Monday, August 5, 2013

Having multiple focal lengths can be hazardous to your "eye"

Shooting at a single focal length can be a trying exercise. While I am not going to shoot strictly 35mm focal length for the rest of my life, it is about all I have right now. 

But this past weekend I grabbed my dad's old Yashica Electro35 GS to take along with me for a morning of shooting. The Yashica, for those that don't know, is a fixed 45mm lens rangefinder. Looking very similar to my new X100S, I thought it would be fun to take along so I have a little more focal length.

Instead I found it to be disconcerting. Every time I wanted to take a shot, I would be asking myself which camera should I use. Before when I carried two cameras, each with a different zoom lens, I would quickly make a decision on which camera to use. Did I need to shoot long or wide? It was a simple decision based on what I was presented with. Maybe it was because the two prime lenses were so close to one another in focal length. Or maybe having shot with mainly the X100S for the last two months I just preferred the 35mm focal length it provided. I do know I am starting to see different images now. Not better or worse, just different.

For anyone who has seen my flickr stream ( or my website (, you know this is somewhat of a major accomplishment for me. I used to shoot a fair amount of telephoto images as I believed that was the only way to catch people candidly. But I always told myself that I had a "stealth" mode that allowed me to be in close, shoot wide, and not interfere in the event playing out in front of me. Sometimes that was true but not always.

This shot is from the local farmers' market with the new Fuji.. It is not anywhere on the scale of what I shot when in London or the Cotswolds. Not as many shoppers and definitely not as many vendors. But, for once, I think this shot works on some level. At least for me it does. I took two shots of this guy as he walked toward me. The first one he is further away and it just doesn't work for me. And, even though I am not the proverbial "fly on the wall" here because he was looking at me, the composition just felt better. And, surprisingly, his looking directly at me works for me here as well.

And, as always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....


  1. i agree. swapping focal lengths takes a lot of getting used to.
    i do however feel the need to have more than one lens, so i have 3 50mm lenses :)

    1. How do you decide which one you want to use? I am looking into some legacy glass to use with my X-E1 and have started researching various old lenses. I read a lot about different "character" and "personality" of older lenses but haven't decided which way to go....

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