I’ve tried many different focal lengths and I have set myself up with only using one, the 50mm. Recently I thought I would quickly (very very very quickly) try out the classic focal length of 35mm. For thous of you that don’t know, I only shot with a 50mm. And I have so say… I’m conflicted.
They say the tool isn’t as important as the craftsman holding it, but it sure does make their life easy when its a good one. I’ve gone through my fair share of cameras and brands before I finally stumbled upon my camera of choice the Leica M, my Zen camera. Because holding it and using it becomes so peaceful and intuitive. I know every dial, button and movement. The camera really becomes an extension of your hand and eye. I can’t explain the feeling you get when using a Leica M, it’s addictive. Having a tool that makes my life easy and helps me work more effortlessly, is Zen to me.
Why I only use one lens, well after many years of experience using different lenses, I now have resorted to only using a single prime lens. I started with a 50mm then added an 85mm, 35mm, 100mm and 28mm to my collection, and I’ve played around with zoom lenses. But now I exclusively use a 50mm lens. No more zooms and no more choices. But why would I volunteer to limit myself?
Why did I pick to only photograph with a fixed focal length of 50mm? Easy, Henri Cartier-Bresson used one. But seriously the real reason I picked a fixed focal length at all, aside from sharpness and quality, is it was my default focal length. So how did I find my default focal length?