this helps.  r/ Mark

Edited by LeicaR10
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11 minutes ago, LeicaR10 said:

Einst_Stein,   To start off the replies to your OP thread, I would have to write;  "It all depends".    If you are doing mostly landscape work, my experience would be to suggest using the S 45.  It gives you flexibility to photograph people, urban sprawl of Iceland (lol) and more.  Others would suggest take the S 30-90.  It would be a very good choice if you have a good copy of the lens.  In my past business life, I have personally used the S 24, 30, 45, 120 and 180 in Iceland.  I would highly recommend you ask Stuart Richardson a fourm member via a PM.  He lives in Iceland and does landscapes and other genres of photography.  He also uses(ed) the S, SL etc.  You can find Stuart via members or in one of the various S threads.  I am certain Stuart would be more than happy to make recommendations.  Just drop him a PM or he might pop up here with a reply too.  There are others too, but Stuart comes to mind due to his location and profession.  Hope this helps.  r/ Mark

I have seen Stuart Richardson saying his most frequent used S lenses are 70mm and 120mm. 
My currently most frequently used lens on S3 is C645 45-90mm, but when visiting Yosemite valley, I find 35mm works better, and on Monterey beach, C645 80mm and HB V180mm. I felt I am making myself too flexible. The results is  lack of characteristics in some sense.

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Posted (edited)

Einst Stein,  OK with Stuart most used lenses.  Frankly, my landscapes of Iceland were most well received by my clients using the S 24 and S 45.  I had three copies of the  S 30-90 and finally on the third try, got a winner recalibrated by Leica Wetzlar.  This was when the lens first came out.  I used it with success as well and shot it mostly at f/8 or f/11.  But I did only harsh environment landscapes.  Using the S 45 (35 FF eqv)  would be the best all around S lens when you compare it to your Yosemite Valley adventure etc and Iceland.  I "see" better with the S 45.  Now you have a Contax 45-90 and that is a good lens.  When I had the Contax system with a P-45 back, that lens was excellent.  Most recently, I only used my SL2 with a 24 Elmar, 50 Apo Cron and 135 Apo Telyt.  The focal lengths gave a very good perspective when shooting the same scene only changing the focal lengths...my private collectors liked the photographs because they were different.  So, its hard to say what works best for your vision and intended purposes, mainly because I am not you.  I am certain others will chime in and give you some ideas.  Hopefully my two cents will be of value.   r/ Mark  

Edited by LeicaR10
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Posted (edited)

I find that the sensation of “importance” of a landscape is best achieved with a ff 50 mm or its equivalent. I have a 30, which is a bit too wide, but even if i had a 35 which would be more to my liking, I think I would end up choosing the 70 most of the time.  You can always do a panorama -and the S allows for handheld-. Only on very close scenes I would resort to a wider lens, and that is seldom the case in Iceland. I acknowledge that the 45 is a great compromise, but I’ve never felt comfortable with it. 

 

The image below, a handheld stitched panorama taken with the 70 -i just took the S3 and a single lens along- is an example of what I mean. I think the landscape would have lost presence with a longer lens (with a 45 or 35, and probably become irrelevant with my 30). 

Ps. The reason I have the 30 was availability, quality and cost. I got it very cheap, was old new stock, no 35 was available, and it is quite useful for architecture. 

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Edited by irenedp
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14 hours ago, LeicaR10 said:

I had three copies of the  S 30-90 and finally on the third try, got a winner recalibrated by Leica Wetzlar.    

I had mine recalibrated by Leica, too, and it's absolutely perfect now. My go-to lens (when I'm feeling strong!). 

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I feel similar to use C645 80mm on Leica S. It is slightly longer than 50mm on 24x36.
When stick with 80mm only, I was compelled to find many composition opportunity that I would miss if I had zoom or wider lens. 
I have not taking stitching as a backup plan when I feel I need wider lens. Will give it a try.

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The 30-90 mm is pretty perfect for trips like that. (My copy came nearly unused from the Leica academy and I‘m happy with the quality).

You might need a lot of tissues to remove rain from the front lens as the lens shade is pretty short. Therefore I use a filter to protect the lens for worry free cleaning.

 

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Posted (edited)

As I wrote, I used the 70mm and 120mm the most. I think Iceland is a very wide open country, so having a normal or telephoto generally works better to replicate the scale. I agree with Irene about a normal lens working well that way. I find that with very wide angles, the mountains tend to shrink and you get a lot of sky and ground in frame which kind of diminishes the drama. I think that is not a problem with the 45mm or even 35mm, but wider than that and it starts to make the land look a lot smaller. I will see if I can show you what I mean. The 30-90 would indeed be an idea solution if you can find a good copy and don't want to change lenses. The only reason I would hesitate a bit to recommend it is that it tends to be worse on the 60-90mm end of things, which is where I would be using it most. I will say that I did a tour with my girlfriend and some friends in 2015 and used the 30-90 as my "tour" lens. I was happier with the results in that context than when I was trying to use it for more serious work.

 

Here is a bit of an example as to what I mean about the wide angles vs normal/telephotos for landscape in Iceland. These are all taken from the exact same spot. 24mm, 70mm and 120mm. You can see how much more presence the mountains have with the longer lenses. Obviously everyone sees differently, and you may be in areas where you need a wider angle, but in most cases here you are going to be fairly set back from the mountains so the longer lenses work a bit better. The order of the pictures is 120, 70, 70, and 24mm. These weren't really meant for more than testing/documenting, so just keep that in mind!

 

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Edited by Stuart Richardson
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Posted (edited)

The one lens question can be viewed in two different angles. One is about flexibility, the other is about creativity.
For flexibility, no doubt a good quality zoom wins hands down. particularly considering smaller aperture is usually desried. 
But for creativity, I found using flexible lens tends to get excellent but ME-2 results. I find I am forced to be more creative if I am limited by the lens. Then I am forced to think more, particularly to see things more creatively.  wish I can find some examples from my previous work. I will post once I find somethnig worth to share. 

Edited by Einst_Stein
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If I had to choose without thinking...35mm.

For many things 45 might be better, but then you might run into situations where 45 is not wide enough.

For me it would be 24-35-70 (or 120). But you said 1 lens.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, tom0511 said:

If I had to choose without thinking...35mm.

For many things 45 might be better, but then you might run into situations where 45 is not wide enough.

For me it would be 24-35-70 (or 120). But you said 1 lens.

For flexibility, yes, 35mm would be better because it covers 45mm, you can crop to make it 45mm. At least it is easier than to stitch 45mm to 35mm.

Edited by Einst_Stein
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10 hours ago, tom0511 said:

also its a little lighter, smaller and slightly faster f-stop.

I think the 45 has a little more nice bokeh though.

Maybe I work differently than others, but when I shoot with a wide angle lens, I want everything sharp. Bokeh is just not an issue.

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For me, I think 70mm is the choice. Size and focal length. 

However, if check my catalog with S, 100corn take the crown but that usually means I have either M or RX1 on the same trip with me. 

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