Lens use stats

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Jan 31, 2005
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B&H Web Site, Lens Section
Just a little fuel for the fire in the never-ending debate re 17-55 vs 28-70. :)

A couple of notes of interest to start -- I have always been a telephoto kind of guy and the 70-200VR is quite possibly my most favorite lens of all time.

Uncle Frank was kind enough to point me to the thread by Paul regarding the focal length stats app. Neat little program -- thanks, guys. I just returned from a little vacation on the Redneck Riviera and took a buttload of pics with the 17-55, 85/1.4, and 70-200 (some with TC14) -- the only lenses I carried -- so I aimed that little app at the folders containing the images from the trip to see what it would tell me.

Now, it's a given that focal length use is dictated by style, preference, and subject matter -- mostly by the style of the shooter on a particular subject or event. What *I* do means it's what *I* do, nothing more and is not a suggestion anybody else would do the same. My shots from the trip covered a very broad range of subject matter and situations. Given my predilection for the telephoto end of things and the fact I am currently deeply on love with my new 85/1.4, I was *very* surprised at one little factoid revealed by the stats app. I know my tendency has been leaning towards the wide end lately but was somewhat shocked to learn fully *58%* of my shot total was WIDER than 28MM. Whew! Yep -- over half my shots were from 17MM to 27MM. What can I say? ((shrug))

I thought the results looked a little goofy so did an investigation and discovered a large number of shots taken during a fireworks display I had forgotten about, all at 17MM. However, after removing those from the equation, I am still at 47% of total use from 17MM to 27MM. Quite a surprising number to me considering I had from 17 to 280 at my disposal.

The results were also a little skewed by the oppressive heat and humidity. Had it not been quite so danged hot, I would have spent a LOT more time chasing beach bunnies around with the 70-200. :)

Phil
 
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
487
Location
Vermont, USA
Hi Phil,

I had a similar surprise when I ran the focal length statistics on my recent images. I, too, am usually more interested (I thought) in the 85mm - 135mm range. But the statistics (which DO tend to lie, right?) showed a majority of my shots at wider than 35mm. Obviously, I've been spending too much time outdoors with non-humanoid subjects. Aaargh.

Best wishes,

David
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
PhilY said:
Just a little fuel for the fire in the never-ending debate re 17-55 vs 28-70. :)
There's no debate, Phil. Neither lens provides a complete solution. That's why you added the 85/1.4 to complement the long end of your 17-55, and I added the 20/2.8 to complement the wide end of my 28-70.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
386
Location
B&H Web Site, Lens Section
David Fink said:
Hi Phil,

I had a similar surprise when I ran the focal length statistics on my recent images. I, too, am usually more interested (I thought) in the 85mm - 135mm range. But the statistics (which DO tend to lie, right?) showed a majority of my shots at wider than 35mm. Obviously, I've been spending too much time outdoors with non-humanoid subjects. Aaargh.
Thanks for your reply, David.

I guess vacations are about outdoors and non-humanoid subjects so these results may be different than my "normal" tendencies -- whatever THAT is. I intend to run the app on my archived photos to see how they stack up. I suspect I may find much the same though maybe not quite so many quite so wide.

I think my first two offhand shots out of the box from my balcony after checking in at the hotel should have given me an indication. Both were at 17MM. :)

Shot #1 from my trip -- Solitude.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Shot #2 -- Flying

View attachment 14111

My lens had fogged up after those two from the oppressive humidity so I had to switch. I think I was a bit anxious to start firing away because I fogged up all three. I came to my senses after that and brought them up to temp.

Let me tell you that hazy sky over the water is tough to deal with. I never did quite figure out how to handle it. I did take a few "people pics" but not until that night. The first afternoon was spent primarily at 17MM.

Phil
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
386
Location
B&H Web Site, Lens Section
Uncle Frank said:
There's no debate, Phil. Neither lens provides a complete solution. That's why you added the 85/1.4 to complement the long end of your 17-55, and I added the 20/2.8 to complement the wide end of my 28-70.
That's absolutely correct and is why I added, "it's what *I* do". I was simply more than a little surprised at just how many wide shots I took. It's just the way things worked out. ((shrug))

BTW, did you get the two bathing beauty shots I sent? ROFL

Phil
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
33,092
Location
St. George, Utah
Without running the program I know that I shoot many more shots with my 17-55mm than I do any other lens. Many of them are at the short end of that spectrum. That said, when I want something longer I am sure glad to have my 70-200mm and on occasion my 300mm. I guess what I am saying is that I don't need to run the program to know what I like for my style of shooting.
 
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