Prime Time

I shared last week I ordered a new lens.  I just didn’t tell you which one.  I researched three primes: Canon 28mm f/1.8, Canon 35mm f/2.0 and the Sigma 30mm f1.4.  Not the best glass available by any means but all three were in my price range.  I bought one.  It came on Friday.


My reason for the new prime lens is because I love what my 50mm offers.  I love that lens, how it doesn’t zoom which makes me work around the subject and the colors are always better than my zoom lens.  Even if it is the cheaper version of the 50mm – I heart it.  But – because there’s always a but – it’s too zoomy.

Mac Daddy (my beloved dSLR) has a cropped sensor.  And cropped sensors cause the lenses to zoom somewhat.  On a full frame camera, the 50mm is what is see with your eye is what you see through the lens.  With a cropped sensor, that isn’t the case.  So I wanted a lens that that was wider than the 50mm.

I scoured the forums and I have to say that questions about equipment on forums is a big waste of time.  Everyone has their own opinion and will tell you to get what they have (I’m guilty of it too) but it ends up making the decision process harder [and I already have a hard enough time making decisions… ask the hubs].  I instead kept my focus on reviews.  And Ken Rockwell’s reviews of the Sigma 30mm and Canon 28mm helped me make up my mind.


I got the 35mm f/2.0.

I wanted a wider lens but not something so wide that the edges would bend.  That is why I decided to part ways with the ultra-wide 10-22mm lens – the photos I enjoy taking don’t look great with a curved edge.  So the 28mm prime was marked off the list.  As for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4… that f/1.4 sounds mighty tasty but I felt more comfortable with a Canon lens even if it meant losing aperture.  I marked it off the list and went to my shopping cart to check out.

I haven’t had much time with the 35mm f/2.0 but I do like it.  On the cropped sensor, the 35mm is “what you see is what you get” which is going to be so great for when I shoot indoors or in tighter spaces.  I don’t feel like I’m losing any DOF with the f/2.0 either – it offers up some yummy bokeh.  My only problem so far is that it is loud.  The auto-focus is noisy and sounds so mechanical – more so than the 50mm.  But I’m guessing that’s something I’ll get used to.

I tried to get the doggins to obey me yesterday and show you some test shots.  Of course, they were being animals.  But I snapped a decent one of the BDD.

Prime in action

Focal Length 35mm
Aperture f/2.0
Exposure 1/13 second
ISO Speed 640

I’m surprised it’s even in focus with the shutter speed being as low as it was.  (Maybe the BDD and I are more steady than I originally thought?)  But you can see how her eyes are crisp and the focus starts to disappear about an inch in front and behind of her eyes.  The first spot on her snout is out of focus.  Just behind her doggin eyebrows, her fur is no longer sharp.  Nothing is lost – my gain is having more width – I am winning.

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March 10, 2011 - 2:39 pm

Dawn - Super-pretty! That is such a great shot of the BDD.

March 10, 2011 - 5:57 pm

denise:) - Your BDD is adorable. I love her muchly! Congrats on your new lens, it looks fab.

Hoping to jump back in on your challenges- I think I have a hard time with the abstract!

March 10, 2011 - 6:00 pm

shutterboo » Blog Archive » Prime Time | Prime Lenses - […] is the original post:  shutterboo » Blog Archive » Prime Time Tags: 50mm, always-better, around-the-subject, cheaper, colors, lenses, prime-lens, subject, […]

March 10, 2011 - 7:09 pm

katie o. - Oh! I’m so excited for you!! I’ve always wondered about that lens. Takes beautiful shots. And I love that sweet pup face!

March 13, 2011 - 11:52 pm

Lynda - Always fun to get a new photo toy. You will like the wide angle you get with this lens.

March 16, 2011 - 7:21 pm

Jun Belen - Congrats on the purchase! So how do you like your new lens? I’ve been meaning to get something similar, wider than the 50mm. As always, the BDD is soooo adorable!

March 16, 2011 - 8:45 pm

Brooke - @Jun – I am so digging the 35mm! I haven’t taken it off the body yet. It’s a great little lens but my heart will always belong to my 50mm. :)

March 31, 2011 - 5:04 pm

Ben - but as ken rockwell would say, it’s the magician not the wand :).

and I would have to say you’re quite the capable magician!

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