I have done something rash! Yes, again.
Having sold all my prime lenses a couple of years back, I bought another. And I have a feeling I may buy more. Want to understand what changed my mind? So would I.
When I look at my camera equipment you can divide it into three categories:
- Point and shoot pocket cameras. I haven’t used these much recently and, in all honesty, I have become a little disillusioned with the lens performance of the ones I own.
- Mirrorless cameras ranging from Micro 43 to Full Frame. These are the cameras I use most of the time. They are the work horses of what I do, and I only have zoom lenses for these.
- Film cameras that I use occasionally. This is now a short list of the Bronica SQAi and Hasselblad XPan. I seldom use them but when I do I love the experience. I only have prime lenses for these cameras.
Now this is where it gets a little weird and I can’t rationalise why.
For some reason I love the experience of shooting with the prime lenses. It’s as though zoom lenses make me lazy whilst the primes make me work for my shots. When I shoot with zooms there’s a tendency to exchange movement for zooming. I know zooming my lens in and out isn’t the same as walking around the scene, but for some reason that’s what seems to happen.
When I use a prime lens, I feel I move more. I certainly need to move in and out of the scene, but I also find myself moving around to find new compositions. I also shoot less, and the quality improves, or at least I think it does.
The downside is that zooms suit Landscape work better than primes. Or at least that’s the feeling I have inside. What made me reconsider them is a strange desire for optimum lens performance. I’m sure it’s a psychological problem you can trace back to a Sigma 10-20 that was soft down one side. It ruined many a good shot and I didn’t recognise it for some time. But that’s another story.
In the end, the lens I bought isn’t a wide angle prime; I’m saving that for another day. I bought a standard focal length lens for the Fuji X-T2. Originally, I was thinking about the Fuji 35mm f2 but then saw the 35mm f1.4 and thought “that looks like it’s in another class” (although I bet there isn’t much difference). I had just finished convincing myself that I needed the f1.4 when I looked at the Zeiss 32mm f1.8. Remarkably it was on special offer and only a few pounds more than the Fuji.
So, I now have a Zeiss 32mm f1.8 for the Fuji and am itching to use it. If it’s good and I enjoy it, I’m going to be saving for the Zeiss 12mm.
As for the image attached to this blog post… It has a tenuous connection to the new lens. It was the corner performance of my Fuji 10-24 (a great lens used for this image) that started me wondering if primes would be better.