Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mad about Fast 35s

After getting the Nikkor 35mm f1.4 from mawz, it kind of struck me that I have quite few lenses in the 35mm focal length. So, I took inventory, and found that I have seven 35mm lenses that I consider fast (f2 or faster), plus a few slower ones with f2.8. If you think I am crazy, you are not too far from the mark.

What's driven me into this insanity? I guess just like the 50mm focal length, I also like 35mm. It's a very comfortable focal length for me. Even when used on 1.6x cameras, it's acts like 50mm, and on the G1, it's 70mm, which is close to a focal length I like (85mm). I find 24mm is too wide on full frame, 28mm is kind of ordinary, but 35mm is just perfect.

But why seven (actually more like 12, including the slower ones)? I don't know. More is better I think. Aside from being crazy, I actually used all of them, and I like them in this order: Canon EF 35mm f1.4, Leica-R Summicron 35mm f2, Minolta MC Rokkor 35mm f 1.8, Vivitar 35mm f1.9, Nikkor 35mm f1.4 (haven't used it that much yet, so this one could move up or down), and finally the Pentax SMC Takumar 35mm f2. I am actually surprised that the Takumar is the last one on the list. Takumar lenses normally occupy a cozy place in my heart, but I can't seem to warm up to this one. Not as sharp as the f3.5 version, and that's part of the disappointment.

The EF 35mm f1.4 is by far my favourite, and it auto focuses too. I compared this with the EF 24mm f1.4 that I also had, and like this one much better, and for non auto focus lenses, the Leica 35/2 gets my mark.

A bit of house cleaning is in order, to save my sanity, if I have any left. Definitely will keep the Canon and Leica. The Nikkor need to be evaluated more, but looks like a nice lens. One or both of the Vivitars will go. So, I will keep half and get rid of the rest.

After all that, I will need to decide what to do with the many telephoto lenses I have...

From Left to right: SMC Takumar 35/2, Leica 35/2, Minolta 35/1.8 MD, Vivitar 35/1.9 F-Mount, Minolta MC 35/1.8, Nikon 35/1.4, Canon EF 35/1.4. Click on each picture for a larger version.

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