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The Power of 28

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brian33 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brian33 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Power of 28
    Posted: 08 January 2018 at 14:08
For a long time I swore by the 50 for general fair, and reserved the 35 to more intimate surroundings, indoor / multiple people. For street I never got on with the 35G, in part because it's heavy, in part because it's not very sharp at wide apertures unless you're right on your subject and I never bothered to try and get my hands on a 35/2.

I'm not currently so interested in street - no time, among other reasons - and have continued working on taking dedicated portraits or environmental portraits / friends in festive occasions, etc.

For indoor parties I just sort of figured 24mm should be my go to. But as I've spent the past couple years shooting pretty much only film, and since my widest lens on my film camera was a 28mm, I was sort of forced to use that focal length. And I slowly realized that it seems to hit some sort of sweet spot.

So when I got back into digital with a new/old a99, the first lens I put on it was my 28/2 (bought from the owner of this website several years ago now!)

And I have to say, I absolutely love this combination! With the family we recently spent 4 days outside of Brussels Belgium and I wanted to share some of my favorite photos and which I feel show the range of this focal length.

Environmental Portraits


1. The Jazz Pianist in her home




2. A chef




3. The Devil may wear Prada but the Parisian drives a New Beetle




4. Isolating oneself




With a bit of subtle cropping, you can also use it for stricter portraits, with the benefit of an increased depth of field afforded from shorter focal length + cropping


5. Mother and Daughter




6. Louise




And you can even use the dynamic perspective to your advantage on certain types of portraits
7. The Wine Taster




Use the leveling indicators on the a99 to make for very precise lines
8. Cooking




9. More cooking





But don't forget to just be silly because it's generally fast enough to capture all the action
10. A Tribute to Johnny Hallyday





11. (though don't expect the lens to do all the work)




12. Two Serious, One Silly and One Jumping




No matter what, it's as discreet as you are
14. The Dancers




Really, it's so simple a child can use it
15. My Godmother (photo by Louise)


I hope you enjoy!
I detest bugs, especially spiders.
 



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maraten View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maraten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2018 at 15:56
I also love to use a Sigma 28/1.8 on my A99. It is a great combination of enough context and enough isolation.

I really like pictures #2 and #12. Very nice series that gives a good view of the capabilities of this lens.
Sony a99 and some old-school lenses
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maewpa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maewpa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2018 at 07:11
Very good Brian! Enjoyed that. A very convincing defence of 28mm as a positively desirable focal length for shooting around the house and at parties - and not one we choose simply because that is the lens we have.


Like #2 the best, although unless he has a think for undersize aprons, suspecting he may not be a full-time chef? He certainly knows how to get his nose in the wine though (another very, very nice shot).


Paul aka maewpa
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waldo_posth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2018 at 22:26
The series works great as a series! I love series that are dedicated to one lens.

It would really be interesting whether you could do the same/something similar with 35mm as focal length (or with 24mm or 40mm). My general impression is: You really got close to where the action is and you are still able to show the whole action. This would certainly not work with 50mm.

My favorites are #2 and #7. The OOF parts in #7 works very well to emphasize the close-up portrait. Composition in #2 is excellent - here the 28mm are really helpful.

TFS!
"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." (Walker Evans)   http://www.flickr.com/photos/waldo_posth/
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Jozioau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2018 at 23:01
A wonderful set, an intimate glimpse of real life, full of character and characters.
I would have thought the 28mm would give some elongating distortion both in terms of exaggerating facial features when close up, and at the edges of the images, but these look quite natural.
Thanks for sharing.
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" - Henri Cartier-Bresson
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WestCoastCannuck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote WestCoastCannuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2018 at 04:01
A lovely series of photos. You have a talent for this sort of thing.

*** Louise did a great job too!
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brian33 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brian33 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2018 at 10:02
Thanks for the comments, guys!

Paul, you are correct he does not work as a chef. (The apron does give it away and I was hoping someone would notice! ) Though I'm not clear on all the history he's got strong family ties to the "gastronomy" restaurant business in France and has absolutely amazing knowledge and talent in the preparation of an incredible variety of foods in the French tradition. He could open a restaurant tomorrow and have an amazing menu set up from his "top of mind" knowledge alone.

waldo_posth - I used to shoot these kinds of family/friends events exclusively with the 35, here's a typical example:


Of course there's only 2 people in the above photo so it's an "easier" shot to fit just 2 people in but below is a photo taken at 28mm in a very similar position and the scene is very different (though obviously this is in the middle of the day and on 400 speed b&w film) and if I had to speak "preference" I think I have a preference for the way the room is rendered on a wider lens.


Jozioau: that's the thing I love about 28mm: I feel like I can practically "fit just as many people" into the image as with a 24, but without the terrible "stretching" distortion that the 24 causes. I still like the 24mm for instance for my daughter's birthday parties where there's 8 or 10 or more kids, 24mm makes it kind of fun and crazy. But the 28 is undeniably more "subtle" in its rendering. I feel like it gets out of your way and just lets you take the picture without you having to worry about what it's going to do to people. Of course image 7 is a risky case because without the wine glass and the fact he's already leaning into the picture, I don't think the photo would have worked, and strictly speaking, 28 is too short a lens to be that close to a person.

Case in point below. I love this photo my daughter took of me, I think the light and the background are superb but she would have been better served with a 50mm here, she's just too close to me:



Here however is a place where 24mm I think works well. There's a lot of people, no one is too far off in the corners of the frame, etc:


Edited by brian33 - 12 January 2018 at 10:23
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2018 at 11:56
There is reason why the Fuji X70, Nikon Coolpix A, Ricoh GR and Leica Q all have a 28mm lens: it is very versatile.

TBH, I do not understand why people like 24mm so much. It gives wide angle distortion without being very wide. With the 28mm you can get a wide angle feel if you want to and a normal feel on other occasions. I would prefer a 28-85/2.8 over a 24-70/2.8 any time, but alas, no such lens

Your pictures show the strength of 28mm, it is also very good for street photography, for landscapes, environmental portraits and for a lot of travel I find a 28mm with short tele (75-85mm) very useful. I like these pictures, thanks for sharing
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maewpa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maewpa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2018 at 03:15
Yes, making a good case. I 've been finding exactly the same thing recently - just because I was only taking a 28 and 55 with me. Now I see the 28 as perfect. You might need to crop a little bit for candida if you don't know the people that well, but for family and close friends it seems to be perfect. Got to be very careful with any portraits though!

Paul aka maewpa
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brian33 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brian33 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2018 at 09:13
I'm on the same page as you, Addy about 24. And what you say is one reason I've never felt compelled to by a 24-70. I don't feel the need for 24 on the short end and on the long end, 70 is not long enough. When I do portraits I like having 85 or otherwise 50 or 58 and if I want it to be environmental, 28 is excellent.
I detest bugs, especially spiders.
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