Focal length multiples?

Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
1,848
Location
Utah
Real Name
Carl
Years ago, my wife gave me a copy of John Shaw's first book on Wildlife photography. In it, he advised getting prime lenses in multiples...24mm, 50 mm, 105 mm, and so on. Of course, zooms were not held in really high esteem among Professionals back then. (Not sharp, you know!) I've got a 50mm f/1.8, and a 100 mm f/2.8, which give an equivalent angle of view on my D 7100 of 75mm and 150 mm, respectively. I'm thinking that the 24mm f/2.8, FX, with an equivalent of 36mm would be a good thing to fill in, realizing I have zooms, a 24-85 f/3.5-4.5, and an 18-140 3.5-4.5, both very sharp. Bumping my ISO to 800 would more than eliminate the difference, without a noticeable increase in noise. Any counsel you can give? Thanks!
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
22,839
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
What need are you trying to solve? Or focal length gap you are trying to fill? What do you want to do that your current lenses do not allow you to do?
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
730
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
The old 35mm film prime multiple was 2x or 3x.

Here are some samples at different multiples:
  • 2x = 24 + 50 + 105 + 200 + 400
  • 2-2.5x = 24 + 50 + 135 + 300
  • 3x = 35 + 105 + 300
Note1: Back in my day, 35 was the common wide lens, and 28 was generally the widest lens people got. VERY FEW got the 24, because it was hard for most to control the wide angle distortion/perspective. So in the example above, rather than 24, most people would stop at and use the 28.

Note2: 2x would require more lenses, so was more expensive than 3x.
As a student without a lot of $$$$, I would go with 3x.
But in reality, most of us got a 50 with the camera, so we ended up with the 2.5x option.

DX is a tough format for primes. As you found out, there are few DX primes, mostly zooms. You have to PAY the premium for FX primes. Even in the FX world, many of the primes we used to have do not exist, replaced by zooms.

My standard DX kit is the 18-140 as my GP lens, with a DX 35/1.8 (normal) as my low light indoor lens.
I would have preferred a DX 24/1.8 (wide), but Nikon did not make one, so I had to settle for the 35/1.8 (normal).
I have other lenses, but those are purpose lenses for shooting sports; 70-200/4 (field) and 50/1.8 (gym).

If you want to build a prime kit, then the FX 24/2.8 would fit your scheme; 24+50+100.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
18,577
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Prior to 2020, I had only one zoom lens, a 12 - 24mm lens. Aside from my 90mm macro lens, all the other lenses were prime lenses at 35mm, 80mm, 180mm and 300mm. They were mounted on a camera with a 1.5 crop factor. That system worked like a charm for about 15 years. It was recommended to me by Uncle Frank (now deceased and remembered fondly by so many people here at the Cafe).
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
1,848
Location
Utah
Real Name
Carl
What need are you trying to solve? Or focal length gap you are trying to fill? What do you want to do that your current lenses do not allow you to do?
You know Karen, those are the very same questions I have been asking myself. I hear the NGAS Sirens singing faintly in the background! :D I do have a lot of overlap in focal lengths, but there is very little I can't cover very well with what I have! I remember the days when I was a poor young reporter, covering a large area with a Pentax SLR and a 50mm + a 105 mm lens. I never felt "undergunned", even when I'd see others using the paper's 300 mm f/4 lens. Thanx for the reminder!
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
22,839
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
Guess I'm lucky. I've never been addicted to NAS. Sure, I've bought lenses over time, and at least 50-75% of them used. But my lens purchases were always because of a need (getting into birding and needing more focal length or architecture and lusting after the Sig 15mm for several YEARS before finding one used).
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
730
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
You know Karen, those are the very same questions I have been asking myself. I hear the NGAS Sirens singing faintly in the background! :D I do have a lot of overlap in focal lengths, but there is very little I can't cover very well with what I have! I remember the days when I was a poor young reporter, covering a large area with a Pentax SLR and a 50mm + a 105 mm lens. I never felt "undergunned", even when I'd see others using the paper's 300 mm f/4 lens. Thanx for the reminder!
I was told, "make do with what you have."

We used to shoot high school football with a 105 or a 135, and we somehow made it work.
We just ignored the LONG and CLOSE shots. And there were plenty of shots within the distance range of our lenses.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
2,324
Location
Winter Haven, florida
I was suffering from NAS for a long long time. I bought a lot of gear. I was searching for the next high.
It took a long time before I realized my work had not changed- darn it. The more stuff I had, the less I actually shot and the more time I spent changing lenses.
I am a partially recovered addict.
I still like new gear, I still like long super primes. But my kit is much smaller, and purchases are made with a purpose. These are tools, nothing more. Occasionally you can drive a nail with a screwdriver. It is not pretty, but it can work. I now realize I can shoot now, with what I have with me. It usually works out.
gary
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom