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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: ShootingStars on November 01, 2013, 04:31:34 AM

Title: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: ShootingStars on November 01, 2013, 04:31:34 AM
Both of these seem to be used interchangebly... anyone have guidelines or protocols they follow as to when to use which?
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: Eldar on November 01, 2013, 05:10:41 AM
When you bring the 35, you often end up with "s..., I should have brought the 85". With the 50, you often end up with "s..., I should have brought the 24" or "s..., I should have brought the 100". That is 1 s... for the 35 and 2 s... for the 50. So if I only carry one prime, I use the 35  ;)
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: wayno on November 01, 2013, 05:12:33 AM
When you bring the 35, you often end up with "s..., I should have brought the 85". With the 50, you often end up with "s..., I should have brought the 24" or "s..., I should have brought the 100". That is 1 s... for the 35 and 2 s... for the 50. So if I only carry one prime, I use the 35  ;)

Pretty much agree. Just use the 35! :)
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: caMARYnon on November 01, 2013, 06:05:44 AM
When you bring the 35, you often end up with "s..., I should have brought the 85". With the 50, you often end up with "s..., I should have brought the 24" or "s..., I should have brought the 100". That is 1 s... for the 35 and 2 s... for the 50. So if I only carry one prime, I use the 35  ;)
+1
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: Grumbaki on November 01, 2013, 06:44:21 AM
35/85 FTW.
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: fotografiasi on November 01, 2013, 07:48:23 AM
because I could not afford the 35 1.4 I ended using a combo of 28 1.8 with 85 1.8 in a 5D mk III. When needed I also use a 70-200 2.8 IS II. I do not like any of the Canon's 50's. From my perspective they all have problems and going with the 28 and 85 seems much better
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: P_R on November 01, 2013, 08:13:32 AM
It depends. What are you shooting? 85 f/1.2 can be harder to focus for fast moving objects (don't flame, there is a separate thread talking about that), 35L might be better in that case. But if you need the extra reach and nicer bokeh then 85. I find the 85 a little too long for street shooting, so i use the 35, but again it depends.
Of the two its the 35 is on the camera most often of the two.

I should have added that I don't have a 50mm, so my choice are 35, 85 or 135.
 
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: Triggyman on November 01, 2013, 09:28:05 AM
50mm is good for normal use, one or two people shots with some context, but a little difficult for group shots of four or more people if you want to photograph the whole body. You can get great creative normal perspective shots with a 50mm, but for the most part it's not great for taking pictures of architecture and the close environment. I used 50mm almost all the time during my film days for 20 years (Canon AV-1), and I always wished for a wider lens.

On the other hand, 35mm is great for group shots with more context, can be used for portrait (but don't get too close due to added distortion) of a person that shows more background. It's also good for indoor shots with less distortion than a 28 or 24, and environmental shots of the immediate sorrounding and more interesting angles (also with less distortion). I would use a 35mm for street photography if I'm after context in addition to the subject, and 50mm for a more intimate but not too personal shot like the 85mm gives.
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: mackguyver on November 01, 2013, 10:11:25 AM
50mm is good for normal use, one or two people shots with some context, but a little difficult for group shots of four or more people if you want to photograph the whole body. You can get great creative normal perspective shots with a 50mm, but for the most part it's not great for taking pictures of architecture and the close environment. I used 50mm almost all the time during my film days for 20 years (Canon AV-1), and I always wished for a wider lens.

On the other hand, 35mm is great for group shots with more context, can be used for portrait (but don't get too close due to added distortion) of a person that shows more background. It's also good for indoor shots with less distortion than a 28 or 24, and environmental shots of the immediate sorrounding and more interesting angles (also with less distortion). I would use a 35mm for street photography if I'm after context in addition to the subject, and 50mm for a more intimate but not too personal shot like the 85mm gives.
Good description and I would add (all in the full frame context) that for landscapes and other work without people, they are nearly interchangeable unless you're in confined space.  For people, you can use a 50 formal portraiture with full-length, 3/4 shots, and even some headshots, but you wouldn't want to do that with a 35.  The 35 is better for environmental portraits where shooting portraits where the person and the background are both subjects.  It is not a good lens for formal headshots as the perspective distortion is very unflattering.

