Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Favourite Focal Lengths - 50mm


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Favourite Focal Lengths - 50mm

11 Oct 2020 11:47AM   Views : 504 Unique : 361

The 50mm lens is the standard lens for full frame 35mm-format cameras, at least nominally. It was once the standard lens suppied with all 35mm cameras, and with very good reason. It gives an image that approximates what is seen by the human eye, so it is a "standard" view. It is usually of very high quality. It was produced in bulk and therefore relatively inexpensive. It is compact, generally anyway. It focuses close. It can be abused with extra optical lenses, filters, close up devices and so on and still produce excellent results. It is also generally fast, being anything from f/2 to f/1.4, f/1.2 or even f/1 or f/0.95.

For the pedantic, it is also not the standard lens for the format, being slightly long. The standard lens is actually quoted as the diagonal of the format, in the case of a 36mm x 24mm frame that would be 43mm, not 50mm. The only 43mm lens I can bring to mind is one of my favourite lenses, the SMC Pentax-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited, which I use myself, but not all the time, generally preferring the longer 50mm.

But we digress; 50mm nominally, such lenses can be 55mm or even 58mm and still be regarded as standard lenses. There are some newer 50mm f/1.4 lenses that have staggeringly good performance, but cost three times or more what we might expect and are huge and heavy. There are such lenses from Zeiss, Pentax and Tokina that I have enjoyed reviewing in the past year or so.

So to celebrate the 50mm lens, let's have a look at a few images that I've processed from scratch this morning.

Voigtlander 36-82mm Zoom lens, HD Pentax-D FA 50mm f/1.4 AW

I love my Ginger Beer! HD Pentax-D FA 50mm f/1.4 AW

Wall mounted steam pump, HD Pentax-D FA 50mm f/1.4 AW

Gear wheel, HD Pentax-D FA 50mm f/1.4 AW

Roof detail at Royal Exchenge, Manchester, HD Pentax-D FA 50mm f/1.4 AW

Tilt and Shift, Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro

NeilWigan, Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro

Phoebe, Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro

Sue in Dumfries & Galloway, Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2

New Abbey, Samyang XP 50mm f/1.2

Arley Hall, Vivitar Auto Macro 55mm f/2.8

Inexpensive but good, Meike 50mm f/1.7

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