my fav focal lengths

my favorite focal lengths. this will be a series of posts. i was thinking of going from 8mm thru 500mm. but decided to go with most favorite to most favorite. LOL

without centering too much on brands or lens formulas, one of my favorite focal lengths is the 35mm.

there are many incarnations of this particular lens. leitz makes a 35/2.0 summicron, konica 35mm f/2.0 on hexar AF, canon EF 35/2.0 and f/1.4L, nikkor AIS 35/2.0 and f/1.4 and many more.

the ability for this lens to ‘see’ in a very unique way. visual juxtaposition is easiest in my opinion with this focal length. it is a wide angle lens primarily that works well in close and allows very little distortion. my opinion, its easy to slap on a 20mm and go in, but difficult to use a 35mm. visual elements can be included with little distortion to the edges of the frame to create ‘activation of the edges’ creating visually dynamic images.

each of these sample photographs were made with a Hexar AF 35mm f/2.0 hexanon lens. shot on 35mm film and scanned at fullframe. you can see the actual frames.

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the 35mm focal length or lens works well in close too, as in this portrait below of tommy oshima.

thanks for reading !
please chime in with questions or comments. happy to respond.


11 thoughts on “my fav focal lengths

  1. Thank you, Meister! This is definitely an area of weakness, to pre-visualize what a given focal length will do to a scene/subject. Looking forward to future thoughts.

    • todd, thanks for your kind words ! yy. previsualization comes first from trying and viewing thru many different makers lenses. each has its own ‘AJI’ or flavor. old, vintage glass versus new and modern. then via this kind of groundwork, one has to choose the tool that fits the job or vision. cheers ! MAHALO ! c

  2. Interesting post Cory. Believe it or not, I’ve never actually tried a 35mm lens. I’ve got a Zeiss 21mm distagon, and my nifty 50mm, and figured I would leave it at that for a while. It was good to read your thoughts on 35mm focal lengths. Hmm, much to think about…

    • yep craig. looking at many meister photographers, i often wonder how they create w/ their vision, etc. one key component is the focal length. sebastio salgado uses a 28mm and 35mm…. everything harks back to the 35mm focal length. i love the 21mm focal length too ! i can’t wait to try my friends new ASPH 21mm f/1.4 ! hehe !

      • Whoa! It is good to have friends with lenses like that. 🙂

        I definitely need to expand my efforts and my my thoughts. I look forward to more cool posts.

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