Of course rules are meant to be broken and there's no reason you can't use the 35 or the 50 to do whatever you want if you are pleased with the results.  In the end, you just have to find what works best for you as a photographer - in my case, 24mm for environmental portraits and 85mm for formal portraits is what I prefer, but others will swear by their 35, 50, or 135mm lenses for the same type of work. 
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: RomainF on November 01, 2013, 10:58:35 AM
You have to figure out wich focal matches “your" field of view.
Some people need a 24mm, others are 50-guys etc. That's the right way of choosing your standard-most-used lens.

I shoot the 35 1.4L cause its FOV is more or less my "field of interest". Know what i mean ?
But, from time to time, I crop my pictures. And I have noticed that when I crop a picture shot with the 35mm, I crop it to match the 50mm FOV. Funny fact.
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: dshipley on November 01, 2013, 10:59:37 AM
I use both very often when shooting people & events (quick fyi: the majority of my shooting is with primes and all of my camera bodies are full size, pro or gripped, with full frame sensors). Here's the main factors that I look at when choosing to use one or the other...

Space - If it's crowded and space is tight I typically am using the 35mm more than the 50.

Look - Both of these focal lengths create different looking photos... for example the 50mm will provide more foreground/background compression/separation than a 35mm as it is slightly more telephoto. I find myself gravitating towards the 50mm more (if I have the working space) when shooting portraits of one or two people as, in those circumstances, I typically prefer a more telephoto look. I will say for personal photography (i.e. taking photos of my family activities) if I could only take one lens it would be my 35L as I haven't found a situation in everyday shooting where it couldn't be used to appropriately document/tell a story.
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: Pinchers of Peril on November 01, 2013, 12:25:07 PM
I had this same conundrum so I bought the 40mm pancake :)
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: StudentOfLight on November 03, 2013, 03:13:05 PM
Good advice from various posters.

I'd say its a personal preference. Do you see yourself as more of a documentary or more of a creative photographer? Shorter focal lengths give more emphasis to foreground elements while longer focal lengths give a more true look to subjects so is more catering to a documentary style.

I almost always have my 35mm in my bag. My reasoning is that with the 35mm you can shoot the same perspective image as the 50mm (albeit with cropping, so you lose resolution) but its impossible to shoot the 35mm perspective image with a 50mm.
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: StudentOfLight on November 03, 2013, 03:23:02 PM
I had this same conundrum so I bought the 40mm pancake :)

I love that little lens. If only it had a more solid construction it would be the perfect lens... but if it had a more solid construction then it would weigh more and probably take up more space and definitely cost more. It's cheapness, lightness and compactness are its strong points so if they made it better it would also become worse... darn it there's just no winning!!!!
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: mb66energy on November 03, 2013, 06:17:57 PM
I had this same conundrum so I bought the 40mm pancake :)

I love that little lens. If only it had a more solid construction it would be the perfect lens... but if it had a more solid construction then it would weigh more and probably take up more space and definitely cost more. It's cheapness, lightness and compactness are its strong points so if they made it better it would also become worse... darn it there's just no winning!!!!

I think you have forgotten its great IQ, especially its outstanding flare resistance and its unobtrusiveness! - But I too forget sometimes how good the standard equipment is today  :)

By the way: Your "StudentOfLight" is a great nick, after the gear wars I am now into the "Learning-how-light-phase".
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: mb66energy on November 03, 2013, 06:22:48 PM
Both of these seem to be used interchangebly... anyone have guidelines or protocols they follow as to when to use which?

I see focal lengths of 100-200mm as "standard" - I like to remove all the distracting "dirt" from my subjects. But - as others said - it depends on your idea of a photograph and the situation.

Personally I would try to buy a cheap zoom lens like the EF 28-70mm 3.5-4.5 ii which is not bad using only two settings: 35mm and 50mm. After that you might check which suits your needs well. These lenses are available for 50-100 $/EUR.
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: mwh1964 on November 03, 2013, 07:08:07 PM
There is a reason the 35mm FL is the reportage lens for pros or at least used to be before zoom this and that. I used a 35mm for 31/2 week straight touring the NP on the west coast and never onced missed anything. Wonder why I have the arsenal of lenses in my signature?
Title: Re: When to use a 35mm and 50mm on full frame...
Post by: Ewinter on November 03, 2013, 08:17:24 PM
35 for environmental portrait.
50 for cba to change lenses and it's for fun, not work (because canon's 1.4 sucks)
85 for portraits or medium distance action
135 for indoor sports and making men look manly