On behalf of the 35mm or 50mm lens

These three black and white images were shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and the Fujinon XF 35mm F/2 lens. Being an APS-C sensor camera, the 35mm lens is equivalent to a full frame 50mm “standard” lens. The 50mm lens way back in the day of 35mm film SLR’s was the “kit” lens of its day. It roughly approximates the human field of view, which meant that people new to single-lens reflex photography found it easy to adjust to composing their images in the viewfinder.


Fujifilm X-E2, Fujinon XF 35mm F/2

The reasons for its popularity then still stand firm today. The standard 50/35mm lens is fast. It has a maximum aperture of somewhere between F/2 and F/1.2 dependent on cost. The optical quality of standard lenses is also very good indeed, the design has been around for decades and the optical arrangement of the lenses in the barrel is pretty simple. It doesn’t have to cater for zooming.


Fujifilm X-E2, Fujinon XF 35mm F/2

The standard lens also has the ability to blur the background beautifully and smoothly when you use the lens wide open. This is very useful for portraits for example or for creative uses to isolate your focal point.

The lens itself is usually small and of lightweight construction which means they can be carried around all day with no effort and a small camera bag.

Now the more astute may say, that you have a zoom lens which covers the standard focal length. That may be true, however, unless you have the professional grade of zoom from your camera manufacturers catalogue, you are not getting the best possible quality. If you compare a shot taken at 50/35mm with your consumer-priced zoom and compared the same scene shot with a standard lens, you would see the difference.


Fujifilm X-E2, Fujinon XF 35mm F/2

A moderately priced zoom lens will also not have a maximum aperture that can compare to the standard lens. Most non-professional line zooms will have a maximum aperture of f2.8 to f/5.6 which means that you would have to use a tripod in low light.

If you like zooms, then bringing your subject closer by zooming is par for the course, however, with a standard (as with any prime lenses) you have to walk and move around to get the shot. I believe this does help in planning and composing a photograph.

People, once they’ve started to use a standard lens, love them. Some people base their photography on using almost nothing else. If you’re a Fuji user there is even a website called 53mm (35mm extrapolates to 53mm when multiplied by 1.5 for the APS-C sensor) which highlights photographers using the Fuji standard lenses.

If you don’t have a standard lens, get yourself one. It may not be the only lens you need, but your photography will benefit from its use.



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