Friday, April 13, 2012

Focal Lengths I Use

As part of looking for suitable lenses for a D800e, I decided to do a little survey of my recent good images and what lens and focal length was used to make them.

35 were made with the 70-200, at all manner of focal lengths, though 11 were used for stitching purposes and might have been shot in a single image with a wider focal length and possibly a wider lens altogether (though I'd guess prob. still the 70-200 since much of the stitching is done at 150 mm +.

14 were done between 24 and 70 mm., most at the 24 or close, the longest at 58 mm. and the next longest 40 mm. - rather suggesting the top half of the lens is surplus to requirements.

7 were  made at 17-24 mm. with most at 17 mm. suggesting a fixed focal length lens would serve well here.

I would interpret this as suggesting:

1) I need a 70-200 - that using an 85, 100, 135 and 200 would be awkward, slow, and still have significant gaps (135-200). The Nikon 70-200 isn't as good as the new Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS II, but is close, and as good as my 70-200 f4 L IS which serves me very well.

2) I probably don't need zooms at the wider end - something in the 15-18 mm. or the 14-24, then 35 mm. , 50 mm. Only three images were made at focal lengths > 24 mm. and less than or equal to 40 mm. which even sugg. I might reasonably skip the 35 mm. lens and go from 50 to 24 and onto 15 mm.

3) I'm surprised at how many images I'd hate to lose were made at 17 mm. and could probably have been made at even wider without difficulty - it may be the third most common focal length, but still definitely needs to be represented.

Your figures are almost certain to be different as this very much depends on the kind of photography you do, not just subject but the seeing and composing as well. None the less, you might find it helpful to do this analysis to see where you need to beef up your coverage, or how to plan for a new system, in whatever format.

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