For prime lovers: what's your preferred ratio?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by BigTam, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    When looking at the prime collections of posters here, there seem to be two schools of thought: the 1.5x camp and the 2x people.

    What I mean by that is, some posters have a prime at roughly 1.5 times the focal length of the wider one; it usually goes 12, 17, 25, 45, 75 or 12, 19, 30, 45, 75.

    Others prefer wider gaps: 12, 25, 45.

    Anyone care to share their thinking here?

    My own preference would be for 9, 17, 45, 75. But unfortunately the 9 doesn't exist, so I make do with 9-18, 20, 45, 75.
  2. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    9-18 also (not prime, lol) or sometimes the 7.5mm fisheye, 17, 25, and 75. I almost never use my 12mm or 45mm for some reason even though they are great lenses.
  3. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Mine would be ~1.8x steps that is I'm working towards 14, 25, 45 and 75.

    After this it suppose it would be (to keep the sequence) 7.5FE at one end and legacy 135 at the other but more likely zooms (7-14 or 9-18 and 100-300).
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I am finding that 17, 25 and 75 covers me for most of my needs. I have also got 14, 20, and 45.... but the first three are the ones always in my bag.

    If pushed I would go with 17 and 75... or just the 25 if absolute speed was the priority

  5. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    12, 17 & 45 here. 25 would be the single lens choice. I don't have the 75 though, that might change things if I do pick it up.
  6. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I was actually thinking about this, as I was debating picking up the 14. That means that I would have roughly 5 f-stops worth of lenses. P14, P20, V28, MD45 (instead of F4), MC58 (vs. f5.6), and looking at getting an 85mm ( for the f8 later as well. Since I got the 20, I haven't had a use for the 28 yet, but I can see the close focus being helpful (goes to 1:5) as well as being a bit tighter for street shooting vs. indoor.

    For the have-to lenses, I would say the 45 and 20 spend the most time on my camera (in that order). The 58 is a bit more of a special look.
  7. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I seem to only prefer primes in the mid-range. Somewhere around 17 to 40. 1.5x seems to work for me but I'm feeling that the 25 is the least used lens in my kit.
  8. rolling green

    rolling green Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 31, 2012
    city of chi
    This show's how different people have different needs. The 25 is the most used lens in my setup (mostly indoor use). 14, 25, and 45 for me. Will add the 75 when funds allow
  9. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I've got the 12, both 17s, 25, 45 and 75 so that makes it look like I'm in the 1.5 camp but it isn't as simple as that.

    At longer lengths I think doubling works well so I'd like to step up to 50 and then 100 and 200 from the 25. I have the 45 and 75 because that's what's available. Don't get me wrong, they're good lenses and I think the 75 is a great lens, but my preference for focal lengths would be 50 and 100 rather than 45 and 75 if I had a choice.

    At shorter focal lengths I think the 1.5 ratio works better. The effect of widening FOV and perspective rendering make small differences in focal length more noticeable than at longer than normal focal lengths in my view. There's a stronger "personality" to each focal length so I'm happier having my options closer together in that range.

    So I'd have to say that part of my prime kit is based on my preferences for ratio of focal lengths and part on what I could buy. I suspect others will be in the same boat. We've got what we could get but if a wider range of options were available we may well have ended up with a different selection of lenses.
  10. BLT

    BLT Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    14mm 20mm & 45mm - Because it's The best value option for a great quality kit covering the 'standard' field of view.

    I love a size advantage of the pancake lenses too.
  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    On my FF DSLR right now I have 28, 35, 85, but I feel there's overlap in the 28 and 35. I like the 35/1.4 better, but the 28/1.8 can do the 35 FOV with a crop, and it's MUCH cheaper. Not sure which to keep.

    On my m43 it's 14, 15 (lens cap) 25.

    I reserve portrait for my DSLR mainly, and walk-around for m43, hence the FLs. I liked my 17/1.8 on my m43, but my lens was decentered. I returned it, but may pick it up again.
  12. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Of my primes 25mm or 28 on MFT.
  13. Salt Peanuts

    Salt Peanuts Mu-43 Regular

    May 26, 2012
    Right now, I've got 17mm and 45mm. Used to have 25/1.4 but sold it, though I may pick it back up again, along with 75/1.8, if/when funding allows.

    Used to have 35mm, 50mm, 85mm on Canon; and 35mm, 50mm, 105mm on Nikon.
  14. aukirk

    aukirk Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    I think the difference between going for 1.5x vs 2x largely depends on how much money one is spending on lenses.... unfortunately, I find my self continuing to buy new lenses, so my ratio keeps going down.

    My two main lens are 25m on camera and the tiny 14m in pocket. Depending on what I am going to be doing, the third lens will vary between 45, 75 and the 35-100.
  15. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I have the 7.5, 14, 25, and 45. I'm saving up for the 75 to finish off my set. :biggrin:
  16. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    I think I would be more comfortable with a 2x spacing in between primes, the 1.5x is a bit close for me that would cause me to think which lens to use over the other. The 2x spacing makes it easier to decide LOL.
  17. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    As you can see, I have a bit of a problem with limiting my primes...

    But in general I'm only using two or three at a time:

    14mm, 20mm, 35mm
    14mm, 20mm, 75mm
    14mm, 25mm, 45mm
    14mm, 25mm, 58mm
    14mm, 25mm, 75mm
    9-18mm, 25mm, 75mm

    What I take mainly depends on what else I'm carrying in my bag (laptop, books, etc.) or whether I'm in the mood for manual focusing.
  18. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    2X is about right for me, and I think, most folks. Closer than that and I'm just buying lenses to buy lenses - not that much difference. But a 2X change in focal length is significant. 28mm was wide enough for me on film - and I didn't really like the 22mm film equivalent of my 15mm on APS-C. In fact,
    So I have P-14 (just got it, experimenting w/me now), PL-25, and O-45...really a nice setup, in my opinion. This way you've got three different 2-lens setups for in-the pocket lenses on-the-go, or 3 lenses to cover most everything if you take the camera bag w/you.
  19. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Please ignore me if you think I am hijacking the thread, but I'm just wondering at what point does the difference between primes become one that could not be achieved by changing position to the subject?

    I can see the idea of having a wide, normal and tele prime for the differences in perspective distortion, and recognize that there are times when you physically can't back up or get closer.

    However I sometimes see the difference between 2 primes described as two steps... For most able bodied folks aren't two steps easier to take than changing lenses and exposing our precious cameras and lenses to dust and moisture?

    Or do people just have a feeling on a given day for a particular focal length, or based on knowing the location and subject you choose which lens(es)?

    Anyway, no judgements on others intended, just seeking to hear others perspectives and learn from those who know more than me.
  20. Muntjack

    Muntjack Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 26, 2010
    Well I have 14, 25, 45 and feel that this (nearly 2x) ratio works well for me. However, on that last point I nowadays find that I am selecting a FL on my way out and almost never changing lenses on the fly. After all any one of these fields of view can be used as a walk around lens with bit of care IMHO.

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