35/35/35 #27: 1872

Fuji X-T30 and 35/2 lens

Not going to lie. So far I am not falling in love with the standard focal length field of view. There are times I’ve felt it was a decent focal length for what I was shooting, but a moderately wide angle lens feels much more natural to me. Often times when I’m looking at a scene, I can compose the photo in my mind and automatically position myself for the photo before I even look through the viewfinder. That comes from decades of shooting photos.

But when I’m shooting with a standard lens, which the 35mm is on the smaller APS-C sized sensor of the Fuji cameras, I’m often having to back up multiple times to reposition myself. And sometimes I’m still not happy with the perspective.

It’s not a fault of the lens. It’s just my personal shooting style and 35 years of conditioning with other lenses. When I was shooting with film or full-frame digital cameras, I was a fan of the field of view from the 35mm focal length. But to get that field of view with the smaller sensor, it requires a 23mm lens. And since switching Fuji, their 23/2 lens has been my favorite.

I’m still glad I’m doing this personal challenge and will see it through. It’s good to get out of the comfort zone. But I am looking forward to getting back to using the 23/2 as my main walkabout lens.

35/35/35 #20: Easter Peeps

Fuji X-T30 and 35/2 lens

I think I’ll shake things up a bit more for myself. For almost as long as I’ve been shooting with autofocus cameras, I’ve been using back-button focusing (where the autofocus function is disabled from the shutter release and assigned to another button, separating the AF from the shutter release to provide more control. Especially useful for sports.) And I would usually use single-point AF, or sometimes single-point with four AF assist points.

For 20-some years now, every time I purchased a new camera the first thing I would do, after turning off the annoying beep, is go into the custom settings and reassign the AF function. And that was the first thing I did with my Fuji cameras.

I’m starting to find that my new cameras have the best autofocus system I’ve ever used. The tracking when using multiple points seems amazingly accurate. And the eye-detect AF is surprisingly good. So for the next couple weeks I’m going to try to let technology do it’s job. I’m going to reassign the AF back to the shutter release, and set the custom functions on couple of the back buttons so I can quickly change focus points, focus point patterns, and jump back and fourth between standard and eye-detect AF without needing to remove my eye from the viewfinder.

It’ll take a bit to unlearn 20-some years of habit, but if the technology lives up to expectations, it may add even more fun to my photography.

35/35/35 #18 Morning Sun

Fuji X-T30 and 35/2 lens

I’m midway through my personal challenge of producing 35 photos in 35 days, all shot with a 35mm lens. The purpose of the challenge is to push me out of my comfort zone. With the smaller APS-C size sensor on the Fujifilm cameras, the 35mm lens is a standard lens giving a field of view close to what a 50mm lens would give on a film camera on a “full-frame” digital camera.

I’ve always found the standard 50mm lens to be a bit boring. When I started in photography, most everyone purchased a 50mm lens with their first camera back in the film days. There was nothing wrong with the 50mm lenses, they were cheap, small, and sharp. And back in the manual focus days they were usually well built. But it was exciting to buy something new, something longer, something wider (and something more expensive.) I know lots of people love the 50mm lens, I was just never one of them.

And then came the age of autofocus and digital photography. I was a long-time Canon shooter, and as much as I loved the Canon cameras and most of their lenses, Canon gave me little reason to like their 50mm lenses. The 50mm f/1.4 lens was sharp, had full-time manual focus override like their 28/1.8, 85/1.8 and other lenses close to that price range. But instead of using their fast and smooth ring-type USM focusing motor, they used a cheap micro-motor that was not durable and easily broken. They have a beautiful 50mm f/1.2 lens, well built, weather sealed, and great optics. But it is over-sized and at $1500, overpriced. That leaves their 50mm 1.8. Great optics. Cheap focusing motor, and plastic build. A good buy at only $125, but it felt like cheap plastic.

Fuji’s 35/2, which gives me the standard field of view that you get with a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera, is an excellent lens for the money. Well built, great focusing, weather sealed, and a good price. As much as I like the lens, I don’t think it will become my favorite. My Fuji 23/2 lens gives me a slightly wide angle of view, about what a 35mm lens would produce on a full-frame camera, and feels much more comfortable for my shooting style.

I still have 17 days left in this challenge and I’ll see it through. But I’m guessing my light-weight travel kit will include my 23/2 lens and a short telephoto, perhaps the 90/2.