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The Two Primes

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The Two Primes:

I will be selling my X-M1 with its kit lens. That is my first camera coming out from iPhones. I want a viewfinder on my camera, so I'm planning to buy the X-E1 or X-E2 body with lenses.

Although zoom lenses are good and versatile for most occasions, I prefer and like prime lenses since their IQ is better and they perform greater in low light than the zooms, helping the camera to take better pictures when it's going dark.

Based on your actual and/or past experience with lenses, I would like to have some advise regarding this question that I have:

If I were to buy only TWO (2) prime lenses that cover landscaping and architectural, AND regular snapshots like street photos, family, and some type of portrait (with nice blur background), which two lenses do you think they should be, and why?

If you want to mention the great XF 18-55mm kit lens along with an additional prime, that's ok, but please let me know why would you choose them.

Thank you for your advise.

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richheath

14mm - Superb lens - great for landscape and architecture.

35mm - Great all round lens. I use it for photographing the family. It tends to be glued on to my X-E2 95% of the time.

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danhortonszar

I agree the 14mm and 35mm are a great combination.

However, personally I would err towards the 14mm and 23mm, because I tend to favour wider lenses and street or environmental portraits - these two lenses sit pretty much permanently on my two camera bodies.

Or just break the rules and get all three ;-)

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widespace

However, personally I would err towards the 14mm and 23mm, because I tend to favour wider lenses and street or environmental portraits - these two lenses sit pretty much permanently on my two camera bodies.

Just a thought: with just the 14mm and 23mm (which are relatively close), am I not leaving a big gap on the focal length range? 35mm-55mm more or less?

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veejaycee

I would go for 14/18mm and 35mm leaving a short foot zoom forward or backward if necessary to cover the 23mm fl. Similarly a 18/23mm - 60/56mm would work depending on how you work. My preference is to use 14 and 35 with 2 bodies and sometimes the 60mm in my bag too. I know others prefer the 18/23 - 56/60 combi especially for street.

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farrell

If I ever limited myself to only two lenses, one would have to be the 18-55 and the

other a fast =50 like the 35/1.4. It is important for everyone to analyze his own

usage patterns rather than to "collect" lenses.(cheaper too)

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jeremyclarke

Don't forget the new 16mm f/1.4! Seems like a really useful companion to the 35mm or 56mm that would give you a huge range all of which is capable in low light. Add in the upcomming 90mm f/2 and that's my fantasy trio.

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farrell

As to the perceived need for speed, I like shooting by streetlight with the 35/1.8

DX Nikkor. It is very sharp even wide open, but at F/2.8 it is only one stop away from

optimal and a very small ISO bump provides a shutter speed of 1/40 and enhanced DOF.

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Cardiobikeracer

XF 18mm and Touit 32mm (or the also excellent XF 35mm).

Both are fast lenses, at f2 and f1.8, so I can shoot in low light and/or isolate a subject. There's a noticeable FOV difference between the two, with one as the 28mm-e and the other, just slightly shy of a 50mm-e.

The 18mm is good for landscapes and architecture. Also my favourite for street photography. The 32mm is also good for street work, portraits and when I want to be more selective in my FOV.

Other than the very rare occasion of wanting more compression (i.e. moderate Telephoto like the XF 56 or 60mm), these two lenses cover the overwhelming majority of what I need for my personal work.

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farrell

The 56/1.2 is intriguing, but as a 73-year-old retiree, I need to guard against

objectivity failure.

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widespace

Thank you all for your comments, experience-based opinions, and for your suggestions. Although everyone has a partially different style, I have a better idea on what could really work better having (for now) some restrictions. If you have any other comment, please let it go and post it here. I'll be anyways still looking at the posts for a while.

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arbeefuji

Kind of depends on what you like to shoot. I have a pretty fair assortment of lenses to choose from but lately I've found myself picking up the 14mm and 35mm more than any other. That said, I'll often just grab the 23mm if I want to go really light.

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pominpocket

The 56/1.2 is intriguing, but as a 73-year-old retiree, I need to guard against

objectivity failure.

73 really is not that old if you are young in outlook. And no doubt you have a fair bit of photographic experience gained in that time

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farrell

The 56/1.2 is intriguing, but as a 73-year-old retiree, I need to guard against

objectivity failure.

