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Thread: Looking at focal lengths

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    Super Duper
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    Looking at focal lengths

    I wasn't too sure what to title this so I went with what I was doing which was reviewing images and picking various focal lengths.

    I'm in the process of obtaining a small lightweight full frame 35mm camera. One that won't sacrifice image quality for weight. No. I'm not giving up on my Cambo WRS1000 and Phase One P45+. What I'm looking for is a camera that will be complementary to my medium format; one that I can take on long hikes and still get the image quality I want/need. Why? I've found that as I get older I'm also developing various aches and pains while I pack around 30 pounds of camera gear. I've also noticed that I'm traveling less from the roadway with my medium format and more with my infrared camera. I still want to shoot color so the solution for me is to find the (near) perfect 35mm full frame lightweight camera.

    I think I've solved my problem with the new Leica M9. The M9 is a lightweight digital rangefinder camera with 18 megapixels, and a 24x36mm sensor. While there's a heck of a lot in the M9's favor the one that stands out for me is that this uses the same sensor as my Phase One P45+.

    I'm not expecting to achieve the same level of image quality as I get with medium format - what I do expect is a camera that will give me as good if not better image quality as Sandy's Canon 1DsIII. I also expect to be able to print images as large as I require them without losing detail.

    So, I'm "sold" on the Leica M9 what's next? Lenses of course. Leica has a world class reputation not only for their cameras but their lenses as well. The plan is to obtain two lenses to start with and thus the reason for my exercise. I wanted to see what focal length I used the most while shooting IR which is full frame 35mm using a 24-105 lens. My thoughts were 50mm and either a 75 or 90mm followed shortly by a wide either 28 or 35mm. What I found is exactly that - I shoot in the 35 to 50mm range and very close to the 75mm range and then rarely 80 to the 105 range.

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Re: Looking at focal lengths

    Here's the other 5 images I wanted to share ...

    Don

    The majority were shot at 50mm the rest close to 75mm and in some cases 35mm or wider.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Looking at focal lengths

    Wrong Forum Don? Probably the Leica boys could help you more than on the images forum though I could be wrong.

    Oh and I'd kill for an M9, oh and not to have the eye condition which has killed my ability to manually focus
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Looking at focal lengths

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Wrong Forum Don? Probably the Leica boys could help you more than on the images forum though I could be wrong.

    Oh and I'd kill for an M9, oh and not to have the eye condition which has killed my ability to manually focus
    Ben - This is just my musings of my personal search of which focal lengths I shoot the most while using a 35mm camera. Since all the images were captured with a Canon and since I really don't have a question per say I knew the Leica section might not be a good fit. I thought about posting this in the Sunset Bar then since there are images I settled for this section.

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Looking at focal lengths

    Don- since you didn't have any question per se, here's... one question for you: i'm not a landscape shooter, though for the few occasions on which i do, i've found out that i tend to have a different approach as far as focal lengths are concerned (with other subjects and framing) depending if the final intent is B&W/monochromatic, or colour.

    Seeing that explaining you train of thoughts here you're posting IR photos, will you mainly use the M9 in B&W ? Or is this extrapolation from gradient type to full spectrum images is simply something you don't care about as a seasonned pro landscape photographer?

    Just a candid question

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    Re: Looking at focal lengths

    I do love these pics Don, I like the more contrasty look to these IR pics compared to the first ones you did back when you first got the camera. Did anything work out with the very dark image you put up a while back?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Looking at focal lengths

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlan F. View Post
    Don- since you didn't have any question per se, here's... one question for you: i'm not a landscape shooter, though for the few occasions on which i do, i've found out that i tend to have a different approach as far as focal lengths are concerned (with other subjects and framing) depending if the final intent is B&W/monochromatic, or colour.

    Seeing that explaining you train of thoughts here you're posting IR photos, will you mainly use the M9 in B&W ? Or is this extrapolation from gradient type to full spectrum images is simply something you don't care about as a seasonned pro landscape photographer?

    Just a candid question
    Corlan

    I've found I use the focal length that best suits the location and how I'm seeing the landscape at that particular time. When I was shooting landscape in 35mm I found I was shooting it a lot with long to very long lens. After switching to medium format I found myself shooting with medium to long (the longest at 300mm) lenses. Then I made the move to shooting with a technical camera and re-adjusted what I do. I've currently have four lenses 24, 35, 72, and 120 that I use with the Cambo WRS1000. Checking the focal length equivalent calculator provided by Capture Integration the 35mm lens equivalence of my current lenses are 24=21;35=31;72=63 and 120=106. My most used lenses are the 35 and 72 with the 24 and 120 getting about equal use afterwards.

    Long explanation on what/why I did this the way I did.

    I've now been shooting 35mm again for a couple months and wanted to use that experience as a tool to gauge what/which focal length I've subconsciously been using the most. I say subconsciously because I only have one lens (24-105) where I have four lenses and made a very conscious decision each time I use them.

    The images are all from the only camera I had to use to develop my findings which happen to be all infrared. The images are all B&W as I felt they were the most appealing.

    I see me using the M9 in much the same way as I shoot MF that is color and with a conscious lens choice of either 50 or 75 to begin with then later either 28 or 35mm.

    The entire intent of the camera is to be complementary so that I can pack into areas that I now would think twice about carrying 30 pounds of gear all the while not losing image quality.

    Hope this answers the question

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Re: Looking at focal lengths

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I do love these pics Don, I like the more contrasty look to these IR pics compared to the first ones you did back when you first got the camera. Did anything work out with the very dark image you put up a while back?
    Ben

    Thanks for the comment. I reworked the image to a better point but forgot to re-post it. Let me find it and I'll get it up shortly. Thanks for reminding me.

    It's strange however I had the camera converted using a 665nm filter so I could get the false colors however I feel most of the landscape images just look better in black & white.

    Don
    Don Libby
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