Lens use analysis over time

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jamespetts, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Lightroom has a rather splendid feature, allowing one to filter and count one's photographs by all sorts of criteria, including lenses used. This allows one to perform interesting analysis of one's pattern of lens usage over time.

    When I ran this tool on my own Lightroom catalogue, I found the following (limited to photographs taken with the E-P3, which I acquired in November 2011):

    Total (flagged): 5,279 (8)
    Olympus 14-42mm: 3,279 (3)
    Manual lenses: 2,000 (5)

    Total (flagged): 5,370 (778)
    Panasonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4: 1,626 (132)
    Panasonic 14mm f/2.5: 1,505 (112)
    Olympus 12mm f/2.0: 775 (234)
    Olympus 14-42mm: 576 (109)
    Olympus 45mm f/1.8: 619 (104)
    Manual lenses: 653 (87)

    2013 to date
    Total (flagged): 3,932 (949)
    Panasonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4: 1,068 (204)
    Panasonic 14mm f/2.5: 619 (196)
    Olympus 12mm f/2.0: 533 (208)
    Olympus 14-42mm: 2 (0)
    Olympus 45mm f/1.8: 496 (75)
    Olympus 60mm macro f/2.8: 953 (213)
    Manual lenses: 261 (53)

    One or two notes: I acquired the 14mm, 12mm and 25mm lenses around the same time in March 2012, and the 45mm lens shortly afterwards in April. I had previously made (fairly) extensive use of 24mm and 50mm manual lenses. In December 2012, I acquired the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye (which shows as a manual lens), and in February 2013, the Olympus 60mm macro lens. The only other manual lens that I use now is an old Pentax 135mm f/3.5, although I do not use that very often.

    The number of rejects for the 45mm lens (i.e., those not flagged in proportion to the total) is inflated somewhat by the fact that I use this lens to take portraits of people for our website at work, which involves taking a large number of photographs and choosing only one. Before I acquired the 45mm lens, I had used a 50mm manual lens.

    The lack of use of the 14-42mm lens in 2013 is evident; after being disappointed with the photographs that it produced on a holiday in 2012, I stopped using it, and it now no longer resides in my camera bag at all, sitting instead in a drawer (I keep it as it might be useful if I ever do video).

    The particular delight that I take in macro is evident from the numbers, as is the extent to which macro photography is technically challenging, as can be seen from the higher number of rejects (mainly due to the subject being out of focus).

    As for the two Panasonic lenses, before I acquired the macro lens, I regarded the 25mm f/1.4 as my favourite lens, and I often take it and the 14mm lens (but no others) to parties; but I do find that it has trouble focussing in low light, which might account for the higher reject rate for that lens.

    I should be very interested to see other people's lens use statistics over time and what conclusions that people draw from them. The same applies to camera bodies for those who use more than one: I only have the E-P3 aside from the camera in my mobile telephone, so that does not apply to me.

    Edit: I think that the 2011 absolute figures are artificially inflated by the catalogue containing multiple copies of the same image, as I was not using Lightroom at the time.
  2. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I've used that feature, though I've never tried to analyze it as carefully as you have. :) It has helped to confirm hunches I've had a couple of times that I wasn't using a lens enough to justify keeping it, so I've sold them.
  3. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Hmm - looking at this again to-day, an interesting pattern emerges that I had not noticed before; in both 2012 and 2013 to date, I have taken more pictures with the 14mm lens, but had a higher number - both absolute and relative - of flagged/picked photographs from the 12mm lens.
  4. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Real Name:
    PL 25 is my most used lens too, no matter how many and what other lenses I owned, until there's the sigma 19. Now the Sigma 19 gets used most and it's a pity the sigma 19 is optically far less good than the pl25
  5. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    Alas I can not at the momment afford the lens I would most use on µ43 the 25mm, I know it would be used more than anything else as all the film cameras I use get 90% of use with a 50mm the APS Nikons the 35mm. For the years when I wanted more lenses and then found I had a groove if you like at 40-60mm so I know am waiting till I can get the money for either the 20 or 25.
  6. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Out of interest, here are the data for each lens expressed in terms of percentage used overall (flagged) for the period 2012-date:

    25mm f/1.4: 29% (19%)
    14mm f/2.5: 21% (18%)
    12mm f/2.0: 13% (26%)
    14-42mm : 06% (06%)
    45mm f/1.8: 11% (10%)
    60mm f/2.8: 09% (12%)
    All manual : 13% (08%)

    Interesting things to note: the 60mm macro already has more flagged pictures than the 45mm in absolute terms for the whole of the period 2012-date despite only having had it for much less than half that period. The 14-42mm has the same (low) proportion of flagged as unflagged images. A significantly lower relative proportion of manual lens photographs are flagged than others, suggesting that autofocus makes a difference in the proportion of good images taken, at least for me. The 60mm macro and the 12mm lens are the only lenses to have more than their expected share of flagged photographs, the difference in the 12mm lens being especially striking. The reason for this is not currently clear to me, but is more likely to have to do with the sorts of photographs that I take with it than any inherent quality in the lens itself. Conversely, manual lenses and the 25mm do badly on relative flagged proportions; the reason is clear for manual lenses but not the 25mm, although that might have to do with the fact that that is a lens that I often take to parties, but has difficulty focussing in the dark.

    I have yet to see anyone else's analysis of this interesting subject - I should be intrigued if anyone else were able to post statistics for comparison.
  7. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I did something similar with my Canon kit at the time. My most used lens (by far) is the 24-105, but a significant proportion (larger than the proportion of shots with the lens) was from the 35L. And the 'hit rate' with the 135L was even higher.

    Pure usage statistics never tell the whole picture.