73 really is not that old if you are young in outlook. And no doubt you have a fair bit of photographic experience gained in that time

I bought my first "serious"

system in 1968, a new 50mm Nikkor and an old used Nikorrex SLR body as a cost-cutting

measure, replacing it in 1970 with a new Nikon F body, buying a 105mm Nikkor at the

same time.

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MadDog

If you are talking 35mm equivalent focal lengths…in the 70's & 80's I covered 100 per cent of my pictures with a 28mm and a 135mm. Soon after Vivitar introduced their 17mm, I was hooked and that replaced my 28mm for most W/A shots. Since digitally made pictures look so vastly different from those made on film, it's no longer about the camera/processor - since I can spot a digital photo vs film a mile away - no matter what camera it was made on. I know that Nikon introduced their 85mm lens as a portrait lens. I used one on a couple of weddings and it was ok - but nothing I was thrilled over. I still prefer 135mm for head/shoulder work. In the 90's I did own a Fuji 645 with a 40mm equivalent lens. While I never used it for portraits, it was superb for general street photography. I discovered the Mamiya 7 system and was lucky enough at the time to be able to afford a complete system. However, again, it was the wide angle and telephoto focal lengths I used most. I now use a Fuji XS-1 for everything - with the wide angle being used 98 per cent of the time. It's hard to ask us here what we recommend because art is so personal. What one person feels passionately about may be something different for another. You asked and I answered.

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widespace

It's hard to ask us here what we recommend because art is so personal. What one person feels passionately about may be something different for another. You asked and I answered.

Thank you very much for your input. I think that's right: photography is an art, and as such, it's very personal, like our own characters.

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artuk

If I ever limited myself to only two lenses, one would have to be the 18-55 and the

other a fast =50 like the 35/1.4. It is important for everyone to analyze his own

usage patterns rather than to "collect" lenses.(cheaper too)

I agree instead of recommending favourite primes unsuitable forbthe original requirements a 2 lens system of zoom.and fast standard prime is a much better starting point for a general purpose kit that is required to include architecture, street, general photos and portraits.

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franco

Just to be difficult, and a bit of an arse, buy three:

Samyang 12mm F2 - Cheap as chips, and no distortion (pretty much)

Fujinon 18mm F2 - Much maligned (still dont know why) but the fastest AF of all the primes at the moment.

Fujinon 35mm - just lovely.

Buy all three for quite a bit less then the 14mm/35mm or 14mm/23mm etc etc....

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r0b47

How about the 18-55mm and the 14mm 2.8. You have your whole interest covered. I personally think the 18-55 is a fantastic lens. It gives you a range of coverage for all normal possibilities and the 14 will get you that extra hit for interiors and special landscape.

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ChrisPoole

My first choice would be, without any question, the amazing 35mm. For the second it would be, like Pominpocket above, the lovely 60mm. This combination might not give you quite enough range for some architectural work but will give superb and reliable quality and, I think, cover most of your needs. I often have the 35 on an X-Pro1 and the 60 on an XT-1 so rarely need to change lenses during the day.

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farrell

How about the 18-55mm and the 14mm 2.8. You have your whole interest covered. I personally think the 18-55 is a fantastic lens. It gives you a range of coverage for all normal possibilities and the 14 will get you that extra hit for interiors and special landscape.

I don't make money from photography, and I never use FL's shorter than I genuinely need

just because I can. The excellent 18-55 covers 95% of my shooting needs except street

shooting by streetlight. My Nikon toybox is well-equipped with weird-angle lenses that I seldom use.

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andyfromboston

Two primes? I think I'd take the 16 or 18 and the 35.

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artuk

Just to be difficult, and a bit of an arse, buy three:

Samyang 12mm F2 - Cheap as chips, and no distortion (pretty much)

Fujinon 18mm F2 - Much maligned (still dont know why) but the fastest AF of all the primes at the moment.

Fujinon 35mm - just lovely.

Buy all three for quite a bit less then the 14mm/35mm or 14mm/23mm etc etc....

Which of those are a portrait lens? ;-)

I know 50mm can be used for some people photos, but it's not a "classic" portrait focal length (if that's what the original poster actually wants).

Incidentally, the 14mm focuses fastest, it's the one Fuji uses for their "world's fastest" AF speed claims.

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franco

I stand corrected on the 14mm - cheers - but the 18mm is a snappy little number all the same. :-)

And absolutely, the 35mm is terrific for portraits.

20141229-untitled (34 of 43)

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