- Jul 21, 2021
We would do other things to compensate... Pushing film to shoot sports where a 50mm was not a good length. F 1.2 lenses weren't readily available til the late 70's and they could be stupid expensive.. Yes it's amazing how anyone took a good photo until digital and 100,000 iso and 1.2 or faster lenses.. I'm just saying that 50mm lenses were not popular.What are you talking about? Nearly all vintage lenses from Canon/Nikon/Leica/Pentax etc were extremely fast. My vintage lens collection alone is stacked with f/1.4 to f/2 lenses as well as a couple of f/1.2 primes…that happen to be 50mm and 55mm. Wide apertures were significantly more important in the film era as you were typically stuck to 400 and 800 film speeds. More sensitive film stocks like 1600 and 3200 were seldom used because of their grain density, so fast lenses were the ticket. Additionally, during the day, you would find yourself with 400 or 800 in the camera and be limited by shutter speeds values of 1/1000 or 1/2000 on most camera bodies…sometimes 1/500, so it was often that you would stop these old lenses down to achieve proper exposure. So huge apertures have been important for decades. We’re just lucky cameras shoot at 1/8000 now with digitally controlled ISO.